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In the news -The LiveJournal Pedo-Witchhunt - One person's lack of compassion does not equal another's comfort.
One person's lack of comprehension does not equal another's consent.
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In the news -The LiveJournal Pedo-Witchhunt
The first IM I received today alerted me to what is aptly being called a witchhunt. As I understand it, LJ Communities and blogs alike are being "deleted" (permanently suspended) for content.

The content deemed offensive by those making the decisions to initially suspend these accounts does not seem to be limited to those who wish to plan these misdeeds or even to simply fantasized or share their fantasies (about real or fictional characters including Harry Potter Slash). I now understand that even "survivor" communities (Communities dedicated to serving the emotional health of *victims* of sex crimes) are also being targeted.

There is so much information going around that it is impossible to keep up with it all, so I will try to limit the links I include to just the few I felt were the most helpful to me. My personal summary of this will be posted at the very bottom of this post.

This "Pedoblog Tracker" page lists the URLs of many of the suspended LJ communities. Take a good look at them. While the majority sound disturbing even to my tolerant eyes, at least several of them such as "wonkaslash" and "ethical_n_taboo" probably did not qualify as "Pro-Pedophile Blogs"

I'd like to comment here that if what we really want to do is catch and stop pedophiles, deleting the communities into which they publicly congregate most likely makes it HARDER to catch them. In fact I bet that right now there are thousands of forensic psychologists shaking their fists at LJ over these deletions.

This post by a concerned user (posted within innocence_jihad) appears to quote the person who contacted LJ and persuaded them to begin this witchunt.

The quoted section of that post can be found on the "Warrior For Innocence" website, linked here, but before you go to it, you should be informed that this site supposedly uploads spyware to your computer at least that's what I read here WFI - gives people who visit the site spyware and/or adware. Uses trackback and targets people visiting it for attack. Highly dubious. Has lied at least by implication.

Unlike normal TOS infractions, it appears that the majority of deleted blogs and communities are not even being given the option to Friends-lock their offensive public entries. In fact, as I understand it, simply having an "Bad words" in one's interest list can get you deleted, although I've not yet discovered such an example.

Here is a list of suspended accounts, but if you will notice, one containing "1985" is not suspended or has become un-suspended. If you open that user's account you will notice he has not updated in a month and does not appear very active. He is a member of one community not yet suspended called "girllovers". (intentionally not linked in my LJ) If you look up that community info page you will mostly likely feel strongly this is one community that most likely deserves deletion even though it only carries 13 members.

Another user in that list, whose handle begins TYC has become undeleted. He has posting access on 1885 communities, of which one appear to have been deleted. Were any deleted they would appear with a line through their names. His list of interests are actually pretty vanilla for a fannish gaming geek.

[edit: Please also note that of the communities listed there as deleted, three of them have come back from deletion, and the one beginning "amaro" has had nine of its ten members deleted, suggesting that LJ determined that despite its popularity with suspected pedophiles, the community was itself not pro-pedophile.]

Since I became aware of this, I have come to the sincere conclusion things are not as bad as they seem. I think I understand what LJ is doing. I think we will all agree that LJ is much more loosely regulated than many other similar sites and so it follows that truly Pro-Pedophile/Pro-Pedophilia communities could thrive here and given what I have read today, it even appears they have been doing so.

True active pedophiles are most often successful because they manage to maintain an appearance of being "above it". Having myself been a victim of one of these people, surrounded by friends, associates and coworkers who insisted that he could not have done such a thing and that therefore I must be a liar with a grudge, I feel I must point out that there may very well be people who at the end of this adventure will appear to have been unfairly deleted. I'm still undecided but I do not think LJ will truly permanently delete anyone's LJ without sufficient evidence.

Given my real-life experience as a teen victim, (before you ask no I have never joined any survivor communities on LJ), I know that if I worked for LJ and I knew that we were about to start shutting down pro pedophile blogs and communities, I would recommend that we first collect lots of data on such things, and then freeze as many suspicious accounts as possible all at once so that the offenders would not be able to alter or hide the clues. If you stop to consider that pedophiles are turned on by pedophilia, they would almost certainly also check out the support sites and subscribe there as well, blurring the boundaries a bit.

Blurring the lines further is the obvious idea that if you are a pedophile and you want to go undetected, all you have to do is pretend to be a victim yourself and then you can write all you want describing your fantasies as "dreams" and "repressed memories." To you or me it would be hard to tell the real from the fakers, but to an entity like LJ with complete access it might not be so difficult.

So, to my friends I would like to respectfully request that you stop panicking and don't do anything to make LJ's job any harder than it already is. Voicing protest is good if you enjoyed wholesome slash fiction but be mindful that any time of theirs you waste merely makes this unpleasant task take that much longer.

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Comments
From: childthief_liar Date: May 30th, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
-complains-

I think everyone (including myself) would calm down if Livejournal would just make a statement about all of this and tell us exactly what's going on. Not knowing what exactly triggered certain communities to be banned is what's causing the panic. To people who read fan fiction, it was as if someone just looked at the info, didn't like what they see, said get rid of it, and for some reason Livejournal listened.

All I want is a statement from Livejournal detailing exactly what happened. In the past when there have been issues and drama, they have always seemed very upfront about it. I have no reason to believe anything that comes out of WFI mouths, erm, blog.
heldc From: heldc Date: May 30th, 2007 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
A very good point is made here http://liz-marcs.livejournal.com/266024.html and in the follow up posts, and that is the fact that these warriors for idiocyinnocence made public WELL in advance of any complaints the fact that they intended to complain. Hence, it's quite likely that some/many actually guilty people were alerted, changed their interests, and avoided the purge.
Further, until the WFI started contacting LJ's advertisers, the responses by LJ to WFI's complaints were pretty uniformly 'it's not illegal, so there's nothing we can or will do about it'. Which suggests that LJ doesn't care at all about pro-pedo, and is only concerned that the advertisers may be annoyed.
As well, a NUMBER of comms that were NOT pro-pedo, were in fact comms for adults to explore fantasies involving other adults, have been deleted. Along with a number of support comms, and at least one book discussion comm, along with personal LJs of survivors of incest and rape who listed these things in their interests.
WFI is claiming that they only reported actual pro-pedo comms, and anything else deleted by LJ had nothing to do with their reports. It's unclear how true this is.
The bottom line on this, to me, is that this mostly failed at its stated purpose, as anyone who was legitimately guilty could easily have avoided this, and even if they didn't, this action pretty much ruins any chances of prosecution, and while failing at its intended purpose, has succeeded quite well at harming a lot of innocent people, and causing further pain to those who had been victimized.
dcseain From: dcseain Date: May 30th, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
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