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Re: The recent livejournal drama where journals were being suspended due to people having certain "interests" listed in their profile. The lj-abuse team over-reacted to a questionable complaint about child abusers, and without actually looking into the situation, did a mass suspension of journals which effectively labeled all the journals/communities that were suspended as being pedophiles (a list of the offending journals were published)...

Read more about it here: http://news.livejournal.com/99159.html.

I posted a comment on a friend's entry that I will expand upon here:

I have always seen the interest list as a list of things in which I am interested, not a list of things I necessarily promote or support. For example I used to be an addictions counsellour, I studied in the field of toxicology and my current job is in drug research. My interests contained (note the past tense here) things such as: addiction, cocaine, alcohol, mj, crack, poisoning, etc. This doesn't mean I like them, use them, and condone/encourage the use of them, but considering my background, I am quite interested in them. I certainly didn't interpret those little sentences prefaced in lj's instructions on what to put in your interest list “I like x”, “I’m in favor of x” or “I support x” to indicate that it was an lj policy that you had to be in support of those items you listed. This is not indicated on the TOS nor anywhere else on the site. If they are concerned about objectionable interests, they should consider blocking the ability to list those things as interests, rather than delete the journals involved. I listed them as interests because I am interested in them.

Some people have expressed that this issue is not one that is serious. I would disagree.

Here's an example. What about people that are previous sex offenders, but are currently law abiding citizens and are not doing anything wrong? For example someone convicted of stat rape because his girlfriend was one month too young. Not wanting to get into a debate on stat rape here, but I honestly don't see the above situation the same as an adult targeting a 10 year old. If a law abiding but previously convicted sex offender was associated with one of those communities that had been identified and labeled as promoting pedophilia, he could have been thrown in jail.

Here's another example regarding fandom. Harry Potter fans involved in fandom communities on lj are now unofficially associated with pedophiles. They may not have pedophilia as an interest, but to people who saw the vague news reports and didn't follow through with seeing fandom get off the hook in the end, this association may not have been broken.

Hopefully this won't have professional or legal consequences for any people who have mistakenly been labeled as being a pedophile or associating with pedophiles, but I certainly think any such false accusations are very serious indeed.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 1st, 2007 06:06 pm (UTC)
The "I Like ..." thing is absurd. What are you supposed to write in your interests."I don't like addiction but I list it as an interest because I used to work as a counsellor" .. I'm sure people with a common interest will easily find you.
Jun. 1st, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
You should check out nzraya's current profile. She does something like this.

They should change the interest list to "likes" if that is what they want it to mean.

...and some of the banned journals did specify that they were not condoning the behavior - they were RP characters and not meant to be taken as real human beings.
Jun. 3rd, 2007 03:16 pm (UTC)
It is all a plot 8^)

Of course if people actually thought when they read things ... Oh wait this is humans most of them never think even if they read
Jun. 9th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)
Exactly my point. Fortunately it appears they realized they royally screwed up.
Jun. 1st, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC)
This came on the curtails of the myspace fiasco where myspace officials jumped inand ran their database against the sex offender database and began banning accounts.

People are so sue happy today that I can't blame these companies being paranoid. I ran a site that was community driven and recently dropped my connection and sold my interest to it off to another party, mainly because it was getting borderline close to being right where myspace is and where LJ could be going.

I do agree with you, that these things were out of line. They should have created a list of suspects, then spent some time going over each one and seeing why those interests were there and if they needed to be removed from service.

But, that takes time and money...something that most companies aren't willing to spend. Still, it looks like they know what they SHOULD have done, but will they do it next time?
Jun. 9th, 2007 04:19 am (UTC)
It's hard to say for sure, but as for people being sue happy, I'd imagine people won't hesitate to sue if this in any way affects them legally, or even professionally.
Jun. 2nd, 2007 02:30 am (UTC)
What about the the guy that banged his GF too early legally, and then when they split up... finds one just ONE month past the "legal age" when he is WAY older??? Is that not a pattern?

NM Just a thought.
Jun. 2nd, 2007 10:51 pm (UTC)
Up Periscope
Hi Shar!!

I am back at least occasionally I see the kiddo is healthy and beautiful! You do good work 8^)

Be well!!!!

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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