KJ (owlmoose) wrote,

Quick thoughts on the great LJ banning of 2007

Update, Thursday morning:You've probably all seen the official Six Apart apology by now. To my pleased surprise, it looks like they are going to fix the problem. I'll leave this up for the historical record, but let it be known that this is no longer an urgent issue -- at least not for now.

I know fandom folks are probably sick to death of hearing about this, but there are a number of non-fandom people who read my LJ, and this affects all of us, so I want to make sure the word is spread.

Recently, due to pressure from a group of special interest zealots, LJ/Six Apart deleted hundreds of journals and communities without warning. There's still no official statement about exactly which accounts were targeted and why, but the best information suggests that the groups were removed for "promoting an illegal activity" by having "incest" or related words listed as an interest in their userinfo. Supposedly the target was "online predators", but most of the deleted groups seem to have been fiction and/or survivor support communities. This post is a good central source of information. There's also a CNet article.

The best suggestion regarding a response that I've seen is to hit them where it really hurts: ad revenue. justira suggests, and I agree, that the money users spend on paid accounts and gifts and so forth is really a drop in the bucket. Selling ads is where the money really is, and the easiest way for users to affect that is to take away their ad platform. If you have a plus or sponsored account, consider switching it back to basic. Then ads will no longer be displayed on your journal. Fewer page views, less ad revenue. Simple and relatively painless. Think about it, anyway.

The implications of this go far beyond fandom. This is about freedom of discourse on the Internet, and about not letting a misguided group of zealots dictate what we can and cannot discuss in an open forum. I vote we take a stand. If I hear any other suggestions about what the average user can do that will make a real difference, I'll let you all know.
Tags: civil rights, fandom, internet, meta

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