“Mortified” Six Apart CEO Makes Apologies

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All right.  I know there are a lot of passionate LiveJournal users out there, and I know censorship is bad.  But in this case, it was also somewhat funny.  LiveJournal claimed it had blocked access to around 500 journals on the basis that they supported pedophilia – turns out, some of them were just discussing Lolita.

Others involved a famous boy wizard.  “One now-deleted group called ‘pornish_pixies’ focused on fan-written fiction, frequently sexually explicit, about characters in the Harry Potter novels,” writes CNET’s Declan McCullagh.

So it seems that LiveJournal went a little overboard; even the folks at Perverted Justice state, “[T]hey decided to just wipe out whole fields of communities whether they were related to those who advocate child rape or not.”

Also, as it was originally thought that LiveJournal had deleted the accounts in question (it now appears that they were just suspended), a number of users – hundreds of them – deleted their own accounts in protest.  Others voiced their objections within LiveJournal.

And now the chairman and CEO of Six Apart (which owns LiveJournal) has made a post on the site.  Barak Berkowitz lists his mood as “mortified,” and his post’s title, “Well we really screwed this one up…” gives you an idea of the admissions he makes.

“We have always been strong supporters of free speech and at the same time we believe deeply that children deserve special protections as well as the victims of violence and hate,” Berkowitz states.  “We tried to implement a policy that walk that line and we did it poorly, we are all sorry.  One could say that no matter what we did we would either be accused of opposing free speech or endangering children but I am sure we should and could have done this much better.  I hope you can forgive us and we can regain your trust.”

It will be interesting to how LiveJournal users react to this apology in the long-term – there was a lot of anger over the whole fiasco.  But come on, people – there’s a bit of humor in this, too.

“Mortified” Six Apart CEO Makes Apologies
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  • intelec

    LJ didn’t go overboard to protect children. They went overboard as a display to their sponsors and corporate investors who are disgusted with LJ’s blindness and historical indifference to those who blog-journal about enjoying child molestation and incest. LJ historically couldn’t tell the difference between protected free speech and advocated illegal criminal activities that harm children and violate their TOS. This action on LJ’s part just solidifies their incompetance to either protect children or free speech.

    Perverted-Justice still has them listed on their main page as an Agressive Corporate Sex Offender (CSO). I don’t see that this pseudo-apology changes anything.


    • sapphire

      Too bad that livejournal wasn’t created to satisfy you guys then, boohoo cry me a river. If you honestly think lj and its users gives two cents of a rats a** about being listed on your site you’re sorely mistaken.

      • intelec

        Quote Sapphire from the “Identifying Adult Issues from Sexual Abuse” thread in the “Survivors of Sexual Abuse” forum at Perverted-Justice.

        04-16-2006 #530

        Some of my issues are anger with any kind of authority, both male and female. Why ? Now that I’m a mother and seeing how protective I am over my children – at some point I know that my mother could’ve done a much better job at protecting me and my siblings. She was too busy living her life, persuing her dreams of being a celebrity and just not thinking of the dangers of leaving us with her partner at the time — a drug addict and porn addict as well – my stepdad. This person just happens to be the father to my youngest brother. She did become a celebrity and thus began my nightmare. So there I was — vulnerable and defenseless at the age of 5 dealing with this pedo until I was 13. I keep silent so that he would not recurr to my siblings — I always saw myself as the stongest amongst my siblings because I’m the oldest. Fortunately it worked. He did not harm my sister or my brother. But the rage inside of me grew in such a way that I became a completely different person. The fact that I wanted to be strong for my brothers made me become stronger and bolder person than most people would be at that age. My childhood was sabotaged. I went from 5 yrs. old straight to 20 in one night. During my mom’s career as a celebrity her family turned their back on her — they didn’t approve of what she did because they felt the same way I did — If she had children it was time to be a mom, not think about herself. Therefore, we were stuck with this sicko because no one would take care of us.

        I never saw the world the same way. I got a first hand experience at the hands of a pedo of just how twisted people can be. So I decided to take control and not be a weak victim. I studied his every move — then turned the tables on him when I was 13. He was so consumed in his addiction he wasn’t aware of anything. I decided to blackmail him — threatened him that I would talk about my abuse if he didn’t stop. At this point my mom’s career was over and kaplut! He stopped and got kicked out of the house — they broke up over his addiction. A little too late if you ask me, only 8 yrs. later.

        I told my husband about this situation in my life. He noticed that I had problems with intimacy. His smoking habit or sometimes tasting alcohol on his breath would trigger my anger. He’s not a drinker — but if we went to parties he would have 1 or 2 drinks. At that point I told him that this would happen to me even in my previous relationships. When we figured out what was happening he decided to help me by seeking therapy. My husband is my backbone, my support. Helped me vent when I needed it. He is the reason for my happiness now, all because he knew what to do to help me liberate myself of all the grief and all the suffering I had been through in all those years. The walls were broken down and I could finally be myself!

        My mom found out when I was an adult. Now she understands why I was so strong minded, quiet and bold. She apologized for they way she was — I didn’t know how to react to that. But we have a great relationship.

        Now that I’m a mom of 6 — I watch my kids like a hawk. I trust no one. This world is a little to crazy to trust anyone with somethings as precious as your children. My children do not hang out at other peoples houses, do not go out alone and surf the internet with me. I’ve also warned them about the dangers of molestation and what a pedophile is as well as what they can do to a child. I sat and watched Dateline, the predator episode, with them. They were amazed to see all kinds of different men show up to the house looking for teenagers. We also had a simulation where my husband played a pedophile to showed up to meet them. I instructed him to use him strength to pin them to the ground so they couldn’t move – thus making them aware of how they could fall defenseless to an adult if they were in a situation like this, where they could possibly get raped or worse.

        So I guess what I’m saying is that even though this experience was excrutiating for me, the lesson I learned made me a better parent. Thanks to all of you for being there for survivors. I’m here as well for whoever needs the advice!

        Take care and God bless” :end quote previously posted by Sapphire

        There are some folks around who take the protection of children from abuse seriously and don’t need to be shamed, exposed or threatened with financial loss in order to take action.

        Silence and inaction serves only the predator.

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