LiveJournal Pounces on Potter “Slash”

CNet reports that LiveJournal has created an uproar by deleting blogs that feature  sexually explicit drawings of Harry Potter doing the nasty with other men.

The users’ journal entries contained "drawings depicting minors in explicit sexual situations," which represented a violation of LiveJournal’s policies, according to copies of the letters posted by their recipients.

In ponderosa121’s case, the offending image depicted an unclothed Harry Potter of ambiguous age receiving oral sex from sometimes-villain Severus Snape.

[…]the latest episode has fanfic devotees once again encouraging livid LiveJournal users to switch to "clone" sites in protest and to register their discontent through feedback emails.

Predictably, and laughably, the irate fanficcers are trying to equate Harry Potter porn with larger social issues in an effort to gain mainstream support. Good luck. The blog Darkside Rainbow says:

now users are wondering: who’s next? Will a mother be suspended for posting pictures of her baby’s first bath? Will a gay male be suspended for posting a photograph or even a drawing of himself and his boyfriend kissing? Will a closeted lesbian be suspended for using LiveJournal as a safe haven to discuss her erotic thoughts about other women? Will artists and writers be censored in their creativity because LiveJournal believes that writing or drawing about an act – be it sex, violence, etc. – construes endorsing and promoting it?

I don’t know what’s scarier…that these idiots can’t see the difference between Potter Porn and a picture of a mother bathing her child…or that the so-called "artists" of the Potter Porn are considered "respected members of the fanfic community."

12 thoughts on “LiveJournal Pounces on Potter “Slash””

  1. Thank you for skewing the articles completely out of context, as well as the entire reason behind the fandom uprising. Readers, please actually read the blogs referenced before judging.

  2. Hmmm well yeah the crazies are out in fandom again … To be honest it is a row that has been brewing for more than a few months so lets hope it blows over soon….
    But yeah – LJ HAS banned people for using icons of breastfeeding babies that have shown more anatomy than they think is desirable…
    Part of my problem with the whole issue is that LJ has altered its stance several times. Their customer communication has been unclear at best (with most major moves coming out of the blue). I’ll not be moving off LJ – I just don’t have the energy or the time to manage several blog accounts and I’m kinda moving out of fandom anyways.

  3. If you’re going to quote other people’s blogs, please try and quote them in the right context otherwise you’re casting *yourself* in the same mistaken light you cast unto them.
    If you’ve read Darkside properly instead of jumping to conclusions, then you’d realise he’s as horrified as you are.

  4. Respected members of the fanfic community. Is there such a group? If so, this Potter porn group must be near the “scraping the bottom of the barrel” layer.

  5. You fail to state that ponderosa121 was not banned from LJ because the age of HP as depicted in her drawing was questionable (I saw it and he looked to be around 18/19 to me), but because an LJ employee decided that the pic had no ‘artistic merit’. You really want that kind of censorship? I mean, where you live, the boundaries get more tight every day, so perhaps you don’t mind. I just hope that crap doesn’t spread to Europe where thankfully we still enjoy a little bit of freedom.

  6. It seems you don’t realize the entire issue here, despite having read those articles which outlined it very well. Basically, LiveJournal has NOT been properly displaying the Terms of Service in a way that clearly outlines the rules of acceptable content. And yet they see fit to ban/delete posts based on rules that only they know and LJ users can only guess at. The LJ community simply wants clarification so they know what they can post and what they can’t.
    But there’s also concern that such clarification would come with over-strict rules crossing the line of censorship. Considering that LiveJournal is not just a community but also a place for people to log their thoughts and feelings, it is a huge insult to tell the users they’re not allowed to think or feel a certain way, or rather that they cannot post that they do, in a public journal.
    That is what the users are upset about, that they can be gripped with an iron fist that they had no knowledge of when they signed up for a supposedly open means of discussion and sharing their feelings.
    If one thing can be banned for simply lacking “artistic merit”, then who knows what else they’ll deem deletable under the same umbrella term? THAT is the point that is being made.
    I find it odd that you’re a writer, and yet were unable to think about the significance of personal writing/art being constrained and discriminated against on basis of “artistic merit” or other ambiguous, silent rules. Please give the real issue at hand a moment of thought before making other, very unbiased articles, bend to your obvious slant.

  7. I think Lee understood the issue just fine. You’re the ones who don’t get it. Let me make it very simple for you:
    Don’t post pictures artwork of kids giving blowjobs and having anal sex and don’t violate the copyrights and trademarks of others or your blog will be deleted.
    Is that so hard to grasp??? That’s the only “issue” here. Everything else is a smokescreen by “fandom” crybabies who are upset that their porn sandbox has finally been tipped over.

  8. LJ isn’t saying people can’t think and feel what they wish, just that if it’s something LJ isn’t comfortable with, they can’t do it on LJ. No website is under a moral obligation to accept content that it feels morally wrong, socially irresponsible, obscene or otherwise unacceptable.
    And the ‘artistic merit’ thing: artistic merit is the standard defence against a charge of obscenity. The words in their context read: ‘non-photographic content involving minors in sexual situations which does not contain serious artistic or literary merit is likely in violation of Federal obscenity laws’. It’s the illegality rather than the artistic merit which is the issue.
    And if a drawing depicts a fictional character who is under the age of consent for the majority of his fictional life, and there’s no clear statement that the character is supposed to be of age during the act depicted, then it’s not unreasonable to conclude that the sex act involves a minor, or at least may do, and that’s something a public forum has to take seriously. Sexual expression shouldn’t be hindered, but sex with minors is a crime.
    LiveJournal doesn’t seem to be handling this particularly skilfully, but they’re under no obligation to host anything illegal. Drawn images of possible statutory rape are a borderline case, but it’s not unreasonable for them to err on the side of caution. The charitable explanation for the confusion is that they’ve been caught out by circumstances they didn’t anticipate and are having to improvise policy on the wing, in which case they should be in a meeting as we speak working out what the standard policies should be – but if those policies include banning depictions of illegal sex acts, they’ll be within their rights.
    What were the ‘mocking remarks’ that the LJ employee made anyway? I can’t find them anywhere.

  9. I have friends caught up in the kerfuffle and I have lost a lot of respect for them. Specifically, they’re bleating about how this is a denial of “the free speech rights of fanfiction authors.”
    BWUH? Wh-wh-wh-wh-WHAAAAAT? You’re kidding me, right?
    So now they’re spending a lot of time campaigning for “freedom for fandom” on LiveJournal when they should be, oh I don’t know, looking for a job to support their two children (the second of which is still on the way).
    I know that LiveJournal handled the whole thing poorly, and that their terms of service aren’t well defined, but COME ON, folks! This is NOT a First Amendment issue!


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