marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

In looking through support requests tonight I ran across [personal profile] steve98052, which turns out to be pretty neat, because after five minutes of staring at his username I finally recalled we used to hang out on LJ. Thanks to the nature of his support request, I initially thought he was importing his LJ (but he hasn't, and to judge by things, probably won't be anytime soon) but I clicked through to make sure, only to see an empty DW.

Then I looked him up on LJ, where in fact he's still updating.

Then I checked his friends list, because it's been bugging me for weeks that I had a friend on LJ who's username I can't recall (well, half of it: I can recall half of it, but that hasn't helped) who doesn't seem to be here or there now, but once I saw Steve's name, it occurred to me I think I shared (might have even met this friend) through him. Her and wuchan (also gone) were my closest friends on LJ, and sometimes (OK, I've spent six years in this condition) I miss not having them here.

But this all went nowhere fast. Turns out, checking Steve's friend list, that I probably met him through [profile] bob_deloyd, but other than that, this was sort of just a half hour of me chasing my tail. Oh, well.

Steve's support request is interesting, though, and I'm sorry it didn't/probably won't get much attention, because his request (to find a link rewriter in the importer to point internal LJ links to corresponding internal DW links, or to write the code to do so himself, then give the code to DW!) is much needed and HE'S OFFERING TO WRITE THE FEATURE HIMSELF so why aren't we welcoming volunteer baby devs like this with open arms? It seems not having this feature might be stopping him from moving here, which is really not cool.

(Not to mention I could have SO used this feature before my own import occurred in 2010 - I had to rewrite dozens, if not hundreds, of links over the years, post by post, totally and completely by hand, with all the attendant time waste and errors that involves. It sucked.)

Not that he needs the defense, but he's a Silicon Valley guy, and is pretty cool all around....which makes me think Dreamwidth can be totally at odds with what I would expect them to want to do, sometimes.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

That'd be like some site translating their TOS into French and saying, "OK, but if you read and accept the terms in the new French version then PSYCH HAPPY APRIL FOOL'S DAY FRENCH VERSION ISN'T REAL JK YOU SMELL GO AWAY".

Maybe some War of The International Lawyers took place. Russian lawyers: "Our site is for Russians. It's in Russia. It's in Russian. Only Russian TOS is valid!" US lawyers: "A tremendous amount of your userbase resides in the US and other English speaking countries, so the TOS must be available in English." Russian lawyers, pouncing upon the word "available": "Fine, TOS will be in English! But only valid in Russian!" US lawyers: *cursing, stomping out*

Imagine DW tries this - we start to offer two TOSes: one in English, one in Russian (we have a growing Russian userbase, so while it's not inconceivable, it's still pretty unlikely - but don't you never say never). But PSYCH HAPPY APRIL FOOL'S DAY RUSSIAN VERSION ISN'T REAL JK YOU SMELL GO AWAY

The thing is, I don't think that's even possible under US/English common law. The TOS could be in 99,473 languages, three of them Martian, and it would still be binding, as long as it was the same TOS. If it was a different TOS (what I suspect happened over at LJ with the English version - that it's different from the Russian) ETA2, 4-13-17: it's the same TOS; see darkoshi's response and the link they add for further reading, then in the US what would happen next is we'd have one big lawsuit to determine which TOS, if any, might turn out to be the valid and legal one.

At least, I think that's how it would work. But I'm not sure they covered this in high school Business Law, which I took approximately five bajillionty years ago, so don't quote me!


ETA, same night: Having an "Oh, I get it" moment, I think: maybe they mean it's only valid as it applies to Russian law, so the parts of it that wouldn't be legal ("valid") under Russian law anyway will simply remain "invalid", so if the English TOS allows anything legal in the US that's illegal to do in Russia (such as posting pro-LBGTQIA content) then it's still illegal to do on LJ - from any country - no matter which TOS you're looking at. But rather than say, "Our law beats US and all other law because we said so" they say, "Only our Russian TOS is valid".

OK, so let's reverse this (I'm about to offer a completely nonsensical example): say talking about BitCoin is illegal in the US but not illegal in Russia. Bizarre, but let's just say, and DW has - in this non-existent, completely fictitious example that contains some completely non-existent things - two TOSes, one written in English, one in Russian. DW's servers sit in the US, and the userbase mostly speaks English, so our TOS says, "Talking about BitCoin is illegal, so don't do it" but the Russian TOS says, "Talk about BitCoin until you go blue in the face!"

Obviously, the Russian TOS rule about BitCoin is illegal in the US under the nonsensical law I just passed without an act of Congress, so it can't (or probably shouldn't be, if DW's owners wish to avoid trouble) be done by any DW user - from any country. So in any situation where our TOS, as written in Russian, allows illegal activity as defined by the US, nothing changes - that thing will still be illegal to do.

Which - if that's the case - sort of makes sense, but if so then holy shit, why didn't LJ just say so.

ETA2: though I've crossed out the now-irrelevant parts, this isn't a settled question for me. What about BitCoin being illegal to discuss here but not there? I do wonder which TOS and which laws would take precedence in that case, or if both TOSes would be struck down as "invalid" simply for not saying the same thing to all users. Which country would have the authority to strike either TOS down? *jumps down rabbit hole*


In US, you read TOS. In Russia, TOS reads you (bad, bad fucking joke - I wish there were better ones for this)

ETA2, 4-13-17: based on darkoshi's response and the link they add for further reading my first ETA appears to come to the right conclusion - with the big difference being that the TOS does say the same thing in either language but how it's interpreted could depend upon how it translates from one language to the other, so SUP apparently decided the Russian version should take precedence, probably because SUP's servers are now sitting over in Russia.

marahmarie: How to Even, for Dummies (how to even)

I could make a bad "In Russia, TOS reads you" joke but OK, the heck with it. Just a heads-up.

ETA, minutes later: just had to change the headline from "new TOS only available in Russian" to "valid TOS only available in Russian" because actually, that's what the new TOS says. ETA2: added screncap.

Screencap of LiveJournal TOS not valid in English warning on English TOS page, 4-5-17

So they have a new TOS written in English with no known Russian translation, which is not, according to them, "legally binding". The "valid" (old) version is now suddenly only available in Russian.

I'm not sure which law they're claiming makes what TOS valid or why but Russian "law" sure seems rather "interesting".

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Your hostess is not feeling too hot (it's been a rather rough winter) so my usual wordiness has gone wanly MIA, with apologies if you actually read me for my wordiness.

I've been kind of outed by one of my friends (*cough [personal profile] darkoshi*) for discussing this under access lock, so since I'm rather alarmed by one aspect of it I was going to make a public-facing post to discuss it more thoroughly, anyhow. I just didn't know when, but as I like to own what I've been quoted as saying, I guess that'll be right about now.

What Anyone Knows

There are zero confirmed reports that anything's changed for LiveJournal. There are many unconfirmed reports, IP tests and pings done to find on a per-user basis that LiveJournal moved its servers (which store content such as user's journal entries, comments written and received, pictures, Scrapbooks, usericons, mood icons, profile information, friends lists and payment information) from San Francisco, California over to servers located within Russia.

Here's a MetaFilter written by our own [personal profile] brainwane, with enlightening comments made by many people:
https://www.metafilter.com/164293/LiveJournal-represents-social-media-without-borders - written Dec. 30, 2016

I don't want to create public editorial on what it means because I left LiveJournal six years ago over clickjacking done by SUP, the Russian company that runs LiveJournal to this day, and I didn't do so with the expectation I'd ever look back and feel I have to make public comments on any fresh fiascos from here. I really do wash my hands of the place.

Other people have made excellent editorial on it, though. Some links:
https://lynnenne.dreamwidth.org/305395.html - written Dec. 30, 2016
https://twistedchick.dreamwidth.org/4141297.html - written Dec. 29, 2016

What Concerns Me, Part I

The least important thing is many people seem to think if they hit "delete" then poof! LiveJournal can never touch, change, disseminate, share, prosecute them for, or republish any of their stuff again. But LJ still has their stuff; hitting "delete" doesn't change that.

You know how Windows has a thing where you can go into the Recycle Bin when you hit "delete" on files you forgot you needed and just point your mouse at them and hit "restore"? It's pretty neat, isn't it? Lifesaver, sometimes. Same idea.

Nothing changes, you just can't see your LJ anymore, but it's sitting around in a "to be purged" file somewhere on LJ's servers - unpurged and restorable with just a click or two. So don't think deleting it protects your copyright or ensures your freedom from any possible Russian prosecution.

Deleting, as others have said, might make a nice political statement, or make it just a bit harder on LJ staff as they might have to dig around a bit in a server version of a Recycle Bin to find what they want, but that's about it.

What's most important is what you post to LJ from now on. It's basically too late for anything you've already put there.

What you post from Dec. 23rd on (yes, flex with me back in time to the actual date the server move occurred!) is now sitting on servers operating under Russian law, so from Dec. 23rd on, their law applies, not ours (US/stateside here). Act accordingly, as again, I have little desire to make additional comments.

What Concerns Me (the most), Part II

According to scattered user reports like this one and my own at-home tests, at the same time the server change was made the https:// URL protocol was suddenly no longer live nor allowed to function on any part of LiveJournal (and as of this writing, the HTTPS Everywhere add-on won't help, so if that's the only reason you're tempted to install it...*shakes head*...don't bother).

Lack of secure socket technology (in simple language, "sudden lack of a private web connection to LJ") means hackers, spies, governments, and yes, even your nosy next-door neighbor can easily spy on you while you're on LJ.

As almost any LJ/DW user already knows, the implications of that last paragraph are fairly terrifying, as friends locks (LJ) and access locks (DW) are important to nearly all of us, so this change should scare everyone and convince people to stop using LJ until it's corrected, if indeed it ever is.


Because Dreamwidth is a place that's always encouraged people to continue using LiveJournal (DW supports both full imports of all LJs and crossposting to LJ and Wordpress.com) I'll add a disclaimer that by reporting on the LJ server switch and by talking about the current lack of secure browsing on LJ I'm in no way suggesting, "Stop using LJ and forever and ever!!!111!".

In referring to LJ's lack of secure browsing, I *am* simply suggesting you stop using LJ until that gets fixed, but ultimately, what works - and feels - best for you is always your own decision to make.

As far as making comments here goes, I welcome them, but really don't want to talk about Russia. I do enough of that under lock, so if you're on my subscribe list I can consider adding access so you can share all of my sheer, overwhelming joy on that. There is so much joy. But I'm always keen to answer any question(s) you might have on "how to Dreamwidth" or to point you in the right direction if I can't (or shouldn't try to) answer myself.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

When I deleted my last LiveJournal (about mid-summer of 2010) I left all of my comments and community posts behind - even stuff that anyone else might want to delete to save face (since, you know, I could act up a lot over there, and back in the full flush of my youth - from my mid to late 30s - I did).

I figure if you post anything, even comments - though they seem so throwaway in nature - you create a record of yourself, and for better or worse I wanted to preserve that record, to look back one day and say, yeah, that was me then, but this is who I am and where I'm going now. Of course I've got a lot of LJ tied up in my memories, but reading what you've written makes the reality of what you've said and done that much more concrete.

So it came to pass a short time back as I was reading a DW community post that a Dreamwidthian mentioned LJ deleted every comment she ever made after purging her account. And I thought, oh no, that must be why all record of me was expunged from [livejournal.com profile] thefulcrum, a fact that puzzled me until that moment. I mean, to erase literally hundreds of comments and break so many threads seemed far from...from what I knew of Liz, I guess you might say.

I made a mental note that night to check other LJ communities to see if I'd been expunged from them, too. I was particularly anxious about [profile] s2_bloggish because I wrote some tutorials for them that I was kind of proud of. But I figured if LJ wiped my comments, they'd also wiped my posts. Then I let a month go by, because I was too afraid to find out.

I finally dared take a peek tonight and while my tutorials are still there (here's one, so I assume all three are still kicking around) the comments I made on them are gone. Blotted out. Erased. On the tutorial linked to above there was a thread between my CSS mentor [personal profile] av8rmike and myself, just disappeared (I can still remember what it was about, too: he was telling me my wording was off, and I was keeping him posted on my edits as I made them).

How does that help any of LJ's users, that they can't even follow a comment thread properly anymore? What's the point of erasing comments with purged accounts? When I deleted my LJ accounts, purging comments wasn't even an option - they just went ahead and did so without even asking. If they had asked I would've said no.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

From the LJ News update:

2012: A Look Ahead

Expect to see big changes in the coming months. Over the last year we've decreased advertising across the site. We're excited to announce that by mid-2012, advertising will be phased out completely for virtually all of the LiveJournal service pages, journals, and communities that we know and love. Advertising will only be shown in select communities that opt in to displaying it (which you'll hear more about on February 15).

Found out via DW but the post in question is under f-lock, so to quote my response to it (which I think I can do, despite the f-lock?)

[...] I'm having trouble remembering now, but I think the ads were exactly why I left. (Dear God, please don't make me think about going back, whatever you do...).

gives self a second to think...

Oh, wait, that's right, it was the link-jacking that drove me away, since it was happening on my blogs, too, but that's ad-related as well...will they still link-jack?

Of course, I think they'll still link-jack. And that they're removing most ads in most places isn't exactly re-assuring. And the very thought of re-joining LJ kind of makes me sick. I'm trying to turn a new leaf, and based on my nearly-magical ability to process what little information I have and accurately apply it to the future, I think DW will turn out to be a better bet, both feature- and comfort-level wise... but *shrug* I could be wrong.