Wednesday, May 30, 2007

In which I conflate two unrelated issues, yay!

I've spent a lot of today reading about the 'LJ Strikethrough', with rapidly-rising disgust. The short version of the wank is thus; Livejournal has, seemingly due to complaints made by a (perhaps dubious) pressure group, been deleting journals that have unsavoury activities listed under 'interests' - regardless of whether the journal in question was a paedophile ring, an abuse survivor's journal, a literary discussion group, a fanfiction archive or even an RP villain's blog that expressed the foul personality of someone who does not even exist. This explanation was given as part of one support request on the topic - it happened to pertain to a blogger who'd been running an RP that had lost two journals pertaining to the latter group, fictional villains;

Material which can be interpreted as expressing interest in, soliciting, or encouraging illegal activity places LiveJournal at considerable legal risk. When journals that contain such material are reported to us, we must suspend them. Because LiveJournal's interests list serves as a search function, and because listing an interest enables other people also interested in a similar topic to gather and/or congregate, we have been advised that listing an interest in an illegal activity must be viewed as using LiveJournal to solicit that illegal activity.

In particular, the interests that you had listed on your two journals' profiles that qualify as expressing interest in, soliciting, or encouraging illegal activity were: child abuse, human sacrifice, kidnapping, killing, murder, paedophiles, paedophilia, rape, and beating people up.

Now, better bloggers than I have already torn this statement into itty bitty pieces, and also noted that it's both ripped holes in fandom and left real abusers underground and unscathed. What I'd like to add to the collective ranting is an observation; it reminds me quite a lot of the discussion that first sucked me into this part of the blogosphere, a discussion that began over here (but which soon migrated elsewhere because it's hard to discuss stuff when people are refusing to publish comments that don't support their side of the story. The tenth comment on that thread has to be one of my favourite internets evar.) The message being put out strikes me as being mighty similar; we've decided already, talking about it would be an incitement to abuse, you can't have this discussion in our conversation-space, it's not safe to say that here because you might hurt someone/get into trouble, so shut up about the difficult stuff, you can't form a group about that, anyone who wants to talk about it in this space must be wrong and evil, shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up.

I'm making a mental list of books I love that couldn't be hosted on Livejournal right now. But that's by the by. A few days ago I read Trinity's post questioning the wisdom of alliances between feminists fighting against abuse and the far-right. She asked; 'What does that do for us?' Well, here's a presently exploding example of what well-meaning right-leaning men have to say to women who speak out about abuse, whether real or imaginary; shut up. Don't discuss books, or your own past, put walls up in your imagination and your memory, don't go there, stay home at night, good girls can't go to that part of town, shut up.


Trinity said...

"beating people up"? "kidnapping"?

that's bloody INANE. so any interest in anything illegal means you're going to go out and do it?

i want to know if they're going after everyone with drug-related interests now.

the cynic in me thinks not.

thene said...

To be fair, I'm sure those two were only censored because they were listed in the context of rape and paedophilia. Censoring fiction makes my head ache.

Taboos are weird. I think a lot of 'magical thinking' goes on in regard to them, especially sexual ones; don't say the devil's name, your thoughts will cause something bad to happen, shut up. Drug taboos don't seem to attract the same attention; there's little talk of censoring drugs education or fiction, and particularly in regard to legal substances, it seems like no one's got a problem with there being as much information available to teenagers as possible. But if it's to do with sex, anything edgy is right out.

verte said...

I'm going to have an LJ rant and link your blog. I've already taken one interest down, and may possibly have to take more.

Totally inane, totally infuriating. Yet more evidence of 'thought crime', I suppose.

However, if they want to advocate REAL risk prevention, why the fucking fuck aren't they doing something about the massive pro-anorexia communities? Or the pro-suicide communities? These attract kids as young as 12.

It makes me, well, angry. Very.

thene said...

I currently have three LJ interests; 'falsifying statistics', 'freedom of speech' and 'homicidal botany'.

I hadn't thought about how the pro-ana crowd would tie into this. Ouch.

Ponderosa said...

I just read your comment you left on my post, and trotted over here to read this as well. A quick note for the time being, but by all means, please feel free to link to or quote/reproduce any of what I've said publicly in the post you replied to, or any other.