Morgan Briarwood (briarwood) wrote,
Morgan Briarwood

Why I've Locked My Journal

[Before I go into this, here's a PSA: if you are on my flist and you are posting about the bloody World Cup, I am going to temporarily defriend you until it's over. Please don't take this personally. It's not you, it's the bloody football - the internet is where I come to escape it.]

Now, a follow up to my last post. Here's the thing. If you've been reading my LJ for any length of time, you know I'm not happy with the way TPTB run things around here.

First there was Nipplegate, which in spite of my feminist leanings I kept quiet about because all those breastfeeding icons really squick me out anyway. Would I class them as 'obscene' as LJ did? No. But I'd rather not see them.

Then came Strikethrough07. This was not about LJ trying to clean up its content, nor about the cancellation of certain accounts. It wasn't about the way LJ cravenly capitulated to a hate group and didn't even check whether the people they banned were posting anything wrong. For me it was about the way the LJ admins continually and openly talked about a couple of fan artists as if they were child pornographers. It showed an utter contempt for their user base and an inability to listen to the multitude of intelligent discussion explaining in very reasonable terms why they should not fucking hurt these people.

This was followed by Boldthrough, then a lot of backtracking and waffle, but the truth is nothing has really changed since then. Even the owners of the site have changed but the general attitude of the admins toward the userbase has not.

We are not people to them: we are cash cows.

We are not customers or clients to them: we are their property.

Nothing illustrates this better than the new outbound link script, which adds Livejournal's affiliate code to any links we post in our own journals. The only way to prevent this is to add an affiliate code of your own. Yes, there is an opt-out, but a) it makes the site itself less usable - try it and see! and b) it affects only you, and only if you're logged in. It doesn't prevent LJ hijacking your links any way it wants to. There are some serious security issues associated with this, and any time I post a link I am knowingly exposing my friends to that risk. That makes me culpable, in my world view.

Even if LJ were to recant and disable this latest idiocy, they'll only come up with a worse one.

So I am no longer willing to support this site in any way.

I have a permanent accout here, something I deeply regret paying for as it means my money effectively funded Strikethrough, but I can't take it back now. If I leave LJ altogether, they not only have my money for nothing, but I also lose a lot of good friends who, for whatever reason, don't currently post on other LJ-clone sites. So what do I do?

Here's my solution. I have locked all of the previous content in my LJ except fic and certain posts I know have been linked to from eleswhere, such as metafandom. Most of my fic posts have been edited and now redirect to Dreamwidth or AO3. Anything I post other than fiction from now on will be friends-locked and cross-posted from Dreamwidth. For now, I'll continue to post fic publicly and to allow comments on LJ. This might change; in fact it will change the next time LJ fucks up, and I'm quite certain that's a when not an if.

This way, I am not creating new public content that will benefit LJ. And as my account is permanent, you won't see ads on my posts. And I've figured out how to code links so they aren't live. It's a pain: you'll have to copy/paste links to see what I'm linking to which is why I've not done it in this post, but that way LJ can't hack them. It's the best I can do for now.

I would have done this two years ago, but for two things: Dreamwidth didn't exist then, and I have a very good friend whom I knew read my journal, but who did not herself have an LJ. Now she does, albeit rarely used, so if she wants to read my locked posts she now can.

I know those of you who are still here and not crossposting elsewhere have your reasons, just as I have my reasons for shunning Facebook and Twitter. But if y'all want a Dreamwidth invite code, I have them to give away. And if you want to see me posting on some other site, let me know. If the site suits me, I'll join in. If we all move, no one has to lose any friends.

There are a small number of people who have friended my LJ but I haven't friended back. In most cases, these are people who don't ever comment on my posts, so I'm going to assume they're not reading me anyway. You can feel free to correct that impression with a comment if you wish.

I haven't yet figured out a 'policy' for anyone who wants to 'friend' me in future, but I would much prefer people follow me on Dreamwidth now, where I automatically friend back anyone who isn't fictional (yes, I'm serious - I got added by Arthur Pendragon!) or a person whose journal content I actively dislike. Dreamwidth is still technically in beta; when that changes I'll give more thought to closing my LJ even tighter.

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