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    Posted June 2, 2008 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Stories from Second Life

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    Virtual Nazi griefs Jewish SL residents

    On Sunday morning, June 1, 2008, Anais Atlantis logged on to Second Life to shop for virtual Judaica at The Jewish Store on Agila. At the "Official Store of Second Life Synagogue and TMA Jewish Neighborhood," Anais found everything a Jewish gift shop should have: Star of David necklaces, Hanukkah menorahs (candelabrum), Mezuzahs (doorpost cases) and Tallitot (prayer shawls). The store also had a copy of "The Turner Diaries" - a 1978 pro-Nazi novel - floating in the middle of its space.


    The larger-than-avatar depiction of the Neo-Nazi publication rotated slowing, apparently to make its cover of young people with firearms visible from all angles. Anais tried to return the book to its owner and creator, but lacked land permissions to do so. She immediately called for assistance on the Second Life Synagogue chat channel. One community member suggested covering the book, so Anais constructed a decorative box to hide the offensive display.


    The timing couldn't have been more frustrating. Anais and other residents took snapshots and attempted to file abuse reports, but their efforts were hampered by Second Life service issues. A few residents were forced to relog before they could submit reports. Linden Labs responded within the hour, sending Trinity Linden to the site to remove the book.


    Currently, Linden Labs has nine people who handle abuse reports, with employees working 24 hours a day. When asked how such incidents are normally handled, Trinity had this to say. "People who violate our TOS and/or Community Standards go through a process that involves a warning for a first offense, if the behavior continues they will receive suspensions, if it continues after suspensions we will ultimately terminate their access to Second Life," said the Linden. As for the hate groups created by the book's owner, as seen on his newly created profile, it takes roughly 24 hours for the Second Life database to reflect the deletion of a group.


    Reaction among Second Life Jewish community members was mixed. Explorer Dastardly felt that "the (Nazi) movement is on the rise." Beth Odets, Founder of the Second Life Synagogue, said she had received "100 im's" from residents inquiring about the incident. In group chat, Beth assured Jewish residents that "This is not real life. They can NOT hurt us here. This is not a real place (where)  we can be hurt physically, only mentally." Beth soon focused on more pleasant topics. "I was at the jewish store just now, and heard a train go by on the tracks so i jumped on it..... really cool!!!!!"


    Caption #1: Trinity Linden lands to save the day.
    Caption #2: Trinity reviews the abuse reports.
    Caption #3: Trinity removes the book.
    Caption #4: The SL profile of Griefer Dieter Vlodovic
    The Jewish Store on Agila: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Aglia/206/46/125
    The Second Life Synagogue: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Nessus/23/142/103
    TMA Jewish Neighborhood: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Nessus/109/155/103
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