Why LJ abuse needs to be answerable for its actions
Most of the posts here in the last week have been focused on the breastfeeding icons controversy, but I think it's good to be reminded of some of the other problems with LJ Abuse which the petition is calling on Six Apart to address.
LJAB referred to one of them towards the end of this post.
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."
LJAB raised it again on this thread, where shamanix replied "What people report and what actually happen are sometimes two very different things, as I'm sure you're well aware."
Perhaps I should be charitable and assume that shamanix has not read any of the details of the case, but either way, accusing an LJ user of lying to support an inaccurate claim by the abuse team is hardly professional behaviour.
I have emailed Denise Paolucci, Mark Ferrell, and shamanix, to ask them directly what breach of copyright or US law was alleged in my case, and posed the same question to Doug Bryan. I have yet to receive any answer.
LJAB mentions communities suspended for "incitement to harass", and one such suspension also casts considerable doubt on whether LJ Abuse follows the policies they profess to be guided by. A community called theljcirclejerk was created, largely as a joke in response to a troll. It had closed membership and all posts were locked to members only. LJ Abuse says they only investigate specific violations reported to them, and that only paid employees can look at locked entries and then only in cases of breach of copyright or US law.
How then did theljcirclejerk get suspended? No one in the community reported any of its posts, and there was certainly no breach of copyright or US law. Yet the locked posts of the community were read through, and members threatened with suspensions and perma-bans. A member had suggested that other members apply to join a support-related community, and the sudden rush of applicants who were all members of another particular community apparently lead to someone deciding to have a look. The post was deemed incitement to harass.
You may well feel that the abuse team has every right to look into such communities, but I think the least we can ask is that they be honest about it.
Don't forget the Call to Action, and spread the petition link around!
Tags: livejournal, six apart, lj abuse, privacy