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Friday, December 19, 2008


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Rez Gray

Politically, Religiously, and Sexual Orientataionally Intolerant.

Sometimes I'll make a simple remark like "oh, firefox?" and I'll get three earfuls of "No, you dumbarse! I use Opera! Firefox is shi..." etc, etc. Worse on RL matters like gun control.

Thankfully, as you said, we can air our grievances by perforating our debaters.

Tateru Nino

Does someone's personal politics matter? Especially if you already know the person?


I agree with the theory that most are apolitical. The night before the election I was surprised to discover that a good SL friend was not only a strict conservative but also campaigning for McCain across the grid. Politics had never entered our conversations, and our hangtime had never happened to cross into areas that raised any red flags about our opposing views. She took me to a virtual McCain rally and there were avs of every shape, size and species (including four Sarah Palins), most engaged in discussion about conservative issues. I guess I'd assumed most residents were raging liberals like myself, but after that experience I realized that people of all viewpoints are on the grid... AND just how much politics is largely absent from my everyday in-world life.

What IS a part of my everyday in-world life, however, is discourse, and usually with people from other countries/cultures. The specific labels and agendas of particular political parties very rarely enter into things, which is why I find Zoe Connelly's "big announcement" kinda laughable. So what, she's not wildly liberal. And? How does that affect her virtual life? I don't think SL is largely politically intolerant -- it's not a democracy, so these RL political alliances don't matter. Plus, a lot of people could care less.

/me shrugs.

CyFishy Traveler

I checked the blog itself to see if she was going to cite any examples of conservative-libertarian types being ostracized in SL, but she simply said that she made this announcement "knowing" that certain people would stop speaking to her. She knows these people better than I do, so I'll have to take her word for it, but I've yet to cut somebody out of my circle for the crime of conservatism.

It's my general experience that most conservatives who find themselves unwelcome in a given predominantly-liberal online environment are not being shunned for being conservatives, they're shunned for being asshats about it. As long as you're not unbearably smug and condescending about expressing your views, and willing to debate things civilly, I think you'll probably be okay.

Nightbird Glineux

I leave my RL politics at the log-in screen, and I've never been put through a litmus test by anyone to see if I'm acceptable to them politically. If somebody did, I'd probably tell her or him that it was none of their business.

Morris Vig

Feh. There are plenty of conservatives on the grid. Conservatives just haven't had anything meaningful to crow about in a few years. Progressives, on the other hand, have been on a bit of a roll. Of course they would be more vocal!


I don't see it. In RL, the everyday conservative is less vocal about political views than the everyday liberal. Why should SL be any different?

There was no shortage of McCain and Ron Paul activity throughout the election season, but it's back to daily business now.

Toxic Menges

I get a mental image of lots of raving furries being staunch conservatives secretly, and use SL as an outlet for their more liberal side.

I've rarely had a conversation regarding politics with another person in SL, I have better things to do with my time inworld that talk about RL issues that have no impact on my Second Life. I come here to escape and create and imagine.

It's a shame for Zoe's friends who she thinks will no longer talk to her that they are unable to see past a set of beliefs that she has. Probably better off without them Zoe..She was perfectly acceptable as a friend before.

Aren't people odd?

Doubledown Tandino

/me throws shoes at everyone

Iggy O

I don't run into the intolerance of political views. Maybe it's where I go. Lots of Uber-geeks will diss you for something, but they don't seem to be the majority of SL residents.

Politics? Most avatars keep it to themselves. And remember, SL is a very international community: despite the Bush-hating I've found, most internationals don't care about US politics.

Once I ran into a woman at a WA saying "Nobama" again and again, and when I said "Yesbama" she LOLed me, and we had a nice chat about McCain, instead of a flame-war.

Religious intolerance? Um, no way. I'm in a RL spiritual community (neo-paganism part of the Unitarian Universalist Church) that gets a lot of fear and loathing IRL. Yet I've found fellow neo-pagans (Blessed Solstice, y'all) happily at home on the grid. My UU friends have a SL church. The attack on the Overturners Christian Ministry (reported in the SL Herald) seems to be a sort of exception to the tolerance I've found in-world.

There were a lot of Obama signs about, but that may be a demographic thing--voters under 35 broke heavily for him in the election. Let's see if it continues.

Ciaran Laval

I'm a lefty, it rarely ever becomes an issue in RL, let alone SL and I don't see why Zoe has an issue over her beliefs. This whole if you support this view you must fit this profile is absolute balderdash.

Zoe Connolly

The reason for my fear has always been due to what I read in open chat at dances or on various Group IM/Chat. The anti-Christian, anti-Conservative rants kept me quiet for nearly 2 years in SL.

Now I'm finding those fears were unfounded. I believe people to be open to political discussion as long as people do it in a polite manner.

It may also be the case that my silence encouraged the more outrageous comments simply because they thought I was a fellow traveler.

So far I'm pleased to say, I've lost no friends. In fact I may have gained a few friends since the publishing of my post. Many conservatives and conservative-leaning libertarians have written thanking me for taking a public stand. Most think the same way I've felt, and now feel a little encouragement.


I have never understood that facet of American conservativism where some adherents claim with no actual evidence that such and such an entity is overwhelmingly liberal and secular, and that it is somehow brave to announce that one is a conservative or a Christian, like they're some sure-to-be-victimized-by-the-Left minority, or that only conservatives are Christian. They're hardly about to be persecuted, and most people don't care.

Balthasar Bookmite

I kinda always assumed there was a more of a liberal bent, at least socially, to SL because of the kind of content found on the grid.

I only really talk about politics with those who I know are fellow liberals so that way I get into a giant fight about politics when I know we can't change other's POV.

Gahum Riptide

When I speak ill about conservatives. my ire is towards the social conservatives who wish gays would "shut up" and want to morally legislate everything from a biblical point of view. I'm fine with fiscal conservatives and those who wish for a lower level of government involvement, spending, and taxing (which doesn't seem to mesh with most people who are like Bush, for instance). You can be conservative, but if your view point steps on me and strips away my liberties, I'm definitely going to talk ill about you.


I think Doubledown scored the winner. :)

But seriously, this whole political thing is so American-focussed. There are a lot of us out there (in here?) who don't even understand American politics, let alone care much one way or the other about a person's views. I didn't even know what GOP meant until recently.

If Zoe thought it was important to her then good on you Zoe for speaking out. It's only when important things happen that you find out who your true friends are and I'm glad it was good news.

Zoe Connolly

"/me throws shoes at everyone"

@Doubledown Tandino

I hope those are Tesla or ShinyThings shoes you're throwing. I could use a few more pair ;)

Arcadia Codesmith

As a diehard liberal, I am happy to report that I am in complete agreement with Zoe's last post. Toss some my way, too!

Corcosman Voom

"And how will the political tenure change when President Bush finally leaves office?"


I believe that should read 'political tenor', yes?

Jura Shepherd

I learned about Second Life from reading Reason Online, a libertarian magazine website. I found the idea of a world that leftie/rightie control-freaks hadn't gotten the filthy paws on (yet) to be appealing. I never gave much thought to what other SLers would think of my libertarian sway but I certainly don't feel like it's some dark secret. I guess it's because I assume that, regardless of lables, we're all probably closer to like-minded than not.
SL seems pretty tolerant to me. It takes a certain ammount of smarts just to stick with it and smart people aren't the type to go around being politically obnoxious.

Maggie Darwin

Conservatives are OK with CyFishie as long as they don't flaunt it. That's being an asshat.

You know, just like queers are OK as long as they don't rub your nose in it. Holding hands in public and so forth... :-)

Hi, Rez!

Maggie Darwin

Nobody ever brings RL gun-prohibition politics into SL...except when they insist that you not wear a holstered, non-firing, decorative weapon on your av in their no-script, no-rez parcel (where a real gun won't work anyway) because it's a "weapons-free zone".

Liberals believe in free speech. As long as it's the right *kind* of speech, of course...

Edward Pearse


As I said to Zoe early on, the labels are usually more of the cause of problems. In Australia the leading conservative party is called the Liberal party. The governing party at the moment is the Labor party who are, supposedly, in opposition to the conservatives. Yet for many years it's been hard to tell them apart on their politics.

As far as I'm aware the conservative vs liberal mentality seems to be a uniquely American trait. Other countries have differing political spectrums but the US seems to present this all-or-nothing them-or-us approach to politics. Which possibly scares those who aren't at the end of either spectrum to worry they might lose friends over it.

Jack Abraham

Given that I've yet to find a candidate who agrees with me about much of anything, I'm not surprised that I can't find anyone in SL who can hear my poltical views and not take exception to them. I've been forced to TP or log out to end political tirades by people who are otherwise my friends. I don't blame SL, but the culture of American politics, which has become so venomous that the idea of disagreements between people of good will has become anathema.

CyFishy Traveler

@Maggie--what? Seriously, just . . . what?

At what point did I say or even imply that I'm okay with conservatives as long as they're conservative behind closed doors and don't bother anybody about it? It's simply been my observation that most conservatives who whine about ill-treatment at the hands of angry liberals tend to suffer from the Prokovy Neva Delusion--the notion that you're 'controversial' because of your views and not because you're being a complete jerk to people you disagree with.

Arcadian Vanalten

Unfortunately, I HAVE seen folks get ripped on for being non-liberal, although I have as of yet to see the reverse happen. It generally starts w/ a comment that becomes a tirade against the conservatives, and when one conservative present finally speaks up, he/she plays fresh meat in the piranha pool. I have the opportunity to play several clubs, and I've seen it happen several times at different venues. Fortunately, most clubs eventually adopt a "No Politic" rule that cuts that out.

Even had one lady IM me in horror b/c one of her friends had something positive about Sarah Palin in her profile and was debating unfriending the other lady over it when she discovered that about her. SHe relented when I noted that was a distinctly intolerant and ironically un-liberal attitude, but it was still troubling.

Personally, I'm one of the many "Purple People" who have an equally intense distrust of both political parties, although each has occasionally accidentally produced some good ideas that committees didn't manage to completely destroy.

As for not understanding US politics, understanding is not necessary, LOL. I doubt very seriously that most of us in the US really understand it either, beyond, "Well, there's Us and there's Them, and Us has gotta win at all costs!"

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