In Russia, LJ is serious business
This is a case from last year.
Russian bloggers censored by their San Franciscan hosts? There's a great story over at the Russian ex-pat English paper, The eXile, about a online controversy that started with LiveJournal's Abuse Team closing down a nationalist Russian's blog. The crime? A photoshop adaption of a Soviet propaganda poster from WWII, rewritten to spout some fairly banal anti-Western sentiment.
LJ user yanis wrote "Over the past three years a unique community has formed. LJ being a US based company provided a unique platform to scores of alternative russian publicists, philosophers, writers and politicians. LJ has been a place where russian security services couldn't interfere... Most political observers, journalists, young politicians, businessmen have accounts (the list of russian celebrities in LJ is a virtual who's who in modern russian politology, hi-tech business, journalism, TV and entertainment)... That's why blanket mechanical applications of TOS to some users for radical or not so statements in their postings is threatening not only a couple of LJ accounts (not a big deal) but Free Speech in Russia. You push them out of here and many of them will have nowhere turn to congregate, debate and create."
Articles Blog Wars and Censor This cover the case in more detail. "The last thing they expected was heavy-handed meddling from some dimwits at the LJ San Francisco headquarters."
"The censorship case got me thinking. Soviet censorship was like wall or a fence -- visible and imposing, monumentally built but rusting and full of cracks and holes, with most people knowing how to get around it. Putin's censorship is like the leftover rubble -- with pieces of concrete and steel rods lying around, formally non-existent but occasionally making a nuisance. American censorship is different -- it is like a virus which infects the brain from the childhood, all-encompassing but barely visible. It is harder to escape it, but necessary to fight against it."
Tags: censorship, lj abuse, livejournal, six apart, free speech, russia, blog