Chris (karihan) wrote,

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Hooookay. My take on WiffieWank, AKA Strikethrough '07

I was originally going to post a full-blown foaming rant about the LJ crackdown and the "organization" that triggered it. Then I saw how much rant was already out there, realized how tired I am right now, and opted for a quieter approach. Behind the cut you will find links to various explanations of what has happened and why, plus a few bits of considered opinion and advice from me. A rantlet may very well sneak in by the end concerning the object of my ire in this whole mess, and it's NOT Livejournal.

But let me make one thing clear above the cut, for those of you out there who are still worried. Livejournal is neither attacking fandom nor starting a mass purge of adult content. Those of you concerned that all smut is about to vanish can take a deep breath and relax.

What ElJay has done is remove journals and comms whose interest lists (and in some cases names) indicate an interest in pedophilia and/or incest. They have been, IMO, somewhat ham-handed about it out of concern for liability issues. Not only did they remove actual pedophilia journals and comms, but some innocent literature, roleplay, abuse survivor, fan fiction and other ljs got caught in the crossfire, simply by virtue of having one of these two illegal activities (or words meaning such) in their interest lists. The trigger for these events seems to have been pressure from an organization (or individual masquerading as an organization, it gets a little blurry) called Warriors for Innocence (

Some related links to flesh out the info: catrinella is compiling a list of deleted journals and comms, as well as a large amount of stick-to-the-facts info about the situation and various other links. She has also debunked some inaccurate rumors. Another list of affected ljs by lolaraincoat, trying to differentiate between those purged by lj and those deleted by their owners. A discussion of the legalities of the situation. Not sure how many lawyers, if any, have weighed in here, so take with the web grain of salt. A post from the owner of one of the deleted comms. She includes some communication from LJ Abuse that sheds light on LJ's position. Liz posts info on Warriors for Innocence, including an e-mail she sent to them
. Liz's follow-up, including WfI's response. Ancarett offers a sensible suggestion to those whose ljs have been affected.

I'm sure this isn't an exhaustive list, but I think it covers the most vital points. Many thanks to irish_dragon for cuing me in to several of the above links.

One piece of quiet advice: BACK UP YOUR FIC. To your own hard drive, to archive sites, to wherever you can manage to keep it. This has always been a good idea, whether your fic has adult content or not. No website is immune to outages or information loss, so keep copies. Ultimately no one can kill the information.

So the debate currently rages about what to do, who's to blame, and what's going to happen. I have spent most of the day thinking about what I'm going to do. I've decided that, while I may dip my toe a little deeper into some of the other journaling sites I've used (GreatestJournal, JournalFen, etc), by and large I'm going to stick with Livejournal.

Of course I don't fully agree with how LJ has handled this situation, but I do understand their reasons. LJ/Six Apart is a business, and are as vulnerable to liability concerns as any other business. In some situations, they have to go with the advice given to them by their lawyers. Sucks royally, but there it is. And online fandom, just like other online concerns, lives at the sufferance of the service providers. It always has. What happened here can happen just as easily at any other site. I do not intend to diss anyone planning to vote with their dollars and/or feet and go elsewhere, but I'm staying and continuing to spew my liberal-leftist opinions here. If enough of us present our opinions to LJ/SA, maybe we stand a chance of getting clearer and better provisions put into the Terms of Service.

After all, Livejournal is not the real problem. Warriors for Innocence (and all groups like it) is.

Let me make my stance clear from the get-go. Any sexual act perpetrated on a child, or any other being who a) does not have complete understanding of what is happening or b) has not given fully informed consent is vile, disgusting and reprehensible. I have as much sympathy for true pedophiles as I do for rapists, which is to say none whatsoever.


I have yet to see how any of these anti-porn, moralizing, Clean-Up-the-Net campaigns like Warriors for Innocence do one damn thing to help keep children from being victimized, or to help children who have been victimized. These people act like pedophilia and other sexual crimes didn't even exist before the Internet, and therefore clearing all the pr0n off the web will make all the bad nastiness go away. Of course it won't. It will all just go back underground, where they can pretend it doesn't exist anymore, and the issues won't be addressed because they'll be comfortably out of sight.

Take a look at their site, if your stomach can handle it. "We are the only thing standing between evil and the innocent." That's not concern for child welfare. That's rampant egotism, and an insult to all those who work their asses off and break their hearts every day trying to help and protect vulnerable, at-risk kids. And the attitude gets worse the more you read. Whatever else WfI might be doing, this web campaign is not about protecting children. It's about protecting their own delicate sensibilities and inflating their own self-importance. And in doing so they not only catch innocent bystanders in the bazooka-blast of their self-righteousness, they shove the whole crime under a deep, dark rug that ultimately protects the perpetrators.

WfI insists that the safety of children is more important than civil liberties. I won't argue with that. I will argue that the sacrifice of liberty that they/she demands does NOTHING to increase the safety of even one child.

By the by, fandom_counts is a comm dedicated to determining how many of Livejournal's 13 million journals are owned by people into fandom of one kind or another. Like I said, LJ's actions aren't directed at fandom specifically, but it would be nice to find out how much real clout we have here.

And I also want to give a big, schnoogly thank you to ramdonomo for the v-gift rose. It made me feel better in the midst of all my rantiness. *MWAH*
Tags: livejournal, news, ngh!, rl

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