The unseemly spectacle of the latest Justice League Unlimited hoopla is not doing anyone any favours. Allegations, counter allegations, revelations about contacting realtives of people on their deathbed, Linden off the record chat logs shared and the brainiac wiki itself. The men in tights have been caught with their pants around their ankles and are desperately trying to pull them back up to avoid further indecent exposure.
The JLU are not roleplaying superheroes, they aim to protect and serve within Second Life to make the Second Life experince better for all, the Second Life Wiki listing for them has noble aims and it’s not surprising that groups who have been thwarted by the JLU relish opportunities to embarrass them, howver the JLU make it all too easy. They appear to go way beyond their remit with some of their actions, especially with allegations that the brainiac wiki stores Second Life and real life information on people and the Deadly Codec incident really is beyond the pale, contacting a relative on Facebook, apparently out of compassion but how compassionate would you be if someone contacted you about a dying relative and you later found out they’d been fishing for confirmation of the condition of your relative for such a group?
Some members of the JLU seem to come from the nothing to hide, nothing to fear school of thought, I’ve always found this to be a flmsy way of thinking, especially as they have in their Brainiac wiki information they don’t want everyone to see, however it’s allegations about what they store that are most disturbing and with talk of the Phantom Zone device on the Jira, it’s disturbing to think where they may be heading.
News about the JLU isn’t new, an article in The Alphaville Herald in 2010 revealed that The Wrong Hands group had infiltrated the JLU to get information out of their wiki, and yet this blew over, people seemed to forget about it and eventually the Redzone issue blew up, where people objected to information being stored about alts.
However now The Alphaville Herald are again questioning the ethics of the JLU, and rightly so, and GreenLantern Excelsior doesn’t do himself any favours with his comments there, nor does he do himself many favours on the SLUniverse thread. The JLU insist they aren’t harvesting IP addresses, but they don’t deny that they store and discuss RL information on people and this is a far bigger issue than IP addresses, if you post here on this site your IP address gets logged and many other blogs have a similar system.
The JLU seem to have lost sight of some of their goals, upholding the cornerstones of privacy and safety that are the cornerstones of civilisation in Second Life, for example. There is nothing wrong with talking to a Linden but for heaven’s sake, if someone is talking to you off the record then stick to that standard and don’t go sharing the conversation, even with your friends. I’ll happily talk to Lindens when they respond to me, I don’t share their emails to me, it’s tacky to do that unless they give permission.
At it’s heart the JLU appear to mean well, mentoring, charity drives, patrolling welcome areas and heaven knows they need some patrolling, I gave up going to welcome areas when Robin Linden was still here such was the dire state of affairs in a welcome area. However men in tights who appear to be on a power hungry trip and appear to be stepping over boundaries is not a healthy situation, it’s time for their leader, Kalel Venkman to show some leadership here, reign the crap in and apologise for the actions of the group, because some of the actions do need an apology, then they should re-group and get back to their founding principles, because right now they appear to be a long way off track.
Avril Korman has an excellent article with background and analysis on the situation, it’s well worth a read.