ETA: This post has been made public and not public so often that I've decided, "Fuck it. I got shit-all to worry about. It's public and it's staying public." Mostly because despite my best efforts, I can't prove anything that anyone says. So know what? It's public and that's that.
ETA2: I am not linking to the "Warriors for Innocence" site. Google it if you want to see it.
ETA3: I have received a response. I will post it up tonight after supper.
ETA THE BIG CHEESE: I've followed up this post with the Warriors for Innocence response, and my response back.
Also, a lot of information is probably going to be shared in response to this post and the follow up, so I urge you all to remember one important thing...confirm, confirm, confirm wherever possible. There are a lot of rumors floating around right now, and it's hard to separate the truth from hysteria. Lord knows I ran into that earlier today, so take a lesson from me on this one.
I only ask that you please keep a cool head, and please keep it polite. Do not threaten violence or to do anything illegal. Any threats that involve the commission of crimes will be deleted. This is for your protection as well as mine. I've got a ton of people linking to me at the moment, so friendly banter or blowing off steam can be taken the wrong way.
Okay. I'm gonna take this in steps.
On Friday, I posted about the perfect storm of wank in fandom. A small part of that post mentioned in passing that there was a rumor that LJ was being pressured to shut down and kill the accounts of certain LJ users and communities with questionable intersts listed. Fandom assumed that it was aimed at us.
As it turns out, that rumor is actually partially correct. My correspondent was kind of enough to give me links to some group calling itself "Warriors for Innocence," which has decided to turn its sights on LJ. The goal is to pressure LJ/SixApart to shut down LJs of people these bloggers have determined to be "pedophiles" or potential pedophiles.
Now the group does blog some squick-worthy examples, it's true. However, LJ Abuse's responses are also right on the money.
For example, saying "I find 5-year-old girls hott!!1!!!1" while positively squick-worthy, ick-worthy, and unfriending-worthy is a far cry from actually sexually exploiting a 5-year-old girl or posting pictures of 5-year-old girls who are being sexually exploited.
In short: no crime, no time out from LJ.
What you can't see is the screened response from someone purporting to be from "Warriors for Innocence" responding to the commenter.
This response, by the way, was posted within an hour after my correspondent gave me the heads up. That kind of coincidence makes my teeth itchy. That and the fact that I am automatically suspicious of any organization that uses the word "warrior" in its name that isn't associated with: 1) sports and; 2) Battlestar Galactica.
Frankly, I was just gonna leave the comment screened, although I did click on the link. Then I tried to Google the organization. The dearth of information about them makes me, well, deeply uncomfortable here.
The more I thought about it, the more I didn't like the fact that they showed up in my LJ within an hour of being mentioned, and the more I didn't like the fact that these people had very clearly not done any of their homework.
Now let me be clear: I think cyberpatrolling and nailing cyber-predators is a good idea.
However, doing it without training, without an association with an actual law enforcement agency, and without transparent operational guidelines that the public can inspect at any time strikes me as a bad idea at best and vigilantism at worst.
Listen, I've known people who've volunteered on these official cyberpatrols, citizens like myself and you, and they are intensively trained and supervised by local law enforcement. They work hard, and are dedicated, and volunteered so much of themselves for this duty. I've even sat in on a few sessions as they went around various chart rooms or internet discussion boards and waited for the predators to come to them. I know how hard they work to keep from crossing the line into entrapment while making sure to get the evidence from the bad guys "on chat log" or email. It's legit, and it's hard, and no, I wouldn't do it for a million dollars, let alone for free.
And that's why "Warriors for Innocence" have annoyed me, even beyond the fact that a portion of my FList went into panic when this rumor started.
In any case, I sent them the following email (which is available under the LJ Cut if you want to read it). If "Warriors for Innocence" answers the questions, I'll post the answers.
Okay, okay. That reads wanky as hell, I know. But I was deeply annoyed by their blog, for all the reasons stated above.
And now that I've outed myself as hating Wincest, Twincest, and other-cest in all its forms, at least you know I'll be the first to say you've got the right to write it (provided you properly warn for it).