piranha: red origami crane (Default)
sometimes it's funny how things converge -- i had started to look at drupal because i wanted to leave LJ for another platform, and, having already experienced running my own blog software and the inherent isolation that brings, thought of trying to switch to something that could potentially allow other people to join.

some LJers have already left, and some of those went to wordpress.com, where i created a blog to check out the offerings.

some people in yaoi fandom were also getting fed up with LJ, and started to create their own site to provide a haven for other yaoi fans.

at the same time, expatriate snigglers are making noises about missing their old community, but don't feel returning to what it is now would work.

so now i am a beta tester on the new yaoi site, which uses wordpress MU (multi-user), i am a member at wordpress.com to check out their service, i have extra motivation to play with drupal, and i can compare those without having to install wordpress MU myself. also, i have access to a largish userbase whose comments about it i can read and consider.

piranha: red origami crane (Default)
don't know yet. i am not leaving in a huff with a bag hastily thrown together in the middle of the night, i'm leaving when i've found a place that seems better. and then i'll transfer what i want to keep of my content here. and that'll be a little while.

and i'll maintain this journal to read and comment on other people's LJ's. i'm not leaving with intent to punish LJ in whatever small way the withdrawal of $25 a year will "punish" them, but because i just no longer want to slide along on the descent into prudish mainstream sentiment. it doesn't fit me; i want MORE freedom of expression, not less, even if i might find other people's kinks gross and distasteful. it's becoming a more and more important issue for me that people be allowed and even encouraged to express themselves creatively however suits their fancy.

and when i go i'm gonna go journal elsewhere and RSS feed it, so at least all the people who're staying here can get it easily. i did that before; the feed is even still around (though it's not feeding anything right now). it worked alright, except that LJ still allows comments on RSS feeds which i wish they would stop.
ponderings about where and where not )

since i've been asked what it looks like, the sort of place i want, i'll write a separate post on that in more detail, and i'll be asking y'all what your ideal place would look like.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
12 days ago i put a request in with LJ abuse to clarify some points about which i was confused after the official statements in [livejournal.com profile] lj_biz. today they got back to me. i asked about the following points and am including in italics the reply i received:

1. whether a clear age statement was sufficient to make an image safe.

Including a statement of age indicating that characters are 18+ can certainly help establish age, but it is not a "get of jail free pass", per se. We can't provide any additional information beyond what's stated at http://community.livejournal.com/lj_biz/241884.html on how age is determined.

2. whether putting such images into a zip file on an external site so they would never be displayed through livejournal would make them safe.
3. whether they'd report manga drawings of characters they decided were minors to NCMEC.

If you were linking to a zip file containing images of an apparent minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, the content would be reported to the NCMEC as explained at http://community.livejournal.com/lj_biz/241884.html?thread=13712604#t13712604. You would either be asked to remove the material, or permanently suspended from the service depending on whether or not it was a questionable or very clear violation of the policy as explained in section (b) of http://community.livejournal.com/lj_biz/242136.html.

4. what repercussions there would be for a community and its maintainers if posters to it were suspended for posting images for which they got a strike or were suspended.

Actions are taken against individuals rather than communities as a whole unless a community as a whole exists primarily for posting material which is in violation of the Terms of Service. Community maintainers are generally only held accountable if a community is suspended, and they simply recreate a community for similar purposes. Communities are also suspended if there are ongoing violations in a community that continue after repeated efforts to inform the maintainers of the problem, and they are unable or unwilling to fix the problem.

i'm not into shota and chan at all, but this goes much further. i won't be sharing any manga here anymore, or anywhere on LJ. i don't want to bother to scrutinize each volume regarding whether the characters, despite the mangaka declaring them of age, might look like an apparent minor to LJ's "miller test" team. and i most definitely don't want to get reported to the FBI. i know they won't do anything about those idiot reports, but i want to be in their records as a potential child pornograper like i want a hole in the head.

and 6A's actions mean i will leave. they could act like sane people, leave enforcement to the law, and wait for a subpoena before ousting people, but they have decided to take it into their own hands to make harry potter slash fans into child pornographers. i don't hold with actual child pornographers; i find them a disgusting breed of people and they should damn well get locked up. but it trivializes actual abuse of children to go after folks whose fantasies include sex between completely fictional high school boys. and as an abuse survivor i won't support that sort of conflation, and don't want to support a service that engages in it.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i harbour no illusion that fan art, fan fiction, and yaoi scanlations are perfectly legal completely aside from any possible child porn issues; they're quite probably not. many are in obvious violation of copyright and possibly trademark laws, some are treading on dubious grounds (japanese law appears to be more lenient when it comes to fan works). i'm not mad at 6A for not actively helping us pursue our possibly illegal hobbies. i don't expect 6A to fight the US government either; that's something for the ACLU and EFF to do. i'm grumpy for two reasons:

1. their "child porn" assessment, which now goes beyond what US law requires doesn't just affect fandom, but it also affects original artists. i get antsy when freedom of expression is trampled on for mere fear of what isn't even (yet) law. i get antsier when a company pats itself on the back for maximizing said freedom of expression when it actually keeps backpaddling more and more. i also don't like the effect that having gone with ads seems to have had -- in general, the "going corporate" thing grumps me out.

2. they give wholesale tacit support and profit from illegality on the one hand (much of LJ is illegal, and they damn well know it -- we don't even have to talk creative fandom activities; just look at people's userpics), and then slam down a huge hammer when they get paranoid (all the mistaken "interest == engages in" deletions during strikethrough 2007, and the permanent bans of the two HP fan artists). that's a bad position because it leaves people without good guidelines, it allows them to feel safe pursuing their questionable (or outright illegal) hobbies, allows them to feel (or assume, for those who're young and naive) those are not actually illegal, and then pulls the rug out from under their feet, causing them to lose all they have invested here for offenses that, even if technically illegal, wouldn't ever be brought to a court of law because they're too trivial.

i'd like to see a smaller hammer, such as temporary suspension until the material is removed for anything that doesn't depict real children in actual child porn, and "3 strikes you're out" for people who don't learn. we probably won't get much clearer guidelines because that might make 6A liable.

ETA 2007-08-18: since then there have been revisions, and LJ now has a "two strikes" policy, which seems more fair to me. however, what's worse is that even linking to an "objectionable" file on a non-LJ server, without ever displaying anything within LJ's pages, is against the ToS now. and apparently a notice that "the characters are over 18" does not trump the subjective impression of the 6A miller test team. good grief.

i have an abuse request in to find out how this will affect communities, but it's been more than a week without a reply -- i presume they're a) swamped and b) haven't formulated a policy for that yet.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)

"* How do these policies apply to images of minors who are not real?

To ensure that we are compliant with child pornography laws, we have decided to treat any content which contains a graphic visual depiction of a minor (anyone under the age of 18, as defined by Federal and California state law) engaged in sexually explicit conduct as a violation of our policy regarding illegal content (see this link for definitions of graphic, visual depiction, and sexually explicit conduct). We feel this approach creates the clearest guidelines possible for users to follow and for the Abuse Prevention Team to enforce, and minimizes the risk of an incorrect evaluation of material. In short, we want to eliminate child porn from being hosted on LiveJournal."

"* How is LiveJournal determining whether figures depicted in drawings/artwork are underage?

A number of factors are involved in making this determination. Any stated age of the individuals present, the apparent age of the people or characters present in an image, and outside knowledge of the person or character's age are all taken into consideration. The only one of these factors which can be evaluated alone is how characters present in the image are drawn, and this is only done when there is simply no other information available to help determine age."

though the lightning rod for this was HP slash, this is the end for not only shota (over which i won't weep much, except as regards freedom of expression, dammit), but also for any yaoi taking place in high school. much other yaoi will be in danger as well unless each image is clearly marked with the age of the character (and that can't just be trumped up). considering how much younger manga characters tend to look (and we all know how i feel about girly uke and why -- they all look underage).

good for LJ; this is a much clearer policy than the previous muddle and will be easier to apply, and they've finally come out and stated their true agenda: "In short, we want to eliminate child porn from being hosted on LiveJournal." ([ed:] and anything that might possibly be mistaken as child porn by mainstream community standards). it's not a good policy for yaoi enthusiasts, but it's pretty clear that LJ cares a lot less about freedom of expression these days than about appealing to the mainstream. told you so when 6A bought the place; going corporate does tend to have this effect.

i think i will stop paying for my account; let pepsi make up the difference. i don't know whether i will leave altogether; haven't decided yet. the policy doesn't affect me directly because i don't post even remotely underage-looking smexy art anywhere, since i dont care for it. but i don't like how LJ is sliding down this slippery slope, how heavy the hammer has become (permanent suspension for a single violation), and i might as well throw my $$ behind a different company, who's as yet more supportive of freedom of expression. also, i am feeling like expressing solidarity with people who are directly affected. egads, over "child porn" of all things. who would have thought... contrary to conventional wisdom i seem to become more liberal as i get older.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
the last few days i've been missing usenet a lot, which reminded me to pull this comment from a thread else-lj. somebody said: blogs and journals appear to be where intelligent and witty people went to be boring and banal.

and i replied:

oh yeah, this is where i went to be banal. pretty much explicitly. because that's how much of my life is, banal. that's also where i derive some of my greatest pleasures, in the small daily things around me. and i write a journal in order to communicate those little things to those who know me and care to hear from me. there aren't enough hours in the day to write email to everyone i like, thoughtful email takes a lot of energy, and less thoughtful but still connective email can't bear being written several times to several people. ergo, my LJ.

it could use more thoughtful posts, mind. it's not that i no longer think intelligently, or that i put more effort into my usenet posts, but i put rather less of the deep stuff in my LJ than i ever put on usenet. i am not entirely certain why that is. maybe because it's either a very solitary task (while i am learning about a subject), or one that gains immeasurably from exposure to other intelligent people, and the latter is very clearly a task for usenet, IMO. not that there aren't intelligent people on LJ, but random folks don't drive by like they do on usenet, and then there's the weird ethos of respecting the space of a person's LJ which seems to me to extend to being much more wishy-washy and polite, and carrying real critical analysis on in one's own LJ, and *bang!* fractured conversation, impossible to track.

i'm still experimenting with the format, and it's not even really close to what i want it to be for myself.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
as it turns out, the girl whose cat got set on fire? lied. i don't know why, and i really don't believe her own explanation; i suspect she told the story originally to get attention from her friends and then it snowballed rapidly out of control. she's returning the donations (lots of people have reported to have received theirs, and i got mine, so that part isn't a lie).

i am not linking to her "explanation" because i don't want to give her more exposure, and frankly, the backlash is nauseating, especially now that the LJ drama whores have found the thread and are busy stirring the shit. it's quickly gotten to the point where the vitriol directed at her bothers me as much as the original lie -- there are always more people pissing on somebody than helping out, and that's depressing.

i feel mostly sorry for those of her friends who vouched for her, like [livejournal.com profile] manhattan through whom i found the story. yeah, i wouldn't have donated without that vouching, but upon reflection, it won't affect my trust in her. i've been in the position where i thought i knew somebody, and then zie did something that completely stunned me; as long as this isn't a strong pattern then it's just a normal part of life. i am cynical enough as it is, i don't need to tune my shit detector any higher because it would result in too many false positives.

i also feel responsible for having propagated the link without checking it out further, and for that i apologise. well, not actually for propagating it, but for not adding a much clearer disclaimer that i hadn't checked it at all. if any of you donated because you trusted me, and you don't receive a return within a week, please let me know and i'll repay you.

no drama. i haven't lost my "faith in mankind" (i already knew that some people tell horrific lies to get attention), and i am no less likely to donate to random causes, since my track record can easily handle this blip. people are yelling and screaming that those of us who donated should file fraud charges and prosecute her to the fullest extent of the law (those seem, interestingly enough, to mostly be people who didn't donate themselves). i am not going to do that because i don't believe she intended to commit fraud, and i don't think lawsuits do what i would want to happen in this case.

i am gonna hold on to the memory of how neat it felt to work so quickly with a whole bunch of people to organise helping somebody in need. i've experienced that before, and i will experience it again, and it's well worth having wasted it this once. if anything, i'll remember it next time and work a bit harder against any intuitive drawing back because i got suckered this time.

and hey! the best news? no cat got harmed during the performance of this LJ drama!


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

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