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

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Six Apart wants us to know they're listening to us.

Please see the CALL TO ACTION at the bottom of this post, and sign the petition!

Doug Bryan, 2006-05-25:
Thank you all for your comments. Many of them are useful and constructive. Some other seem slightly off topic and go beyond the scope of the specific issue. I will continue to read them all. I hope you realize that the vast majority of your breast feeding icons do in fact pass the objective test and are perfectly fine. Postive and useful change is a process not a win-lose situation and always takes time. But to be clear, there is only one issue here and it is the limited restriction LiveJournal places on the default userpic.
there is only one issue here and it is the limited restriction LiveJournal places on the default userpic.

AKA We've got our hands over our ears and we don't want to hear you.

Doug, there is more than just one issue here. It is not limited to the restriction LiveJournal places on the default userpic. Even amongst the "boob nazis" issues have been raised about the contradictions of the information given by the LJ Abuse team, their rudeness, and LiveJournal's attitude towards customer service. These are core, long term problems with the abuse team.

This is not about breastfeeding icons. This is about how the abuse team is organized, managed, and operates. It is about whether Six Apart and LiveJournal are really interested in listening to their users instead of bad mouthing the ones who have problems with their service. The volunteer clique of LiveJournal Abuse might have been adequate when LJ was one guy's pet project, but it is not adequate for a service owned by a company that's raising millions in VC funds and attracting advertisers.

The boob nazis aren't buying it either.

wickedgillie :
If the original standard was "sexually graphic" and the new standard is "nudity" with the rules regarding the female breast to be "no nipples or areolae visible" then why was [info]cali4niachef's default icon deemed unsuitable and a suspendable offense by either standard stated? I didn't see an apology to her anywhere. Did I perhaps miss it?

tarakay :
1) If we're to "hold off" on any further advocacy action while this issue is resolved, why isn't LJ also holding off on suspending users until the issue is resolved? I'm sure it's within Six Apart's power to issue an "injunction" of sorts to stop suspensions at least temporarily until some resolution is reached. Of course, it probably won't be necessary for you to suspend anyone later if your final resolution is to leave the policies as they stand now. I am confident that there will be a mass exodus of paying members from LJ if that is the final resolution.
2) What is your timeframe for resolution? It is only fair to your paying members to let us know that. Many of us will be asked to renew our LJ accounts in the near future. I believe those who are considering renewing (or not) deserve to know when you expect to have this issue resolved. That's simple common consideration, IMO.

Many other users expressed similar concerns, reported in this entry. From the comments to that entry:

Christine Daae said: "So, Six Apart officially does not intend to listen to its customers about any of the other issues regarding LiveJournal's abuse team? Do we need thousands of emails on each specific instance of policy, or poor behaviour from the abuse team, before Six Apart will look at them?"

HidingMyself said: "If it were me and if were organizing things, I'd strongly consider bombarding them with protest emails over the holiday weekend. Maybe it's just me, but I think they should be reminded of the users stance and because they've really brought nothing to the table, the unilateral ceasefire should countdown to an expiration, unless they agree not to suspend people until the question is settled."

I agree. I wish I was more of an organizer, but I'm better at documenting and trying to bring attention to than organizing. I hope the organizer of the Boob Nazis strongly presents these other issues, but the rest of us must do what we can.


I don't know if reaches Doug Bryan but you could try it. Confirmed addresses for Six Apart and LiveJournal are:
Barakb@SixApart.Com (CEO of Six Apart) (VP of Six Apart) (Head of LiveJournal) (listed contact for questions about 6A)

If you want to see wider changes being made to LJ Abuse, please write to them. Tell them that this cannot be brushed off as an issue about default icons and breastfeeding. It is a problem with LiveJournal's culture.

When they bought LiveJournal, the head honchos at Six Apart said in an interview:

Barak Berkowitz: "I think the core thing to say here is we're buying LiveJournal for LiveJournal. We're not buying it to turn it into something else. We know what LiveJournal is. The fact that we come from the community should make people convinced that we're not so naive that we don't know exactly what the community is... The net is, users will question us, and users will be suspicious until they see what we do in real life in real action over a series of months, and we'll have to prove ourselves to them."

Mena Trott: "We believe in communication. We're doing this because we think LiveJournal has something that's really strong with the community. We feel that that's one of things we are lacking."

Remind them of that. We are that community, yet they're telling us that they don't want to listen to us, and that our concerns are not important. Tell them how LJ abuse's actions affect the LiveJournal community, not just people who get suspended.

Put it in your own words, or copy and paste lines from here. Tell them how long you've been an LJ user, how many communities you're involved in. Tell them that you don't intent to keep up a paid account if they aren't going to listen to their customers.

Please also sign the Six Apart and LiveJournal Abuse Petition, and get your friends to sign it too.

Post this in your LiveJournal, in your blog.

Let's see how many voices it takes for Six Apart to really listen.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll write, I'm not sure what to write though. It's so long and there's so much its hard to condense. Any suggestions?

6:20 PM

Blogger Christine said...

I know online petitions are a bit lame, but more people will sign them than will bother writing an email. So, I made you one.

Six Apart and LiveJournal Abuse Petition

6:41 PM

Blogger LJAB said...

You rock Christine, thank you!

6:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES! Signing and I'll send an email.

7:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I signed. :)

7:42 PM

Blogger panda cookie said...

I'll be signing and emailing. This really is more than just an issue on breastfeeding. This is an issue about LJ Abuse as a whole.

8:00 PM

Blogger cdaae13 said...

"But to be clear, there is only one issue here and it is the limited restriction LiveJournal places on the default userpic."

Actually, I think you've missed the point entirely. I was under the impression that the only real "issue" here was the unprofessional, unpredictable, and irrational behavior of the abuse team. The "issue" goes far beyond the scope of breastfeeding, and it will continue to become a larger issue if it is not addressed soon. LJ is already steadily losing paid customers because of discrepancies with the abuse team (myself included), and I have a very strong feeling it will grow into a noticeable income loss if Denise Paolucci is allowed to continue to lead her team in the haphazard manner that she currently runs it. LJ users, from whom part of your salary must come from, are looking to corporate for support. We're still waiting.

8:07 PM

Blogger cdaae13 said...

oh crap two "from"s :(

8:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Signed and emailed.

8:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. I've officially been the first to be suspended, they are going through with it.

6:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed the Boob Nazis have locked their forum out from non-member posts (and sometimes even non-member reading). Way to evaporate your support and look like a tiny group of nobodies!

Seriously. A torrent of hundreds of anti-LJ comments have been reduced to a handful. I guess my opinion doesn't matter. They have no public leverage now. They choose to stand alone, despite the fact LJ has made no concessions.

Nah, I'm not just disappointed. I'm pissed off. I bother to read and follow and support this group and they disregard me and hundreds of other supporters with the wave of a hand. I'm torn now on whether to spend any more mental energy on their plight.

7:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nah, I'm not torn anymore. I'm not signing. The Boob Nazis don't want my support.

7:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The boob nazis don't want your support, Anonymous, but the rest of us do. We need to do this BECAUSE they've shut us out, because it's the only way we'll get heard.

7:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A prerequisite for my sympathy is that my sympathy is wanted. They have chosen to stand their ground ALONE. We are not wanted.

If the issue is purely the general acceptance of family-friendly breastfeeding imagery, well, there are family-friendly companies who provide free blog services and accept breastfeeding photos. If I'm going to take a stand on THIS issue against THIS company, I need the victims standing with me. They WANT to stand alone. I walk up to their door and say, "I'm with you sister!" and they slam the door in my face. Their disdain speaks louder and clear. The Boob Nazis are as wrong-headed as LJ! Let this little group quibble about breasts with this little company. I'm blogging fine, uncensored, elsewhere.

7:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh, fair enough. To me the point of emailing them, or signing the petition, isn't about the breastfeeding thing anymore - it's about their whole attitude to their customers, and refusal to address any of the many different problems with the abuse team.

I really don't understand why some of the boob nazis seem to be accepting the "apology" and giving up. Some of them are still pretty angry. A couple have been suspended now. But yes, it frustrates me not to be able to comment there. It's as if they suddenly don't want to do anything that might annoy Six Apart. I don't get it.

8:02 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Precisely. They began with a bunch of people ready to speak to the media, rallying to make a big noise, volunteering to write news releases and push this issue. Then they backtrack, silence hundreds of supporters and acquiesce to LJ's unwaivering demands while, apparently, journals are shut down. The whole thing smells of publicity stunt, or maybe Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I have a difficult time believing rational mothers behave in such a manner. They give moms a bad name.

8:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and now they launch this online poll about breastfeeding, host it on LJ and tons of people support breastfeeding censorship? Talk about playing with a stacked deck. This is a publicity stunt for LJ, or alien dopplegangers at work, I say.

8:14 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It makes some sense. Imagine a protest by a group of essentially anonymous women which quickly gets out of hand with hundreds of protest comments from the general public. If the aim is to get media exposure, you don't want a real protest, just a good show. That's been accomplished. So you then close the forums to public comment, contain the expansion of the real protest and enjoy the media publicity.

Breastfeeding mothers are a niche group and not all would be offended by LJ's censorship, and most mothers don't even write online journals. They are a safe group to offend. The point is that any publicity is good publicity. Negative publicity is the easiest to obtain. MySpace is a prime example. If people are upset with MySpace that means MySpace is important. Who the hell knows about LJ? MySpace is king. LJ needs this kind of negative publicity to seem like a big fish. Bravo, you "Boob Nazis." You had me going. *clap* *clap* *clap*

8:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bwahahaha! That pro-censorship poll is posted in a LJ Abuse Team member's account. You people are being tooled.

9:02 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That poll is stupid, it asks the wrong question. For one thing it doesn't mention the areola. A breastfeeding baby is sucking on the nipple so of course it doesn't show, but if someone has a large areola that shows and that's not allowed. Of course Erin from the abuse team doesn't mention that.

10:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

People, let's not forget that the screwed-up mommies are not the ONLY ones affected by LJ Abuse's abuse. Kittenbreak is losing membership thanks to the troll who posted the graphic abuse video, yet when it was reported by several members, they were brushed off and told that the troll who posted a video of a felony animal abuse act did not break the Terms of Use. So do it for the innocent animals....the attachment parents have too much support and they can deal without their default baby-sucking-on-them icons since they are still permitted to use them period. These poor children who will be humiliated ten years from now to see those images will have a voice within a year. Animals have no voice unless we speak out for them.

1:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can't support a group that calls itself nazis and acts like it's some kind of cute joke.

2:02 AM


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