Mass deletion sparks LiveJournal revolt

By Declan McCullagh
http://news.com.com/Mass+deletion+sparks+LiveJournal+revolt/2100-1025_3-6187619.html

Story last modified Thu May 31 20:41:08 PDT 2007

Editor’s note: On Thursday, LiveJournal apologized for the mass deletion and said many of the journals would be restored

Thousands of LiveJournal customers are rebelling against the company’s recent decision to censor hundreds of sex-themed discussion groups, a broad swath that has led to the removal of literary critiques and fan-written fiction about Harry Potter.

LiveJournal, which is owned by San Francisco-based Six Apart, confirmed Wednesday that it deleted around 500 journals this week in hopes of better “protecting children.” It said the deletion was prompted by activist groups, including one called Warriors for Innocence that claims to track sites promoting pedophilia, the sexual abuse of minors, and other illegal activities.

“We did a review of our policies related to how we review those sites, those journals, and came up with the fact that we actually did have a number of journals up that we didn’t think met our policies and didn’t think they were appropriate to have up,” Barak Berkowitz, chairman and chief executive of Six Apart, said in a telephone interview. The site boasts about 13 million journals.

Some deleted LiveJournal communities went by names like childlove and little_children (a community permits multiple LiveJournal users to post entries, while an individual account is limited to one user). Others, however, broadly fall into the category of science fiction, fantasy or user-written “fandom” stories–and it is those that have sparked the outcry. (more. . .)

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