Google Really, Really Hates Second Life

Jabara Land Atlantis (general)

I was going to title this post “Brave New World”, but there’s always the chance that some readers might not get the irony or the reference to Miranda (Shakespeare) and Huxley. If you do understand the reference then you might agree that Google really does want to limit the population to their preferred non-avatar species. :)

Jabara Land Atlantis (general)

In any case, this most recent development is probably not so much an extension of the Nymwars as it is the fact that sends out a lot of emails. However, I’ll set reason aside and just continue hating them. :)

Jabara Land Atlantis (general)

Do you use a gmail address for your Second Life account? Have you noticed a distinct lack of offlines lately? Well then, check your spam folder because that’s where Google is sending them.

Jabara Land Atlantis (general)

Prim Perfect has a great post today explaining how to create a filter to stop both your messages from inworld, and any Lab broadcasts, from disappearing into that blackhole.

Brave New World indeed!

Jabara Land Atlantis (general)
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  1. Noticed the day it started, added filter. Thought it was just me.

    The dangers of shared hosting… someone blackholes or spamlists your shared IP address, and every virtual host on the IP gets flagged and shitcanned.

    I wonder if the Lab has domain keys, reverse DNS, and all that other antispam happy hoopjumping horseshit configured properly.

    What I find annoying is that people I’ve blocked can still send notices in groups, and they get forwarded through offlines. Had to block Sabreman and a few others in Gmail too.


  2. It seems to me unlikely that this is related to the Nymwars, or directly targets Second Life. I don’t think SL is sufficiently big or important to appear on their radar, to be honest. A far more likely explanation is that they’ve tweaked their filters, and have caught some unintended fish in the process.

    As regards the Nymwars and the general issue of pseudonymous accounts, the real issue is of course about the value of the data that they can mine, rather than ideological concerns about self-representation. Information associated with a “real” name is far more valuable, and monetizable.

    A bigger threat to Second Life is, perhaps, potential impending changes in the US to the laws surrounding Net Neutrality. If Linden Lab has to start paying telecommunications companies to provide high-quality access to SL, the platform could find itself in real trouble.

    • I agree with all of that :) I tried to say I thought it was not “personal” so to speak. Just gave me an excuse to hate on them a bit – I get to be juvenile every now and then. :P

      • Absolutely! Why not? Google frequently is!

        I’m still in mourning over the day that Google went from “Don’t Be Evil” to “Whoa! We’re Sitting on a Gold Mine Here!” ;)

    • Biggest threat is the tax/income disclosure issue.

      If you’re doing it for education, non-profit hobby, or as a co-op between friends, you’re fine.

      But if you’re not… all that extra IRS muscle and computing power meant to enforce the healthcare law participation can easily mission-creep into sniffing out undisclosed greymarket and blackmarket revenue. And both the Lab and PayPal are handing over numbers that will rat out midrange landbarons or designers.


      • That’s an excellent point, although a different issue in that it relates to government regulation rather than corporate profits and neoliberal ideologies.

        I’m sure that you are right that IRS leaning on SL profits by content creators and land barons poses a threat to the profitability (and hence user-generated content) of SL (it is possible that Anshe Chung never paid taxes on her in-world businesses????). But it can be argued, perhaps, that this is a loophole that should legitimately be plugged up?

      • I agree that the loophole should be plugged up, just as the Lab plugged up gambling, banking, and pretended to plug up the kids-viewing-adult-content loopholes.

        However, as it’s plugged up, you’re going to find quite a few innocents and legitimate exceptions caught up in the changes. Because as they’ve done before, the Lab will impose a solution, there will be uproar and protest, a promise to review it will be made, not much will change as a result (or in the case of ToS 2.3, empty promises to discuss and resolve), and then the cat-and-mouse will begin.


    • I think netflix, vudu, apple, amazon, and adobe’s cloud products, and others like them will fight the attempts to end net neutrality.

      Hollywood isn’t the only media game in town anymore – and in fact has less money and fewer lawyers than the other guys.

      Hollywood still owns the politicians – but that’s only because no one has forced Silicon Valley to wake its dragons in unison yet. At best, they’ve been forced to ‘hit the loo at midnight’ a few times over attempts to force ISP to be responsible for the kinds of content…

      But Net Neutrality puts the ISPs at war with the content providers – with the ISPs licking the boots of Hollywood. And Hollywood isn’t really paying their bills so much…

      SL would be hurt pretty bad by net neutrality ending – more than an MMO where most of the content exists on your hard drive. But think of what the damage would be to the cloud companies and streaming movies companies…

      Even Hollywood would get burned. Blockbuster closed up shop – Hollywood now HAS to play nice with Apple TV, Amazon media whatever, Vudu, and Netflix… or nobody will be able to buy its eye-drugs…

      If you think you download a lot playing SL – look at the size of downloading the stream of ‘Hunger Games’ – a DVD is 4gb’s or so, and many streamed movies are going even higher quality than a DVD now.

      Net Neutrality will survive. They might kill it for a month or two, and then the sheer panic will set in when they realize what they killed…

  3. @Crap — I’m sure you’re right. And part of the uproar will derive from the fact that Second Life has been, at least on the surface, an unregulated economy for so long. The illusion that the in-world marketplace is the last bastion of a libertarian free market economy will have been shattered. That’s going to make a lot of people unhappy for ideological as well as financial reasons.

  4. Thanks! I hadn’t noticed. But there were other non-spam, non-SL things in the folder as well, so it’s probably just Google being over-enthusiastic.

  5. Thanks for the heads up on this Honour.

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