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Response from Six Apart

As you are aware, on Friday we sent out a request to a member of this community asking her to remove her default user picture because it was found to be in violation of our standard restrictions for default userpics after being reported by a fellow LJ user.

Enforcing these restrictions is not a fun or enjoyable part of the LJ Abuse staff’s job, but it is important to maintain consistency throughout our service so that everyone (kids, adults, and parents) can know what to expect when they use LJ. We do our best to have as few restrictions as possible. With any restriction we attempt to make sure that we have a clear, objective test.

To use an analogy, this is like a police officer having to enforce speed limits in neighborhoods where kids play. When enforcing these policies, sometimes you end up catching someone who is in fact a very law abiding citizen, but who just happened to be driving over the speed limit.

That being said, we’d like to sincerely apologize for the following:

  • The lack of sensitivity our procedures appeared to show toward the right for women to breastfeed their children.
  • The confusion and perception that LiveJournal and/or Six Apart is against mothers who choose to breastfeed their children.
  • The impression that we simply were not willing to listen, when in fact we are.
  • The lack of clarity on the policies, which was possibly made worse when we updated our FAQ on Saturday. We updated the FAQ to clarify our policy, not to change it in response to this specific situation.

Simply stated:

  • LiveJournal is in no way against breastfeeding or breastfeeding mothers. We salute your dedication to raising happy, healthy children.
  • In the process of enforcing our policy, we are not saying in any way that userpics showing breastfeeding are wrong or inappropriate.
  • We appreciate your voices and your use of our service.

At present, we have agreed to review both our policies and our enforcement procedures to ensure that we are acting both consistently and fairly.  Along with this, we want to add appropriate detail to our online FAQ so that it accurately reflects our policy.  I look forward to involving xavi7734 in this process.

By way of background, our Abuse team revisits these policies regularly to make sure they're the right solution for our users and for the company, and we'll be looking for ways that we can better address grey areas (like userpics supporting breastfeeding). We've always believed firmly in free expression, and we think that our policy of being strict about what's allowed in default user icons but lenient about what's allowed in non-default icons is a good balance between two very different points of view. We'll be working in the upcoming weeks and months to make absolutely certain that we have the right policy and the right way to handle issues.

Finally, we very much appreciate your support of LJ and the value that your community and those like yours bring. As I have conveyed toxavi7734, it’s because of users like yourselves that LJ exists, and we want to continue to run a service that enables you to create community, connect with others, and express yourselves in a free, safe, and positive manner.

I look forward to reading your feedback to this post as a temporary member of the community. 

Thanks

Father of 4 breast fed children,
Doug Bryan
VP of Business Operations, Six Apart

Comments

dreamalynn
May. 25th, 2006 01:13 pm (UTC)
dougbryan I'm going to be 100% frank.

I've seen a lot of gratitude expressed here for your sensitivity and your time and your response to our concerns.

I don't share it.

I don't see sensitivity here, I see pandering. And since your time is supposed to be spent dealing with the customers of your company and meeting their needs, I'm not going to thank you for doing your job for which I'm sure you're well paid.

And by no means will I thank you for a response that does nothing new to address our concerns at all. There is nothing here but the same stack of non-answers, the same put offs, the same offensive analogies, the same mischaracterizations of our argument, the same suggestions that there are "grey areas" in need of clarity and the same promises of discussion and progress that we've been seeing all week.

The only thing that's different here is the name of the deliverer -- plus that cute little bit about your children and how they were fed, as if that's in the least bit relevant, or something other than an attempt at pacifying us with an impression that you're an ally to breastfeeding advocacy while everything in the tenor and words of your response makes it clear that you are not.

This, sir, is nothing more than a patronizing pat on the head. I'd say that this was a bone thrown to us to keep us occupied as time ticks by - a death clock on the accounts of some of our members - but there's not even a bone here! There aren't even scraps.

I hope, quite strongly, far more strongly than I am able to put into words, that the next time we hear from someone from Six Apart/LiveJournal, they have something meaningful to say.

There is surely no meaning to what I've read here.
assfab
May. 25th, 2006 01:22 pm (UTC)
The only thing that's different here is the name of the deliverer -- plus that cute little bit about your children and how they were fed, as if that's in the least bit relevant, or something other than an attempt at pacifying us with an impression that you're an ally to breastfeeding advocacy while everything in the tenor and words of your response makes it clear that you are not.

couldn't have said it better
samuraigrrrl
May. 25th, 2006 02:14 pm (UTC)
amen.
witchbaby33
May. 25th, 2006 03:00 pm (UTC)
yes yes and yes. thank you!
theprophecygirl
May. 25th, 2006 03:02 pm (UTC)
Yes, yes, yes. THANK YOU.

I'd say that this was a bone thrown to us to keep us occupied as time ticks by - a death clock on the accounts of some of our members - but there's not even a bone here! There aren't even scraps.

That's exactly what it seems like to me. My journal is gone tonight, my timer is almost up. I see no reason to believe it won't be suspended, nor do I feel, from this response, that it's even likely to be reinstated in the future.
ahavah
May. 28th, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)
*Applauds!*
Well said.