"There is no amount of pretty in the world that can cover a venomous heart."

Ah, the irony! Rhonda Huntress said that, and she also said:

http://forums-archive.secondlife.com/327/85/252954/3653.html (The quote in Rio's post, sixth post down.)

http://forums-archive.secondlife.com/327/85/252954/3828.html (Top post.)

Monday, 8 November 2010

Identity and moderation

Having been notified here by someone I can not remember ever having noticed before (thanks Vesper Pinden, whoever you really are - and you look very like a resurrection alt) of a paranoid discussion developing in the SL Offworld forum regarding the "real" identity of someone who has registered as "Pep" and attempts to emulate my style of posting, even down to asking questions that need to be asked of the "motherhood and apple pie" attitude of the current very limited number of participants who are establishing themselves as their very own claque!

I have no intention of commenting on the identity of that Pep. As he (she? it?) has already perspicaciously posted in the Outworld forum, my philosophy is that any and all personae that might emanate from the source brain and fingers of the person that invented Pserendipity Daniels and his aclones (Is that a neologism; it's good Greek anyway.) are independent of each other, and have no particular concerns about the other instantiations.

On the other hand, as Cato managed to do extremely successfully in the old forums (wishful thinking is a powerful thing) if someone is clever enough to manage to persuade the denizens of the Outworld forum that their posts spring from the same mind as other Peps, then who am I to deny or confirm their suspicions? Would Raul now believe an inworld IM from me either way?

I know that the existence of simple alts inworld disturbs many players who believe, just because they claim to represent their real life personalities with any and all avatars they create and inhabit, that other people should be forced to the same type of fake honesty. I have said it before and will repeat it: Sir Anthony Hopkins is not really a serial killer and cannibal!

The Pep that has turned up in the Outworld forums is asking some serious questions about identity, questions which the participants there (with the exception of someone called Scripts, whose identity has not been associated with any SL avatar as far as I can tell; perhaps it's Torley) seem to prefer to want brushed under the carpet as inconvenient provocations which might magnify the hypocrisy evident in the vindictively discriminatory moderation against this new "Pep", particularly since this mirrors the principal reason for establishing the forum as an escape from the arbitrariness of moderation that has developed in the official SL forum.

Oh, and Vesper, Second Citizen 2 is the forum that made a fool of itself by initially proclaiming that it was rule free and unmoderated, then it had a few rules, then it had power-hungry and linguistically-challenged moderators self-admittedly operating as loose cannons, then it made a fool of itself by consigning Immy (extremely unfairly) to the Cornfield, to be joined by Jumpy and myself (we were threats to the existing elite's comfortable existence) who made that the most interesting part of the whole forum! After I got bored I left them sitting in their own shit until I popped back several months later to discover I had been IP banned, presumably for not posting frequently enough!


  1. My dear Pep, I do believe my caginess has finally rubbed off on you enough that the alt accusations may begin afresh.

  2. I think Pep that I would not call it "fake honesty". Speaking for myself, as one of those who plays SL and the fora as myself, as opposed to a governed or modified caricature of my personality, and as I see SL as nothing more than a chat program with good graphics and then by extension nothing more than speaking on the phone with someone, how I represent myself online is ostensibly who I am in the flesh.

    I do not rp which is a different matter altogether. I do not however publicize my real life personal details to everyone upon meeting them. This does not to my mind constitute "fake honesty". I will tell people there who I have developed closer relationships with more and more details about my real life as the relationship progresses, provided I deem them trustworthy to keep those confidences, much the same way I would in real life. As an example 2 or 3 have my address and phone number and know where and what I do for a living, my children's names and a lot of my history.

    I do not need to over-inflate and exaggerate my life to bolster a weak self-esteem. The circumstances of my life and where I am at now are the product of what I acknowledge as a charmed existence as I have found myself in positions that for the life of me I cannot really explain other than to say "shit happens". But that is my modesty showing through, I am curiously enough somewhat competent.

    But, like you I take a cynical or rather realistic approach to other's online personae, but am not above being deceived, in the beginning anyway, and will not believe what anyone tells me, simply because they say they are just themselves there. It very well may be, and if so, then I don't see it as "fake honesty" but rather guarded honesty.

    Sir Anthony is a vegetarian but that doesn't mean he can't laugh at the same jokes as Hannibal would or have the same taste in (for) music (musicians).

    Derek shares the same traits as his operator, and finds the Alt hunt game tedious and mundane, and those using them for sociopathic purposes beneath contempt.

  3. Firstly, a "yay" that there is a new Pep post, from this Pep presumably. Secondly, having already received my dictionary.com word for the day (demotic)and feeling thusly edified I was a little perturbed at being assaulted here by vocabulary that made me squint and think and wonder if I remembered definitions correctly. (I did.) But creating new, Greek words goes beyond the pale, sir, especially before I have my morning coffee.

    I don't know if I am especially qualified or especially disqualified to speak about the hysteria surrounding alts. SL is all about alternative identities. The hyperbolic hypocrisy and false superiority of those of any Forum-esque SL message board is nothing but a hot air conceit.

    What harm is done in a forum? None. Judge the content of the post not the assumed assumed identity of the writer. If the post has merit that's enough. If it only has merit in one's mind because of the author then one should consider the meaning of "puppet" and look inward.

    The frustration is keen as I have seen myself excoriated for admitting to posting as a sockpuppet in one thread while seeing others do far more systematic duplicity, violate TOS, violate common decency and they get hugs and kisses. To see everyone and anyone accused of being this alt and that alt by people who by their very posting are acting as alts themselves is both hilarious and obscene! We're supposed to believe that because someone gets morally indignant about the use of alts that they themselves do not have an alt? Because someone tells us ... anything!...that it is true? I read it in the SL forum (whatver forum) so therefore it must be true? Luckily I didn't sign the form that requires checking one's brain at the sign-in page.

    Inworld alts have various functions. Where I believe they are truly wrong is when they are used to deceive and hurt, generally in romantic relationships where there is some SL to RL cross-over. Even there, alts don't need to be used to create pain, hurt and dishonesty. I'm extremely qualified to comment upon that fact.

    Now, about getting that coffee in me...!

  4. Ok. It took me some time to digest this post, and my vocabulary has doubled after reading this and the comments! Now I need to learn how to use all those new words and impress my colleagues!

    Forums. Alts. Identities. Moderation.

    I have ploughed through the off world forum and found it predictable what happened. To be honest, I thought this would happen within the first 2 maybe 4 days after its launch.
    Clash of the titans? I don't know..maybe.

    I consider the idea of opening this alternative forum cute and naive. Reason I did not register yet and probably will not in future.
    I am sure they meant well to start with. And then found themselves in an almost the same situation as what happened on the GD forum. With one difference, the SL forums have a pretty decent way of authentication. Yes, you can of course create an alt, but that would also include an in world avatar (in use or asleep) and nobody can impersonate or use your avatar's username.
    (IMHO also the reason for the massive spam attacks, the combination of LL's authentication/account creation and Jive, not meant to be a happy marriage...).

    Content-wise, fora are hard to handle. It takes experience, objectivity, patience and a thick skin to moderate, specially when you start a brand-new forum with a group of grudged members from another platform.

    Who the 'Pep' on the off world forum is( or are?) I have no idea, and I do not care. But he/she/they pointed out a weakness and raised a good point.

    Without proper authentication of members, if that's what people need to feel secure about who they 'talk' to, it will never work out well.

    Pep, I don't think you need to defend or explain anything on or about what happens on an outside forum. Why should you bother?