Here is a wicked cool interview of a workshop with Daniel Linden - the dude responsible for safety and governance in safety in SL. Many kudos to Stanford for putting out this awesome video!
The video is awesome, and Daniel is an articulate and honest representative of Linden Labs. I love listening to the history of Second Life, and I am completely engaged by the "hands off" approach toward governance. Age play was one of the issues that was raised, and "what is the age of consent for a weasel?" There are so many facets and subsets of subsets of role playing groups, and there really is no way to know, or to control, all of the different groups. I was glad to hear that Daniel never heard of Goreans, since I never heard of them either. But, the simple truth is that Linden labs can't predict who will or won't come in or stay in SL. "Serial Fetishists" are a part of the experience - good or bad.
Daniel is responsible for the 6 rules of community standard, and discusses how SL regulates itself. He discusses that he doesn't see that there will ever be a parliament that rules SL - although people are certainly welcome to create it. Daniel discusses the RL businesses like Nissan and Pontiac. They wave their "hippie flag" by treating every person the same and "leveling the playing field."
I love his whole discussion of the discourse changes in SL. In SL, the person may be a high powered designer and tellingly articulate. But, that same person could be a produce manager at Pathmark in RL. Since I look at chat speech, I was fascinated by his examination of this topic. He, too, finds that people are different - some become BETTER WRITERS in Second Life! I soooo hope some English teachers are reading this :-)
But, what I love most is Daniel's brutal honesty. This is the element of Second Life that I like the most - the honesty of the creators. Philip Linden, for example, has always been honest and forthright in his interviews, and I enjoy listening to him. Daniel discusses the inability to control violations of standards. For example, the idea that you can't share information about others is impossible to enforce, so rules like that are going to be dropped. They "can't enforce intolerance."
The libertarian approach of Second Life is very appealing to me. I am not overly political, but I do support free speech. For example, I am a huge fan of Howard Stern. I know - some of you are gasping. While I don't actually listen to the show too often (lack of time), and I am not interested in the sexy stuff he does, I do celebrate his ability to speak freely on satellite. He can do and say whatever and be as offensive as he wants to be, and people are PAYING to listen to him. Second Life is a little like that. We pay to be a part of this world, and we have to buy into the fact that there is good and bad stuff. I turn the station when Stern is doing something boring or stupid, but I ultimately have control of the dial. Likewise, I can teleport out of stupid content in SL. The freedom resides in the ability to CHOOSE, every day, good content.