The Community Standards sets out six ‘behaviours’ that apply to all areas of Second Life, the Second Life Forums, and the Second Life Website. [link]
The goal of the standards is encapsulated in the following:
“treat each other with respect and without harassment, adhere to local standards as indicated by simulator ratings, and refrain from any hate activity which slurs a real-world individual or real-world community.” (I think it would be a great idea if more people followed this in the real world as well, but I digress.)
The ‘Big Six‘ sections are:
Intolerance, harassment, assault, disclosure, Adult Regions, Groups, and Listings, and last but not least, disturbing the peace.
Generally, violations of the Community Standards will first result in a Warning, followed by Suspension and eventual Banishment from Second Life. In-World Representatives, called Liaisons, may occasionally address disciplinary problems with a temporary removal from Second Life. Repeated violations may also lead to expulsion from the Second Life Community”.
To avoid being banished, please note the following carefully:
As with the real world, intolerance can rear its ugly head and spoil it for the majority of the law abiding community. What constitutes intolerance? Sorry, no prize goldfish for guessing it is “Actions that marginalize, belittle, or defame individuals or groups” including “The use of derogatory or demeaning language or images in reference to another Resident’s race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation is never allowed in Second Life.. You might get e point though for knowing that intolerance also means to “ inhibit the satisfying exchange of ideas and diminish the Second Life community as a whole”.
This can take many forms, none of which are very nice, but basically it is communicating or behaving in a manner which is offensively coarse, intimidating or threatening, constitutes unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, or is otherwise likely to cause annoyance or alarm.
Being fairly new to second life, I found this category to be quite intriguing. How is it possible to ‘assault’ an image I wondered? Well, apparently, in Second Life, ‘assault’ means: shooting, pushing, or shoving another Resident in a Safe Area, creating or using scripted objects which singularly or persistently target another Resident in a manner which prevents their enjoyment of Second Life. So there you have it – bullies are not welcome in the virtual world either.
Does what happens in Second Life stay in Second life? Apparently not sometimes, which I think is a shame as losing your privacy could really spoil person’s enjoyment of their second life experience. Residents are not allowed to share personal information about fellow Residents without their consent — including gender, religion, age, marital status, race, sexual preference, alternate account names, and real-world location beyond what is provided by them in their Resident profile. The term ‘disclosure’ also makes it a ‘no-no’ to remotely monitor conversations in Second Life, post conversation logs, or to share conversation logs without the participants’ consent. Behaviour like this is prohibited so don’t do it!
5. Adult Regions, Groups, and Listings
This is easy to understand – keep “adult” content that is not suitable for younger residents in the allocated areas. “Adult” content, activity and communication are not permitted on the Second Life “mainland but is is permitted on private regions, or on the Adult Continent, Zindra. Other regions may be designated as either “Moderate” or “General.” People who are not sure on how to classify listings can get guidance from the following section: “Maturity Definitions.”
6. Disturbing the Peace
Adhering to community standards means not disturbing the peace of others. How could you disturb another residents peace? Well, by such tactics as disrupting scheduled events, repeated transmission of undesired advertising content, the use of repetitive sounds, following or self-spawning items, or other objects that intentionally slow server performance or inhibit another Resident’s ability to enjoy Second Life. Keeping the peace by not doing any of these annoying things sounds a better option if you want to avoid possible sanctions.
If you want to report someone for breaking any of the sanctions (or if they want to report you!) the identity of the reporter is kept strictly confidential. Residents should report violations of the Community Standards using the Abuse Reporter tool located under the Help menu in the in-world tool bar and Second Life will then investigate.