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This is interesting: Linden Labs is beginning to roll out their identity verification program, which hasn’t been something everyone’s been completely excited about, to say the least.

The most interesting thing about it is that it’s now completely voluntary. Well, we already knew that nobody had to verify themselves if they didn’t want to, but now Linden Labs is making it as clear as they can that both sides of things are voluntary: Resis don’t have to verify, and estate owners don’t have to set parcels to Restricted (although Linden Labs does “request” that land owners do this for parcels with adult material on them). Before, they had defined what kind of content was supposed to be restricted and were using the word “adult”, which I think was too easily confused with “mature”. They have always said, though, that just because a parcel was mature, that didn’t mean it should necessarily be set to adult or restricted.

According to Linden Labs, the only ways verification will affect anything will be that unverified people won’t be allowed on restricted land, and that a verified person’s verified information (like gender and age and location) can be available if the person wants it to be (in our profiles? I don’t know for sure).

So unless Resis choose to use the verification and restriction tools, they won’t amount to anything at all.

It might sound like I’m forgetting about showing the verified information, but I’m afraid that “verified” isn’t really the word for it. Maybe “documented” would be a better one. If a person wants to be “verified” as someone of a different age or gender or anything, they just have to have access to such a person’s driver’s license or social security card for five minutes! Underage? Use dad’s driver’s license, and you’re home free! Of course, a new account might be needed if you didn’t have the foresight to list yourself as your dad in the first place.

By the way, just so you see that I’m arguing that verification isn’t really verification and not trying to incite minors, here’s a public service announcement. Minors: Please get off the main grid! Enjoy Teen Second Life and your childhood! We’re trying to do adult things here without getting arrested! Thank you for your kind attention.

And here’s the statement-of-support-of-the-Lindens I usually seem to make when talking about controversial Lindecisions: I think it makes good sense for Linden Labs to have made this up to the Resis, and I think it shows that they take the “Your World” part of their motto seriously. And I understand that they need to do whatever they can to keep minors out of the adult grid, so even though I don’t expect to find verification very useful, I think there’s some reason for it to exist.

^^^\ Kate /^^^

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