Kitely Market clears out some listings

The Kitely Market saw the first downturn in its listing numbers this month, a result of some housekeeping on the part of management.

Ilan Tochner

Ilan Tochner

“We were forced to remove the listings of several merchants who repeatedly failed to follow our product listing guidelines despite our detailed instructions on what needs to be changed and how,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business.

For more information, see Kitely’s Product Listing Guidelines and Maturity Ratings Guidelines.

I personally ran into this issue, when I uploaded my Hilary Clinton avatar to the Kitely Market — and used an adult base for the skin. I got a note from Kitely to move the avatar to the “adult” category or replace the skin with one that was a bit less anatomically correct.

I uploaded a new skin, this time with baked-on underwear.

Hillary Clinton avatar with baked-on underwear.

Hillary Clinton avatar with baked-on underwear.

Here is what I did to create a safe skin. I went with grandma-style underwear here. Now, if someone wants to use this avatar in a school setting or as the basis for a work avatar, they won’t have to worry about accidentally losing their clothes in public. Here is the work-safe version of the Hilary Clinton avatar.

 

(Data courtesy Kitely.)

(Data courtesy Kitely.)

There are now 11,804 different items listed on the Kitely Market, down from 11,847 last month, grouped into 6,017 products — down from 6,067 last month.

Kitely groups items together, so that, say, a red version of a dress and a blue version of the same dress are listed as variations of the same product. Variations can have different export permissions and different prices, as well.

However, the number of exportable items continued to go up, from 7,189 last month to 7,319 today.

The Kitely Market allows merchants to decide whether their content can only be used on the Kitely grid itself, or whether users can export it via OAR downloads, carry it to other grids via hypergrid teleports, or have the market deliver their purchases directly to other OpenSim worlds.

Any hypergrid-enabled grid can accept Kitely Market deliveries by default, unless they specifically configure their security settings to keep them out. But closed, non-hypergrid worlds can also accept Kitely Market deliveries by following these instructions.

Some of Kitely Market's holiday-themed listings.

Some of Kitely Market’s holiday-themed listings.

There are also around 300 seasonal listings on the Kitely Market, with products tagged as appropriate for Christmas, New Year’s and Winterfest.

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • This is a case where Kitley is more catholic than the pope.

    I experienced the same thing when listing my skins, and could simply not be bothered to redo them for an audience that is embarrassed by the human body we all walk around in. Skins got pulled and will never re-appear on Kitley.

    • There was no need for that, all you were asked to do is list things that fall under the Adult Maturity rating in our guidelines as Adult and not as Moderate or general. There is a place for Adult content in Kitely Market, it just has to be labeled as such.

      Kitely Market serves a diverse customer base that includes both people looking for Adult content and people who will get in trouble if they are shown Adult content (e.g. people at work or minors). We enforce the Maturity Rating Guidelines to enable all those groups to shop in the same marketplace without forcing one group’s needs on the others.

      People who set their account Maturity Rating to Adult can easily find Adult rated content in our marketplace.

      • Da Hayward

        really at the end of the day this is it. Frankly kitely has made a step in the right direction. If someone wants to create and sell adult items they should be rated in that way. well done Kitely

    • I’m with Kitely on this. I love nudity as much as the next person, but I can see that teachers, say, buying avatars for their school grids, can’t afford to make mistakes. And there are a LOT of educators using OpenSim.

      • All school kids knows what a human skin looks like. They all come installed with one.

        I have suggested to Kitely how they can handle it in a more grown up manner, but at the end of the day they choose their (creator) audience.

        • Yes, they know what naked people look like, but it’s still inappropriate!

          I can just imagine standing in front of a classroom of fifth graders who have just figured out how to take their avatars’ clothes off — any learning stops and, of course, the principal would walk in right then and see kids playing around with making avatars touch each other avatars’ boobs.

          It might be nice to live in a world where people didn’t care, and, personally, I think we’re slowly getting there as fashions get skimpier and skimpier each year, but, until then, I’d rather not have any additional obstacles to OpenSim’s adoption in schools and workplaces.

          • Maria, you only need to live in Europe to realize how idiotic this looks and sounds like.

          • What works in Europe doesn’t work in many other parts of the world, including the United States, which is where most of Kitely’s users log in from. You can see naked people in commercials during prime time on many European public television stations. Meanwhile, people still get blipped for just saying [email protected] on public television in the US. We have to respect the cultures we provide our service to which is why we insist on labeling that will enable each person to only view the product listings that fit his or her sensibility.

          • I understand your rationale from a Kitely standpoint, but that is not necessarily a good rationale from a Hypergrid standpoint.

            By limiting your (effective) distribution by making an offering that is sufficiently different from the cultural context a significant portion of your potential customer base exist in, you move yourself into the same trap as SecondLife where they have alienated large swats of what used to be their core market. LL’s lack of maneuverability in areas such as adult, privacy and TOS directly hampers their growth, simply because it departs significantly from what is the norm (both culture and legal) in Europe.

            Hypergrid is fantastic in that it both is culturally or legally scalable in a way a single company alone cannot achieve when it is structured in such a way they are bound to a certain legislation and cultural context (CA, US for Linden Lab.)
            By locking a marketplace for the Hypergrid into one legislative and cultural context, you are placing both limitations on the growth of the marketplace, and it curbs the development of economies based on Hypergrid (it may also speed up alternatives developing).

            IMO it would be better if the Kitely Marketplace was separated from Kitely the Grid, and that it was structured in such a way it could deliver to diverse cultural (and legislative) contexts. You have thoroughly explained why this cannot be the case right now, but still.

          • Most of the items that are purchased in Kitely Market are bought for avatars on third party grids, not for Kitely avatars. The need to change a setting in your Kitely account Settings page to be able to view Adult content really isn’t a very high barrier for people who want to buy Adult content (like all online stores, you need to have an account to be able to purchase in our marketplace).

            We aren’t preventing merchants from listing Adult content in our marketplace, we’re simply requiring them to label it as such. There is no extra effort required to list an Adult rated product.

            You can, for example, sell a naked skin in one Adult-rated product listing and sell a different version of the same skin, that has underwear as part of its texture, in a General-rated or Moderate-rated product listing. We’re not restricting the listing of naked skins, we’re just requiring merchants to label them in a way that will prevent people who don’t want to view such skins from being forced to do so.

          • Ilan, you have explained your rules multiple times before and there is no reason to re-iterate it. 🙂

            What I, as a content creator says is:

            1. I am not interested in labeling my products that is a natural part of the human body, being real or artificial, as adult, and thereby placing it in the same category as sexual toys, BDSM gear, whorish outfits and whatnot. In my part of the world, that is not how we see it.

            2. I am not interested in investing time to overpaint my products to satisfy a group of individuals who in many ways have the same draconian outlook on the world as immigrants from your part of the world who put head-coverings on 6 year old in kindergarten, and thereby sexualize a small child who is far from puberty and adulthood. It is simply so wrong.

          • As you may know, most of Israel falls somewhere between the US and Europe regarding this subject. No secular 6 year old covers his or her head indoors unless it is for some costume party, there is quite a lot of coursing on prime time television (there is no bleeping here), and an anatomically correct doll wouldn’t be a problem with the great majority of people. In other words, our insistence on using these category definitions is not driven by our own views on what is and isn’t acceptable for children or the work environment.

            You don’t have to agree with the category definitions we use but if you list something then your definition should fit what your target customer base expects. In this case, most of the people who buy in Kitely Market expect naked skins to be rated Adult. Those that think they should be labeled Moderate of General rarely have a problem with viewing sexual content when they switch their maturity rating filter to enable seeing naked skins.

            In any case, refraining from selling to a customer base that doesn’t share your definition of what is and isn’t appropriate for kids will significantly reduce your potential sales.

          • Pls see my reply to Impierce above.

          • I don’t understand how clear labeling hurts distribution in Europe in any way.

            My nekkid Hilary Clinton skin is still available on the Kitely Market — as is the work-safe skin. Sure, it took me a little time to figure out how to apply underwear on the skin, but that’s because it was my first time doing it.

            If i was doing a bunch of skins, I could save a copy of each with underwear baked on in a few seconds for each one. Or if I didn’t want to bother, I could just label them all adult. It seems like a pretty workable compromise.

            Plus, I don’t think even European teachers or students make a habit of coming to school naked or have naked illustrations in textbooks (outside of biology or health classes).

            For example, it’s common for Russian women — and girls — to swim topless. But from what I recall, they were all fully dressed in my first-grade readers! (Although it HAS been a while. Things might have changed!)

          • lmpierce

            Your position isn’t making any sense…

            In the first place, you argue that nudity is natural and for that reason should not be treated differently. Well, sexual intercourse and going to the bathroom could not be more natural as well. So to argue that all natural activities should be treated on an equal footing seems unjustified in any culture. All cultures have taboos and thoughtfulness around privacy and appropriate displays of one kind or another. Would you argue that sexual animations should be in the general category of an online store, or the adult category? The ‘natural’ argument as you’ve framed it comes with distinct cultural biases, no less than any other biases you’ve criticized.

            Children in most cultures are considered differently than adults in terms of what we formally present to them. This is neither inappropriate or regressive. Choosing to put nude skins in the adult section favors adult interventions to support what is appropriate in any particular situation. The same occurs with movie ratings. It is true that movie ratings do not fit all cultures and all personal value systems, but they do provide guidelines for understanding the content in advance. This is because the movie ratings come with definitions, whether they are agreed with as meaningful values to any one individual, or culture, or another.

            Worst of all, you’ve compared a profound ideological issue, which is the subjugation and diminution of women, on many dimensions of life, with maturity ratings designed to keep a marketplace truly family-friendly in its dominant marketplace. As noted, the marketplace serves a largely American audience. The U.S. tends to be contradictory about nudity, no doubt. However, there is unanimity across most of the populace that nudity is something we want to control in our children’s lives. As I’ve seen it play out, mature parents want to introduce the complexity of nudity to their children in its many dimensions: sexual, organic, natural, beautiful, biological, object of art and so on, in a manner that they can directly influence. But more to the point of Maria’s comments, there is absolutely no room in American culture to negotiate on casual nudity when it comes to materials for young school-age children.

            So in the end, putting nudity and sexual themes in an adult section is an utterly valid and respectful response to a huge part of the market for virtual worlds in the U.S. and UK. And since all possible images and themes and animations are available in the adult area as well, there is no real censorship going on. Just the age-old separation of what’s appropriate for children versus adults. And yes, children can actually access anything on the Web, so it may seem, what’s the point? I feel the point is, adults must still act with principles even if all around is anarchy. This too will guide children in understanding that the themes of life have distinctions and boundaries, whether we can easily access them or not. And of course, this will vary by culture, so we will always have disagreements. But to have disagreements is the way of the world, not necessarily a sign of failure or repression.

            Finally, you have taken issue before with the culture of California. California is one of the most progressive states in the U.S on many issues, particularly the environment, gun control, immigrant rights and economic development. The U.S. is one of the most progressive countries for women’s rights in the world. In the end, I find the California culture bashing a bit odd. I wish more of the world would catch up to us in values. To fuss over whether whether our children can readily see nude virtual adults seems to miss the big picture of what makes a culture rich in opportunities for freedom and personal growth. Now of course I’m biased as a native Californian, but I’m also quite grateful. As I look around the world I don’t see a lot to envy, short of being so wealthy I could buy a private island and live in a ‘virtual world’ rather than vicariously enjoy one via my computer.

          • That was a lot of ramblings huddled together, and I’ll try and get you back on track for this context:

            The Kitely TOS says it can provide a service

            “to you, provided that you are either (i) of legal age to form a binding contract and are not a person barred from receiving Kitely Services under the laws of the United States, Israel and/or other applicable jurisdiction; or (ii) operating during your use of the Kitely Services under the supervision of a person of legal authority to form such a binding contract on your behalf, under the laws of the United States, Israel or other applicable jurisdiction”

            Meaning you re either considered adult of age OR you are part of an institution that will supervise your use of the service as you are underage.

            If you are underage it could easily be captured in the registration process, which I assume the institution also will supervise or perform, hence such an account could be mandatory marked as General with no provision for the end user of changing it. The same type of logic would apply if a parent did the supervision, but Kitely seems to be mainly preoccupied with institutions.

            The marketplace is organized in 3 categories of which one is General. An account, such as above, would therefore be restricted to access content marked General only.

            Avatar body parts or whole (mesh) avatars (with full naturalness) should be placed in the Moderate product category in the same manner as the SecondLife marketplace does. For placement in General, restrictions could apply.

            By placing these items in the Adult category, you expose the potential customers to a lot of, for very many people, objectionable content that would fall in the porn category in just about any context.

            This is a particularly bad strategy, because the experience from SecondLife is that people want their avatars to look natural (for themselves) even if they have no interest in the porn category whatsoever. Placement in the Adult category means that a lot of potential customers never will see these products, simply because they don’t want to enable the Adult category.

            The incentive to developers to re-paint the skins with parts covered is very small, as the general experience is that people hate these skins and can’t get rid of them soon enough.

            —-

            I am not going to comment much on the culture of California, but as seen from this part of the world it has resulted in, probably, the most f**-ed up administration in the history of the US, were we in Europe now take the grunt of the negative impact. The respect and goodwill you once had is virtually gone.

          • Da Hayward

            to be honest Kitely is showing responsibility, my personal thoughts are drop it. I support Kitely in their move

          • I already did (drop the products) :-))

          • User’s Maturity Rating options are indeed automatically limited based on their reported date of birth and we do advise parents and teachers to set their children’s or students’ DOB to a fake date that will lock them into the desired Maturity Rating (one recommended strategy is setting the current date as the date of birth).

            The Moderate Maturity Rating is the default for all new product listings in Kitely Market, the default for all new users over 13yo, and the default for people who browse Kitely Market without being logged in.

            Our guidelines define Moderate Maturity Rating as:
            “most non-adult activities and content belong here. Anyone that is at least 13 years old may view this content, so assume that there are unsupervised teens around and act appropriately. No nudity and no illegal substances are allowed. May contain mild PG-13 type sexual activity (kissing, hugging), mild language, and mild violence.”

            This is different from the General Maturity Rating which is defined as:
            “family-safe content and behaviors that are appropriate for anyone, including children and people in the workplace. These content and behaviors should be safe to view without upsetting anyone from a Western culture. They include no content or behaviors that would get a teacher in trouble if they were shown in a class of young children. No nudity of any kind is allowed, no violence, no controlled substances, and no content that is even mildly sexual.”

            There is a substantial difference between General and Moderate but both are fit for people who are not logged in. Having this difference is required to enable teachers to use Kitely with pre-teens in the classroom and enable parents to let their teen children use Kitely without sitting next to them and supervising their every move. Had Moderate included nudity then Kitely would not be allowed anywhere near most US schools as parents would not have felt comfortable with our service after browsing the marketplace and seeing it includes naked images. The fact that the teacher locked their child’s school account to General wouldn’t convince most parents as the child might visit Kitely and see naked images before he or she logs in.

            I agree that there is a distinct difference between full nudity and some of the other things that appear in the Adult category but, given the above, we felt that placing naked skins in Adult makes more sense than placing them in Moderate.

          • If the concern is what people can see when browsing the marketplace when not logged in, it would be sufficient to make a rule on the product listing photos, and not on the in-world delivered Moderate product in the skins category.

            If you browse the SecondLife marketplace you will find that the majority of skins sold have product listing photos with no nudity (or no frontal nudity.)

          • The rule is on both. You don’t want parents and educators doubting the appropriateness of the service because their kids can view nudity in the default setting. This may not be an issue in Europe but it would be one in most of the rest of the world.

            It comes down to how many people will be negatively effected by each choice and, despite a few people’s vocal disagreement with this policy, the great majority of the people who shop in Kitely Market have no problem switching their account Maturity Rating to Adult when they want to buy naked skins. Doing so is a non-issue for most people, whereas we received quite a few complaints in the few incidents where merchants mislabeled their naked skins as General or Moderate.

          • lmpierce

            By ‘administration’ are you referring to the United States Government, versus California? Because if that’s the case, I did not intend to go into a discussion about U.S. foreign policy, for or against – yes, obviously a controversial topic. But California is, generally, a good state that has been home to a lot of amazing innovation that the world now enjoys and revels in, so as regards California bashing, your comments have struck me as unfounded and unjustified.

            Again, you are expressing many cultural and personal biases. I raised a number of relevant points that you have dismissed as ‘ramblings’. This, therefore, is no longer much of a conversation. But in the end, what I think really wasn’t the point. I see a marketplace that has grown and become a model for sound business and ethical practices. My goal was to echo my support of such an approach in the context of virtual worlds.

          • The fact is that if you combine Californian Political Correctness with US (Californian) business and privacy legislation, you are at odds with the 780 million big European market.

            Apple tried it, Google tried it, Microsoft tried it, Facebook tried it – the list goes on, and they all had to change their terms of service, their privacy settings and listing rules. Only Google has a certain amount of resistance to some of these aspects and is therefore subject to regulatory intervention by EU legislators.

            Further we don’t need your influence on racial and gun control issues because they are largely US domestic issues, We have had legislation for gay marriage, for women rights, for non discrimination and so on for up to 25 years longer than you have.

            Here we still celebrate Christmas and not holidays, we could not care less about Thanksgiving, black friday, halloween and a lot of other “culture” you want to expose us to.

            What we even care less of is the chaos your current administration in particular has created in the ME, sending a flood of fortune seekers intermingled with jihadist and radical Islam under the disguise of being Syrian in our direction. We also don’t take well to your (illegal and widespread) surveillance of non US citizens no matter where they are in the world.

            Unfortunately this is also part of spreading the US culture to the world – but at (drone) gun point.

            Europe is tired of it, Israel is tired of it, Egypt is tired of it, even the UK is getting weary over it.

            With this as the backdrop, addressing the world market of (opensim) with a US centric view, is not going to work well – except, perhaps in the US.

            We did a casual survey on G+ how many of the grids are non US based, and the consensus was that the majority are.

          • Da Hayward

            well said

          • Dharma Galaxy

            Problem is that we don’t want your culture in our Metaverse.

          • Da Hayward

            with an attitude like that sounds like you the one we dont want in our metaverse have you got a brain cell?
            looking at your comments I doubt it.
            The US is responsible along with other nations for creating this “meta verse”.
            People like you should stay in SL your outlook would fit there well

          • Dharma Galaxy

            Might be better to simply ignore Kitely — I do. How is work coming on importing random 3D objects into Opensim anyway?

          • Moonrise Azalee

            The thing is – the skins ARE available and viewable, you simply have to go into your Kitely Market Settings and give your Birthdate to show that you can view ‘Adult’ items. Not a big deal really.

      • Dharma Galaxy

        Why should anyone have be aware of other people’s prudishness? It seems rather obvious that the people with special tastes are the ones who need to search things out to fit those tastes. People who don’t care ought not have to care.

  • Susannah Avonside

    Oh dear, I can see a trans Atlantic divide appearing here. I’m with XMIR here, as children know what a skin is. Heck, even the dolls played with by many, if not most European children are anatomically correct and don’t pretend to be sexless. I’m all for keeping children and vulnerable people safe but constantly playing to the dictats of puritanical American prudery will just lead to ridicule. We all have our girl bits and man bits, big deal, get over it!

    • Da Hayward

      so what’s the problem with anatomically avatars and skins being rated adult?
      Personally I think its a good move, Kitely are not saying you cant buy them there, just that it is adult content.
      So there is nothing to get over really at all is there?

      • Dharma Galaxy

        What’s wrong is being told what to do. If you want someplace “safe” then rate it SAFE and leave the rest of us alone.

        • Da Hayward

          hes an idea make yourself a private grid and keep trap shut

          • Dharma Galaxy

            Don’t worry, you will not be invited. (And yes, I have a private grid.)

          • Da Hayward

            now im laughing, Me thinks you may have delusions of grandeur.
            Why would I want to be invited in first place?
            Contribute by being constructive , people may think you are intelligent

  • Alex Ferraris

    AviWorlds Marketplace has an adult category but the user has to go to account settings and check the box thats says he or she wants to have that category show under the category list.
    AviWorlds Marketplace now has over 400 items and growing.

  • Enrico Ranucci

    Serious part:
    “Europe” is my native place but i’m not going to talk on “Europeans” behalf,,,because nothing in this article was meant to be “European” or “American”: a nude body is a nude body both in EU and in US. If someone wants to list their creations on Euro-Kitely mp they MUST accept and follow the TOS. Same applies for US-Kitely listing: NONE of you adults would EVER loose their undies in front of minors or adults ub real life…unless you are at an adult consensual meeting.

    Best part:
    When i moved to US i wanted to fly back home after 10 minutes…”they” burp and fart in public and then they say “oops….i’m sorry”…and they teach that to kids!!!! Something you will never see in “Europe” (coughs)!!! Come on….”you” are not sorry..you just burped and farted..you KNOW how to hold those things for your private parties….jokes apart….(but who knows me know i never joke)…i decided to stay in US and so i’m now a free interracial man able to burp, fart and with no undies….but yeah…”i’m sorry”.

  • Tom Frost

    I lolled and shrugged, remembering the old song lyrics “You’re old enough to kill, but not for votin’”. Point taken, Kitely market is for the US, got it!

    • Kitely Market is for people who want to buy good content and have it delivered to their grid no matter what country it’s in. It is also for merchants who want to be able to sell to an international crowd from a single online marketplace instead of having to set up shop in many different grids.

      All you need to do to use Kitely Market is know how to list the items you want to sell or find the items you’re interested in buying. Having a few rules in place doesn’t make that overly complicated to do, if anything it makes things easier by removing doubt of how various items should be listed.

      • Da Hayward

        You are so right llan. Well done on your inituative, I do believe Kitely has acted with responsibility in this matter, After all you arent asking people not to sell these items all you are asking is they be classified under the right listing.
        To me these people who have dropped their products or “wont” buy off kitely are cutting off their noses to spite their face