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theljstaff wrote in lj_policy
We have been contacted by the New York Attorney General's office with a list of registered sex offenders as part of their e-STOP initiative. Based on this data, we've suspended 186 accounts; we feel that it is important to remove these individuals from LiveJournal to help ensure the safety of our users.

This was only applied to registered sex offenders in the state of New York because they are currently the only state which has contacted us with this information and request. If other states or countries are able to provide us with similar data which can be used to remove potentially dangerous people from the site, we will take similar action.

May we know what sort of information was used to link these offenders to those LJ accounts, so we can be sure the accounts affected were indeed those used by said offenders?

I'll second this request for whatever details LJ can provide. It would be terrible if someone who happened to share a name with an offender, for example, was suspended.

Thank you for not only doing this, but also for informing the users that you're willing to take steps toward creating a safer community. Hopefully other states will step forward with their lists.

interesting... I approve.

It would be nice to know whether these are the child-molesting kind of sex offenders or the "got caught peeing on a tree in Central Park" or "got caught having consensual sex in a public space" kind of sex offenders.

Which is understandably information that you may or may not be able to provide, even though the space between the them on the continuum of "dangerous to society" is quite extensive.

There is a contact link via the eStop link above:

They'd be the only ones who could give more information about what sorts of offenders ended up on that list.

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I notice the linked article was from December 10th, calling on to follow up with their list. Did this purge occur shortly after that article and we are just hearing now, or was there a reason the purge was delayed until now?

I reread this and realized it sounded confrontational, but I'm actually just curious how the decision went down. I like to understand WHY Livejournal does things these days; trying to learn from the past.

Edited at 2010-02-19 01:36 am (UTC)

Do you know what it takes to get on the sex offenders list? Almost nothing. Peeing on a tree can put you on the list, how is that dangerous to other LJ users? And definitely not something that I agree with LJ banning without so much as a "What did they do"? I'd understand if they were all stalker rapists, but most aren't, most were put on the sex offenders list as part of a plea bargain that had nothing to do with their original case

Bad move LJ, bad bad move

Edited at 2010-02-19 01:23 am (UTC)

Take it up with the state, if you don't like what they consider to be a sexually-based offense. LJ has no control over that, and while you may a-okay with predators being on LJ, but if it means having them removed, I'd rather all offenders be ousted than none.

Thanks for both taking this move and being up front about taking it. Much appreciated, LJ.

I am saddened by this; a blanket suspension without there being any indication that these individuals are using LJ for any inappropriate (let alone illegal) behavior is...

...well, it's one of the reasons why sex offender registries are so loathsome.

Thank you for helping me put my finger on what about this was bothering me.

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I can understand why you did this from a business perspective, but I still don't like this one bit. :\

*eyeroll* So patronizing a hooker is the same as sodomizing a child?

Gee...leave it to law enforcement and LJ to not make distinctions...again.

And, just to add, how hard would it be for them to classify the offenders by the type of crime, and monitor their Livejournal for violations? I understand the need for caution, with teens and kids online, but it seems to me like trying to kill flies with a sledgehammer. If someone was convicted of a "victimless" type of offense, versus a serious and violent felony, isn't it possible for LJ to apply some common sense and fairness to that? Seriously? Or should some guy who went to a prostitute be forced to be a pariah his whole life?

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In which state does only being accused get you on the registry?

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...Well, okay, at least I recognize that LJ is publicizing this decision and is prepared to defend it in an open forum this time. It's an improvement over the silent and unexplained purges of the strikethru days.

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What does them being women have to do with anything?

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Wait, what? So you're saying that LJ just made a blanket ban on 186 accounts because they were on one of those obnoxious sex offender lists? Protip: they've already paid their debt to society. Exactly why is it any of LJ's business whether or not prior sex offenders are utilizing their service to keep a journal? The only time I could see this being an issue is if someone is on probation, and one of the terms is that they are not allowed to use a blogging service. Which would be a case-by-case basis, and it's still not LJ's concern whether or not they're using it; if they're caught, it violates their probation and they're back in jail or whatnot.

This is a bit reactionary, and very much reeks of much of the fear-based bullshit that's destroying the liberty of the United States these days.

LJ, I am dissapoint.

It was pointed out in several comments (and in the thing linked to in their initial post) that yes, this is part of probation terms.

In general I wouldn't have a problem with this, BUT...

Sexual crime laws tend to be the most draconian, over-regualted, and unfairly judged laws in the USA.

Some examples from the NY State statutes:

Patronising a prostitute in the third degree is a level A misdemeanor
Sexual "Misconduct" (which doesn't really have a definition is a level A misdemeanor.
Sodomy in the third degree (Performing Oral Sex on your spouse) is a level A misdemeanor.

Prosecution theoretically makes you a "sex offender"

And the comforting thought is that this is NY. A 'liberal' state. What happens when very conservative states decide that being gay requires you to register as a sex offender in that state?

Re: In general I wouldn't have a problem with this, BUT...

The Supreme Court ruled seven years ago that laws criminalizing same-sex sodomy are unconstitutional. You'd make your point better if you referred to draconian laws that actually make sex offenders out of innocent people who are not even close to the bad guys these laws are supposed to punish, such as teenagers who take pictures of themselves.

I'm trying to understand how this works. Just so I'm clear on this, is this part of New York law? Do the people on that list only consist of people who are legally barred from using social networking sites according to New York law?

When you say that you will take similar action if another state or country provides similar information and a request, will LJ take action regardless if it is to enforce the local legal restrictions of that state or country? That is, if it is just a request for removal, and it is not against the law for those listed people to use the site, would those people still be removed?

And what about countries who decide that women, or members of the LGBT community, or supporters of a certain political viewpoint are legally banned from the internet? If they ask LJ to act as enforcers for that, will they?

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Thanks for the reminder to add "delete my LiveJournal account" to my task list.

LOL, it takes you over 10 minutes to delete your account?

What I would like to know is if all of the people whose accounts were stripped fell under this category:

"as a condition of probation or parole, mandatory restrictions on a sex offender’s access to the Internet where the offender’s victim was a minor, the Internet was used to commit the offense, or the offender was designated a level 3 (highest level) offender. Such offenders would be banned from accessing social networking Web sites, accessing pornographic materials, communicating with anyone for the purpose of promoting sexual relations with a minor, and communicating, in most circumstances, with anyone under the age of 18."

If so, no issue. If, on the other hand, these people are off parole and have done their time then I start to think there should be, at least, more debate.

I'd really like an answer to this, Admins.

Unfortunately, I knew someone who used the internet (including livejournal and 14 at the time I did not know) to get young girls to... well yeah... I 100% agree with this ban.

Sex offender... Yeah, not ok.

"Sex offenders" often include people who were convicted of having sex, when they were 18, with their girlfriends who were 17. And now sex offense charges are being brought against kids for "sexting."

But no matter. "Sex offenders" are "dangerous predators." Thanks for helping to continue the paranoia.

The problem I had with this registry when I was in the state, is that if you try to research it, the Levels involved are based on the possibility of re-offending. Not what the offense was. So If only the Level 3's cannot access social sites, how do we know if these are predators, or if someone was a chronic Tree Waterer? I am all for banning known repeat rapists/molesters/etc, if it's proven that they will repeat. Whereas, consensual sodomy, approaching a prostitute, sleeping with someone who claimed to be of age but wasn't and the "offender" honestly didn't know, peeing on a tree, etc? No, no not really. I'm also on the fence about those who may never offend again. The medicated, etc.

Y'know, I'm really wondering right now whether there's ANY person on LJ at all who's not "potentially dangerous".

Was LJ required to do this under federal or applicable state law (i.e., California's)?

Even if you just reduce it to specially sexual crimes, I'm asexual, but people tell me all the time that it's just a phase I'll get over. WATCH OUT WHEN I DO.


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