Friday, November 8, 2013
How NOT to Be a Manager on Second Life
A couple of nights ago, four friends and I were goofing around and decided to go to a well-known Sandbox to play around. One of our friends, Nami, went afk at the landing point, and so to keep us all together, the remaining four of us pushed her off of the landing area (where it was no-build) to the green (where it was build) so that we could put her in a ball and roll her to a corner until she came back.
While we were standing around waiting for Faust to build the Ball of Transportation, I was suddenly kicked to the next sim over. I have to admit, I initially thought I was orbited because that's exactly how it seemed the last time; it wasn't until I saw the message below that I began to think it wasn't a griefer, but it seemed very strange that I would be kicked out of a sim while standing there and watching a friend build something.
[2013/11/06 22:16:19] Second Life: [Resident] ejected you from this land.
I was very confused, and so were my friends (we were chatting over voice) and so one of them - Fluxa - teleported me back, but I was bounced back to my home by something else, which doesn't appear to have remained in my log. A moment later, Fluxa said she had been ejected as well - but weirdly none of our other three friends were kicked. Someone grabbed the rules, trying to figure out why were were kicked; since Fluxa and I were both dressed in Lolita, we thought perhaps it was because we were mistaken for children. Not wanting to make assumptions, I contacted the person in question.
[2013/11/06 22:20:22] Deoridhe Quandry: Excuse me, why did you eject me?
I never received a response - and I mean that quite literally. At no point did this person ever respond to me. He did respond to Fluxa, but not with anything approaching an answer. We eventually discovered he thought Fluxa and I were pushing Faust, an assumption made all the more incredible by the fact that Fluxa and Faust are partners in Second Life and all of us were standing around each other on the green when first I and then Fluxa was banned. [Her perspective is outlined here.]
After some checking around, I found another manager who was online and had a deeply unproductive interaction. I have no idea if he agreed with [Resident] or not, but he did direct me to who seemed to be the current head manager of the Sandbox, as the Sandbox Group Creator was no longer part of the group.
[2013/11/06 22:30:54] Deoridhe Quandry: Excuse me, Mr. [Manager]; do you have a moment to speak with me regarding the Fermi Landgroup you manage?
[2013/11/06 22:31:27] [Manager]: Yes what do you need ?
[2013/11/06 22:31:55] Deoridhe Quandry: I was just banned for playing with a friend of mine in the group by [Resident] and I was wondering if there was a way to appeal the ban?
[2013/11/06 22:32:09] Deoridhe Quandry: He apparently banned me for being one of four people pushing a fifth friend of ours into the building area.
[2013/11/06 22:32:20] Deoridhe Quandry: But he refused t respond to me; he responded to a friend he also banned.
[2013/11/06 22:33:10] Deoridhe Quandry: Fluxa Core
[2013/11/06 22:34:32] [Manager]: well it is him you will need to talk to he can take you off the list but he must do it or the owner. I would help if I could
[2013/11/06 22:34:54] Deoridhe Quandry: He refuses to respond to me. 8/ But I will contact her - what's her full name?
[2013/11/06 22:35:29] [Manager]: [Owner] ... even better I think good luck
[2013/11/06 22:35:41] Deoridhe Quandry: Thank you so kindly.
[2013/11/06 22:35:54] [Manager]: :)
So, as recommended, I sent the following message to the owner.
Dear Ms. [OWNER]:
This evening (11-06, around 10:00 SLT) at [XXX] Sandbox, I am my friends teleported in to do some building and playing around. Approximately ten to fifteen minutes after I was there with my four friends, I was ejected by [RESIDENT]). When my friends teleported me back (I was confused by being ejected) I was ejected again by an object and now I seem to be banned from the sim.
I contacted Mr. [RESIDENT], but he did not respond. Mr. [MANAGER] was online at the time but said he could not help me, and directed me to you.
Mr. [RESIDENT] did respond to a friend of mine (Fluxa Core, also banned) saying the ban was for pushing a mutual friend of ours (Nami Lithanos) who was afk at the time. We wanted to take her with us to the building area, and when she returned she informed him that we were her friends and not griefing her [Ed. I was wrong about this - he contacted Faust]. He refused to lift the ban, however. Also confusingly, the two other people who were pushing Nami (Faust Steamer and grammaticalerror) were neither ejected nor banned.
I would appreciate your help in this matter, as I find the events highly confusing and disturbing. I wanted to play with my friends, not get banned from a sim.
Thank you very much.
We did eventually become unbanned after [Resident] contacted Faust, who had been one of the four pushing Nami onto the green - one of the two curiously not ejected and banned - and he told [Resident] that we were friends.All of us wondered why he simply had not done this at first - especially since Faust was one of the people pushing others; it seemed simply incomprehensible.
I did receive a response from the Owner, eventually, and that is what inspired this post, because I simply couldn't believe that not only did the owner of the Sandbox encourage her Managers to ban people without anyone involved in an interaction registering a complaint, she also significantly did not respond to any of the concerns I raised. Instead, she cut and pasted a response to Fluxa. This is, of course, her right - being the Owner of a Sandbox doesn't mean one actually has to put any effort into the job, any more than her managers need to learn to respond to IMs or ask for information before banning people, but it certainly cemented my opinion of her sim and showed that her staff mismanagement was a direct result of her wishes.
I will simply paste here the message I sent to your friend Fluxa about the events last night on [XXX]:
[06:39] [Owner]: When you arrived in [XXX] and started pushing your friends, it appeared to be a griefing, so the manager was quite right to eject you. We are not in the habit of patiently contacting griefers to plead with them not to abuse others on the sim as it is no in their nature to respond to such requests. In view of the circumstances, I affirm [Manager]'s choice to send you home, and also his choice to unban you. In the future, would you kindly either take active play such as pushing to the vehicle area (the landmark for which I am providing you) [Ed. She did not provide me with this landmark] or contact a manager BEFORE you appear to be breaking the sim rules against harrassment. It would make things much easier for us. Also, it might do to contact [Manager] and apologize for the inconvenience. Have a good day.
One of the frustrating things in Second Life is the arbitrariness of applied rules. Not only did only two of the four people pushing other people get banned, but a Manager choosing to enforce the rules is now considered an inconvenience to the manager, and in some places people are expected to contact those in their surroundings to announce that they aren't engaging in ill-defined harassment - remember there were FOUR of us pushing a fifth, but only two of the four were banned. It also ignores the simple fact that both Fluxa and I contacted the manager, indicating we were more than responsive to IMs.
Inaccuracy of this magnitude is both unbecoming and pathetic.
Also of note - once both Fluxa and I were unbanned we remained in the sim in a sort of ...defiance, and [Resident] circled around us at one point and paused to listen in to our very fascinating discussion of AOs for a while. He never said anything, but he had to come quite a ways to stand fifteen feet away from us, as we had moved to a far corner of the sim to dance together and chat, not wanting to have something one of us did mislabeled "harassment" again.
I seriously doubt this post will have any effect on the sim in question. They are major and established, and I'm not even naming them. I do hope that enumerating this interaction will give other, more responsible Owners and Managers pause, though, in how they interact with other residents and whether they should be a manager if they consider doing a self-imposed job an "inconvenience". If one is going to ban people for presumed harassment, it's rather more an inconvenience for the people who were orbited and banned - and their friends who are trying to get them unbanned - than it is for a person who seemingly can't respond to an IM.