05 October 2008

Hate and the Virtual Person

The definition of a Hate Crime from the UK Home office

Hatred is a strong term that goes beyond simply causing offence or hostility. Hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by an offender's hatred of someone because of their:-

race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origins
gender or gender identity
sexual orientation

In Second Life and other Virtual worlds people can choose their race, colour, height, even not to be human.

In the last few weeks there have been some remarkably bigoted opinions aired on some blogs, about other people who make the choices to be a difference race or gender. Threats have been made to "out" them. I personally think this is covered under gender identity.

Sharing/publishing information about the RL another SL citizen is also forbidden under the TOS, and can get your account cancelled.

Sophrosyne Stenvaag was so disturbed by these occurrences that she has decided to make October 25 "Gender Freedom day", and this will be celebrated in Extropia.

What is even more disturbing is the fact Sophrosyne and I are seeing different occurrences of the same problems. So it's even worse than we both thought.

The Metaverse Journal has also reported on the day, and a google for "Gender Freedom day" brings up a few results, but not nearly enough for it to be widly known.

Class, race, sexuality, gender and all other categories by which we categorize and dismiss each other need to be excavated from the inside. :- Dorothy Allison


Veronique Lalonde said...

This is excellent, Shocky. I hope you and Sophrosyne and others can spread the word. Hate should not be a Second Life value!

I should revive my own moribund blog just so I can post about this event.

Siobhan said...

It's about time someone highlighted this problem in SL. And it IS a problem, a big one. I've seen people have their second lives all but destroyed when it was discovered their avatar was a different genter or skin colour than their player...

Though of course species is ok to change... except to a few...