Flatterbots Violate Second Life's Terms of Service, Argues Mr. Epsilon (Comment of the Week)
Controversy continues over the plague of "flatterbots" in Second Life, which are reportedly earning their owner $160 a day, and in the comments of our latest post, NWN reader "DBDigital Epsilon" makes the interesting case that Flatterbots violate SL's Terms of Service:
"For those that doubt is not against the Terms of Service: While there isn't directly anything saying 'begging' I would like to point to:
8.2 You will not post or transmit prohibited Content, including any Content that is illegal, harassing or violates any person's rights. (ii) Impersonate any person or entity without their consent, or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation,
"The [Flatterbot behavior] above is misrepresentation your affiliation for the purpose of acquiring money. And:"
8.3 You agree that you will not post or transmit Content or code that may be harmful, impede other users' functionality, invade other users' privacy, or surreptitiously or negatively impact any system or network. (iii) Use robots or other automated means to increase traffic to any Virtual Land; (iv) Engage in malicious or disruptive conduct that impedes or interferes with other users' normal use of the Service;
"Now granted the accounts may or may not be increasing traffic, dependent upon the settings in the account. But it is disruptive to be in a store see bots that pester for money and you might leave the location just to get away from it. Hence it is interfering with sales of the store owner.
"So again, this ultimately against the TOS and I would suggest that everyone report every Flatterbot they see, stating what is going on and that it is a violation of TOS. They will take action I think. Especially since the owner has said they are making a lot of money off this scheme."
This strikes me as somewhat of a stretch, but I definitely think one can argue Flatterbots likely violate the spirit of the TOS, if not the letter. In any case, if the controversy continues and gets more heated, there's a good chance Linden Lab will simply update the TOS to ban Flatterbots more explicitly.Tweet