I've blogged about the Angle Fluffy menace before -- what happens when a very zealous and intense and bright avatar with plenty of time to throw at SL and no oversight becomes "helpful" for busy Lindens and does stuff like take over the voter list and recommend resident content to be removed. Angel has inserted himself into numerous groups, wikis, chats, advice sessions, office hours with Lindens, etc. with one, unrelenting, intense measure: that he must be in charge, and that security must pass through him. In real life when any kind of "leader" emerges doing this, various alarm bells go off; in SL, this kind of tyranny in the making is muted by the atomized nature of the world.
Angel Fluffy runs one of the most extremist BDSM empires -- Capture Roleplay, where avatars simulate the pursuit and rape of other "consenting adults". It's mainly a furry group, so it tends to attract anti-furry fighters like the W-hat and their various spin-offs like the Patriotic Nigras. The more hysterical security mania they set up; the more they vet and purge and put up obstacles, the more they are attacked. Sound like RL?
I've endlessly tried to bring attention to the problem of Angel Fluffy and his highly questionable role in taking over security groups and various other community groups to ensure both actual security of his members, and security against any critics of his person and role in Second Life. He'll get on Ban-Link and remark casually, "Prokofy Neva is a known griefer" for example, and get people to ban me who are new and don't realize this is an ideological and sectarian ban, unrelated of course to any actual bad behaviour inworld.
Angel's reliance on Ban-Link isn't surprising, nor is its inventor Travis, but despite mishaps like banning people by accident, or missing the very people they should ban, they remain relentless in their promotion of this nasty institutionalized witch-hunt for Second Life which isn't even working especially well at what it claims to do: ban the hell out of people that actually grief, plus people they don't like, through huge swathes of SL.
One of the curious aspects of Travis' and other Ban-Link members' anti-griefing work is a belief, allegedly prompted by the kinds of civil libertarian views that I might share, that people are "innocent until proven guilty". That's why you can get Travis endlessly and patiently explaining to Hazim Gazov of the notorious v-5 that he is innocent and should keep trying to remove himself from the ban list -- when of course documented griefing incidents have already been made all over, and not only by me, but just not by people who care to use Ban-Link. Now he's gone from the People list -- with another V-5 regular, Rusties Dagger, who was also "innocent until proven guilty". As will be the next ones, and the next ones, until both Travis and others in Ban-Link and the Lindens go after the substrate of the source of the main griefing in SL; victory dancers among oldbies and in the open-source movement.
The problem with promoting "innocent until proven guilty" in a context like SL is that it enables permanent, conspiratorial recruitment centers to keep enabling alts to keep rejoining and gaining a badge of griefing honour -- the group. The groups aren't things like "Sewing Circle of SL" with lots of innocent members; they are griefering groups created for the purpose of griefing, and even have cynical elements to their charter or description, like dialogue quoted from me or the griefing avatar of my RL person they've made to harass me. Of course, Travis Lambert, Angel Fluffy, and other purveyors of "innocence" are happy to look the other way at an obvious sign of griefing like profiles devoted to griefing *me* -- but at their peril, as these groups keep festering and then end up crashing the grid and getting removed from the People list anyway, later rather than sooner, as they could be.
Most troubling about the Angel Fluffy Security State, however, is the Special Linden Access he indicates in this group IM -- before he expelled me from the ability to post to the group. Lindens apparently have quietly made themselves available to select Ban-Link members to avail them of their special security services. It's an old story -- soldier by day, rebel by night -- sobel. This unchartered and unspecific Linden security service detail with an access list that Angel Fluffy personally clears is available only to some, apparently on an ad-hoc basis -- no one else can access it because Lindens no longer show online (you have to obtain their calling card AND have them check off the ability to be found online!); Live Help has been removed; and the Concierge List where Lindens lurk almost never makes them surface. In short, you are shit out of luck if you are not part of the select large land-owners of SL if you want security from the same griefers that trouble them as well as you. Below is the chat that illustrates these points:
Tashie Oddfellow: Rush Beerbaum is crashing SIMS with large objects
Raubin Sachertorte: WHO IS HE
Tashie Oddfellow: someone who is crashing SIMs with large objects
Angel Fluffy: There's a huge raid going on right now by the Patriotic Nigra griefing group - dozens of people are involved.
Raubin Sachertorte: LOL SEND TO HEARTLAND MY AUTO RETURN WILL MESS THEM UP LOL
Angel Fluffy: Efforts are being made to co-ordinate the defence of the most-hit regions (typically furry places), however, other places such as Arsheba are being hit.
Tashie Oddfellow: no it wont, i have auto return on too, it crashed my SIM
Nexxus Ambassador: Yes, FurNatin Worlds is beign attacked also.
Tashie Oddfellow: and if i hadn't thought it releveant i wouldn't have bothered reporting it here
Angel Fluffy: They're using sim-crashing weapons - including remote-control sim-crashing weapons so they can escape the sim before it goes down.
Raubin Sachertorte: i see
Jade Steele: thank you for letting us know.
Ten Book: Arsheba is not being hit by anything
Tashie Oddfellow: welcome Jade :)
Second Life: Tashie Oddfellow has left this session.
Raubin Sachertorte: is lenden on it
Angel Fluffy: yeah we've got a few lindens helping us stomp them
Angel Fluffy: but they keep coming back with endless alts
Raubin Sachertorte: kk
Zayn Till: thanks for the update folks. *sigh*
Angel Fluffy: I've personally seen them go through 2 dozen alts in the last 30 mins.
Nexxus Ambassador: Estate bans are not working.
Nexxus Ambassador: How do I get ahold of Lindens?
Raubin Sachertorte: i have 40 real ppl on my sim right now i dont need to be crashed
Ten Book: you don't
Ten Book: Lindens are too good to talk to us
Angel Fluffy: best defences against these attacks : 1) disable BUILD on all your parcels! 2) if you have BanLink, add trusts for the "PNT" group 3) educate your users to use "CTRL ALT SHIFT =" to stop particle spam, drag-select to stop physical prim spam.
Nexxus Ambassador: These are attachments on the players. Nothing we can do helps.
Angel Fluffy: 4) If you get someone attacking your region in the next two hours, assume that more may follow, especially if they don't crash it the first time, I suggest having security people camp your telehub/entry points
Raubin Sachertorte: i just did that
Angel Fluffy: FurNation prime was the last mentioned target
Raubin Sachertorte: tc if u need help yell kk
Angel Fluffy: really what needs to happen is the owners of popular places 1) disable build and object entry on their parcels. 2) get security to camp their spawn points 3) install banlink and start using the trust system - it is where we are uploading the bans against these people to. 4) get in contact with the security team and get the Linden-contact list so that if a raid happens, you can get linden attention quickly
Angel Fluffy: bit late for preparation now, though.
Raubin Sachertorte: true
Nexxus Ambassador: Where is the linden contact list?
Angel Fluffy: Nexxus: ask me later, I'll see about getting you access to that
Prokofy Neva: Ban-link is not a solution to the PNs, only group bans by the Lindens and more rapid removal of their alts is a solution, plus condemnation of the enabling environment for the PNs which is W-hat aand v-5
Prokofy Neva: Get Ban Link's creator Travis Lambert to condemn V-5 as a group, instead of treating grid crashers and mega griefers like Hazim Gazov innocent until proven guilty
Prokofy Neva: Ban-Link has no recourse for errors, works poorly, and turns Sl into a giant armed camp; we need more community condemnation of the tiny numbers of people in these 2-3 known groups instead of this endless "only a few bad apples in the barrel" approach of Lindens, Travis, and others
Angel Fluffy: Lindens currently online : Frontier Linden, George Linden, Teeple Linden, PierreLuc Linden, Socrates Linden, Joe Linden, Mia Linden, Mick Linden - not all of these may be equipped to deal with the problem, however.
Prokofy Neva: Note which Linden calling cards Angel Fluffy has, he's special!
Angel Fluffy: I'm not interested in drama. I started the group IM to warn sim owners whose sims are being crashed by these guys (e.g. Arsheba). Its up to you if you use that information to protect your sims or not. If you want more info, ask me in IM.
Ten Book: I appreciate the warning, though Arsheba has not b [Here I was expelled from list]
In short, "innocent until proven guilty" is a value we should all cherish. But how literal does one take this when it comes to known, organized, conspiratorial griefing groups in SL?
The Ban-Link system's *essence* repudiates the value of "innocent until proven guilty". If Travis and other users like Intlibber Brautigan are going to cry "innocent until proven guilty" about a group like v-5, then they'd be very hard put to explain how in advance, before they've been griefed, without documentation on their own land, that they can ban other people merely on the concept of "trust".
Note how Angel Fluffy, like some RL governments we know, first tries to cry panic about griefing and get everyone riled as if there is a national emergency (it may in fact only be a furry emergency, or a furry capture roleplay emergency) and then urges them that *the only way to fight is to use the 'trust' of 'ban-link' and its security goons who will camp telehubs for you).
Meanwhile, when you have a known, documented, chartered, conspiratorial group that explicitly discusses its griefing intentions in third-party sites; explicitly griefs right on its profiles, and has now been documented for some 2 years in the griefing business, you don't hold up a silly "innocent until proven guilty" sign. That's when you ban by group, and that's how griefers will have their recruiting substrate removed and their badge of honour.