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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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Re: from Rachel LJ Staff

Honestly, I don't see the complexity of expanding the existing rules on hate speech to incorporate a few more legally recognized and quite honestly common sense categories.

What exactly is the objection or hesitation in make the decision to expanding the hate speech list? Is there a specific category that causes legal distress? what exactly is the complexity? If a governing body of the state of California can work within the legal system of the United States and come up with a reasonable definition of hate speech ( and that's not an easy task by any means ) how can a simple corporate entity claim that it's too complex?

If you are not going to directly answer yes or no to expanding the hate speech list, then at least directly and clearly show why it is complex, and exactly what process is involved.

We have clearly heard what can not be done, what is not going to happen, and that the process is difficult - so now the question becomes what are you going to do , what steps will be taken, and in what time frame can we expect a result?

I am aware of the size of the task involved in policing a public service on the Internet, and I have nothing but empathy for the difficulty of the decisions before you, however decisions have to be made, and actions must be taken. Waffling is simply not an option if you expect any form of customer retention during or after transition.

my guess about the hate speech description

IANAL. This is only a guess.

I would suppose they thought that the complete list was confusing and unnecessary--that since hate speech is illegal in CA, and it's already covered in the TOS that illegal speech is, duh, forbidden on LJ, they don't need to exactly define that.

But people were wondering what "hate speech" was, because it's so easy for people with little awareness of legal terminology to think that it means "speech that is hateful"--certainly a reasonable understanding of the term. LJ got too many reports of "hate speech" that were just "my ex is calling me vile names," and needed to clarify that they meant the legal term hate speech.

So they gave a definition of that. A condensed one, so's not to confuse us poor, muddle-headed users.

An inaccurate one that, depending on the lawyers involved, could potentially get them in trouble for failing to uphold California law in their California business.

But mainly, I think they were once again trying to simplify a complex issue, and botched it.

Re: my guess about the hate speech description

I concurr that this is a decent possibility, but as it compounds ongoing issues it is, at minimum, rude and merits an apology to go with an immediate correction. More nefariously, it implies bigotry, a disregard for the law and an implication of just who is and isn't welcome here, no matter what rachel says.

Re: my guess about the hate speech description

I agree.

Having met a few staffish people, and chatted at length with marta, I decided that there is, as they claim, no homophobia on staff or in the volunteer APT team--that there is no anti-gay agenda there.

However, there is an anti-gay agenda influencing a lot of American business decisions... and staff & the APT are both affected by that. There's a lot of anti-gay sentiment in corporate advertising.

And if LJ/SUP wants its users to believe it's not catering to those interests, it needs to make its policies a great deal more transparent, and indicate which ones are entirely derived from laws (no matter how much or little they explain those laws) and which ones are LJ's own policies, which it would be enforcing even if no laws supported them.

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