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Hmm. They're still not getting it, are they?
Dear LiveJournal user bohemiancoast,

We have received a report that your default userpic, located at http://www.livejournal.com/userpic/46958643/536672, is presently in violation of LiveJournal's policies regarding default user picture icons. Our policies on the content restrictions on default userpics are described at http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=111. In particular, images of the female breast that depict the nipple or areola regions are inappropriate for use as a default userpic.

We must stress that the image itself is not a violation of this policy, simply the use of it as a default userpic, as default userpics are visible in many public areas throughout the site. You're welcome to continue using the userpic as a non-default icon. However, we must ask that you change your default userpic to something that does meet these guidelines, or select no default userpic at all.

We ask that you make these changes as soon as possible. Unfortunately, if the changes are not made by 00:01 on June 14, 2006, we will need to take temporary action to remove your account from public view until you can make these changes.


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I don't think they will "get it". It's their TOS, and given the default/non default option they obviously think they've struck a reasonable balance, as do a large no of their users - only 8 on my FL deleted their Ljs on 6/6/6 out of c 150? . The real question is, what are you going to do?

If that's their decision, they haven't actually told ProMoM or the boob-nazis that. They said they were reviewing the policy 'over the next several months'. Obviously not terribly hard given that they're still suspending people.

I am almost certainly going to change my default icon to one that meets the LJ TOS. The thing that's particularly outrageous about all of this is that it's quite clear that they're prepared to ban huge swathes of inoccuous artwork along with the breastfeeding icons; but all manner of appalling stuff is allowed. I'm just not sure I want any of it on my icon...

So you're not at A & M's party?

No, we decided we were too tired to drive to Cambridge for it.

I missed the plane! so went home instead!

I suppose that it's understandable that they continue with this so-called 'policy' whilst they are reviewing. However, I would prefer a more neutral stance in a review period.

(Not really relevant, but I think it's possible to hand-post an image into almost any place where the default userpic appears?)

The search pages now show default icons in search results; I think that's the specific reason they're bothered as to what your default icon shows.

ps actually on recount it was 9 who deleted (inc one who hasn't undeleted :-)

Might I suggest that you start an LJ community to highlight this issue? It could be a good way to gather many opinions in one place in order to make LJ take you more seriously.

You mean like this:


Or if you want an external site that discusses LJ Abuse's abuses you can go here:


This latter has an interesting catalogue of abuse over the years, including some rather murky comments about Denise, the head of LJ abuse.

Interestingly, Denise's LJ, under the name of rahaeli, has a rather nice collection of userpics extracted from the work of artist David Mack. I do wonder if she has permission to use these, or if she's breaking the LJ rules about copyright material. Not that LJ Abuse would take any notice...

Meanwhile, it seems that the president of 6 Apart has an LJ:


so if you want to send a message to the person at the top...

Thanks for the information. It seems something is happening because they are reviewing things. Legal action is likely possible on breast-feeding at least because the law is usually on your side and it just makes sense mostly. Few things in this world are more natural… but then again sex is pretty damned natural too. Yet, though there is an innocence and purity to breastfeeding, there is also the idiotic social taboos surrounding a woman's breasts. To me the answer is to make neither a taboo, but that is a whole other discussion.

I'd also point out that I've been involved in web communities for over ten years and I've never seen one yet where the moderators/ abuse-team/ what-have-you were not hated by large numbers of members. Most often they are just volunteers following site rules and don't often set these rules themselves. I'd not pick on them easily as a result as the job is a thankless and extremely difficult one, but I would easily attack policy that results in unreasonable censorship. There is a balance to be sure. Plus LJ's team are far less heavy-handed than most I've seen, where they sometimes monitor every word you write and ban without warning.

However, in this case they only complain about default icons and not about anything else you do. This does not seem like a situation where I'd consider them to be evil/ grossly unfair/ heavy-handed/ etc. LJ is community for anyone and everyone and the sad fact is that many people out there are freaked out by silly things (and yes, I include negative reactions to any kind of artful nudity silly too). They cannot win because to make one crowd happy is to annoy another. So what do they do? Picking sides is not really an option for them. They have to find a balance and they state their intern in their TOS right up front. Am I wrong?

Part of the problem seems to me that they actually changed their criteria in order to ban an existing icon.

Tell them it's a man-boob in the picture.

Some of the legal icons showing man-boobs are really horrid, in fact.

I am pretty sure it's not a breast at all in my photo. The pics come from the Avent site, and I am fairly sure that the 'breastfeeding' one is photoshopped from the bottle feeding one.

I am wondering how stylised the representation of the nipple has to be before it's ok. They sent a suspension notice on the Klimt. Would a pic of three concentric circles fail? Only if the colour choice was wrong? What about the 'Love Is' children? I might iconise

where can I get ahold of these people? this Justin? I have some icons he should see and if those people are allowed to keep their icons up I will seriously consider legal action against Six Apart.

Hmm. LJ Abuse, it is. I It's only default icons, though, that the concern was with.

still icons and icons they use while commenting...if they're going to fight they have to fight fair. I also laughed when I saw Denise' profile of the LJA team. I emailed her and said I found her highly unprofessional and hilarious that she was so offended by a woman's breasts when she is obviously one too.

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