Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
August 6th, 2002
Adobe Atmosphere


On Avatar Moderation

A question has been raised at the Adobe® Atmosphere™ User-to-User Forum and Atmosphere Worlds that basically asks if avatar moderation should be implemented at HomeWorld and other Adobe worlds. My thoughts? It should. We have already witnessed that the honor system (of just trusting people to be responsible when creating and using avatars) just isn’t enough. As Atmosphere™ becomes more popular (which it will, no doubt), more children, educators, and businessmen will use it, raising the expected maturity bar. Unfortunately, Atmosphere’s popularity will also mean that those who publish and use inappropriate and irresponsible avatars will offend more and more. We will alienate many potential users in the professional world if we continue to allow this abuse of technology, and I believe that it is necessary to implement moderation.

First and foremost, it is the responsibility of the individual user to avoid places where inappropriate material can be found, as it is on the Internet.

Second, it is the responsibility of the avatar’s creator to think responsibly and sensitively when creating avatars. Avatars have the potential to offend anyone who sees them. Sure, freedom of expression is important, but it carries with it the responsibility to express one’s creations sensitively.

Third, it is the responsibility of the world’s creator to maintain the appropriate use of words and of avatars in his/her world. This is why Adobe has included special chat functions for moderators.

No matter which features or which safeguards are implemented to prevent misuse of avatars, one principal remains: use common sense.