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

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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21 Comments:

Blogger cdaae13 said...

Part of the reason for the lower statistics could be because of an increase in troll accounts (who knows), which means one should take the percentage stats with a grain of salt. However, over 300,000 more users updated within the last 30 days in March 2005 than (presumably) May 2006. HOWEVER, a more accurate comparison would be March 2005 to March 2006, or May 2005 to May 2006.

I'd be curious to see some stats on the use and number of paid accounts vs non-paid.

5:38 PM

 
Blogger Christine D said...

Yes, I'd like to see stats on paid vs. non-paid, and how many have taken up the new sponsored accounts. I'd also like to see stats on how many accounts have been suspended, and how many of those were paid account, over the years!

5:43 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"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."

BRAVO ROB!

6:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are some great comments on the petition!

7:44 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here's another good one.

Someone posted a graphic video of a woman crushing a kitten to death on the journal kittenbreak. This is both a felony animal abuse act and a form of pornography being investigated by PETA and the FBI. Despite many complaints from users who will likely never be able to get that horrible sight out of their heads, the LJ abuse team's only (form letter) reply said they would do nothing because it wasn't harmful to minors. Tell that to the young children who sat on their parents' laps to see that day's kitty pictures and instead saw the graphic murder of a defenseless kitten. And how exactly does LJ defend the display of a felony act and crush porn anyway? The lack of action in this instance is reprehensible and disgusting.

8:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. I didn't know it was possible to embed videos in journal comments.

Oh, wait. It's not.

10:13 PM

 
Blogger panda cookie said...

I'm glad this is going as far as it is. It's about time we did something about the LJ Abuse team. And I hope this DOES go to the media. Then EVERYONE would see what a joke LJ Abuse is.

11:41 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So they're going to the press pointing at everybody else's icons, default or not?

This is going to suck big time.

12:51 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you post a link saying "cute kitty picture" and it goes to crush porn LJ should treat it as abuse

8:52 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So they're going to the press pointing at everybody else's icons, default or not?

What?

10:44 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What?

It's what they're doing in this entry.

I agree there are lots of disgusting icons, but they're going witch-hunting, it looks a lot like what LJAbus(iv)e was doing with them.

10:59 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you post a link saying "cute kitty picture" and it goes to crush porn LJ should treat it as abuse"

If I follow a link posted by someone I don't know and it turns out to be something different and/or unpleasantly surprising, I accept the responsibility that following links posted by non-trusted sources is a bad idea. I don't go crying to the abuse team about it.

11:44 AM

 
Blogger Christine D said...

They're not reporting icons, they're finding icons which are *not* breaches of the TOS but many/most people would find offensive, to show how silly the rules are. It's not saying those icons shouldn't be allowed - I posted a few from journals of friends. It's to show that the policy LJ Abuse follows is ridiculous in saying areolas are offensive, but racist icons (etc) aren't. I don't think the icons posted should be banned, I think they show the absurdity of the policy.

1:30 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The kitten people don't get that LJ abuse doesn't look at or care about outside links .

1:55 PM

 
Anonymous RF said...

The problem with kittenbreak is syndicated feeds not having moderators to delete comments that would be removed from a community. LJ can't be expected to police very link someone posts.

3:34 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LJ can't be expected to police very link someone posts.
Exactly. If they did so, then that would mean turn the LJAbuse Team into the LJGestapo. It'd be so much worse than it already is.

They're not reporting icons, they're finding icons which are *not* breaches of the TOS but many/most people would find offensive, to show how silly the rules are.
They will showing the press all those 'oh so offensive' icons on LJ, some might be nasty enough to caught the yellow press' interest and LJ/6A will end up setting lots more of restrictions.

I thought they were going to do this in a clean and smart way, but they're only playing the 'Oh look at all the offensive things on LJ, and they won't let me show my areola'.

Whatever. I'm already sick of this whole situation.

7:53 PM

 
Blogger cdaae13 said...

The kitten people don't get that LJ abuse doesn't look at or care about outside links.

I don't think the kitten issue is a breech of TOS, but LJ is, once again, lying about not taking outside links into consideration. Christine was suspended for linking to something about a girl she had a NONC with. She wouldn't have done it if LJA hadn't already told her that they don't take outside links into consideration. After she was suspended, they told her that this was an exception and that she should have known. Uh, how? Are we expected to read minds now?

11:36 AM

 
Blogger Christine D said...

I think the kitten issue shows up a lack of clarity in the TOS. The TOS talks about not allowing hate speech and various other things of that nature, but in practise LJA says those things are freedom of speech. WTF include them in the TOS if they're not really forbidden? Why not state outright that posting a link to a site with objectionable material is *not* a violation so people don't bother reporting it? (Well, duh, then they couldn't suddenly decide it is a violation when it suits them, I suppose...)

I'm still hearing varied reports on whether it was just a link or whether something was actually shown in the comment, though.

1:06 PM

 
Anonymous R said...

The kitten people don't get that LJ abuse doesn't look at or care about outside links .

when it's a video/pictures of a felony act, they MUST take action, SixApart being based in the US. and it's quite possible it was embedded not a link.

they better care because if the FBI thinks SixApart is condoning a felony, Livejournal is dead as we know it. use your brain.

6:39 PM

 
Blogger LJAB said...

We need to find out whether it was a link, or embedded/a picture. Is it even possible to embed video files into a comment on LJ?

7:18 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Their standard "freedom of speech" answer is only for things they don't want to deal with.

Last month moderators of "feminist-rage" emailed me false claims that someone on LJ was a "convicted sex offender". This guy is not a convicted ANYTHING but the moderators tell people he is. I reported them to LJ and they said there was nothing they could do.

However last week I posted some lady's icons on an icon community. A completely unrelated person got upset about the community and contacted several people asking them to report the comm to Abuse. At least four of us got orders to delete our posts due to copyright infringement -- since when have icons been private property?

But LJ can make up whatever crazy rules it wants, I thought, so I complied with the request to delete the icons and STILL got suspended. The whole post was supposed to be deleted, they said. But even though I had spent 3 days emailing to ask if what I had done was acceptable, they never told me this. Just blindly suspended me and then sent me a form letter as though I had never contacted Abuse with questions.

Almost immediately I said I would delete the whole post and "Eric" at abuse is still ignoring me.

I was trying to comply with Abuse the whole time, and am being ignored either out of ignorance or because they're trying to punish.

What gets me is the other users who got Abuse letters did NOT get suspended. I was the only one. When I asked why I was told it was none of my business.

9:15 AM

 

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