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.
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.