The last vestige of democracy is being removed from Second Life. It's a dark day for the virtual world.
The Lindens are removing the voting function from the JIRA.
First, the town halls were cancelled in 2005. They were griefed too often or uncomfortable unscripted questions were asked.
The old "political science," "land and economy" and "general" sections of the old forums were closed in 2005, and a new creature, dubbed the "blogorum" that was a wonky cross between blogging with comments and a forum that had no easily found topics and threads replaced it, with just "General" and "Commerce".
Then, voting was taking out of the group tools. "Nobody used it," said the Lindens.
Then the resident topic groups were closed -- too much trolling, they said.
Then, one very overactive and aggressive resident, Angel Fluffy, was allowed to thresh through and vet the entire old Features Voting System, which was better than the JIRA, and cull out anything he didn't like, and "remove duplicates" or declare certain proposals as "unworkable" on his own discretion. This was then blessed by Jeska Linden, and the FVS was closed -- Torley Linden shot it at dawn without notification. We were told it would be revised and made better in the JIRA format, but the JIRA didn't have some of the same features and forced people more to do bug reports.
Battles were fought on the JIRA to obtain the right to have your proposal never closed by another resident (which stopped voting) -- WEB-200 was a landmark decision. Then "won't do" or "needs more info" became the new "close".
Finally, today, we're told that voting is removed entirely from the JIRA, merely because the resident voice and plurality of votes cannot be connected to the Linden agenda.
So that's it.
What makes something like this possible isn't just the authoritarian regime that puts it in place. It's that the regime knows it can count on an elite class of supporters who will applaud the move and call it progress. Right on cue, Darien Caldwell showed up to praise the move, saying voting wasn't necessary. Other people said it was gamed or pointless.
Look to your left here and see a poll -- vote on what you think about this.
It's an opportunity for me to revamp my voting stations in Duck and Barton, which I had left fallow for a time because it was work -- I used to hold meetings, put up JIRA features or other community issues and solicit votes, and also rent out boards for people who wanted to advertise their features. I moved to another format, which was to put out polls in the infohubs which get a fairly good response but I'd rather have a place for group meetings or informal chats with more polling stations.