An email asked us to go into some more detail about communities and harassment, because "it seems to be the charge they level at people when they can't find any specific rules they've broken."
From a previous post:
Under Harassment we read that they will suspend journals used "solely for the purpose of entries [or comments] about a particular user and/or community that fall under the definition of harassment or invasion of privacy." No where do they provide a definition of harassment, so we might reasonably assume that they are refering to the legal definition, but no. Harassment is whatever LJ Abuse decides it is if they want to suspend an account.
Recently there has been a rash of suspensions of communities deemed to exist soley to "incite harassment" and members posting in these locked communities have received threats against their personal journals.
Remember, LJ cares about freedom of speech even if you're a pedophile, but there are some things they just won't tolerate and that includes laughing at people. Be as racist as you like, call someone a satanist and a child molester, and LiveJournal will defend your right to free speech, but mock people for their blinkie icons, hundreds of colorbars, or terrible "cosplay" costumes, and LJ Abuse will come after you frothing at the mouth.
Cosplayfucks is one example. Cosplay, for the uninitiated, is making costumes and dressing up in them at conventions, usually related to anime. Do a Google image search to see some examples. Search on "bad cosplay" to see the kinds of pictures cosplayfucks made fun of.
It was a large and lively community, and it ran for almost a year before LJ Abuse decided it was "created solely for the harassment of LJ users." Community founder Michichu says this was ridiculous at least in part because "a good 90% of the pictures of people featured on [info]cosplayfucks were from sites such as cosplay.com, cosplaylab.com, or just google image search - all outside sites, over which livejournal has no jurisdiction."
People would find photos of terrible cosplay and post them, with or without humorous commentary. LJ might think that's mean, but it's certainly not harassment. People did not gang up and attack other users' journals, and in most cases the pictures came from non-LiveJournal sources.
Another community suspended over "harassment" was wtf_user_info, which made fun of user profile pages loaded with hundreds of animated flashing blinkies, colorbars, and baffling incoherent personal descriptions. LJ Abuse decided not to see a difference between mocking and harassing.
What is harassment? If I hang out in a bar with my friends and we talk about my stupid neighbor and what an ass he is, and mock his haircut and clothes, are we harassing him? Of course not! If I put a note through his door every day for a week saying "8pm, Al's Bar, we'll be talking about what a fuckhead you are" then it would be getting into harassment. I think the difference is clear to anyone not on the LiveJournal Abuse Team.
Tags: harassment, lj abuse, livejournal, freedom of speech