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Livejournal TOS - RP Discuss
For All Your Raging Role Play Questions

Erin posting in Role Playing: Discussion
User: rp_discuss (posted by thevelvetsun)
Date: 2007-01-23 12:26
Subject: Livejournal TOS
Security: Public
Mood:frustratedfrustrated
Since many of the members here have been RPing for a long time, and probably know a lot more than me, I thought I'd post here with a question about Livejournal's Terms of Service.

A character in a game I'm in recently had his account deleted for violating the LJ TOS. There was no warning at all, and now all past posts and comments are completely gone. The reasons were "It has been brought to our attention that your LiveJournal account exists solely to impersonate and harass another user." The game is a celebrity RP game, but all the journals, as well as the community, have disclaimers in the userinfo stating that this is just a game and is completely fictional. We haven't been harassing anyone, ever, at all.

I was wondering if this has happened to anyone before, and if so, were you able to reverse the decision? We have a lot of active members in our game and I would hate for someone else to be deleted next.

Thank you for your help.
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Sarah
User: clawfoot
Date: 2007-01-23 21:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, whereas I doubt "harrassment" was your intent, if the celebrity is actually real, "impersonation" still certainly fits. Just because they're famous doesn't mean they don't have the same rights as someone else. If someone made an LJ account with my real name and my pictures and included all sorts of details about my life, even if it were a game, I'd be totally freaked out.

As removed from "reality" or "our world" as we might think they are, the people you play in celebrity games are still real people, and I think you ought to keep that in mind. As for fighting the decision and getting your journal back, I'm not really sure you've got a leg to stand on, really.
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Erin
User: thevelvetsun
Date: 2007-01-24 00:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
All journals, as well as the community, have very prominent disclaimers.

If the celebrity didn't want to be portrayed, they could have gone about asking us to stop without deleting the entire journal and all posts and comments without warning.
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Nicky
User: psalm91
Date: 2007-01-24 07:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
clawfoot has a point.
Have you ever seen oceans 12?
They make a very big tadoo about playing someone that's 'real'.
and it is something to think about.
think about as if you were trying to publish a book. If nothing was credibal and or you had no credintials or authority too write it... it wouldn't get past the publisher's mailroom
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Sarah
User: clawfoot
Date: 2007-01-24 15:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The presence of disclaimers stating that it's all in "fun" doesn't mean you're exempt from the rules about not impersonating a real person.

Personally, if I found someone role-playing as ME, the very last thing in the world I'd want to do is contact them directly. I think you need some perspective. Roleplayers, to non-roleplayers, are creepy and weird. Multiply that by a gazillion when the roleplayer in question is playing a celeb game and the non-roleplayer in question is a celeb.

Admittedly, I've never played in a celeb game (mostly because I simply do not understand them, but that's neither here nor there), but if you're pretending to be another person -- another real, live person -- I think you need some perspective and more importantly, some empathy.
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Erin
User: thevelvetsun
Date: 2007-01-24 19:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yeah, people have always been afraid of creepy and weird stuff. I guess that's why gay marriage hasn't been legalized yet, and people are still going around calling other people fag**ts and beating them to death.

Just because they think it's creepy and weird doesn't mean we should be shut down with no warning.
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Sarah
User: clawfoot
Date: 2007-01-24 23:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
....

Are you seriously comparing the imagined "persecution" of yourself and your hobby to the persecution of homosexuals?

Remember what I said about "perspective"?



P.S. Gay marriage is actually legal and a protected right where I am.
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Erin
User: thevelvetsun
Date: 2007-01-25 00:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm not saying they're the same. I'm just saying that it shouldn't be against the rules simply because it is "creepy".
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Sarah
User: clawfoot
Date: 2007-01-25 01:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Regardless of whether or not you think it should be, it is against the rules. You broke 'em, you got caught, you got deleted.

Perhaps you should take your hobby to an arena where it is not specifically against the rules. Email games, perhaps, or as someone else suggested, proboards.com or somewhere similar.
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Erin
User: thevelvetsun
Date: 2007-01-25 02:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
We didn't realize it was against the rules, because we figured having a disclaimer was enough. Apparently not though. And I didn't get deleted, one of my friends did.

We have our reasons for liking livejournal.
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Sarah
User: clawfoot
Date: 2007-01-25 02:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*shrug* Okay. Well, you know it's against the rules now, anyway. I guess you should either look for a new forum or make copies/backups of everything you write from now on in case you get deleted.

The only other recourse you have is to lobby LJ to change their rules regarding impersonation journals, but I really don't think you're going to get very far in that.
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Have you seen Juniors grades?: idiot typo
User: balamuthia
Date: 2007-01-25 03:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:idiot typo



Wow. You actually just DID compare this to homosexual persecution.

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Jo: choc
User: niceandfluffy
Date: 2007-01-23 22:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:choc
There are several games on LJ under the same type of format but your game is the first I've heard of where LJ has actually deleted things. However, I have had a couple of friends who have been deleted under the most peculiar of reasons and have had to completely restart their journals as negiotations went nowhere so I would imagine your player will be unsuccessful in any appeal.

However, it's bizarre that they've focused on just one person because presumably a complaint would be against the community as a whole rather than just one individual - it may be literally how that person has created their journal. If it's literally just for the game and is made up like it's been written by that particular celebrity then it would indeed look completely peculiar.

If you do find you need to move the game off from LJ due to these issues I'd recommend proboards.com who don't tend to mind as long as there are huge disclaimers up about the fact it's fiction - I also find the format a lot easier to GM on as well.
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Erin
User: thevelvetsun
Date: 2007-01-24 00:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks for the proboards recommendation. At the moment we're asking LJ what's up with the no warning thing, once we get some answers we'll decide how to proceed.
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User: christraven
Date: 2007-01-23 23:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Transcendental Addiction.
It's possible that the LJ may have been spotted by someone browsing through, who got haired off for no particular reason, and they complained to the LJ mods, who then nuked the account. I've seen it happen once or twice.

There's nothing I can really tell you about getting that particular LJ back up and running - from what I've seen before, once its gone, its gone.
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Erin
User: thevelvetsun
Date: 2007-01-24 00:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Personally I think it was either a troll trying to cause trouble, or the actual celebrity not wanting to be a character in a game.
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🤖
User: pourtant
Date: 2007-01-24 18:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I was going to comment to say that exactly. It doesn't happen often but it definitely does. Even when it comes from the celebrity/their representatives, most of the time there's no warning. I'd be curious to know what was LJ's reply.

and omg, another celeb RPer! it doesn't seem very popular around here
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Erin
User: thevelvetsun
Date: 2007-01-24 19:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
From LJ:

Thank you for your inquiry. Unfortunately, the Abuse Team is unable to accept a disclaimer as proof that a journal is not meant to impersonate, and we are not able to refrain from action based on the stated intentions of a journal's owner.

We must stress that journals intended to role-play as real people are, in fact, impersonation journals. The sole purpose of their creation is to allow the journal's owner to pretend to be someone else. Such conduct is in violation of LiveJournal's Terms of Service (http://www.livejournal.com/legal/tos.bml), and as such we must take action when these journals are reported to us.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Regards,
Zoe
LiveJournal Abuse Team


They put rp_discuss in the spotlight, but they delete RP journals. Wonderful.
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🤖
User: pourtant
Date: 2007-01-24 21:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think the key sentence here is Such conduct is in violation of LiveJournal's Terms of Service as such we must take action when these journals are reported to us. They tolerate us as long as we're not brought to their attention.
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Erin
User: thevelvetsun
Date: 2007-01-25 00:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Which is why we're now 100% friendslocked. I guess ignorance is bliss for LJ, they don't want to know we're doing "creepy" things with their service.
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Thoughts of a nerdy feminist
User: idemandjustice
Date: 2007-01-25 00:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
They put rp_discuss in the spotlight, but they delete RP journals. Wonderful.

That's really a ridiculous exaggeration. If you play a fictional character, you're fine, and you know it. People have already said that it does fall under harrassment when you are role-playing an actual, real person. Yet you generalize and act as if all role-players are being discriminated against. I'd have an easier time being sympathetic if you wouldn't generalize like that, and PLEASE do not compare this to homophobia. That comparison is just utterly demeaning and offensive to people who experience REAL prejuduce.
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Erin
User: thevelvetsun
Date: 2007-01-25 02:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There is nothing in the userinfo about this community only being for RPers who play fictional characters, so I assumed it was for all RPers. But I guess not.
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User: indigo_elf
Date: 2007-01-25 02:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Getting your Real Person RP LJ deleted =/= homophobia...or is even in the same ballpark. No one who gets their kicks pretending to the My Chemical Romance guys boinking each other is not having their civil rights mucked with by frickin' Livejournal. No one ever got tied to a fence and murdered because they play happy pretendy funtimes as Orlando Bloom boffing Elijah Wood.

And all idemandjustice said is don't make the comparison not "You suck, go away."





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Erin
User: thevelvetsun
Date: 2007-01-25 02:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I wasn't saying it was the same, it was just the only example I could think of at the time. Sheesh, if I had known the people at this community would be so harsh I wouldn't have joined.
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Thoughts of a nerdy feminist
User: idemandjustice
Date: 2007-01-25 12:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Wow, did you read a word I said?
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