Friday, December 14, 2012

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New SL Blog Tracking the (Alleged) Beggar Bots of SL

SL beggar bots

SL Vanity Bots is a new Second Life blog by an unknown author (as far as I can tell) dedicated to one purpose and one purpose only: Naming the "beggar bots" that are plaguing Second Life now, wheedling L$ "donations" from established users through flattery and wheedling. I can't verify whether the avatars named in the blog are indeed beggar bots (Flatterbots as they're sometimes called), but the fact that such a blog exists is a sign of the SL times.


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Scarp Godenot

Well only one entity can deal with this and that is Linden Lab itself. They need to track down these accounts and find out where they originate.

Then deal with them harshly.

Any word from the Lab as to awareness of this issue?

Shug Maitland

This *might* be a sign of desperate measures taken in desperate RL financial times.
On the other hand they may just be scumbags.
Yah, try as I might to keep a positive attitude, I am assuming the second.


Beggar bots in SL are the equivalent of gold farmers in an MMO game.

Farmers usually hunt mobiles or employ crafting/resource gathering skills to obtain in-game currency for resale into legal tender. Where possible, they will utilize third party software to help facilitate these activities; regardless of whether they are against the terms of service or not.

More recently, gold farmers have involved themselves in more nefarious schemes such as in-world hacking and account scamming to improve their bottom line.

Second Life has always been an attractive platform for botting - especially given that no grinding or equipment acquisition is required. However, the recent onset of beggar bots, incessant pay for group join requests, phishing attempts posing as surveys and scripted object giveaways suggests to me that a gold farming consortium has taken an interest in Second Life.

Eliminating farmers wholesale has proven to be ineffective since many are legitimate accounts that have either been compromised or sold. Even Blizzard, with all it's resources, has yet to quell gold farming completely.

The company has however, made significant strides on reducing scam and spam attempts by placing restrictions on trial (free) accounts, vigorously monitoring their online forums and offering hardware key authentication services.

As for solutions pertaining to Second Life, Linden Lab can adopt a few of the aforementioned ones save for account restrictions as a significant portion of the user base are non-premium members.

Individual land owners have their own tools such as disallowing avatars without payment on file in their store. Each will need to make a judgment call on what restriction parameters work best for them.

The most potent weapon in the battle against beggar bots is education. Having this as a forefront issue on and viewer login pages will help significantly.

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