Leaving LJ

May. 8th, 2017 10:16 pm
liv: Stylised sheep with blue, purple, pink horizontal stripes, and teacup brand, dreams of Dreamwidth (_support)
[personal profile] liv
As most of you know, about a month ago LJ suddenly changed its terms of service, in a really nasty way, with no warning and forcing people to accept the new terms in order to interact with the site at all. I confess I was not too bothered at first.

Yes, the binding version of the agreement is in Russian, but non-English speakers have to accept terms in English all the time, so turnabout is fair play. Yes, they're proposing to increase the advertising again (which is what drove me away from LJ nearly ten years ago). I'm particularly annoyed by the fact that the new TOS means logged out users will see ads on the actual journals of paid users. Yes, Russian law is homophobic and bad at privacy, but US law is also homophobic and bad at privacy, and I use any number of US-hosted websites including LJ up to last month, and including DW itself.

I didn't feel I had the moral high ground to refuse to post on a site that's hosted in a country that may at some point compel the site owners to take action that may harm gay people (LGBTQ people? my impression is that the worst persecution is targeted against gay men specifically, but I don't really know) in Russia. My judgement call had been that hey, I'm still on FB, and I know that Facebook has collaborated in spreading fake news to interfere in elections, has repeatedly banned or outed drag queens and trans* people, and has turned over the accounts, movement and association data of Black Lives Matter activists to the police. In fact I got the impression that SUP were doing the best they could to protect its non-Russian users, what with the loophole whereby paid users are still somehow under US jurisdiction. And even the horrible way of introducing the new TOS could be read as a deliberate warning to make non-Russian users take things seriously. So basically I was thinking, LJ just got one step worse, but it was already problematic (owned by a Russian company, even if hosted in the US, for example), and certainly not worse than Facebook.

But it turned out that the homophobia thing was a deal-breaker for basically all my friends. I admire you for being so moral, especially the straight people. People were just not willing to post content to a site hosted in a country that harms gay people. And really the only reason I was still posting to LJ at all was for the convenience of a few friends who strongly dislike DW. I had not expected that one more incremental step in LJ growing less and less moral would be the final straw, but the last few weeks have seen just about everybody up sticks and move over.

Dreamwidth now is just amazing, with nearly everybody back together in one place instead of spread over the two sites. I think it's probably around 2/3 of literally everybody from the heyday of LJ, but it really feels like the site has critical mass now, at least my corner of it. If I'm away from the internet for a day or two I can hardly catch up, and however much the underlying reason is depressing, it's been really great to see so many people I hadn't heard from for years popping up and rediscovering long-form blogging.

So having started out thinking, well, it's annoying but nothing much will change, I might as well carry on cross posting, the reality has been that there's basically nothing keeping me on LJ any more. I just unticked the box, and I've only now got round to making a post about it. I think I will not delete my old LJ because it's convenient to have an account for reading the last smattering of posts, and because I don't think my old stuff is particularly contributing to whatever evil Putin's government may be up to.

For people who want to stay (exclusively) on LJ, I certainly don't think badly of you. After all I very nearly stayed myself, and I know there are many reasons to continue with problematic sites. If you would like to follow my Dreamwidth, there is a feed at [livejournal.com profile] liv_dw, or you're entirely welcome to put that RSS into your feed reader of choice. You have to click through to comment; I won't see comments on the feed itself. You don't have to log in to comment, but please do write your name or handle, because I've had problems with an annoying anon guy so I want to know you're not him. I also very rarely lock posts, so you're not missing much.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-08 09:31 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] radinden
It depends on when you date the heyday of LJ, I suppose, but I think a substantial proportion of my flist had already dwindled away before all this went south: when finally making the proper move over here (despite having had an account since 2009), I found only maybe 15% at most of my flist was still active on one site or the other. I suppose a number may be in read-only mode like me, but the weeds were growing pretty high on most of the profiles and journals I checked.

(I did however manage to stalk to Facebook a couple of people with whom I'd lost LJ contact, where they seemed very happy, which was nice - but I left them in peace.)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-08 10:20 pm (UTC)
monanotlisa: alex and maggie next to each other (Default)
From: [personal profile] monanotlisa
I understand people sticking with a hateful service as long as said service is essential to them.

Facebook is, unfortunately -- especially as a woman about world. ;) Unless I were to set up an extremely sophisticated personal social networking system (e.g. send mails both group and personal, call, visit, and skype regularly with a large number of people), there's no alternative that lets my cousin in Cologne, my latest Berkeley baby queer, my sister in Sydney, my sweet first-job-buddy in Lisbon, and that cutie currently in Brooklyn follow my general-audiences adventures. (What I do, though, is limit my data provided, clear various connected services, and delete my data in intervals off Facebook.)

For me, because Livejournal was so inactive and so unpleasant by the point the new ToS rolled around, it wasn't an essential service by any stretch of the imagination any more.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-09 09:07 am (UTC)
miss_s_b: (Default)
From: [personal profile] miss_s_b
I actually think what killed LJ was those of us who left in 2009, in the expectation that what happened last month would happen, very early as it turns out. That was enough to take LJ below critical mass, and not enough to lift DW above critical mass, and FaceAche took the rest.

DW coming to life has massively cheered me up, but it doesn't feel like 2005 all over again; we're all a bit older and more cynical I think.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-09 10:19 pm (UTC)
miss_s_b: (Default)
From: [personal profile] miss_s_b
You might be right there

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-09 09:13 am (UTC)
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
The thing for me was not so much that LJ got less moral as that I could no longer continue to post and keep the t&c.

I do find DW a much friendlier place now there are more people, and I'm finding my own. I notice that I've been posting more public, too, but I always go through phases of that.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-09 10:10 am (UTC)
sfred: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sfred
If I'm away from the internet for a day or two I can hardly catch up
Isn't it great? :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-10 07:09 pm (UTC)
ephemera: celtic knotwork style sitting fox (Default)
From: [personal profile] ephemera
The change in TOS prompted me to do something with my fiction journals, which meant interacting with LJ while not logged in as a perm user, and wow - I am not OK with my content potentially encouraging people to that mess of really unpleasant ads - including one for LJ itself that looked like it was an ed for escort services....

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-14 10:02 pm (UTC)
hairyears: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hairyears
It's not so much the TOS and it's effects on me: it's the message that LJ's owners and their government are hostile.

And that, in turn, means that anything I contribute is complicity in hostile actions that they commit; and we all contribute a great deal of information merely by existing in the social graph.

Worse, it isn't about me: it's about my contribution being used in actions against people who cannot afford my own relaxed attitude to security. I have to treat everything I do online in terms of who else it could be used against, if I'm not as careful as they need me to be.

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Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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