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March 8th, 2008


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12:48 pm - new policy draft posted by LJ
Last night, the folks at LJ posted a draft set of policy guidelines for the public (and us advisory board folks) to review and comment on. It's not a final policy because LJ doesn't want to make this kind of change without community feedback and consideration. They are letting the public know at the same time as the advisory board knows. I'm still in the midst of doing my own review of this and reading what others have to say, but I wanted to make room here if folks wanna comment on this. There are many more comments on the draft post itself.

I suspect that there are folks who will object to some of what's proposed. I would be super stoked to receive responses that articulate why a particular issue is problematic, offer alternative suggestions, and make a case for why something should be changed. In other words, the more constructive the feedback, the more I can help.

I'll write more as I learn more.

(9 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:b8akaratn
Date:March 9th, 2008 12:54 am (UTC)

The "suicidal posts"

(Link)
The proposed policy on "Suicidal posts" seems very well intentioned but I didn't see any type of exception being made for physician-assisted suicide / euthanasia situations. There could be someone journaling about their terminal illness and (maybe even through the writing process) they've arrived at the conclusion that they wish to end their existence on their own terms & at their own time. They may have also stated as much publicly.

The language that is used in the "Explanation" section is:

Suicide is a very serious matter, and we believe it is our responsibility to notify proper authorities when we are made aware of a LiveJournal user attempting to commit suicide. While we may not be legally required to do so, we feel it is our moral and ethical obligation to take any and all action we can to prevent the potential loss of someone's life.


In a case like this, who are the "proper authorities" -- a physician? a police department? Does LJ feel it's morally right for them to "take any and all" action to intrude on this kind of decision?

...The other part of this statement that I makes this foreboding feeling a bit worse is the use of "moral and ethical obligation." "What other moral and ethical obligations are there? What if the part about "prevent the potential loss of someone's life" could one day be made to extend to journals where possible abortions are discussed? (I know, probably not likely considering LJ's history, but... if the decision is based on ethics & morality, what else could be expected?)

If LJ has plans to consider any situations exempt, it would be good to have this clarified / considered.
[User Picture]
From:feministyogini
Date:March 9th, 2008 02:05 am (UTC)
(Link)
Hey Danah, here are the two that come to mind right away for me:

a) userpic contains graphic nudity, sexual, violent, or otherwise objectionable content.

I mostly worry about the "sexual" content policing because that's often been used as code for 'we don't want to see non-normative forms of sexuality' such as queer sexuality or genderqueer sexuality.


b) LiveJournal has received official notification that content posted by a user violates the copyright of another person or business.


As you know, this has been used to police fandom
[User Picture]
From:danahboyd
Date:March 9th, 2008 02:32 am (UTC)
(Link)
a) How would you reword it to work around that? Needless to say, LJ is not interested in using this to regulate non-normative forms of sexuality. I think that most of what comes up when the issue of "sexual" is at play is pictures of people having sex and the ilk.

b) So this is tricky. Yes, I know that copyright holders are using it to police fandom. The problem is that if LJ attempts to determine what is "fair use," they are not eligible for safe harbor protections. This is why the counter-notification process is set in place, especially for folks who want to counter-notify for "fair use." Do you know of anyone who's been issued a C&D and counter-notified? I'd love to talk to them about their experiences with this. I'm not sure how to make this one better because LJ can't be the ones evaluating "fair use." The only thing that I can imagine is making the counter-notification process better.
[User Picture]
From:dharma_slut
Date:March 17th, 2008 04:46 am (UTC)
(Link)
a) userpic contains graphic nudity, sexual, violent, or otherwise objectionable content.

How about "graphically sexual nudity, graphic sexual activity, Violent or otherwise objectionable... "

What would "otherwise objectionable" be, she wondered? *G*
[User Picture]
From:thaumata
Date:March 10th, 2008 03:00 pm (UTC)
(Link)
(yikes... you might want to double check the font size in your comment box here because it is TIIIIIIIINY and nearly impossible to read when I am currently writing. eep.)

I just wanted to say that I thought the guidelines looked good. I am with you 100% when it comes to asking users to moderate adult content and stepping in when they prove that they are not being responsible about it. However, I would advise that you make a better guideline for what constitutes nudity and adult content. If you play on flickr ever, you will know that this is often a serious hotbutton there, with many users having widely different degrees of cultural understandings of what nudity is appropriate for a public audience. I currently moderate a 5500+ member group of secondlife users on flickr and this is ALWAYS an issue. Considering LJ and Facebooks recent issues with breastfeeding pics, you might want to define that a bit more clearly. (Though, just a bit, I think. Good rules should always leave a bit of wiggle room for moderator judgement.)

Edited at 2008-03-10 03:01 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:oedipamaas49
Date:March 13th, 2008 12:05 pm (UTC)
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So: the abolition of basic accounts. Were you consulted? Did you approve?
[User Picture]
From:danahboyd
Date:March 13th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
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Not really and nope, and pretty pissed about it (along with Brad). My opinion: http://danahboyd.livejournal.com/1396.html

I'm on the road right now but when I get back, I will get in touch with folks at LJ to learn more about what's happening and why we weren't consulted.
[User Picture]
From:oedipamaas49
Date:March 13th, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks for that post - much appreciated. It's good to see you and brad and esther all coming through on this one, and I hope you manage to help SUP find some better options.
[User Picture]
From:thaumata
Date:March 13th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I am surprised to not see more comments here today about SUP's decision to stop offering basic accounts to new users. Did they actually consult the advisory board about this at all? It would seem from Brad's end that they did not... and what is the point of having a board if you don't consult them? Even if any of you had agreed that it made sense from a monetary standpoint to no longer offer the account, I honestly would not believe that any of you would have gone about dropping that in the laps of your users. It's just poor form and while I don't know SUP at all, I know the board has a bit too much panache for that kind of trickery.

(Incidentally, when I worked at Splicemusic.com, the board and the stockholders frequently disagreed, which is the main reason the company is pretty much non-existent at this point. I would hate to see that happen at LJ.)

I have a couple of free accounts here at LJ, but I also have a paid community and a permanent personal journal. Most of my friends here have been here for years, also, and none of us like this change OR the way it was delivered.

Please work on some transparency.

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