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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.

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Hi. I assure you, sexual orientation is never taken into consideration when something is reviewed (because it's been reported). I've never been made aware of any content that was acted upon because of it's sexual orientation (being homosexual in nature).
And I haven't been made aware of anyone abusing the flagging on homosexual content.

The issues you raise (advocating physical harm against themselves, child porn, etc) are all policies that will be discussed and reviewed. If you'd like to participate in the discussions (and i encourage you to do so), please join the lj_policy community.

You haven't answered the question about hate speech: why are gender and sexual orientation NOT included in the hate speech definition, and will this continue to be the case?

Hate speech in CA has 8 categories, not three.

422.6 of the California Penal Code

422.6. (a) No person, whether or not acting under color of law, shall by force or threat of force, willfully injure, intimidate, interfere with, oppress, or threaten any other person in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him or her by the Constitution or laws of this state or by the Constitution or laws of the United States because of the other person’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation, or because he or she perceives that the other person has one or more of those characteristics.
Why does the LiveJournal description only mention race, ethnicity, and religion?

So, being that I have repeatedly communicated both to you, Chris Alden, and others exactly what the concerns of myself 1000+ are in telephone conversations, emails, and hard copies, do I need to post them here as well in order to ensure that they are heard? And if I do, is there any point in doing so?

You have now announced the creation of an advisory board with members to do the job that I have been doing on my own and to no avail for nearly 6 months now in advising you of ongoing controversies, user concerns, and ideas on what it would take to fix the problems. So far everything that I have told you guys has been met with assurances that haven't been backed by actions. I have repeatedly reassured other users that I have spoken with you and that I have been reassured that things are progressing at a rapid pace. I have tried very hard to find a balance between understanding that you guys are running a business and representing the interests and concerns of users who trusted me to speak for them. If our well thought out and reasonable concerns and requests have been ignored up until now, and are continuing to be ignored even as you and marta have gone through the comments answering the same questions about the effects of the acquisition on permanent accounts over and over again, then I am not certain that I see any point in repeating myself yet again here in this community.

Can you give us any reason at all to believe that concerns expressed here and/or through the Advisory Board will be listened to and addressed any more than the concerns of thousands of users in various news, lj_biz, emails, phone calls, and open letters have been up until now?


Word. I found LJ eager to talk to me as a "thought leader" and the second I slowed down my ranting about their policy decisions in my LJ because I thoguht thigns were going to improve, they stopped communicating.

You completely sidestepped on that one, which is a bad sign right off the bat. A direct answer would be appreciated - are gender and sexuality covered under the anti-discrimination policy along with race and religion or not?

To quote "The Breakfast Club":
"Just answer the question, Claire!"

currently LJ only identifies hate speech as that which promotes violence against a specific racial or ethnic group.

When will LJ's definition of hate speech come into alignment with 422.6(a) of the California Penal code, cited by another user in response to you?

Rachel, I get that you're doing your best, but what I'm trying to say, and quite frankly, have been saying perfectly clearly is that the users have no reason to believe you when your hate speech policy excludes gender, sexual orientation and gender presentation. Are you planning to change that? And if not, why?

Obviously, I'm interested in these discussions, since I'm having them with you in the very community you suggest I join (and already have).

Additionally, I didn't raise issues about child porn (a boogey man that barely exists, but should be dealt with with swift and draconian measures when discovered -- of course, so far, LJ has repeatedly demonstrated an inability to grok the legal definition of "child porn" which is another ongoing problem) or self-harm (although yeah, the pro-ana communities are yet ANOTHER problem). I addressed issues of artistic freedom that are relevant to me as a creative professional. And you ignored them. AGAIN.

But, see, that's the thing. There should not be a single, solitary ounce of "will be discussed and reviewed," because the flagging has already been rolled out. What you're putting on the to-do list in your comment should already have been addressed, well before 6A came up with all of its abuse control trappings.

Proactive, not reactive.

When you ask people to express their concerns, and they tell you, you shouldn't then immediately tell them that their concerns are not valid. Whether it's been LJ's intention or not, LJ is current being perceived as homophobic by some users. That perception is *real* and it came from somewhere. Instead of just saying, "we don't have that problem" you should be asking yourself why you're giving this impression to users and what you can do to fix it.

Sexual orientation of users may not be taken into consideration, but there's some evidence that sexual orientation as expressed in the *content* has been an issue.

During the Strikethrough incident many members of fandom noted that the overwhelming majority of fannish communities and LJ users penalized were done so on account of fictional homoerotic content. Few, if any heteroerotic communities or pictures of comparable nature and explicitness were penalized.

That's bound to make people suspicious.

And, of course, there's the problem with LJ's definition of Hate Speech.

So there is flagging on homosexual content? How concerning is that? And pray, how do you define "homosexual content"?

Second verse same as the first LJ?
If you aren't going to answer the question, may I suggest not giving the same non-answers as always? It only serves to piss the users off and re-enforce the feeling that you a) are not listening to us and b) don't care.

From the faq on the new purchase:
Will my personal information remain in the USA? Yes. LiveJournal, Inc. is an American company based in California and is subject to the laws of the state of California, USA. All relevant state and federal regulations will apply.

This means that LJ will need to, as soon as possible, update the "hate speech" part to match that of California law and include all eight categories listed under 422.6 of the California Penal Code. In that way it will be in compliance with the law.

This isn't something that "needs reviewing" under some sort of casual look-over by employees in the 100 days goal thing. Not even close. This is something to fix right now.

I am astonished that LJ thinks that listing only race, ethics, and religion as being off limits is somehow sufficient. Don't you people have lawyers conversant in California state and U.S. federal law to advise you?

I've never been made aware of any content that was acted upon because of it's sexual orientation (being homosexual in nature).

Prime example is the former ponderosa121. She was told what her account was deleted for, and it was a drawing she had posted of two male characters having sex. Nevermind that they were of legal age, and other posts JUST BELOW HERS on the community were of underage FEMALE characters having heterosexual sex. Gotta say, that's a wee bit suspicious: you can see where we get our impressions that depictions of homosexuality in fiction or art, even if clearly rated for content, are a BIG NO on LJ.

I suppose that point is moot now since she has already been deleted, appealed, and was told the deletion was permanent.....But you seem like a very nice person, and now you HAVE been made aware, at least. Things have been deleted for depictions of homosexuality, and we would like that to stop.

I seem to recall that the homoeroticism of the content that got ponderosa121 tos'd was mentioned a couple of times during the discussion between her and the review 'board'(who, evidently, was one dude named Chris). As in-- the image might not have been "without redeeming artistic value" in his eyes, if it were a heterosexual couple.

IF what you are now saying is true, and I have no doubt that it is, I would like to see that statement made explicit in the TOS. So that ew would have something to point to when your volunteer review staff try to impose their personal judgements on us.

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