Sunday, January 5, 2014

Direct Messages for Second Life Web Profiles Disabled

In October 2011, Linden Lab added a feature to residents' profiles on the Internet on . Already able to make public posts on them, they could then also send private "Direct Messages." This feature allowed users to privately communicate with one another without logging on. At least they could until December 2013, when residents began noticing this option was disabled. This was traced to some profile maintenance on December 12.

Inara Pey managed to get in contact with Linden Lab's communications director, Pete Linden. Pete told her that indeed the feature was no longer available.

On this inquiry, I can confirm that yes, as a result of a rise in abuse of the system, we have turned off the direct message function on profiles.

This isn't the first time Linden Lab has given misuse of a feature as a reason for discontinuing it. Some third-party viewers had the ability to tell their users what viewer everyone else was using. But in February 2012, Linden Lab ordered that this feature be removed. Team Firestorm leader Jessica Lyon stated that the Lab had been asking her for several months about removing this feature saying there were reports of "bullying" because of it. It was a reason some residents found hard to believe was the Lab's main concern.

Checking my own profile, there were a couple spam messages. Not everyone on my feed had these, however, "Um, I don't see any ads."

While a few people seem to be in favor of the Lab's decision to remove direct messaged, "Yay! I found them annoying." The majority are not, "It's ridiculous for it to be shut off just because some people can't be bothered to use the tools already there to manage their privacy; it's not that hard to avoid getting spam or any PMs at all if one doesn't like the feature. Typical overkill to take it away from all of us who *did* use and enjoy it!" Loki Eliot joked, "OK so its not a good idea to tell Linden Lab of any bugs that can lead to service abuse in case LL can't fix it and decide to remove the service."

So it seems the feature is gone because of some spammers, "one rotten apple does spoil the bunch."

Sources: Daniel Voyager, Inara Pey, Ciaran Laval

Bixyl Shuftan

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