Saturday, 30 August 2008

Is Loki a pervert ?

It's been a while since I posted here. That is mainly because I had little or nothing to tell you. Linden Labs changed that last night by sending me an e-mail that made me wonder whether to laugh or cry.

Dear loki Popinjay,

This email is notification of action regarding your Second Life account,
loki Popinjay, for violation of the Second Life Terms of Service or
Community Standards. The violation in question occurred on August 29, 2008 in the region of Cannery Rezzable.

Violation: Community Standards: Broadly Offensive Content or Conduct

Real-life images, avatar portrayals, and other depiction of
sexual violence including rape, real-life images, avatar
portrayals, and other depictions of extreme or graphic
violence, and other broadly offensive content are never
allowed or tolerated within Second Life.

Nude photo of young girl holding a teddy bear needs to be removed
immediately. Alternatively, you may cover up the nudity with photo

No additional action is being taken at this time.

Appeal Process: The decision to suspend your Second Life access was
reached after investigation of your use of the Second Life software and
service. If you would like to appeal your suspension, you may contact
Second Life Support, in writing, at the address below:

Second Life Support
Linden Lab
945 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

You may also appeal electronically by filing a support ticket via the
support portal at

Please provide relevant information that you believe would explain the
above violation. Linden Lab reserves sole discretion in considering
whether to take any action on a written appeal.

This is the picture in question:


Now, you have to know this picture is part of the Avatar Zodiac series I made for SL5B where it was on display until the very last day. Without complaints. It's been on display at the Cannery for weeks now. Without complaints ... till now.

Avatar Zodiac at SL5B

Frankly, how stupid and narrow minded do you have to be to find this picture offensive? It is in no way meant to be sensual let alone sexual in nature and all "bits" are covered. Since it was meant for SL5B where strickt guidelines were enforced as to what would be allowed and what not I actually added some hair to cover a nipple.

Is it me who has the distorted view here? Ah well, guess that's what you get when you live in some "Sodom and Gomorrah" called Belgium where the government only this week bought a painting by James Ensor for the Arts museum in Ghent depicting not one but TWO completely naked girls for 2.8 million €.

'Kinderen aan ochtendtoilet' by James Ensor

What bothers me the most is the procedure LL seems to follow. Probably some redneck complained and LL takes action by ordering me to remedy the situation. Last I looked the correct way to act would be to check the complaint and if found correct at least give me a chance to defend myself. In this case I would be very surprised if the complaint was indeed checked and the above mail is surely not a question for my view on the matter. Even more so it states I get a chance to "explain the above violation". It is not even questioned if it actually IS a violation.

That said I don't like to be nailed to the cross for being a pervert. In my opinion this picture is not in violation of TOS. So I'm not taking it down until my time at the Cannery is up and I will protest the supposed "violation of TOS". Surely there must be a few Lindens with some common sense...

Oh, and to answer the titel: of course Loki is a pervert, just not this kind ;-)


I just received this notice from Harry Linden:

Hi there,

Linden Lab has reviewed, at your request, a discipline action recently taken against your account.

Our investigation shows that the discipline was correctly applied.

If any further information is required, Linden Lab will contact you regarding this incident. Otherwise, please consider the matter resolved as no further communications will be sent.

Guess I was wrong about the common sense


Phoenix Ellsberg said...

So very, very sorry to hear this Loki. I won't even begin to voice my opinion on how the world has gone mad on stuff like this. I will just say that, in my opinion, (and, for anyone who wants to take issue with me - it is just MY opinion) there is nothing wrong with this image at all. The context, presentation and intent are obvious.

I started to type more but realised I was verging on a rant, so i shall climb down from my soapbox, cos I am no good at that stuff, and just say that you have my support.

And now I shall step aside and allow those more leoquent than myself to have their say.

Loki Popinjay said...

Thank you Phoenix!

Actually what I find offensive is the fact that the picture was up for months now without anyone complaining but it just takes one stupid redneck to make it BROADLY offensive ...

Anonymous said...

Well, Loki, sorry to hear that.

Actually that is offensive to you, they compared you with a pervert when you just tried to show the concept of innocence in an image.

Even i can understand some people can be sensitive over that questions for personal experiences i think that doesn't make this image "Broadly Offensive".

Anonymous said...


Sorry to hear this Loki! I personally don't see where a person could find an offensive aspect on that specific picture, let alone a BROADLY offensive aspect...

Perhaps somebody never had a teddy as a child?

The guy who found this offensive has serious perception problems, because without perception, you cannot interpret any form of artistic expression.

Just like Phoenix, and like I said on Flickr: that's just my opinion, and I'm aware people might not share it.

Loki Popinjay said...

Thanks Raul, thanks Gany I appreciate the support!

vint falken said...

I second all those people here saying that our virtual world is going bananas. If this were on a PG sim, I might have understood. But it's a mature sim, no nude is shown, and imho the lady is mature.

Sadly enough, one does not know who flagged the photo, nor will Linden tell! :(

Anonymous said...

The photo is very tame. The Astrology bit is always offensive.. After all, we are wll past the dark ages by now.

Nadine Nozaki said...

This sucks, Linden have gone bananas now, I have made a facebook group for you:

Nadine Nozaki said...

And Avatars United:

Anonymous said...

As i said before i support you in this, as i supported before some other people having this kinds of issues. Anyway, i'd like to remind something someone said:
"... Who is responsible for what... Are we responsible for our own actions in world or is Linden Labs? I would assume we are but I guess Linden Labs is not too sure about that and fears being sued over what people in-world do. ... I'll admit Linden Labs' reaction and the way they communicated it is a tad unfortunate to say the least but I imagine they just trying to cover their own butts. With the influx of new avs and SL getting more popular the aforementioned biggots have arrived too and claim their space under the WindLight sun. I say don't blame Linden Labs for protecting themselves but take a good long look around you in RL and drink in what this world has become. LL is nothing but the messenger of bad news and they don't deserve to be shot. ..."

All this is in a post you wrote some time ago:

I didn't agree with that words then and i don't do it now. For me saying corporate interests are over freedom of speech is not correct, then and now (at least is what i understood in that post).

For me the only difference between your issue and Stephen's one is LL just saw the "indecency" later.

Loki Popinjay said...

Hahaha ... bitten in the ass by my own words :-) Good point Raul!

I think what I meant back then was and is still correct: Linden Labs have an interest to protect, being their business. Whether it is right or wrong that they have to protect themselfs from lawsuits and bad press is another matter. What I DO NOT like is them being judge and jury at the same time resulting in random actions not founded on any clear rules. If my picture was clearly against TOS I would take it down in a moment, no questions asked. But to qualify a picture "broadly offensive" after 100's of people have seen it and did not find it offensive because of a single complaint is ridiculous. They don't even follow there own rules and that makes me angry.

That said I may have stated things a bit to black and white for the sake of argument in the post you quoted ;-)

Jula Carnell said...

In response to Raul:- "... Who is responsible for what... Are we responsible for our own actions in world or is Linden Labs?

They are a corporation at the end of the day, of course they are protecting their ass ! And their ass they must protect.

However that doesnt mean to say that people shouldnt be allowed to express themselves in the form of art.

I did respond to a post in flickr about this pic. I dont think the picture is offensive but from Lindens perspective I can see how this picture portrays innocence and childlike qualities rather than an adult image ! Remember you and I are normal people but there are freaks on the web and Lindens have been pulled many a time in the press and media for under aged content. They are just trying to protect their brand !

Anonymous said...

Good reply, Loki. I think we both think the same. And i see the same problem in both cases.
The problem for me is when LL trying to protect their business becomes a really restrictive judge. Your image is far away of being "broadly offensive", it can be offensive for some, but well, absolutely everything can be offensive for some.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say, but to me it looks like a child with a teddy, nude, and a guy in the background having a wank.

So, to me, it is totally understandable that LL suspended your account.

Loki Popinjay said...

I hope for your sake my dear anonymous your comment was meant to be ironic ...

Anonymous said...

i want a LM to the location where i see the rest of the photos

i want to see your amazing artwork


Anonymous said...

I didn't notice the kinda fuzzy view in the background that looks like a man...until someone here pointed it out...hmmm changes my opinion on it too

Alyx Sands said...

A guy in the background wanking???? I guess some people seriously need to take a Rorschach test. It's a freaking GALAXY!

Next time, Loki, post some pics of Windlight clouds and some sicko will come up with "OMG an ORGY!". Sheesh.

Angel Slocombe said...

I can see how it may well be entirely unintentional but that background really does look like the shape of a man fondling himself. I have no objection to the main focus of the picture but that addition, intentional or not makes it inappropirate for anywhere on the net IMO.

Loki Popinjay said...

My god people, have a look at the pictures on Flickr. All 12 pictures have similar backgrounds, just random stars and galaxies. Within it's context there is really no mistaking the background for anything else but what it is: stars. Even out of context you have to be rather twisted to see what some see...

Angie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angel Slocombe said...

With respect Loki, I don't see how calling people twisted really helps. I personally have said and will repeat, the main focus of the image is absolutely fine in my opinion, the issue is with the background.
I don't for a moment believe it was your intention for it to appear as it does but with the way the child is covering some of that galaxy it create a rather unfortunate shape that makes the picture inapproriate.
And if I am sick for seeing it then remember that it is the TRUELY sick minds that people are actually worried about here.

Nimil said...

i must be blind i see a galaxy not a man fondling himself.. are we looking at the same image?

i said my piece on your flickr post... i'm sad to see this happen to you... LL has no seperation between innocence and perverse...

Phoenix Ellsberg said...

Despite what I told myself, I decided to have a look and see what had developed over this issue. I am astounded at what one comment has unleashed!!! On first glance, I thought it was another figure in the background, but, on looking properly, it is quite obviously just the background - a galaxy. This just goes to show how persecution and prejudice and closed-minds can be started with just one persons opinion. Don't get me wrong, everyone is entitled to their opinion and if Anonymous (very brave!) can see a wanker in the image then that is fine, and they have every right to say so (though it says more about them than about Loki or the image!). What is wrong is that then loads of other people 'come back to take another look' and start seeing it too. They didn't see it before because it isn't there, but people are very susceptible to believing what they are told, especially if there is scandal or controversy involved.

And that, my friends, is the true meaning of being a sheep!

Anonymous said...

On first glance, I thought it was another figure in the background

and you then call people!

As with many others they may have seen the same as well, and being that it isn't really quite an artistic piece in the first place, no one is going to spend much time staring at it..

It looks like a naked little girl holding a teddy bear with a weird shape of a person behind her..even without the galactic shape, it is a naked little girl not a woman...maybe you should of used a over 18 maiden with a toga...hahahah

Anonymous said...

Loki would have a case to properly defend himself if it wasn't all too obvious this picture has been made by combining a backgroundpicture with an actual naked SL child-avatar holding a teddybear.

LL is right.. if 'the girl' was wearing a slight dress and the reference to the teddybear was not there ( the virgin depicted as a star sign is still supposed to be a WOMAN in astrology.. not any specific female minor ), you would have a point.

Now you don't . Just think like an adult, do a right thing, revoke from your 'right' to do as you please in the 'name of freedom of expression' and at least alter the picture or just take it down.

Ieder verzet hiertegen is onzinning als een kind blérend om snoep dat het niet mag hebben.

Je rijdt hier een behoorlijke scheve schaats mee mijns inziens.

WiLLuMPJuH Footman

Loki Popinjay said...

WiLLuMPJuH, I'm sorry to say but you fail to see the point. The least you could do is to get your facts right. This is not about what IS broadly offensive but about who determines what is and on what basis.

I do NOT claim the right to do as I please in the name of personal freedom, freedom of speech or whatever. I DO want to know what the rules are and if there are no clear rules I want the possibility to defend myself against a complaint.

Ik vind het bovendien zeer kleinerend en arrogant van je de vergelijking te maken met een blèrend kind. Dit gaat over dingen die fundamenteel een samenleving bepalen ook al is die virtueel. Kortzichtigheid is blijkbaar niet het exclusivieve voorrecht van rednecks.

PS Within the context of the whole installation and the ideas behind it this picture is absolutely not inappropriate, let alone offensive. As I have repeated time after time several 100's of people saw nothing wrong with it.

Anonymous said...

To me it is indeed offensive and tasteless to display the starsign of the Virgin as you did. To me a virgin is a woman, aware of her sexuality, who has decided to not share it with a MAN.

Ask yourself what kind of man your are if you picture the starsign like that. You obviously do need restraint in expressing yourself publicly.

Aside that, it's you who doesn't get the point here. It's against LL's TOS to use an SL avatar for it. No need to implicate her they're nazi's getting at you first. Maybe should have made that 'virgin'yourself in a paintprogram.

Dit zul je niet winnen. En niet omdat ik kleinerend wil doen. Ik spreek je aan op de 'common sense' onder volwassenen die je elders zelf aanhaalt. Laat kinderen er gewoon buiten. Kortzichtig is het ook nog eens van JOU om zo naar buiten te treden, niet alleen in SLs belang, maar ook nog eens als je verdomd goed weet welke reputatie jou natie waar heel makkelijk een snel (onterecht) vooroordeel over zou worden ingenomen. Denk dus na voordat je doet of blijft volhouden.

Nadine Nozaki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loki Popinjay said...

*shrugs* I'm not even going to dignify that with a reply, it's obviously pointless anyway...

Anonymous said...

Swampsong - Tool

All rights reserved.

Phoenix Ellsberg said...

anonymous said: ... and you then call people!...

To clarify - the first time I saw this image, the occasion I am speaking of here, was long before there was any mention of a figure in the background. On first glance, I wondered who it was I thought I saw, on looking closer (which I would have done anyway) I saw it was just a trick of the eye.

My original comment on this thread was the first posted here, long before the first 'wanker' accusation, and I had already seen the image previous to that.

Get your facts right next time please.

Silver said...

I do see what some of the commentators mean by the Rorshach blot figure in the background of your picture, but I hardly think this image merits suspending your account. While I don't find it particularly tasteful, neither do I find it as offensive as giggle gestures or bling. LL's TOS goes waaaaay beyond U.S. legal code on art vs. obscenity, and, while they do own SL as a corporate entity, SL has also become a society. So the question is, do you want freedom of expression in your society, or do you want a corporation telling you how to behave? It's frightening that a person's account can be suspended based on the complaint of one person. Seems to me that this is rife for abuse - don't like someone? Lodge an obscenity charge! I find it sad that LL is so worried about having a squeaky clean image that it is eager to sacrifice the openness necessary for creativity and imagination to thrive. I wonder how many artists they need to pick on before they lose the artistic community?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Silver. This issue is not so much whether the image is offensive or not. Linden should give residents the opportunity to remove such images before their accounts are suspended.

Joonie Jatho said...

I really don't know what to say. I feel intense sadness and hot, red rage anger all at the same time.

The sadness comes from knowing that this is the way things are heading. Weird Shit, a store that's been in existence for longer than I can imagine, had to change it's name because it was offensive.

The morality police are in full force, and there name is Money.

This is not how SL started, but it is, sadly, what it has become. Maybe another world needs to start that will include non-censorship.

The anger comes from the dork(s)that complained in the first place. And the fact that the few have power over the many, as long as they know the right buttons to push.

Sorry this happened, loki. Your art inspires me.

iquanyin said...

old thread, but as an astrologer and artist both for over 30 years, i'd like to note that the virginity referred to in the virgo symbolism has nothing to do with not having sex. far from it. the vestal virgins, in fact, were single women who provided sexual release for single men in that culture. they lived in the temples and their bodies were available as a service. doubt me? read the lore. you'll see i'm correct.

what's meant by virginity in the context is purity of thought, the integrity of spirit to see clearly and act honestly, with integrity, or as carlos casteneda puts it, to live impeccably.

it's sad that modern hysteria and yes, sheeplike qualities we humans have, lead people to rant about things they have no understanding of. and tho i've never looked it up, i highly doubt there were hard and fast age rules for marriage and the like for most of human history.

i'll end by saying just because someone "sees" something doesn't mean it requires action on someone else's part. that's ridiculous, and in the long run can only lead to grief for all concerned. it's an artwork in a virtual world for adults, for pity's sake. if you want things to be better in RL, then go out and work to make that happen. condemning artists does worse than nothing.

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