Back in March, we gave a starting point
for developing a set of reasonable policy guidelines, and committed ourselves to post a set of policies based on your feedback by the end of May. We've reviewed your comments, consulted with the current members of the Advisory Board, and have made some changes based on this feedback.
You can view the entire policy document at http://www.livejournal.com/abuse/policy.bml;
for those interested, you can review the policies which were proposed in March here
We also want to highlight the key changes we have made to our policies:
* Our Adult Content policy has been changed to emphasize that content which is flagged as containing explicit adult content does not mean it is in violation of our Terms of Service, and will not result in other actions being taken against users who post it. The process for reporting adult content has also changed so that the system only handles reports of adult content; reports of violations of our policies should be reported as outlined here
We have also stated within the policy that non-graphic, non-sexualized nudity is not considered explicit adult content. This includes things such as an image of a mother breastfeeding their child, or a non-sexualized work of art such as the Statue of David. We have also extended this to our policy on default userpics; non-graphic, non-sexualized nudity is no longer considered a violation of our default userpic policy.
* We have removed the Bandwidth Theft policy; we feel that it is not LiveJournal's role to intervene in such situations, and that the issue should be resolved through controls on the site which the content resides.
* With Hate Speech, we've decided to expand this slightly so that it also applies to content which advocates the violence/harm of others. We feel that such expression goes beyond being merely offensive, and in practice leads to the harm of others, which we do not condone in any way. We have also included a statement that this policy does not apply to statements which are satire or hyperbole; this has also been clarified in our Self Harm and Threatening Content policies.
* Our policy on Non-Photographic Images of Minors is being removed. What this means is that we will no longer be requiring the removal of this content, or suspending people who have posted it. We feel that with the introduction of the adult content flagging system, we do not need to take any further action on this type of material.
* Discussion of self harm, particularly pro-eating disorder communities, have presented us with many difficult decisions. Many people feel passionately about how we should act in regards to such communities, and while we have made no changes to this policy, this is only because we feel the issue requires further research. We intend to meet with several special interest groups relevant to the subject who can help us determine which types of content are likely to lead to harm for people suffering from a disorder so that we can make informed decisions when we approach this policy.
While there are other minor changes present within the document, these are the ones we felt were very significant and worth bringing to your attention.
These will be the acting policies for LiveJournal, and are effective immediately. This is not, however, a process which is completed; we feel that policy is an important issue which requires continuous review, and should adapt over time as the needs of LiveJournal as both a community and a business change.
We welcome your thoughts on these policies, are looking forward to hearing the opinions of the newly elected members of the Advisory Board; we're sure that policy will remain a key issue for discussion when they convene.