Well, as I blogged in August, the Teens, and their parents along with them are being trodden on as another minority gets to feel LL’s dictatorial Rules.
Much has been written about this change and I cannot add to the anger and anxiety that has already been expressed without repeating stuff that has been said better by many, many others....here.
From my own perspective I would still class Facebook as being massively more dangerous (potentially) than SL could ever be, and walking down the street in London as being massively more dangerous than Facebook.
This is not in any way to condone the move by LL, just my attempt to get a perspective on the situation.
Most people have assumed that this is a piece of pure stupidity by LL and that they are all idiots. This may be true.
If, as a mental exercise we assume, however, that LL is a successful bunch of money hungry entrepreneurs who know exactly what they are doing.... why have they done this? The cutting of overheads by disbanding an existing grid which isn’t that profitable doesn’t really save them that much money, I would guess, especially as these teens are potential customers they are alienating, possibly for ever.
I fear that adults could be hurt by this move as much as teens. I know that sounds weird, but, let’s consider the dangers..
1) A 16/17 year old gets exposed to more sex than is generally ‘good’ for them, whatever that means. Now, assuming, rightly or wrongly, that every child who has a computer has been given that Parental Talk about the Dangers of the Internet, then any bad experience should be confined to their computer screen, rather than their RL....and there can't be many teens who haven't had an inappropriate email attachment sent by one of their peers..
2) An adult could mistakenly get involved with an under age child. (Let’s assume that every child of 16/17 is far more computer savvy than their parents). This comes into the public realm and the Media get hold of this story. My god the Media would love it. ...not so the person’s family, boss, etc...(this fear is voiced often enough in the comments on SL blog to be classed as a major concern).
Would either of these events give LL an option of pressuring people to reveal their real names?
I think so.
Protecting Children is the number one moral lever, (even better than National Security which they tried to use against Wikileaks) and an argument no-one will counter.
Those holding on to their anonymity could be painted as potential paedophiles, “it would be safer for you to reveal your name than protect your anonymity”.
Real Names is where the money lies for LL. Advertising, and only advertising, is why LL want 100 million users....and it wants the data they have to connect up to your Facebook profile, Amazon account, and of course, your Credit Card. That is where the Lab will get rich, by closing the circle.
Is this another nail in the coffin for Anonymity?
I have mentioned this before and only time will tell if I am right or simply a paranoid, deluded, conspiracy theorist.
In the mean time, I will continue to behave well to everyone I meet, as will all my friends.... and trust that 99.9% of teenagers are world-wise enough to steer their way through a grown up world.
My experience of teens is that they are wiser than we tend to give them credit for..