Saturday, June 2, 2007

Mass deletion sparks LiveJournal revolt

CNet is reporting that users on LiveJournal are now up in arms at the deletion of thousands of user accounts that it says violate its user agreement. The deletions appears to have started after a activist group called the "Warriors for Innocence" (a group that claims to track sites promoting pedophilia, the sexual abuse of minors, and other illegal activities) prompted LiveJournal to do so, in a bid to protect minors.

Much of the deleted accounts and groups seem to revolve around sexuality. Some account that were deleted had the names " childlove" and "little_children". Some science fiction groups were also among the accounts deleted as they presented stories that involve sex between characters.

Now some may argue that these steps may have gone to far, and that this is censorship (which is the new bad word). But I have to agree with LiveJournal. Why you might ask? Because unfortunately you never know who is going to come to your site, and so if your site contains stories that are sexual you may have minors that will read them without there parents knowledge. Parents ultimately should actively observe where there children are going online, but parents can't always be there, and so to have this little piece of protection for there kids I think is a good idea. This probably sucks for most people that wish to read stories that include sexuality, but it is one of the prices that have to be paid to protect our kids.

Also, as I said before with the Digg revolt, the site should have the right to decide what activities are allowed to happen on the site. If they decide that sexual content is a no-no, then they should have the right to do so. Now as with the Digg revolt, I do believe that LiveJournal will back down on the deletions, and so I hope that they will instead try to create an under aged section to there site. Not that someone can't lie about their age, but at lest it would create a situation where the site could protect itself against an litigation if any that could come against it, if it feels threatened by lawsuits.

But, only time will tell what will eventually happen with LiveJournal. What do you guys think?

***update: It appears that LiveJournal has now come out and apologized for Thursdays mass deletion of user accounts and will now re-instate many of the deleted accounts.

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