Contradictions, lies, and covering your ass
As we just saw, LJ Abuse doesn't like breasts. The area of the LiveJournal FAQ covering default userpics was updated on May 20th to change its wording in support of LJ Abuse's new interpretation. It used to say "sexually explicit and graphically violent" and has now been changed to "nudity or graphic violence."
In another example of LJ Abuse speaking out of their asses, hardvice got some more contradictory information.
LJ Abuse team member Marie wrote:
"To answer your question about other peoples' userpics, the Abuse Team is only able to take action on occurances of Abuse that are reported to us. If you feel that other users have selected default userpics that are inappropriate under LiveJournal's policies, please feel free to visit http://www.livejournal.com/abuse/report.bml and follow the steps listed in http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=105. Most importantly, we will need links to specific userpics that you believe to be in violation of LiveJournal's Terms of Service."
hardvice then began to report other default userpics that showed breasts. The LJ Abuse team didn't appreciate the work, so Eric on the Abuse Team told hardvice:
"Also note that LiveJournal is a common carrier. The Abuse Team is not allowed to police the site for violations of the Terms of Service, and we cannot allow users to also do this. While you are more than welcome to report violations of the Terms of Service as you encounter them through your normal use of the website, we will be unable to act should you continue to actively search for violations to report."
the Abuse Team is only able to take action on occurances of Abuse that are reported to us. [and then gave [info]hardvice instructions on how to report]
we will be unable to act should you continue to actively search for violations to report.
The Moral of the Story:
It's hard work being arbitrary, and we can't be expected to maintain our fervently capricious decision-making process.
What about Eric's claim about LJ and common carrier status? In actual fact providers can only lose common carrier status if they are shown to exercise editorial control of user's content, and a user choosing to spend their time browsing for breaches of the TOS would not qualify in any imaginable way. Hardvice observes "LJ can lose common carrier status only if they are deemed to have editorial control of user's content. A random, unaffiliated user policing content on the site presents no risk of LJ itself being deemed to have editorial control. They just don't want the extra work."
LJ Abuse team boss Denise Paolucci has issued a response that doesn't please the "boob nazis" (as the breastfeeding LJ community calls itself). One user is particularly annoyed by the line "We ask only that you are willing to extend the same support and appreciation to, for instance, parents who choose to believe that it is inappropriate for their children to view unsolicited nudity in public." Here is one excellent response to LiveJournal.
Many countries including the US have laws protecting the right of mothers to breastfeed in public, to protect them from people who are offended by the sight of unsolicited breastfeeding in public. I'm glad Paolucci isn't in the government!
Send an email / petition.
My thread on abuse_lj_abuse has caught LJ Abuse out in some lies. They are bothered by the exposure that people on the abuse team can read private and locked entries of LJ users, and are taking pains to explain that it is only the LiveJournal employees who have this ability, like Denise Paolucci who is a paragon of good judgement...
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."
Let me reiterate that. The complaint against yellow-finch was that a public entry she made was an "indirect reference" to someone LJ had told her not to mention in any way. LJ Abuse thought she was the same person as user cdaae (which demonstrates that they do not doublecheck their decisions as the two users are on different continents and a cursory examination of their journals shows them to be different people). LJ Abuse read locked entries of cdaae's journal and came up with a post they said was an indirect reference to the same user, and suspended her for it. There was no copyright complaint and there was no violation of US law reported or alleged. Further details of this case.
If it was a volunteer team member it is a disgrace, if it was a paid employee that might make it even MORE of a disgrace!
It is not the only time locked entries have been read and used against people by LJ Abuse. There are a number of communities which were suspended for "incitement to harass" that had only locked entries. If LJ Abuse wants to read locked entries they can and they do.
Tags: livejournal, lj abuse, six apart, breastfeeding,