Dascha Polanco at the Tracy Reese Fashion Show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015
Just about seven years ago, on 29 May 2007, hundreds of fans with accounts at Livejournal woke uo make the shocking discovery that their blogs, and those of some of their friends and favorite fandom communities, had been deleted without prior notice.
It’s estimated that Livejournal suspended approximately 500 blog accounts. The only notice of this was was the strike through the names of the suspended blogs, which led to this event being called Strikethrough.
At the time, Livejournal was the primary blogging platform for fandom. Its friends list and threaded conversations enabled fans to find each other and have discussions. Its privacy settings allowed fans to share as much or as little as they chose. It was a place to publish and archive fan fic, art, and meta. These features give some idea why the deletions of so many fandom blogs had been so devastating.
Speculation and uncertainty were rampant during the two days it took for Livejournal to finally respond to demands from users for information. At first, LJ stated only that it had been advised that journals listing an illegal activity as an interest could be regarded as soliciting for that illegal activity, which put the site at legal risk. It was eventually revealed that Livejournal and its owners at the time, Six Apart, had been contacted by a group calling themselves Warriors for Innocence, a conservative Christian organization with ties to the militia movement who accused LJ of being a haven for pedophiles and child pornography.
LJ had based the account suspensions on the tags used in LJ blogs. LJ users list their interests in their profiles, and those interests functions as tags. LJ took the blanket view that there was no difference between blogs listing “rape”.”incest”, or “pedophilia” among their interests, and blogs with posts tagged “rape”. “incest”, or “pedophilia”. As a consequence, some of the accounts that were suspended were support sites for rape survivors and gay teens, as well as the fandom sites that posted book discussions, RP, fan fiction, and fan art.
Livejournal grudgingly issued a partial apology to users on 31 May, but it took months for the organization to sort through the suspended blogs. According to Livejournal, most of the suspended accounts were restored. Not all of the suspended accounts were restored, and some of those that weren’t belonged to the support groups and fandoms.
One result of Strikethrough was that many communities and individual fans locked their blogs so the content could be viewed only community members, or those on their friends lists. Other fans opened accounts at blogging platforms like JournalFen, The Greatest Journal, or Insane Journal. There was definitely an atmosphere of mistrust and paranoia that hadn’t previously existed, and part of the problem was that Livejournal had not come through with promised clarification about what sort of content violated the ToS.
So, of course, it happened all over again.
On 3 August, Livejournal once again suspended a number of accounts without warning. This time, the account names were bolded, and the event became known as Boldthrough.
These deletions were the result of decisions made by a group consisting of members of LiveJournal’s Abuse Prevention Team, made up of LiveJournal employees and Six Apart staff, that had been set up to review blog content. This group was had been empowered to declare blog content offensive, a violation of the ToS that was defined by the team as content not containing enough serious artistic value to offset the sexual nature of the material. The team was empowered to terminate accounts without warning.
Anxious and angry LJ users waited ten days until LJ issued a response. Eventually, the ToS was changed to state that accounts deemed in violation of the ToS would in future be deleted only if the offender refused to delete offending content.
Just a few days before Strikethrough, LJ user astolat proposed a new blogging platform and fan fic archive, one that would be be created by fans, for fans. This was the birth of the Organization for Transformative Works, a non-profit organization dedicated to provide access to fanworks, and to protect and defend fanworks from commercial exploitation and legal challenge. Strikethrough and Boldthrough definitely pushed the project along. OTW opened DreamWidth in beta mode in April 2009, and began open beta testing of Archive of Our Own in November 2009. (EDIT: 29 August 2014 - It has been brought to my attention that this article implies that OTW was responsible for creating DW, which is definitely not the case. I apologize for this inaccuracy, and plan to correct this article in the near future regarding the origin of DW.)
In mid-January 2010, DreamWidth came under pressure by an undisclosed group who tried to convince DW’s server and PayPal, among others, that DW was a platform for child pornography. DW refused to give in to the harassment and intimidation, and promptly notifed users about the situation. The only consequence of the group’s pressure was that new requests for paid services were temporarily put on hold until DW was able to find a new payment processor service. DW remained true to its Guiding Principles by keeping users informed throughout this incident, and respecting freedom of expression by refusing to delete any posts or blogs to satisfy the demands of the group of trolls.
Which brings us to Tumblr.
Tumblr was launched in 2007. While not all fans have embraced it, citing reasons like character restrictions in replies and asks and the difficulty of finding others who share one’s fandom, it’s certain that the majority of fandoms are well-represented.
However, in July 2013, fans once again expressed outrage when Tumblr - without warning – removed accounts flagged as “NSFW” or “Adult” from public searches, made those blogs inaccessible to Tumblr users not already following them, and deleted a number of tags from its mobile app, including #gay, #lesbian and #bisexual. In a manner unsettlingly reminiscent of Strikethrough and Boldthrough, Tumblr did not immediately respond, and the response posted 24 hours later was widely regarded as a non-apology apology. Tumblr claimed it had been trying to get rid of commercial porn blogs, and eventually asserted that all the removed accounts had been reinstated.
If there’s a lesson to be learned from this, it’s that which George Santayana proclaimed: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Most blogging and social networking sites are in business to make a profit, and fandoms make them uncomfortable. They inevitably take steps to control the content being posted, to keep outside groups or their new owners happy, disrupting fandoms and deleting material that fans had considered to be safely stored.
The only solution I can see is for fans to copy and back up the things that are important. Maintain active accounts at several sites. Keep a list of your friends’ pseudonyms and emails.
Because the only thing that’s certain is that it’s going to happen again, when we least expect it.
I highly recommed that you read A brief history of fandom, for the teenagers on here who somehow think tumblr invented fandom: by ofhouseadama.
This article is still being revised. I intend to eventually make proper footnotes at some point, but until then, here’s a list of sources I used in writing this article:
THIS VIDEO WAS SO SATISFYING
This gives me life
How music changed from 2000-2013.
sexyback was 8 years ago jesus christ
Full image link →
The same brooch.
The same pearls.
The same love.
too beautiful not to reblog
Nisshin Seifun (2010) - Commercial directed by Katsuya Kondo / TV Spot designed by Toshio Suzuki and Goro Miyazaki
Red Dwarf + Text Posts
"See when a man bleeds, it’s just tissue. But blood from one of you Things won’t obey when it’s attacked.
It’ll try and survive… Crawl away from a hot needle, say”
i don’t feel like i improved that much in gif creation but then i looked back at the post and (@/////////@) omg it is so jerky and the framerate sucks… it was from before the gif size limit increased!!
will probably make some more this was fun sorryboutit
I AM ON A MISSION. I AM GOING TO FOLLOW EVERY FUCKING BLOG ON THIS SITE. ALL OF THEM. HELP ME ACHIEVE THIS GOAL, INTERNET STRANGERS, BY REBLOGGING THIS POST AND I WILL FOLLOW ALL WHO REBLOG IT. E V E R Y O N E.
you gotta follow milf porn blogs as well then
Crows are scary
- use tools
- Can be taught to speak (like parrots)
- Have huge brains for birds
- like seriously their brain-to-body size ratio is equal to that of a chimpanzee
- They vocalize anger, sadness, or happiness in response to things
- they are scary smart at solving puzzles
- some ravens stay with their mates until one of them dies
- they can remember faces
- SIDENOTE HERE BECAUSE HOLY SHIT. They did an experiment where these guys wore masks and some of them fucked with crows. Pretty soon the crows recognized the masks = douchebag. But the nice guys with masks they left alone. THEN, OH WE’RE NOT DONE, NO SIR crows that WEREN’T EVEN IN THE EXPERIMENT AND NEVER SAW THE MASK BEFORE knew about mask-dudes and attacked them on sight. THEY PASSED ON THE FUCKING INFORMATION TO THEIR CROW BUDDIES.
- They remember places where crows were killed by farmers and change their migration patterns.
Guys I’m really scared of crows now.
i love crows so much
crows are amazing
My favorite legend is that crows are the souls of the dead
crows are the coolest shit
Yeah but have you seen this
YAY!!! I cannot believe it, but I have reached a phenomenal 50,000 followers (now 55,555)! That’s 49,500 more than I ever hoped to have, hehe, and to celebrate and say thank you for your unbelievable support, I want to give a little something back.
There will be three lucky winners who will each win one of these prizes…
The large Oh-Totoro (grey) plushie.
The medium Chu-Totoro (blue) plushie.
The small Chibi-Totoro (white) plushie.
All three of these plushies are genuine Japanese merchandise and feature the official “Approved by Studio Ghibli” sticker, so are very high quality! ^___^
HOW TO ENTER:
1. You must be following oh-totoro
- I will check this after making the draw and redraw if necessary.
2. You must reblog this post.
- Each reblog counts as an entry. You may reblog once per day.
3. You must be willing to give me your postal address.
- Well, this should be obvious.
4. A photo of each winner with their prize would be greatly appreciated so I can reblog it to oh-totoro, but this is not a requirement.
DATE OF DRAW:
Thursday 31st July 2014 (and will be announced a week later)
I will contact the three winners on this date and give them 48 hours to respond to my Ask. If I don’t receive a response, I will nudge up those who have responded and redraw the lowest prize. This will also be the case if Asks are not enabled. Make sure your Asks are enabled!
WHO CAN ENTER:
Anybody can enter. I will post to any country. So don’t miss out!
Good luck! x