Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

May. 31st, 2007

So Livejournal has exploded.

Upwards of 500 personal and community accounts have been suspended for "illegal" interests, including but not limited to groups ranging from actual paedophilia and bestiality communities, to fanfiction and fiction communities, to RPGs and character journals, to discussion communities of the book Lolita and communities for survivors.

This move from Livejournal and Six Apart comes after pressure from internet vigilante group Warriors for Innocence, who make several dubious claims as to their mission and their accomplishments. (For more information, it's called Google.) The opinion of legal consult was that allowing journals and communities to list questionable interests could lead to liability on the part of Livejournal and Six Apart in the incidence of a crime, and so accounts have been suspended.

Honestly? I'm not positive on how I feel about all of this.

On one hand, I feel that it's perfectly alright for LJ/SA to purge accounts with (truly) illegal content, such as the disturbingly high number of accounts that condoned paedophilia, child molestation, rape, bestiality, abuse, and so on and so forth. All of these acts are illegal in the United States, where LJ/SA is based, and a site hosting the condoning of such acts does have a liability. In cases such as these, it could even be considered the responsibility of the hosting company to provide subscriber information related to these illegal activities to law enforcement. In this case, I applaud LJ/SA for such actions, and request that such purgings be performed more often (but quite a bit more carefully).

On the other hand, however, I feel that the purging of fandom- and fiction-related accounts is absolutely absurd. Fiction writing is generally a protected class, to the best of my knowledge, and there is no legal reasoning or precedent for the suspension of aforementioned fandom/fiction accounts. (This is, of course, stated with the fact that I have little knowledge of law in mind.) While child pornography is generally frowned upon, fiction writing doesn't fall into the same category- thus why authors like VC Andrews are published. Incest fiction falls into the same boat. For me, this is where it becomes a free speech issue. Incest and underage sex and rape fiction and all the rest may bother me quite a bit, but you have the right to write it, and I support that right. There is, however, a fine line between true fiction and just inappropriate content, and writers would do well to remember that.

Also, I'm bothered by the deletion of communities meant for survivors. There's not much more that needs to be said on that subject, honestly.

I think what it boils down to is free speech vs. legality, and the increasing liability and obligation of the internet community and those that run it. It has to be approached from a global perspective, but the world also can't go soft because of "free speech". A line has to be drawn, I think.

The bottom line : I think it was a good idea, poorly implemented. I would like to see (at the very least) the literary discussion communities and the survivor communities reinstated, and some new guidelines written (with discussion from the LJ community)for the fandom and fiction writing communities. Communities with illegal content should stay gone, and everything possible should be done to prevent these communities from making any kind of footprint on LJ.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 31st, 2007 04:07 pm (UTC)
I logged on here a minute ago and saw their explanation on the main page. nooo idea this stuff was happening.

well said. I agree with everything you mentioned.
May. 31st, 2007 09:42 pm (UTC)
I'm in way too communities, which is how I had any clue as to what was going on. Metaquotes and stupid_free keep me pretty updated on happenings on livejournal.

I like their explanation and agree with a lot of their points. A lot of what I said was pretty much spot on for the explanation.

Thanks. :)
May. 31st, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
I think the deletion of fanfic communities is probably LiveJournal protecting itself from potential copyright infringement lawsuits like the ones that YouTube has been getting left and right [Example], many of which are abusing copyright laws.

I agree with everything you've said though. :)
May. 31st, 2007 08:02 pm (UTC)
Woops. I forgot to log out of my fiancee's account. That last comment was mine.
Jun. 1st, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
No problems. :)
Jun. 1st, 2007 01:18 am (UTC)
Well, the official reasoning is the legal responsibility of LJ/SA in the incidence of child pornography, which makes sense, but the copyrighting thing makes sense as well.

Thanks :)
May. 31st, 2007 10:06 pm (UTC)
They deleted some Gothic-lolita groups, too....lame, lame, lame.
Jun. 1st, 2007 02:36 am (UTC)
i'm so with you on that.
Jun. 1st, 2007 04:06 am (UTC)
Jun. 2nd, 2007 06:29 am (UTC)
The question is, have they started deleting or did they just do a mass suspension? I read the explination on the main page, and what I understand based on that is that they've just suspended everything related to those topics. They're going through every live journal and community that has been suspended, deleting the ones with "illegal" interests, and the ones that do not apply are to be restored.

If they're restoring the ones that don't have (or are not supporting) "illegal" interests, then they're not doing anything wrong. In fact, if that's what they're going to do then this way is probably the best way to deal with this problem. They're doing a massive purge to ensure that they get everyone, and then restoring the ones that don't need to be deleted.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

May 2010
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Akiko Kurono