liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,
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Another Exchange of Emails

Continued from the following posts: About that LJ Rumor...
Continued in the following posts:  A Swiftly Tilting LJ... and LJ User Action Centers


This is continued from the post About that LJ Rumor...

As I said, I did receive an answer to my email.

Needless to say, I did respond to it.

First, the Warriors for Innocence response, followed by mine.

Please excuse me if I don't respond. I'm...well...overwhelmed at the moment. Please know that there's a lot of information getting shared in comments to this post and I'm sure more will be shared in comments to this entry as well.

And remember...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.


Hello Lizbeth,
 
I apologize for replying inappropriately (to your correspondent) on your site. We do not have an LJ, so I am not familiar with the protocols and etiquette. I'd also like to apologize for causing so many problems within your LJ community. That was not my intention, and my comment on your site was an effort to alleviate some of the concern.
 
I will answer your questions in order. If I leave something out, please let me know and I will respond.
 
I can fully understand your anger directed at our site. Please feel free to delete my comment and post any information about Warriors For Innocence (WFI) that you feel appropriate. I would hope after my response that you will get a clearer picture of what we do and why we do it.
 
I was not following any commenters around LJ. Our visitor monitor shows where our visitors are referred from. We received many visits from LJ sites. This is a rare event, and when I clicked on the link to your site, I found that comment with a link to WFI.
 
I am not associated with a Law Enforcement (LE) agency. I do however, work closely with LE and report many illegal sites and activities to local LE and to the NCMEC/Cyber Tip Line. I have spoken to the NCMEC on the phone several times (per their request, not mine) about illegal sites and missing children.
 
We do have links to both the NCMEC and the Cyber Tip Line in our side bar. We also have links to various children's safety organizations and our soon to be expanded Parent's safety guide page. We have links (via jpg pics) in our sidebar of 4 books for parents and teens that help with preventing and dealing with abuse. We also have a missing children's page.
 
We did have a link to a survivor group page, but it has been shut down. We are working at finding new resources and I have a post up- with a link to a survivor/support group- here: http://www.warriorsforinnocence.org/2007/05/devastation-of-child-molestation-and.html
 
I work full time at a hospital at night. I spend, on average, about 30 hours a week doing this in my spare time. I am dedicated to finding the child predators and turning them in to LE. I am also working on an educational section for parents and teens about how these predators manipulate people and kids on and off the internet. This is not a hobby for me.
 
We do have a mission statement. We do not post this online because we don't get requests for this info:
 
Warriors For Innocence is an organization that actively seeks out and monitors the online activities of pedophiles in order to eliminate the threat that they pose to children. By informing and educating the public, and reporting illegal activities to the appropriate authorities, we strive to make the world a safer place for children.
 
I have reported many pedophile sites to LJ. I can tell you that not only did I NOT report a single fandom site, I had never even heard of fandom until a couple of days ago.
 
You said, "I don't like child predation or pedophilia or child abuse or incest any better than most human beings. Hell, I won't touch any story that doesn't treat these themes seriously with a 10-foot pole.."
 
I agree with that 100%. In one of the posts about the LJ problem, I said...
 
"LiveJournal (LJ) has many sexually explicit "journals" or personal sites that it hosts. I have no problem with that. It's intended for adults and is legal, adult oriented material. LJ allows free sites for people to post their personal thoughts and feelings and to let anyone view this and comment on it. I have no problem with that either.

LJ also allows admitted child rapists, child molesters, and child abusers unlimited freedom to post about their exploitation and abuse. I have a serious problem with this."
 
I assumed that this would clarify the types of journals that we were targeting for deletions. Obviously it did not, and I apologize for that.
 
The sites we target and that we turned into LJ were true pedophile sites. There were many sites that listed incest as it related to 'age play'. I did not include these sites in the list because they are obviously not pedophile sites.
 
I cannot reveal the LE that I work with. They ask that I do not. They don't even tell me who, what, or when arrests happen. They work in areas that are very confidential both at home and internationally. 
 
As I've said in previous posts, a lot of what I do never makes it onto a web page. I do a lot of work behind the scenes. Seeing infants and toddlers being raped and tortured is ugly and difficult work, but finding it and turning it in does make a difference.
 
You may or may not believe me. It doesn't matter. I will continue to do what I do and make a difference.
 

I hunt and fight monsters. If I can help to get even one monster off of the street and away from kids, then it was worth any amount of effort.

 
I will however, do my best to not drag innocent people and web sites into this. So I appreciate your email.
 
LJ had already deleted some of the journals and sent an email notifying the users about the interests listed. That is when the pedophile community realized that they would have to alter their profiles.
 
LJ is well aware that the pedophiles are now looking at their interest pages. That is the next logical step that they will take in order to keep their sites.
 
I hope this answers your questions. If not, feel free to respond. No need to apologize for getting angry. Like I said, I can understand and I hope that the fandom community will come to realize that we are not targeting them in any way.
 
Sincerely,
[WFI Team Member Name Redacted by Lizbeth Marcs for Privacy Reasons]
WFI Team Member
http://www.warriorsforinnocence.org/
warriorsforinnocence@gmail.com

Now what follows is my response in light of what's happened today.

Dear [WFI Team Member Name Redacted by Lizbeth Marcs for Privacy Reasons],

Thank you for your response. However, your response is...lacking.

I have dug up information about your blog, and while I can find plenty of links from conservative political blogs (I want to be clear that there's nothing wrong with that), you are not on any radar for any web site or blog that actually deals with the issue of online predators.

This concerns me. It means that I have no objective evidence that you are who you say you are.

Here's a list of legit Web sites that I know about (and I'm not even involved in cyber-policing):

Here's the thing: Each of those web sites spell out online and very clearly their basic missions, guidelines for what they're after, basic information about their organization, and who they are.

Your mission statement is nowhere near close to what these web sites have available just as basic information that's available online.

Furthermore, despite your assurances that you have not targeted anything fannish or fictional on LJ, hundreds of fannish and fictional LJ blogs were wiped out with a press of a button today, all of them owned by people who are not guilty of the crime that you've accused them of engaging in. These are people who have not broken any law, who have taken pains to make it clear that they do not welcome predators in their community, and who've put up clear warnings on their user info.

Some of the LJs that have been shut down were not even backed by real people. They were role-playing LJs (or rather, LJs created for the specific purpose of role-playing adventure games using the LJ tool), and some of those characters were supposed to be villains, not heroes.

In addition, there were fiction archives that were lost. Some of them lost up to four years worth of individual stories, the vast majority of which did not involve incest, pedophilia, rape, or any other real life crime in the subject matter. While much of the content was adult content, these were not predatory LJs nor were they interested in encouraging such practices.

In short, thanks to you're actions, there is a large number of people on LJ today who were just accused of being on-line predators. Some of those people are survivors themselves. Some of those people work in law enforcement and with various and sundry legal issues. Some of those people are parents or guardians of children.

I would wager to say that most of them would rather cut of their own hands than harm a real life child.

Thank you for traumatizing them. And thank you for leaving the rest of us to pick up the pieces. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Explain to me again why I should think you're one of the good guys?

Did it never occur to you to do even a little bit of homework? All you had to do was look at the user info for the targeted LJs. All you had to do was look at the LJs themselves. You would've seen for yourself that these people are not guilty of breaking any laws or harming anyone.

If I sound angry, it's because I am.

You've just helped drive the real predators underground. After all, you announced that you were going after LJ in public on your blog. The only people who would even think of monitoring you are real predators, and they would've removed any incriminating evidence from the LJ loooong before today.

Instead, a lot of innocent people got nailed, lost years' worth of work on fictional stories, and found themselves on the wrong end of a witch hunt.

As for you? You took a few big steps backwards today. I hope you realize that. You not only gave the genuine predators a chance to hide, you made a lot of people who would've been inclined to help you skittish to even self-police any genuinely predatory LJ they happen to come across.

I hope you're proud of your accomplishment.

And now you want me to believe you after all the problems you've caused for people who are — and I want to stress this — not guilty of doing anything more than writing fictional stories about fictional characters?

Not a chance.

The only people who deserve to be punished are the people who are actual predators who are acting on their most base instincts.

The people who do not deserve to be punished are innocent third parties who happen to write fictional stories you may find offensive or distasteful. I don't care if it's 100 innocent bystanders, 10 innocent bystanders, or only just the 1.

There are very clear policies and procedures in place for policing online predators. Good heavens, even I know this. And since you're a nurse, you should know this. As a nurse, you are no doubt mandated to report any instance of child abuse you find to the proper authorities, which I'm sure you'd do whether it was mandated or not.

Heck, I'd do it (and have done it), and I'm not a mandatory reporter.

What you have done here is not followed proper law enforcement procedures. As a result, you've driven the real predators underground, and you've hurt a lot of innocent people because of it.

Once again, let me commend you on the very fine job you've done.

Sincerely,

Lizbeth Marcs

Again, let me stress this: I have no problems, none with legitimate policing efforts that are conducted under clear guidelines from a legitimate law enforcement authority to catch online predators of any stripe.

What I find offensive is shutting down fictional stories or fictional scenarios simply because people made the mistake of warning for offensive content in their user information (i.e., rape, incest, pedophilia, etc.)

Hell, there are quite a few fictional stories I find offensive, both pro and fannish, and the only thing I'd do is warn people away from those stories/authors. I would not remove those stories if they didn't violate community guidelines or the ToS.
Tags: el jay: strikeout 2007
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