August 2017

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Since I kicked the hornet's nest on that one, I think it's only fair to update with what I've learned/done since.

  • There is still no information on what has triggered the deletions. A commenter on the original post by [livejournal.com profile] yiudirnt suggests that people who have had their journals/communities deleted have asked for more information and received none, which isn't terribly surprising, since new!LJ doesn't seem particularly able to handle its English-speaking userbase.

    However, there is also no evidence that any outside links will get you deleted. Frankly, that'd be most of us. I feel badly because my post yesterday about this gave some people that impression. Generally, spam algorithms go beyond "OMG link!!" and take into account things like the number of links, destination of the link (is it a site where spam is likely?), the IP address (is it from a country that produces a lot of spam? is the IP blacklisted?), and other keywords in the post (are there words like fake, cheap, drug, rolex, nfl, or anything porny that tend to make frequent appearances in spam?). But I say that even as I admit that LJ doesn't seem to be particularly sophisticated in, like, anything lately, so I might be using my brain too hard on this one.


  • Case in point: [personal profile] hhimring has posted that she had a cross-post from Dreamwidth rejected by LiveJournal because it contained a link to an outside site and was therefore "spam." The link went to either the SWG or Faerie. (AO3 links were not a problem. *eyeroll*) Anyway, this is not exactly the same thing as deleting an entire journal/community, and it's possible that different algorithms are being used here, but it does suggest a low level of sophistication that honestly makes my brain hurt, like OMG!link = spam.


  • Likewise, per comments in the original post, journals with links behind friends-lock were just as subject to being deleted as a spambot as those where the links were in public entries. Which makes zero sense since the whole point of spambots is to litter the Internet with links like Canada goose droppings on a golf course. Again, this suggests that LJ ain't really thunk things through.


  • Per comments in the original post, some people who were deleted contacted support and got their journals back. Others did not.


  • I asked [livejournal.com profile] yiudirnt if they minded sharing the evidence they'd gathered, but it seems to be a list of journals/communities only (whereas I was really hoping to find out what links, link volume, etc. were in the deleted journals), and they are in a fandom where privacy is a serious and legitimate concern. So unfortunately no new information came from that inquiry.


  • I was chatting with [personal profile] makamu about preserving fan history through all this. I emailed the OTW just a little while ago to see if 1) all of this is one their radar and 2) if Open Doors (or someone else in their organization) would consider getting involved in preserving fandom history. When I hear back from OTW, I'll update here with whatever I learn. It's touchy because, of course, these are journals; the personal and the fannish are often intertwined in a way that they aren't in other fandom spaces, content wasn't necessarily created with a broad audience in mind (even if publicly available), and much content is locked. The best solution I've come up with is to maintain a list on a shared Google Doc and just contact people and ask them to migrate their content to Dreamwidth or set their accounts so a volunteer can do so.

    ETA: I heard back from OTW's Open Doors. Essentially, they can import communities with consent of the moderators. This isn't much different from importing to DW, however. It does present another option but doesn't solve the bigger problem of "rescuing" content that has been abandoned on LJ and may be deleted. So that leaves me thinking that the next item on my list remains the best option. I'm open to other ideas.

    (Wait, didn't I say I wasn't getting involved in this?! Nrgh.)


  • I'll be contacting almost seventy of them as part of letting them know about the [livejournal.com profile] silwritersguild export to [community profile] silwritersguild and will include that information. (Which, if you know about and haven't told me that you know about it ... please do. Because I will be contacting everyone who's not a mod and hasn't acknowledged the export! Seventy. Sheesh! Please help me out; it literally takes ten seconds! Thanks a million to those of you who already have!)
... LiveJournal has begun suspending journals.

Currently, the suspensions are under the pretense of catching journals/communities set up by spambots, but this post reports legitimate journals/comms being summarily deleted with little recourse by the owner. The triggering factor seems to be that the post contains links to sites outside LJ.

This is worrisome because it's troubling that years' worth of posts are being deleted based on a script without apparent review by a human. It's also troubling because it signals that the administration, under the new ToS, is indeed willing to utilize item 2.5 in the non-legally-binding-English-kinda-sorta-ToS: "Users breach hereunder may cause termination of his/her access to his/her Account or deletion of such an Account as well as full or partial deletion of the Content or suspension thereto without prior notice" (emphasis mine).

At the risk of succumbing to a slippery slope here, my main worry concerns item 6.1.1: "The Administration reserves the right to delete Account and Blog if User did not access the Account or the access was restricted for more than six months due to a breach hereof." There is a lot of fandom history on LJ on journals owned by people no longer active in the fandom, and possibly no longer even reachable. Now spambots are obviously less desirable on a site than old journals that haven't been updated since the Second Age, but content = server space = money, and an unused journal isn't holding its weight in terms of ad views either. It's digital dead weight.

I don't know what should be done, or even if I want to do it. The HASA Rescue Project was a months-long drain on my life that I'm not eager to undertake again anytime soon or ever. I set aside projects (like the B2MeM ebook!) that I've never been able to pick up again. Perhaps when I reach out to people who posted to [livejournal.com profile] silwritersguild about the migration of content to Dreamwidth, I ought to include a note about migrating one's journal and communities to DW. I'm happy to help people do this, but I can't even fathom how to save content from LiveJournal other than accepting that it's every person for themselves this time.

(Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] acciochocolate for the tip on this!)
I've avoided talking much about LJ's latest shenanigans. Part of this is just sheer exhaustion with the regular cycle on LJ-induced outrage that has been going on since SixApart bought LiveJournal twelve years ago. Twelve years, y'all.

I've also been posting to Dreamwidth with automatic crossposts to LiveJournal for seven years now. (Yeesh. All this looking back makes me feel old.) I would have gladly conducted most of my activity on DW--ymmv but the site is far more user-friendly and the administration actually gives a flying fig about its users and isn't evil--but most of my friends didn't move, or if they did, commented on my posts on LJ, which made me feel somewhat like the person who chooses to move out of their bass-ackwards hometown but everyone they know still lives there, and they love those people, so they spend a lot of time there nonetheless.

Anyway, not much is changing for me.

  1. I will continue to post to DW as my primary journal site with automatic crossposts to LJ. I totally get why the new skeevy-as-fuck ToS has encouraged people to close their accounts (just as I got why people left when U.S.-owned SixApart pulled their multiple bouts of fundagelical-induced stupidity) but ...


  2. I plan to ignore that anyway and continue to leave up the "gay propaganda" and the slash and all the cussing I've dabbled in over the years and to continue posting these things when I want to. I'm not even clear if the ToS applies to me, as a paid account holder (and apparently the paid accounts are still U.S.-owned?), since I don't read Russian and the person LJ chosen to answer English-language questions on their news post could barely speak English ... but whatevs. I really don't give a fuck if LJ wants to shut down my account, so I'm going to continue to post what I want without special warnings or filters or whatever.


All that said, I AM diverting much of my reading to DW rather than LJ. In reading regularly on both sites over Spring Break, I've found that most people who are still posting are crossposting, and I'd rather read and comment on DW. I do get post notifications from a few close friends on LJ, and I'll keep replying to those, but I'm not foreseeing picking up reading on LJ anytime in the near future. Because honestly? I'd love to see what remains of journaling activity move to DW, so be the change, right?

I'm also trying to track down Tolkien fandom people that I'm not following yet. If you're over there under a name other than your LJ handle, can you let me know, please?

There is one thing, brought up in a discussion by the B2MeM mods, that disturbs me: LJ accounts are now liable to be shut down after six months of inactivity? Does anyone know if that is in fact true? And does it retroactively apply, even if someone has not accepted the new ToS (as in they are not longer around to accept said ToS)? I don't see why it wouldn't ... or couldn't. If so, I foresee a massive loss of fan history, not just in Tolkien fandom but everywhere, from both personal LJs and communities.

Here is what the non-legally-binding (so take with a grain of salt) English ToS says: "6.1.1. The Administration reserves the right to delete Account and Blog if User did not access the Account or the access was restricted for more than six months due to a breach hereof."

But I haven't seen discussion of this aside from the conversation among the B2MeM mods. Has anyone heard anything about this? I found a post on the OTW that talks about some of the other implications of the ToS, but this is not mentioned.

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