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LJ United -- Standing Up For LiveJournal's Future!

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A note on Free Speech [May. 24th, 2008|03:50 am]
LJ United -- Standing Up For LiveJournal's Future!


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I posted something similar to this in my own journal, but I decided to write it differently, here, taking into consideration the relationship of LJ to Free Speech.

For a breakdown of the First Amendment, go here.

When Brad first started LiveJournal, he agreed to abide by the rules the government must abide by; e.g., not to restrict free speech except as already dictated by federal law (in other words, you can't incite a riot, or engage in hate speech, etc.). As we all know, upon selling LJ to SixApart, restrictions on free speech were increased, especially after Memorial Day 2007. After SUP acquired LJ, things got even worse.

This, however, never has applied, and was never meant to apply, to individual journals or communities.

Individual journals and communities have ALWAYS retained the right to restrict membership and/or comments. Think of your LJ as your "virtual living room"; you wouldn't let just anyone come waltzing through the door to orate, right? You would especially not allow the annoying neighbor kid down the street free access to, say, stand in your living room and scream colourful metaphors at you and your family.

Since when did support of free speech mean that folks no longer can set boundaries on what they will tolerate in their journals and communities?

It never did, and it never will. WE always retained the personal right to place limits on the materials in posts and/or comments.

Whatever you do, remember this, especially when some troll kiddie comes along screaming "censorship" because they're not allowed to post here (and believe me, there are many; without mentioning names, they're primarily the supporters of a couple notorious individuals).

I just wanted to make this clear before what is truly Free Speech is distorted any further.

[User Picture]From: insomnia
2008-05-24 12:52 pm (UTC)
I don't mind candidates who agree with our goals saying as much, but when they simply do not and have no business posting here, or when they invite an army of supporters to interfere with our ability to operate as a community or be effective, that's where I draw the line.

Moderation when it does happen isn't intended for the purpose of censorship. It's designed to avoid trolling, flamewars, and the wasting of my time.

This community certainly isn't the place to discuss the relative merits -- or lack thereof -- of any candidate who doesn't even fundamentally agree with us, or who shows themselves incapable of interacting respectfully with others.

It's a place where those of us who care about our issues can try to do something about them... and things that interfere with that goal may be moderated.

The sad thing is that several of our critics accused me of "censorship" for failing to approve posts over my recent vacation! I can't be expected to moderate the community on their time schedule, and, indeed, moderating wouldn't even be necessary -- and wasn't even enabled -- prior to the attempted spamming of our community.

Edited at 2008-05-24 12:55 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: kaifoxx
2008-05-24 09:50 pm (UTC)

You'd have lost your wager...

"Except, of course, when such free speech was promised by a community and then not given. That's like having a party at your house and inviting everyone, but then turning some people away at the door."

Free Speech, yes. Verbal abuse, no. That's like letting murderers into the party just because the invitation was to "ALL". Rediculous analogy there.

"You use this argument as an excuse, and a poor one, at that."

Pay his membership (or reinburse him) and then you can dictate to him what his opinion should be, and how he should run his community.

"But nice ad hominem there at at the end. Very smooth. Bravo."

Ooooh mockery. I've seen better though.

"Now I will wager that this comment, polite and civil, never sees the light of day."

Ah, the manipulation strategy that 9 out of 10 times, works to get a host to allow the post just to prove them wrong.

Why cant you just find a reasonably polite way to disagree with someone? What is so HARD about that?

The accusations are pointless, he doesnt have to prove anything to you or do what you want. Your opinion is your own, I'm sure it's noted by everyone reading..Mockery isnt necessary, plus it's rude. But I'm sure you know that, after all, you're not here for friendly discourse now, are you? (Friendly discourse does not usually include mockery.)

I never could stand manipulation. This is exactly why you dont make a good candidate yourself. If you pulled this crap with SUP, you'd guarantee they ignored you, and probably get yourself deleted from the community completely. It IS possible to become such a nuisance to a server company that any reprisals you might offer become worth the loss to get rid of you.

Good day

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[User Picture]From: magyarok_saman
2008-05-24 11:15 pm (UTC)

Re: You'd have lost your wager...

AMEN and thank you!
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[User Picture]From: magyarok_saman
2008-05-24 11:11 pm (UTC)
Even free speech guaranteed by the Bill of Rights has its restrictions. For instance, you are not allowed, by law, to engage in hate speech, or speech that clearly incites a riot.

Stop blurring the lines. You know good and well why certain parties were banned from this community. They abused their rights here in the manner of a large swarm of rats overrunning a granary; you are going to close up the holes where they got through, because they're ruining the grain.

insomnia wanted a civilized, mature forum in which to promote serious candidates and discuss what sorts of things LJ has promised over the years, just to turn around and take away. Your "friends" created their own community so they could continue to overrun things like a plague of rats. THAT is the essence of free speech: We (as in groups) both got to do what we wanted to do, just not in the same area on the ye olde hard drive.

I am not excusing anyone, contrary to your opinion. I'm just sick and tired of certain parties distorting the true meaning of the First Amendment for their own goals and purposes. As I said, you wouldn't let the annoying kid from down the block just barge into your living room to call you names, now would you? Why do you expect insomnia to allow that same kid to do that to the rest of us?
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[User Picture]From: magyarok_saman
2008-05-24 11:19 pm (UTC)
I, for one, have had enough with the allusion that sockpuppet accounts were used to skew the results.

For one, being a person who knows good and well how the LJ code works - there is no way that anyone could tinker with their account creation date - and accounts that voted HAD to be created before March 11, 2008. That blows your sockpuppet theory right out of the water.

Why can't you just accept that a large amount of voters support a different candidate than you do - and a different candidate than yourself? Crying sockpuppet is bordering on the childish.
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[User Picture]From: magyarok_saman
2008-05-24 11:50 pm (UTC)
As someone who runs an LJ clone service, I can assure you that those accounts are NOT sockpuppets. Roleplayers frequently have multiple accounts, each one representing a character.

You're taking that and stretching it to, again, suit your own purposes and argument. One could say that you're crediting said roleplayers with prescience - that they knew, years ago, that this election would occur, so they hurried up and created as many accounts as they could to artificially inflate totals. C'mon, show a bit of maturity, eh?

Did you push for membership on this community just so you could continue the borderline invective your "friend" and his "friends" were banned from doing?
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[User Picture]From: magyarok_saman
2008-05-25 12:52 am (UTC)
I'm just as sure your "friend" has friends with multiple accounts that used them for voting, and perhaps there are other candidates who have friends with the same advantage.

There is no way to prevent this, so whether it's fair or not is a moot point.
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[User Picture]From: kaifoxx
2008-05-27 12:10 am (UTC)

Thats a good point...

"Regardless, you're right - there's no way to prevent it. But I'm also right - it's not fair. And the votes are meaningless as a result."

It does bring a disadvantage to those like me, who have four accounts that come under the deadline, but followed the rules and only used one to vote with. It's also a LIMITED loophole though, because of that deadline, so now new accounts could be utilized to blow the Election.

"Unless you want to legitimize the practice?"

Well, how pragmatic (or politically ruthless) do you really want to be?

It's really too late to sit and debate this, or try to put it to a vote.

The HONORABLE thing would be to vote with only one account, and accept the results regardless of the affect the loophole might have, or how many might have taken advantage of it.

The most FAIR thing for the candidates themselves, is to take away the advantage of the loophole, for those candidates who's supporters used it, by using it ourselves.

However...I think I will stick with Honorable, because we dont really know if SUP wouldnt penalize voting members for abusing that loophole.

In fact, it's very likely they probably did have I.P. tracking enabled for voters, and if you were voting 70 or more times....would you have necessarily thought to change your I.P. if you could, every time?

Would be bad form to get caught cheating like that, and risk having your candidate get penalized.

Just my two cents worth.
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[User Picture]From: kaifoxx
2008-05-27 07:29 am (UTC)

Re: Thats a good point...

~smiles a moment~

Well, where I run my communities, we generally call them "alias accounts". I might have to adopt your "sockpuppets" though, that's cute.

But yeah...we had one troll who had so many aliases we lost count around 250 in the first year, and that was just what the community staff could catch and delete from the server.

I cant really comment on lj troll habits though, as Ive not seen the level of it personally, here in lj, as I have on my other server.

I've got four, and I can say it doesnt tempt me.
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[User Picture]From: delusionalangel
2008-05-24 06:38 pm (UTC)
I don't know enough about the drama here to know what sparked this post, clearly something did, I've seen hints of drama related to the election so I can guess, but I've been too busy dealing with rl to watch so I'll just say...

In a general sense I agree. I'm an admin on a game site that has several hundred players, when their characters die they often don't think clearly but are allowed to set "last words" that appear on their character profile and in a "funeral parlor" for a day or so. For a period of time they were getting out of hand with anti-woman, anti-gay, basically the most vile harassing last words you can imagine that didn't belong in a game and usually had nothing to do with their character, his/her death/ etc which is what that was designed for. I finally wrote a post explaining we'd be lenient because we know when they die tempers flare, but I'd start editing them or banning repeat offenders...

And that before they could scream "free speech to me" it didn't apply. That it was a freedom given by the government (if you're lucky) and that on a private site we can choose what's appropriate. Offending some of our players who are gay, are women, etc isn't something we can stand for.

I assume that's not quite the same here, still same theory, mods can choose what appears in communities they manage. If people don't like it, why bother? There are other communities to join or create one, if this one doesn't suit your needs.

Edited at 2008-05-24 06:39 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: kaifoxx
2008-05-26 11:48 pm (UTC)


I get what you're saying (and thank you for toning it down btw.) and as you mentioned, he gave you the reason that he wanted to wait a couple of days to give Rm's posts some more attention.

This IS LJ_United's way of supporting their candidate, an agreement that went both ways between Rm and Insomnia's community.

He's not trying to censor you, he's trying to keep his word in that LJ_United is supporting their chosen candidate. It's a blog, unfortunately, they do tend to "roll over" on friends lists, so I can see why he is choosing to do it that way.

Obviously you are being permitted to speak here, so it's just a matter of you being patient is all.

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[User Picture]From: kaifoxx
2008-05-27 12:33 am (UTC)

Re: Okay..

And here we have a slight problem...did he actually verbatim state that, or was that your interpretation of what he said?

The rest of us cant decide on this one, it's gonna have to be between you and Insomnia. It's his community, his rules, and the original statements were between the two of you.

And no, wasnt confusing you with anyone else. You must have missed my first comment to you. You might have been calm but I wouldnt necessarily agree on civil.

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[User Picture]From: eruditeviking
2008-05-27 02:06 am (UTC)


Cambler is referring to the conversation held here. I don't think it helped to have Rhonan stick his nose in and attack the community again, as has been his want recently.

Insomnia, myself, and several others have tried to explain issues and our stances. While Cambler has been reasonably civil with most of his concerns and responses, his association with certain other individuals who have not made such attempts have made some of us more reluctant to take his own statements at face value. It's not entirely fair, but it's part of the reality that perception trumps intention. This has been the case ever since my post to sos_usa.
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[User Picture]From: kaifoxx
2008-05-27 08:29 am (UTC)


You keep being civil lol.

Im not sure Erudite meant it quite the way it sounded.
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[User Picture]From: kaifoxx
2008-05-27 09:30 am (UTC)


Okay I take it back...maybe Erudite was just being honestly outraged over Rhonan's mouth.

I realize that isnt YOUR fault, and *I* wont hold it against you for what Rhonan said...but if it were me in your shoes...I'd be reminding people who's journal they're commenting in, laying some ground rules and editing certain choice words that are really inappropriate and unnecessary.

You've got people running rampant over there, making idiots of themselves and disrespecting you by abusing others in your own blog.

~shakes my head in disbelief~

You're gonna need a better backbone if you really want to deal with SUP, then what you're showing in your blog.

And I dont mean being a bigger asshole. I mean learning to defend even those you might disagree with, from being abused by your "friends".
You're just a de facto mob leader otherwise.
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[User Picture]From: kaifoxx
2008-05-27 09:48 pm (UTC)


It's not censorship. Rhonan has his OWN blog, you can afford to edit out the flagrant insults against someone not even there to defend herself.

Also..looking at your comments there, I didnt actually see Insomnia promise you equal treatment with Rm at all.

I saw him promise you equal treatment with other candidates that also happen to agree with LJ_United's platform. You have gotten WAY more attention than ANY of the rest of them.

It's either YOUR misunderstanding of Insomnia's words, which were pretty crystal clear..or, you are pretending to misunderstand his words, so you can create an issue to disrupt this community, and make insinuations of sinister nature against Insomnia himself.

No, what I saw, in your comments section, was either someone who is taking advantage of Rhonan's abusiveness towards others to further his own agenda, someone who does not have the guts to tell someone to knock it the hell off in his own journal, cause he's afraid he might lose a vote, or you deliberately put people up to bashing at Insomnia and Rm, while you refrain from it, so as to not "look bad", and hide behind the "censorship" argument so you can weasel out of the responsibility of shutting down the bashing in your journal.

Which one is it Cambler?

Are you trying to sabotage LJ_United? Did you have Rhonan say something hoping Insomnia would hit the roof and go off on the both of you? Did he target Rm figuring THAT would make Insomnia lose it? And when it failed, is THAT why you are HERE right NOW, trying to undermine Insomnia with the rest of us, by painting a picture of him that isnt even true?

(To the rest of you, if that just got you curious enough to go read for yourself, go for it, but DONT give in to the urge to make a reply. It's what they WANT, and even an LJ_United member can make Insomnia and Rm look bad if they lose it and give these people what they want, a vicious fight.)

And who wants to take bets on just how fast one of Cambler's friends or Cambler himself, starts making insinuations about some kind of "sinister cabal" because Insomnia and Rm are on MY friends list?

For the record, I added them after EruditeViking promo'ed LJ_United in SOS_USA. So by all means...good luck.

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[User Picture]From: kaifoxx
2008-05-27 08:24 am (UTC)



Okay, that makes THAT episode make a little more sense now lol.

But brings me to a bit of a quandary. From personal experience, running message boards and dealing with multiple forums and groups...judging individuals on grounds of guilt by association is one of the very WORST habits you can get into.

He's not his associates. If you treat him like he is, what justification do you give him, for not just giving up and flaming the crap out of you, cause you're already treating him like you're expecting him to pull a "Jekyll and Hyde"?

Ultimately, it's all up to you all..if you want LJ_United to succeed long-term, you are gonna have to come up with long-term means of dealing with this sort of thing. Trust me though, "guilt by association" factionalization is NOT gonna be in your favor.

If SUP is anything like the TOS Staff where I host my forums...heh..you all at each other's throats and them having to field the occasional nastygram when one of you steps over the TOS line is preferable than an lj membership that isnt fighting, and is watching them collectively, like hawks, ready to inundate their company email boxes all at once.

"but it's part of the reality that perception trumps intention."

Thats not reality for everyone. That's individual opinion. Visiting the intentions of someone you dont know, causes eroneous assumptions due to lack of pertinent information. Which, as a matter of fact, is strictly outlawed in my own forum. Just sayin....

Thanks for letting me know...I really dont mean to come off like Im climbing up anybody's behinds and meddling. Just that this is a something of a deja vu deal for me, and I've already seen factionalization rip one server I care about apart from the inside out. Having that happen to lj..would be major suck.

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[User Picture]From: kaifoxx
2008-05-27 09:03 am (UTC)

~shakes my head~

Just got done reading the comments section on Cambler's blog.

I still think Cambler shouldnt have Rhonan's nasty mouth counted against him...

But DAMN..If that had happened in MY comments section...there'd be a whole lot of editing goin on.

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[User Picture]From: elionwyr
2008-05-24 11:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

Free speech does not mean 'yes please abuse me'.
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[User Picture]From: aliasrob
2008-05-26 10:03 am (UTC)

A serious voice for the LJ useradvisory board

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