Is Bad News The Only News Worth Reporting?

As the platform grows, then so does the attention drawn to scams, theft and dishonesty. The amateur hour, the wild west, is drawing to a close with closer scrutiny on all aspects of our presence here.

Ginko caused waves, other banks are bankrupt, people are out of pocket and the media are looking for muck to rake. At the same time, Linden Lab are looking at financial institutions in SL. They probably always are to be honest, but it would appear that the ability to open up your business and sell it as a bank, will in the future require some sort of RL liabilities and credentials.

This of course has implications for all aspects of business within Second Life, otherwise Wake Student Magazine may be looking to dish dirt on you.

On the official forums someone purporting to be from Wake Magazine posts:

“Hello!

I am a reporter for The Wake Magazine (wakemag.org) and I’m currently researching a story on the history, evolution and present state of theft, scams and other crime in Second Life.

If you have a moment, you could help me with this in one of three ways:

-Post your own experiences with crime in Second Life
-PM me to arrange for an interview on the topics described above. Interview could be over IM or phone.
-Post a link to existing discussions on the topic (I have searched around myself already)

Please do let me know if this is not the proper place to post this.
Thank you very much for your help!

-Spike Izumi
wakemag.org”

Personally I find this sort of muck raking distasteful. Others may see it as a platform to raise a banner behind to air their own grievances. Some people certainly feel that within relation to the Ginko scandal that the Lindens didn’t do enough, but how far down this road do we want to go?

There seems to be a strange trust level in SL. I’m amazed that people put so much faith in financial institutions here. I’ve dabbled small time myself, a small bank deposit, a small amount of stocks and shares, but I wouldn’t invest much. I guess there was a safety in numbers issue with organisations like Ginko, it didn’t turn to dust overnight and word of mouth possibly brought in new customers.

However it was all unregulated, as was gambling (and I like a gamble myself but I’d never have gambled big in SL).

However SL can’t be seen as a place where scammers and thieves can openly be seen to be able to get away with it. Which raises the question of just who is behind the Wake magazine story and what angle are they looking for? I mean fraud is fraud, there are existing laws in place and just because it’s Second Life doesn’t mean people will get away with it, but who do we expect to protect us from scammers? The regulators, The Lindens or ourselves?

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