June 01, 2007

LiveJournal Wises Up After Mass Purging

And now from a personal note:
Popular online community LiveJournal is in hot water with its millions of users lately. Over 500 users and communities were suspended due to SUSPECTED indecent content. Right-wing pseudo-vigilante group "Warriors for Innocence" is a batch of crusaders against child pornography and pedophilia, and they took aim at LiveJournal (LJ) Communities that they deemed inappropriate. They wrote letters to the bulk of LiveJournal's advertisers, informing them that their products were being shilled within communites talking about rape and child porn. [Read the letter, posted on May 19th on WfI member's blog ] I'd post the website for the WfI group here, but many users have reported that the site is filled wth spyware and trojan viruses. [More analysis on the Warriors for Innocence group]

Like 99.9 percent of people, I'm all for shutting down actual havens for pedophiles, but any action taken by businesses are so over-reaching and broad that innocent customers are always affected. Namely legitimate rape and pedophilia RECOVERY discussion groups and Fandom Communities where fictional stories of popular fictional characters like Harry Potter are published. In thie panic, LiveJournal did not differentiate between communities promoting rape and pedophilia and sites posting fictional stories that included these elements. Even communities whose stories included romances between the Harry Potter kids ("PornishPixies" being one of the more popular,) were deemed inappropriate and removed without warning.

Users, like myself, voiced their support of the wrongly suspended FanFiction communities by joining the newly-created Fandom_Counts group, which garnered over 30,000 users in one day. Thousands (including me) also canceled their paid or advertiser-subsidized Plus accounts as to not give LiveJournal any more of their money or advertiser traffic, and flooded the company boards with derisive comments.

Yesterday, LiveJournal's parent company, SixApart, wisely rescinded the mass purging and promised to review the suspended accounts, and return them to active status if they cleared an investigation. [Read: WIRED News Coverage of the event and LiveJournal's Apology to its users]

As LJ user "MarchingOcelot" astutely observed: "You know, Fandom is kind of like Eric Cartman in a way. It looks doughy and silly, and many of its plans fail, but if you seriously f**k with it, it will chop up your parents and feed them to you in chili."
(Thanks to Erin for bringing most of this information together)

1 comment:

  1. I had nothing better to do all day than get sucked into LJ drama. All I can say is "Damn I love Fandom!" 30,000!