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Censorship

+ - Livejournal: blogging champion or villian?

Submitted by
Ian Gorrie
Ian Gorrie writes "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
Voltaire (1694 — 1778) (Attributed)

This incident is one that is comical with enough novelty to, hopefully, keep the attention spans of most internet readers for a few minutes. It is one of a subcultural icon, old man named Sean Manchester who hunt vampires, and a blogging service that should really know better. The name of that service is Livejournal, now owned by Six Apart.

Livejournal describes itself as an online journal service with an emphasis on user interaction, as long as this interaction does not become unpleasant to anyone or break any laws.

So based on the interpretation of what some call vague terms of service, Livejournal promotes an environment where inconsistent censorship, destruction of works, and displays of punishment are dolled out haphazardly and inconsistently. Their abuse staff has become bullies where they do things largely because they have been given the power to do so. Thus, Livejournal abuse staff generally behave as Stasi-like boogeyman of their online community which they censor, delete, or take corrective action to maintain an undefined state of status-quo where only a calm consensus is to be tolerated. This has been displayed on many occasions and recently notably last June with a group of lactating mothers.

Alex Lucard's most current story of censorship by livejournal of his mockery of public figures, a right protected under the first amendment, and his most recent harassment by occultist author Sean Manchester can be found on his wordpress blog. He is considering a lawsuit against Six Apart with the sponsorship of the ACLU, EFF, BBB, OFCOM, and possibly other legal assistance.

Alex is not alone in receiving this measure of treatment. Another author known as stonemirror was targeted in a similar way on livejournal by a rather pedigreed troll known as Extinct Marsupial. The details of which can be found on stonemirrors wordpress, and are occasionally catalogued in the ljabuse journal at blogspot.

For bloggers to maintain some amount of first amendment rights, they must not, says Livejournal by their actions, say anything that people find offensive enough to undermine. To counteract these type of arbitrary and knee-jerk reactions, the EFF, Chilling Effects, and CyberSLAPP have content that should be read and considered for everyone who views free speech on the internet as an important right to be preserved. Livejournal is a major landmass in the (I shutter to use the word) Blogosphere geography and they should be at the front of the pack in being a proponent of bloggers rights. Instead, they are one of the first to cut them down."

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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