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theljstaff wrote in lj_policy
Welcome to lj_policy!

We're glad you're here. This community will be used to gather your opinions about social and community policy.

We understand that there is a lot to absorb and process right now with the creation of LiveJournal, Inc. Since this is a transition for all of us, we want to initiate a dialogue with you, the users. We feel it is very important to hear your concerns before we release any changes to current policies, and we want to start this process right away.

As a starting point, we don't want to just guess what's important to you; we want to hear about it directly from you. Please take a moment to answer the questions below:

1) What is your greatest concern about LiveJournal's current policies?

2) Regarding your primary concern, are you aware of a site that handles that issue in a way that you like?

This is just a starting point to get your initial ideas. We know you have a lot more where these come from, and in the coming days and weeks we will make sure you have a chance to voice your opinions. We look forward to your comments.

A stance of anti-freedom of expression is what concerns me most.

The "nipplegate" fiasco, the deletions of journals, the "flagging", even limiting the number of tags, all constrain content--content users want to create.

To muddy the waters further, the TOS and other "guidelines" are unclear as if lj is uncertain, even, about what it wants to prohibit. It's certain no help for those who wish to play within the rules that the rules aren't clear--or fairly applied.

My biggest concern is censorship, and the handing over of personal information to corporate or government entities. LJ used to be a place where all manner of ideas could be expressed freely. It hasn't been that way for a while. What will it look like in the future?

2) Livejoural, circa 2001. We don't need the Powers That Be at LJ policing our content.

1) I am increasingly concerned that LJ is going to continue to apply policies (and arbitrary suspensions and bannings) in a way which slowly drives fandom off LJ.

And I'm freaked out by the string of unclear new policies, reversals, and changes (and, pre-caffeine, I haven't even begun to think about what impact being sold to the Russians is going to have, but that obviously involves free speech issues which go way, WAY beyond fanfic).

Basically, I don't have any clue what you guys are thinking, and I don't feel I can trust you any more.

Voluntary age-filtering is actually a cool tool to have -- but like most other people, I hate the idea of my content being filtered without my being notified, I hate the way the boilerplate cut-text overrides informational cut-texts and warnings, and I'm wondering how long it'll be before people are being banned for not "voluntarily" flagging their own content.

Many of the new changes are not bad in themselves, and I appreciate that you guys need ass-covering policies on some things. But in combination with LJ's past actions, they add up to a sense that fandom's being nibbled to death by ducks.

2) Actually, LJ was pretty good before you started Strikethrough etc.

I'm also aware that some other journalling sites have stated clear policies of not censoring any content which is not actually illegal. And I am eyeing those sites.

What I want is a site that's capable of communicating clearly and honestly with the users, and that shows a consistent respect for free speech.

And it's going to take a clear pattern of actions, not just policies, to make me believe that.

My instinctive response, on seeing the news about SUP, was "well, it's handy that my paid account doesn't expire till June; I can wait and see how much censorship the Russians introduce before I have to decide whether I ever want to give money to LJ again."

And really -- it sucks that I've got to the point where I think that.

P.S. Having checking out more news reports on the Russia media situation --

I'm even more concerned to see respect for free speech, given the serious concerns being expressed that the sale might lead to increased suppression of Russian political bloggers.

Fanfic's one thing, but I'm really not interested in subsidizing suppression of political dissent, thanks awfully.

I just want to know where the supposed option is to opt out of our personal data/jounral history going over to Mother Russia. There are some of us that are rightfully concerned about such things, and want all of this to stay stateside.


Edited at 2007-12-03 10:21 am (UTC)

Aside from the obvious problems that people have mentioned over and over, I am concerned with the friends-limits. I believe I'm approaching mine again, and I don't see the need, especially with a permanent account, for limits.

A suggestion of sorts, though someone may have mentioned it already..

The suggestions feature is brilliant, it really is. But not everyone knows about it. I'd like to see an added step made between adopting an idea and implementing it. A poll or a feedback form somewhere like one of these new communities where users have their chance to voice their opinion.

More importantly, they'll have a chance to see a feature in its infancy and know that it's in the works, rather than be surprised when it lands in their in-box.

I like the idea of users being involved in the development of their nooks and crannies. Some of us are really fond of our journals and the site as a whole, and would enjoy the chance to be more involved it how it progresses. We can't all be volunteers.

Bye bye, KGB sock-puppet!

1) What is your greatest concern about LiveJournal's current policies?

2) Regarding your primary concern, are you aware of a site that handles that issue in a way that you like?
No. Not since LJ sold-out to 6A.

1) What is your greatest concern about LiveJournal's current policies?

My greatest concern is the lack of clarity in communications from LJ. We have been being promised a particular policy would be produced since last May, and have subsequently had the new, ineffectual "flagging" system imposed without any further clarification. Your users trust and patience has been eroded by events of the last year, and we need clear communication and a faster response to problems.

2) Regarding your primary concern, are you aware of a site that handles that issue in a way that you like?

No, but if things don't improve I'm going to be going looking for one. ETA: Actually, yes, sorry. I forgot. Insane Journal manages these matters far better. This may partly be because it is smaller, but the clarity and honesty n the communcations from management there is much better.

Edited at 2007-12-03 11:27 am (UTC)

1) What is your greatest concern about LiveJournal's current policies?

My primary concern is that the people handling LiveJournal's interaction with us (the userbase) are becoming more distant. We are presented with the account theljstaff, and the messages we get are impersonal and distant. This does not facilitate trust, since Six Apart's acquisition of LiveJournal, our trust in LiveJournal has plummeted. I would like to see people talking to us, people that are an active part of the LiveJournal community, people we can come to trust. I would also like to see these people work to undo all the mistakes that have lessened our trust in LiveJournal. I would also like to see the undoing of mistakes become a primary aim of LiveJournal Inc. Any additions to the site, new features and such can wait until we have again trust in the people handling LiveJournal, this community that we are passionate about. I want this community to go on in a similar method as it did before, and I would like to do it with you, as real people.

2) Regarding your primary concern, are you aware of a site that handles that issue in a way that you like?

LiveJournal, prior to Six Apart's involvement, handled all of this much better. I would like to see that reestablished.

I second the concern about LJ distancing itself from users. I remember when bradfitz himself answered support requests. Now we have some faceless entity trying to assure us that "they" are still concerned, "they" are still listening to us, that "they" are still our friends. But we don't even know who "they" are anymore. How can we trust that?

My biggest concern is that the TOS isn't very detailed when it comes to what I can post and what would be regarded as 'offensive'.
When I asked about a certain kind of fanfiction, I was told they don't know and I should go ahead and post it and then see what happens.
And now with the new - COMPLETELY USELESS - flagging system this is even worse!

2) Last time I checked DelphiForums.com doesn't particularly care what you post and the time I was there (4 years) nothing I ever posted got deleted. Also, their 'flagging' system is much better than yours!

'Unwelcome'. That is the feeling that lj has recently promoted among its users.

Although I was not one of those who were censored, I saw what had happened to others during the execution of member journals. There have been many here who have articulately pointed out the problems. Since we are talking about people who put their heart, souls, minds and hard work on lj, perhaps you need some imagery to go along with these previous posts.

Random execution, terrorist style.

It doesn't matter what moralist is shouting, it is imperative that lj users find refuge elsewhere should there be a permanent negative stance where freedoms are concerned. We should have the knowledge required to make an educated choice in what community we choose to post. We need to know your prejudices.

I'm beginning to believe that the internet itself is not the place to be. The internet was once a place to speak our minds and express ourselves without fear of backlash. You have shown us otherwise. Now, internet users are back to square one. As large as this community is, you have made a major impact toward that perception.

Good luck with dealing with this, seriously, especially with the mess the last guys left you with. Well, these are my answers (member for almost four years, paid account for abuot three, I think; can't see myself stopping payments/leaving in the future unless things change majorly).

1. Icons. (I swear I am not joking here.) ...okay, fine, transperant and clearly detailed policies. But icons comes a very close second. To be honest, censor LJ all you want, I really don't mind - just tell me exactly what the terms of censorship are. It's the vague grey areas that bother me. It's completely your call about what content you want to appear on your site, but as a paying user, I'd like to know specifically what content is deemed acceptable vs unacceptable.

2. Well, other journaling sites have a lot of icons. As for the clearly detailed policies, LJ's the only journal system I really use. Other sites I use are more mass forum sites that don't have the same issues and needs.

While I have concerns over flagging those have already been addressed several times by previous posters.

My question is this, with the inclusion of filters now in the system does this mean that every post already made has to be checked and the filters applied or are they to be used for all posts made from this point on?

I know that the filters are optional right now however I am thinking ahead to possible changes in policy. Since some people have been on LJ for many years it would be an impossible task to go back through all their entries to apply filters.

You can filter your entire journal to the "14+ only" or "18+ only" level, but otherwise, you'd have to go back and edit individual entries--which is the same as what happened when tags were added.

It's possibly that third-party software like lj-sec will add an "adult content" level button, and a person would be able to change them by selected groups instead of individually.

My biggest concern is the stupid new flagging system. It just showed up one day, I have no way to opt out of it despite the fact that my journal is almost entirely locked and my f-list as far as I know contains only adults (many of whom I know in person and/or have known online for many years), and I have no idea what I might be flagged for. It just seems unnecessary and dumb in my case. I have never been, and have no interest in being, in any "adult" community (i.e. porn or whatever) and I have no idea what others might find objectionable in my content. If I talk about friends of mine who are gay, or if I use a four-letter word, is that something I need to block? And, because my journal "age" is set for a birthdate of 1-1-2001 (My journal's "birthday"; you guys have no need to know my real "birthday", or so I thought when I engaged in this little venture) I can't see a lot of content despite the fact that my journal clearly does not reflect the writings of a six year old (or a baby in 2001).
This policy was needless and stupid and I don't know who it was meant to placate or protect but it needs to go. The way the whole issue was handled was also bad even though I don't like porn and couldn't care less about looking at a bunch of Harry Potter nudie pic communities.

One of my biggest concern right now is lak of communication.

The new TOS documents should have been delivered months ago. People bought permanent acounts believing that a TOS document wold be forthcoming.

Most of the changes introduced by 6A were done brutally, with absolutely no concertationw tih the userbase, and quetsion and concerns were mostly ignored, or not answered by the staff.

Right now, a lot of the involved userbase feels ignored. They feel like whatever they say won't be listened to. They've been treated callously by the previous management, and a lot of trust has been damaged. They have seen a lot of intrsive features being imposed on them, with tedious process to turn off unwanted things that should have been opt-in to start with.

Customer service has also been sorely lacking, both in speed and in courtesy.