InsaneJournal Announcements

Potential Move to AWS

InsaneJournal Announcements

Potential Move to AWS

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I'm reading through the AWS Acceptable Use Policy. I don't think anything there precludes hosting InsaneJournal there. I feel that our existing Terms of Service falls in line with this. I'd love to have an open discussion about this, so please comment with concerns. Please keep all conversations civil.


No Illegal, Harmful, or Offensive Use or Content

* You may not use, or encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to use, the Services or AWS Site for any illegal, harmful, fraudulent, infringing or offensive use, or to transmit, store, display, distribute or otherwise make available content that is illegal, harmful, fraudulent, infringing or offensive. Prohibited activities or content include:

* Illegal, Harmful or Fraudulent Activities. Any activities that are illegal, that violate the rights of others, or that may be harmful to others, our operations or reputation, including disseminating, promoting or facilitating child pornography, offering or disseminating fraudulent goods, services, schemes, or promotions, make-money-fast schemes, ponzi and pyramid schemes, phishing, or pharming.

* Infringing Content. Content that infringes or misappropriates the intellectual property or proprietary rights of others.

* Offensive Content. Content that is defamatory, obscene, abusive, invasive of privacy, or otherwise objectionable, including content that constitutes child pornography, relates to bestiality, or depicts non-consensual sex acts.

* Harmful Content. Content or other computer technology that may damage, interfere with, surreptitiously intercept, or expropriate any system, program, or data, including viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, or cancelbots.
  • The idea makes me extremely uneasy, to be honest. I prefer the general peace of mind of living on a privately-owned server, here. I know that you, as the owner of the site, know the line between fiction and reality and support our rights as roleplayers to explore things which could easily be seen as "offensive" in the real world because it's just fiction. Larger companies and general society as a whole make me uneasy with that, especially since the term "offensive" is such a buzzword and not even really defined by those Terms and Conditions. It makes me uncomfortable, honestly, not just for fear of losing my stuff but for fear of some kind of legal ramifications.

    Far too often, such as back in the day with Livejournal strikethrough and boldthrough, larger companies lose sight of that line between reality and fiction. People were persecuted, run off, and had their content deleted without any chance to back it up back then because of fictional acts being portrayed in fanworks. Plenty of people explore non-con, obscenity, abuse, 'objectionable' content, etc. through roleplaying - some as a means of storytelling and some as a means of coping with things they've experienced in their own lives.

    Also, what exactly constitutes something objectionable? It doesn't specify, and that's disconcerting. In fact, as an example, I happen to live in a state where the fact that I write queer characters could be considered "objectionable." In other parts of the country, portraying the villain character who resembles the people I deal with on a daily basis might be considered "objectionable" when all I'm attempting to do is work through my own issues as someone living in a bigoted area. Also, what if someone's writing a relationship between fictional teenagers - such as tends to happen in games based on, say, Riverdale or Harry Potter? Some people don't understand the difference between that and CP.

    Beyond that, it makes me uneasy as an icon maker, since technically what I'm doing is making and distributing smaller versions of images which don't belong to me. I'd hate to lose the ability to share what I make just because the cloud server sees that as copyright infringement. Even moreso, I'd hate to end up on the radar of some movie company or whatever and have my entire life destroyed by legal issues over simple 100*100 images. Would that likely happen? Probably not. Would you potentially have to force iconmakers off the site? That I worry could happen. I have anxiety issues, though, so I'm not sure where the line between plausible consequence and implausible is; the lack of actual definition in those Terms and Conditions, however, makes it seem like literally anything they decide on a whim to disallow can get IJ kicked off their service.

    But finally, what I find the most unnerving is this bit: "Any activities that [...] may be harmful to others, our operations or reputation." I can imagine the content of most roleplaying games, fanfics, etc. would be considered harmful to the reputation of any company that doesn't solely specialize in hosting specifically these kinds of things like IJ does. There are also people who (imo, very wrongly) believe that fiction can be harmful to others if it contains certain topics, even with proper trigger warnings. What happens to us if the people at AWS agree with that standpoint?

    I don't know. I just worry about what it might mean for IJ. I really don't mind a little downtime here and there in exchange for the security of knowing this is a safe place to explore my writing, share icons, and roleplay without fear of the same thing happening to IJ which recently happened to tumblr.
    • Well, that came out five times larger than I expected. Sorry for the tl;dr.
  • Would it be possible to create a crowdfunding page specifically for new servers?
  • I'm going to go with no for pretty much the same reasons as everyone else. I use IJ to RP and I'm an icon maker, both things that could be threatened under the TOS you've listed. I would happily donate to a fund to help keep IJ as it is. But I feel like I would have to leave IJ if this change happens to prevent myself from having to deal with any potential issues.
  • Yeaaah...

    I only use IJ for RPing and I have a feeling I would lose a lot in a move like that. I would discuss longer with the whole offensive use and such, but people have already made that quite clear and I side with those that are opposed to this move. I too would be more willing to throw down some money to assist with new servers.

    Moving? No thanks. Too many what ifs in that.
  • As others have said, my main problems with the idea would be around the ideas of "copyright infringement" (whose intellectual property rules are we using here? I'm in Australia, and our copyright laws don't allow fair use - which means I have to host the majority of my fanfic in the USA, in order to be able to get that "fair use" legal protection). There's also questions of whose definitions of things like "child pornography", "bestiality" and "non-consensual sexual acts" we're talking about here.

    Further to this: the internet is international. Which means you have users on this site who aren't based in the USA, and who aren't familiar with US law, or US standards of what constitutes "offensive" or "illegal" (eg: my fanfic counts as "illegal" under Australian law, but it's legal under US law).

    I think, in order to be comfortable with such a move, I'd need to be seeing a much more detailed list of what counts as "offensive", which legal system(s) they're using to determine what is "illegal", and whose laws on consent, child pornography, obscenity, defamation and so on they were using to make judgement calls on what counted for those. The terms and conditions as posted above are just too vague, and really don't give enough information to make a clear judgement call one way or the other.
  • Just want to throw in my vote with the "you need to talk to a good attorney about this, not the userbase" crowd. It seems like a logical move to get cloud hosting support for the site, considering its size and the extreme weather events that regularly threaten your local host - but only if you feel, as the technical expert, as someone else said, that the site's content would be safe from persecution.
  • I'd like to highlight a link shared in a nested content by [info]inrome: https://www.zdnet.com/article/15-sites-you-know-that-you-may-not-know-are-based-on-amazon-web-services/

    Reddit is hosted by AWS. I think we'd be fine.
    • Reddit has actually started cracking down on things which count as 'objectionable,' lately. From quarantining to outright deleting communities and changing its rules in a way which stunted the smutty subreddits a while back, they've been moving closer to the direction tumblr took. I'd be interested in knowing whether this was related solely to them overmonetizing the site and being afraid of advertiser wrath or perhaps related to the cloud servers - or a combination of both.
  • Prayers for you to make the best decision in this. I'm sure it is a tough one.
  • I'm going to echo a lot of what has already been said here and say...I would love to know, from Amazon specifically, what will and will not be allowed and whether we have to concern ourselves with content being deleted. The downtime doesn't bother me, but it also does not bother me because I've all but stopped using this platform a great majority of the time. The reason for that is...I spend quite a lot of time on mobile devices and this site, along with Dreamwidth, are a pain in the behind to use on them.

    All that said - I guess my opinion doesn't matter all that much, but I'm giving it because I've used this site for more than ten years and pretty actively until the last year. I'd like to come back to it more, but I can't do that until some things change - one of them being ease of use on mobile devices.
  • My big concern is the current climate of censorship over public sites. Youtube with the adplocolyps... What happened on tumblr. Who knows what will happen if you put this website under the yoke of such a large entity. Part of the appeal of IJ is that it is privately owned. You see to conflicts and check out complaints yourself. Part of what I'm worried about is those conflicts ending up in the same hellhole that is the youtube complaint section. I don't know much about AWS... I won't pretend to, but I have big concerns about big business in what is to my knowledge the only independent website of this kind left. I think I can live with the down time.
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