January 9th, 2010

music, serious face


This announcement is important enough that I won't be approving any new entries until midnight so that this remains prominent.

There was a situation earlier this week where an entry about committing suicide started to collect anonymous comments from people who found it through Google while trying to find do-it-yourself instructions. This ended up in the entry being deleted, and me having a conversation with LJ Abuse about where the line is between allowed and not-allowed, according to the LiveJournal Terms of Service.

The entry that was deleted was not allowed because it was specific enough that someone could have used it as a step-by-step guide. Additionally, although the author mentioned her "character", it wasn't obviously fiction.

I believe that some of you saw this entry when it was posted and were concerned. I don't think that many of the entries posted here are against the TOS, but if you have that concerned feeling--"hey, wait a minute, is this really for fiction? should we really be answering this?"--then the entry may be against the TOS. Probably. Maybe.

LJ Abuse tells me that there's no hard and fast rule for determining whether an entry in this community (because it's for fiction) will be against the TOS, but if one is reported, they'll look at how specific the instructions are, as well as how believable it is that it's for a fictional story. They also suggested that "controversial" entries be friends-locked, so that no one will find them through search engines.

So there is going to be a new rule:

Entries that are asking for advice on how a character can commit illegal or self-harming acts need to be friends-locked so that only people who are members of this community, and hopefully know what it's for, can read it.

If for some reason you forget to friends-lock but the entry otherwise follows the rules, you'll be given a day or so to friends-lock, and then the entry will be deleted. I may decide to repost the entry and comments to save the information.

The user info will be updated later, once I've seen what kinds of questions you guys have about this rule.

(I'd also like to tell you that in case anything happens to the community here, there's a mirror on Dreamwidth. It's currently not active; it's the back-up.)