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The (most) recent LJ/6A fracas has made me think about a lot of… 
11th-Aug-2007 01:32 pm
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The (most) recent LJ/6A fracas has made me think about a lot of things.

I figure this is going to be pretty long, pretty scattered, so I'll cut here.

Personal Q&A, information, philosophy

Q&A on LJ
Q:
Why did you join LJ in the first place?
A:
I'd flirted with it a bit -- I'd stumbled across it while googling a few times, and I'd noticed a few things that some friends had posted -- enjoyed reading them -- felt a little odd as a lurker -- but it's been since November of 2003 since I'd been caught up on Comics & Journals. Then a friend was having some hard times, and had been posting on LJ rather than sending personal e-mails, and I realized that I'd never check regularly and know what was going on if I didn't set myself up and make this a priority.
Q:
You suggested you'd probably not write much -- what happened.
A:
Dunno. Maybe I got comfortable. Maybe I've really always wanted to write but not known it.
Q:
What do you like about LJ.
A:
A lot of things. I really am shy. (Those who know me a little don't believe this. Those who know me well understand.) I like the notion of being able to write an open letter to a couple hundred of my friends without being pushy about it. I can say "this is what is going on with me" without cluttering the inbox of someone who just doesn't care -- or who doesn't care this week because their life has gotten busy. I don't have to worry about having not-sent this e-mail to one person who might care -- it's out there if you're interested. I can learn that someone I hadn't though of, and would never have presumed to clutter the inbox of really does care about something I have to say.
Q:
What do you think about "Freedom of Speech".
A:
That's a loaded question -- try again.
Q:
Is there anything you're willing to get "political" about?
A:
Sure. Used to be much more so. Went to rallies as a kid, and as a high-schooler. Once I got to College I found myself surrounded by people who mocked me so thoroughly that I stopped being comfortable expressing any views. Then of course, I got a "real" job, and realized that if I were to get myself arrested, that could have really bad repercussions for the rest of my life... so I started to be even more circumspect.
Q:
Why so circumspect HERE -- it's not like you'll get fired for posting something, right?
A:
I can surely hope not. But I seem to have a knack for, even when I try to think something through carefully, saying something that I think is clear, and discovering that I've aggravated or antagonized people for "obviously meaning" 3 (potentially contradictory) things I had never considered. I'm hoping not to piss folks off or lose friends -- either for being not angry/fired enough, or for flying too far off the handle -- or both.
Q:
SO what about this most recent "kerfuffle"
A:
There wasn't a chance you wouldn't ask that, is there? I've seen a LOT of people, most of whom I respect, saying a lot of things. I feel bad that I'm not getting more fired up. Don't know if it's because I'm older and more tired than I was. Don't know if it's because ... ok ... say it ... pornography is a topic that I'm not COMFORTABLE with.
Q:
I've heard that 6A/LJ only got bent cuz it was *gay* fan art.
A:
I truly hope that's not the case. If I believed it were, that would really piss me off. Although I don't know what action I'd take. I still have friends here, I still learn things I'd never learn otherwise because I read LJ.
Q:
But the only minor represented didn't exist -- doesn't that matter?
A:
I'm not sure. If it were my call I don't know which way I'd jump. Glad it's not my call. but **as long as the TOS are specific** I support the hosts their right to say it doesn't matter.
Q:
TOS -- that is a point, isn't it?
A:
Indeed. And in this post Liz Marcs (whom I discovered due to this recent kerfuffle) touches on that and on a lot of other issues -- better than I ever could.
Q:
Any other links you want to share?
A:
Actually yes. I very much enjoyed this post here.
Q:
Anything else that would piss you off?
A:
*snort* Plenty. I don't like the "kicked off without warning or recourse." But there's a lot I don't understand. I read that "user X" was kicked off without warning, and although LJ says that they've never needed to warn, sometimes they do. But then when I went to "user X"'s journal (1) it was there, (2) It contained a warning. So I don't understand.
Q:
What do you think will happen now that you've posted?
A:
Heavens, I don't know. I'm scared that the hate mail will commence. I'm scared that some people whom I care for will decide that I'm a spineless slug and not worthy of their respect, and I'll lose something I held dear. Maybe nothing -- this is kind of long -- who's really gonna read it?
Q:
What do you hope will happen?
A:
I don't know. I worry that some people I care for will bail, that some already have, and that I'll need to follow them in order to keep up. I hope LJ will continue to live as a viable community (although the link to a link topic Liz Marcs touches on is VERY worrisome -- it's rules like that that kept me from having a web site of my own many years ago) and while I don't expect to do anything fancy like what Liz Marcs suggests here... well, I have set up some other ids: IJ (which made me prove I was human and asked me for more info), GJ (which seemed to be just happy to set me up without much hoo-hah... although they did have a pretty standard-looking TOS, and I was thinking about doing a JournalFen as well, but got the "If you're looking for the account creation page, we don't have account creation turned on at the moment. If you know a paid user, you can have that person request a journal for you, though." message -- and I don't need to work that hard.
Q:
What do you think that'll do? They all have TOS that can be read however the owners want!
A:
Of course they do. But options are good.
Q:
Are you going to post to those other journals?
A:
I don't know. I didn't think I'd be posting here. It would seem too much like ego for me to post a lot of stuff in multiple place and expect anyone to read it. I guess if people tell me they want me to I'll take that under advisement.

Comments 
11th-Aug-2007 06:56 pm (UTC)
Heavens, I don't know. I'm scared that the hate mail will commence. I'm scared that some people whom I care for will decide that I'm a spineless slug and not worthy of their respect, and I'll lose something I held dear. Maybe nothing -- this is kind of long -- who's really gonna read it?

Well, I read it. *grin* For what it's worth, I think more of you for noticing that this is a complex issue. I actually think a lot less of people who are knee-jerking on either side of the issue. There's a lot going on, particularly when you start looking at the legal ramifications vs. the philosophical ones. (Since I doubt most people here think that laws are all philosophically perfect and just. In this particular case, I think many people are arguing that the minor's non-existence *should* (philosophically) make it acceptable, despite the fact that legally it doesn't. It's always a shame when people are actually arguing about different things but don't notice it.) It's not an easy issue.
11th-Aug-2007 07:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading.

Whatever they/we do, it's a slippery slope. ("First they came for the ... " vs. "does that person really not exist, or is it strongly modeled after the girl/boy next door... or a photograph of someone who disappeared... or...")
11th-Aug-2007 08:16 pm (UTC)
By the way, Catalana:

Do I know you? It seems like I should. You are
flisted by a lot of my flisteds. But I am not
picking up enough cues. Care to email me at
LJ? Or, if you know I don't know you, that's ok,
too! Just know I'd like to meet you, someday.

17th-Aug-2007 02:03 am (UTC)
Okay, I tried emailing this and it came back. Anyway, I'm Erica Neely. Assuming you have a husband named Clif (and thus are who I think you are), we had had dinner once when the Ropers and I were driving back from...some con. Yeah, I know; that doesn't narrow it down much. *grin* I think that may be the only time we've actually met, but I'm not sure; when you share a lot of friends, sometimes it *seems* like you've spent time with their friends even if you haven't.

Anyway, that's who I am!
17th-Aug-2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes! I do remember -- it was the first time we had gone to Zingerman's Roadhouse. Great food, terribly noisy! We didn't get to say much. :-) Yes, my husband is indeed Clif, and I am who you think I am.

I confess that I would not recognize you from that one meeting, nor would I have recognized your name without the additional info, but you are correct, we have indeed met.

And while we don't *know* each other, we obviously do share enough friends and interest that it would be perfectly natural that I would think we did.

Glad to "meet" you anew! Once our new house is built and we've settled a bit, Clif and I hope to ungafiate, so we should meet again in physical space as well as virtual space, sooner or later.
11th-Aug-2007 10:07 pm (UTC)
Yes. The real problem is that this is a fuzzy concept. There are some things that clearly aren't child pornography. (Pictures of my house. That's not child pornography.) And there are things that clearly *are* child pornography. And then there's a lot of gray area in the middle. The problem is, we need a way to deal with those gray areas. And there is probably no way of drawing a law that deals with them all in a non-arbitrary manner. Laws by their nature are universal.

Now, judges have some leeway with how to apply laws, which is one way of dealing with gray areas. But people are fallible and people disagree and basically we're good at screwing up stuff like this. *grin* Nonetheless, part of the problem is that the concept is not cut-and-dried, as much as we'd like to think it is.
11th-Aug-2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
I joined LJ just AFTER this mess. I'm pretty sure I don't have all the facts (or perhaps even *any* facts) straight. I am also pretty sure I don't want to rehash it.

What I do take from what comments I've seen is this (note, this is my impression, not a regurgitation of what I've seen.)

1. People get VERY protective around children, abuse and sex. I am one of them, in fact. I have very liberal ideas of what is and is not my business in someone else's bedroom (answer: practically none of it is my business.) I have equally conservative and strong views about how much treatment of any child is my business (all of it -- I really do believe we are *all* responsible for our future which is the children!) When these two stances intersect enough to contradict, I err on the side of overprotecting children. Whether they want it or not. (Remember; the judgement part of the brain doesn't activate until sometime around year 25!)

2. A lot of people get all het up about sex in any form whatsoever (including imaginary.) I am NOT one of them. I don't consider it a spectator sport. Do it in front of me, and I'll ask you to get a room. I won't follow you or peek in the windows. But a lot of people do. I think they over react. But, I am not a web host of any kind. I am not running a service which is open to both me and those others, not to mention subject to all kinds of regulation non-web service folks are unaware of. I do not envy the balancing act necessary to serve all of us simultaneously. Notice that these "others" might come at the extreme of puritanical avoidance of sex, or the extreme of pornographic indulgence, or anywhere in between. People at extremes tend to be extreme about their extremity. It's not easy for anyone caught in the middle -- most particularly those who are trying to interject reason into the mix. ;-)

3. It is NOT censorship when the provider of a communication service decides the limits of what it will or not support on its service. Freedom of speech does not include guarantee of audience. Editors exist for a reason. You want complete control of all content you see -- publish it yourself at your own cost. In 1. I said that I have a liberal stance about what is my business in your bedroom. What you do in *my* bedroom, or one of my providing, is an entirely different kettle of fish.

4. It is piss-poor customer relations to act draconically about anything in any direction. It's guaranteed to upset someone - usually a lot of someones. It is extremely unwise to act further than necessary without a thought-out plan. When governments or rich entities do it, it can lead to large scale problems. When individuals do it, it causes proportionate problems. And it is rarely (if ever -- but I try to stay away from absolutes) fair to the parties involved.

5. It seems to me that there was plenty of blame to spread around on the basis of all 4 of the above.

6. I am so very glad I wasn't here for it.

7. I am so very sorry I am losing contact with some friends over it. (I just found you, Spritdancer!)

8. I am probably being extremely rash at posting about this at all. But I was never known for my cautious mouth.

9. I should shut up now.

10. I will. (once I had a 9, I had to have a 10, see...)
11th-Aug-2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
There was an earlier "uprising" just before you joined, but the fecal matter hit the rotating blades again on the order of a week or 2 ago.

#3 agreed. (Although it seems that the Powers that Be are not consistent with what they allow or do not allow, and are not accurately identifying what is allowed or not.)

And regarding #4 -- a lot of "us" are folks who tend to get upset when some bully starts throwing it's weight around, so I might suggest that the problems caused within the fannish community are proportionately more than they would be in a community consisting of an average cross-section of computer-using Americans.

#5 - yep.

#7 - I'm hoping she'll be back.

#9 & 10 **g**
12th-Aug-2007 02:10 am (UTC)
I read this. No hate mail.

My fervent hope is that 6A does listen to the people who are trying to constructively engage them about the problems with their response, and they adapt their polices to better serve people.

My fear, as I've expressed elsewhere, is that the howling mob will make it hard to pick the signal out from the noise.
12th-Aug-2007 03:49 am (UTC)
Thanks. I usually come down on the side of "Cynical Optimist" so I can go along with both the hope and the fear.

Guess as long as there are reasonable voices there is the chance that they will be heard. And maybe even listened to.
12th-Aug-2007 06:15 am (UTC)
My fear, as I've expressed elsewhere, is that the howling mob will make it hard to pick the signal out from the noise.

Yes, this is in my opinion the biggest worry. The problem with extreme reactions is that they tend to provoke extreme opposite reactions...and that's not productive. We want a sane, reasoned discussion. But that's not happening. (What a shock. Don't controversial subjects usually provoke cool, rational discussions? *giggle*)
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