The Master Cylinder (boztopia) wrote,
The Master Cylinder

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The Great LJ Strikethrough Of 2007

A poster over in heroes_tv alerted me to a disturbing series of events. It seems that LiveJournal, under pressure from a vigilante anti-pedophile group called "Warriors for Innocence," has been rampantly deleting journals and communities that have any mention of topics that may violate LJ's TOS, including incest, pedophilia, and so on. While on the surface, this may seem admirable, if you dig a little deeper, it's anything but.

As I understand it, in response to WFI's campaign, LJ has not only deleted genuine pedophile/incest communities, but fandom, slash, and even survivor groups and LJs that even mention these issues. WFI has claimed that it didn't target LJ comms directly, but went to advertisers and told them about some of the journals they found. Here's the post describing their actions:

WFI is currently putting the onus back on LJ for deleting the accounts and claiming they didn't point out communities to delete beyond those that were actively supporting pedophilia, incest, etc.:

ataniell93 describes how two fictional journals describing the activities of villains in an RPG were deleted--and LJ's "well, we can't really do anything" response--here.

catrinella documents much of what happened, including journals and comms that were deleted, here.

I especially recommend liz_marcs's take on the issue, and her dialogue with one of the WFI founders here.

The organization was apparently founded in January or February 2007, by an ex-Marine Drill Instructor and his sister, whose Blogger handles are "Gunny John" and "Sues," respectively:

Now, WFI does seem to have its heart in the right place, and they do offer a lot of useful links and information (See one of their mirror sites, for example: But the organization's founders have some very disturbing and unpleasant views on various cultural mores.

Here's Gunny John opposing the evil homosexual agenda:

Here's their favored presidential candidate (who they're apparently doing some campaign work for):

There are minority factions who have the ears of some very high Career Politicians. The homosexual faction wants any mention of how their lifestyle is against someone's religious beliefs to be considered "hate speech" and a "thought crime." The drug culture wants their use and abuse of narcotics and controlled substances to be accepted and no longer punishable by law.

Not to be outdone, here's Sues on the evil liberals who hate America:

That being said, I'd like to address all the liberal, do-gooder, pansy ass, peace loving citizens of this country: The only reason you can even voice your pathetic, ungrateful opinions is because of our soldiers- past and present. If it wasn't for them, you'd be speaking German or Japanese right now instead of English. If you don't wake up and open your pathetic eyes, you will soon be speaking Spanish or Arabic.

I've never really understood the love fandom has of slash and 'cest fic, to be honest. But it doesn't matter if I understand it. As long as it makes people happy and they're not doing harm or advocating harm to anyone, that's fine. Genuine advocacy of pedophilia, incest, child rape, and the like should be given the boot whenever and wherever possible.

As I said before during the great LJ Mutiny of 2006, LiveJournal is not a public organization, and so free speech rules don't apply as they would against a government action. You have to be sure you understand the terms of service before you sign up, and yes, they will be shifty and change them on you, so you need to be smart about what you post and where you post it.

But LiveJournal was apparently so intimidated by the potential loss of advertising dollars--based on charges levied by a very small organization of a few people--that they took a blunderbuss approach and deleted hundreds of communities and journals that had next to nothing to do with any of this. This reminds me of how Brent Bozell and the Parents' Television Council floods the FCC with complaints about obscenity and makes it seem like the issue is bigger than it really is. Shame on LiveJournal for screwing the membership once again.

As far as WFI goes, it's funny--they blame all the tolerant liberals, gays, etc. for what's ruining America. I look at them--a group of overzealous morality policemen who didn't even understand what fandom was until this whole mess started, and who possess some particularly repulsive and dislikable beliefs--and think the exact same thing.

Being a soldier doesn't give you an automatic presumption of righteousness any more than it does villainy. Given that I actually know of at least one ex-Army guy who got arrested on child porn charges, I'd say it takes all kinds. I can only speak for myself, but I always thought the thing that made America great was its welcoming of all manner of beliefs, cultures, attitudes, and lifestyles--the idea that it didn't matter what color your skin was, what God you prayed to, or where you came from, but what did matter was the content of your character. You didn't get into your neighbor's business, and what you did was your own.

Or, put more simply:

Tags: blogosphere, drama, fiction, lj, oh noes, politics, snark, the internets

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