Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Six Apart Idiocy, Yet Again

I do not support censorship, including of things that I dislike and consider harmful, because censorship is both an intellectually dishonest strategy of opposition and also not really nearly as effective as the intellectually honest strategy of simply making your own counterarguments heard. It is certainly easier than the intellectually honest strategy, though, which is why it's so popular.

Anyway, our evil LiveJournal overlords have already made it clear that they support censorship plenty. That would have been quite bad enough, but they also keep revealing more and more by the minute how ridiculously backwards their hierarchies of supposed "harmfulness" are. What sort of behavior could be so harmful that it merits immediately permanently deleting a person's entire LiveJournal without giving them any opportunity to undo the offense? Drawing pictures of two fictional male characters whom Six Apart judges to be under 18 (despite the fact that the drawing was apparently presented as an illustration for a short story in which the fictional characters were clearly specified as being 22 years old) having sex. How will the poor 22-year-old fictional characters ever recover from this abusive experience in which they were forced to take part in "child" pornography although there were no actual children present? All LiveJournal users will have to donate money to pay for the fictional characters' psychotherapy for the next 30 years!

Meanwhile, what sorts of behavior aren't harmful at all, according to Six Apart? Here's one: Urging eating-disordered real teenagers to lose more weight, and offering them tips on how to do so. LiveJournal employee coffeechica, who confirmed that she was speaking here as an official spokesperson for LiveJournal and Six Apart, says:
[W]e 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. (source)
And, about those same pro-anorexia communities:
[I]t's not illegal to aspire to be thin. It's not against the ToS to give people bad advice.(source)
Yes, that's right - "bad advice" to lose more weight when you're already 75 pounds and 5'5" isn't harmful! Nothing at all about that situation violates the terms of service requiring users not to use LiveJournal for harmful purposes! Meanwhile, Canada's National Eating Disorder Information Centre website reminds us:
The death rate for eating disorders is high: it ranges between 18% (in 20-year studies) and 20% (in 30-year follow-up studies). In fact, the annual death rate associated with anorexia is more than 12 times higher than the annual death rate due to all other causes combined for females between 15 and 24 years old. (Information originally from Carolyn Cavanaugh's article "What We Know About Eating Disorders: Facts and Statistics" in the book Eating Disorders: A Reference Sourcebook.)
In conclusion: Urging emotionally disturbed people toward 20% chance of death? Not harmful at all! But drawing pictures of fictional 22-year-olds having sex and looking as if they might be 17-year-olds? VERY HARMFUL!

But lee_rowan has a suggestion for how paid users and former paid users (or permanent users who spent money to obtain their accounts) can fight back: contact the San Francisco Better Business Bureau.

You may also wish to read thevelvetsun's open letter calling for the proanorexia community to be suspended.
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