The New York Times
February 26, 2011
...Ms. Pritchard says the stakes are higher in online worlds intended for children, like Webosaurs. In more adult-oriented sites like Second Life, users must be at least 16 and are presumably more equipped to deal with the threats of online interaction.
She has found that keeping children safe has a lot to do with keeping them entertained. “If you just release kids into these online playgrounds with no one to monitor them and no rules, it’s ‘Lord of the Flies,’ ” she says. “But if you can balance safety with fun and engage the kids, I guarantee you’ll have a site with a great group of kids and no cyberbullying.”...
...Ms. Pritchard, however, knew exactly how to make friends online. As a side job, she had moderated message boards for the WB television network and had struck up close friendships with several other moderators.
After introducing them to Second Life, she persuaded five of her moderator friends to create avatars and join her regularly at a Second Life virtual sports bar called the Thirsty Tiger.
There, Ms. Pritchard struck up a friendship with the bar’s creator, Mike Pinkerton, a real-life lawyer in New Orleans. One night in July 2007, she ran this idea past him: What about a virtual company, providing remote moderators to staff Second Life sites for corporations, and to moderate Web forums? Mr. Pinkerton signed on as chief operating officer of the fledgling business....