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Role Playing (Games) Games

Germans Pursuing Kiddie Porn In Second Life 408

Posted by kdawson
from the can't-do-that-here-either dept.
Several readers sent in links to the BBC, which has picked up news of a German investigation into child pornography in Second Life. A German TV station captured images of two avatars, an apparent adult and an apparent child, involved in sexual activity. The station also said they had infiltrated a ring trading real-world child porn in SL. SL creator Linden Labs is cooperating fully with the investigation, they write on their official blog: "Our investigations revealed the users behind these avatars to be a 54-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman. Both were immediately banned from Second Life." The German prosecutor's office hasn't responded to Linden's offer of help in identifying the real-world traders.
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Germans Pursuing Kiddie Porn In Second Life

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  • If you can think of it, someone has already done it!
  • Counterstrike? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by reality-bytes (119275)
    Whenever I see this sort of thing (both this story and the Belgian rape-investigation one) I can't help thinking that, by their lights, they should also be investigating tens of thousands of Counterstrike players for 'Virtual Homicide'.
    • Re:Counterstrike? (Score:5, Informative)

      by the_wishbone (1018542) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:14PM (#19070255)
      RTFA. It's not just that some people were PRETENDING to be children, there were, allegedly, groups in there trading actual illegal material within SL.
      • Yup. FTFA:

        "Mr Schader was asked to pay to attend meetings where virtual and real child pornography was being shown."
        Ahem, note word 'real'

        "Members of this group also offered to put him in touch with traders of real child pornography."
        Nasty, lock 'em up forever.

        "The investigation also uncovered so called "age play" groups that revolve around the abuse of virtual children."
        Nasty, but not a crime, I would have thought, but no:
        "Under Germany law possession of "virtual" child pornography is punishable by up to
    • Re:Counterstrike? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SilentChris (452960) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:37PM (#19070681) Homepage
      Except if you read the article you'd see they were also trading pictures of real child pornography. It'd be more akin to someone playing Counterstrike, then going outside and shooting people. Pretty much and open-and-shut case.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:11PM (#19070189) Homepage Journal
    Are scheisse videos even possible in Second Life?
  • Thought crimes? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by krbvroc1 (725200) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:12PM (#19070205)
    This may sound odd in this 'thinkofthechildren' world we claim to live in:

    Has anyone considered that allowing someone to 'role play' or 'express' their desires, no matter how taboo, in a virtual world, might lessen real-world activity? Any studies on this?

    I mean how many people satisfy themselves with porn rather than engage in risky real life behavior?
    Maybe these 'sickos' can get their satisfaction on a virtual world?

    It seems like a lot of the 'oddballs' are the ones who come from a background of extreme sexual repression. A virtual outlet could eliminate that repression.
    • Re:Thought crimes? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Applekid (993327) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:22PM (#19070393)
      There's one example of real world evidence I know of: Japan.

      Pornography in Japan really doesn't have many limits except simply the censoring of genetalia. While fringe, there is easily available and obtained media of simulated rape, public exposure & sexual activity, sexualized streaking. In the fiction world there are lots of animated and printed works that very obviously depict additional rape, child sex (consentual and non), incest, disfiguring and nonconsentual S&M and human bondage. Hell, just look through Somethingawful's articles on hentai games and you'll see japanese interactive games that let you live out fantasies of banging your younger underage sister. And another one where you literally stalk and rape victims from a train.

      And yet, Japan enjoys the lowest rates of sex crimes of all 1st world countries. I'd say the ability for an individual to safely vicariously explore deeper and more sinister fictional sexual practices (as defined by society-at-large) definitely prevents a significant number of real crimes with real victims.

      I don't know anyone sexually abused as a child, but I'd be willing to wager that if the abuse could have been prevented by the perp getting his jollies off with a few drawn pictures of his fantasy instead, they'd definitely go for it.
      • by spud603 (832173)
        Sorry, but the Japan example doesn't really provide support for or against the theory. I'm not saying it ain't true, just that better evidence is needed.
      • Re:Thought crimes? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by theStorminMormon (883615) <theStorminMormon&gmail,com> on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:32PM (#19070601) Homepage Journal
        And yet, Japan enjoys the lowest rates of sex crimes of all 1st world countries. I'd say the ability for an individual to safely vicariously explore deeper and more sinister fictional sexual practices (as defined by society-at-large) definitely prevents a significant number of real crimes with real victims.

        While certainly a valid point, I think this is hardly definitive. Like the gun-control debate, comparing crime statistics across nations is notoriously prone to confirmation bias. There are too many legal, cultural, economic, and social differences to really compare results in one nation with results in another. I do know, for example, that many people feel sexism is rife in Japan and that women are objectified to a much greater degree than in the US. Compared with other studies about porn, this would strengthen the old idea that porn leads to desensitization and objectification of women. The actual incidence of violent sexual crime, however, could very well not show an easily observable statistical change.

        This is precisely how the connection between smoking and cancer was combated for so many years. The incidence of cancer is so low that it's easy to construct studies which reflect no statistical increase. It's similar to the lag in acceptance of global warming.

        What we do know, however, is that pornography's impact on those who view it is considered so detrimental that you can't get randomized, control-group studies approved and that those studies which were randomized and controlled (and led to the conclusion that it was too detrimental to ethically get people to watch porn) found statistically significant connections between exposure to porn and a lower support of women's rights, a declining importance of marriage, and laxer attitude towards rape punishment.
        • by Applekid (993327)
          Interesting point. IANAP (I Am Not A Psychologist), so, who (or which organization) dictates that it's unethical to expose people to pornography ala. actual scientific research?

          I figure the best way to keep things from getting settled is to tie the hands of researchers.
          • Interesting point. IANAP (I Am Not A Psychologist), so, who (or which organization) dictates that it's unethical to expose people to pornography ala. actual scientific research?

            I do know that all human trials have to be approved by college ethics boards, but I don't know if they have a united governing board or how the decisions compare at different colleges. However I'm fairly certain that since the study in question (and I'm really sorry I don't have the citation off the top of my head) no randomized por
          • Re:Thought crimes? (Score:5, Informative)

            by Fex303 (557896) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @01:13PM (#19071461)

            Interesting point. IANAP (I Am Not A Psychologist), so, who (or which organization) dictates that it's unethical to expose people to pornography ala. actual scientific research?

            IANAPBISPAU (I am not a psychologist but I studied psychology at university.) Pretty much all universities have their own ethics committee whose job it is to come up with very pedantic rules for how any experiments should be done so that no-one is hurt or distressed. Getting permission from these groups can be incredibly difficult and they will often hold up grad students' research for months.

            Going another level up, the APA (American Psychology Association) is the dominant body with regard to psychology (around the world, not just in the USA). They have an ethics committee [apa.org] which set a best practice policy on what other ethics committees should think about.

            While I agree that it would be nice to be able to study anything without having to worry about the ethics, the can lead to interesting, yet morally flawed experiments such as the Stanford Prison experiment [wikipedia.org] or the Milgram experiment [wikipedia.org], which were informative, but quite traumatic for participants. As a rule psychologists don't like to leave people more messed up than when they got them, so they tend to view overly cautious ethics committees as a necessary annoyance.

        • by krbvroc1 (725200)

          What we do know, however, is that pornography's impact on those who view it is considered so detrimental that you can't get randomized, control-group studies approved and that those studies which were randomized and controlled (and led to the conclusion that it was too detrimental to ethically get people to watch porn) found statistically significant connections between exposure to porn and a lower support of women's rights, a declining importance of marriage, and laxer attitude towards rape punishment.

          You lost me when you got to your last paragraph. This seems very prudish and perhaps the 'ethicist' who objected to any/all studies was a 'theologian'. Any links to these studies?

          • You lost me when you got to your last paragraph. This seems very prudish and perhaps the 'ethicist' who objected to any/all studies was a 'theologian'. Any links to these studies?

            It was because there were observable, harmful impacts of watching porn and has nothing to do with theology. It's the same reason you can't do randomized studies in which you ask people to smoke: we know smoking is harmful.

            I will try to find a link to the study. I have full citation at home, but I'm at work now. This may be it:

            Zi
      • Re:Thought crimes? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by spyrochaete (707033) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:32PM (#19070605) Homepage Journal
        Japan may "enjoy" a low rate of sex crime convictions, but public gropings are a huge issue there. Commuter trains often have whole cars exclusively for women who wish to be segregated from men while travelling.

        It can't be said whether this has any correlation to relief, or lack of, afforded by video games. It may be that grabby types don't play those games, or it may be that it encourages them. Germany, however, has traditionally employed censorship before (if ever) conducting research to substantiate it.
      • Japan and Denmark (Score:5, Informative)

        by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:39PM (#19070723) Homepage
        Japan has a generally low crime rate, so it is not really that surprising that sexual crime is also low.

        The traditional example is Denmark, where there was a statistically significant decrease in rapes after the legalization of pornography. That statistic actually helped getting pornography legalized in other countries, not always with the same effect (so it might have been a fluke).

      • by griffjon (14945)
        Our investigations revealed the users behind these avatars to be a 54-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman

        The real question is, which was playing the child and who was the adult?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by sckeener (137243)
        I wish I had some mod points to give, but instead I'll respond.

        I agree that Japan is a good example, but they also have a different view on sex.

        Back in the late 90s they had a crazy (still do in some ways) for the school girl look. Many teenage school girls started having side jobs as prostitutes. It got so bad that Prime Minister of Japan made some comments about the practice.

        As far as I know it just quieted down on its own. There was no country wide busts.

        Contrast that with America...
      • I Disagree (Score:3, Interesting)

        the fiction world there are lots of animated and printed works that very obviously depict additional rape, child sex (consentual and non), incest, disfiguring and nonconsentual S&M and human bondage.

        I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that there exists a third class of reaction that a person can have to a subject outside of "interest in engaging in" and "outright repulsion by". The third reaction would be "enjoy fantasizing/pretending about".

        Of course, I don't have to tell you that 99.999%

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        > And yet, Japan enjoys the lowest rates of sex crimes of all 1st world countries.

        All that says to me is that they don't bother reporting it. I recall a news story where it is quite common for young girls on the subways to be sexually abused. So much so that some girls actually use it as blackmail on the attacker because they know they+friends will be attacked.

        There is also the concept of what they consider child abuse. Again I had seen news reports from Japan of Japanese mums fluffing their sons so they
      • Its a good example and Japan does have a low crime rate but they do have serious problems with sex crimes and sexual harassment that the numbers don't show. For example, the train gropping thing is a problem that I have experienced first hand, and I am a man. I have been grabbed by men and woman on the train in Tokyo. Oh I found it down right hilarious but I'm sure plenty of the women there don't. The funny thing is I have seen Japanese porn where the theme was gropping and then raping women on the train. I
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Eccles (932)
        There's one example of real world evidence I know of: Japan.

        There's a bigger one: the U.S. And probably most of Europe.

        The Internet has made porn available fairly freely and discreetly where it wasn't available before. Name your perversion: a quick google search will turn up lots of hits. And any Geek Squad member or other computer repair person knows that a great number of people, who never would have read anything more extreme than Playboy before, have porn collections and pretty bizarre stuff.

        Have we
    • by slughead (592713)
      Has anyone considered that allowing someone to 'role play' or 'express' their desires, no matter how taboo, in a virtual world, might lessen real-world activity? Any studies on this?

      There's an interesting and amusing documentary called "I am a sex addict."

      Not to spoil the ending, but the guy eventually goes to a sex addict support group for men, and they all agree that indulging in their fetishes only made the problem worse--made it easier to go one step further.

      Regardless, I don't think child porn should b
      • by krbvroc1 (725200)

        Not to spoil the ending, but the guy eventually goes to a sex addict support group for men, and they all agree that indulging in their fetishes only made the problem worse--made it easier to go one step further.

        But I wonder if this is more a result of certain people having addictive predispositions. I am sure there are people who engage in many things in moderation. Not all pot smokers are addicts, not all alcohol drinkers are addicts, not all WoW players are addicts, not all people who work out are addicts.

        I think there is a group of people out there with impulse control issues. I wonder if they are really outliers. For those personalities, yes, any engagement makes things worse.

    • by bcattwoo (737354)
      On the other hand, after getting a virtual taste of what they desire, they may find the virtual nature of it lacking but have even more interest in trying the real thing. I'm not saying you're wrong and I am right, just that one can just as easily construct an argument to support the opposite. The actual truth is probably somewhere in between, where some people find it sufficiently satisfying and others not.
  • by popo (107611) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:13PM (#19070239) Homepage
    As personally distasteful as I find this -- I'm not sure this constitutes a breach of any laws. "Kiddie porn" involves the sexual photography (and horrible exploitation) of children. It is difficult to see who is being "hurt" by this Second Life activity. Yes, one can make the argument that if one engages in virtual fantasy, one is more likely to engage in the 'real thing'. But this is a straw man argument that has been applied to video games for years with zero proof of any virtual/real-world crossover.

    The question ultimately becomes: Can fantasy involving only digital, or make-believe characters, be illegal?

    If the answer is yes, I find that to be extremely disturbing in an Orwellian sense. While I find the concept of finding children sexually appealing to be personally abhorrent, I'm not sure the law extends (or should extend) into virtual roleplaying between consenting adults.

    My two cents.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Hoi Polloi (522990)
      TFA didn't make it 100% clear but the reason for the investigation is that someone (or more) had set up a place in Second Life where you could pay to enter and see REAL kiddie porn in addition to simulated.
    • In addition to roleplaying they were trading real-life child pornography. You'd see this if you read the article. That's pretty much an open-and-shut case.

      As for "roleplaying fantasy", I never understood why people do this kind of thing on a company's public servers. People don't generally engage in this kind of activity in public -- why do it in a game with many players?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Well, if you had read the story, you would have discovered that virtual kiddie pr0n is punnishable in Germany by up to 3 years in prison.

      I disagree w/ that law, and in the US virtual kiddie pr0n is lawful (I believe it was upheld under a first amendment argument).
    • The question ultimately becomes: Can fantasy involving only digital, or make-believe characters, be illegal?

      If the answer is yes, I find that to be extremely disturbing in an Orwellian sense.


      I consider this perspective sympathetic, but superficial and alarmist. Among the "though crimes" that currently seem rather uncontroversial I propose as an example: conspiracy to commit murder. Really if you are planning to kill someone, have you harmed anyone? Even if your intentions are genuine, they exist purely i
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        So while playing Counter Strike can not reasonably be considered training to murder people (I'd like to see your average CS junkie load and fire a handgun any better than your average Joe)

        Counterstrike isn't a useful trainer, but games like Area 51, Virtua Cop, and other light gun games are. No link handy right now, but "some guy" (helpful I know) who had never fired real guns before went to the range with his video game skills and managed to do DRAMATICALLY better than people who had never fired video gam

    • by DM9290 (797337)
      "If the answer is yes, I find that to be extremely disturbing in an Orwellian sense. While I find the concept of finding children sexually appealing to be personally abhorrent, I'm not sure the law extends (or should extend) into virtual roleplaying between consenting adults."

      just curious.. do you find the concept of finding cars or guns sexually appealing abhorrent as well?

      how about shoes?

      how about members of the same sex?

      how about seeing pretty girls murdered or kidnapped by gorillas?

      in any event.. the or
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LihTox (754597)
        written stories, drawings, visual reproductions (which would include virtual reality), audio recordings, even purely textual descriptions...its not merely a crime to posses child porn. Even seeing it or hearing it is a criminal offense.

        And this is very sad. Pedophiles are the great boogeymen of our age, but when it comes down to it, pedophilia is just another kink, albeit one that cannot be indulged in for real. The rise of virtual child pornography should be great news: pedophiles can finally indulge the
  • by mobby_6kl (668092) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:13PM (#19070241)
    And who isn't pursuing kidde porn in Second Life or, for that matter, in the first one?
  • "Germans Pursuing Kiddie Porn In Second Life"?

    Those Germans are sick bastards.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Oh crap.. No wonder they ask so many questions. I gotta go cancel my account.
  • I'm certainly not condoning the activity, but I have to ask...

    If an adult who appears to be a child chooses to be photographed naked, that is perfectly legal. So why is an adult who looks like a kid online different?

    • by the_germ (146623) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:27PM (#19070481) Homepage
      It's legal in the US, but not in Germany.

      In Germany photographs/videos of adults who look like children performing sexual activities are considered child porn.

      Don't know about other countries.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by VWJedi (972839)

        In Germany photographs/videos of adults who look like children performing sexual activities are considered child porn.

        How does that work? A person's age is a documented fact. How do you determine in an objective way if someone looks like a child?

        I've got a weird mental image of naked 18 year-olds parading through a courtroom of stern-looking German judges requesting permision to be in pornography. (Nein, das ist nicht gut! You're only a B-cup. Come back when you've gotten some implants.)

    • by cornjones (33009)
      I don't think it is legal in the US either. I recall some law against any nudity by characters who were supposed to be under 18, even if the actor is over the age of majority.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by geekoid (135745)
      "If an adult who appears to be a child chooses to be photographed naked, that is perfectly legal. "

      actually in may places that is NOT legal.
      In fact, if you go someplace to have that developed, they are obligated to notify the authorities.
      In the US, that is.

  • Morality Plays (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:18PM (#19070335) Homepage Journal
    So the German government says the problem with kiddie porn is that some adults are perverts, even if no children are involved.

    Do they arrest people in Germany for the love scenes in Shakespeare's _Romeo and Juliet_ between two underage kids, but played by adults?
    • by BeeRockxs (782462)
      Under-age sex above the age of 16 is not illegal in Germany.
      • Under-age sex is permitted if you are over-age?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Doc Ruby (173196)
        Juliet is 13 years old [wikipedia.org].

        FWIW, sex above the legal age is not "underage" anywhere, by definition.
        • by Chris Burke (6130)
          Age of consent in Germany is 18. However, if you and your partner are both under 18 ("under age", by definition), but over 16, that is not illegal.

          This is similar to how many states laws work here in the U.S. Age of consent is generally 16-18, but there are often other ages where other rules apply. E.g. in some states if you are within 3 years of age of your partner, and your partner is over 16, then even though your partner is below the age of consent it is not considered statutory rape.

          So there you go:
  • Beyond logic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:21PM (#19070379)
    This is why kiddie porn and terrorism is often called a hack for the consitition. Things have evolved in such a way that people forgot why those things are not desires, and instead opt to ban and censor anything that could mention or seem like, or possibly suggest, terrorism or child porn.

    We have 27 year old and 54 year old adults faking sex with avatars, one of which looked like a child. There's no child porn here. Even if they shot movies of their "act" and distributed it around, this is not child porn. There's no abused child. People apparently have forgotten why child porn is bad in the first place.

    You can come up with all made-up reasons "but it can motivate people watching it to abuse children".. Right, if anything you see motivates you to replicate it, we have to bad 90% of the potentially violent or sexual content out there.

    Just like talking about target shootout at work isn't terrorism, animation of avatars by adult people isn't child abuse.
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:28PM (#19070505)
    In the same line of reasoning, I expect these coming soon:

    Banning midget sex (as they look like kids). You'll have to be this high to have sex.
    Banning sex with stupid individuals (they act like kids). You'll have to be this smart to have sex.
    Banning sex with people dressed like kids. strict outlines of what "dressed like adult" will be written in a law.
    Banning sex with people who said something that could suggest they pretend to be a child or pretend their mate is a child, or think about something child-related during sex.
    Banning videos pictures of adults looking at a kid, smiling or something else that could suggest the drawn indivial could have had eventually potentially thoughts about sex.
    Banning adults from touching kids, or people that look like kids, and talking about kids if they saw or did something sexual in the last 24 hours.
  • Where's Eric Cartman when you need him.
  • Probably the only time it's relevant.
  • by Petey_Alchemist (711672) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:49PM (#19070941)
    There are a couple importing things to note here:

    A major component of this news story was not just that it was virtual child pornography, but that *there was real child pornography also in the mix*. If you haven't played Second Life, you must understand that it is possible to do anything with images in SL. Wallpaper a building. Send it via the equivalent of a Private Message--a "notecard." Wrap it around a 3D object so that it can walk and talk.

    A few weeks ago, there was an alarmist article that alleged terrorists might use Second Life to conduct virtual training sessions. It was ludicrous, and still is, to think that terrorist cells, who obviously value anonymity, would use an open and unprotected medium such as Second Life to conduct covert activity.

    On the other hand, quite a few of these "ageplayers" feel that they are doing nothing wrong. And while I certainly don't begrudge anyone their sexual fetishes, and acknowledge that in the U.S. (unlike much of the rest of the world) virtual child pornography is legal, I think it is important to note that we're not talking about what you or I would consider "ageplay" in the real world.

    Some people have compared this to dressing up your girlfriend like a schoolgirl while you play principal. While it is analogous, it is not by any means comparable to the actual content at hand.

    After the Second Life Herald conducted a widely circulated interview with the operator of Jailbait, a couple SL griefers and I went into the sim to try to figure out exactly how we could fuck with it. It was difficult to enter--a highly protected area. When we finally got in, it was somewhat shocking, even by SL standards. There were apparently prepubuscent avatars screaming and crying in baby talk as they were tortured by older figures. There were "adoption agencies", so that the ageplayers--and yes, I will go out on a limb here and say "pedophiles"--could add a pinch of incest to the mix.

    The ageplaying in Second Life is *on another level*.

    Sure, none of that stuff is unheard of on the Internet.

    But on the Internet, it is generally limited to dark, unknown, secret corners: password protected forums, underground Usenet groups, anonymous image boards.

    Contrast this to Second Life, which is experienced as an open, freely accessible world, where one can walk around and see anything as it exists. No effort is needed to find these things--they can be found through mere wandering. It is experientially different, even if qualitatively similar, to the most depraved shit the Internet has to offer.

    What is worth noting, in my opinion, is not whether or not this is thought crime or harming anyone or worthy of legal action. There are different traditions of jurisprudence--or, to use a term coined by the jurist Jeffrey Rosen, "jurisprurience"--that govern different areas, and we are unlikely to reconcile international obscenity laws when our own are so obfuscated.

    Rather, it is interesting to note the widespread media and political reaction to the seedier side of Second Life, which is nothing new, but whose presence was glossed over or ignored in the initial rush to adopt virtual worlds technology based on media hyperbole.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NeutronCowboy (896098)
      I'm glad to hear from someone who has seen this stuff first hand. I also believe that the people engaging in this kind of stuff are probably pedophiles themselves. But I think that the best way to deal with them is to leave them alone in the virtual world, where they are out in the open, and no one gets hurt. Then anyone can keep an eye on them, get their info, and do a cross check on what they're doing in their first life. If someone's an actual pedophile - bam, slammer for you.

      To some extent, this is like
      • I suppose it is "safer" to allow such people to operate "only in a virtual world." But with all due respect, that is predicated on the rather naive assumption that people will keep these predatorial fantasies locked within the rather unsatisfying realm of virtual reality.

        Another useful question:

        Linden Lab is attempting to claim common carrier status in order to avoid legal prosecution. They say they are providing a communications service.

        However, if they begin to actively censor content based on content alo
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by NeutronCowboy (896098)
          "But with all due respect, that is predicated on the rather naive assumption that people will keep these predatorial fantasies locked within the rather unsatisfying realm of virtual reality."

          No, it is predicated on the assumption that people are innocent until proven guilty, and that thought crimes are an Orwellian horror.

          I'm alternately amused and horrified by how easily people are willing to throw others in jail without due process and clamp down on free speech that they disagree with.
    • To clarify, I'm not casting moral judgment on sexual roleplayers. I am no Jack Thompson or Rick Santorum, imputing impurity with the accuracy of scattershot.

      I do not feel qualified to defend or decry America's relatively puritan sexual mores. Nor do I think Internet-based obscenity is punishable by law.

      At the same time, I'm not sure I feel comfortable further normalizing pedophilia. Many academics argue that events in Second Life, for a variety of reasons, are experienced as "real". I'm not sure I want to g
  • by glindsey (73730) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:54PM (#19071085)
    ...I would think they would be tracking down all the furries and arresting them for "virtual beastiality".

    But then Linden Labs would lose 90 percent of their revenue...
    • by glindsey (73730)
      ...and that should've been "bestiality". Oops. Slashdot, get off your butts and add comment editing abilities, please.
  • It's not about justice, or protecting the innocent - Stories like this reveal what's really going on. Think about it: There are pedophiles, always have been, probably always will be (at least for the forseable future). Maybe it's a mental illness, maybe just perversion. Does it matter?

    Given that pedophiles exist, and the urge is hard to suppress, shouldn't we welcome that they do their stuff in a virtual world, instead of the real one? Right now, aside from claims by the German authorities, there is no evid
  • by Aelcyx (123258) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @01:41PM (#19071983)
    MEMORANDUM

    To: God
    RE: Error found in reprod(m,f)

    I found a threading issue with reprod(m,f). Someone set the priority way too high and it's creating a system-wide slowdown that's eating up a lot of resources. I'm thinking of de-prioritizing it to spend more resources in power management instead. Also, invoking reprod(m,m) and reprod(f,f) appears to halt other parts of the system inexplicably.

    Please tackle these issues ASAP. They've apparently been around for a while, but since after fixing a lot of other stuff, they seem to be more of an issue.

    Sincerely,
    Humanity

"It's ten o'clock... Do you know where your AI programs are?" -- Peter Oakley

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