Clickable Culture   Official Research Blog of Phantom Compass
  Anshe Chung Courts ‘Streisand Effect’  
 
 
Posted 2007-01-05 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Anshe Chung Courts ‘Streisand Effect’
Avatar Anshe Chung gets griefed.
Reuters reports that Anshe Chung Studios is attempting to use copyright-infringement notices to control how founder Anshe Chung is portrayed in the media. Last month, a live interview with Chung, conducted by CNET's Daniel Terdiman, was marred by a penis-bomb attack. Since then, articles, videos and pictures of the event have been posted by a variety of outlets and individuals. Acording to Adam Reuters, YouTube has since removed a video of the attack after being issued a takedown notice (likely without looking into the matter), while blog BoingBoing and the website of the Sydney Morning Herald have also been issued an informal takedown notices for running pictures of the event.

Reuters reprinted one such takedown notice as follows: "Unfortunately I have to point out to you that you, most likely by accident, posted an image that contains artwork copyrighted by my wife Ailin Graef and by Anshe Chung Studios, Ltd. and without obtaining our permission to do so. … We can not authorize the use of this image and the replication of the artwork and textures of the Anshe Chung avatar in this context." Embedded avatar Adam Reuters considers the ramifications of the situation, finding that "Anshe Chung Studio's claim could call into question the ownership of hundreds of thousands of photos taken within Second Life..."

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think the situation is as dire as Reuters suggests. I'm fairly certain that it is within one's Fair Use / Fair Dealing rights to post a portion of copyrighted material in an editorial context. Two main outcomes from these spurious takedown notices are likely, in my opinion:
1) The concepts of "public space" and "public figures" in the context of Second Life will become more clearly defined.
2) Anshe Chung will suffer the Streisand Effect. The misguided attempts to control her image will result in more damage to her image than the existence of penis-griefing pictures ever could.
 
     
 
   
 
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  67 Comments  
 
   
 
Comment posted by csven
January 5, 2007 @ 12:20 pm
     
 
I'd be very surprised if Anshe had any real legal control over this content. I've not read the LL/SL ToS in a while, so it might have changed (especially in light of some recent changes and debates), but last I recall, anything in the world - whether Linden Lab content or User content - can be used for derivative works such as Snapshots (built into the client) or screencaptures (from an individual PC). This is, in effect, no different than taking a photograph in a public location.

If someone is on the street walking into camera view when the photo or video is acquired, they can't issue a takedown notice - it's a public space.

The *possible* exception for Anshe would, imo, be if the images were taken on her virtual property, but even that is questionable. Is the sky texture Anshe's? Is every building and every object in the scene Anshe's; nothing purchased on the mainland and created by someone unaffiliated? Those are questions worth pursuing.

The problem here is that the YouTube video I saw wasn't, as far as I know, on Anshe's land - it was at the C|Net location. Now, does this remind anyone of someone else filing DMCA takedowns ( <a href=http://www.boingboing.net/2006/12/27/wanted_your_michael_.html">like Michael Crook?</a> ).
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by adamreuters
January 5, 2007 @ 12:32 pm
     
 
I hope I wasn't being alarmist, and you're right that it's probably covererd under fair use. But that doctrine has never been tested in Second Life, so it will be interesting to see what happens.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by csven
January 5, 2007 @ 1:02 pm
     
 
Didn't realize I'd messed up the link. Apologies. Here it is again:

Michael Crook

And btw, if for some bizarre reason my avatar gets media attention and some griefers want to film me with dancing penii, let me know in advance and I'll get my cane and practice my Fred Astaire moves. haha
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Secureplay
January 5, 2007 @ 1:24 pm
     
 
This doesn't work as anything but a threat in reality, why would anyone really think Second Life is different.

What is sad is that so many in the press are willing to cave into these kind of threats.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Eric Rice
January 5, 2007 @ 1:29 pm
     
 
People wonder about the backlash against SL that will come this year? It will start with things like this and the Congressional event and the other photo-restriction issue.

If enough of us act like prejudiced and idiotic goofballs, we might be able to get the anti-hype rolling before the end of Q1?

I kid.
Actually I'm not kidding and that makes me a sad panda.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by csven
January 5, 2007 @ 3:45 pm
     
 
I see Warren Ellis has posted something on this. I'm not sure his conclusion is valid; that Anshe is getting a dose of the real world. I'm not sure that Anshe & Co aren't fully aware that their DMCA-style takedown notices are highly questionable and that their copyright claims are, under the circumstances, equally dubious. So if they're aware of these things, ask what it is they gain. I can think of an answer.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by csven
January 5, 2007 @ 3:48 pm
     
 
Sorry. I should mention that the Ellis piece is also on Reuters (I didn't see it earlier) and happened across it here: Link
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ordinal Malaprop
January 5, 2007 @ 4:37 pm
     
 
I think in fact that they are behaving in exactly the same manner as many RL companies - issuing petty, meaningless legal threats in the hope of intimidating their targets. Particularly any risk-averse hosts, such as, in this case, YouTube.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ordinal Malaprop
January 5, 2007 @ 5:11 pm
     
 
Incidentally, the video is already on Google Video, from where one may download a copy directly (I suggest using the "Video iPod/Sony PSP" format personally as this is more generally compatible).
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Taran Rampersad (Nobody Fugazi)
January 5, 2007 @ 5:30 pm
     
 
hrm. Well, I *could* create an avatar that looks exactly like Anshe - would that be copyright infringement? I mean - it is possible for 2 avatars to look alike.

I go with fair use, but what do I know. I think it is pretty sad to go to the level of threatening letters. It might even substantiate the griefing in the eyes of people who laughed hysterically about the whole thing. I'm sure I don't know anyone who fits that description...
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 3:56 am
     
 
This is the position the Herald took on this matter, after careful, "always fairly unbalanced" reflection:
http://www.secondlifeherald.com/slh/2007/01/greeterdan_wimp.html

I think the media has to resist this effort by powerful forces to chill reporting on Second Life.

I think blogs and news sites could be doing this without assaulting the victim all over again by publishing the offensive photos again just to show their testicularity in the face of virtual-estate millionairesses notices *cough*

We've developed a rule of thumb at SLH:
"We do not have to publish every penis." It frees you, let me tell you, given that there are a bunch of these every day. We believe in publishing the higher-quality penises.

Daniel Terdiman didn't publish them and it was his story and happened to him, too. And the Herald didn't. We left that to W-Hat and Joystiq.

Now, is SL a public space? Oh, I think so, very much so. A news conference where reporters were invited, *with their cameras* presumably which are built-in to every avatar. A public meeting space at both CNET on the MOU island and then Plush island.

At one level, Anshe could in theory invoke that her island as her own property is a stageset, a kind of play or role-play enactment in a virtual world which is a movie set, a kind of theater, let's say. We all know that theaters do not let you take pictures of their productions! That is a line a lawyer might use, infact.

But to push that analogy given that streaming 3-D worlds are constantly changing, real-life type of realities, not a static stage-set, and are much more like a RL public commons, seems to be specious. I wouldn't argue it; and we need to work hard to make sure that deep-pocketed corporations don't start arguing it.

Coders also take this approach that they pwn EVERYTHING in SL merely because it comes from a software program. They say every rendered chair on the servers is "theirs" because "they make it" even if what happened is you used their tool to make an object where you are listed as creator. We had this debate ad nauseum over at Raph Kosters about the table. He and others say the table is pwned by the coders, too bad for you. I say, hell no, it's my table because the interactions, modifcations, etc. I engage with on it make it a nexus that is my property like real property relations.

Lordfly built the CNET stage set -- he isn't buying this concept of "copyright" in these photos although if the tables were turned and somebody seemed to be cloning his original object and textures, he might well do that.

I think it's very important for people to cast aside their hatred of land barony and their hatred personally of Anshe to see what this is about: a virtual rape and an effort to smear, intimidate, horror and disrupt business events. If Ordinal Malaprop's businesses were constantly getting DNS attacks from flying phalluses every day, she might find it within herself to cry, "Hold, enough!"

W-Hat, which is a vicious, hands-on, planned and serial griefing group in SL, perpetrates these attacks and victimizes people by literally whacking them over the head with streaming self-replicating penises or other objectionable material. The media coverage of this is helping fuel and extend it -- it's like the problem of terrorism in RL and the decisions whether to keep covering it and all the manifestos and whatnot that go with it.

The goal of W-Hat and other griefers is to so disrupt the world, that their notion of it being only a game and not a viable platform and a world to be lived in realistically will prevail -- it's the ultimate totalitarian nihilism. And it's wrong.

To give you a very fresh example, merely for publishing the Herald op-ed piece just now in which I once again took a stance against the W-Hat's immoral behaviour in SL, even as I defended the right of any media whatsoever to publish the offensive video, I get an email from one of the W-Hats with the awful goatse picture in my regular email box telling me to STF up bitch, get a life, don't play a game, blah blah. This, despite the fact that I've just defended the right of these fucktards to keep their shit posted on YouTube or any media site. It's because I've called for moderation in exercising judgement not to publish the shocking material every time, and they are extremists.

I get this stuff daily; many trying to cover SL in the media or on blogs get it as well.

This cruel and vindictive group stops at nothing to go after their targets, escalating higher and higher to get more and more shock and horror. They chose high-profile targets not merely for some ideological hatred of them, which they have as Leninists, but out of a desire to maximize their own publicity.

The media coverage of this entire event was hugely superficial -- people fail to see that it was simulaneously an attack on Anshe *and* me as well since my RL ID info was spoofed to make the griefing account and the griefer claimed to be using grief materials from me -- that's a way they often try to confuse the scene and make people scratch their heads.

I really have to weigh in when I see all the copyleftists and libbers wind up the pitches now and start throwing stones at Anshe. What happened to her is an assault and it was wrong. I do believe that these assaults, while hardly to be compared with any RL crime like real rape, are spirtually akin to rape in the sense that they make real people cringe, and really hurt them, personally and professionally. To have these images played over and over by millions of idiots slathering over YouTube, to be exposed over and over again on every lame-ass blog -- it's a terrible thing and I don't think in the name of media freedom we need to concede to griefers the right to be that "gift that keeps on giving".

What recourse does something who is attacked in this fashion have? Unfortunately ACS chose the clumsy route of a DMCA notice, feeling they had no other recourse on the website tools. I can't agree with that approach, either.

But I'd ask Eric Rice and all these other self-assured blogistas to outline a way in which a business or person COULD protect themselves from this constant bludgeoning by low-life fucktards, including this one located in Canada BTW. Remember, the business you can concede needs protecting *could be your own*.

Turn it around, and imagine a Free Culture event within the Creative Commons context with earnest granola-eating fanz of Lawrence Lessig sitting on the CNET site. Suddenly you are all attacked by flying burning Bibles that crash your sim and completely disrupt your event. The next day, every single Freeper and nutter on the hard right is buzzing and publishing videos that make it appear you yourselves are Bible thumpers, showing you over and over again in humiliating positions. Suddenly, you are able to see it is about a DNS attack, property damage, torts, and possibly even libel, eh?
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ordinal Malaprop
January 6, 2007 @ 5:04 am
     
 
It is quite possible to make one's opposition to such things quite clear and straightforward and not give the perpetrators publicity of any sort when said actions occur - I certainly do not, though I do not keep a specifically current affairs related journal in any case - but be whole-heartedly offended by this crude and petty attempt at control and all that it signifies and indicates for the future.

Practically, in other instances the way to deal with the possibility of something effectively disappearing entirely such as this has been for multiple uninvolved sources to link to and mirror the content, making the efforts pointless and in fact counter-productive. Given that one instance of the video had already been taken down yesterday, this was in fact a real threat, and still may be.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 5:16 am
     
 
I'm waiting for someone to explain to me about how Google's own YouTube can act on taking something down that Google's own video.google site is keeping up unmolested, but I suppose that's because I don't know my copyright from my copyleft.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ordinal Malaprop
January 6, 2007 @ 5:57 am
     
 
They still have different teams dealing with these things I expect.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 6, 2007 @ 8:27 am
     
 
To answer the only substantive point that Prok is making: publishing footage of something does not imply support for the event in question. No one doubts that whoever did the flying penises is a juvenile asshole. But that doesn't give ACS the right to attempt to stifle reporting of it.

Prok, you've written 3500 words on this issue in the past 24 hours. Do you have time to eat?
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Taran Rampersad (Nobody Fugazi)
January 6, 2007 @ 8:39 am
     
 
It's a game of legal and PR chicken. Is Google willing to go to court over virtual phalluses in the face of an avatar? Can't you just see mainstream media eating that up.

That said, it may be *legal* to have the content up (or it may not, that would be for a court to decide), but it may not be something that a corporation wants to bat around in public. In that way, Anshe has them by the... pun.

In light of Anshe's business, I could see that she wouldn't want this all over the internet - but as I said before, anyone can get an avatar set up that looks like Anshe and do much the same. Maybe even machinima porn, who knows. Thus where I find this interesting is the copyright issue of the avatar. Can people then be sued for having an avatar which has a likeness to someone else's avatar? Rut-ro.

If no court is involved with this, there really isn't a precedent. It is quite simply a corporation responding to a complaint. Honestly, if there is going to be a legal precedent - would we want it to be like this? I imagine it would make law school more interesting. :-)
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 8:58 am
     
 
Um, I type really fast and I had a big lunch so I could skip dinner : )

All my points are substantive. They just don't happen to be substance you agree with.

Publishing footage, or not linking, or linking indeed has far more an implication of support than you seem capable of admitting. I really think it's a matter of good news judgement. More professional outlets like CNET and Reuters didn't feel they had to feed the roving Internet mobs links to something awful; Joystiq, Blingsider, the Syndey Morning Herald felt the opposite, that they had to use links. Clickable Culture felt they had to run the picture -- and I understand that instinct, because I also pondered at first whether the right thing to do when media freedom is at stake is to defiantly publish the controversial photo as a "just try 'n make me" sort of thing -- but then concluded if we didn't publish it originally, why start now?

Contrast and compare, styles of journalism, and levels of support of griefing, or indifference to their victims:

o CNET -- no photos or videos, but text mention of original penis attack as minor feature of long story about Anshe's successes; then coverage of DMCA scandal with no photos or videos, and no link to the video
o Sydney Morning Herald -- coverage of the attack with use of the screenshots and videos in original story
o Second Life Herald no coverage of original penis attack, but condemnation of Anshe's bid to silence the media, no picture or videos, but link to the videos
o Reuters -- no coverage of the original attack and while coverage of the DMCA story, no photos or videos and no link to the videos
o Clickable Culture -- no pictures or videos in the original story of the penis attack and even a decision to run the Business Week cover and a link to the SA video of the attack; yet, in the story of the DMCA notices, a post with the screenshot of the penises
o Second Thoughts -- coverage of the original penis attack without pictures but links to the video as part of coverage of Prokofy's own RL stalking story by the same griefers
o Joystiq -- story on the original attack ran the photos with black censorship squares
o Second Life Insider -- runs the SA video itself on their site in the original story's coverage with snarky headline "Never Throw Your Penis At a Millionaire", and also covers the DMCA takedown story with a link to "gleeful residents" at Second Citizen
o Metaverse Messenger -- no coverage.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a good little set of program notes to follow the various biases of the media in Second Life. It's a very good test story, all told. Clip and save, you'll need it throughout 2007.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 6, 2007 @ 9:29 am
     
 
So Prok, you're saying that Sydney Morning Herald and BoingBoing are in any way supporting the attack?
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 9:42 am
     
 
I don't bite on baiting like that, Ian, sorry to disappoint you in your effort to have a gleeful gotcha this morning.

Here's what I wrote, if you read carefully:

"Publishing footage, or not linking, or linking indeed has far more an implication of support than you seem capable of admitting."

Indeed, support is implied when you don't condemn, and you take an even gleeful and celebratory approach to the griefing -- note the range of not covering, to covering with photos, to covering with photos plus snarky headline etc -- as I just indicated.

Then I wrote:

"Contrast and compare, styles of journalism, and levels of support of griefing, or indifference to their victims".

What's key here to me is the question of "indifference to victims".

And I prefer to put it in the positive: a good journalist, and a good set of ethics for editors, involves not supporting griefing by not publishing the material directly used in the griefing, and even not going so far as to even link to those materials.

That way they cover the news, but they don't assault the victim all over again.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 6, 2007 @ 9:49 am
     
 
There's no baiting involved Prok. It's a very simple question. So, I'll put it another way: do you believe that what SMH and BoingBoing did, to quote you, was "an implication of support"?

Either you do or you don't. Surely you have an opinion.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 9:55 am
     
 
Sorry, I can't be baited to your satisfaction; you judgement that this is some kind of "let's set this up as a yes/no and deliver gotchas" isn't one I share.

Let me ask YOU then:

Can you find a condemnation of griefing in their coverage, Ian? If so, quote, please.

Either you find a condemnation of griefing, or you don't.

I don't know the people at the SMH or the BB. They strike me as being the usual cynical gamesters at BB; the SMH is obviously an international paper of record. I don't know how they covered the first incident 10 days ago -- give me a link.

Let me stick closer to home here.

I think it was wrong for Tony to publish the picture of the penises crashing on Anshe's head. It assaults the victim all over again. It is done out of defiance, no doubt, and I raise the issue of whether it's done in an in-your-face sort of manner to dis Anshe for doing this thing harming the corporativist corps of the journalists, who are known for their esprit de corps.

But back when it was just a tech story, and Tony was annoyed that another big story was being distracted by a stupid juvenile penis-griefing, he ran the story with not penises, but the cover of Business Week. Interesting, that.

So we went from BW to penises merely because of the content of what this person said and did regarding their attitude toward the free press.

I just think you have to abstract on this away from the character of Anshe, what you like or don't like landbarons and capitalism, what you want or don't want about press freedom, and say: what about the victim? And why recreate and reproduce an assault on a victim? It gives aid and comfort to griefers.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 9:57 am
     
 
And btw, journalistic condemnation of griefing doesn't have to take the form of some hortatory rebuke -- it can be about merely not showing pictures and not linking because it's in bad taste and gives comfort to griefing.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 6, 2007 @ 10:03 am
     
 
Prok, either your moral rules can be used to make judgements, or they can't. What I'm trying to establish here is very simple: based on the rules of reporting that you're espousing here, which side of the line did BoingBoing and SMH go?

Was their coverage "an implication of support" or not? It really is a simple question.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Taran Rampersad (Nobody Fugazi)
January 6, 2007 @ 10:43 am
     
 
Ian, you're unlikely to get a straight answer. :-)
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 10:48 am
     
 
Please supply links for their coverage of the original story, so I can see how they dealt with it.

Then I can see whether they covered this as a straightforward gaming world/virtual world news story, or whether their biases crept in. I can't turn up the original story from them in Google.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 10:50 am
     
 
I don't think you'll get a straight answer from Nobody Fugazi, either, if you ask him whether he supports libsecondlife and its griefing members in W-HAT or not. He'll start mumbling things about how libsecondlife is merely a mailing list.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 11:05 am
     
 
OK, the Nov. 27 issue of the SMH has this typical, superficial, breezy story about Anshe, the virtual millionaire:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/biztech/virtual-property-queen-reaps-the-rewards/2006/11/27/1164476080388.html?page=2

So they were soft on her to start, much softer than CC or the Herald or anybody else would be.

And I did find their original story finally here:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/web/good-grief-bad-vibes/2006/12/21/1166290662836.html

Seems like a pretty straightforward coverage.

And while they opted to include the photo and video, it's interesting how they portrayed it.

First, there's the headline:
"Second Life miscreants stage members-only attack"

They call them "miscreants" -- and there's a judgement right there, and that's fine -- it's a report unadorned with any ideological support of griefing and calls them what they are -- miscreants, because they attacked something and caused harm.

Next, there's the *way* the photos are arranged. The largest photo in the right-hand spot shows Anshe looking smart in jeans as the focus of the story, with her integrity, not shown in a humiliating position.

Then on the left is the ugly picture of the Plastic Duck avatar, and a smaller, almost indecipherable picture of the penises landing on a seated Anshe -- but it is placed in perspective so that the reader can see -- main protagonist, Anshe the millionairess, standing; sub-actors, griefers and penises on seated Anshe.

All well and good. Not biased, and perfectly fine. None of this Reuters stuff where they are afraid to use the "t" word about people who blow up buildings and then say they had unhappy childhoods or something.

Contrast that with this blog which shows only a larger picture of Anshe as the victim of the main protagonist, which is the giant penis. I don't mean to single out Tony -- other sites have done the same thing.

There doesn't yet seem to *be* a story in the SMH about this takedown effort; perhaps that's on the advice of their lawyers.

in any event, I think the SMH, whatever their superficiality and giddyness in believing the fake number of 1.6 million (a sin many other major newspapers of record are guilty of as well, so let's not be harsh) did admirable, balanced, and tasteful coverage. They might have gone more in the direction of taste and direction by not having any penises at all, but they get marks for putting an unmolested Anshe as the main picture.

On BB, I have no collection of the stories to analyze, I can't see that they covered it. Provide link.

And sorry to disappoint in your gotcha game here, but this isn't a yes/no question, and my refusing to play that game with you doesn't constitute proof of my erroneous judgement or bias or whatever it is you're trying to set me up with.

I maintain that publishing pictures supports griefing.

I view it as a kind of sliding scale as I've indicated earlier showing the range of how newspapers covered this incident depending on their own attitude toward SL, Anshe, and griefers.

If I can see that the whole coverage of SMH was balanced and called a griefer a griefer, and didn't celebrate or hoot or laugh or play gotcha (the way Second Life Insider is doing) then I can't pronounce it as "biased" merely by the presence of the griefing pictures.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 6, 2007 @ 11:20 am
     
 
BB's coverage is at http://www.boingboing.net/2006/12/21/second_life_griefers.html

(yes, the same picture on both SMH and BoingBoing).

I'm glad that you're clear about your position, that "publishing pictures supports griefing". I think it's always good when people are clear on what their positions are, as it makes debating them much more useful for everyone.

However, leaving aside BoingBoing for the moment (given that you don't have a link to their coverage, I think that's fair), how do you reconcile your position that "publishing pictures supports griefing" with your statement that coverage of the incident by SMH was "balanced"?

Or are you conflating two different issues here? Are you claiming that a report can be fair and balanced while still "supporting griefing"?
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 11:20 am
     
 
Oh, and let me answer this much more succinctly to accommodate your evident tekkie literalism : )

When I say, "Publishing footage, or not linking, or linking indeed has far more an implication of support than you seem capable of admitting" --
it's a general statement that describes a problem of how people aid and comfort griefing by writing about it, so that it must be done carefully so as not to enable griefers, to indicate their behaviour is condemnatory, and to not assault victims over again. It's not a yes/no statement.

It's not a statement as you wish to see it like this:

"Publishing pictures of griefers supports them always and therefore should never be published as there is no way to cover videos and pictures of griefers without aiding and abetting them".

In fact, it doesn't say that since it says something more subtle (for which apparently you have no intake valve):

"Publishing footage, or not linking, or linking indeed has far more an implication of support than you seem capable of admitting."

I then proceed to give a range.

So if your question is: did Tony Walsh support griefers by publishing this objectionable photo depicting Anshe being humiliated by an attack of penises?

And the answer for me is an unequivocable: yes, he did.

That doesn't mean he endorses W-Hat or griefing, but it does mean that to make a point, he was willing to give them a pass, brush over their griefing, and publish the picture to put a stick in Anshe's eye.

And while that may infuriate him for me to say this, and cause many people to go into convulsions of denial, that's my call on it.

Why?

Because he rapidly went to the moral of the story for him, which is that Anshe, by doing this, gets the Streisand effect, and deserves what troubles she has.

But this isn't the Streisand effect.

Streisand had a photographer shoot a picture of her house used in some environmental study and she didn't want it included and bitched about it and that got her more coverage.

Very, very different story from having your avatar repeatedly attacked by shit like this. It is not pleasant, let me tell you. It's not just an invasion of privacy, it's an assault.

In general, while not wishing to overanalyze this short piece by Tony especially with him not showing up in the thread her, I'm troubled by the breeziness and glibness that he adopts when covering W-hat in general and this story in particle.

He is not troubled by it.

And there's another point to be made that in fact the ACS takedown thing, which I know was made in frustration at not having any other way to stop this constant republishing of assault of a victim and glorification thereby of griefing in SL, would have an affect even on things like Snapzilla. Of course it will.

I think you have no idea, Ian, of the vicious hate campaigns that get going in SL in the tribalistic and lawless atmosphere there. Right now Joshua Nightshade has offered a bounty of $1000 Lindens to anyone who can give him dirt on Anshe or find something negative about her so that he can doctor the Wikipedia entry about her. People are having a victory-dance over the griefing and a war pow-wow over this latest incident with Anshe and they go for the jugular.

Once you come clean with *your own attitude* toward Anshe, the land business, and griefing like W-Hat then we can continue this conversation : )
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 6, 2007 @ 11:22 am
     
 
"Oh, and let me answer this much more succinctly to accommodate your evident tekkie literalism : )"

It's actually both philosophical rigour and professional interest, as I've been both a philosophy grad student and a professional journalist :)
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 6, 2007 @ 11:27 am
     
 
"It's not a yes/no statement."

I agree that the discussion on whether or not publishing images *might* support griefing is an open debate, but that's not what I've been asking you. I've been asking you whether you think that the specific coverage of the attack written by SMH and BB "supports griefing".

Although you've written a lot in response, I'm still not clear whether you do or not, and I'd like you to clarify, please.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 11:28 am
     
 
Our posts just crossed, but let me reply specifically to your tendentiousness here.

>I'm glad that you're clear about your position, that "publishing pictures supports griefing". I think it's always good when people are clear on what their positions are, as it makes debating them much more useful for everyone.

Oh, this smarmy little snark is just a way of reiterating your gotcha game.

YOU are trying to claim that publishing pictures supports griefing is equal to a statement that all publishing of pictures therefore always and everywhere supports griefing.

I think that given that publishing pictures CAN support griefing, you have an ethical issue and must handle it carefully.

And I parsed out how SMH did it, showing the pictures, but not in a gleeful or brutalizing way.

>how do you reconcile your position that "publishing pictures supports griefing" with your statement that coverage of the incident by SMH was "balanced"?


Because Ian, publishing pictures of griefing DOES support griefing as a given, as a general statement. It is an ethical problem. It's like the problem of terrorism, and whether it should, or should not be covered.

All papers run the risk of supporting griefing when they publish pictures of gross attacks. The SMH avoided this by their CONTEXT. CONTEXT may not be a field you may be willing to concede or recognize, so zealous is your desire to pull literalism and accusatory statements out of "publishing pictures supports griefers".

But the CONTEXT of the SMH was vital --

o headline that used the word miscreants
o previous positive coverage
o use of photos in ways that still showed integrity of Anshe's avatar

>Or are you conflating two different issues here?

No. I'm just not taking the issue literally and devoid of context as you are : )

>Are you claiming that a report can be fair and balanced while still "supporting griefing"?

No. That's an absurdity, and one that you are trying to pull out of a flat statement that you yourself have cooked up.

I'm saying that generally, printing pictures of brutal attacks by griefers helps fuel them. That's why we, at the Herald, who have been around the bend on this a thousand times more than any of these other news outlets, said, you know, "We don't have to publish ever penis."

You may disagree and say, oh, but THIS penis you should have covered! But since I, as a Herald reporter was MYSELF attacked not only in SL but in SL on this particular round, I felt it was important -- and my colleagues shared this view -- not to keep fueling it. Of course, that position counted for little given that the entire Internet then covered it with great glee and prurience.

that's why after a week or 10 days, I ran my own full blog version of the story, denounced the attack, and shut off comments to my blog so I didn't have to listen to idiots word-salading what happened and justifying griefers.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 11:32 am
     
 
I've been asking you whether you think that the specific coverage of the attack written by SMH and BB "supports griefing".

Again, I'm not sure of your stake in this. Do you write for the SMH?

Again, Ian, let me spell it out again:

Publishing pictures of griefers supports griefing.

Absolutely. Ask anybody. Ask why we still have it in SL today, and have not eradicated it.

It's because:

Publishing pictures of griefers supports griefing.

Is the SMH guilty in an abstract sort of way of supporting griefing, because they happened to print a griefing picture?

No -- but only a qualified no because of CONTEXT and their SKILLFUL way of using the picture:

o headline that used the word miscreants
o previous positive coverage
o use of photos in ways that still showed integrity of Anshe's avatar

So the answer is only "no" if qualified as follows, because of the context.

That's not your yes/no, but sorry, I don't bite bait : )
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Taran Rampersad (Nobody Fugazi)
January 6, 2007 @ 11:34 am
     
 
(1) I support LibSecondLife. I'm even a member of the group.
(2) I do not support LibSecondLife members that 'grief'.

The problem with Prok is she wants to attack all things 'techie' (even spelling it so it is reminscent of 'trekkie', which is a nice touch for her perspective) on the basis that she doesn't understand them, and therefore her misunderstanding is a veritable argument when it comes to that.

That said, Prok's arguments here remind me of some of the discussion Urizenus and I had in the context of SecondLifeHerald.

So here is my question, point blank for Prok: If this is such an issue for you in terms of publishing about griefing, what's your stance on this article by the SecondLifeHerald? Or is your opinion something that favors some and doesn't favor others?

Please try to keep your response below 1000 words, Prok.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 6, 2007 @ 11:44 am
     
 
"I'm saying that generally, printing pictures of brutal attacks by griefers helps fuel them."

So, let's go from your general rule. Given this statement of your belief, do you believe that SMH's coverage *in particular* offered support to griefers?
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 6, 2007 @ 11:46 am
     
 
Ahh, our posts crossed, I can see from your next response:

"So the answer is only "no" if qualified as follows, because of the context."

That you've answered the above point. So let's move on.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 6, 2007 @ 11:52 am
     
 
Prok, you've made two contradictory claims. Can you clear up which one is your belief?

On one hand you state:

"I think that given that publishing pictures CAN support griefing, you have an ethical issue and must handle it carefully."

And on the other, you state:

"publishing pictures of griefing DOES support griefing as a given".

Which is it? Or, let me phrase it another way: Do you believe that it's possible to publish pictures of griefing attacks in a way that does not "support griefing"?

If you don't, then it's clear that you believe that SMH et al "support griefing", as they published pictures of it. If you do, then I'd like to hear what your critera for publishing pictures are.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 11:59 am
     
 
Re: "(1) I support LibSecondLife. I'm even a member of the group.
(2) I do not support LibSecondLife members that 'grief'."

Unfortunately, there's an inherent contradiction here because decent programmers who understood what was going on by the leaders of libsecondlife around the CopyBot and related issues of griefing LEFT THE GROUP and DISASSOCIATED THEMSELVES with the leaders. That was the right thing to do. You are unable to do this because you style yourself as Mr. Libertarian who remains in iffy, controversial groups with shifting wierd populations of alts "just because you can" and figure your ass is covered against any charge of aiding and abetting griefers by just sprinkling around Hooper the holy water that says "oh, but we can't have guilt by association, now, can we?"

You, who care so much about griefers and even abuse report them and could harangue Uri through the other thread about his alleged softness on griefing, suddenly have nothing but a two-line statement to make about them in libsecondlife. Strange.

So...I guess you didn't notice 25 members of this group get permabanned for grid-crashing and such. Oh-kay. Hey, group IMs often get closed, you're busy, kk whatever.

>The problem with Prok is she wants to attack all things 'techie' (even spelling it so it is reminscent of 'trekkie', which is a nice touch for her perspective) on the basis that she doesn't understand them, and therefore her misunderstanding is a veritable argument when it comes to that.

Oh, I'm perfectly capable and intelligent, and able to understand any reasonable and logical argument. What I do do, however, is condemn the irrational and illogical approach that tekkies often make by putting out preposterous statements like the ones you've just made.

Basically, what your two literalist tekkie positions mean, when taken together, is the following:

"Oh, hell, yeah, I continue to support this reverse-engineering group even though it has created 3 griefing products wrecking havoc on the citizens of Second Life, and has had 25 permabanned serious serial griefers in it, but hey, I'm a liberal kidna guy, information wants to be free, and I refuse to tar the group with the brush of these griefers. But that's mainly because I believe reverse engineering is a blessed thing and Cory May-He-Live-Forever rules in blessing it and making only "unauthorized use" of this griefing bot to be a TOS offense (and therefore ensuring no one will ever go down for it because no one will be able to define what "unauthorized means".

The link doesn't work, but if you mean the story here:
http://www.secondlifeherald.com/slh/2006/12/big_brother_ope.html

is the point that even covering this story at all somehow flies in the face of my premise?

You've just conflated -- and tendentiously compressed -- my premise about "publishing pictures of griefers supports griefing" into a spurious premise I *don't* have which sounds like "any publishing about griefing at all, covering it even in the news, is a boon to griefers".

That's your premise. It isn't mine, however.

I don't believe that at all. I think griefing must be covered by the news media. It should be absolutely free to cover it when and in the fashion it choses. It has a tough job in doing so, and that's why it must signal:

o refusal to buy word-salad justifications by manipulative bullies and liars
o unequivocal condemnation about griefing and sympathy for victims
o efforts to uncover the dynamics of griefing and why it continues and who props it up

I'm also free to set up premises of how to do this without aiding and abetting virtual terrorists.

For one, there's editorial judgement. "We do not have to publish every penis," as Pixeleen's quote has it. Amen. We don't.

So is Uri somehow violating any premise I have here?

I don't think so. He doesn't show a picture of someone in a humiliating position, their avatar cowering under a hail of penises, eh? Nothing like that at all.

And the premise of Uri's story is about the problem of the Crayonistas not even TELLING the media there was griefing -- so that he sees his job here as uncovering a hidden story. If people start hiding griefing stories period -- because they fear a bad image and association, or fear scandal, or fear it fuels griefing, that's a problem too.

(Indeed griefers as well as terrorists delight in having put you just into that conundrum -- and putting ME into this attempted gotcha grip is not very different from griefing -- you need to think yourself about what aids and doesn't aid griefing).

I don't have some softness for Uri and favour him and give him a pass to put photos of griefers and tell others they are wrong to do so.

No doubt he has run photos that I'd have given a pass to, but it's a free-wheeling sort of place, the Herald, and people put up posts freely, not by some harsh, editorial guideline.

I think his coverage of this griefing in fact doesn't aid griefers. Why? Because he makes his attitude to griefing VERY clear:

"It was griefed hard thanks to an apparent lack of security. When are people going to learn that this is the freaking wild wild west, and you *have* to have event security and island security."

For you, griefing is an abstraction. It rarely if every happens to you. You merely waddle around in a penguin avatar laughing at people and you aren't invested in a serious way with it -- you see yourself as a bemused analyst dispensing dry pearls of wisdom about it.

For people who live there, griefing is a lot worse of an experience, and not funny. And they'd get o ut of ANY group that had a single griefing idiot in it quick, if that group itself didn't clean house. Seen it happen all the time.

My reaction to your strange comment about his story somehow favouring griefers and interviewing only the side of the griefers is to say exactly what he said: what on God's green earth are you talking about?

You're just dead wrong that Uri's article didn't speak to the issue of griefing. It surely does. Because again, he said this:

"It was griefed hard thanks to an apparent lack of security. When are people going to learn that this is the freaking wild wild west, and you *have* to have event security and island security."
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 12:09 pm
     
 
>Prok, you've made two contradictory claims.

They aren't contradictory. They are explained ad nauseum. Your persistence in believing them as contradictory and desire to play gotcha is fueld by an agenda. What is it? Here, again it's useful to find out your attitude toward:

o Anshe
o Griefing
o W-Hat
o Land Barons
o Virtuality

to understand why my simple words give you such cramps and agida.

>Can you clear up which one is your belief?

Both are my beliefs, they are not contradictory, but you have some kind of problem in accepting this.

Re: "I think that given that publishing pictures CAN support griefing, you have an ethical issue and must handle it carefully."

Absolutely. That's why we're here. That's what the other thread about big Brother was about (sorry I missed it before). It's what RL media struggles with every time they sit in a bureau in Baghdad and get a video of a chopped head. Do they run it? Do they report it once again? Do they excerpt the extremist manifesto? Etc. etc. and the answer is:

"Yes, running things like that supports terrorists so you need to do it in a sensitive way that sympathizes with victims, doesn't make light of their suffering, condemns the terrorism as unacceptable but tries to strike a balance between the need for the public's right to know what's happening, and the need for terrorists to grab headlines and hijack them to their nefarious cause."

Re: And on the other, you state:
"publishing pictures of griefing DOES support griefing as a given".

It does support it as a given. Are you daft? Can you not see the larger issues? In fact, Nobody, judging from his Big Brother thread, seems to think that Uri is guilty of fueling griefing by covering it in the Herald in a way he views as sensational. He thinks that griefing is boring and juvenile and not worth covering.

I totally agree. I think griefing is planned, and executed and part of the long, sordid and evil history of terrorism in all its forms, mild and severe, viritual and real, and you need to take a position on it -- the propaganda of the deed isn't good writing; it's not even writing; it's not even a deed; it's an explosion that kills and maims people and is therefore a crime.

>Which is it? Or, let me phrase it another way: Do you believe that it's possible to publish pictures of griefing attacks in a way that does not "support griefing"?

>Haven't I just written hundreds of words exhaustively explaining just how the SMH did this? And how others failed? And how others didn't publish them and didn't even publish links, and maybe that's the way to do it?

>If you don't, then it's clear that you believe that SMH et al "support griefing", as they published pictures of it. If you do, then I'd like to hear what your critera for publishing pictures are

I feel I've exhaustively parsed the SMH and persistent questioning can only be referred back to the previous post.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 6, 2007 @ 12:10 pm
     
 
So let's be clear about this, then Prok: You believe that publishing a single picture of a griefing attach is more a "support of griefers" than publishing a 900 word interview with a griefer responsible for an attack?

I'm not saying you're right or wrong either way: I just want to be clear about what your position is.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 6, 2007 @ 12:17 pm
     
 
"Both are my beliefs, they are not contradictory, but you have some kind of problem in accepting this."

Perhaps I have difficulty accepting this because logically the statement that something "can do" something is not logically equivalent to saying that it "does do" something. Either you believe that publishing pictures of griefing always gives support to griefers, or you believe that it's possible to publish pictures of griefing in such a way as to not give support to griefers.

Now I *think* that you're saying yes, it always offers support to griefers. Am I right in that? Again, this really is a yes or no answer.

"Are you daft? Can you not see the larger issues?"

What I want to establish is what your belief about publishing pictures is, so we can actually have a debate about it. Had you actually answered "yes" in the first place, we might have had a more productive couple of thousand words so far, and - given that I think "yes" is the answer you're giving - I have no idea why you didn't.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 12:28 pm
     
 
? What's that supposed to mean?

Both are bad. The media REALLY has to have a serious discussion about whether their constant and reflective and echo-chamber coverage of Plastic Duck hasn't made the lame-assed idiot the persistent, serial griefer he is today.

I'm happy to think about that seriously any day of the week. At the end of the day, my own publications exposing his griefing and the W-hat griefing sprees while hiding out in libsecond life isn't done in the belief it will stop, or fuel, or do anything with W-Hat which is like the weather you can't argue with in SL.

Rather, my purpose is to appeal to that undecided middle, that substrate of griefers, that village that it takes, to stop their celebration of griefing and their indifference to it by acknowledging that it takes a terrible and real and toll on victims.

Can you do that, Ian, or do you need to persist in your niggling queries here?

Publishing a picture that merely shows a humiliated victim and triumphant griefers lets the griefers know they have scored. The smarter thing to do is to let the griefers realize that they cannot diminish a person with their griefing because they are unbowed, and the media views not the victim as humiliated, but as the griefers being assholes.

That's the turning point for any kind of terrorism situation, and it's the turning point for our little virtual world with its pixelated griefers.

Trust me, if the leaders of libsecondlife were asked to step down, if the members of libsecondlife would leave it until those comforters of griefers would step down, if the griefers themselvse and their alts could be expelled, if the Lindens, for crying out loud, could leave such a group in such turmoil and misdirection, and if the chief oldbie charter members sustaining the griefing stream with their victory dancing and golf-clapping were vocally and unequivocally condemned by the Lindens, hey, we'd see a hell of a lot less grid crashing, of that I have no doubt.

Take away the moral equivalancy, word-salading, and indifference to griefing, and you'll be well on your way to helping curb it.

A 900-interview is also a bad thing, especially if it is nodding and winking and sneering the whole while. We saw that with Second Life Insider's outrageous interview -- out of the blue -- with Plastic Duck -- just because. It's as if none of the writers of the Blingsider had inworld businesses disrupted by the grid crashing by this fellow and his group, and the down time for days (guess they don't care anymore).

This issue came up when ABC interviewed Basayev. The Kremlin went into a rage. Well, should you never interview Basayev (Chechen terrorist)? That might be a wise course to take about someone not only accused but documented by the media itself as leading the most appalling hostage-taking and terrorist attacks. Possibly there are times when you should interview a terrorist if you think it might bring safety to the public rather than comfort to the terrorist. Can it be done in a way that it is clear that you cover the victims' plight and don't fuel the need for visibility? Surely. But it's damn hard, and those inexpert at it or lily-livered about their condemnation of terrorism as immmoral and illegal should not attempt it.

At this point, we are getting dangerously close to the 58 post mark. I think 58 is the highest number of responses to a thread. Tony used to have a counter over on the right (he's mercifully taken it down now) that would show threads with the most posts on them as somehow "the hottest" or "the best". I hope he doesn't resurrect that!

In fact, they were nothing of the kind. They were just things like csven being a literalist nudnik.
But just in case he *does* bring it back, I don't want THIS story to be immortalized in the number one slot, thank you very much.

So I'll sign off for now, but do visit my blog and harangue me there with *your* brand of the literalist nudnik genre.

I've got a great post up now about whether or not cyber-rape can be compared to virtual rape that should enable you to rant and pester for hours : )

http://secondthoughts.typepad.com/second_thoughts/2007/01/is_cyberrape_co.html
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Taran Rampersad (Nobody Fugazi)
January 6, 2007 @ 12:44 pm
     
 
Prok: "Unfortunately, there's an inherent contradiction here because decent programmers who understood what was going on by the leaders of libsecondlife around the CopyBot and related issues of griefing LEFT THE GROUP and DISASSOCIATED THEMSELVES with the leaders. That was the right thing to do. You are unable to do this because you style yourself as Mr. Libertarian who remains in iffy, controversial groups with shifting wierd populations of alts "just because you can" and figure your ass is covered against any charge of aiding and abetting griefers by just sprinkling around Hooper the holy water that says "oh, but we can't have guilt by association, now, can we?"

Again, Prok, you're stance is amusing. Basically what you have said is "every programmer I agree with has taken stance xyz, therefore it must be right". So anyone who agrees with Prokofy Neva is someone Prokofy Neva says is right. But we already knew that, and while it was amusing ride it is as effective as a rollercoaster - lots of bumps and jostles, but you basically stop in the same place that you start.

Have I been permabanned? No. Why? It most certainly isn't because I disagree with you. :-) In fact, if 25 members have been permabanned... they aren't members anymore. :-)

Oh, I'm perfectly capable and intelligent, and able to understand any reasonable and logical argument. What I do do, however, is condemn the irrational and illogical approach that tekkies often make by putting out preposterous statements like the ones you've just made.

Because you are choose not to understand - because you are proud of your ignorance - this does not validate your arguments (for there is no discussion). But wait! This thread isn't about ME (though you do love me for some reason. *sigh*). Good try, Prokaroni. :-)

And when it comes to the duality and contradiction apparent in your verbose discourse... we're on that roller coaster again. You bob and weave, and instead of answering the question, you write it to death.

Now if you do stand by 'publishing pictures of griefing is wrong', then you get to define what you think griefing is. 500 words or less. :-)
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 6, 2007 @ 1:08 pm
     
 
"Publishing a picture that merely shows a humiliated victim and triumphant griefers lets the griefers know they have scored."

So you're saying that ALL pictures of greifing attacks should not be published?

"Take away the moral equivalancy, word-salading, and indifference to griefing, and you'll be well on your way to helping curb it."

All of which, of course, are assumptions you're making about my position.

Either you believe that all pictures of griefing attacks offers support to griefing, in which case you believe that SMH's report offered support to griefing, or you don't.

"do visit my blog and harangue me there with *your* brand of the literalist nudnik genre."

Do you genuinely believe that trying to get someone to be clear about their position is "literalism"? If so, I plead guilty, although that's not any definition of literalism I've ever heard.

The problem, Prok, is actually with you here: you want to claim that publishing pictures of griefing is absolutely bad, but want to leave enough wiggling room in your argument to let you out of that position for *some* kinds of reports. And yet, you're not prepared to go the whole distance and say what kind of reports are ok, and what kinds aren't.

In other words, you're far more interested in having yet another stick with which to beat your enemies than actually trying to investigate what is or isn't acceptable.

That's obvious from your lack of a response as to why you think that giving a griefer a 900-word platform for their views is somehow not "supporting griefing", while publishing a single picture is not. I don't believe that your position is necessarily wrong: but without you explaining why one supports griefing and the other doesn't, we're not going to get anywhere.

I've seen these kinds of tactics a million times online since my first days of USENET, and to be honest I've seen far better exponents of them than you. You refuse to answer a direct question, you try to shift the ground away from any area that you know you're a shaky ground with, and you attempt to constantly turn any comment into an attack on your perceived enemies.

As you put it:

"I don't want THIS story to be immortalized in the number one slot, thank you very much"

Perhaps because you've been exposed here as someone who can't answer a straight question without attempting to launch a torrent of abuse.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 1:33 pm
     
 
Aren't we supposed to be attempting not to glorify griefing here? That's why I suggested you pursue me on my blog and not immortalize this thread. I don't fear immortality in a thread; I was just trying to be courteous to Tony's blog so that this thread filled with you playing gotcha for 100 rounds doesn't pass for something "hot" when it is "not".

Again, sorry to disappoint -- you love to try to put people in gotcha holds -- but I am not ducking and bobbing and trying to grant myself wiggle room or my colleagues at the Herald, and then give myself a pass to blast some other journalist. That's silly. I haven't done that. I've supplied COPIOUS explanations of nuances, good practices, bad practices, lists of variations of how different media have covered. I've made a judgement about the Sydney Morning Herald; I've made a judgement about Tony Walsh; I've accomplished something and helped add lines and colour to the template.

All *you've* done is paste your stupid literalist questions again and jerk off for 2 hours.

You've provided *shit*. Nothing. No examples. NO best practices. No analysis. No commentary. No exposition of your own position, intellectually. Instead, you've just tried to skewer me, play gotcha, be a literalist nudnik, and generally behave like tekkie idiot IRC and USENET types that have just been on the Internet too long and have lost sense of reality.

I think Tateru's interview with Plastic Duck, whic is like the 900-word platform, was an atrocious thing. It was a huge, friggin' wink and nod that it was somehow racy and fun and skirting danger to have this Black-Panther type actually talk to her. Blecth.

I just gave a lengthy response, doubly, on why I think 900-word platforms are AS BAD as pictures if NOT WORSE. So your pounding on that point here is just silly; your still pestering me in some dense belief that I haven't addressed this problem of the 900-word essay is beyond comprehension.

I don't see why your tunnel-vision, exasperating, literalist word-salads have to be taken seriously and granted some concessions. It's merely a more sophisticated form of griefing. Stop it.

I've said publishing pictures supports griefing; it does. You've added in the word "publishing is ABSOLUTELY bad" -- something I didn't say, and explained was literalist and excessive. Because sometimes when people publish, they do it with enough discretion that it doesn't fuel the griefing. Sometimes, publishing may be about alerting the public. But, as I also pointed out, it's best not to carry the pictures so as not to re-traumatize the victim and run the risk of re-celebrating griefing.

And what have YOU said about this? Zip.

You're an impoverished and manipulative debater. You can't come up with a single guideline or best practice or serious thought of your own.

So let's have it. Put up or shut up. Let's hear from you what YOU think is the solution to griefers. I've said more than enough on this subject -- let's hear your PLAN for dealing with griefing rather than your griefing of ME for not fitting into your silly little USENET sectarian grid.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 1:38 pm
     
 
Um, Nobody, griefing is what YOU are doing right now. That's as good a definition as any, and one that is as close as your own neck vein : )

And griefing like that is what you always do in every blog, debate, thread, because you are only capable of pontificating with set theses, and unable to think and engage in discourse with good faith -- without accusing the other person of various offenses in your list of regulations.

As for libsecondlife, the people who left it and disassociated from it aren't people I know or are friends with or who like me or with whom I have anything in common. In fact they most likely disagree with me on many things. It's just that what they do have is a moral compass, and they acted upon it.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
January 6, 2007 @ 2:33 pm
     
 
I respect the opinion that publishing photos of griefing supports the act of griefing. I would even agree with that opinion in some cases. I'm not sure at this time exactly what cases those would be. I am comfortable with the photo I chose to publish, even if it perceived as support of griefing.

I am hearing that journalists should not be biased, unless its a bias against griefers, or conversely a bias in favour of griefing victims. As I've said many times on this blog, I don't believe unbiased journalism of any kind is possible. This being said, I haven't intentionally supported either Anshe or the griefers in the articles discussed. If anything, I am biased against the griefers.

In my first article, I said that Anshe's interview was "marred" by an "attack." That's about the extent of the commentary on the griefing I supplied. This verbiage suggests I perceive griefing negatively, which, generally, I do. If I supported griefing, I might have depicted the incident as a hilarious stunt against a deserving public figure.

The first story I ran was not about how Anshe might have been affected, nor about any possible reasons the griefers might have had for their attack. The story was mostly about how griefing disrupted a high-profile interview, highlighting security issues and related incidents.

The second article focused on Anshe Chung Studios' hamfisted efforts to control the media's documentation of the attack in video and pictures. There are two main reasons I posted a photo of the griefing.
1) Because the story is about contentious photos such as the one I posted. The photo I posted is the type Anshe Chung Studios is trying to erase. It's an illustration not only of the attack, but of the subject of the story.
2) Because I wanted to make a point about my right to post such a photo.
The caption under the photo reads: "Avatar Anshe Chung gets griefed." This is a statement of fact, without sensationalism or commentary.

Note that in neither article do I name the attacker. This is because the story is not about *who* conducted the attack. I don't care who made the attack (for the purposes of these stories). Moreover, by omitting names, I am depriving the griefer(s) of publicity.

Lastly, griefing and terrorism are not the same, in my view. In the past, I have referred to griefers as terrorists, but a friend pointed out to me that there's a substantial difference between executing real acts of terror and being a troublemaker or a criminal. These days we are all too quick to label objectionable activities "terrorism." The more activities we label as terrorism, the fewer freedoms we end up with.

In my opinion, a denial of service attack on a virtual world is not terrorism. Blowing up a real bus full of real civilians is. A virtual penis-bombing is not terrorism. Showering a real person with dismembered body parts might be (it's at least "assault").

Was the attack on Anshe in any way appropriate? Not in my view. Does she deserve the attack, being a public figure? Not in my view. Does she deserve to suffer the Streisand Effect? Not in my view. Do I have sympathy for Anshe? I am simultaneously sorry she feels humiliated, and resentful of her griefing the media.

I tend to boycott individuals or organizations that make specific threats towards journalistic or academic freedoms. I don't report often or favourably on MindArk or Entropia Universe for this reason. My blacklist now includes Anshe Chung Studios, for the time being.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Eric Rice
January 6, 2007 @ 4:19 pm
     
 
Hey Tony, you used the word 'griefing' too much in your last comment, you must support griefing. Shit, now I've done it.

BRB, Streisand is on the phone.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 6, 2007 @ 7:31 pm
     
 
"You've provided *shit*. Nothing. No examples. NO best practices. No analysis. No commentary. No exposition of your own position, intellectually."

But the point is, Prok, that for all your thousands of words - neither have you. Your position is so weak that you cannot answer a very simple question directly.

So, once more, and for the final time: under what circumstances do you believe that using a picture from a griefing attack is legitimate?
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 6, 2007 @ 7:37 pm
     
 
"Um, Nobody, griefing is what YOU are doing right now. "

And this, Prok, is your ultimate problem. You genuinely seem to believe that asking someone a question on a public forum is griefing (as long as it's someone other than you doing the asking).

That means that, when it comes to describing genuine griefers, you have nothing left in your arsenal of rhetoric: you're screamed so loudly at the likes of Nobody for simply posting legitimate questions of your opinions that you can't actually describe the kind of reprehensible people who think it's ok to disrupt a public event as worse.

"I just gave a lengthy response, doubly, on why I think 900-word platforms are AS BAD as pictures if NOT WORSE."

Thank you for finally being clear about this. I assume that, tomorrow, you'll be writing a 2000 word post on your blog condemning Second Life Herald for supporting griefers, and you'll no longer be posting there?
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 6, 2007 @ 7:40 pm
     
 
"You're an impoverished and manipulative debater. You can't come up with a single guideline or best practice or serious thought of your own."

Prok, you're the one making very simplistic and stark absolutist claims about right and wrong. If you expect those claims to go unexamined, then you're either living in a fantasy world or simply are more interested in a pissing contest where debate becomes about "I WIN!" than actually getting to the truth. Either one wouldn't surprise me.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 6, 2007 @ 7:45 pm
     
 
"you are only capable of pontificating with set theses, and unable to think and engage in discourse with good faith"

Well done Prok - this actually caused me to laugh our loud.

Someone who proposes a thesis, as you did, and then refuses to clarify what that thesis means, as you did, is not "engaging in discourse". They are shouting, bawling, hectoring, and engaging in rhetoric. The hypocrisy of you accusing others of a failure to engage in discourse "with [sic] good faith" is hilarious.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 6, 2007 @ 8:57 pm
     
 
Ian, I've yet to see you come up with a remark of substance here -- I can only reiterate what I said in the same posts above, that we have yet to hear of *your own* attitudes toward Anshe, griefing, news policies, etc.

Instead, you can only seem to stand on the sidelines and laugh and mock and point with glee, as if you've discovered some terribly flawed logic -- but you haven't, and you're transparently manipulative. My remarks aren't simplistic because they are merely common-sense statements. We all know coverage of griefing CAN and DOES fuel griefing so it presents a challenge to news media and blog sites. Some rise to the occasion to try to address the issue fairly while still keeping their integrity as news media informing the public. Others lower to the occasion and use the occasion to allow a griefer to be a bagman for their own clique's agenda and score-settling (Second Cast is a good example of that problem).

As for this claim, "you'll be writing a 2000 word post on your blog condemning Second Life Herald for supporting griefers, and you'll no longer be posting there?" -- could you come up with some actual posts and link to them that you feel "supported griefers"? Then I can see what you're getting at. I don't think the Herald has "supported griefers" by covering them and often using satire as a way of addressing the problem of how to cover them. Again, a link to your own blog with your own presumably best practices on this score would be in order.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Taran Rampersad (Nobody Fugazi)
January 7, 2007 @ 7:54 am
     
 
"Um, Nobody, griefing is what YOU are doing right now. That's as good a definition as any, and one that is as close as your own neck vein : )"

Ahhh - the crux of it. Attempting to get short answers from Prokofy Neva which are clear and accurate is considered griefing by Prokofy Neva. Disagreeing with Prokofy Neva is considered griefing by Prokofy Neva.

In other words, if we remove Prokofy Neva... a lot of people may not be griefing. What say you take one for the team, Prok? :-)
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 7, 2007 @ 8:31 am
     
 
Prok, it's obvious that you're not going to clearly state your position, for the reasons that I mentioned above. However, I'll have one last go.

Can you explain why printing a single picture of a griefing incident is "supporting griefers", while a 900 word interview with a self-confessed griefer isn't?

The interview is question was linked by you above, so I've no idea why you're asking me for it. But as you seem to have short-term memory problems, it's at http://www.secondlifeherald.com/slh/2006/12/big_brother_ope.html

You seem to think that your arguments can't be questioned, which I find puzzling. Can you explain why you think that?
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 7, 2007 @ 12:24 pm
     
 
I think my statement is very clearly outlined here, Ian, and even repetitively, and you're just trolling or something. It seems that you have some long-standing grudge against the Herald regarding another story, not this one, or something; the motivations are opaque to me.

I think you need to come clean on what your OWN positions are, such that you're trolling around trying to out people, or force them to be precise in some way that only you can find satisfactory. And you need to come clean about why you are so hot and bothered by Big Brother ostensibly -- in your view -- not getting a fair shake by the Herald. As that seems what the real story is here.

What do you think the right way to deal with griefers is? Try to speak in good faith, instead of playing some manipulative game.

I don't have any "short-term memory problems," you weren't being clear that you seem to have some bug up your butt about this specific interview -- and I *already* commented on it -- scroll back, or are *you* having short-term memory problems?

Once again, the comments I made, reiterated:

o it was an article about the failure of the Crayon people to tell the truth immediately and publicly about the problems with the Big Brother project -- so it was investigative, and the focus was on Crayon and BB, not on the griefer
o in the first few paragraphs, the writer, Uri, makes it clear that he views griefing a problem, and marvels that these big companies haven't taken precautions to secure the sims -- this is a story about big companies and their consulting companies acting as guides in SL, not a story about griefing -- griefing is a thing that happens to this company because they don't know SL well enough and don't seem to want to learn -- again that's the focus of this and a string of previous stories.
o Uri had a stringer who interviewed the griefer to get information *in the absence of information from the company itself*.
o The Herald doesn't have some policy of "we never interview grievers" but it does generally have a line of not deliberately celebrating griefers and supporting them with pictures and gleeful victory-dance after-action interview a la the Something Awful Safari. THAT is the difference. If you can't see that sort of line, well, it's not a conversation that can have much use to you then.

The Herald is a tabloid. It constantly interviews griefers as part of what Uri always frankly calls "always fairly unbalanced coverage". The thrust of this reporting is about getting at the truth, trying to find out what really happens in Second Life behind the patina of the Lindens fluffing. The purpose of the tabloid is not to support griefers through serving as their organ, like Something Awful come. But they will be reported on, and the victims' side of the story is amply told, as you can easily see from reading the back pages.

You apparently are not able to understand the whole context of the Herald, or to distinguish among stories and intents.

The Herald doesn't go and seek out Plastic Duck out of the blues and revel in getting an interview with him and posting it for thrills and chills the way the Blingsider does. Tateru Nino showed no judgement whatsoever in simply running this sensational interview which could only glorify and give more PR to Plastic Duck.

However, if Plastic Duck crashes the grid with self-replicating penii, of course I or someone else at the Herald will run a short news story with the picture of the offending objects -- in the last case it was showing them by a house. That's not supporting griefers by releving and providing pictures of the griefer himself and his victims, but it's a news story showing damages to a sim cluttered up by griefing prims.

What Uri did was go after a story that was a huge hypervent -- how wonderful Big Brother was going to be in SL. It turned out to flop at first, and the focus of the story was how it was unprepared and unwilling to learn the ins and outs and lock down the sim.

Uri didn't go out saying, oh, let's get a fun interview with a griefer, woot, he went out to cover why BB failed in SL.

I think it's pretty clear that the focus and the motivations at stake here are different.

You seem to think that you can take statements like:

"Publishing photos of griefing supports griefing:
or
"Publishing interviews with griefers supports griefing"

and take them so EXTREMELY literally that you can then play gotcha on ANY photo or ANY interview without using any common sense about what constitutes SUPPORTING.

If you cover photos or interviews relating to griefing in such a way that you draw the line and don't support them, more power to you. You have succeeded in using some journalistic ethics wisely.

Just publishing photos and interviews for the sake of publishing photos and interviews is supporting griefing.

Once you have it clear in your mind you aren't out to support griefers because you have a moral code and you draw the line, deciding what your focus is and sticking to it might mean that IF you publish a photo or IF you interview someone you'll be doing it in such a way to avoid retraumatizing victims and glorifying griefers.

So once again:

Publishing photos of griefing supports griefers.
Publishing interviews with griefers supports griefers.

These two rules of thumb in SL journalism must always be considered. Once you have that firmly in your mind, and you are NOT a Something Awful kind of organ of W-Hat "news site," you then:

o Make sure that you use discretion on the photos -- better not to publish them at all -- that's the line serious outlets like Reuters or CNET have taken
o Make sure if you publish them that it is clear you aren't in any kind of celebratory mode, or humiliating victims all over again


I find this absence of plain old common sense always utterly missing in these dicussions with tekkies and it always puzzles me.

I explained in detail how the reason why you don't publish photos of griefing is because a photo of a griefing shows a victim being pummeled by a griefer and re-traumatizes the victim.

So if you publish a photo of griefing but as a side bar to a photo showing the person attacked normally standing, then you aren't "publishing a photo to support griefing".

It's pretty obvious and pretty easily understood by most editors and journalists in the normal world that "supporting griefing" means "supporting griefing".

Both you and Nobody seem to be particularly vexed about it. I think Uri gave some marvelous answers to Nobody and really put him in his place -- and frankly, it was a delight to see -- so often Nobody is impervious to any feedback what a know-it-all he sounds like, but somebody who calls their blog "KnowProse" would probably tend to think they do know it all.

It seems to me that while you reside in Britain and must be familiar with the common-law approach to rules for life, which is about simple rules that you apply and interpret through courts in each situation and build up a law of precent, you instead of groping toward a civil-law approach in which you can spell out like Holy Writ from the Bible or the Koran every single prescriptive rule that should govern you everywhere, or else you are a hopeless hypocrit.

Come off it, Ian, it's just plain stupid and makes you look like an ass.

Decide how you want to cover griefers with a consistent policy and articular it so we can hear what you're about.

And get beyond your little bugabears and gotchas on the Herald in your belief they've fed griefers and read the damn story -- the story is about Big Brother and Crayon messing up on security and handling of groups, not a celebration of griefing.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 7, 2007 @ 1:12 pm
     
 
"You seem to think that you can take statements like:

"Publishing photos of griefing supports griefing:
or
"Publishing interviews with griefers supports griefing"

and take them so EXTREMELY literally that you can then play gotcha on ANY photo or ANY interview without using any common sense about what constitutes SUPPORTING."

In other words, your answer is no: it doesn't always support griefing. Thanks. It's only taken you about 5000 words to get around to saying this.

So, what are these "common sense" rules? And what do you believe "supporting" means?

Please Prok, just answer these questions directly. I'm not sure that the comment system can cope with another 5000 words of you avoiding the issues.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Taran Rampersad (Nobody Fugazi)
January 7, 2007 @ 2:51 pm
     
 
Prok - quit dancing. Answer the questions directly, or if you are incapable of doing so - admit it and move on with your little life.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 7, 2007 @ 7:48 pm
     
 
No, it does support griefing, and I've amply illustrated how it does. It's a good rule of thumb not to publish photos that support griefers nor interview them to support them. You need to develop your own policies, and your own examples of best practices, or explain HOW the interview in question or pictures in question support griefers, in your view. You're not doing that.

Instead, you are playing some kind of game and I'm still not understanding your motivation here.

I've answered the questions fully, directly, and repeatedly: read the answers.

Honestly, I have absolutely no need to support any griefers. I've literally lost hunderds of US dollars due to griefing of me and my tenants. That's why this thread is particularly ridiculous -- you seem to be lying in wait and trying to catch me in some contradiction and pounce, but there's no pouncing to be had.

If your own school of thought is that you must be utterly silent on griefing and never discuss it at all, I heartily disagree. I think documenting attacks and expressing what happened to victims extremely important.

But since publishing photos and interviews is part of the enabling environment supporting griefers. you have to make sure that any photo or interview is not celebratory and supportive and makes it clear that griefing is condemned.

You are operating in a climate where any photo or interview can be construed as support. There are apparently not only griefers getting aid and comfort from this, there are also haters of griefers who are vindictive literalists who are also prepared to blame all the media for griefing -- when the fault of griefing lies squarely with griefers, and the media which celebrates them by portraying them in favourable light.

I've answered the questions fully, directly, completely, and showed all the difficulties and nuances. I'm explicating; you're griefing : )
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 7, 2007 @ 8:38 pm
     
 
I think you've answered the questions and the critiques here admirably, Tony, and professionally, in your own response to my challenge.

I think you've done a very credible job in answering questions, generic and specific. You've made a very explicit logic chain where I can see you are operating in good faith. I accept that.

I disagree with this one point, and I realize that reasonable people can disagree about this:

"2) Because I wanted to make a point about my right to post such a photo.
The caption under the photo reads: "Avatar Anshe Chung gets griefed." This is a statement of fact, without sensationalism or commentary."

See, that's just what I was afraid of. In order to show esprit de corps and solidarity with your fellow brethen in the media who've been issues these takedown notices, you want to make a little act of protest and put out the picture -- it's an in-your-face sort of gesture

I went through exactly these same thought processes. I thought, "OMG, we'll have to put up that picture so that we can display our determination in the face of any improper attack on the media -- it's about demonstrating determination." But as I thought about it, I had to say, but wait a minute, we didn't publish these photos and videos the first time. Of course, among the reasons was that I myself had been attacked and I felt that by giving this even more highlight in the Herald, I'd be fueling the attention cycle. I opted to put the story in my blog later instead.

As I thought about it, it just seemed to me that publicizing it when we hadn't before was to be guilty of piling on and joining an angry mob of journalists who were just protecting their turf and engaging in a hate-fest against a figure they found controversial. And I wasn't willing to do that.

I'm not saying you went through these thought processes. I'm just saying that you reached a determination that you had done your duty by putting what you felt was a statement of fact "Anshe gets grief" and putting the phrase "marred".

I always find "marred" to be a terribly inadequate verb. It makes it seem like a scratch on a book's dust jacket, not a denial-of-service attack where essentially you are denied the use of your parcel which is like a 3-D Internet page. You wouldn't say if your website was hit by a DNS attack that it was "marred". It's not just an ugly picture floating across your screen that will go away -- it's grinding your sim to a halt, forcing you to flee to another sim -- and then having THAT sim attacked.

I feel saying "Anshe got griefed" is almost to grief her AGAIN with invocation of the same thing all over again.

And I feel there's more than a frisson of glee there that says, hey, you got what's coming to you, bitch, because you tried to muzzle me and my friends in the media. That's how it is coming across.

When I see hugely objectionable responses like Joshua Nightshade offering to pay anyone $1000 Lindens on Second Citizen to get them to come up with links and personal testimony about how Anshe has harmed them in SL, so that he can mess with the Wikipedia entry on Anshe, I see just how far people are prepared to go, with any concern about bias or morals be damned (and I'm starting to see just how much social software not only leads to social cynicism but facilitates it).

I'm not saying you "went there," I'm just saying that it's a path I feel *does* lead there and I didn't want to "go there".

I accept you've thought about this carefully and professionally and made your move, and that it's an ongoing problem -- if Anshe is bombed tomrrow and the next day and the next day after that, you'll have to report it (or opt not to so as not to keep fueling it or being boring on your blog) -- and you'll be obliged to report that she also attempted to muzzle media.

In any event, I don't feel at all any need to bang on you for your decisions, I respect them, and I realize these are judgement calls that people try to make in the best way they can faced with the really annoying problem of these constant griefers.

I'll also say that I disagree about somehow refraining from use of the word "terrorism" or "cyber-terrorism". I don't shrink from criticism of not being politically correct, and don't feel I need to keep the word "terrorism" intact and insullied from misuse by application in the cyber space. Terrorism is terrorism.

Pranksterism, vandalism, kids acting up -- these are levels of stuff. I readily concede that many acts of griefing are merely kids acting up, doing the cyber equivalent of driving around town whacking at mailboxes with baseball bats or something.

But this attack on Anshe was very different. It's part of a planned, effective, professional, serial, and serious series of attacks on Second Life that are done with the aim of disrupting the entire world and trying to break and end that world in an extremist belief that its efforst to create something "more than a game" or "not a game" are morally or politically wrong in the attackers' view. Spiritually, though not technically or morally, it is akin to the Unabomber.

Many disagree with me on this and they rant on endlessly about my determination to describe and explicate these acts in this way. That's fine, I fear not. I think people can't stop aiding and abetting it until they are willing to realize that minimizing and justifying and relativizing these crimes or shrinking from the use of the word "terrorism" about them are all part and parcel of the substrate that upholds them.

I think that if Ian's and Nobody's real issue here is how Urizenus covered the Big Brother story, they need to take that up with him directly on the comments pages of the Herald (which they haven't done because as blog griefers, they want visibility here, I guess).

I'm satisfied that Uri made his relationship to griefing clear, and that his inclusion of a stringer's interview with the griefer was important as part of an investigation of a situation about which both BB and Crayon had been mum.

I'm not sure what's really driving Ian's concerns to this moment, despite his constant goading, because he's really the one unable to answer a single direct question about his views and his agenda here.

If he finds that Uri has aided and abetted griefers by publishing a picture of a scantily-clad female griefer posted over the BB house in SL, and publishing a stringer's interview with a griefer, then he should say so. I think Uri has taken care of the context and framed the story as well as you can when in fact editing a tabloid.

That's Uri's main premise in his replies to Nobody in the other BB thread.

Ian seems determined to find me at fault for making a generalized statement which I stand by, by attempting in gleeful gotcha mode to apply it to the Herald.

I don't make exceptions for the Herald just because I write there and have always been critical of it -- after all, the whole reason I can suffer the griefing I do is thanks to the gift that keeps on giving -- the Herald's publication of people's comments linking my avatar and RL person against my will. Uri spends a lot of time "eliding" comments he thinks will feed the litigious, and removing RL info seems to me to be one of those things that should be done in SL blogs.

But Ian didn't raise the Herald at first. He raised the Sydney Morning Herald.

I posted a list of all the publications and their range of responses. I noted that professional mass media like CNET and Reuters opted NOT to publish the pictures (nor did they interview the griefers). They're well aware not only of the moral code of not wishing to aid griefers with publicity; they're more concerned just to keep a professional tone and keep penis pictures out of their PG framework.

The Herald isn't a professional mass media outlet; it's an SL-related tabloid in blog format. As part of its mission to cover the hidden in SL which is hidden precisely because mass media can't function freely in a world soley owned and governed by a game company, tabloidism and satire is the metaphor that Uri has always opted to cover
the mysteries and contradictions and vagaries of SL.

I don't see why, if I made a series of defensible statements about the mass media in general, and how various sites covered it, and the range of coverage and audiences.

Joystiq probably felt they HAD to put in some kind of picture, evn with censor blocks, or the 14-year-olds who probably make up the mass of their readership would find they had totally wimped out. Reuters doesn't have to appeal to a demographics of 14-year-old boys. SL Insider published them just because they were filled with sectarian insiders' glee that Anshe was getting it stuck to her -- they've run articles deeply critical of Anshe in the past.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 7, 2007 @ 8:45 pm
     
 
>I don't see why, if I made a series of defensible statements about the mass media in general, and how various sites covered it, and the range of coverage and audiences -- that I have to be backed into a corner to somehow appear a hypocrite about application of these principles to the Herald.

Apply away -- I stand by them. You're welcome to use them to judge each and every Herald piece to see if it falls short of these ideals, and debate them.

But you're not willing to look at specific cases or discuss best practices or show us your own, considerably mastered and nuanced pieces on griefing, Ian and Nobody.

That's because there aren't any. And it's because you don't attempt the challenge, preferring merely to wimp out and sit on the sidelines and snipe at others who do. Therefore it's pretty pointless to continue this conversation with you.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Taran Rampersad (Nobody Fugazi)
January 7, 2007 @ 9:21 pm
     
 
Prok, you see - you were the one who came out with strong wording on all of this, but when questioned you have spiraled to a reasonable position.

You should count yourself fortunate that your position was challenged. As it is, you've flip flopped and see sawed away from your original statements to more flexible statements - which could probably be presented in 1% of the words you used in this entire discussion - had you stated what you meant originally. Perhaps you should think more before you write.

As for my stances on these things, I have pointed to my thoughts on this - but I'm not silly enough to make a generalization. I deal with these things case by case. However, you did make a generalization and you have suffered us all because you did not write what you originally meant.

Imagine how much else you could have done had you made your statements properly at the very start - and how much time you would save should you actually stop resorting to personal attacks.

Good day, ma'am. Feel free to have the last word, I'm sure it will be verbose and meandering. :-)
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 7, 2007 @ 9:36 pm
     
 
I stand by my comments, which are strong and remain strong. I have not spiraled down to anything; I've merely expanded and elaborated on what I said originally, and stand by completely:

Publishing pictures of griefers supports them.
Publishing interviews with griefers supports them.

The media and blogs around SL face and incredible challenge when they try to cover griefing. They ought not to publish pictures and interviews which support griefing.

I find every single word here of value, and I find you and Ian completely impoverished in your thought and presentation. And given that I've seen this type of behaviour of yours trounced on Raph's blog by thoughtful readers, or trounced in other threads here by Uri, I'm encouraged to continue, as I know I'm not alone. Neither of you -- and your fellow tekkie literalists -- can debate in good faith, supply examples, cite good practices, or link to your own writings -- because they don't exist.

The problem with you tekkie literalists is that you believe that generalizing, making rules of thumb, or using common sense based on general statements is something that is "silly" or "cannot be admitted into your lexicon" or "can't be part of your repertoire". It's somehow "unscientific" or something, though this is patently absurd; what's unscientific is the petulant and emotional relationship you have to keeping everything a disjointed series of static truisms that never rise to a concept or article of common sense.

And that's why we can't let tekkies take over the world, the world we'll all be spending so much more time in, the 3-D Internet, because your flat, 2-D representation of things based on code-as-law and yes/no switches is not sufficient to guide and govern human experience. Not at all.

My statements were proper at the start; and proper at the end -- I don't shrink from generalizations nor common sense -- common sense that involves rational explication of statments and logic and citing of examples -- all things you shrink from in the name of not rising above the stark yes/no lines of code in your diminished little world to make some kind of conceptual, overarching framework.

It's really an appalling state of affairs and I grow increasingly alarmed at the way people like you feign to possess "knowledge" and are all over the Internet with half-baked and half-educated theses like this without any ability to penetrate into the essence of things because you reject conceptual thinking itself. It's really quite awful.

I wrote what I meant; I generalized and made an excellent rule of thumb that many people will remember if they think about it; I explained the difficulties in applying the generality which remains a good rule of thumb, but will be faced with challenges.

In your world, there can't be any summing up or general statements or common sense or rule of thumb -- the things that have governed human interation for centuries -- and you wish to subsitute it with an endless series of individual cases that can never be abstracted to create a concept.

It is hugely, hugely scary. I'm absolutely right in my challenge to you, Ian, and csven for very much larger philosophical reasons.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 8, 2007 @ 4:21 am
     
 
"I find every single word here of value, and I find you and Ian completely impoverished in your thought and presentation."

Fine Prok: I really care little for what you think anymore, as it's fairly obvious that anyone who asks you to clarify your position is, according to you, "a griefer", "supporting griefing" or whatever.

Your tactic, here as elsewhere, is simple:

1. Make strong statement
2. Claim that anyone asking you to justify it is obviously an idiot.
3. When pressed, slide your position to something more defensible.
4. When pressed on this, deny it and reiterate your original position.
5. Repeat, with no less than 500 words per answer, until people simply get bored of reading and you can "win" by having the last word (which, of course, is exactly what you'll do here).

It's the debating tactics of the playground, and simply demonstrates that you're intellectually bankrupt and a complete irrelevance to the future of Second Life - other than to cause a lot of other people to waste a lot of time giving you the attention you appear to crave so much.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 8, 2007 @ 1:19 pm
     
 
Fascinating to see how the Sydney Morning Herald now has the Anshe DMCA follow-up story done -- they did an excellent job and covered all the bases, my hat is off to them:

http://blogs.smh.com.au/mashup/archives/009133.html

Ian, I'd sum up your position (and Nobody's and often csven's) as follows:

1. Deny some strong statement I make because you don't like me or the statement.
2. Be unable to come up with any logical and coherent counter-argument.
3. Fume some, and call names.
4. Refuse to do your own writing on the subject, think your own thought, or cite your own examples or links to examples.
5. Fume some more, and claim I'm dodging the issue.
6. Lather, rinse repeat.
7. Add a coda that I'm 'intellectually bankrupt' though you've not provided a single piece of writing, a single coherent argument, or a single link or example yourself -- you've only been able to sputter and play gotcha ROFL.

Glad we got that sorted!
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ian Betteridge
January 8, 2007 @ 2:11 pm
     
 
"Deny some strong statement I make because you don't like me or the statement."

Except, of course, that I never actually denied your original premise, because you never actually stated it clearly enough for me to do so. You first claimed:

"Publishing pictures of griefer incidents supports griefing"

You then tried to describe lots of edge cases where this isn't really true, mostly based around the tone of the coverage - while holding on to your original position.

But I never actually got on to attacking your substantive point, because you never actually made it clearly enough for me to do so. And I'm attacking *you* for attempting to dance around the discussion and fudge the issue.

Had you actually bothered to state your argument and stick to it in the first place, we might have had a substantive discussion. But you declined doing so, because you knew that you actually couldn't argue for it: it's clear from all the fudging and hedging that you've done that you don't believe it at all. Like a Soviet era slogan writer, you know that a big slogan beats a reasonable argument if you paint in letters that are high enough.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 8, 2007 @ 4:23 pm
     
 
We've been over this; I stated it clearly; you have problems with ordinary common sense and a clear set of field examples -- including today's SMH which is excellent.

I'm looking forward to seeing you write up a policy on how to deal with griefing, accentuated with various bright-red-line examples, on your own blog or here, so that we can see your handiwork. Mine is clearly inadequate for you -- so write your own.

I've stated my argument; stuck to it; elaborated it; explained it for the tone-deaf and literalist-dumb.

You're the one who is fudging and hedging by refusing to outline your own evidently very strong opinions on the issue, supplemented by numerous clear-cut anecdotes and field practices in your possession which you've been witholding from us. So, get busy on that blog, Ian, it needs updating.

COMMUNISM = SOVIET POWER PLUS ELECTRIFICATION OF THE WHOLE COUNTRY.

COMMUNISM - ELECTRIFICATION OF THE WHOLE COUNTRY = SOVIET POWER.
 
     
 
     
   
 
 
     
 
     
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