Second Life to let users filter adult content

Apr 22, 2009 By BARBARA ORTUTAY , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Second Life is getting a little less steamy for people who want to use the virtual world for a myriad of PG-rated experiences, such as taking classes, prototyping buildings or designing virtual goods.

For those who don't, Second Life is moving adult-oriented content to a new, X-rated "continent" so they can continue to frolic as their heart desires.

Linden Lab, the company behind Second Life, was to announce the changes Wednesday as part of a broader move to let users customize the site's content. The changes will start going into effect in June.

"The way people use Second Life has become incredibly diverse," said Chief Executive Mark Kingdon.

Second Life's users, who must already be 18 or over, will be able to block adult content in their searches, similar to the way allows "SafeSearch" filtering for images or text by blocking with explicit sexual content. Unlike Google, though, Second Life will let people specifically search for adult-only items, excluding everything else.

Property owners - the people who operate the virtual spaces within Second Life - will be responsible for properly tagging adult content. Ken Dreifach, Linden's deputy counsel, said the new search tools will provide a substantial incentive for people to "properly designate their land."

Linden is implementing a three-tiered rating system for the site - PG, Mature and Adult. Users will automatically be given access to mature content - think R-rated movies - but will need undergo further verification - beyond self-reporting - to prove they are at least 18 before they can access adult, X-rated content.

Second Life also has a separate teens-only site.

The company said it will be "very careful" not to filter out terms like "breast cancer" that can accidentally get lumped into adult content. Kingdon said the company didn't have statistics on how many of people use the site for adult activities, but added that it's in the minority.

, launched in 2003, has been overshadowed in recent years by social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. In March, it had more than 1 million unique log-ins, up from 544,000 in the same month a year earlier.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Russia makes Facebook block page of Putin's top critic

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Second Life finding new life

Mar 14, 2009

Linden Lab chief executive Mark Kingdon shakes his head when he sees news stories heralding the demise of former Internet darling Second Life.

Campus green spaces enhance quality of life

Sep 29, 2008

The next time you see students playing an energized game of touch football or studying in the sunshine on a college quadrangle, consider this: campus green spaces can help students feel better about life and improve learning.

Australia says Web blacklist combats child porn

Mar 27, 2009

(AP) -- Australia's communications minister has defended a proposed Internet blacklist as necessary to combat child pornography but admitted that at least one site had been wrongly blocked during trials.

Recommended for you

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

Dec 18, 2014

The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle ...

UN General Assembly OKs digital privacy resolution

Dec 18, 2014

The U.N. General Assembly has approved a resolution demanding better digital privacy protections for people around the world, another response to Edward Snowden's revelations about U.S. government spying.

Online privacy to remain thorny issue: survey

Dec 18, 2014

Online privacy will remain a thorny issue over the next decade, without a widely accepted system that balances user rights and personal data collection, a survey of experts showed Thursday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.