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Policy/procedure change and account suspension discussion
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theljstaff wrote in lj_policy
We are planning one additional clarification to the Policies and Procedures. It has been the long-standing practice of LiveJournal to treat photographs of post-pubescent minors (under age 18) in which genitalia or breasts are clearly shown, or photographs where sexualization of a minor is apparent, as unacceptable content, with exception of photographs that in our good faith opinion serve legitimate news or educational purposes. In cases like these, the journal has been permanently suspended, and the content forwarded to the NCMEC due to concerns about child pornography laws.

Now, in the case of non-sexualized photographs of teenagers where breasts or genitalia are shown, we will no longer permanently suspend the account. Because of the borderline nature of that content, we have changed our practices at this time. When the content reported to us is photographic nudity of minors which is non-sexual in nature, we will take the following actions:

1. Upon being reported to us, we will email the users who have posted such content, and require that the photograph be removed within 24 hours.

2. If the photograph is not removed, we will temporarily suspend the account, and provide instructions for unsuspending the account and removing the offending photograph.

3. Noncompliance after unsuspending the account in order to remove the material or repeat violations will result in permanent suspension.

Therefore we will not be changing what is unacceptable content on LiveJournal, but we will be changing our take-down procedure for this type of content, and we will be making an addition to our policy document to make this clear.

We would also like to present for your consideration and discussion the options for technical changes in the suspension process that we are currently considering.

1. One of the options that is under discussion for implementation in the future is to suspend or lock down single entries; currently, only entire journals can be suspended. This would prevent users from having their entire journal suspended for a single violating entry, allowing them to continue using their accounts. This would also allow people who read that journal to continue viewing their other entries which do not contain any violations. The entry could later be unsuspended/unlocked when they have removed the violating content.

2. Currently, when an account is suspended, all entries in the journal are hidden from view; users viewing the journal can only see an announcement that the account has been suspended.
We are considering a possible change that, under some circumstances, would preserve the user's journal in a "read only" state. The journal would be available for reading, but new content could not be posted to it. The user would also be able to delete his or her journal altogether after it has been locked if they do not wish for it to be viewable.

Please, keep in mind that neither of these options are set in stone and are still in the process of discussion. However, in line with out new policy of openness, we wanted to get your opinions on this matter.

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It makes a lot more sense to suspend single entries as opposed to entire journals, yes.

Any chance you would ever reconsider the deletion of all comments made by a suspended account in other people's journals? I have several posts in my journal where the discussions were completely eviscerated when someone was suspended, because all you see is "Reply from suspended user" where a great comment used to be. Comments are preserved when accounts are deleted and purged, why not when they are suspended?

I second this. A journal's owner can delete comments if she wants them gone.

Aren't the comments just hidden, not entirely deleted (yes, effectively, that's the same thing, but still)?

Depending on what someone was suspended for, hiding their comments (and comm entries, I believe) makes sense, though - if an account is suspended that was created only for spamming, or for posting links to something virus-infested, or for threatening people, it's good that all which was posted with it becomes inaccessible, so that no-one else happens across it.

...if an account is suspended that was created only for spamming, or for posting links to something virus-infested, or for threatening people, it's good that all which was posted with it becomes inaccessible, so that no-one else happens across it.

Well, there is that, yes. I hadn't thought of that, because the discussions I was talking about weren't with that type of account. Maybe there's a way to flag the accounts for the cause of the deletion so the comments of troll accounts are deleted but others aren't...? I don't know. I have no idea how these things are done, therefore I assume it must be easy to do. ;-)

Edited at 2008-07-03 07:39 pm (UTC)

I immediately thought of this because there appears to have been a wave of quite malicious attacks with accounts that were created solely for that purpose a while ago. Someone crossposted something that was masked as a Youtube video, but was in fact a link to a virus-infested site, to many comms, including one I was in. I, too, was stupid enough to click that link, and it took me quite a while to resecure my computer. From what I read in other comms, this person(s) just kept creating new accounts and posting these entries, although each account was quickly suspended, until they finally managed to bring the whole operation to an end. Some of the comms that were posted to didn't very have active maintainer, so the posts would have stayed up for ever if the suspension hadn't taken care of them.

So yes - a system where content could stay up or be removed depending on what the suspension was for might be interesting. But I'd like for LJ to err on the side of caution if it comes to this.

I agree with this. If someone is suspended for material in comments, certainly those comments should be deleted/hidden, but there's no need for every comment they've ever made to be hidden.

I concur with this, comments made on my journal are archived elsewhere anyway, but it's not possible to add them back, fine removing offending content, but if comments elsewhere aren't a breach then let them stay up but delinky the username, etc.

Oh, yeah, I completely agree. It's very irritating to go back to old posts and see comments randomly not there, by no fault of the poster. It's sort of creepy, like they've been erased from LiveJournal as if they were never there at all.

I second this request.

I would like to see a system where content could stay up or be removed depending on what the suspension was for - allowing for the preservation of comments left by suspended users (unless they were trolls, or just spam).

Many useful and relevant discussions have been destroyed as a result of a user getting suspended... you then can't see their comments.

Also, I agree with both options presented above. I prefer option 1, but feel that option 2 might be more appropriate in certain circumstances.

I totally agree with this. It's so irritating when you're reading an interesting but older discussion to suddenly have it become incomprehensible because some of the comments were made by a now suspended user.

I totally agree. Perhaps there could be an option or for you guys so that when you suspend accounts, you could choose one and that would affect the comments that user had posted? Options like "troll/spammer", "illegal postings" and so on?

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