Linden Lab versus the griefers

Tateru Nino
T. Nino|06.05.09

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Linden Lab versus the griefers

Looking back over the rather long, rich and tumultuous history of Second Life, it seems that Linden Lab finally has their griefer problems more or less eliminated. That doesn't mean that they're gone, by any means. Griefing still happens every day, but it's now a problem for individual users and communities. The problems that Linden Lab itself had with griefers are, pretty much, over.

Back in the day (before free accounts) griefers were a big-time problem for the Lab. A small group of griefers could take down or impede significant quantities of the Second Life architecture, eliminating any semblance of service for thousands or tens of thousands of users. Those days are long past.

These days, the world-busting, super-powered griefers are gone, replaced only by a digital scattering of bullies who target the passionate and the concerned. A handful of gormless anti-everythings who lack the ability and the numbers for large-scale mischief.

You've probably seen the sort slouching around the local off-licence.

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Not now

While those remain are no more and no less a problem for people either in Second Life or out of it, they're no longer a significant friction-point for Linden Lab from a service perspective.

However much trouble they might cause individuals, small groups and occasional communities, their maximum havoc isn't even a blip on the Lab's service radar anymore. They're simply too ineffectual and too small in number. For every vocal individual or community being actively griefed, there are hundreds or thousands of others that are – at that time – operating without incident. Even minor service-level issues cause more significant trouble across a larger population than that.

Linden Lab have hardened their architecture significantly over the years, and while the overall user-population of Second Life has continued to burgeon, the population of griefers has shown negligible growth over the years. In short, they're increasingly outnumbered – a dwindling percentage of the active user-base, only able to field small-scale disruption and insults.

If you're a regular target of such disruptions, by virtue of holding a strong opinion on, well more-or-less anything or spending time with new users, then that might seem like little comfort. For Linden Lab, however, it's a once-huge burden and resource-drain that has, at long last, been laid to rest.

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