I had a feeling this was going to happen when Six Apart bought LJ

“So, I’ve left several comments over the course of Strikethrough, PolicyChange, and Boldthrough asking Livejournal for specific clarifications of their policies so that I know best how to moderate pornish_pixies. As this is the community that keeps getting hit by Livejournal in these purges, I don’t think that it’s entirely outrageous that I request further information. In fact, I think it’s imperative that I do so.

“Time and time again my comments have remained unanswered.”
An Open Letter to Six Apart and Livejournal, Femmequixotic, August 8, 2007

What is Six Apart trying to accomplish by not clarifying their policy? Does anyone know?


“I am not taking a stand on principle over strikethrough, boldthrough and other kerfuffles – the whole thing has got to a point of he said, she said such that I am sure I don’t like most of the snarryfic I’ve seen, would hate most snarrypics and resent LJ taking a stand on this issue but not eg anorexia sites or demented advocates of beating babies for the sake of their souls.”
The state of Roz, August 11, 2007

I still say it’s Six Apart’s doing. The original LJ management never did this stuff or created these kind of problems. Brad and his crew were nice folks and I, for one, miss them very much.

Related: 6A is pro-anorexia: If I GTFO, who else will answer your questions? 😉 Yes, I do work for LJ and I’m speaking officially.

I do know what I’m talking about; I’ve read many many of these communities. It’s sad, I know it is. But it’s not illegal to aspire to be thin. It’s not against the ToS to give people bad advice.

LiveJournal does not support girls harming themselves. There is a line where we will suspend a pro-ana community or require removal of an entry. That line is when content is specifically instructing or inciting self-harm. Generalities aren’t against the ToS, but specificities may be. (if this post vanishes, let me know, I have it archived)

Scroll down to the comments. Jesus Jumping Christ…what are they smoking at 6A? Pro-ana sites have been a problem on LJ for years:

“The other day, I made some crack about a pro-ana site to a friend — and was met with a blank stare. After pro-eating disorder Web sites blew up in a storm of media controversy circa 2000, I thought everyone knew about this sadly sick and strange Web phenomenon. Guess not.

“In case you’re not familiar, the Web is the new terrain for those seeking support in their unhealthy and unnatural quest for thinness. These pro-eating disorder (pro-ED) sites provide motivation to starve yourself, in the form of “thinspirational” photos of models who look like Auschwitz victims, “ana-recipes” and message boards where girls can trade tips and tricks. They even give their disorders cutesy female names — ‘ana’ for anorexia and ‘mia’ for bulimia — as if personifying their sickness into a secret best friend.”


“Georgette Gunther, the primary eating disorder therapist for View Psychiatric Hospital in Grand Rapids, says the sites will only exacerbate the disease.

“‘When you have this disorder, you can never be the best anorexic,’ Gunther says. ‘They’re not supportive, because they’re competing with each other.’

“She adds that she’s treated several patients who developed eating disorders solely because of pro-ED sites; girls who were normal and healthy until they logged on and discovered a new world.”
Through Thick and Thin, by Sarah Klein, Metro Times, March 30, 2005

So, 6A, it’s okay for you to delete and ban friends locked communities over fictional content, but you won’t ban site where minors and legal adults are given bad advice and encouraged in a frequently fatal eating disorder? Actually, it is illegal to give bad advice; that’s why malpractice insurance exists. I’m not a lawyer, but I think 6A can be prosecuted for promoting dangerous activities. If they had sites that promoted drinking bleach for any reason, wouldn’t those sites be deleted before they had a lawsuit on their hands?

And, of course, there was the breastfeeding icon uproar way back in 2006. Starvation, okay; motherhood, not okay. They got great priorities or no ethics at 6A.

Paging Mrs. Minna Trott and company: ARE YOU STUPID? OR JUST WICKED?

My suggestion: If you pay for an LJ, don’t renew, use the free service. $$$ is the only thing that gets 6A’s attention. Oh, and don’t buy Moveable Type, use Word Press.

Drama drama drama: Brad is leaving LJ/6A and Mena is knocked-up. Guess she won’t be posting any breast feeding pix, will she?

Also related:

“While Six Apart is well within their rights to delete content they feel is inappropriate, it does make me worry what might happen if a group with some real clout ever sent in a list of complaints. I’m sure many people remember last year, when Six Apart banned default userpics that featured women breastfeeding infants, which included not only photographs, but depictions in classic art, as well. In both instances, the law was on the users’ side: breastfeeding is protected from obscenity accusations by LAW throughout the US and Canada; likewise, this CNet article states that “Legal experts say LiveJournal is clearly not liable for fictional stories and related discussions posted by its users”. Despite this, in both instances, Six Apart’s knee jerk reaction was to pull content and side AGAINST its users. You can read more about the breastfeeding debacle at ProMom.org and in this post in the Boob_Nazis LiveJournal Community.”
The Value of Fiction, by Leigh Dragoon, Seq Tart, August 13, 2007

Knee jerk sums 6A right up.

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3 Responses to I had a feeling this was going to happen when Six Apart bought LJ

  1. Anil says:

    Hi Ginger, I work with Six Apart and I had a chance to read your post… I think almost all of the posts you’ve listed here have been responded to at various points, most days ago. If you’d like, I’m happy to point you to links to where those conversations have taken place.

    More to the point, though, I’d love to get the chance to talk — it’s not just incorrect to say we’re unethical, it’s irresponsible when you haven’t gotten all the facts. I bet if I can share more information about what’s happened with some of these conversations, you might revise your opinion.

    Finally, for someone who’s a feminist to refer to a female entrepreneur (who’s also one of my closest friends) as a “knocked up”, “wicked”, “stupid” person seems contradictory. In fact, it seems like the kind of fact-free bullying personal attack that so many women, especially in the technology industry, face. I hope we can start a conversation that might help you rethink those kinds of tactics.

    And no, money isn’t the only thing that gets our attention — our community certainly does. Unfortunately, so do baseless, needlessly personal, meanspirited attacks on individuals. That’s a problem I think we can both help solve.

  2. Anil,

    You’re welcome to post links and explanations here. Be my guest.

    Do you have links that explain why 6A condones pro-ana and pro-Nazi sites? I’d be very interested in those. If I were a parent, I’d be more worried about those than slash fan fic and artwork.

    And speaking of parents…. Is Mena really so thin skinned she needs her employees to defend her? Hm. I just thought she was as foul mouthed as I am, but had more opportunities to lecture European audiences on civility. Hey, at least I didn’t call her an asshole. I think she apologized for calling the guy an asshole, but the part that makes me laugh is that she was in Paris talking about civility before she called him an asshole. Chacun à son goût, mais pour moi, je peut seulement rire.

    So, anyway, since Mena is enciente, if you like that word better, I suppose any appeals to her for (more) civility and fairness in the execution of the LJ deletion policy wouldn’t get very far. As I understand it, and this might have changed, LJs were being deleted without any warning or possible appeal.

    You can critique (if that’s what you’re doing) my feminism as much as you like, Anil, it goes with the territory.

  3. Anil says:

    “Do you have links that explain why 6A condones pro-ana and pro-Nazi sites?”

    This is so intellectually dishonest, it makes it seem as if you’re not actually interested in having a conversation, along the lines of asking “when did you stop beating your wife?” No, we don’t condone those things, as you’ve quoted in your own post, the text you’ve linked to says “LiveJournal does not support girls harming themselves.”

    Frankly, I’m astounded that you’re willing to assert things that you’ve refuted on your own blog post.

    And long before I worked with Mena, I was her friend. I’m sorry that you don’t understand the desire I have to not see my friends insulted publicly by people who’ve never met them. Most people I talk to seem to understand why that would be a bad thing. I certainly don’t think Mena’s ever said people shouldn’t speak passionately about their ideas, but if your theoretical desire is fairness, you might do well to read things like this LiveJournal policy post or this apology and clarification.

    In short: There was an explanation of policy days ago, which made it clear that journals will not be deleted without warning, and will only be reviewed if they’ve been reported. We never go out looking for material to respond to.

    And not to belabor the point, but Mena’s speech in France was about accountability, much more than it was about civility. If you would like to try and be accountable for your words, my mobile phone number is ###### (removed by GM), and my IM is anildash. You’ve already got my email address. Please feel free to get in touch personally if you’d like to use the same tenor and stridency while responding irresponsibly on the basis of factually incorrect assumptions that have been clearly disproven.

    Or, I’d settle for you just being a little more considered the next time you want to call out one of my friends or question the ethics of the good people that I work with.

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