dawn_felagund (dawn_felagund) wrote in silwritersguild,

The LiveJournal ToS and Dreamwidth Import

At the end of April, I requested member input on two questions related to our LiveJournal community: 1) Should we comply with the troubling new Terms of Service or refuse to do so, even at the possible risk of losing our LJ community? 2) What, if any, backup of this community should we make on Dreamwidth? (Read the original LJ post here; read it in our newsletter here.)

My comoderators and I had discussed these questions already and were uncomfortable with complying with the new ToS, which essentially forced us to lock the community as "adults only" because our community includes slash fiction and discussion of slash/LGBTQ+ issues. We do not feel that stories and discussions about LGBTQ+ people are "adult," nor do we believe that they are harmful to children, and we do not think that, in the year 2017, it is a reasonable request to label them as such. It flies in the face of our group's values to insist that some of our members' sexual orientations and gender identities are somehow "harmful" and needing to be locked away. It is also contrary to foundational SWG policy and values to require authors to lock their content from certain users--in this case, minors.

However, since we are potentially jeopardizing this community in refusing to comply with the ToS, it did not seem fair to make that decision without member input. The SWG is not democratically run, but we do value our members' input and try to honor it whenever possible.

We posed the two questions via an anonymous survey on Google Forms. Fifty-four people responded. Based on the results of the survey, 44% of participants supported not following the new ToS. 4% felt we should comply only if LJ insisted that we must. 37% felt that we should comply. 15% offered other ideas or variations on the choices:

  • 6% did not want to comply but only if the community was backed up to Dreamwidth first.

  • 2% felt we should comply only as a last resort.

  • 4% felt that we should comply (and offered additional explanation as to why).

  • 4% didn't know.

(Please note that percentages are rounded and so do not add up to 100%.)

Survey data, therefore, shows a slight majority preference for not complying with the new ToS. Coupled with a strong moderator preference for this course of action, this is how we will proceed. Obviously, we hope that LJ will not attempt to enforce the ToS and our community can continue to exist as it has for more than twelve years now. But we're prepared to accept the consequences if they decide to take a hard line on the new rules.

The next issue concerned backup to our Dreamwidth community. We've had a community on Dreamwidth since 2011, but it is little used aside for admin posts. 87% of survey participants felt that we should import posts from the LiveJournal community to the Dreamwidth community at the same access level (i.e., public or members-only). While a few people preferred access levels to be stricter (i.e., members-only or mods-only), and a few people shared other approaches to consider, no one opposed a Dreamwidth import outright.

Given this strong preference for a full import, I imported the LiveJournal community (both posts and comments) to Dreamwidth tonight. The Dreamwidth community can be found here.

In the weeks to come, we will be reaching out to members who posted to LiveJournal and are not aware of this import. Anyone who does not wish to have their content posted to Dreamwidth can let us know, and we will delete their posts from the Dreamwidth community. You can let us know by commenting here or sending me a private message on LJ, using the account your content on our community is found under. There is no deadline for doing this, so if you're not sure how you feel yet or find this a year or five years after the import, we are still willing to delete your content, if that is your preference.

If you have content on our LiveJournal community, and you have read this post and understand that we have imported all content to Dreamwidth, please comment here to let us know so that we do not contact you about the import.

As always, questions are welcome on this post as well, or at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.
Tags: mod post
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