This hit my flist last night and I know it's all over the place by now, but just in case you've managed to miss it, here's the low-down.
An online site claiming to be aiming to protect children from paedophiles has targeted various LiveJournals and pressured SixApart to delete those journals which this pressure group has identified as being 'dangerous'.
The below is copy/pasted from a reply liz_marcs received when she contacted this pressure group with her concerns.
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, like the vast majority of you, do not in any way support any website which will allow criminals of any sort to ply their trade. However, the actions of this pressure group are suspect in that they do not appear to have done the research, do not appear to understand the community networking aspects of LiveJournal and has specifically targeted fandom sites based purely on user interests. RPG journals have been purged, fic journals have been purged, discussion communities have been purged. And what is absolutely unforgiveable, survivor support communities and journals have been purged. These are places online where the very people whom this pressure group claims to be trying to protect gathered for support. They no longer have that option.
And, what's worse, is that by drawing attention to the possible use of user interests as an access point for paedophiles, rapists, sex criminals etc, this pressure group has ensured that these practices are being driven underground further, thereby potentially hampering the legitimate investigations of world-wide law enforcement agencies.
liz_marcs is, as always, eloquent in her response and discussion of this, and the consumate reporter in her has presented the facts as she has been able to find them. Her posts about this are to be found here, here and here
I'm in three fandoms which could potentially be seriously hit by this, so I would urge those of you who may be affected to take a look at your LJ interests and edit accordingly. Wincest, Daddycest, Petrellicest, Paire, Crazy Space Incest (Simon/River) - all of these could be targeted and your journals could be permanently deleted as a result. I would also urge you to take a look at your policy concerning posting NC-17 fic, art, vids etc. This material should not be easily available to underage children (and remember that the age of consent varies from country to country as well as from state to state) so it would perhaps be advisable to 'flock' all posts with that material. As far as I am aware there has not been any action taken against fic purely on the grounds of an adult rating but one has to expect that it is a genuine possibility.
And finally, if this whole issue has brought the dangers of child abuse to your attention, can I suggest a charity I have supported since my early teens? ChildLine has a new promotional campaign at the moment to raise funds to allow more calls to be answered. This charity provides a free phone number for children affected by all kinds of abuse to call and get support. They work closely with the police and social services in this country to ensure that the appropriate action is taken. Unfortunately they are only able to answer a fraction of the calls made and are desperately trying to raise awareness of this so that they can do more, so that they can help more victims. There For Them is their newest campaign. Please show them your support if you can.