lurkitty: (Can't sleep cupcake)
I have commented lately that I have been getting a lot of virus laden spam. It really doesn't hurt because none of the viruses affect my Mac. It was just annoying to get six or more of these every day.

Because of an offhand comment in one of the lj business comms (I can't recall where) that I began to suspect the source of the spam. So I conducted a little experiment.

A week ago I disabled my lj email address. I had forgotten that I had, long ago, forwarded that address to my standard email address. In the last week, I have gotten no virus spams. None. From six or more per day to none overnight.

I'd say I found the problem.
lurkitty: (Default)
In a move as mysterious as their appearance was controversial, Pepsi V-gifts have vanished, save for their mention on the [livejournal.com profile] news page.

We blame Kreacher.
lurkitty: (maneki neko)
You probably all know this by now, but there is a brand new post up in [livejournal.com profile] lj_biz that clarifies the TOS and brings everybody up to date.

First, they distinguish between photos and videos, etc... and drawings, and paintings and other non-photographic media. They say You can't put real kiddie porn images - like photos and such, on LJ. They will suspend you.

As far as non-photo is concerned, you'll get a warning and three days to remove the piece. You can get two warnings and are then suspended

They have a clear policy for reviewing cases where the age of the characters is ambiguous.

Because they may have benefitted from this new policy, one of the suspended artists has been reinstated. The other has states that she does not want to return to LJ.

This policy answers my main concern. It was politely but clearly stated. There is a new spokesman, [livejournal.com profile] rachel, and she identifies herself in the subject line as a staffer. In addition, [livejournal.com profile] coffeechica has apologized for her really dumb remarks about anorexia.

Maybe I'm gullible. But they've dealt with my concerns, and I'm feeling a little better. Not completely trusting them, but a little better.
lurkitty: (Awaken)
"Overall, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

Comedian W.C. Fields had a running routine about Philadelphia being the worst city on earth. Though he was cremated and has no headstone, folk history tells us the above words are his epitaph.

Out of the free-thinking society of upper left coast geekdom (a mentality I understand intimately), our founder, [livejournal.com profile] brad open-sourced a social network to keep in touch with his friends. The tool was so unobtrusive and adaptable that it drew run-of-the-mill geeks faster than an espresso cafe with free wifi (the purist programming elite tended to eschew such nonsense, preferring to program their own sites in Perl in front of their workingEMACS altar on a UNIX platform. Bloggers, on the other hand, considered themselves journalists and maintain independent websites for readers rather than communities). Here, the average geek found hir niche: a community with the ten or twelve other people in the world who actually recalled that there was a TV show called Tales of the Gold Monkey in the 1980's and fell in love with Sarah Stickney White.

Not only was it possible to interact and write fanfiction with other Monkiacs, but one could indulge the entire diversity of one's interests and keep them separate. It was unnecessary for your Baptist friends to know that you are a Furry; through the skillful use of filtered flists, or even separate journals, your presence on LJ could be as open or discrete as you desired.

These features, and the fact that it is accessed on a computer from the comfort of one's own room, make LiveJournal very attractive to people who have difficulty getting along in a real life social settings. It is possible to be beautiful, glib, sexy and popular online while being plain, anxious, unappealing and lonely in real life. One's online social network can become far more real and far more important than the outside world. When one's friends are pre-sorted to share interests and philosophies, it becomes far easier to connect and far easier to break the barriers and become friends.

People write about their feelings, facilitated by a pull-down menu of moods. They reveal intimacies they have not revealed to real-life friends. The journal itself, like a diary, becomes a friend, and private entries are made speaking directly to that n+1th friend on one's friends list; the one that always understands, the one that never, ever tells anyone else about the fact that you think your friend's relationship is utterly doomed but you can't do anything about it because your friend has to fall off that cliff and learn her own lesson.

More than a diary, though, the journal serves as a place for attempts at writing prose, poems, articles, or showing art or photography. Comments may include little impromptu bits, off-the-cuff declarations of love, songs, sonnets, or doodles.

The users of LiveJournal, in their joy and reverie, have romped and played through the years as though they were in their homes and have forgotten that they were customers. Six Apart bought what they thought was a business, but, instead, ended up with servers full of over a million private lives. Lives that users were very attached to, thank-you-very-much. The first inkling the users had that there was something wrong was when Six Apart brought in advertisers.

There the users were, cavorting naked in their bedrooms, and men in suits peered into the windows.

Six Apart thought it had bought a respectable business. There were people having sex with minors in front of open windows.

Six Apart smote them. It bulldozed the whole neighborhood.

The users stopped cavorting. They screamed that not everything that was bulldozed was wrong. It seemed Six Apart heard something, because they started to rebuild the neighborhood.

Then, they drew lines and killed the presence of two users on LJ. Six Apart thinks that it has banned two customers. To the users, Six Apart has committed the equivalent of murder by erasing all traces of the online existence of the two people.

A shudder is running through the community. These are people used to being shunned, of being strung along by supposed friends and then cut off in the most embarrassing situation possible. A network that attracts social outcasts suddenly turns and begins a purge. That is the stuff of nightmares.

It really doesn't matter why the decision was taken in the first place. What matters is that there was no warning. What matters is that there is a persistent perception among the users that it could happen to any of US. We could be erased!

That amounts to a public relations nightmare that Six Apart is repeatedly failing to deal with or acknowledge.

All over my friends list, people are creating journals elsewhere in preparation for the day they are TOSed. Many of them are not even involved in fandom of any sort and wouldn't think of posting porn of any sort. What will their epitaph be?

"Overall, I'd rather be on LiveJournal."
lurkitty: (jane)
This is what I get from actually reading the protest posts...

Gossip blog Valleywag is reporting that LiveJournal founder Brad Fitzpatrick is leaving, most likely for Google.

Valleywag continues:
"The only reason that Six Apart management hasn't announced it, the source adds, is that they can't figure out how to spin it. Here, let me help, guys! It's bad. And Fitzpatrick's departure is just the tip of Six Apart's reality-denying iceberg.

Six Apart is in two separate businesses -- selling blog software and services to big companies, and managing social networks LiveJournal and Vox. The two don't mesh well, and it shows. CEO Barak Berkowitz's corporate-running-dog background has not prepared him at all for dealing with feisty online users, and his ineptness was on display in the recent fan-fiction censorship scandal.

Mena Trott, Six Apart's president and cofounder, is normally the company's most effective spokesperson. When she can be prevented from swearing, that is. But we haven't seen much from her recently.

And Andrew Anker is still listed as being in charge of the company's consumer business on its website. But I know that he's moved into a corporate-development role -- which I think is Silicon Valley code for "trying to find someone to buy the company...."

That's the rumor, anyway. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] imaginarycircus.

Here is Brad's own version of events, where he says he is leaving, but not for the reasons cited by Valleywag.

Here is the thread where he discusses the current dust-up. He admits that,"...The flood of personal emails to me about this is a big part of the reason I realized that after 9 years, I need to find something else to do."
lurkitty: (Default)
I have installed a new moodtheme by [livejournal.com profile] corvidae9 that is, I think, more appropriate to my kittyness.

*is happy* The moods make me giggle!
lurkitty: (albert)
Well we really screwed this one up…
For reasons we are still trying to figure out what was supposed to be a well planned attempt to clean up a few journals that were violating LiveJournal's policies that protect minors turned into a total mess. I can only say I’m sorry, explain what we did wrong and what we are doing to correct these problems and explain what we were trying to do but messed up so completely.
-Barak Berkowitz, head of Six Apart.

That's how [livejournal.com profile] barakb25 starts his mea culpa for the last 2 days of chaos in which tens of thousands of dollars of real revenue in paid subscriptions, userpics and gifts were lost, over 6000 disgruntled users managed to slow down the servers asking when they were going to hear directly from the service, and over 20,000 joined a single protest community.

"Really screwed this one up" doesn't begin to cover it.

Yes. LiveJournal is a private company. If you suddenly decide to apply your TOS more strictly, that's business. That's the key, though. What was promised was that suspension was a last resort, and it was used as a first resort. What you haven't realized is that you've compromised the privacy of your customers in process.

Mr. Berkowitz, you make the point that this was done because LJ has a zero tolerance policy toward content that supports child abuse, pedophilia or sexual violence. This policy needs clarification. On an online community, what exactly does it mean to "support child abuse, pedophilia or sexual violence?" If this were a school, where children were physically present, a zero tolerance policy with respect to the presence of child molesters, for instance, would be warranted. But we live in a virtual world. It is far too easy to blur the lines between fiction and reality. Just because the word was said, does not make it so.

In setting up guidelines for behavior online, instead of trawling for interests, you have to look at actions. I can see drawing the lines at pictures and film clips of actual sexual acts with minors, or rapes, or shutting down a community where adults solicit children for sex. Communities where tips on the best places for meeting minors are shared, or addresses and other private information are published are definitely a problem. This is all tangible harm. What you need to see is that there are a very few actions that can be taken online that, in actuality, endanger someone. We all support punishing actual criminal activity. But discussion is not a crime, nor a danger.

What has not been acknowledged is that when you restore the accounts you have unjustly shut down, including those of rape and incest survivors, those account names will still be listed on internet websites as pedophiles or at least "pro-pedophile sites". In taking the broad-ranging and very public action you took, you failed to protect your own customer's privacy. You compounded the mistake by doing a public interview and acknowledging that there were malefactors in the lot, thereby making all the journals suspect. You have made these accounts unusable. It's like sending an email - once you hit that button, it can't be undone.

I sincerely hope, Mr. Berkowitz, that Six Apart will learn from this episode that its primary responsibility is to its customers. The customers who have journals, sir, not the advertisers. To quote someone who responded to your C/Net interview, "This is not the community you made, this is the community you bought." We made this community, sir. Never forget that.
lurkitty: (toilet cat)
Hey, folks! The (LJ) Powers That Be are talking to US!

THE KING AND HIS MEN,
STOLE THE QUEEN FROM HER BED!
AND BOUND HER BONES,
THE SEAS WILL BE OURS
AND BY THE POWERS,
WHERE WE WILL WE'LL ROAM!

YO, HO, HAUL TOGETHER,
HOIST THE COLORS HIGH!
HEAVE HO,
THIEVES AND BEGGARS,
NEVER SHALL WE DIE!

(the official anthem having been sung...)

Seriously - it seems a bit of the "too little, too late" because the anti-pedophile groups have already tagged all 500 journals and plastered them all over the web. So even if they restore them at this late date, those folks are going to get the daylights trolled out of them!

It also seems, from what I've read elsewhere (and I could be wrong), that the employees tried to tell them it was a stupid thing to do, but they were told to do it anyway. It's really rather unsettling that LJ has become so generally unresponsive. They're going to have to do a heap o' fence mendin' to get out of this here predicament. Yes indeedy.

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lurkitty

August 2011

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