The Internet: Serious Business
can it be a hugs tiem now?

Kittykat posting in The Internet: Serious Business
User: [info]teh_kittykat
Date: 2008-01-26 13:28
Subject: Scientology vs. Internets!
Security: Public
Tags:free speech, rl scams

As seen on otf_wank!

Project Chanology is a coordinated effort of Anonymous to remove Scientology from the internet and reveal the batshit insanery to the rest of the world, not ending until the Co$ is destroyed in its current form. Encyclopedia Dramatica lists the project as an EPIC WIN and contains a full list of current media coverage of the event-- including several Old Media outlets as the conflict has built speed over the last few days.

YouTube, Digg, and Reddit have all been pwned to spread the gospel, including both the original declaration of intent and a note to the news media calling them out to speak the whole truth about what's going on.

While joining in on the IRL Raids being planned is risky, Anonymous who want  in on the action can easily join in on spreading the word using Digg and Reddit to upvote articles, Google bombing Scientology to point to, favorite and high-rate Anon's YouTube videos and anything else showing the batshit. Slightly braver people can even pass on messages themselves, mirror the dox, or support local FreeZoners to end the RTC's choke-hold on the tech that forms the core of the Co$'s practices (thus ending the economic and otherwise slavery of Scientologists without forcing them to have to convert).

Also, icons.

lol icons )

ETA: Entire Tom Cruise video surfaces online. The batshit level is over nine thousand!

ETA2: Anonymous speaks on the threat of Scientology to the internets and the world.

ETA3 Actual academic study done on the dangers of Scientology, answers the question of whether it's "just anothe religion".

Post Script: Knowledge should be free and unpopular opinions should still have the capacity to be heard. While the writer of this article happily sides with Anonymous in the opinion that the Co$ have used and abused the idea of "free speech" in order to silence, enslave, and brainwash people, the writer also recognizes that people are free to have whatever religious beliefs they want. The writer urges any Scienos or Scieno-curious people who might happen upon this post to check out the FreeZone. RTC has squirreled the tech. The tech should be free.

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Dio posting in The Internet: Serious Business
User: [info]diachrony
Date: 2007-11-09 10:01
Subject: why not to use shelfari, ever.
Security: Public
Tags:site scams

Shelfari spam: "basically social networking rapists"

Article links to 51 (yes, 51) blog and journal posts from furious victims of the Shelfari spam scam.

If you haven't heard of Shelfari, be warned that you may get spam invitations in your inbox if any of your friends have registered with the service.

Per Jesse Wegman of the New York Observer: Shelfari spammed "every single person with whom I have exchanged an e-mail in the past three years, in addition to every single person who has ever been on the same cc list as I have, regardless of whether we have ever met, in addition to every single listserv I have ever joined and every single Web site from which I have ever ordered anything."

How they do it:

The method is simple. When you sign up for Shelfari you are dumped into a screen that offers to send out check-out-my-books invitations to friends. The user interface is confusing and deceptive, and what seems like an attempt to continue into the site really sends out hundreds or thousands of letters to everyone you've ever known by email. Reminder-letters follow. Skipping this step requires clicking out-of-the-way, gray non-underlined text.

Like Quechup. Remember Quechup?

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Dio posting in The Internet: Serious Business
User: [info]diachrony
Date: 2007-09-09 20:46
Subject: social networking site spam scam: beware Quechup
Security: Public
Tags:site scams

If you get an email invite purporting to be from a friend and it turns out to be for a social networking service called "Quechup," don't even bother. Just delete it. They are indeed a social networking site, but their registry process, if you're not careful, allows them (without even warning you) to spam your entire address book.
TechBlog warns us in Spam Alert: Just Say No to Quechup and Matt Staggs offers a comprehensive link roundup on the scam.

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Kittykat posting in The Internet: Serious Business
User: [info]teh_kittykat
Date: 2007-09-03 16:36
Subject: Information Update!
Security: Public
Tags:mod hat

Due to the fact that the community is gasping along at a half-dead pace, your Evil Overlord has decided to tweak a few rules.

Namely, I'm opening up posting to anything that you would consider to be Serious Business. Funny or not, wanky or not, so long as it's something that's likely to be of interest to a large swath of people on the Internets it's fair game. The community isn't just here for Six Apart's attempt to party like it's 1999, after all. :D

Carry on!

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Dio posting in The Internet: Serious Business
User: [info]diachrony
Date: 2007-08-19 08:29
Subject: that live execution video on LJ
Security: Public
Tags:free speech, hate crimes, international blogging, livejournal, six apart

[info]stoney posts on the latest Serious Business: Full Cocked:

Because who wants to go off half-cocked? So yesterday, it came to light in the US that a Russian LJ blogger posted a live execution video on his LJ a few days ago. NPR reported this yesterday afternoon, even though it happened a few days ago. Last night, I saw many people's posts of outrage: How could LJ let that be shown, but the Snarry pic was removed? How can you stay on this service? And so on and so on. [ ... ].

Much research into the situation around Russians and their (non)free speech situation and exactly how much involvement LJ has with SUP (the service that actually runs the Russian blog system). A must read. Also posted at her LJ.

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Kittykat posting in The Internet: Serious Business
User: [info]teh_kittykat
Date: 2007-08-14 11:59
Subject: It's like a five-train pileup!
Security: Public
Tags:six apart

Wall of Text crits you for 1500. We need more DoTs!

Really, I'm not even sure where to begin. After reading all that twice it seems that the policy is "anything that might be considered dodgy is an automatic permaban" for everything. The policy for photorealistic art is different from other art, except that it's not because all borderline cases need to be treated like they're hardcore kindergartener sexxing. And all art=porn still, with an added helping of "oh, you fans and your porn!" when people started asking about linking to content that was outside of the ToS.

rachel's comments continue to be a trainwreck in and of themselves. And you'd think that someone who is still purportedly representing the company would try for a visual placeholder that doesn't involve large amounts of beer.

coffeechica has apologized for the comments on anorexia, at least, though there's no word yet on whether or not some parts of the ToS will continue to be more equal than others. And really, burying it on page five is not cool of the management.

(Yeah, I can tell we're still experiencing a lot of crosspost with [info]07refugees. I'll be opening up tagging soon as I hit the admin panel, so feel free to report in on non-Six Apart related stuff. I'm sure there's plenty of serious business out there. Waiting for you. With binoculars so it can watch you change.)

ETA: Tagging is now open to all members-- you can edit/delete tags and set them yourself on entries. Try for big serious subjects, plz, so it works as a filing system.

And nope, LJ is still failing hardcore.

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Dio posting in The Internet: Serious Business
User: [info]diachrony
Date: 2007-08-12 22:12
Subject: reality check?
Security: Public
Tags:copyright law

ETA: Please read the comments HERE! Many commenters have pointed out that mskala (Matthew Skala), the author of the second article linked below, is wrong on U.S. law, and this casts much of his article into question.

There are many reasons (also acknowledged by M. Skala, incidentally) to be very displeased with Six Apart and LiveJournal *completely aside* from the question of legality/illegality in fandom pursuits.

I linked to the article because I think it's worth discussing ~ and in fact the discussion here has been very educational and enlightening. I'm very grateful so many knowledgeable folks are participating and pointing out the flaws in the arguments presented. [/end ETA]

And now for some points that may have been overlooked:

Synecdochic posts on why LJ is the best place for fandom to be.


A refreshing (and frightening) dose of perspective:

The Terrible Secret of LiveJournal.
"[...] A lot of material, even in what fandom thinks of as its mainstream - including material that you like to read and look at - is illegal. That's the terrible secret of Livejournal.

In light of this terrible secret, and in light of the imperfect world in which it's all happening, Six Apart's actions actually make a whole lot of sense and aren't nearly so evil as fandom people are saying. [...]"

I strongly encourage you to read the entire article. I wanted to include more quotes, but it got far too long, as I wanted to copy over almost everything. The writer explains just how 6A/LJ has been supportive (and continues to support) fandom in spite of strong reasons not to, but also explains what 6A/LJ have done wrong that led him to leave the service himself.

He also points out that 6A/LJ caused their own problems when it comes to the proanorexia community flap:
"Six Apart has been very stupid in presenting a defence of pro-anorexia as being okay, instead of saying that it's legal and that's the end of the issue. By even considering the question of whether pro-anorexia is okay in a moral or social-responsibility sense, they (first) invite argument on that point, which they will inevitably lose; and (second) allow people to think that illegal fandom material could be tolerated if it were argued to be okay in a moral and social-responsibility sense. Six Apart should be directing attention to the law, saying that they'll follow the law and no other standard, and they should be refusing to engage in debate on the morality and social responsibility of hosting any given content."

It's taking me far too long to post this as I keep wanting to add more and more quotes. Just go and read.

Scarily enough, I learned (where have I been?!) that there's a strong fundie-backed movement to completely do away with social networking sites, period. And all they need is the right ammunition.


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Dio posting in The Internet: Serious Business
User: [info]diachrony
Date: 2007-08-12 16:54
Subject: pro-anorexia: serious business.
Security: Public
Mood:thoughtful thoughtful
Tags:mental disorders, six apart

Aside from any fandom concerns, I would like to point out another ongoing issue that came up in the lj_biz thread.

Took me awhile to find the relevant links in that enormous tangle of threads and sub-threads, but luckily I was saving some links as I was reading.

Thevelvetsun asked why LJ allows pro-self-harm communities to thrive, when encouraging self-harm is against LJ's ToS.

Others agree. Throughout the thread, several communities are mentioned, but the focus is on LJ's enormous (the largest on the Internet, with nearly 11,800 members ... and only two moderators) pro-anorexia community. Many examples are given of this community offering starvation tips and other blatantly self-harming tips to others; it seems clear it is not a community that supports recovery, but one that encourages anorexia.

LJ staffer Coffeechica justifies and excuses the community in comments. And further ...

After chirpily assuring that she's speaking on an official basis, she comes up with the now infamous line: "It's not illegal to aspire to be thin."

"If I GTFO, who else will answer your questions? ;-) Yes, I do work for LJ and I'm speaking officially.

"I do know what I'm talking about; I've read many many of these communities. It's sad, I know it is. But it's not illegal to aspire to be thin. It's not against the ToS to give people bad advice.

"LiveJournal does not support girls harming themselves. There is a line where we will suspend a pro-ana community or require removal of an entry. That line is when content is specifically instructing or inciting self-harm. Generalities aren't against the ToS, but specificities may be."

Not only does this hugely offend the concerned posters, who point out that anorexia is a deadly disease and mental disorder with an up to 20% mortality rate ... no mere "aspiration to be thin" ... but it's pointed out to Coffeechica that there are many blatantly specific examples, many of which have already been reported to the LJ Abuse team, and which have uniformly received the brush-off.

Some anorexia statistics )

Thevelvetsun composed An Open Letter to LiveJournal, Regarding Proanorexia and requests signatures. I signed it, several days ago, and I encourage you to read the letter and her explanatory post. Please sign her open letter, if you agree with her stance.

Some of the members of the proanorexia group complained, and it was mentioned how the two mods were overburdened and couldn't be expected to catch all the self-harming tips and tricks posted and delete them. I agree with the commenters who said a community that large needed many more moderators and should have appointed them already. As this comment points out, at least 8 moderators is a good number for a community of that size (and it is very, very active).

Thevelvetsun, upon receiving no response from LJ, has contacted the media, as she promised to do.

She is still requesting signatures to her letter (currently she has over 1,000) as the issue has not been resolved yet.


On a less serious note, here are two icons pertaining to the issue ... free for sharing, per the creators:

by Pichipai:


by Ardath_rekha:

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Kittykat posting in The Internet: Serious Business
User: [info]teh_kittykat
Date: 2007-08-12 12:35
Subject: (no subject)
Security: Public
Tags:six apart

In the immortal words of someone else, the Six Apart meltdown just got unfunnier.

Reactions seem to be mixed between abject horror and cheering.

I can't be the only person who thinks getting real litigation involved with fanart and fanfic is NOT a good idea. We manage to play in a grey area in copyright law because we hide away on the internet. I can only see this pulling us into the spotlight and endangering ALL fanworks, not just the ones LJ's been kicking.

I wonder if my earlier prediction about free speech in privately-owned places and the fate of fanfic as derivative work is going to come to a head? Hopefully in favor of free speech this time.

As it is, I suppose we shall see.

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Kittykat posting in The Internet: Serious Business
User: [info]teh_kittykat
Date: 2007-08-07 22:41
Subject: (no subject)
Security: Public
Tags:six apart

Co-author credit goes to [info]lostangelssong who helped me go through the comment threads. :D

Lj_biz has been updated with the long-awaited clarification of their bannination policy. Only, it's basically a reiteration of what they'd said before.

Naturally, the users rabble respond. Like.. a lot. Like.. this barely scratches the surface, man.


++ In case anyone missed it (in which case, I want to know what rock you live under so I can book a vacation there!), rm sums up why the grown-ups are leaving too in a convenient list format.

++ thevelvetsun starts a thread asking why some Terms of Service are more equal than others-- "You're saying that LJ supports girls helping girls harm themselves? You're honestly saying they endorse the pro-ana lifestyle? Do you work for LJ? Are you speaking officially? Is this something we can take to the bank? Harry Potter can't go homo when he hits 18, but LJ thinks girls should be skinny by any means necessary?" --averysmallthing

++ imaginarycircus finds out why this regurgitation took six days and offers a rather nice coping strategy to boot!

++ developer has definitely got the right idea about the free speech issue. Because hate groups > porn, man. Porn kills.

++ It's almost like they're asking for the cat macros. And speak of the devil... Though hey, they made it to page three of the comments!

++ xaoswolf invokes that goddamn "First they came for..." thing. Good thing underwear fetishists are the arbiters of normal. For a moment I was getting worried.

++ valiskeogh realizes Coke is great.

++ World domination is right out. Also, beware the icon police.

Aaaaaand a lot of the posts in the comments continue along the same vein, repeatedly asking for the promised clarifications that weren't given, etc. etc. I'll continue coverage of this breaking wanksplosion, but I gotta sleep sometime. The feeling that it's a really bad fanfiction is getting to me. Next we'll have LJ staffers committing internet suicide and complaining that no one understands them... oh wait.

So what has LJ managed to learn from all this? Sockpuppet accounts are nice when addressing the rabble.

Edit the First: Braver souls than I have been collecting the comments made by official LJ staffers. The failboat looks like it's sailing straight and true-- the journal's owner had to keep freezing comments when an LJ staffer showed up and kept commenting despite a request to GTFO. (Worded politely, too.)

Edit the Second: Dark_Christian, who covered the WFI mess, reveals that LJ also approves of communities that are pro religiously motivated child abuse. The communities have been reported to LJ Abuse, as per this thread in the main event. Hat tip to [info]emilie_burns.

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Kittykat posting in The Internet: Serious Business
User: [info]teh_kittykat
Date: 2007-08-07 19:24
Subject: Welcome to srz_bznz!
Security: Public
Tags:mod hat

Welcome to the community! Please post responsibly!

We take serious wanksplosions of all types here, fandom-related or not. At the moment, posting is unmoderated, so go to town. Should post quality start to suck or people start abusing it, posting will go moderated (as in, you can still post if you get approval).

The Fake LJ-Tag Generator is a handy tool for linking usernames outside of InsaneJournal when writing reports about Serious Business. It currently supports LJ, DJ, IJ, GJ, JF, and Blurty, but not Scribblit at the time of this writing (which makes sense considering that it's still in beta).

Have fun!

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srz bznz
January 2008