Roots and Couture with a Touch of Punk Nouveau

A precautionary tale of SL Extortion



It is my opinion that actions from a “blogger” and aspiring “designer” like this is Second Life are not acceptable and amount to extortion.

You give me all your stuff for free or I will talk shit about you.

On September 9th I made a flickr post looking for photographers. www.flickr.com/photos/zibska/15001402197/ On the 13th I updated the Photographers wanted post with “Thank you for your replies, I will be contacting those of you who have been accepted in the next day or two. <3"

I got an overwhelming reply to the open application and diligently went thru each and every stream and blog giving consideration to present quality of work and/or future potential of all those who applied then got in touch with those who were accepted.

Paradox had blogged for me previously, I often give people who are just starting out a little help in pursuing their SL fashion dream, why not, I have a big closet. Unfortunately I expect actual progression in photo quality and an actual effort to be made. At the end of April, 2013, After several ignored review packs, or posts made after a given event had finished altogether, and way too many excuses, I dropped him from my photographers group.

September 9th I posted the Editorial Photographers who blog flickr post and on September 13th I closed applications and updated the post regarding contacting those accepted.

[11:23] Paradox Messmer: (Saved Wed Sep 17 05:24:24 2014)hello, remember how you told me you'd consider me for when your applications are open again for blogging? Well, I saw the form and I sent an application I was just wondering if you got it?
[11:23] Paradox Messmer: (Saved Wed Sep 17 05:43:47 2014)Btw, I adore your latest from Secret Affair! Amazing shirt and tentacles I'd wear that all the time
[11:34] Zib Scaggs: Hello Dox, yes I got your application. Your photos and styling were not what I was looking for and I will not be adding you to my photographers group. Thank you for applying though and wish you the best of success in your future SL endeavours. ~ Zib
[11:34] User not online – message will be stored and delivered later.

[06:43] Paradox Messmer: (Saved Sat Sep 20 02:45:16 2014)is there any way I can get some review copies for PENUMBRA AW/fW ? I'm a blogger for this event. I know this is women's items, but the headpieces and hairs and other bits can be used by me in my styling. I want to do just one more post for PENUMBRA FW and I'd really love to feature you.
[06:43] Paradox Messmer: (Saved Sat Sep 20 02:50:46 2014)I'd like ot also note that I am a PENUMBRA model and am walking in 8 shows for this event and DJing for 3 of them.
[06:45] Zib Scaggs: No.
[06:45] User not online – message will be stored and delivered later.

[05:27] Paradox Messmer: (Saved Sun Sep 21 04:08:46 2014)I think I'll tell everyone just what a mean person who's totally full of themselves you are
[05:27] Paradox Messmer: (Saved Sun Sep 21 04:09:24 2014)You used to be decent, going to the Rubb and hanging out inthe alternative scenes, now you're just a diva with the biggest ego and worst attitude toward their customers I've ever seen
[05:27] Paradox Messmer: (Saved Sun Sep 21 04:09:57 2014)Don't expect me to give you free advertising anymore

I feel it is important to any and all designers and event coordinators and/or those who set up/manage event blogger groups to be aware of his threats, these mannerisms are quite unacceptable.

~ Zib


Author: zibska

Content creator for Second Life.

24 thoughts on “A precautionary tale of SL Extortion

  1. Oh my, you are a generous designer and definitely do not deserve that.

  2. This is just awful! I am at this point quite sure who exactly is full of themselves… 😉 Sorry I missed the call for bloggers! I know I am not of your caliber, but I would have applied just so you know how much I love your stuffs. Oh wait! You know how much I love your stuffs. 😛

    • Lol Cao, and I was a bit :(( because you did not apply. I adore your work and your blog posts always make me smile, I’d be happy to add you on whenever you’d like ❤

  3. Reblogged this on Xia Firethorn and commented:
    I reblogged this, That is appalling, Now you know why I left the model groups pfft, I am disgusted by this !!!

  4. Absolutely Disgusting Behaviour on his part, This sort of attitude is part of why I left the model groups, and I DONT miss it!! I hope you get some fabulous bloggers who deserve your artworks ❤

  5. They’re lucky they didn’t bother *me*. I would have cursed them out til they blocked me. Don’t ask for ‘mean’ if you don’t want the real thing!

  6. Hi Xia, this is an excellent post. Extortion is a form of psychological abuse.

    People will do what the prevailing culture will let them get away with.

    Unfortunately, strategies of psychological abuse are an accepted form of game play in some sectors of SL… The only way to shut down and abuser it is to counter it is to do what you have done.

    Expose it. Abusers depend on shame and fear to manipulate their targets.

    In this guess the gamer over played his hand in that he thought that he had a hand to play.

    If we all stopped playing the “Did you hear what he did” game which is often paired with the “I don’t know him but I hate him because you do!” game, most of these behaviors will fade from the grid.

    Rob Goldstein

    • Rob, the only part of what you wrote that I agree with is the last sentence. people are ganging up on this individual, Dox, when he was already down. She hit him hard in that flickr post. Then everyone jumped in and was attacking him and baiting him and provoking more out of control comments from him, when he was upset. It was like something from the middle ages with a public execution. People need to understand that he is hurting, he was very stressed out about his modelling stuff (whether you sympathize or understand that or not. I personally don’t care about modelling and I would never invest that much into it, but he was really stressed and concerned with his place in modelling. And to be snubbed in that way by Zibska over the penumbra thing was very antagonizing to him, I imagine. I don’t judge him for how he handled it, because I choose to not go that far. I choose to look at how this has all played out with people participating in the stigmatizing of an individual. When people stigmatize someone, they are attacking that persons right to belong to the group and in essense to be seen as human. The person who stigmatizes is taking a ground higher, they think, where they also lose their common humanity in that situation. They are “better”. Get over this mentality. What was he doing? He was pestering for review copies for Penumbra, then he got upset with the response from Zibska and he said maybe he should tell people how mean she is. I think we all know how mean Zibska can act now, right? She said she wanted to do what he said, to show everyone how mean she is. This is what is happening. It’s acting out very unkind and hostile intentions, to stigmatize and expose someone she finds not worth humane treatment. I am expressing this all in very strong terms so you can see what is going on here. I find it harmful to the community because it creates an atmosphere of hostility and it also stratifies this Designer/Blogger relationship as the designer is always right, and bloggers are just there to serve. We are all people who only have a finite number of hours in our lives. Our time is of equal value. I feel that designers do not automatically deserve high respect and elite treatment. When a designer starts to destroy the career of an ex-blogger and model, we should all be somewhat concerned and sad by this. It should not happen like that. Slander can hurt both sides.

      • I like the technology behind Second Life.

        I’ve met quite a few people that I like, even though I don’t speak to them.

        One often reaches a point at which one has nothing to say.

        My overall experience of the SL community is that it doesn’t seem to know the difference between ‘being’ stigmatized and invading the space of others.

        This sense of entitlement presents itself as a group think that makes it OK to bully and demean people who are usually making a simple observation.

        For instance: Many people in SL make fine art but most don’t.

        Why should I have to pretend that I don’t know the difference between graphic design and fine art?…Both are perfectly good but a Flickr group for fine art is not a group for advertising and graphic design.

        Why should I have to face down swarm of pornographic images that I don’t want to see as a consequence of stating a simple preference against virtual porn.

        If I want SL porn in my Flickr groups I’ll make a group for SL porn.

        I’m not the only person who feels this way.

        SL people seem to believe that they have the right to create exclusive groups but the same thing from non-players is discrimination.

        But that demeans the entire concept of discrimination; doesn’t it?

        It’s not as if the choice of spending one’s days as a doll is genetic.

        So I’m not sure that I understand or even care about the drama in SL.

        I stick to myself because I’ve learned that to trust anyone in SL is foolish until the culture
        of SL stops normalizing psychological and verbal abuse.

        People who viciously attack other people because they are stressed out over a game need to take a breather, and perhaps rediscover the world of fair play.


    • For many of us, this is work. How we pay our bills in real life. This is not a game for us, it’s an often around the clock, working for peanuts so we can do something we love job. We work so that the rest of you can enjoy your game.

  8. I’m speechless Zib, really.
    How unfortunate these things may happen.

    My dear, this is my position, it has always been, as a blogger: if I like an item from a certain designer, I buy it and then blog it. I would never ever dare to go to a creator and “ask” if I could have this or that outfit… you know?

    I missed that part where you asked your bloggers to fill in an application, if we wanted to continue lol my head is wayy over the clouds with my RL right now, but you are within your absolute right to select the bloggers you like, for goodness sake!

    I am shocked! For me, if I want to blog an item from you, you can bet I’ll go to your store and get it myself!!! It’s insane, Zib, simply insane! And to you, anonymous one? I’m so sorry about all this Zib, so sorry 😦 but, hey, let’s move on!! There’s a lot of road ahead 🙂

  9. Seriously people, get a grip. Zip is way overeacting, and anyone who didn’didn’t bother getting the other side are just as bad. What did he threaten to do? Stop blogging your stuff for free. THE HORROR! HOW CRUEL OF him.

    If you can’t handle such a mild complaint, then stay out of the business

    • George, I think if you are going to comment you first need to know what actually happened. Zib did not want him blogging her stuff and dropped him from her group a long time ago, he continued to pester her for months! Finally, when she said no yet again, he made threats against her and her business! Was she supposed to wait until he ran a Facebook campaign or set up a blog against her as he did with Siren? ( as evidenced here: http://boycottsiren.wordpress.com/ he has a history of vendettas against people who tell him ‘no’!)

      Zib has one of the best reputations in SL for customer service, so Dox threatening to tell everyone she is “a diva with the biggest ego and worst attitude toward their customers I’ve ever seen” could not go unchallenged. It was unfair, inaccurate and yes, does indeed constitute extortion!

      That he is now continuing this drama over a month later, posting on flickr, linking to Zib’s blog, etc, is what is causing him to lose modelling work, that along with some truly horrible personal attacks against those who commented on Zib’s original flickr post. He seems to forget that those who are now firing him from agencies and events are reading all of his comments, including some that were pretty homophobic (not a wise move in the fashion world)! It is his behavior that is costing him, and rather than keep his head down and hope they all forgot what he said to people, he is waving it in their faces as a constant reminder. There is only one person to blame and it isn’t Zib!

  10. I wouldn’t normally say anything, but I find this cruel the way you have allowed this to go on. It’s humiliation and it’s targeted, and you don’t deserve more consideration than any other person. You are a human being. he is a human being. You should be willing to use the normal means of handling people on Second Life who annoy you, which is to mute them and you can also write a ticket if you feel you were being harrassed or abused somehow. But to allow all your fans to beat the man when he was already down, by allowing the tons of hateful comments on your original flickr post was very cruel. You could have locked down that post way earlier, and in fact you could have removed it earlier too. I find the fact that you demanded that he get an apology and have the same number of “likes” as your post did before you would remove your post was elitist and also cruel. I felt like you were enjoying the situation to allow that to continue on, which is wrong. I’ve had bad arguments with people on SL before but I have allowed them their space and freedom to continue on without trying to slander them and tear them down. Even if you find someone annoying or even somehow threatening, there are ways of handling it without in effect taking the low road and doing to THEM what you imagined they would do to you. The fact is, you found him annoying and you were judging him as being a bad stylist and photographer, from what was stated. You expect that your bloggers are going to pull out pro-photography for you and do “editorial style” photography, in exchange for review copies. I’ve seen you call for bloggers before and you always say you are looking for “photographers who blog”. I think it’s asking a LOT from people that they will devote their hours to making you photography in exchange for review copies, but this is a trade that many people are willing to make in order to participate because they find it fun. Your scene with Dox makes this whole blogging thing NOT FUN. You should not be so hostile to a blogger who you think is not a good enough photographer or stylist. You should have a fair and cordial way to dismiss a blogger without making it so negative towards them. And you should have ways to handle conflicts without creating so much hostility and a public beating of an ex-employee of yours. A blogger is a form of employee in the sense that you have a working relationship and you pay them in your virtual goods. All people who worked for you and did something for you should have a way to be dismissed without feeling personally trashed. You have attacked him far enough and I think it’s time for you to reflect on how you handled this too.

  11. You know, I think this situation would have been more… pleasant if Zibska had kept Dox’s name anonymous. I’ve had people post negative things about me and my store, about my appearance, threaten me. God knows that I’ve shared stuff and posted to my Flickr, to vent mostly. But I’ve always kept the opposing person anonymous, because I’d never want something like this to happen. It’s a sad situation on both ends, and neither is completely innocent obviously. But I’d love to see a screen shot of the chat if there hasn’t been one shared yet. Because one thing I’ve learned in SL, is to not trust copy/pasted chat logs. A lot of people are very childish (to put it nicely) and with a few keystrokes can twist a conversation around to something it originally wasn’t.

  12. are you afraid to allow people who visit this blog to see my comments that I wrote previously? Why would you reject them when it’s obvious that you are opening this up to a public discussion by posting it on flickr and on your blog

  13. Wow… That’s so wrong, I’ve always found you to be open, honest and generous… I would have applied if I’d been around, but I would NOT have been offended if I was not selected… That’s just life, some things you get that you want, others you do not…

    And I’m sorry (referring to George’s comment), It’s not the ‘I won’t blog you’ I find unacceptable, it’s the expectation and self importance that floors me… So what? I model for several designers and agencies, but I don’t go round using it to get free things… Sure I’m not an ultimate SL Supermodel and I probably never will be because RL keeps me away a lot and I just do it for fun, but I’d never get to be getting snotty at designers who said no…

    Peace and love to all 🙂

  14. How sad. I hear he continues to get fired from jobs on SL.

  15. Congratulations all you superior human beings. You won! Game over (for him) but you may play on indefinitely. (disgusting!)

  16. Bullies aren’t welcome anywhere..especially in a game.

    Doesn’t anyone remember that games have rules…even Second Life.

    Rule number 1. No threats of any kind…

    Threats and intimidation are for losers, people with talent don’t
    need to resort to them.

    Whoever first posted this did the right thing and you did the right
    thing by re-blogging it Xia, so I guess I will too…:)

  17. Reblogged this on Art by Rob Goldstein and commented:
    Bullies aren’t welcome anywhere…pass it on…

  18. Paradox is what his name is and a drama queen; sadly SL is full of them

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