It is with some sadness that I retreat from the Second Life General Discussion Forum. Unfortunately, because of Linden Lab’s secretive and erratic moderation process and its seeming indifference to AR griefing, the forum has become too unstable for general use.
Many regular participants have noticed a significant degradation of the service over the past month. It is unclear whether it results from a single active griefer or the concentrated efforts of a clique. Nor is it known whether Linden Lab has adopted a new policy of aggressive moderation or assumed a more passive, automated role that resulted in an escalation of griefing. Linden Lab is silent on the issue.
It does seem, though, that Abuse Reports are the root cause of the problem. Several cheerful, on-topic threads have been removed. Many forum contributors speak of innocuous posts vanishing in the night. My own experience confirms both situations. I am currently unable to read more than half a dozen recent threads, none of which were controversial, all of which were interesting. It is difficult to imagine Linden Lab proactively removing them based on their content. It is more likely that they suffered at the hands of AR griefers who were able to trigger an automated removal function.
If this is indeed the case, the griefers have won a clear victory. Longtime contributors have left the forum. Many have moved to SL Universe, which is now the de facto community center for Second Life residents. Some, like myself, have begun to set up their own blogs. Others have withdrawn from fora/blogs completely and returned inworld. In all cases, Linden Lab has lost the trust and confidence of yet another constituency of Second Life, not to mention the loss of their knowledge and experience to Linden Lab and the SL community in general.