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

Thursday, March 16, 2006


An email asked us to go into some more detail about communities and harassment, because "it seems to be the charge they level at people when they can't find any specific rules they've broken."

From a previous post:

Under Harassment we read that they will suspend journals used "solely for the purpose of entries [or comments] about a particular user and/or community that fall under the definition of harassment or invasion of privacy." No where do they provide a definition of harassment, so we might reasonably assume that they are refering to the legal definition, but no. Harassment is whatever LJ Abuse decides it is if they want to suspend an account.

Recently there has been a rash of suspensions of communities deemed to exist soley to "incite harassment" and members posting in these locked communities have received threats against their personal journals.

Remember, LJ cares about freedom of speech even if you're a pedophile, but there are some things they just won't tolerate and that includes laughing at people. Be as racist as you like, call someone a satanist and a child molester, and LiveJournal will defend your right to free speech, but mock people for their blinkie icons, hundreds of colorbars, or terrible "cosplay" costumes, and LJ Abuse will come after you frothing at the mouth.

Cosplayfucks is one example. Cosplay, for the uninitiated, is making costumes and dressing up in them at conventions, usually related to anime. Do a Google image search to see some examples. Search on "bad cosplay" to see the kinds of pictures cosplayfucks made fun of.

It was a large and lively community, and it ran for almost a year before LJ Abuse decided it was "created solely for the harassment of LJ users." Community founder Michichu says this was ridiculous at least in part because "a good 90% of the pictures of people featured on [info]cosplayfucks were from sites such as,, or just google image search - all outside sites, over which livejournal has no jurisdiction."

People would find photos of terrible cosplay and post them, with or without humorous commentary. LJ might think that's mean, but it's certainly not harassment. People did not gang up and attack other users' journals, and in most cases the pictures came from non-LiveJournal sources.

Another community suspended over "harassment" was wtf_user_info, which made fun of user profile pages loaded with hundreds of animated flashing blinkies, colorbars, and baffling incoherent personal descriptions. LJ Abuse decided not to see a difference between mocking and harassing.

What is harassment? If I hang out in a bar with my friends and we talk about my stupid neighbor and what an ass he is, and mock his haircut and clothes, are we harassing him? Of course not! If I put a note through his door every day for a week saying "8pm, Al's Bar, we'll be talking about what a fuckhead you are" then it would be getting into harassment. I think the difference is clear to anyone not on the LiveJournal Abuse Team.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What it is is when they get tired of getting complaints about these communities, they come up with an excuse to suspend them.

7:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck LJ abuse

12:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What gets me is the blatant contradictions and the way they use the law as an excuse when they don't know what the law says let alone understand what it means.

Why stick with LJ at all, why not move to one of the other blogging networks?

3:22 PM

Blogger LJAB said...

I think that's a good topic for a new post.

4:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cosplayfucks really didn't deserve the BBQing.

There was no real way to know if the cosplayer they were poking fun at was an LJ user or not. And if the LJ user commented on it, the post was deemed "You posted me" but the cosplayer wasn't attacked or anything.

LJ Abuse should look into the comms they kill more instead of just listening to the whiny kids who can't laugh at themselves or respect other's rights to free speech.

All in all, it's really stupid.

11:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recently I was banned and accused of harassment of a person that I had NEVER EVEN CONTACTED DIRECTLY. In fact, they do not even know that my journal existed. When I filed a report about this, this was nonsense I got in return from Corey of LJA:

"The use of your journal to solely harass an individual does not necessarily mean you are in contact with that individual. It means that your journal is harassing in nature to an individual and has no other purpose than to incite harassment by its nature to an individual."

Yeah, I don't understand it either.

9:56 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

I agree with the first commenter who said "when they get tired of getting complaints, etc."

What LJ/SA needs to do is lose the "volunteer" team, and actually *hire* a group of folks with backgrounds in conflict resolution, mediation and the like. People that know what they're doing and how to handle it when somebody whines to them about "They were TALKING about me on their blog!! Ohnoes!"

There also needs to be some kind of announcement or something (although it is a sad commentary on the mentality of some bloggers that they have to be *told* these things) along the lines of: "If someone writes about you in a way that you don't like, that's just the breaks. It's not our job make sure that everybody "likes" you here."

9:46 PM

Blogger agent orange said...

Hey, very good analysis you're doing here, I completely agree.

5:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are pathetic, they make no real attempt to work out if a complaint is fair or not, they are power hungry volunteers who like being able to feel important. Six Apart should be ashamed.

5:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trouble is the paid employees on the team are as bad as the volunteers.

2:49 PM


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