August 3rd, 2007

Urumi

A Bold Strike from Six Apart

Oh-ho, looks like the seas of Livejournal are once again caught in a tempest. I had planned to comment on Strikeout'07 when it happened, but it came in the middle of the exam season, and I wasn't talking much about my actual life, never mind a blogging site.

Now then, I have to admit that this whole matter doesn't make me feel much emotion. I'm too distanced from the communities affected to take this any differently to any article I read on BBC News, that is to say, detached. That doesn't mean that I don't care, however. I'm not deep within any fandom, but I have many friends who are, and I know roughly of the manic operations of Fandom with a capital F.

So far, only two journals have been identified as being suspended in this current 'purge', but that seems to have been enough, the spark falling into the gunpowder stores of Fandom. The journals in question are elaboration and ponderosa121, although mightygodking was hit a week or so ago. The reasons are rather vague, but it appears that 6 Apart are playing it ultra-safe when it comes to child porn by TOS-ing anyone who posts art of characters who might be minors. Harry Potter is the main stalking ground, and there are theories that copyright also has something to do with it.

Now, that's irritating, but in the current climate, I can see why they feel they'd need to do that (even if it seems to some of us misguided). However, what truly irks me is how they are going about it. If they must remove this material, they could give warnings first before suddenly deleting journals*. If they had to do that, they could give a more detailed reasoning for the deletions other than 'underage. GTFO LJ'. It is, however, quite clear that they are trying to do this by stealth. What's the biggest clue for that? Look at the second paragraph.

No, I did not bold those names. Those are valid lj user tags. The journals are all deleted, so you'd expect the familiar strikeout, as such 'llieno'. Alas, no, for even the little icons have gone too. Meanwhile, on all profile pages other than your own, deleted journals are now only visible by clicking on more details. If you look at my profile, you won't see that wolfric has deleted his journal, unless you do click on 'More Details'. Now, I can vaguely grasp the profile thing as being some attempt to make things look tidier, but there is no good reason for the strikeout. The strikeout was clear and to-the-point, whilst the bolding leaves little clue even that it was a LJ user name. The only reason for the latter, and thus probably also the former, is that 6-Apart does not want people to realise that these names are disappearing, and to prevent the 'Strikeout' term being used again.

I'm not happy with the censorship, but I can deal with it. I am annoyed, however, by the underhand tactics being used to do this, especially after the long apology we all got to see after Strikeout.

Play fair, Six Apart, or don't play at all.

* = kyaathecatlord pointed out that warnings had been given on lj_biz beforehand. I was referring to personal warnings of the 'Put your gun down or I'll shoot' variety.

---

Just for clarification, I'm not siding with the people who are up in arms about this. I'm not burning LJ clothes, or fleeing to GJ. As I said, I'm detached, and in any case, the 'purge' deserves those quote marks. It was actually just the lack of strikeout that prompted me to write this post.