Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cheaters Who Prosper

As children, we're told "cheaters never prosper".  Like many fairy tales, it's not true.  Most cheaters do it just to prosper.  In SecondLife, people who cheat on the terms of service to make a few extra linden dollars are rampant.  Lets look at just a few.

One way of cheating in SecondLife is by cheating the map.  The map is supposed to help people get around, not draw people to your store, which is exactly what some people do.  Lets look at how.

Huge Fucking Signs
According to the terms of service: advertising in SecondLife must be no more than 8 meters  high and must be attached to the ground.  Yet we see this sign in Jieut  The owner is Cedric Brown.  When I pointed out to him that his sign was in violation he said he wouldn't take it down.  When I told the lindens about it, I was told they'd get right on removing it, yet it's still there over a week later.

Here's another one in Paektu.  The owner is a guy named XLR8RRICK Hudson.

The rules about advertising in-world are spelled out pretty clearly on the wiki but, who cares right?  "You don't know me! I do what I want!"

Mystery Dots

Lets look at another way of map cheating.  This Haute Couture Designs store in Eup looks pretty popular right?  The map says there's 15 people there, but when you TP to the store, there's nobody around.
What gives?
Let's fly up a bit and see what's happening.

Here the people are at 4000 meters, in a box, the same people day after day, 24 hours a day.  They're not people, they're bots: alternate accounts run from a text based SecondLife viewer for the expressed purpose of cheating the system and making this person's store seem more popular than it is.  The Root account seems to be Brealla Tal, but that might be another bot. 

Not satisfied with littering the southern continent with is bots, Haute Couture Designs has another 20 bots at their shop in Pickerel and 7 in Trimaxion.   That's nearly 50 accounts, all bots, all to fraudulently draw people to the Haute Couture Designs stores.

1 comment:

  1. Yes... Sadly this has gone on longer than I've been here. The "map signs" were some of the early ads long before the ad farm bans of a couple years ago. The first were default media white placed at upper build limit and alpha from below, I see them becoming more blatant lately. I'm rather surprised at seeing XLR8RRICK having a sign up, he's a former Secondlife Mentor that was always active helping new residents on the old Help Islands and in general is a good guy. {Keeping up with the competion I guess}

    The bots are down a lot...bots are what drove concurrency to 80K plus, but with a 30% staff reduction...who knows. Impossible to police but one would think a report could be acted upon..


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