Changing the Rules
It's important to point out, regarding the breastfeeding icon controversy, that LiveJournal changed its rules on May 20th. I'm seeing a lot of comments around saying "They knew what the TOS said when they agreed to it so they should stop whining."
Before May 20th, the explanation of the rules about default userpics said "In particular, icons that are graphically sexual or violent in nature tend to be inappropriate for default userpics."
On May 20th it was changed to read "In particular, icons which contain nudity or graphic violence tend to be inappropriate for default userpics."
Some have said this is to make the rule more clear, but it is obviously a change made to back up a decision not justified under the rules as they were previously stated.
The rule is now being stated as the default icon must not have any areola or nipple visible (women only so far as we know!). The breastfeeding icon originally reported didn't show any areola or nipple.
The TOS says they can change the rules at any time, without notifying users, so they are acting within the TOS. That doesn't mean it isn't another example of LJ Abuse acting arbitrarily and prefering to change the rules around to back up a foolish decision rather than admit they could have made a mistake. They originally deemed breastfeeding icons sexual. Now they are changing things to say it's about nudity because saying the icons are sexual shows up how stupid the decision was.
When the LiveJournal Abuse team acts in a way that looks plain dishonest, customers get pissed off. Add to that the arrogant responses people got at first, and an official response that talks about a "misunderstanding" when it was really about LJ Abuse changing the rules to justify their actions, and no wonder there are petitions being signed.
Part 1 / Part 2
More blogs are picking up this story
Many of them are picking up on the appalling example of customer service represented when LiveJournal tells its users they don't care what they think, and do not want to hear people's feedback.
Boob nazi breastfeeds battle LiveJournal abuse team
LiveJournal's Boob War
LiveJournal doesn't care how you feel about breastfeeding, or anything else
LJ: Breastfeeding is offensive, but not as offensive as our customer service
SixApart getting into a bit of strife over breast feeding
Obscene on LJ
LJ takes anti-breastfeeding stance
Are you offended by a picture of breastfeeding?
Tags: livejournal, lj abuse, six apart, breastfeeding, nursing, icons