Oct 31

Pedophilia in Virtual Worlds

Category: Child Protection, Discussion, Legal, Virtual Sex by Stone Culdesac

Updated october 31, 2007

I have to ask this question, even though it creeps me out to even think about it, but is pedophilia really possible in Second Life? One would have to say yes, because it is entirely possible that a youngster playing an avatar could have sex with an adult playing another avatar, but, if you stick to avatars that have payment info on file, that should prevent it from happening accidentally.

But, what about people who are looking to have sex, even if it’s virtually, with children? Since the US Supreme Court removed the virtual children clause, Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, the federal definition requires that an actual child exist, so, for right now, I don’t think by the letter of the law that it is illegal if two adults engage in the activity, it’s certainly sick, but I’m not going to get into all that.

Linden Labs has made it known how they feel about child pornography, which is certainly more applicable, I’m just not sure how animations or cartoons would fit into that category.

Linden Lab’s stance on child pornography

Linden Lab has absolutely zero tolerance for depictions of child pornography within Second Life. We were outraged to see the images that ARD showed us, and will cooperate fully with any legal authorities that choose to investigate the individuals involved in such activities. Child pornography is, of course, illegal and as such is a breach of our Terms of Service. It goes without saying that anyone engaged in this activity will be permanently banned from Second Life, and subject to legal consequences.

What are the consequences?

We simply will not tolerate the depiction of sexual or lewd acts involving minors in Second Life.

If Linden Lab learns that someone is engaging in, advertising or promoting locations or activities involving the depiction of sexual or lewd acts involving minors, their account will be terminated, and we will fully cooperate with all appropriate authorities.

If a Resident possesses or distributes real-world pornographic images in Second Life that appear to involve minors, their account will be terminated and their details provided to real-world authorities, as has always been our policy. Source: Accusations Regarding Child Pornography in Second Life

Lowell Cremorne did some looking around when this first came about from Linden Labs, and in his post here, you can see the kinds of child like avatars that came up when he searched for child, I’m glad he blacked out that first one, brrr.

Which brings me to the whole point of this post, a blog post from the Second Life section of Reuters says that the UK is going to investigate pedophilia in virtual worlds, they will be looking for depictions of adult-child sex and trying to track down the pedophiles.

But the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) said Second Life isn’t being specifically targeted. “Our interest is wherever on the Internet children are,” a spokeswoman told Reuters. “We place officers into a number of virtual worlds.”

The CEOP takes a dim view of age play, even when both avatars have confirmed their identity as consenting adults. “Why would a 56-year-old man masquerade as a 13-year-old child? That’s something that would concern us,” the spokeswoman said. Source: UK to investigate pedophilia in virtual worlds

That concerns me as well and I hope they can find and eliminate them all from virtual worlds and real life for that matter. So, maybe the US doesn’t consider it illegal, the UK seems to think it is, and if I can help in anyway I certainly will.

This is kind of interesting as well because while I was checking out the sim, The Legend of Autumn Hollow, this child avatar came in and was looking around, eventually she came up to me and we started talking, which was weird to start with, but when she asked if I had a girlfriend, I bet my jaw hit my desk, I didn’t know what to say, but she kept on talking and eventually said he sister needs a good looking guy like me. I felt a little better after that and we actually ended up working together some and finding some of the items in the treasure hunt, she was kind of cute, she did not go out of character, talking like a child the whole time, skipping around and asking silly questions, but it was certainly a moment I will never forget when it comes to Second Life and another reason I would rather no child avatars be allowed inworld at all. Thanks God she didn’t hit on me!

A post at Techcrunch, Virtual Pedophilia Report Bad News For Second Life discusses Virtual Pedophilia in Second Life, and I am amazed at the commentators who say it’s okay as it’s two consenting adults, sure, that may be true if this happened in their own homes, but this is a virtual world where anyone can see it, sure there are some restricted areas, but if you can get into the area, you can pretty much watch anything happening with the camera. It would be very easy for a child to register and end up seeing this type of stuff, depending on what they search for, kids, children, etc.

I wrote this before I read and watched the Sky News report, but now that I have seen it, I am even more disgusted, the areas they have setup are swing sets with child avatars swinging on them, talk about trying to make it look like real life. I just added the video below.

“Wonderland is a virtual children’s playground where pedophiles cruise and kids are solicited,” said Farrell.

“At first site it looks like a real-life playground.

“Here child-like avatars are not just playing on swings - they’re offering sex. These are virtual children of all ages - even toddlers.

“After talking to one child I was offered a range of sordid and sick sexual acts.

“My avatar had entered a virtual pedophile ring. Obviously, I declined the offers and reported my disturbing findings.” Source: Perverts Use Virtual World For Fantasies

Wonderland needs shut down, it’s no wonder that almost every newbie I saw and talked to coming into Second Life in the CSI area the other night mentioned, hookers, sex or having fun, that’s all they think we do inworld.

Warning: The might not be considered safe for work, although I don’t think anyone is naked.

Popularity: 10%

6 Comments so far

  1. Lowell Cremorne October 31st, 2007 1:21 am

    Thanks for your coverage of this story - it’s a pivotal issue for virtual worlds and one LL will have to take a leading role in.

    Also - would be gratified if you could add my site to your SL Blogs page? ;)

  2. Stone Culdesac October 31st, 2007 5:56 am

    Yes, Linden Labs and everyone who discovers these places or people. I added you to the blog list, I’ve been kinda lax at it lately.

  3. Technology News for October 30 2007 October 31st, 2007 8:38 pm

    [...] Pedophilia in Virtual Worlds Second Life comes under the spotlight as a reported uncovers a virtual pedophile area in Second Life. Tech News [...]

  4. Kelly Green December 17th, 2007 3:41 am

    Okay in answer to the question as to why a 56 year old man might want to become a child in a virtual world such as SL perhaps he had no childhood himself and is trying to capture that period of innocence often associated with childhood. Some cases of age play do not include sex at all in fact much is done to avoid any mature content around the child. It does however for whatever reason fulfill a need for a person to be a child and for a couple to have a child.
    There are many pregnancy simulators withing the context of SL these have many uses that I can see as well to give a person a greater understanding as to what goes on when a woman is pregnant is at least one of these.

    While I do not advocate children and sex I would like to point out that any child on SL is by definition no innocent as they have lied about their age in order to get into the world. In some cases they can even be avatars that have payment info on record. Many parents are not always careful where they keep their ID in their own homes. Busy women especially might have problems keeping their children from filching their id long enough to supply payment info.Men generally keep their ID in their wallets and the wallet on their person except for sleeping, showering or swimming.
    In these cases the “child” is then guilty of lying about their age and of identity theft if they do in fact use their parents info. I can see that age verification is going to stop this sort of thing either as all it shows is that yes there exists a person by that name at that address etc. It does not guarantee that the person is the actual person at the keyboard.

    frankly I think it might be more fun to age an avatar to about 100 if you could but frankly I expect it would take a special skin made in a way not available to the standard Newbie unless they know how to make skins and have a program for doing so.However consider RL for a moment the elderly can get away with the childlike behavior of saying whatever comes to their minds. And here there would be few raised eyebrows about the possibilities of sex etc.

  5. [...] although I don’t think it’s for me writing skills, a lot of perves or worse I think. Pedophilia in Virtual Worlds I have to ask this question, even though it creeps me out to even think about it, but is pedophilia [...]

  6. James Sidwell May 9th, 2008 5:21 pm

    Nobody seems to be making any reference to how ‘wonderland’ relates to lewis caroll? This Second Life ‘Wonderland’ is a haven for paedophiles, where they can get their fix without prying eyes, Much like Carroll’s relationship with Alice.

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