27 February 2013


This subject is rather lengthy and complex, I do not apologise for that.

What does a griefer look like?

Look around, look at the person next to you, a griefer doesn't come with any defined look, nor do they wear a big sign that says "Griefer". The age of an avatar does not necessarily make them a griefer, whilst it is true that griefers make disposable accounts, there will be older residents that have griefed in SL and are still around.
A griefer is a player who does things in a game to deliberately cause annoyance ("grief" in the sense of "giving someone grief") for their own enjoyment. Such players are a particular nuisance in online gaming communities, since they often cannot be deterred by penalties related to in-game goals. The term originated in the early 1990s, when online games were growing in popularity.
Griefers in SL today as we know it, are for the most part just an annoyance and can be ignored. Linden Lab has removed many of the teeth that griefer's used to have.
There is a small minority of people within SL that still practise the fine art of griefing and are constantly looking for ways to beat the SL servers, this is normal behaviour for these people.
They want to prove that they can break the system and then gain more kudo's by bragging about it on the net. Then there is the casual griefer who buys a cage gun and wants to know what it does.
Like it or not, griefers have the same rights as anyone else within in SL. Griefers just elect to play outside of the rules that we all abide by.
Sadly, we, the residents that abide by the rules of SL, often leave doors open for griefers.
There are no schools on how residents should set up their landholdings in SL, it's learn as you go, and quite often, its learn the hard way. Some basic tips will be shared later on in this post.
There are no schools that teach you how to deal with griefers, hopefully, this post will rectify that oversight.

Griefing can take many forms, The usual ones are:

Repetitive Chat spam - easy to stop, just set yourself in busy mode. Set up your viewer so that chat does not go all the way across the bottom of the screen, the settings are found under preferences.
Particle spam - again easy to stop, just turn off particles. ( Control/Alt/Shift = ).
Music played over an open microphone - Just find the person with the open mic, and either mute them or turn them down via the voice controls.
Replicating prims - a little harder to deal with, you need return rights on the land. Really nasty griefers will manufacture objects that rez a replicating prim that in turn rezzes another replicating prim and so on, and before you know it you are literally knee deep in hundreds of prims that continue to replicate themselves. The size of the prims can vary from nano prims to mega prims.
Large (mega prims) set invisible and placed over or around a sim. Same as above.
Being caged - sit on the cage, if its a super cage (a super cage will follow you around and wont allow you to sit on it), TP out to another location, or log off and log back on to a different location.
Being shot at - sit on the ground, or TP out to another location. If you are in a damage enabled location, when you reach zero health, you will be TP'd to your home location. A damage enabled sim displays a red heart on the top toolbar.
Being orbitted - TP out or log off and log back on to a different location. Waterhead used to be famous for getting orbitted, it was always a race to find something to sit on.
Extortion - isn't new in SL, it has been around for ages in many forms. Ignore it, refuse the demands and file an Abuse Report.
I cannot script, I am a builder, but I can hack scripts that are full perms, tweak a number here and there and a simple script can become a griefing script.
There are free to use websites that will create simple scripts, scripts that with a little modding, can be turned into basic griefer scripts.


How Do Griefers Get Themselves Set Up So Quick?

It takes all of ten minutes to set up an alternative account. the smart griefer will have pre-made his/her tools of trade and stashed them somewhere safe, ready for his/her new alt to pick them up.
You wont see the tools that the griefers use, for the most part they are HUD's and you cannot see what is attached to the screen of a griefers PC.
Some will attached invisible prims to themselves, such items can be detected by pressing the key combination Control Alt T (Highlight Transparent).

Now you are probably wondering why Linden Lab allow this?

The answer is simple, the general viewpoint of the Lab is that residents are free to create anything they wish.
The problems arise when they use their creations and the purpose they use them for. Look on market place and type in the word HUD and see the variety of HUD's that are freely available.
I recently bought a HUD for 50 Lindens, pressed one tiny button and filled the parcel to the max with invisible prims, did I feel a right clown, I sure did. If I didn't have build rights on the parcel, it would not have happened. I spent four hours tracking the little things down so I could delete them.
Thankfully, the newer viewers have a search for objects function built into them. Folks use this functionality in grid hunts, but it can also be used to find griefing objects.

What to do when being griefed:

1. NEVER PANIC, as soon as you panic, everyone around you will panic. 

2. Sit on something, even if it is only the ground. 
3. Relax and access the situation. 
4. Find the object. 
5. Abuse report the object. 
6. Clean up the mess, if you have that ability.

If you don't file an abuse report, you are just compounding the problems.

What Can You Do?

  • Use the resources that Linden Lab provide to ALL residents.
  • File an abuse report for every event. Even if an abuse report does not get acted on, you have started a history chain. If you don't file an abuse report, you have become part of the problem.
  • Contact Live Chat, if you are a premium member. Live chat keep records, records are history.
  • File a support ticket, more than likely Linden Lab will close the ticket, if they do, re-open the ticket, and keep re-opening the ticket, no matter how long it takes.
  • Never give up hope, as soon as you do, your finished and the griefer's have won.

How to Minimise Griefing if you own land

If you own land, before you lay any prims on your land, follow these simple steps:
Go to world, about land, options and turn off:
Create objects all residents,
Object entry all residents,
Run scripts all residents
Set the land to safe (no damage)
No pushing.
Set the land to a group you own and control and make the first three criteria, group only.

Then go to the objects tab and set Autoreturn others objects to 1 second. Doing this will minimise griefer attacks on your land.
You can also turn off voice to prevent microphone abuse and set the land to no fly. While most residents know how to get around the no fly condition, brand new residents rarely do, unless they are alts.
Minimise the number of parcels that you have.
When you have laid the last prim, do a walk around and check all the parcels you own and make sure all the land settings are correct, and ensure TERRAFORM IS TURNED OFF.
You may think that your are inconvenienceing potential customers and clients, but you have to ask yourself; "what is more important - a safe sim, or customers/clients that have to go to a sandbox to unpack things".
You could consider setting up a teleport via LM to a safe sandbox, as a curtesy to your customers/clients

Never accept anything from people you don't know:

You would be suprised how many people accept gifts from others and view it as an act of friendliness or favour.
I have things in my inventory that can supposedly crash sims, people in SL give me all sorts of things and I retain them.
Many people accept all sorts of things when they first log-on, they are usually not fully on the ball. If somebody does give you an item and it is accepted, find a sandbox, rez the object and check the contents. If you cannot verify what it is, then delete it as a safety precaution. Why a sandbox? You don't want a mess on your sim.
About five years ago, a mate passed me an object, told me to rezz it, then touch it, that object siphoned 20K Lindens from my account, this was in the days before an object had to ask for permissions. Thankfully the mate gave me back the Lindens
I re-rezzed the object, boxed it and asked for an in-world pick up by the Lab, next day it was gone. You could ask for in-world pick-ups by the G-team back then.
Even old hands get taken for a ride sometimes.


Take the griefer's head on, they are residents too and can abuse report you.
Become a vigilante.
Share chats between you and any griefer, it is a breach of the Terms of Service.
Hire so-called SL security firms, they are full of normal residents, just like you, with the same powers you have. You would just be wasting your money. In addition, some of these so-called security firms have griefers within their ranks. (Legal dis-claimer - based on my knowledge of these groups).
Start groups to share griefer names, its an invasion of privacy. In addition, the information you might share could be wrong, it has happened and by Linden Staff too.
At the SL8B Birthday one Sim was griefed by the griefer raising the land to its maximum height of 100 metres, the organisers had forgotten to remove public terraform rights. The responding Linden banned a innocent bystander just for being in the area. It took twelve hours to get that residents account active again.

(And we got an apology from the Linden who acted in haste - a rare event.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One other widespread abuse is the posting of a phishing link that often looks like a SecondLife Marketplace link. If you click it then "log in" your account credentials will be given away, and your account will be the next one used to post such a link in group chats and to your friends, and all your L$ can be taken away -- and even more purchased and transferred if you keep Payment Into up-to-date, which most of us do. As always, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true."