Woodbury Sims and Groups Destroyed, Admins Banned, Foxchase Defiant
by Paladin Proto
The Second Life community at large breathed a sigh of relief today when, in a surprise move earlier today, Linden Lab administrators took the four regions belonging to the rogue group called “Woodbury University” offline in response to the egregious and continuous violations of the Second Life Terms of Service and Community Standards. Information is sparse at the moment, but the decision could have been based on information acquired by two Linden employees embedded as watchdogs within the group as well as information supplied by some half dozen peacekeeper groups and internal informants. The group itself is currently being dismantled by Linden Lab, with its charter description and image logo already removed. A large number of the membership of Woodbury is already missing from search, presumably with more to follow. When word of this reached the membership, a mass exodus from the group took place as well – nobody wanted to be caught being a member of Woodbury University.
The four regions taken offline were Soviet Woodbury, Fetid Inner Sandbox, and the recently acquired additions of Animation and Estonia. The complete and utter destruction of the estate is in direct contradictions to claims by Tizzy Teardrop, a.k.a Jordan Bellino in real life, that negotiations to buy a cluster of eight regions and resurrect the original Woodbury University region were going well, and that he expected to have twelve regions in the cluster by July of 2010.
It is the custom of Linden Lab to take regions involved in disputes offline before their final destruction, so that items can be properly returned where appropriate – but in the case of griefing sims, it also allows them to go over the system logs for such regions with a fine toothed comb as they look for more evidence that might further incriminate the owners or operators.
The real life Woodbury University has been barred from having any official representation in Second Life since July of 2007, when the original Woodbury University region was first trashed by IntLibber Brautigan employee Maldavius Figtree and then completely destroyed less than a week later by Linden Lab itself. Linden Lab deleted the region and most of its users due to its use as a headquarters for planning and executing grid raids by the now inactive griefing group known as the Patriotic Nigras.
Only three of the original eight members of “The Wrong Hands”, the Woodbury subgroup responsible for the theft and illegal distribution of the Justice League Unlimited’s private wiki survived the justice action by Linden Lab. Tizzy Teardrop (Jordan Bellino in real life) and Hydrogen2 Oxygen were two of the ones who lost their accounts and all their known alts in the Linden operation. Haruhi Thespian was thought to be permabanned but turned up in search again a few hours later, surviving four days before Linden Lab apparently thought better of the reversal and deleted the account. Tux Winkler was also banned for his part in The Wrong Hands but managed to regain access to Second Life. “The Wrong Hands” no longer exists as a group.
By early afternoon, Meif Ling had already called an emergency meeting for what was left of the shattered Woodbury organization at the region called Rancor to try to explain what happened, and said that negotiations with the concierge team were under way and that they had not been given an explanation as to why the regions were taken offline. The news of destruction of “a large number of accounts” swept through the crowd quickly, but what little remained of the Woodbury leadership had few answers to give.
The owners of the Rancor region donated some land to Woodbury upon which a mansion currently stands. The site has been designated the “Woodbury Field HQ” on what they describe as “neutral ground”. Since this region is the known headquarters of the Nicholas Mafia, second only to Woodbury in terms of griefing activity on the grid, the claim of neutrality is dubious.
Attendees passed around a quote from Loki Clifton, strongly believed to be one of the Linden Watchdogs assigned to the Woodbury University problem:Loki Clifton: According to the recent meeting with Cyn, Jack, George, and Jeska, Woodbury University has been considered persona non grata in Second Life due to a cease and desist order by Linden Lab legal.
No other Lindens would offer more insight into the situation, and the specific parties of the legal cease and desist order, if indeed there is one, have not been made public. However, on a Woodbury-controlled web site at http://woodbury.su, Bellino issued the following statement on April 21:The Cyn, Jack, George, and Jeska Linden have ordered any presence of Woodbury University in Second Life to immediately cease and desist. The school is no longer welcome in any capacity and they refuse to give us any details or explanation as to why this is. Estate managers that have been banned because of this can appeal their ban via the guest ticket system if their account was previously in good standing. Dr. Clift is currently fueling the jets of his legal team, and they will be contacting Linden Lab soon. In the meantime I will be busy waging a media campaign. They might have nuked our little virtual playground, but that doesn’t mean we’re going away. Woodbury will be a thorn in the side of Linden Lab until the day they close their doors. We are also contacting the ACLU. -Tizzers Foxchase
The message was hastily removed, but not before it was noted and reposted in various blogs around the ‘net, including in comments by Woodbury raiding party member Gaara Sandalwood in the Alphaville Herald. The vague threats at the end of the statement are in accord with Bellino’s previous efforts to undermine the stability of the Justice League via the carefully orchestrated smear campaign in the Alphaville Herald, and with his history of covert participation with such self-described griefing groups as the Patriotic Nigras (for whom he provided an in-world base of operations on the original Woodbury University region) and a four month stint in early 2008 as one half of the griefing group “DiSSenTion” – the other half being the former PN known as “DeadlyCodec”.
The list of deleted accounts associated with the Woodbury University mass banning has crested 28, making it the largest such ban of a griefer enclave in the history of the grid, far surpassing the Voted 5 mass ban and the deletion of their ‘Satyr’ region in September of 2006 wherein only 22 griefers were banned. Haruhi Thespian, the central figure in the BrainiacWiki theft, has lost access to Second Life with his account completely expunged from the SL database.
No “legal team” was ever actually assembled, and no actual court documents have ever been filed on defense of Woodbury University that we can find. The implication is that Woodbury and its representatives had simply defrauded Linden Lab by pretending that their activity in Second Life had legitimate educational purpose.
- brokentoys.org: April 22, 2010 – “The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Soviet Commuter College”
- Emerging Technologies Librarian “Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf Uh I mean Woodbury Uh I Mean Linden Labs
- SorryAFK: April 23, 2010: Reporting or Readers – Which Matters More to Jeff Young?
- The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 25 2010 – Woodbury U. Banned from Second Life
- Second Thoughts: Happy 140th Birthday Vladimir Ilyich