This morning upon waking, before any attempt to log in to Secondlife, I checked my email. To my amazement I found this email (twice – to make sure I got it at least once I suppose):-
Your Second Life Account Has Been Terminated
This email is notification that Linden Lab has terminated
your access to the Second Life virtual world due to severe
or repeated violations of the Second Life Terms of Service
or Community Standards. Your (account name ‘Arabella
Steadham’) and alternate Second Life accounts have been
made permanently inaccessible.
Appeal Process: The decision to terminate your Second Life
access was reached after investigation of your use of the
Second Life software and service. If you would like to
appeal your termination, you may contact Second Life
Support, by opening a new support ticket with a subject of
“abuse appeal,” or in writing, at the address below:
Second Life Support
945 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
Please provide relevant information that you believe would
explain the above violation. Linden Lab reserves sole
discretion in considering whether to take any action on a
Now, this is nonsensical. Lindenlab is very well aware from their own logs that I have never breached any TOS. They are also aware that I did not attempt to log in with a blacklisted viewer, as the email was sent to me prior to even attempting to log in. What did I do to warrant this?
Perhaps it was yesterday’s post. Perhaps because I called them out on their irrational behavior in recent weeks. Perhaps because Linden Lab wants to ‘teach me a lesson’?
So, I proceed to follow the instructions to lodge an appeal, only to find I cannot log into the website to lodge said appeal. I can only log in as ‘guest’ and select from a pathetic list. I fill out the proforma, and receive this:-
A new case has been created
Type: Web Login Issues
To comment on this case, either Reply to this email, or visit: https://secondlife.com/my/support/?caseID=00902355
(To view the Case online, you will need to log into Secondlife.com with this Avatar: )
But I cannot log in to view the case.
Not only have I been account banned (including an alternate account I made 3 years ago) but it would appear the long finger of Lindenlab has reached out to NZ and banned my IP address as well. And appeal processes appear to be closed off.
I am stunned that Linden Lab has taken this approach. Living in a strongly westernised country and being a citizen of an even bigger one, like many of you I have enjoyed growing up and living in countries where rights are enshrined not only in our constitution but in our way of life. Freedom of speech and expression has long been an expectation and seen as a right of all citizens. To write a blog post – entirely out of the jurisdiction of lindenlab – and have the resultant effect of permanent banning is breathtakingly arrogant on the part of lindenlab. To deny this was the cause of my permanent banning would be a lie. Linden Lab is well aware I do not and have never breached any of the TOS, which indicates that rules are not there for any purpose but decoration.
So watch out, all you bloggers. DO NOT CRITICISE LINDENLAB. DO NOT WRITE YOUR THOUGHTS SO OTHERS MAY READ. DO NOT EVEN THINK ANYTHING THAT IS ANTI-LINDENLAB.
I doubt my appeal will be successful, because true to form it has been done in a shoddy manner. I am not surprised.
So even though I have lodged this appeal, do I really want to be part of a virtual environment where lackeys of the Board of Directors hunt down those who dare to criticise? Do I want to participate in a world where users are abused by bullying standover tactics and unexplained termination of accounts? Linden Lab as a private company can create their own rules as they see fit, however to ignore at least some of the expectations we have of supposed rights if we operate by the rules- to shift the goalposts mid game – reduces their virtual world to nothing more than a game, a game where childish antics reign supreme in a desperate move to force conformity and mediocrity in an ever shrinking user base.
See you around the metaverse
Rezz date: 23rd August 2006
Permaban date: 8th September 2010.