Sex Work and Networks

Above is a video on my thoughts on this week’s topic of the Network Society Paradigm in DIGC202. I’ve tried to stay away from my opinion on whether sex work should or shouldn’t be illegal in real life or online. I’m focussing more on the issues of creating virtual law for centralised and decentralised systems. I wish I could have gone into more depth but I’m limited with the word count. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments so we can look further into this topic!

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2 thoughts on “Sex Work and Networks

  1. Hey Natasha,
    You chose a really interesting topic! I’d never have considered the possibility of paid prostitution work existing on second life. I found a blog that gives more of an inside to second life prostitution. http://kamasecondlife.blogspot.ru/2012/01/prostitution-in-second-life-interviews_27.html
    It was an interesting read and highlighted the humanity and choice of people whom chose to engage in such practices. I particularly like how you look at it in an objective-analytical stand point and the questions that you raise but now I only have questions of my own curiousity! Like if servers moved to another country with less stricter laws or a lack of laws could the site users begin to practise more offensive activities? Otherwise would the users be punished or the employees of second life for creating such a feature? Maybe there will be more alternate versions of the game one day to accommodate for such controversial interests? though I’m sure some similar games already exist on the deep web but what would it mean for dedicated fans of second life if such activities are made illegal? -Anna

    1. There are definitely many questions when it comes to this topic! I think if the server moved to somewhere more lax with their content laws then the rules would definitely change! I found your question about whether the users or creators should be prosecuted for offensive content very interesting! I think it would be up to the creators to discipline the offensive user (probably by blocking them from the site, etc). If they fail to do this then possible it would be the creators who should be prosecuted by authorities. After all the creators can’t control everything that users say!
      There are definitely games that are created just for the specific service of virtual sex work, while other sex work is just facilitated on more general sites like second life.
      Going back to the idea of centralised and decentralised networks, do you think that the use of a centralised system is working in this case? It is in no way perfect: some workers are exploited as there is no regulation of things like pay. Often workers are getting paid the equivalent of $3 per half hour. Plus there are issues with the policing of age restrictions. But perhaps that is a problem with the regulations of the company rather than a problem with the centralised network type.
      How would these problems be addressed in a decentralised network? Could they be improved with this type of network or is the whole idea of the decentralised network just an unrealistic utopia?

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