LiveJournal: When the LJ abuse prevention team become the abusers, who will protect the LJ users?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

LJ Abuse, lending Stalkers a Helping Hand

The Blogging Times writes: Ripping LiveJournal A Well-Deserved Hole
The tale begins with Alex Lucard’s name and a popular British author’s preoccupation with the occult and Lucard’s name (spell it backwards and add an “a”) . This obsession led to him harassing blogger Alex Lucard on his LJ blog for many years and not only going after Lucard, but leaving lascivious comments about Lucard’s LJ friends as well.

After Lucard contacted LJ support and explained his situation, the man in question, Sean Manchester, a public figure in Britain, who has appeared on radio, documentaries, and penned several books decided to turn the tables on Lucard by stating he had been publicly exposed (re: named as the stalker) on Lucard’s blog and that this was illegal. LJ sided with Manchester and suspended Lucard’s account.


Lucard told the Blogging Times:
LJ basically said, “We don’t care. You wrote his full name and it doesn’t matter that he has six books published, tons of books written about him and that even six months ago UK courts once again ruled him a public figure. We’re going to ignore legal precedent and suspend you because he complained about his name being written in your blog.”


Lucard writes:

Basically here’s the deal. If you read me, you know that for years, this guy named Sean Manchester has stalked me. He’s a self professed “vampire hunter” that’s been made fun of by everything from the BBC and Channel 4 in the UK to Ramsey Campbell and Neil Gaiman mocking him in writing. He’s appeared on radio shows, done documentaries and has 6 or so books published and probably three times as many written about him. He’s been listed as a public figure since the late 1960’s. That’s nearly 40 years.

Why does he stalk me? Well, spell the last name backwards and that’s a pretty good hint.

OMG! My name almost is an anagram for Dracula! Holy crap! Obviously I am the lord of the undead! Bring me human blood and a pile of earth to line my coffin with! Sigh…

At first it was just crazy ranting emails, but then it eventually spread to my livejournal. He’d attack me, attack LJ friends, and even attack other anon commentors that would turn out to be rival occultists/vampire hunters. He’s been considered a right nut for over three decades by everyone who has ever encountered him.

Eventually though he decided to play nasty. He would complain to LJabuse that his name was showing up in my LJ and that it was an invasion of his privacy. Never mind that all these conversations were started by him or because of his stalking, or that the comments he was complaining about were often HIS OWN. Somehow he decided a public figure shouldn’t be talked about negatively. Even though every court on earth has laughed him right out of it every time he’s whined.


Six Apart's companies have done this sort of thing before, but last time SixApart CEO Barak Berkowitz made his apologies for the error: To put this situation mildly, this request is ridiculous…You should have every right to post whatever you want, even if it happens to be libelous - which I personally don't think it is in this case…the namby-pamby recommendation for "fixing" the issue seems childish and ineffective to the point that it shouldn't be suggested at all.

That was to Tribe.net founder Mark Pincus, after they attempted to censor his blog to have him remove the full name of a public figure. Will Alex Lucard get a similar apology, or is LiveJournal Abuse beyond even Barak Berkowitz's control?

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Links, LJs and Blogs

This is going to be an entry of links and little commentary, I've been exceptionally busy IRL and apologize for not dealing with all the emails from the past 2 weeks yet. I promise more comprehensive updates soon!

A tale of LJ Abuse, vampire hunters, and screened comments.

Reassuring: Six Apart VP Anil Dash says "we really like having our community do a sanity check for us."

Less reassuring: Anil Dash offends some other LJ users.

These posts relate to another Petition about LiveJournal. You might also be interested in this post by former LJ employee insomnia.

Lastly I'm sorry to see that someone is using the comments here to further a private vendetta with another LJ user. If it continues I will turn on comment moderating. No I am not yellowest-finch, and it has not been at all hidden that Christine D (who took over the updates on the breastfeeding icon fiasco one weekend for me when I was away and it was all happening) is realcdaae on LiveJournal. I have linked to some of her posts.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Nipplegate summary

Because this is being discussed on so many journals and blogs I thought it would be useful to provide a summary of events to people who are new to the story.

LJ user hardvice set his default icon to a piece of artwork which showed Bea Arthur topless. The icon was reported to LJ Abuse who said he couldn't use it as his default icon. They also told him his replacement version with cups over the nipples couldn't be used, then retracted and said it could. Hardvice and others decided to test the rule by reporting other icons with bare breasts, including some of mothers breastfeeding their babies. When women started to get emails from LJ abuse telling them their default icons were inappropriate, they were told it was because they were "sexually explicit". People emailed LJ abuse in protest, and were told that write-in campaigns were never effective in influencing LJ.

The page of the FAQ covering default userpics had read that sexually explicit or graphically violent userpics were inappropriate. On May 20 it was changed to refer to nudity instead. LJ abuse says this has always been their policy and the FAQ was updated to reflect the policy accurately. We have no way of verifying this of course, and the abuse policy document still reads sexually explicit.

A number of blogs picked up on the story of LJ abuse saying customers' voices were never effective in swaying them, and criticized the customer service this represents. Meanwhile Carrie from ProMom.org set up a "3 minute action" form allowing people to email Six Apart/LiveJournal about the default icon ban (which LJ refined to say "no exposed female nipple or areola"). Over 1500 people sent emails.

Carrie also talked to representatives from Six Apart on the phone, and Doug Bryan of 6A posted in the breastfeeding community apologizing for some of the actions of the abuse team (people complained about the rudeness of their attitude). However people criticized the half-hearted nature of his apology, and continued to bring up issues he had not addressed.

When it appeared that no further dialog was going to be forthcoming and users were still being threatened with suspension, even though it was obvious that members of other communities were reporting icons because of longstanding drama between their communities and the breastfeeding communities, a press release was sent out and a small group of mothers met at Six Apart's headquarters and held a "nurse in." The press release lead to discussions on various blogs (and a tripling in traffic to this one!). Some of the mothers and their supporters declared a "Step Apart from Six Apart day" on which they would all delete their journals for the day in protest.

The situation at the moment is that LJ abuse are still reinforcing the no female nipple or areola rule (including in classic art and Mary breastfeeding Jesus pictures). At the nurse in Doug Bryan told people that he did not want to be "autocratic" with the abuse team volunteers, which suggested that he was more concerned with the opinions of a small group of volunteers than the opinions of thousands of LiveJournal users. However according to emails sent out by Denise Paolucci (who heads the LJ abuse team) they are going to be reviewing their policies over the next few months and promise to pay attention to users' feedback.

Though I have my doubts that everything that needs dealing with will be addressed, it is a step in the right direction and I'll keep on being hopeful.

There are currently 630 signatures on the petition and Christine tells me she plans on sending it off to 6A next week.

For those who want to read the background in more detail, here are links to each of my entries on it, which link to blog and LJ community posts too.

Breasts, now against a TOS near you
Contradictions
Changing the rules
Six Apart notified
LiveJournal and customer relations
Updates / response from Six Apart
Responses to Doug Bryan's post , more responses
Listening? Bullshit.
More comments from users
Still more comments from users
The Virgin Mary breaks the rules
Press Release from ProMom.org
Doug Bryan doesn't want to be autocratic with abuse team volunteers

Also see the Gallery of unacceptable default icons and ProMom's media pack.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Six Apart speaks? Doug and Anil

3 nursing moms and a few friends held a "nurse in" outside the Six Apart offices in San Francisco yesterday. talula_fairie reports:
We were outside on the sidewalk for about an hour and a half. Doug and Ginger came down within twenty or so minutes. They said they'd been looking forward to seeing us and brought sandwiches down when we didn't come up. Eventually after awhile the noise was so bad and my voice was giving out from trying to yell over some construction work that we came up to talk in the conference room at SA (as an aside, I found it very amusing to see the headquarters of Live Journal).

I basically reiterated everything Carrie has already told Doug. I said that I think he should just tell the Live Journal Abuse team that breastfeeding icons are ok, period, end of story, as long as the baby is latched on. That is pretty clear cut. It's hard to know exactly what he is saying when he talks, but basically he said that he doesn't want to be "autocratic" with the abuse team members. He went on about how they are a volunteer staff and how they would have to hire 4-6 full time employees to replace them. He said the only person he can be "autocratic" (I officially don't like that word) with is Denise.

Rather than add my thoughts I will include this from the person who sent it to me (I have permission to post it from a locked post on LiveJournal).
What bullshit. He's saying they can't make a simple change in the way the rules are implemented without approval from his volunteers? Who is running this company and why is he being paid a salary if he can't handle his own volunteers? And why not be autocratic with Denise, if it's her job to manage the team? He certainly needs to lay down the law about how they deal with users, and how they talk to them in communities.

In another less than great decision Six Apart Vice President Anil Dash posted a comment on a blog entry about the Step Apart from Six Apart day, defending LJ but not mentioning his sizable vested interest. Another commenter followed his link and took him to task for leaving that out, and other commenters are criticizing the content of his defense.

Says Rachel:
Please don't do that, Anil. People can worry about major things and minor things at the same time. The argument that "rapes go on in Congo" has been used to shut up American feminists long enough that it should be clear by now that it's only purpose is to hold up a distraction and say "Stop talking about things I don't want you to talk about."


Speaking of comments, I see the drama hounds are taking advantage of anonymous commenting here. I prefer not to delete any comments, because if you start feeding the trolls you have to deal with them vomiting it back up at you. If things become out of hand I will turn comment moderation on. Besides, as there is now an LJ community called nipplegatesnark, you can snark there!

Lastly this blog is having another traffic burst, so a reminder to new readers about the petition calling on Six Apart to reform LJ Abuse.

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Abuse team volunteer admits open prejudice

Follow up to shamanix here: it's "LJ abuse are the victims" mode, and to top it off a plain-spoken admission of bias against a user who has disagreed with LJ abuse in the past. Yes, post anything critical of LJ abuse and you're just a troll.

Abuse team member shamanix says: "Lastly, given that you're one of the people who feels slighted by the Abuse Team, as evidenced by your postings to [info]abuse_lj_abuse, I'm afraid I can't put much stock in your opinion here."

realcdaae replies: "This is precisely why a number of people think the team should be made up of more professionals and fewer volunteers. One who sees someone disagreeing with them or asking questions as someone who feels "slighted" is not cut out for work that has, or should have, some element of customer service involved with it. I have always been polite when I've written to LJ abuse. I don't think it's asking too much for them to be polite back."

beyondinsanity says: "I find it very,very unprofessional that the abuse team members are making such comments to livejournal users."

shamanix replies: "Actually, what it meant is that from my personal perspective, [info]realcdaae is getting involved in the breastfeeding situation because of her personal ulterior motives."

realcdaae responds: "As you do not know me, your personal perspective about my "ulterior motives" is certainly not worth putting much stock in. I think your personal perspective may possibly be motivated by the fact that information you posted about the abuse team policies is shown to be inaccurate by my case. I have assumed that you believe the information to be accurate and that it is indeed the policy, and have hardly suggested that I blame you for it not being followed.

Hostility does breed hostility. I have been polite when I've communicated with the abuse team. I have received a significant amount of rudeness in return. You should not complain that you are jumped on for being unprofessional when you actively admit to being biased against users because they've disagreed with LJ abuse."

misfratz adds: "Did you ever consider that her 'personal' objections to the behaviour of LJ abuse team might be justified? Obviously if you attack an individual for no reason, they're going to side with/show solidarity towards others who are treated badly. I don't see why you would have a problem with this, unless the intention is to be divisive and deliberately ignorant."

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

When is a nipple not a nipple?

mercy_rain writes:
Have you seen Denise Paolucci's default icon?
Profile.

According to LJA-Erin in the news community Denise's icon is just fine because it's covered with material, and not nude.

"The very definition of nude implies that a portion of the body is not covered up. [info]rahaeli's default icon that you link to clearly shows a sports bra.

"How can something be nude and in clothing at the same time? "

Well, according to Denise herself, it's NOT okay, which really is logical, because the whole point of wet t-shirt contests is that you can see a lot through the right kind of fabric.

In an email to me, wherein I asked some specific questions about exactly what is considered "nudity," she told me, "If the nipple or areola are visible -- such as in userpics where the breasts are covered but the fabric is sheer enough -- then it is also not permitted for use as a default userpic."

That is a DIRECT QUOTE from Denise Paolucci. Pity the rules don't apply to important people like her.

For those who can't see the nipple, I've added an arrow.



Breastfeeding default icons showing less nipple than this have been ruled inappropriate. Denise herself said that if the fabric is sheer enough to show any nipple the picture is not permitted for use as a default userpic. Except hers. It's just a few darkened pixels after all!

Abuse team members still can't agree on what the rules are, so it's not a surprise that other LJ support volunteers don't know how things work. One supporter said that instead of contacting LJ Abuse to complain about their ruling that breastfeeding icons showing areola were inappropriate as default userpics, people should have posted disputing the policy at the Suggestions community. Most users didn't realize that community covered policy disputes, but one user took up the suggestion and posted there.

The post was rejected by the moderator on the grounds that "The FAQ reflects current policy. If you have concerns about an Abuse policy,please contact the Abuse Team following the instructions in http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=105"

No wonder it takes 1500 emails to get their attention!

LJA-shamanix thinks some of us are fanning the flames because we have an axe to grind. I think my axe is sharp enough without any more grinding thanks!

LJA-shamanix also doesn't want people to have any help figuring out they can email him by putting his username in front of @livejournal.com (No one of course has answered Christine's question).

The Petition has over 500 signatures.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Step Apart from Six Apart, & Nurse In at 6A HQ

Step apart from Six Apart on 06/06/06M
Let's communicate with SixApart. They can ignore e-mails: they can ignore letters: they can probably ignore nurse-ins, though anyone who lives near enough in San Francisco, Paris, or Tokyo should definitely give it a try on Tuesday 6th June.

What they cannot ignore - what their bottom line will not let them ignore - is a drop in numbers of the people using LiveJournal.


For anyone in San Francisco, "a nurse-in is planned to take place at Six Apart's US Headquarters, located at 548 4th Street, San Francisco, CA. The event is planned for 12 pm on Monday, June 5th. The activists encourage nursing mothers and supporters to join in the protest."

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

LJA oops

(Previous content removed as it was a mistake on behalf of the LJ Abuse team, for which they apologized and it's resolved.)

From the ProMom media info page:

Bullet Points - Problems with LJ Abuse

  • No appeals process for suspensions, along with refusal to answer legitimate questions from users.
  • Inconsistant and contradictory answers given to users about LiveJournal's rules and what is regarded as a breach.
  • Questions raised about breaches of privacy and abuse team's ability to read users' private posts have not been answered.
  • Discourteous replies received by users asking questions.
  • Replies received evade questions put by users, and support requests are then closed with no further response.
  • Rules not specified in Terms of Service or abuse team policy document are used to suspend accounts, and definition of words (such as harassment) are twisted to suit team's decisions.


I will be adding reference links to that list in the next couple of days to specific examples.

A lot of blogs have picked up this story today so I'll leave you to do a Google blog search if you're interested!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Press Release: LiveJournal and Six Apart

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Popular Blogging Site Restricts Use of Breastfeeding Photos:
LiveJournal cites images as 'inappropriate' and sends mothers to the virtual restroom.

Contact:
Carrie Patterson
Executive Director, ProMoM.Org
http://www.promom.org
carrie@promom.org
678-513-6329

Popular Blogging Site Restricts Use of Breastfeeding Photos:
LiveJournal cites images as 'inappropriate' and sends mothers to the virtual restroom.

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006 - Women on the popular blog site LiveJournal are calling foul at the company’s decision to brand images of breastfeeding as ‘inappropriate.’ Many users of the site have joined together to urge LiveJournal’s parent company SixApart to address their concerns and reevaluate the policy.

Small "userpics" of no more than 100 by 100 pixels represent LiveJournal members throughout the site. Users can define one of these icons as "default icon" which plugs it into the user's public profile. These default icons were originally not permitted to be ‘sexually explicit or graphically violent.’ Recently, icons which depicted breastfeeding were cited as being ‘inappropriate’ by the LiveJournal abuse team, a group of volunteers who monitor complaints on the site. After clarification was requested, LiveJournal changed their FAQ to reflect a no nudity rule and is claiming that icons with visible areola or nipple are not permitted. Whether or not areola is visible in a photograph is dependent on a number of factors, including skin tone of the mother and physical changes during pregnancy.

Claimed Live Journal Abuse Staffer 'Erin' in a post on the site, "That's really a matter for the FCC to decide. LiveJournal's policies on this mirror what would be allowed on primetime TV or in a PG-13 movie." However, this is not true. The FCC does not consider the act of breastfeeding on television to fall under the definitions of indecency or obscenity.

Breastfeeding is exempt from nudity laws throughout the United States as well as countries such as Canada. Advocates are urging LiveJournal to adopt the same criteria. "It is regrettable that LiveJournal has chosen to target breastfeeding mothers instead of standing up for the protection provided them by law," says Carrie Patterson, executive director of ProMom.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness and public acceptance of breastfeeding. Advocates state that the feeling that breastfeeding should be hidden only fosters the idea that the natural act of nourishing a child is scandalous.

Breastfeeding bloggers who have refused to change their default icon have been suspended from the site. These users, as well as others questioning the policy, have been treated poorly by the site’s volunteer abuse team, something that is not unusual according to other site users.

More than 1,000 LiveJournal users complained, and SixApart issued an apology to the group. However, the company refuses to consider modifying their policy and continues to suspend users whose default icons are deemed inappropriate. Although LiveJournal stated a clarified rule, mothers are still reporting major inconsistencies in its application.

The breastfeeding debacle is only the most recent in a long line of incidents that have people wondering if the abuse procedures as a whole should be reviewed for fairness and propriety. Complaints have been raised about users' privacy, inconsistent enforcement of the Terms of Service, conflicting information and responses from abuse team members, and discourteous replies to users seeking clarification on the rules.

Activists are now working together to get this policy changed and to clarify the policies and procedures of the LiveJournal abuse team. While some are refusing to continue paying for the service, others have moved to different journaling websites to protest what they feel is a violation of their rights.

For more information, contact Carrie Patterson at 678-513-6329 or carrie@promom.org or visit http://www.promom.org/bf_info/mp.html.

###

I will be acting as press contact for this blog.
Media inquiries to: Christine D. Clemens, cdaaeclemens@gmail.com

Don't forget the petition!

Some past posts on this topic:
LiveJournal and Customer Relations
Breasts - now against a TOS near you
Changing the Rules
Six Apart's Response + part two
More comments and yet more comments, from customers of LJ/6A.
LJ Abuse in Action


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Six Apart launches new blogging community

Six Apart is launching a new ad-supported blogging service, to "combine the publishing power of TypePad, the community aspects of LiveJournal and the years of insight garnered from Movable Type." Since Mena Trott wrote about the new service here it has been renamed from Comet to Vox.

"Half blogging platform for newbies (albeit with rich and deep functionality) and half social network" but I wonder, will Six Apart be giving it a professional abuse team? Will users of the new network be treated any better than LiveJournal users, and is Six Apart finding that LJ just doesn't make enough money to be worth taking seriously?

Before signing up for this new service potential users might want to look into how Six Apart has managed LiveJournal, it's a cautionary tale.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Email to Six Apart/LJ from realcdaae

From realcdaae's livejournal:

To: contact@sixapart.com, Barakb@sixapart.com, anil@dashes.com, Kevink@livejournal.com
Date: May 31, 2006 12:33 AM
Subject: Fwd: Abuse team and locked/private entries question

I am forwarding you the following email which I sent to Mark Ferrell, Denise Paolucci, and the LJ abuse team member [info]shamanix on Thurday May 25th.

I understand that it has been a holiday weekend, but I know that Mr Ferrell has been responding to abuse complaints in the past few days, so I am peturbed to have had no response.

If the abuse team has stated rules, clearly steps outside those rules, and implies that a LiveJournal member is lying, I think they have the duty to provide an explanation. I would like to know precisely what violation of US law was being investigated when LJ Abuse representatives looked at my friends locked entries (see below).

I look forward to your reply.

Forwarded Email

That's the CEO and VP of Six Apart, head of LiveJournal, and general Six Apart contact address. I wonder I wonder, will any of them reply?

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Consistency is a good thing

So it's good to know that Mary breastfeeding Jesus is banned from default userpics too.



The post
The replacement icon

Friends of the poster are testing the bounds of nudity in classic art.

flyingsauce


swisstone



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Monday, May 29, 2006

Quick update

Major thanks to Christine for joining the team and updating over the weekend and I hope you all had a good Memorial Day. The LJ Abuse team have been rocking it up in Las Vegas we hear!

Not all of them I guess as they're sending out warnings to users for icons they are not even using. Spot the difference.

This post from The Snow in Summer is well worth reading with a summary of why the writer left LiveJournal that includes interesting commentary about how Six Apart has "violated the letter and spirit of the social contract between myself and Livejournal. That was the community I joined in 2003, those were the written community rules, ones that could only be changed with the majority consent of the community. But we forgot that corporateamerica knows no honour, only profit. Six Apart is a profit-seeking company, not a benevolent dictatorship. By acting in this dishonourable way, Six Apart kills its own society, kills its own source of riches, kills its own future."

I also had an email with a suspension notice I haven't seen before. "Your journal exists solely to disrupt the LiveJournal service."

The user asked "Please define 'disrupts the LiveJournal service.' It was a source of entertainment for myself and many others."

Noah on LJ abuse wrote back "Upon receiving a complaint regarding your account, we reviewed it. The entire content of the account consisted of marquees, extremely large images, flashing text and entries solely intented to harass other users. While the first three of these items are not violations in and of themselves, their use in nearly every entry and the general content and tone of the entries is sufficient evidence for the Abuse Team to make a determination that the account was not being used for any legitimate purpose."

We've seen before that what the Abuse Team calls harassing often isn't, and this user believes that maybe having an entry that called Michelle on the abuse team "incompetent" had something to do with their suspension.

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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Why LJ abuse needs to be answerable for its actions

Most of the posts here in the last week have been focused on the breastfeeding icons controversy, but I think it's good to be reminded of some of the other problems with LJ Abuse which the petition is calling on Six Apart to address.

LJAB referred to one of them towards the end of this post.

User shamanix went further and stated:

"As has been said in this community numerous times, the ability to view locked/private entries is limited to LiveJournal's actual employees, and is only used in cases of copyright complaints or violations of United States law."

This is a lie.

realcdaae replied: "Untrue in my case. There was no copyright complaint, and no alleged violation of US law. In fact on the first occassion, my journal was not reported at all - they thought I was [info]yellow_finch, who had been reported for breach of a NONC, and then went into [info]cdaae to have a look."


LJAB raised it again on this thread, where shamanix replied "What people report and what actually happen are sometimes two very different things, as I'm sure you're well aware."

Perhaps I should be charitable and assume that shamanix has not read any of the details of the case, but either way, accusing an LJ user of lying to support an inaccurate claim by the abuse team is hardly professional behaviour.

I have emailed Denise Paolucci, Mark Ferrell, and shamanix, to ask them directly what breach of copyright or US law was alleged in my case, and posed the same question to Doug Bryan. I have yet to receive any answer.

LJAB mentions communities suspended for "incitement to harass", and one such suspension also casts considerable doubt on whether LJ Abuse follows the policies they profess to be guided by. A community called theljcirclejerk was created, largely as a joke in response to a troll. It had closed membership and all posts were locked to members only. LJ Abuse says they only investigate specific violations reported to them, and that only paid employees can look at locked entries and then only in cases of breach of copyright or US law.

How then did theljcirclejerk get suspended? No one in the community reported any of its posts, and there was certainly no breach of copyright or US law. Yet the locked posts of the community were read through, and members threatened with suspensions and perma-bans. A member had suggested that other members apply to join a support-related community, and the sudden rush of applicants who were all members of another particular community apparently lead to someone deciding to have a look. The post was deemed incitement to harass.

You may well feel that the abuse team has every right to look into such communities, but I think the least we can ask is that they be honest about it.

Don't forget the Call to Action, and spread the petition link around!

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Update, and some statistics

Blogs are still talking about Six Apart and LiveJournal Abuse, and there are some interested statistics over at The Snow In The Summer or So-So (no, I don't know what the name means either!).
While I'm on the topic, here are some stats:

Total accounts: 10296172
updating in last 30 days: 1203631 (11.7%)
updating in last 7 days: 721606 (7.0%)
updating in past 24 hours: 253571 (2.5%)

Compare that against figures from March 2005:

Total accounts: 6611141
updating in last 30 days: 1520011 (23.0%)
updating in last 7 days: 970684 (14.7%)
updating in past 24 hours: 367704 (5.6%)

From June 2004:

Total accounts: 3171504
updating in last 30 days: 1153683 (36.4%)
updating in last 7 days: 756888 (23.9%)
updating in past 24 hours: 292198 (9.2%)

And from June 2003:

Total accounts: 1079730
updating in last 30 days: 413602 (38.3%)
updating in last 7 days: 291296 (27.0%)
updating in past 24 hours: 119504 (11.1%)

This is a pen, and a piece of paper. Draw your own conclusions.


They also ask, "When, then, will Livejournal get an abuse staff that is professional in operation, if not professional in status?"

Over on the Petition, people are asking the same thing. From the comments:

Beverley: "I wish to lend support to this petition. LJ Abuse needs to be staffed by individuals who are able to think rationally and put aside their own personal feeling towards members. Rules/guidelines need to be clearly laid out and the owners of LJ should make sure that not only the users stick to the rules, but also that the abuse team stick to the rules, not changing them in order to save face or validate an earlier banning. This issue runs deeper than breastfeeding pictures. I could not care less about pictures of nipples, but I DO care about being governed by a corrupt and inconsistent body of people who refuse to even discuss the reasons for their decisions."

Rob: "I am an longtime paid LJ user with no past run-ins, or friends who have had run-ins, with LJA. However, as an observer of LJ culture it has been patently apparent to me that a reform and EXTENSIVE personnel shakeup for the LJA team has been in order for at least the last two years."

Kimley "After interacting with the LJ abuse team, I'm convinced that they are there to abuse, NOT to address abuse on the system."

Kate: "A service which says that customer complaints will be systematically ignored? And one that deems breastfeeding inappropriate for general viewing? Some screwed up priorities there."

Michelle: "I'm still awaiting a response to my request of a non 'cut and paste' answer, actually addressing WHY this wasn't in violation of the TOS. I guess they don't have an answer. They just can't be bothered to do anything about it - they should be ashamed."

telosphilos: "Please try to take the complaints a little more seriously. It is rather fustrating when a feed like kittenbreak gets abused. In specific, this past week a gif was posted in a comment of felony animal abuse. Kko, the poster, returned the next day to continue his shinnanigans. If it had been taken seriously in the first place, it would have been a non-issue."

These last two are regarding a recent incident when a comment was left on a syndicated feed called kittenbreak. Kittenbreak gives a cute cat picture each day, and someone posted a "crush" film in the comments - that is, a film clip of someone brutally killing a kitten. In a normal community, the poster of the post or the community mod could delete it and ban the user, but as syndicated feeds don't have mods, no one could delete the comment.

Users complained to LJ Abuse and got the standard "freedom of speech, nothing we can do" answer. I'm not clear whether the person posted a link to a clip, or an embedded clip, or still shots from the clip; or whether LJ Abuse has removed it, but AFAIK no kind of action was taken against the poster. We'd welcome more info on this case.

It's interesting to note that LJ's objection to breastfeeding pictures in default user pics is because they can be seen anywhere on the site. Pedophiles can talk about things they've done on locked communities because they can't be stumbled across innocently. However, people reading feeds like Kittenbreak are not expecting to see graphic and sick violence against animals, either!

There was also a case reported in previous comments here where LJ Abuse didn't want to take action against people posting links to sites which installed trojans when you went to them. Again, I'm not sure if LJ abuse eventually look action on this. I'll leave that one to LJAB to look into.

Plans are being drawn up to contact the media if no progress is made with Six Apart this coming week.

Don't forget the call to action, and spread it and the petition around.

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