Prosecutors in Germany are looking into allegations that child pornography is being displayed and sold in the online 3D chat-world, Second Life. The site has already become a stamping ground for virtual bestiality as community members skin themselves in animal forms and have sex with human-skinned partners.
Following a report by Nick Schader, of investigative TV programme Report Mainz
, legal authorities in the city of Halle in the north east of Germany, are following lines of enquiry relating to a local citizen who not only posted the paedophilia but also apparently paid for sex with minors - or with adults posing as children in order to make money for sex. Apparently this refers to virtual sex which, with minors involved, is illegal in Germany.
Chief prosecutor Peter Vogt from the Central Office against Child Pornography spoke to the program, telling it "I am lost for words. What is being offered is nothing short of child pornography."
In something of a mitigation for Second Life - Vogt also pointed out, "I don't believe it's a one-off case and would assume there are other spaces where child porn is being traded."
The Second Life community (although not officially Linden Labs, the creator) has developed a pastime known as 'Age Play' in which adults adopt child-like skins to attract others. In March this year, in fact, Linden apparently sent warnings out to some of its users which included the following wording:
"Linden Lab would like to inform you that your land or business is possibly not in compliance with Second Life's Community Standards. The depiction of sexual activity involving minors may violate real-world laws in some areas, and the Second Life community as a whole has made it clear that it views such behavior to be broadly offensive. Linden Lab chooses not to allow the advertising or promotion of age play or related activities in any public forum -- including in-world textures, classified ads, the Second Life forums, or parcel descriptions."
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