[info]simons_flower in [info]07refugees

LJ's latest


First, the policy entry for comment.
Second, the draft proposal for review.

Select portions:
Bandwidth Theft
Last updated: 6 March 2008


A user is remote-loading content from a third party website without the website owner’s permission.

The offender will be required to cease remotely loading the material. This follows the Standard Compliance Timeline.

Does not apply to simply linking to content. Offender is permitted to continue use of the material if they choose to remotely load it from webspace under their own control.

Though we acknowledge that it is the webmaster's responsibility to prevent the unauthorized remote loading of images from their site to LiveJournal, this is not always possible. Likewise, a user may wish for their images to be free from unauthorized reproduction by other LiveJournal users, but still use their website to store content such as background images for their own LiveJournal account. Because the unauthorized remote loading of images can incur a high bandwidth bill, we will require users who are remotely loading images without authorization to cease doing so.

See Also
Copyright Violation
This one I don't get at all. They even admit that it's "the webmaster's responsibility to prevent unauthorized remote loading of images" so why are they getting involved?

Then there's this one, which we all know exactly what this stems from:
Non-Photographic images of minors
Last updated: March 6th, 2008


Non-photographic images (cartoons, drawings, etc.) of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct are present on LiveJournal.

Users who have posted non-photographic images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct will be required to remove the material, following the Standard Compliance Timeline.

We are not making any determination on the legality of non-photographic images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. This is simply a type of content LiveJournal has decided not to host.

LiveJournal attempts to grant users the ability to express themselves in as many ways as possible. In the case of this content, however, LiveJournal has chosen not to host it due to its highly controversial nature.
Fuckheads. It wasn't controversial until you pulled accounts without warning for it.

They do, however, finally have a provision about Self Harm (specifically, "Material posted which encourages or instructs others on how to engage in destructive behavior such as, self-injury, self-mutilation, anorexia, drug or alcohol overdose, or suicide.") so that's something. I know one of the primary complaints during the brouhaha last spring was that LJ did nothing about the anorexia and self-harm communities that promoted the behavior, only pulled down artwork about fictional characters nominally under the fictional age of consent.

But then, further on, there's a provision about Unwanted Friending. This is a problem people have reported? Are they insane? How can you stop someone from friending you without banning them? Complete idiots.

Cross-posted from my journal.


I questioned whether they could go after fiction in the copyright section, but was told by an LJer only if they get a cease and desist letter.

Also, the adult content section is confusing to me. They consider adult content as: graphic and explicit in nature (for example, an image which contains nudity, sexuality, or violence). But later state: If the content is not graphic in nature, but is intended for a mature or adult audience, no action is required. Users are encouraged, but not required, to flag such content as containing "Adult concepts".

So are they stating only imagery can be adult content, not words? And if there are words, only if they describe sex and use swear words? I don't understand.
I think it's because speech is specifically protected by the Supreme Court, yet graphical representations fall in a gray area.

As for the flags, flagging ones journal is currently optional. Yet, if there are too many complaints, they will administratively flag the journal without recourse.

Wow...by the time I read through all of that crapola to make sure I'm not breaking a rule...my need to post will have passed.

But they did do it up all pretty like.
I don't think the person who told you that works for LJ.
"So are they stating only imagery can be adult content, not words?" In practice (which is really all that matters, because they are free to ignore their own guidelines), that seems to be the case. So far, they have been ignoring most text, even if it is that ultimate crime, minors engaging in sex. For instance, they passed a story about an 18 year old boy and a 14 year old boy engaged in explicit sex.

What do you want to bet that non-photographic images of minors (that includes 17 year olds) will be banned if they are so much as kissing while fully clothed?
Yeah, I sent them a fic to review with a basically adult Cedric and a.... 16 year old Zacharias? Fuck, I can't even remember now. He might have been 15. But not only did they say it was okay, they gave me feedback on the story itself. :P Fanart for that story though? Man, I'd be banned so fast.
I believe that's because speech is an explicitly protected right under the U.S. Constitution (and fanfic falls under some legislation or Supreme Court ruling I can't recall right now).

Fanart, on the other hand, seems to fall in some gray area that LJ has interpreted to mean is equal to child abuse.

Wait so does this:

LiveJournal has chosen not to host it due to its highly controversial nature.

mean that you can link to it elsewhere but not upload it to an LJ album, or is that no allowed either?

And yeah, I don't really see why they felt the need to include the "unwanted friending" thing. If someone's made an account just to harrass and spam people, then that would fall under "harrasment" and "spam".
You could interpret it to mean that, so long as the artwork (or other representation) is not hosted at LJ, such as in their Scrapbook, merely linked (from a site you have permission to hotlink to... don't want to run afoul of the other provision), it's okay.

Somehow, though, I don't think that's what they mean.

I am glad to see they remove the atrocious provision they were discussing last August about users being responsible for external links.
Marta (or was it Mark) stated in a comment that linking to unwanted content is not allowed either and will get you a suspension similar to that of a direct posting to LJ.
Actually, he said that the poster would be asked to remove the link, so perhaps they're at least not so quick with the banhammer any more...
You mean like when they promised not to do those out-of-the-blue suspensions and two days later did another round? ;0)

I think, before people get too enthusiastic about the new closer-to-clarity-LJ, they need to remember how little promises and actual events fit together last time.

But of course there is still hope they've improved... then again, nah.
So they haven't changed their tune at all and are still just as clueless. *headdesk*
hmm so if they are just against drawings and cartoons of minors, that should not affect fictional characters as they are not minors, but figments of imagination.

Somehow I doubt that this is what they mean. I wonder how their stance is on minor looking drawings, with characters that are actually much, much older.

Not that I really care what LJ does, I'm out of this nut house
All of this is so typically vague. The policy on serial-adding especially. People who get that upset about being added need to GTFO, period. Now LJ is pandering to their so-called needs?

All of these rules are crap anyway, but at least with the pr0n someone *might* be able to point to some terrible images that might possible offend even the staunchest advocate of free speech. But serial-adding? I've never been able to figure out why people get so upset about this. And now they are suspending adders. Amazing.

Funny how when LJ tries to "clarify" their invisible rules, they just make themselves look even more ridiculous.
[Lol, omg, love that icon, lol]

I dunno. I actually didn't think it was too awful bad at all. LJ has a vision of the kind of service it wants to create/maintain, and has put together a set of policy guidelines reflecting that in a fairly clear way.

You definintely gotta give them points for "short and sweet."

It's also obvious they don't wanna lose that chunk of users who compose "fandom," and are into fanfic, etc - even the kind that portrays adult-child sex. I really think they've done their best in these policies to have their cake and eat it, too.

Ya gotta give a tip of the hat to any business that manages to do that - and the tens of thousands of "these kinds" of users who remain at LJ are evidence of the same.

Complete lulz at the friending bit, too!
I have to agree. It's not perfect but after reading through everything, it's not the total fail I was expecting it to be. Except that friending thing, which is just absurd. It doesn't make me want to go back to using LJ, but it doesn't make me want to smack the hell out of everyone working there.
Yanno what would be even better IMHO?

How about they fucking start enforcing their own longstanding rules against communities promoting harm to others in regards to certain child-abuse communities? (I'd say "Put an explicit rule on it", but not only is this not necessary, I don't trust LJ to not selectively yank fandom communities whilst real life child abuse communities on Livejournal are allowed to exist (no, the "Bible-based baby beating" communities "trainupachild" and "babywise" have *still* not been yanked, despite a) their material being illegal in LJ's home state of CA, b) documented examples of instruction on child abuse given to LJ Abuse, and c) extensive documentation provided to their abuse department that the material is not only illegal but has been documented to be linked to the real life deaths of children).
That's absolutely ridiculous. How can anyone possibly believe that drawings of children are more harmful than actual child abuse? That is so disgusting and hypocritical. Good riddance, LJ.

As I commented in LJspeaks on lj...

Track This
I thought I would chime in here a bit. There may be legal reasons they are making these changes.

I attended a legal class recently on blogs and the liability for the site owner. A lot of sites have been relying on a case law interpretation of the CDA Safe Harbor as providing them blanket immunity from content that users publish on their site. However, there have been recent decisions to limit the scope of that law, at least as the presenters saw it. They feel recent decision leave sites open for liability in certain cases where the content is more questionable/flagrant. The feel the court is moving towards relying on a more middle of the road interpretation of this law. That means that there are arguments lawyers can use to reasonably file their cases against a site like LJ.

It seems like LJ is reacting to a narrow understanding of these decisions and is not willing to defend itself to allow a broader type of content on its servers. That does not reassure me as a user.

Personally, I'm not sure how they expect people to post their content again there. There will always be competing interests.
I've never understood the unwanted friending stuff, but a lot of people here on IJ have asked for policies on that too. I really don't get it. So some random person is watching your journal. You're not obligated to friend them back if you don't know them. They could do the exact same thing by just going to your journal and reading any public posts.
I completely agree. I've never understood the whining about unwanted friending. If seeing their name on your (general "your") userinfo is that rage-inducing, do a ban-set. It's not, as my friend says, rocket surgery. *g*
I think it has a lot to do with the loaded term "friend" actually. It implies many overlapping interests. If someone you didn't know friended you and you looked at their journal and were horrified by what you saw there wouldn't you be upset to have them listed on your profile next to the term "friend" (even just in a "friend of" listing)?

I know I'd rather they used "friend" for the mutual friends and "watching" or "reading" and "watched by" or "read by" for the one way connections.
Oh. I guess that makes sense, then. In which case, I wonder why they don't just change the terminology (on all the LJ based sites)... That might make a good suggestion for IJ.
The last time I made a suggestion... well I'm not in a hurry to do that again.

But if you want to hop over to [info]ideas and suggest it, go for it. It should be a lot less controversial than what I was hoping for. :)
I agree with you that the term is loaded and I've never understood why any of the clones haven't changed it (and I know they can fairly easily, since LJ has occasionally changed them for joke holidays, such as Talk Like A Pirate Day), but I still think doing a ban-set is easier and more efficient than expecting an administrative policy to take care of it.

To me, it's kind of like the PM system at TWOP; with a forum as huge as that, sometimes you can get really nasty PMs. There's always the option of asking one of the mods to intervene, but it's just easier to block that user from PMing you again, and makes less work for the people who are doing the truly important things involved in keeping the site running smoothly. Does that make sense? It's not a perfect analogy but, um...I'm going to have some more coffee. Heh.
If one of the random people that friended me were really creepy I'd just ban them as well. The thing is that most people don't know squat about admin console so they don't know they can ban someone and get them off their profile.

Really, they need a "ban" ticky box on the manage friends page. Make it go through a confirmation page so you can't do it accidentally and that should cover it.
That is a fantastic idea! At the very least, a primer on how to use the admin console should be really easy to find for new users. I think I was on LJ for at least a year before I even knew there was an admin console.
I'd like that. There's several people who I'd love to remove because I hate them. >;-)

But really, you should have the option of saying, er no I don't want this person to have me on their list. GJ used to have it and I liked it.

Its easier than doing custom lists because at least here, I'm trying to keep things public. LJ was completely locked down and it was impossible to see or talk to anyone new like it is here.
I'm sure it's quite sweet that they've decided to start communicating, but promises and ToS from LJ have, in recent years, meant sweet F-A.

Sooooooo I'm still perfectly happy exclusively with IJ.
This one I don't get at all. They even admit that it's "the webmaster's responsibility to prevent unauthorized remote loading of images" so why are they getting involved?

Because people who do this can be a pain in the arse? Basically, it's the 'Slashdot effect' writ smaller; if you link to some remote image in a context in which lots of people are likely to access it, the person hosting the image gets charged for all the bandwidth used. Now maybe that's OK if the image is a public one that people are supposed to link to (or at least the page it's on), but if it's some random personal image, not so much. If you want to show it, surely netiquette is at least to host it on your own space.
re: unwanted friending. i'm not exactly sure what you mean by "How can you stop someone from friending you without banning them?" but as far as i know you can't stop anyone from friending you on LJ. banning just removes their ability to comment on your journal with that LJ account.

if you're interested in examples of unwanted friending, i can provide a few that i've witnessed:

"unwanted friending" seems to aggravate the heck out of LJers who have real life restraining orders against the unwanted friend.

it also tends to bother ex-fiancees whose previously intended other follows their posts even after they break up [horrifically].

just seeing the unwanted friend's LJ name on the userinfo page can make even the most resilient person nauseous at the memory of persistent RL abusive behavior.

LJ has not demonstrated a good history of acknowledging RL interactions in their "tos abuse" evaluations.
I hadn't considered that. But if all posts are locked, the person who friended you can see nothing.

I have many people who have friended me and whom I have not friended back. I don't want to get rid of them, though they weren't exactly wanted. They can't see anything on my journal in any case.
"if all posts are locked"

it makes me very sad that it's always the victims who have to reduce their visibility in these cases. not that someone couldn't type in a url and read any public posts---but why make it easy for the unwanted friend to syndicate the victim?

it also makes for a very visible gender bias: every example i cited was one where a woman had to abandon the chance to make public posts or gain readership. never the guy who was getting a kick out of making her feel anxious and afraid.


just my opinion, but i don't think that the "unwanted friend" rule has anything to do with random, anonymous adding. rather, i think that in this case LJ is finally trying to do something to address a subtle and insidious problem that manifests on their website.
but why make it easy for the unwanted friend to syndicate the victim?

I'm not sure what you're talking about here? I mean, I understand you're referring to the friends page feature, but every journal also has a built in RSS feed which functions in much the same way. With friending you're at least notified of the other person's behavior, and can ban them accordingly. AFAIK, you can't ban people from subscribing to your journal's RSS feed with a feed reader.

There is absolutely no security or privacy to be had with such a change, only the illusion of security and privacy. Such illusions are counterproductive at best and dangerous at worst. When an entry is posted in public, it is public. As in, it is available for anyone to stumble upon and read. This is exactly why f-locking and filtering exist, to provide privacy options for the user.
There is absolutely no security or privacy to be had with such a change

...and i'm not exactly sure which change you're referring to here.

i think it's important to note that the OP was about unwanted friending, and that is what my comments are addressing.

the examples i mention are worthwhile, if only because not a single person in the comments could envision a situation where that would occur.
...and i'm not exactly sure which change you're referring to here.

Whoops! I had a bunch of tabs open and thought you were someone else that I've been arguing with about friends-of lists editing, and why I don't think such a feature is good idea. I didn't mean to snap at you like that, I'm sorry!
Banning also removes them from your friends of list, and you from theirs, so they can't see your new updates on their friends' list in addition to not being able to comment.

Try it.
does it? hm, they must have changed the code on that one since 2 or 3 years ago.

but to be honest, i'm not the one who needs to "try it." i'm not restricted to caring only about what happens to me. those examples are things that happened to people i know.

Just playing devil's advocate.
The self-harm rule has been there since last year; I looked it up when the fuss about [info]proanorexia came about. The problem isn't that it didn't exist, it's that no one bloody enforces it.
And Re: unwanted friending, I think people need to realize that this is the internet. It's not bloody safe. If they want safety, keep a paper journal with a padlock, or blog under an assumed name using anonymous email addresses, proxies, etc. Don't sit on livejournal and complain about people adding you that you don't know, or you don't want reading your stuff.

Like people have been saying since the internet was created: If you don't want your ex/mom/pastor/best friend to find it, don't put it on the internet, and don't make it public.
But then, further on, there's a provision about Unwanted Friending. This is a problem people have reported? Are they insane? How can you stop someone from friending you without banning them? Complete idiots.

I used to be a serial adding troll, back when I was in junior college and had a surplus of time on my hands. :-[ I had numerous people threaten to turn me in to teh Abuse team for adding them and then post profanity-filled screeds against my evil deed in their journals. It was hilarious, but it got old and lame after awhile.

Doesn't make it any less stupid, but yes,it happens.