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May 31st, 2007

The LiveJournal/SixApart Storm

Thousands of LiveJournal customers are rebelling against the company's recent decision to censor hundreds of sex-themed discussion groups, a broad swath that has led to the removal of literary critiques and fan-written fiction about Harry Potter.

LiveJournal, which is owned by San Francisco-based Six Apart, confirmed Wednesday that it deleted around 500 journals this week in hopes of better "protecting children." It said the deletion was prompted by activist groups, including one called Warriors for Innocence that claims to track sites promoting pedophilia, the sexual abuse of minors, and other illegal activities.

"We did a review of our policies related to how we review those sites, those journals, and came up with the fact that we actually did have a number of journals up that we didn't think met our policies and didn't think they were appropriate to have up," Barak Berkowitz, chairman and chief executive of Six Apart, said in a telephone interview. The site boasts about 13 million journals.


"Protecting children."

Jesus fuck, huh?

This is not the first time Six Apart have revealed themselves to be, not backwards, but completely cowardly in the face of any criticism or complaint. A bit of research on the part of the Warriors for Innocence would have revealed that their position as an organisation with some kind of legal backing was, how shall we say, not true: "I am not associated with a Law Enforcement (LE) agency. I do however, work closely with LE and report many illegal sites and activities to local LE and to the NCMEC/Cyber Tip Line. I have spoken to the NCMEC on the phone several times (per their request, not mine) about illegal sites and missing children." Not associated and working closely, in case you can't tell, do not mean associated and employed by, and self appointed guardians of the internet who are here to serve and protect us all from the big bad online predator who is stalking the chat room for your eight year old are to be ignored as the overly zealous fuck jobs that they are. I mean, seriously: I know pedophilia is a topic no one wants to get behind, but this fuck up here aptly displays how poorly defined and examined the whole subject is, and reactions like this only go fuel the hysteria that already exists around the subject. Frankly, any examination into anything relating to 'Pedophilia' is going to reveal a large, unmapped area where the lines are blurred, morality gets question, fantasy is raised, and a whole lot more doesn't fit neatly into the Abducting Eight Year Olds with Your Van and a Lollipop or Chatroom Rape image that many have.

For the most part, Six Apart doesn't get any complaint from me, but moments like this (and the nipple icon) make me look quite seriously at the plan of taking the blog away from here. I have always toyed with the idea of setting up my own site, and it's only my complete lack of design skills and laziness on my part that stop me from doing so. However, moments like this go some way to eating away the laziness. If it continues, it's more than likely that you could see this blog quite dead.

Say hello to Sue and Gunny John who, apparently, run Warriors for Innocence.

First, say hi to Sue:

March 17th is the day the liberal anti-war protesters have chosen to meet at the Vietnam Memorial Wall and march to the Pentagon. Those of us who are true Americans find this site to be sacred, and many will travel to the wall to stand guard and prevent the protesters from defacing or damaging the wall.

My husband is a Vietnam Vet, my Brother is a Marine, my Dad is a Vet, my Father-in-law is a Vet, my brother-in-law is a Vet, my Uncle is a Vet, my cousin is a Vet. I have a personal stake in this.

It's a disgrace to choose a war memorial dedicated to our fallen heroes as a location for this protest.

I'll end it there because I pretty much said it all in a recent post. Go here.

Cindy "I hate Bush" Sheehan and Jane "traitor bitch" Fonda will be there along with their liberal friends. Here's a list of the sponsors:

~Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark (who offered his services to defend Saddam Hussein)
~Ultra-liberal Congresswoman Maxine Waters
~Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney
~Ron Kovic, Vietnam veteran and author of “Born on the 4th of July”
~Mahdi Bray, executive director, Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation
~Waleed Bader, vice chair of the National Council of Arab Americans and former president of Arab Muslim American Federation
~Medea Benjamin, co-founder, CODEPINK and Global ExchangeFree Palestine Alliance
~Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation
~Islamic Political Party of America
~FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front)
~Islamic-National Congress
~Gay Liberation Network
~Muslim Student Association
~Jibril Hough, chairman, Islamic Political Party of America


Why didn't she bold gay? Or liberation for that matter?

Anyhow, here's Gunny John:

"There are minority factions who have the ears of some very high Career Politicians. The homosexual faction wants any mention of how their lifestyle is against someone's religious beliefs to be considered "hate speech" and a "thought crime." The drug culture wants their use and abuse of narcotics and controlled substances to be accepted and no longer punishable by law.

These people, instead of working to keep this country a model of a representative republic, want to have an "anything goes" attitude. Smoking dope? That's cool. Drinking and driving? No problem. Rape, assault, murder? Fully acceptable in the land of the liberal mindset. Having limits, rules, regulations, is what allows a civilization to thrive and grow. When the rules and regulations are ignored or altered to favor one group over another, then there is no longer a mindset of "All men are created equal" - there is the onset of the "victim mentality," where the individual is no longer held accountable for their own actions, but any wrong that befalls them is a direct result of events in their past; events they have no control over, and events that they will allow to control the rest of their lives.

Everything is not perfect anymore. The time has come for We the People to stand up and be heard. It's time for We the People to let the Career Politicians know that we are no longer going to allow them to rule according to how they want to fill their pocket; they need to put the United States of America back at the forefront of their dealings and negotiations."


Yes, they're fucking crazy.

Of course they're fucking crazy. They're self appointed guardians of the internet on the prowl for pedophiles, for fucks sake. Like they weren't going to be.

In fact, some people are going as far as to say that they're part of a larger organised bunch of insane fuckers: "In other words, with the "Warriors for Innocence" scandal, we may actually be dealing with part of a fairly extensive network of neo-Confederate, militia-sympathiser (if not flat out militia-member) "Christian Patriot" God-warriors-with-guns "Joel's Army" nutcases on our hand...one that potentially makes Focus on the Family or even the American Family Association look like the friggin' Society of Friends in comparison."

Now, I know some people don't see the thing here since, in one way, it's a lot of slash incest underage fiction being killed, and that Six Apart is a commercial website, and thus have a right to say and do what they please, which was said in the comments of the previous post. Also, it's pedophilia, which a lot of people fear being tagged with like it's cancer. Which is fair enough, to a certain level: I'm not wanting to be tagged with it, either, and I'm certainly not weeping over the loss of Harry and Draco fucking each other, because that's never appealed to me. I'm also smart enough that I can see the contradiction of telling Six Apart they can't do this while claiming it's a freedom of speech thing. The freedom to say something also means the freedom to stop saying something. However, even though I am aware of this, I am motivated by that freedom of speech thing, because freedom of speech is not something you support one day of the week, and then don't support another. Yesterday, for example, I found out about a reality TV show that plans to have three dying people compete for a woman's liver--a morally reprehensible, ugly idea, which I think is simply foul in relation to my morals, of which God plays no fucking part in shaping at all. I am, in short, disgusted that it exists. But--and here's the important part--I don't think that it should be shut down, tossed away, and silenced. Let it exist. Maybe something good will come out of it, in that more people will donate organs. Me, I'm already up for donating what I've got when I'm dead, so I won't watch it, and I'm going to think of it, truly, as a foul piece of work.

It seems to me, and perhaps here I am alone, but still, it appears to me that in recent years Right Wing Groups of all Shapes and Size have been on the rise. It seems that every day they gain a little more ground in making their voices louder. Is it a perception on my part? It could be. Maybe these extreme religious views of all shape and size have always had loud voices in the world. Yet it remains that the fact that these voices can have a say over my life, and more importantly, the lives of my friends and family, when they have no idea who these individuals are, and that they base it on some kind of idiotic logic such as 'It's Not Right', then these people need to have their voices minimalised, or at least competed against. The voices of idiots, such as the pair above, with their racist, homophobic driven agendas, need to have their power stripped away. Let them speak. Sure. I got no hassle on that, though I could quite easily see their tongues removed and fingers cut away, but like I said, Freedom of Speech is for everything on every day. What is wrong, however, or perhaps it is more correct for me to say, what offends me, is that such small minded fucks could have any power, anywhere, especially when I know perfectly rational and sane people who have faith of all kind (and those who, again, do not).

My posting on this topic, then, is related to that. It's just a voice being added to the no that needed to be said, originally, to these two fucked up retards, who get nothing but disrespect from me.

And lastly, if someone reading this can provide a definition of pedophilia that covers all situations, and which also addresses the slightly complex issue of it being a sexuality within itself--which some quarters do argue--I'd be most appreciative. I'm curious to see what people have got.

LiveJournal Pedophilia Ring, Part Three

From Barak Berkowitz (barakb25) on LiveJournal News:

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.

What we did wrong;

1) Over the last couple of days we have suspended (not deleted) about 500 journals out of many millions on LJ.
2) It is now clear that in an unfortunate number of cases these journals were suspended for easily correctable problems in their profiles that would then allow them to be reinstated and that this was not communicated to the journal or community owners at all.
3) Further, because of miscommunication these journals were taken down before review could be completed to avoid mistakes.

How we are fixing it.

1) Over the next few hours we will review the journals that were taken down and wherever appropriate we will restore these journals or communities before 12 noon PDT. Sorry it will take that long but we do not want to reinstate true and clear violators of community policy.
2) In some cases Journals that were restored will be asked to clarify their profiles to avoid the appearance that they are soliciting or encouraging illegal activities.
3) Journals that we do not restore will be journals that we are fairly sure are actually intended to encourage activities that put minors at risk but we will review them if requested by their owner to be certain that we did not make a mistake.
4) In cases that we ask owners to clarify their profiles and they fail to do so within 7 days we will suspend their journals again.

...

We have always been strong supporters of free speech and at the same time we believe deeply that children deserve special protections as well as the victims of violence and hate. We tried to implement a policy that walk that line and we did it poorly, we are all sorry. One could say that no matter what we did we would either be accused of opposing free speech or endangering children but I am sure we should and could have done this much better. I hope you can forgive us and we can regain your trust.


Yes, well.

For the moment, lets ignore the whole 'We don't know how it happened' part. An attempt is being made to fix the problem, which I think we will all agree, is a good thing. Unless you have Child Fucking as an interest, in which case, you're a fucking moron, and you need your internet taken away.