ONTD Political

Livejournal to Ban LGBTQ Content

12:40 pm - 04/11/2017
Mitch Wagner writes, "LiveJournal is a venerable online community that predates Facebook and even blogging. It got acquired by a Russian company a few years ago, but some of its American and British users hung on, including sf and fantasy writers and fans. Lately, I know one of my friends was scrambling to leave, but I'd been too busy to look into why."

"Now I know: LiveJournal changed its terms of service to require obeying Russian law, which requires "protecting" minors from discussing "sexual deviancy" -- LGBTQ issues. This is evil. I agree with many political pundits that it's better to coexist with Russia than to go war, even seek common ground where possible. And I agree that much of the current hostility to Russia in Washington, D.C., is cynical politicking by people who are using Russia panic to gain advantage. But this is evil. "

I probably stuck with LJ for too long, because back in the day I paid for a perpetual premium account—unlimited access and no ads: the urge to get one's money's worth out of something you've paid for is hard to resist. But the rot has finally gone too far. This Tuesday Livejournal pushed out a revision to their terms of service that emphasize the service runs under Russian law, and specifically requires compliance with Russian law on minors—which makes any discussion of "sexual deviancy" (aka LGBT issues) illegal or at least a violation of the ToS.

So I'm currently migrating my entire Livejournal presence to Dreamwidth, a service set up by some of LJ's original founders that focuses on providing a Livejournal-like set of services for creative types (and, significantly, is not subject to Russian law because it's not based in Russia).


I tried submitting this to ONTD and it got rejected with this note: "This is not celebrity news, multiple posts have been rejected. Please do not resubmit."

Source: Boing Boing
lightframes 12th-Apr-2017 01:36 am (UTC)
I wonder if they're going to start shutting down people's accounts.

Has anybody used Dreamwidth? If so what has been your experience with it?
pairatime 12th-Apr-2017 04:25 am (UTC)
I've never been a consistent user but I've had an account since 09 and used it off and on. It's very much long the old (mid-2000s) LJ but with better support. The few times I've had problems I've gotten answers and help much faster on DW than I ever did with LJ. and it's fairly user friendly. I like their set up a bit better honestly. The big problem with DW for me has been many of the communities and people I interact with hadn't gone over so dealing with both was always a chore but now it seems all the active communities I'm part of are at least talking about WD so I'm relooking at my account.

You should at least check it out if you want to have a back up plan.
radiantsoul 12th-Apr-2017 09:58 am (UTC)
The site is run by passionate and clever people. Take a look at the length of time support request go unanswered on dw vs lj. Look at the level of management engagement on the news posts.

Problem is dw seems to be so much quieter.
amyura 14th-Apr-2017 01:00 am (UTC)
I migrated over about a week ago. Super easy. Very LJ-like interface. My only issue right now is I'm not sure what the deal is with communities over there.

Most of my LJ friends did the same, and oddly enough, we're all far more active over there than we have been on LJ lately! I think this is the silver lining.

I'm doing something far more (to me) annoying and time-consuming than what most of my friends did. They all migrated, then deleted. I'm attempting to keep this account with a completely blank journal for at least a few months, so as to be able to follow those friends who don't migrate, and continue participating in communities. I've been on LJ since 2001, and I've currently deleted from 01 to 03, and then 2010 to present. It's slowgoing.....
selina_kyle 12th-Apr-2017 01:41 am (UTC)
It may not be "celebrity news" but it affects the ONTD community & its users.

Ridiculous.

I won't be migrating because I don't use my journal anymore and have this account solely to participate in the communities I'm a member of.
ohmiya_sg 12th-Apr-2017 07:21 am (UTC)
Yeah, same.
sarahsaturn 12th-Apr-2017 02:12 am (UTC)
That's fucked up. It's bizarre that there are still places in the world where they're backwards enough to think that being gay is wrong.

Livejournal's almost dead to begin with and now it'll be even more inactive. The few people who still use this site won't put up with it.
stainedfeathers 12th-Apr-2017 04:05 am (UTC)
It's so much fucking worse than that. They've started rounding up LGBTQ and throwing them in literal concentration camps.
suzycat 12th-Apr-2017 06:17 am (UTC)

ONTD is a comm full of queer people and other minorities. They need to give this real thought.


I have migrated to DW and still cross post but I'm ceasing paid membership and all my content is locked.

300mirov 12th-Apr-2017 06:45 am (UTC)
Горе-то какое, батюшки мои!) как дальше жить???
Т.е., когда сервера находились не в РФ, то жилось легче? А почему? Свобода слова?
Ну а кто вам ее ограничивает? Пишите о чем хотите, но с соблюдением законов РФ.
Ведь россияне соблюдают законы сидя в ФБ, Инстаграмма, что там еще есть?)
Ссыкуны)
amw 12th-Apr-2017 08:01 am (UTC)
I mostly agree. Facebook in particular has a shameful "decency" policy that disallows any kind of nudity or sexual content that in countries outside of America is considered completely acceptable. We all make compromises when we use services run by puritans. Fortunately up until now SUP has proven itself less likely to delete content than Facebook in this regard.
amw 12th-Apr-2017 07:47 am (UTC)
What kind of fake news headline!?! LiveJournal is not "to ban LGBTQ content". There was no announcement that gay content would be banned. No actual gay content has actually been banned. There was just a change to the terms of service so it is more in-line with Russian media laws.

It's true that Russian media laws are tougher than American media laws on certain issues like "gay propaganda". It's possible that many of my and my friends' past public journal entries could be deemed inappropriate under this law. We may end up having to make entries private. We may end up having our journal deleted. But that's a risk people already ran on LiveJournal. Anyone who has been around for 10+ years should remember several FAR more controversial journal-deleting incidents. And those times, journals were actually deleted, it wasn't just a bunch of bloggers proclaiming that the sky was falling when nothing actually happened yet.

Aside from all of this, as i said on the shenanigans post, it also feels a little odd to see people complain so loudly about the terms of service on this one, tiny Russian blogging website when SO MUCH of our internet traffic is tracked, recorded, mined and sold by American companies and three-letter agencies. And that stuff is actually happening in real life right now, it's not just a conspiracy theory.

There's no question Russia has some incredibly backwards laws on the books when it comes to LGBTQ rights and that those laws are worth protesting. I totally understand that some people feel uncomfortable on LiveJournal as a result of these laws. Never mind the fact LJ has been Russian-owned for 10 years and most of the people complaining aren't located in countries that Russia has an extradition agreement with - it's your perogative to draw your own line in the sand. But i think it would be helpful not to keep sharing this article and others like it that are pretty much pure alarmist propaganda.
300mirov 12th-Apr-2017 09:45 am (UTC)
Наши законы в отношении геев и лгбт сообщества вполне приемлемы и адекватны. Они отвечают менталитету населения страны. (Как бы у нас традиционное общество. Люби кого хочешь в своей спальне, но знать другим об этом необязательно)
На свои законы обратите внимание)
У нас есть один закон - запрет пропаганды лгбт среди молодежи, т.е. детей трогать нельзя. Вырастут, решат что да как)
А, ну и усыновить не могут такие пары. Т.к. эти люди не состоят в браке и т.д.
В общем, статья данная разжигает конфликты)
radiantsoul 12th-Apr-2017 09:53 am (UTC)
It is nothing to do with criminal law or extradition.
The issue is a civil contract between users and the platform. The fact that the platform is no longer keen on political content, homosexuality and will plaster far more adverts is an issue for some.
LJ probably cannot operate outside of Russia for financial reason. It has to enforce Russian laws. Users can go elsewhere, they have been doing so over the last 12 years and this may ir may not accelerate it.
peddlestools 12th-Apr-2017 11:44 am (UTC)
The TOS ban content deemed obscene by Russian standards, and I'm pretty sure LGBTQ content is considered obscene by their standards. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
frelling_tralk 12th-Apr-2017 01:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this comment. My understanding is that it wasn't actually the choice of the LJ owners to move servers, and that they have no interest in changing their user policy, hence assuring us that international users are still welcome, and that the TOS hasn't changed. Everyone just seems to be assuming that LBGT content needs to be warned for now, even though it would have been easy enough for LJ to clearly state that that was their new policy, but they're done no such thing. ONTD is still posting LGBT content and political commentary, and there's been no attempt to crack down on any of it, even though it's certainly a comm that would be on their radar

I believe what actually happened is that LJ were strong-armed by the Russian Federation into moving their servers to Russia, and that's basically because of concerns over what the Russian users are saying now that the elections are coming up, so they want to make it clear that LJ now falls under the laws of Russia. But LJ themselves have zero interest in driving away their international userbase and censoring us, and nor will the Russian Government care very much about what people from other countries want to use their LJ for. It's purely about watching the political commentary that comes from Russian users
radiantsoul 12th-Apr-2017 10:03 am (UTC)
I assume ontd will not publish this for financial reasons, as much as anything else.
I believe brenden is still an lj employee.
radiantsoul 12th-Apr-2017 10:04 am (UTC)
I assume ontd will not publish this for financial reasons, as much as anything else.
I believe brenden is still an lj employee.
lightofaman 12th-Apr-2017 11:24 am (UTC)
This concerns me, most of my LJ consists of homoerotic photomanipulations, It is Friend locked but I don't think that will matter. While I have a backup on Dreamwidth it does not host images and that's a huge problem!
amw 12th-Apr-2017 12:16 pm (UTC)
I am not sure, but i think flocked journals should be fine. I even think flagging gay content as adult should be enough. I am more worried that SUP will drop us English-speaking users for financial reasons than for political reasons 😔
lightofaman 12th-Apr-2017 12:20 pm (UTC)
I have that covered at least. I hope it's enough! That would be awful ugh!
ms_geekette 13th-Apr-2017 05:02 am (UTC)
DW now has 500MB of hosted photo capability. You just can't use the photos elsewhere except on DW or wherever you cross-post (LJ, etc.)

It's kind of hidden, but it's under the Create heading on DW:
http://www.dreamwidth.org/file/new

I don't know how long they've had it and if they are planning to expand hosting capabilities in the future.

Edited at 2017-04-13 05:05 am (UTC)
lightofaman 13th-Apr-2017 11:55 am (UTC)
That could work! Thanks!
mjspice 13th-Apr-2017 03:21 pm (UTC)
I too submitted something similar but it was rejected with the same message. Why is ONTD not talking about this?
purpleartifice 14th-Apr-2017 05:08 am (UTC)
1. This is fucking evil
2. I hope all of the coms I've come to love move to DW
3. ONTD couldn't break with protocol for THIS????
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