(originally posted in my cyber-anthro community on LJ May 30th 2007)
Paying customers versus advertisers and free speech versus internet watch dog groups, this is the tangled web our very own Livejournal has found itself in lately.
The crux of the issue is not necessarily that Livejournal deleted several journals arbitrarily because of terms contained within their interests such as “molestation” as had been listed by several who survived such an atrocity. Or, even terms such as lolita – as in a reading group for Vladimir Nabokov‘s book Lolita. Hell, it’s not even about all the slashfic and fanfic communities that were caught in the crossfire of what seems to have been an action by LJ to target pedophiles. No, the Livejournal community is really in an uproar about the 1) lack of warning so that users could back up their work, 2) lack of public communication about the incident, and 3) lack of an appeals process as of yet. As you can see by that first link to the last news post as of today (it’s since hit max comments of 5000 – 100 pages), a few are doing their best to document the entire fiasco including creating a community who’s only purpose is to count those who are into and support fandoms.
Due to the fact that unlike several other social networking sites, Livejournal provides a service that has been active for over 8 years and has long time paying customers (some of whom have even purchased $150 permanent accounts), this seems to me to be a rather touchy situation. Advertising is a relatively new venture for Livejournal, an open source project that was started in 1999 by well before blogging was as popular as it is today. Livejournal was purchased by Six Apart a couple of years ago and has since gone through several changes, many seemingly for the better, although the addition of advertising in particular has been a point of contention for some.
In several past situations as represented on the WFI site (please be cautious when clicking this link there are suspicions of malware being pushed onto visitors of that site though I have no proof of this all I can do is pass along the warning) Livejournal has respected the privacy and freedoms of its users with its liberal Terms of Service stating that they will not police journals or place a limit on the appropriateness of journal’s content and they have pushed back on people reporting abuse just because someone felt the content of a journal was morally objectionable. As this was standard practice for the last 8 years, you can understand why it was such a shock for 1000s of people who either had their personal journal or their favorite community deleted without so much of a public mention as to why.
WFI has issued their latest statement on the issue.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
LiveJournal – Six Apart Delete Hundreds of Pedophile Sites
LiveJournal Says No to Pedophiles:
Setting a new precedent, LiveJournal, owned by Six Apart Incorporated, deleted over 500 of its sites or journals today. Responding to requests from Warriors For Innocence, LiveJournal chose to remove sites that promote pedophilia, child sex, child abuse, and other illegal activities.
LiveJournal has revised their Terms Of Service (TOS) to include new standards that will ensure that they protect the safety and well-being of everyone who visits LiveJournal.
As pedophiles and their sympathizers scramble to find new hosting options, we will be following them and contacting each web host in order to work to enforce a TOS that will ensure that these hosts maintain a responsible and respectable reputation.
LiveJournal and Six Apart have taken a very important step. They chose to maintain accountability for the content placed on their sites. By setting this precedent, they have opened the door for other web hosting companies like Blogger/Google, Blog.com, Xanga, WordPress, and others to follow in their footsteps.
Special thanks go out to Scott Kraft, the Executive Vice President of Marketing for Six Apart, and Denise Paolucci, the Manager of Customer Service for LiveJournal. They have both been very helpful.
Many LJ users have that have had their journals deleted are complaining to WFI that we targeted them and that we are on a witch hunt to shut down innocent sites.
To answer your questions and concerns, we do know what Lolita is and no, we did not report sites that are about Lolita fashion. Those sites were deleted by LJ because LJ (not WFI) chose to delete all sites with certain “interests” listed.
“Did it ever occur to you people that some of the people who have “incest” or “rape” in their interests are victims of said action?”
Yes, it did. We can tell the difference between a pedophile site and a survivor/support group site. And no, we did not ask for the survivor/support group sites to be deleted. We actually expressed our concern over keeping them up and running even though their interests may be listed as the same as a pedophile site.
You may find it easy to blame us for the deletion of these sites, but we are disturbed by their deletions as well. LJ is obviously trying to avoid accusations of discrimination by deleting all sites with specific interests listed. They made that decision, not WFI. Go ahead and point a finger at us. Call us vigilantes and idiots. Accuse us of banning or deleting you. But you forgot something. LJ is hosting your sites. It’s their call, not WFI’s.
I have no problem standing up and saying that yes, innocent journals were deleted by LJ. Yes it was done because I complained to LJ about pedophiles on their site. Yes, this has caused a lot of problems for a lot of people. And yes, I am sorry that there has been mass hysteria over this. But NO, we are not responsible. I will not take the blame for LJ enforcing their rules as they see fit. I may have been the catalyst, but I did not make the decisions for LJ. LJ can delete any journals that THEY view as containing objectionable content. Childish complaints that I “targeted” this journal, or that journal, are misplaced, and serve no purpose.
Many of you see us as wacky, unreliable, and misguided. You question the legality and legitimacy of what we do. You’ve threatened to turn us into the police and to call Quantico. You’ve threatened to sue us. You wonder who we are and what TOS we follow.
Well, here’s the scoop. We are Warriors For Innocence. We are not a non profit organization. We are a group of people who are sick and tired of pedophiles and child molesters hurting children and having a say on the internet without any type of accountability.
This site is a blog. It does not have a TOS. Being a group of people, we answer to the law and to ourselves. We do not break the law and we do not advocate breaking the law. For those of you who have been wondering, our Predator Barrier page is perfectly legal. Have you ever watched To Catch a Predator? Maybe you should.
Yes, we are working to clear out the RSO’s and predators on MySpace. We just don’t post about it.
“Can’t you people see that by attacking fandom journals, you’re driving the real pedophiles underground…”
No, that’s not the case. First of all, we didn’t attack fandom journals. Second, the “real pedophiles” are on many sites. They post on pedophile chat boards. They are on there now posting where their new sites are moving to. And yes, we will be following them, and we will be more proactive in the future at protecting ‘innocent’ sites.
There are sites where pedophiles are telling very young children that what their parents are teaching them is wrong, and that they should listen to pedophiles because they know what’s best for them. That bad touch is not really bad just because your parent’s said so. This is dangerous to children.
There are sites that advocate the lowering of the age of consent for sex. They describe their encounters with small children and talk about how sexy the 5 year old was and how turned on they are when the child smiles at them.
They also post explicit child rape stories for the purpose of sexually arousing themselves and other pedophiles.
This is pedophilia. This is why we do what we do.
Labels: Child Safety, LiveJournal, Pedophile
posted by Sues at 02:04
While it is important for a business to be concerned with its advertising revenue, one has to wonder who the advertisers will advertise to if the users take their revenue elsewhere. Just take a look at the number of members that belong to .
Update 10pm: It’s hit CNet and Boing Boing and the CNet article has been farked.
Update 3:51am: Livejournal Responds!
Current Fandom Counts Numbers
Maintainers: 2: krisomniac, vichan
Moderators: 2: krisomniac, vichan
Members: 22848: View Members.
Account type: Basic Account