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The Great Enabler
chap
nmg

So far, I've refrained from posting about the Great Slashthrough (or whatever it was called). The calls for fandom[*] to up sticks and move to an LJ-a-like are, quite frankly, daft[**]. The big issue to arise from this is the nature of the interpretation of LJ's terms of service. As a company incorporated in California, LJ's legal context is understandably parochial, but the breastfeeding usericon debacle showed one thing to be clear. Despite the provisions in the Californian civil code with respect to public breastfeeding (Cal. Civil Code § 43.3 (1997)[***]), LJ/6A have so far demonstrated that they take a more conservative line than that which is required by the letter of the law. With this in mind, their attitude to drawings of possibly underage fictional characters doing rude but consensual things to each other was entirely predictable.

Less predictable is their attitude towards pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia communities, or ana/mia if you'd prefer to pretend that they're lifestyle choices and not life-threatening psychological conditions. I became aware of these a couple of years ago, but never really gave much thought as to whether they represented a contravention of LJ's terms of service. Given the following clause, it's fairly clear to me that they do:

XVI 13. Promote or provide instructional information about illegal activities, promote physical harm or injury against any governmental entity, group or individual, or promote any act of cruelty to animals. This may include, but is not limited to, providing instructions on how to assemble bombs, grenades, and other weapons or incendiary devices;

I'm then more that a little disappointed that LJ/6A have chosen to ignore communities that exist to enable self-harming behaviour, as this quote suggests:

we allow pro-anorexia communities to remain because they are, in most cases, serving as support groups for the members. Silencing them won't make their problems go away; we'd rather allow them to heal together as a community.

Let me restate that: LJ/6A is happy for communities that promote self-harm to remain because they're support groups? If that isn't enabling destructive behaviour, I'm not sure what is. Lest this be mistaken for a member of LJ staff voicing their personal opinion, we were later reassured (by the same person) that this was official policy. Either LJ/6A's policy is straight from cloud cuckoo land, or they need to rein in their staff before they commit another policy blunder.

(and a tip of the hat to hanacandi for spotting this)

[*] At this point I should point out that this is primarily the Harry Potter fandom I'm talking about. Quite why they describe themselves all-encompassingly as 'fandom' when they have little overlap with mainstream SF fandom is quite beyond me. But I digress.

[**] I'd also ask where the HP fandom was during the spat over breastfeeding images in default usericons.

[***] 43.3. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, except the private home or residence of another, where the mother and the child are otherwise authorized to be present.


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Fine, I call bollocks on your statistics. (Linkzplz, because the entire ED area is notoriously statistically inaccurate because of self-reporting and other issues.)

Yes, pro-ana groups do often promote harm, via dia-mia, purging, restriction, drugs, and so on. LJ_Abuse has said, publicly, that it will take action when instructional posts that would result in harm are reported to it. (The fact that many of the communities are locked and members aren't exactly going to report them is a barrier, of course.) The usual point about LJ_A needing direct links applies, so "OMG $comm is pro-ana!" isn't going to cut it. But if there's clear instructional material, the policy is to require the post's removal.

Yes, it would be idyllic if the only ED comms were support groups, OA, ABA, and so on because nobody were on a down-slope of a disorder. They're not, because not everybody has hit the rock bottom that one usually needs to hit before getting the help one requires.

I'm sorry that you've gone through the hell that is an eating disorder, because it's utterly diabolical. I know from firsthand experience. The problem with your metaphor is that people in these comms are not in ED units -- they haven't hit that rock bottom yet. As the standard LJ response states, and as I agree, allowing these groups to openly exist is better than driving them underground: it's more likely that an open group will result in either the sufferer recognising the reality of their disease and seeking help, or that another person they care about will do so and will get them the help they need. I'm not interested in you calling bollocks on this, frankly, and we may just have to disagree based on individual experience.

(Deleted comment)
1 & 2. Well, we're two rounds into each stating our respective separate conclusions based on the same facts, and I guess that means we'll have to agree to disagree on this.

3. Totally unconvinced by the stats there, based on sampling size, self-selection and geographical restriction. The conclusion seems pretty woolly too -- may doesn't exactly cut it for me. Sounds rather like the recent "scientific" conclusion that Type 2 diabetes meds are contributors to heart disease, rather than heart disease being a comorbidity of obesity, itself a factor in T2D.

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