Age Verification Score Card: Second Life 1, MySpace 0.

Eight state Attorneys General wrote a letter to MySpace demanding they turn over the names of the registered sex offenders using their site. I’m very interested to see if and how MySpace will respond, especially since the social network relies on the honesty policy for its membership. Since we all know the honesty policy doesn’t work, being able to pinpoint a member name to a name on a registered list of predators will be interesting.

In related news, Second Life announced earlier this month that it will implement age verification for its members wanting to access adult related content. Are you familiar with Second Life? It’s a virtual 3-D community where you become a resident and “create.” Whatever you can imagine, you can create and build. Second Life indicates that everything in it (from the strobe lights at the nightclubs to the car or spaceship in your driveway) has been created by its residents. You can explore, buy property, set up a business, and interact with other people by buying and selling whatever you create. Interestingly enough, some companies like Adidas, Dell, IBM, Sun Microsystems, and Warner Brothers see some real-world benefits from participating in Second Life and are launching marketing plans specifically within the community.

As expected the reaction from Second Life residents to the age verification news is mixed but a lot of the adults and providers of the adult content within Second Life are in support of it because they understand the important reason why the site is implementing age verification – to do its part to protect children online.

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