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31 May 2007 @ 03:13 pm
Maybe we're the people to be asking for this...  
We've all watched the drama. We've all seen the apologies. We've seen that 6A wants to ensure this doesn't happen again.

Between this and the lack of response to the "LJ Mojo" meme, maybe us permmembers should be talking to 6A about setting some real policies to support the Terms of Service, and fixing what's broken with the abuse team.

I totally get that when you're acting on allegations of illegal activity that it makes sense to suspend first and investigate second.

I'd like to see an investigation and contact policy to follow that, though. My ideas?
1. They update their administrative interface to include a notification to the suspended journal/community owner immediately as part of the suspension process. This notification should include the specific TOS violations cited.
2. They create a separate review/appeal department. The administrator or volunteer who suspends a journal isn't the person who follows up on the request. The reviewer has no emotional or personal investment in justifying the original action.

Other ideas?
Nuggieccnuggie on May 31st, 2007 10:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the whole lj_abuse system is a massive clusterf**k

Once you're deemed guilty of something, you're lucky if you can get them to respond to you, and there is no talking sense to them. They're god, and you're screwed. Seems to be absolutely no oversight.

They're commonly referred to as the lj abuse nazis, and with good reason.
Cytherea: Thoughtful/Curiousnightsinger on May 31st, 2007 10:57 pm (UTC)
Citing specific examples (e.g. "This entry URL: http://username.livejournal.com/12345.html contains the following material that is not TOS-compliant: X, Y, Z.") along with the specific TOS sections would be good.
Artelaartela on May 31st, 2007 11:05 pm (UTC)
Having LJ abuse respond properly to *real* abuses of the system (like the LJ mojo thing) would be a good first move...

...with a good second move being having a way for people who's accounts get suspended to actually rectify whatever they think the problem is (for minor violations such as "inappropriate interests in interests list") so they can be reinstated...

...and not bending to requests to suspend journals from self-appointed "special interest" groups...

...and lastly - to be *open*, *up front* and *honest* about what they're doing, and why, and directly with the livejournal users - rather than stuff getting out to outside news places before anyone inside LJ world knows what is going on!

basically, yes, they sucked on this issue. Let's hope they improve.
Nuggieccnuggie on June 1st, 2007 12:50 am (UTC)
What is this LJ Mojo thing you speak of?

My lj news knowledge is no longer leet
Shadow/Brookekengr on June 1st, 2007 01:24 am (UTC)
It was a popular meme that asked if you'd dated each person on youyr flist, then created a graphic that supposedly rated your on six things based on that.

After a month or so, they replaced the graphics with a goatse pic (use google to look up goatse, but be warned that it's very much not worksafe)

And they published the info on who had dated who.

And gloated about the whole thing in their LJ.

LJ abuse's response amounted to "them's the breaks if you use memes"

Nuggieccnuggie on June 1st, 2007 01:34 am (UTC)
ahh, ok...gotcha
Nuggieccnuggie on June 1st, 2007 01:34 am (UTC)
thanks :)
Andrew Trembleybovil on June 1st, 2007 02:47 am (UTC)
...and I can understand them taking that view on publishing the data collected, but I would think that switching a graphic to intentionally publish porn on a bunch of journals would be a TOS violation.
Shadow/Brookekengr on June 1st, 2007 03:16 am (UTC)
"The image isn't hosted on LJ"
Andrew Trembleybovil on June 1st, 2007 06:08 am (UTC)
Neither are a lot of other images that violate LJ's TOS.
Shadow/Brookekengr on June 1st, 2007 07:34 am (UTC)
Yeah. My whole reason for even bothering to complain to LJ abuse was that these jokers were gloating about it in their LJ!

I also had some small hope that LJ might set up a filter to keep that image from popping up in innocent people's LJs. After all, unlike previous "tricks" of this sort, this time the content was something that could lose people jobs or worse.
Artelaartela on June 1st, 2007 06:55 am (UTC)
Just some meme that some idiot put up - got lots of people linking to it and then, after a while, replaced the "answer" picture that was linked to to a not-safe-for-work-or-kids picture, probably just for a laugh, but a lot of people were offended by the picture.
Shadow/Brookekengr on June 1st, 2007 07:35 am (UTC)
If a friend of mine had done that menme and his PO had checked said friend's LJ before he found out about the change, my friend could easily have wound up in jail.

Other folks could have lost jobs.
Amanda: Arrrr! -Jack Sparrowbyfaith on May 31st, 2007 11:08 pm (UTC)
I personally feel that the owners of the suspended account should have been warned in the beginning, something along the lines of: "The interests section of your journal contains illegal activities (x, y, z). You have three days to remove these interests before your account is permanently suspended."

Since 6A came into the picture, my trust in LJ has slowly but surely been desintegrating.
qfemaleqfemale on May 31st, 2007 11:15 pm (UTC)
suggestions is a good place to post this.
Just because we're permies doesn't mean we should be talking to 6A about it (my opinion only, get your own!).

Honestly I am all for a better explanation about 'interests' and as they are actually 'likes' and why nobody knew that.
If you are interested you can read my reply to the news post here, it contains all the stuff about 'interests' that I think need to be changed for further drama not to occur.

Anyway, I like your ideas you posted!
Andrew Trembleybovil on June 1st, 2007 03:01 am (UTC)
I'm just thinking a discussion here is a good start to help me (and anybody else interested) frame my final submission, whether it's to suggestions or as a letter to the 6A office.
qfemaleqfemale on June 3rd, 2007 11:30 pm (UTC)
Jennie: Defaultjennieknits on June 1st, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
Honestly I am all for a better explanation about 'interests' and as they are actually 'likes' and why nobody knew that.

What do you mean nobody knew that. Does nobody read the text on pages that they submit information to?

From the profile page and it's ALWAYS been that way:

Short single-word phrases are best.

Rule of thumb: You should be able to put the interest in the sentence "I like ________".

When referring to nouns, use the plural form for consistency, e.g.: "I like DVDs" instead of "I like DVD".

GOOD Example: biking, snow skiing, computers, dvds, mp3s, cheese

BAD Example: I like lots of bands and watching movies and talking to friends and going to clubs. That sort of stuff goes in your bio below.

Sorry, but I don't buy the "we didn't know" argument.
qfemaleqfemale on June 1st, 2007 03:08 pm (UTC)
But then why call it 'interest'? And interest is not something I like or condone. It's something I am interested in for one reason or another.

Naming it 'interest' yet giving it the rules of 'I like x' is confusing! Which is it now?
Jennie: Defaultjennieknits on June 1st, 2007 03:22 pm (UTC)
I'm not saying it's right or wrong. I was simply stating that the "I didn't know" argument doesn't fly with me at least because it's always said right next to the interests box that it should fit into the sentence "I like _____"

If it should be something else, that's fine. I'm not here to argue that point. Maybe it needs to be changed. You'll have to take that up with suggestions. Maybe there's a way to word an interest that isn't a specific like so that it is. Someone who studies serial killers has an interest in them, but you could turn that into "I like studying serial killers."

Either way, as it stands right now, it's "likes" and it always has been according to the profile page.
Andrew Trembleybovil on June 1st, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC)
See now, I always saw that as a rhetorical example of how to form an interest, not a literal explanation of what it meant...
iRambleredatt on June 1st, 2007 08:03 pm (UTC)
Quite. I think it was perfectly reasonable of you to take it that way. And not just because I took it that way, too. After all, to take it any other way you'd have to take "should be able" literaly whilst at the same time taking the word 'Interests' in non-literal, undefined by any standard dictionary way.

It really isn't the user's fault if LJ chose to go by a definition they invented themselves then failed to clearly tell anyone about before locking it in the back of a cupboard in a stairless basement guarded by angry Wankers for Ignorance.

I'm not responsible for other people's stupidity. If something is clearly marked 'Interests' I expect not to have to tell them, 'These are my interests, not necessarily my likes.'
ZJRwinterknight on May 31st, 2007 11:22 pm (UTC)
1. That's supposed to be the case. Always. But people don't necessarily check their email. It could be altered to also put an alert through the LJ message system or on the navigation bar.

2. You're asking for something rather fairytale there. Resources and a sense of internal loyalty are going to make what you want nigh impossible. On the other hand, I do believe that some kind of ombudsman is a worthy investment of LJ/6A's funds.


A review of and a banishing of the ridiculous literalism going around. 'Friends List' needs to go. 'Interests' is great. The little one line suggestion of how to word your interests effectively absolutely has no indication that it is LJ policy that interests=likes and that must be clarified. A FAQ on interests that states that an interest listed is not an endorsement of the concept/action/etc should be in place.

An actual liason with law enforcement and lawyers who are experienced in internet law as it pertains to criminal acts and obscenity to confront the issues of actual criminal activity that do exist here on LJ. Not an investigation or a hunt but establishing good practices and courses of action when something is reported. The fact that this has not yet been done is genuinely unfair to the administration of LJ as a whole and LJ Abuse specifically.

Better support for LJ Abuse/Support, including the previously mentioned ombudsman office (which should be voluntary and should include a review process much like LJ Abuse, yet not directly associated with LJ Abuse) and more paid positions in order to prevent these 'accidents'.

Better communication between LJ/6A administration and LJ users, perhaps relying on their volunteers. There is a pool of dedicated, long-term users in constant contact with the administration -- someone needs to start listening to them, and 6A admins need to listen better to the LJ Admins (not the ones they put here, the ones that came from here).
ZJRwinterknight on May 31st, 2007 11:36 pm (UTC)
Let me add that in my not very humble opinion, having been a member in the past, the only thing 'broken' with the Abuse Team is the lack of support they get, both in terms of resources and general moral support. Do things need fixing? Maybe. But to single out the Abuse Team as if it were some kind of independent entity is completely incorrect. In the years that I have been a member, this has not been the case. The veil of privacy that surrounds them should not be interpreted as a lack of upward transparency. I wanted to say every time I was insulted and harangued: I Just Work Here.
iRamble: LJ: insanityredatt on June 1st, 2007 12:09 am (UTC)
I don't think 'Friends list' is a ridiculous literalism, unless you're talking about the way some people strictly adhere to just one of the many subtle differences in definition to be found in the average dictionary. 'Friend' has a fine and long tradition of meaning member, supporter, subscriber and other like things. I would be sad to see it go.

I'm moslty with you on the other things and especially so on LJ's boggling ideas about 'Interests'.
All the Colours of the Merainbow on June 1st, 2007 01:49 am (UTC)
what's wrong with "friends list"? everyone on mine IS my friend, or i certainly wouldn't be reading their journal or letting them read mine!

some of them are the reasons i came to lj in the first place, other's i've met here, but i don't add anyone unless i feel comfortable enough with them to call them friends, and most of them i know offline.

the interests things -- i have found support in the past for both mcs and brain injury via interests, but i sure don't LIKE them! and i have lots of friends who are survivors of abuse who have found support communities via interests. i get what barak was trying to say, but to put the "if it's in your interests you must like it" spin on things is silly, imo.

i agree about the abuse team. they may need more internal support and better direction, but they can only follow the policies they're given, and i don't think they deserve getting the flack for lj's decisions.
Andrew Trembleybovil on June 1st, 2007 06:06 am (UTC)
1. That's supposed to be the case. Always. But people don't necessarily check their email. It could be altered to also put an alert through the LJ message system or on the navigation bar.

That's a brilliant idea. Since I live in email (it's my day job) and own my own domains, I didn't think that a user might not check their mail or might have changed addresses. Granted, this screws up notifications, but...

I like the idea of adding code to the "suspended" web notification that shows, if the suspended journal or community owner is logged in, the reason for suspension and contact information to address the issue.

2. You're asking for something rather fairytale there. Resources and a sense of internal loyalty are going to make what you want nigh impossible. On the other hand, I do believe that some kind of ombudsman is a worthy investment of LJ/6A's funds.

Oh, I get the lack of resources thing, but isn't that what the 6A merger and "plus" accounts was supposed to address?

As for the other half? If team loyalty trumps providing quality support to community members, then I'm sorry, but the abuse team is broken.
ZJRwinterknight on June 2nd, 2007 01:45 am (UTC)
I had a lovely long answer written out, but LJ's been down and I've had $6k worth of laptops (yes, plural) and a router crap out on me today, so I'm just going to say, I'm not ignoring you, and get off this computer here.
ZJR: Aim high.winterknight on June 2nd, 2007 03:00 am (UTC)
As for the other half? If team loyalty trumps providing quality support to community members, then I'm sorry, but the abuse team is broken.

The OP was asking for a complete lack of emotional investment from people all working together, and I was saying that I thought that was more than you could ask -- in all honesty. I'm talking about the basics of being human. There's a vast difference between emotional investment and a willingness to do the wrong thing because of it. (continued)
ZJRwinterknight on June 2nd, 2007 03:01 am (UTC)
In fact, in my experience, team loyalty is what drives people to do the best, right thing, it keeps people together while they're disagreeing with each other. It makes people able and willing to criticize each other, and fosters a productive and fair workplace. It prevents frustration from being the voice that speaks over the fray, because in the end, everyone wants to do the right thing, not just for themselves but for the team.

ZJR: Pause in the fray.winterknight on June 2nd, 2007 03:01 am (UTC)
But no one on the outside believes that, and it's so frustrating. Which was why I suggested a separate entity.

(Oh, look, the magic of Firefox had this cached on broken computer #1 (the monitor died but everything else kept going)... and I found a monitor to hook up and an old router. Technology sucks, but it has backups.)

(and breaking this up into three seems to have worked)
Lackadaisical Sophistpinkfu on May 31st, 2007 11:37 pm (UTC)
heh, good luck with all that.
ankhayraankhayra on June 1st, 2007 06:40 am (UTC)
A good start would be not to react to organizations like what happened now. The police is here to investigate illegal activities.

And also, let's not start hasty operations when Brad is not available. Wait for him. He's the only person I really trust.
Elfyelfy on June 1st, 2007 06:40 am (UTC)
I would really like if LJ thought a bit better about the 'interest list' thing. I ALWAYS saw the interest list as a list of things I am INTERESTED in, in a neutral, maybe academic way at first, not a list of things I neccessary promote or support.
Schneelockeschnee on June 1st, 2007 09:56 am (UTC)
Good ideas. I'd also like to see a formal process myself where the abuse team - depending on the severity of the (perceived) offense - is required to talk to people before suspending anything, and in a nice tone for that matter (in other words, it should be "hey, we noticed that you're doing X, that's not very cool, so it would be great if you could stop/change that" rather than "rectify immediately or be suspended, citizen").

Not that I know what kind of tone LJ abuse actually uses now, of course, but I just want to be on the safe side there. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, and most people are reasonable and will listen when you talk to them in a friendly and calm fashion and explain (!) why what they're doing is a no-no.

So I think that making that a required part of the process would help lot - it might create some extra work for the abuse team, but that's hardly a problem when it'd also give the abuse team a better reputation.

Outside of that, it'd also be nice if the ToS were rewritten as a social contract of sorts: that is, if Livejournal actually committed themselves to not just having rights, but also responsibilities. In other words, no executives talking about the "sort of community we want to build" anymore...

If that's not possible, it'd be nicer if the ToS were actually clarified so that it'd be clearer what actually *can* get you suspended - no "we reserve the right to do whatever we want, at any time, for any reason (even none at all)".

And of course, people should actually be notified when the ToS are changed, and the notification should contain an actual diff, too, so that they could see what exactly did change. Transparency, folks.