A site by the name of Warriors for Innocence has done something that I’ve been trying to do for years. They convinced LiveJournal to finally delete all the pedophile journals and communities that they were guilty of hosting. For years LiveJournal tried to defend the pedophiles by claiming free speech. At the time I didn’t realize that LiveJournal is a branch of the government. But it seems they’ve finally come to their senses.
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.
500? That’s weaker than MySpace’s 7,000 sex offenders. But it’s a start.
Of course, we have people complaining about it…
Some deleted LiveJournal communities went by names like childlove and little_children (a community permits multiple LiveJournal users to post entries, while an individual account is limited to one user). Others, however, broadly fall into the category of science fiction, fantasy or user-written “fandom” stories–and it is those that have sparked the outcry.
“As a queer, feminist writer who explores the darker aspects of human nature, many of my stories deal with incest, rape and child molestation,” a LiveJournal member named “bitterfig” wrote. “As such, I belonged to and contributed to several of the communities which have been suspended and frankly I’m pretty offended. I don’t like being lumped in with rapists and pedophiles and other ‘monsters on the Web.'”
One now-deleted group called “pornish_pixies” focused on fan-written fiction, frequently sexually explicit, about characters in the Harry Potter novels. “The distinction between fiction and non-fiction could not be made any clearer in a place like the Harry Potter fandom, and this oversteps the boundaries that the LiveJournal abuse team has,” said a pornish_pixies member who identified herself as Maria in an e-mail. (A related group, “erotic_elves,” has survived the purge.)
That just sounds like erotica for pedophiles if you ask me.
The infamous LiveJournal abuse team had this to say about the mass (can you call 500 out of 13M mass?) deletions…
For its part, LiveJournal’s abuse staff has defended pulling the plug on the communities by saying: “Material which can be interpreted as expressing interest in, soliciting or encouraging illegal activity places LiveJournal at considerable legal risk.”
Which is 180 degrees from what they told me two years ago…
Dear LiveJournal User thetrenchcoat,
As explained in our previous response to you, it is neither against the Terms of Service nor illegal to discuss illegal actions, or to admit to having committed them. As long as the content posted does not solicit illegal activity, it is considered allowable under both the Terms of Service and the ideal of free speech. LiveJournal is committed to preserving as much free speech as possible for its users, as long as that speech does not cross the line into invading other users’ privacy.
Users are entitled to post about topics that may be abhorrent to much of the general population, so long as they do not cross the line into solicitation or instruction of illegal acts. We respectfully suggest, if the posts in this community disturb you, that you simply cease reading them.
LiveJournal Abuse Team
Anyway, LiveJournal users are revolting (insert joke here) over claims of censorship and terminating their LJ accounts. Like LiveJournal is even going to miss you. If there are 13 Million users all those revolting won’t even be a drop in the bucket. Personally, I think this would be a huge marketing gimmick for LJ. They can say “hey look we get rid of our pedophiles unlike MySpace”. You would think that would attract more users, especially parents concerned about their kids’ online safety.
However, I get the feeling that LiveJournal will cave and it will be back to business as usual.
In the meantime, I need to talk with the Warriors for Innocence people to see how they did it.