John Edwards Second Life Campaign HQ Vandalized

March 1, 2007 -
According to a post on presidential candidate John Edwards' official blog, the Democrat's Second Life campaign headquarters was trashed, apparently by Republican gamers:
Shortly before midnight (CST) on Monday, February 26, a group of republican Second Life users, some sporting "Bush '08" tags, vandalized the John Edwards Second Life HQ.  They plastered the area with Marxist/Lenninist posters and slogans, a feces spewing obsenity, and a photoshopped picture of John in blackface, all the while harrassing visitors with right-wing nonsense and obsenity-laden abuse of Democrats in general and John in particular.

The author of the blog post, identified only as robinrising, was apparently a witness to the incident and provided screen shots and chat logs to SL publisher Linden Lab for possible disciplinary action.

Comments

lol you guys are seriously getting upset over this?! ROFLMAO aka rooflemayo

I think this is hilarious. That's what the fool gets for trying to advertise on a game.

my vote will go to him anyway, though, since he IS on a game. woot.

@Ghostly

Ever since 06/06/06, Linden Labs has taken away verification for new accounts. Correlationly (if I am using it right), the amount of griefing has increased. Yes, sometimes it is made to be a bigger deal than it is supposed to be.

And yes, griefing is against TOS.

Sincerely,
Max

@ Fandel

I'm told that the program itself doesn't really do "hardware support" as much as would be reasonable for any newer program. Couple this with intensive cpu-usage due to the way the program works (everything but avatar form and simple terrain works in costumizable primitives), and you're going to get a low fps no matter your graphics-card.

On the other hand, I'm hearing good things about the beta-tester program First Look. It's supposed to run a whole lot better, due to some sort of significant rendering changes.

I can just see it now. In a few months, Second Life will become the next "MySpace" in the eyes of the mainstream news media.

As for Second Life itself. I tried it, but immediately deleted it from my Hard Drive when I found out that my 300 dollar ATI X1950 video card was struggling to hold a steady frame rate. Despite the fact that the game looks like at Nintendo 64 tittle.

Second Life has got to be one of the most horrible coded games in existence.

Second Life is an online persistent virtual world. It is run by a corporation that can enforce its TOS and EUL's at their discretion. If there was a violation, it is their sole perogative to make that determination and take what action is allowed for either under contract or under law.
That contract IS the "Law" governing second life, with all other in-"game" laws subject to the government of the people playing therein. Government was defined by G. Washington as simply force. Hence the ability of victims to track down virtual perpetrators and their virtual property becomes the duty of the victim. The victim might then engage in free speech tactics to affect the virtual perpetrator by damaging their reputation and thus damaging their credibility and ability to engage in the commerce of the land is the punishment they can mete out. Also, in a free market, caveat emptor is the watchword of the day. The friends of Edwards campaign should have engaged the proper security features in Second Life to watch over their virtual property, to ensure lockdown of various critical items, to backup their data for easy restoration, etc....
Those who say that virtual world actions such as these are insignificant have none-the-less spent time devouting responses to this issue, highlighting the importance of the internet, of public relations and of virtual environments, thus demonstrating that their arguement about irrelevancy of this is flawed.

Guys, this is the apparent work of Anonymous.

Anonymous doesn't care for pretty much anything, they only do the crap they do...

For the lulz.

Yes, they're stupid, but it's what they do. There's really nothing to look into here, just /b/ being.../b/.

Ty

Remember the old MTV cartoon "Daria?"

this is exactly something that would show up on "Sick Sad World"

Why does everyone think that this was political? This is what happens in Second Life. It's very similar to the internet activity known as "trolling", and anything serious is in danger of such events - especially real-life groups and organizations doing serious things in SL. Setting up shop in a "(Mature)" sim and not taking appropriate precautions to prevent vandalism means you earn what you get.

@Anonymous
@MrKenyon

Rules #1 and #2

What is second life again? Why does this matter?

Somebody did it. It could be hard-core Republicans, it could be Democrats trying to pull a Reichtag Fire manuver, it could just be griefers. Nobody knows, and, chances are, the people who did it created disposable toons to do the job. Unless. of course, they're seriously stupid. . .which is another possibility.

Anyway, it's done. And it obviously did the intended job, look at all the buzz.

Whoever you are, no doubt you're congratulating yourself right now.

Enjoy your 13-year-old humor moment, because people will now be watching. . .

"One person’s “fun” can ruin another’s experience."

That's how you can know FOR SURE that it was a Rethuglican.

"Waaaaa! Teh Rethuglicans are evil brownshirts! They're in ur internets crushing ur free speech!1"

Pot, kettle, kettle, pot. Given the chance, the Democrats would probably ban the game (if you can call it that..) outright to protect the precious children. As such, I can't find a violin tiny enough for them here...

Besides, I'm with Hannah, eShirl, et al on this, in that it was probably W-Hat or, even more likely, some copycats. It's almost too obvious-- to the point of being sloppy --that they were out to make *both* parties look silly. Not that this is hard to do, since both parties are duplicitous, partisan asshats.

@ Illspirit

Not that the US Democrats are all that democratic anyway...
It does seem far too obvious, that the offenders be bush'ies. Though it HAS happened that people wanted the constitution amended to allow Bush Jr. a 3rd term - an amendment that couldn't have been denied fast enough.

I reckon the perpetrators being of the W-Hat group or SomethingAwful may be the most logical conclusion here, as no one can show themselves as being THAT retarded unless it was on purpose. Remember, SomethingAwful has a mean-streak at grieving others, while W-Hat lives for it. ;)

the Democrats would probably ban the game (if you can call it that..) outright to protect the precious children

Considering the fact that they are advertising in the game itself this seems incredibally unlikely and you shouldn't say all democrats would do that, since most people in the U.S. are democrat republican or politically indifferent (there is no third party with a strong chance in 08). Also if all you're ever fed is lies and borderline slander about games from a certain lawyer . . ..

@illspirit

I doubt it's the "official" w-hat group. Their FAQ specifically forbids racist stuff, harassing people, and "highly visible disgusting content". So unless they broke all three of those rules, I'm guessing it was someone else...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Jabrwock
Now thats against the rules

@Noman

So they put them up in the last few days to cover their tracks then? ;)

"We are at war with Oceania. We have *always* been at war with Oceania..." :D
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Yep, it was /b/tards. Probably not 4chan because invasion posts last about 30 seconds before a mod deletes them, it was likely a sister site (7chan, or perhaps a community of /b/tards within the game itself). It has nothing to do with "republicans". They're just trolling people in SL. SL is a horrible place anyway. What a load of horse shit. Believe me, 4chan does not care about republicans or democrats. They just see someone trying to take the internet seriously and feel the need to "educate them" a little.

SL is about people who can't get laid, so they fantasize in an online game about having sex with anthropomorphic foxes and having fictional relationships. It is the lowest form of the internet. I have no idea where these deluded morons get the idea that SL is worth "Millions in economic transactions per day" but they are pretty goddamn retarded. I would be ashamed to even associate with it.

It's NOT a game. They should be treated like any vandals and arrested, prosecuted and sent to jail or fined. SL is growing and changing fast. I think most people will be surprized how big it will be in 5, 10 and then 15 yrs. It should be taken very seriously. SL is the future like it or not.

2112: Im not sure if your trying to troll me or what? laugh my butt off.

I wish I could just assume 2112 was joking/trolling, but I've heard that sentiment from SL users so many times that I'm just not sure anymore.

In my opinion, Second Life is definitely a game. Hell, it's not even the first of its genre -- MOOs have been around for over a decade, and people have been allowed to make small changes to graphical game worlds (eg. changing the image on a player-specific banner) for an awfully long time. The thing is... when you take a game and let people do whatever they want in it, it's still a game. Not a particularly fun game, but a game nonetheless.

this is absolutely ridiculous! This sort of behavior shouldn't be tolerated. I of course am referring to the fact john edwards has spent the time to have a headquarters set up in fucking second life. Who the hell plays this game?

From what I've seen, Mike? Many, many disturbing people...

I guessed somthing like this would happen as soon as I heard polititions were setting up shop in MMOs.

What kind of "feces spewing obcenity" was it?

What's next - Cristalnacht? This is the mood that has been set by the current
administration vis a vis anyone who objects to the principles of the Republican
Party. Namely, that Democrats are "enemies of the State" and should be stamped out. This behavior is condoned and egged on by the Administration and it's toadies.
AND it is disgusting and dangerous to our democratic way of life --more so than
another Al Quaeda attack. We have a Dictator now after the first. Next attack and we'll have the Gestapo.

[...] 1st, 2007 · No Comments This post on GamePolitics.com talks about the vandalization of John Edwards Second Life campaignheadquarters.  First, I’m fascintated that there is such a blog as Game Politics.  I’ll have to add it to the (nascent) blogroll over here at What Is Second Life central HQ.  Second, I’m intrigued that most (all?) of the mainstream presidential candidates are campaigning in SL. [...]

I think the reason the game is so prone to attacks is because there's really no goal. It's pretty much a sandbox where you do whatever the hell you want. It'd be similar to what would happen if a room full of people were given a gigantic roll of construction paper, some markers, scissors, and glitter and said, "Okay, now make whatever you want." Some people enjoy it because it gives them an open forum to pretty much do what they want, others, like me, get bored after about an hour and find the learning curve isn't worth the effort.

God I love all of you. You're all so not judgmental and don't think that if you're part of one party then you behave in a certain way.

I mean c'mon. OBVIOUSLY if you're a republican you're both an idiot AND a loser. Jeez.

That was sarcasm, by the way, and I am a conservative. Who ever the people responsible for the trashing of the Democrat's SL HQ are either extremists, immature, or just people dicking around.

This party-bashing is getting tiresome and pathetic. Making generalizations like the statements I've seen from the majority of these comment posters are seething with a bitter taste. You're stepping on broken glass, I suggest you back off the rude comments about a party as a whole.

I don't think the Goons were behind this one. Blackface and tubgirl? Smells of 4chan's /b/tards to me. All the vandalism is missing is a "FIRIN' MY LAZOR" or something ending in "-desu".

Sounds to me like Linden Labs want to start asking themselves whether they want their MMO to be an environment where people can explore and experiment or whether people are simply paying a monthly fee to be advertised at.

It seems to me that the Whole 'Second Life' space needs a LOT of reviewing, if you have political opinions being openly represented on Second Life, you ARE going to get your hellraisers as well as your more pacifistic objectors.

Linden Labs cannot have their cake and eat it, which is essentially what they are trying to do, basically standing in the middle and taking money from both consumer AND retailer, they've practically created a 4th type of media which is seperate from 'Video Games'.

In the words of Granny Weatherwax, 'There will be a reckonin''. If they increase 'Policing' in their environment then they will be placing restrictions on the freedom of their own paying members, if they don't then they start to endanger their links with the more commercial side of things.

It'll be interesting to see how much longer LL can keep these plates spinning.

It seems that every other week or so, there is another report of vandalism like this at Second Life. I don't use Second Life, so I'd like to ask a question for those of you that do.

I am wondering if someone has written about why the "game" is so prone to such attacks? Can you "legally" emote/modify other people's property or is it that the game does not define well enough where one's property starts and ends? Or, perhaps, it is just a hack where some vulnerability in the system is used?

I am curious, from a technical viewpoint, why these issues keep coming up. Any leads would be appreciated.

Gus

If it was the Something Awful crowd who did this, they would be more than capable of acting like rabid republicans. Its a very talented crowd with some great underground writers, designers, and programmers in their fold. Not exactly the most mature crowd but I could definately see them behind something like this.

They also have been taking an interest in SL lately. Though they haven't been on there to make positive contributions. Their main focus is to cause as much chaos as possible to write articles about "alternative" lifestyles of the niche users of the service.

I personally don't mind the "attack" as I like the idea of the web being free enough to still contain a little danger like this. It means we still have freedom on the net and it hasn't been fully controlled.

Pretty funny to see the conservatives saying, "I don't think these were Republicans." They probably had the same reaction when they heard about the phone jamming incident during the '04 campaign:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/16/AR200605...

Of course, later we learned that RNC personnel were responsible. Remember, this is the party of Nixon and Rove we're talking about, they live for dirty tricks.

How come when someone disrupts a republican event it's "free speech", but when someone disrupts a democratic event it's "racism"? You don't even know who did it, but clearly it "proves republicans are racists". Statements like this prove you are an idiot with no ability to use basic logic.

Democrats all too often hide behind "free speech" to justify their moronic, hate-filled statements, but take regular pleasure in telling those they disagree with that they should not exercise "free speech".

Republicans are ... well ... republicans.

You have every right to say what you are saying, and I have every right to recognize that you are an idiot for saying it. If people weren't allowed to exercise their right to free speech, it wouldn't be so easy to spot the morons. Embrace it.

# Joe Hoodoo Says:
March 1st, 2007 at 1:41 pm

Anyone who says Second Life is ‘’just a game'’ has no idea what they’re talking about.

Yeah actually it's a hidey hole for social deviants with no other outlet for their failed existence. kthnx

*yawns* Same old same old, next we'll be seeing flying you-know-whats and the like.

Now if Edwards brings this up in a speech or whatever, that I want to know about. If there is a fallout from this, that would be interesting to read about.

Republicans are losers. Blackface? They just proved every charge ever laid against them and their party. I hope they get identified in the real world and kicked off there as well.

The picture of Mr. Edwards in blackface exposes the Republicans for what they truly are; ignorant and racist.

The way I understand it, the christmas crash started out as a grinch and golden rings, and the penisattack was accompanied by artwork which was bigoted against asians... I think the griefers just look for a theme that will cause the targets the most distress. For example there is a large contingient of SomethingAwful forum-goers that doesn't care who they offend or ridicule, as long as they get the chance to prove that trying to accomplish anything meaningful in a virtual space is silly and frivolous.

Just remember, it's about griefing, not politics, and whatever is going to cause the most outrage. Drumming up the gargantuan rift between our broken 2-party system in this manner is one way to flare up tempers on both sides of the issue, it pisses off everybody at once, except for the extremists, who just use it as yet another opportunity to go for each other's throats (as if they need the excuse, see: any semi-political blog or news site on the internet)

I seriously doubt these folks have any particular political bias, or if they do, it's not what motivated them here. My guess is that it's probably just a bunch of griefers from Something Awful or a similar site. The thing is... griefing is pretty much the only way to make Second Life fun if you aren't a furry or a pedophile or something. Sad but true. However, griefing the furries and pedophiles gets boring after a while, and when attacking a politician gets you media attention in addition to the usual (and highly amusing) internet drama, that's a pretty strong motive right there. Of course, if you're going to grief a politician, it only makes sense to pretend that you're from the opposing side, especially when you're picking out what graphics to use in the attack.... hence the apparent right-wing bias here.

And yeah, if anything, these guys probably lean towards the left side of the politican spectrum. If you're planning on griefing, it makes more sense to target your own side and make the other side look worse in the progress.

@noman

Couldn't bother you for hint as to who, eh? :)
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

@gameclucks

"Just like green phallic spam attacks on Ashne Cheung’s latest online press conference, or Grey Goo attacks on a busy holiday weekend."

Neither of which had logos attached to try to shift blame to an uninvolved 3rd party... If it was pure vandalism, sure, I'd agree. But they stuck around and specifically bashed Democrat supporters, while blasting out Republican propaganda. If they were merely anti-politician, wouldn't they be bashing both, instead of denouncing one while seemingly propping up the other?
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

WOW...THE BROWN SHIRTS HAVE ARRIVED. BUSH'S AMERICA IS INCREASINGLY FEELING LIKE GERMANY IN THE LATE 1930's. IN MY 6 DECADES LIVING IN AMERICA, I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO ALARMED OR TERRIFIED FOR THE FUTURE. WORSE, IT IS OUTRAGEOUS THAT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE ARE NOT BEING EDUCATED - AND THEY HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY. MOREOVER, WITH THE MEDIA TAKEN OVER BY THE UNCONSCIONABLY GREEDY CORPORATIONS, THEIR IS NO WAY FOR THE TRUTH TO GET OUT. HELP...

Anyone who says Second Life is ''just a game'' has no idea what they're talking about.

Pictures of tub-girl, eh? Sounds like the work of the perennial SL griefer group known as w-hat (and under other names as well). They specialize in annoying people in the most offensive, immature ways possible. They're not a republican or a democratic group, just a group that exists for the entertainment of aggravating people they think take themselves too seriously. Some of them claim what they do is performance art.

WilliamHart,

You're thinking way too small about this. Conspiracies are ALWAYS big. Therefore you should think big too.

I think it was Al Qaeda. I mean, come'on! They're terrorists already.

They did it to trying to deflect the blame on republicans, so that the American people would vote for Democrats, therefore emboldening The Enemy (r) (tm) (c). Actually, now that I think about it...I KNOW it was Dick Cheney trying to blame it on Al Qaeda trying to blame it on the Republicans.

Wait, no, that's not right.

It was the Democrats trying to blame it on Dick Cheney trying to blame it on Al Qaeda trying to blame it on the Republicans. Dude, this is it! No...wait. Still not quite big enough. I've got even better one.

It was Karl Rove drafting strategy for the 2008 elections trying to blame it on Democrats trying to blame it on Dick Cheney trying to blame it on Al Qaeda trying to blame it on the Republicans. Dude! Yea! This is it! IT IS A NEO-CON RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY AFTER ALL! F*** yea!

Or does everyone just WANT us to believe that??? The mind boggles.

Shiny side out...

Also, from what I understand this wasn't even an official John Edwards campaign site, just a site put up by one of the SL residents who supports him for president. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, of course.

@ Jabr

"Then why do it under the facade of Bush ‘08 supporters? Wouldn’t that be hypocritical? “

Because that's what's going to push the buttons and raise the ire of the Edwards camp the most.

I'm sure at least a few of the participants were of the 'rabid republican' breed, but my guess is that most of them just wanted to shake up the latest event in the manner that would generate the most controversy and coverage. Just like green phallic spam attacks on Ashne Cheung's latest online press conference, or Grey Goo attacks on a busy holiday weekend.

Joe Bourrie sez: "Really, does this do more damage to Edwards or to the republican party?"

Neither. First, this actually makes Edwards look stronger, since the Republicans are so obviously threatened by his candidacy. Second, this doesn't affect the Republican Party at all, since everyone already equates racism with the Republicans. The GOP embraces its racism, which is why Nixon's "Southern Strategy" is still in play to this day.
 
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