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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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Platform 9 and 3/4
It's odd, isn't it? Every time LJ does something stupid (and it does), people talk about how it's the end of the platform, and they're high-tailing it off to Dreamwidth, or wherever. Sometimes they go, sometimes they stay.

By contrast, since I've been on Facebook it's been clusterfuck after clusterfuck. The arrangement of newsfeeds, privacy settings, how adverts are placed, what names people are allowed to use, all these things are regularly interfered with without warning or apparent justification, other than the whim of Zuckerberg. Imagine if LJ decided that pictures of breastfeeding mothers weren't allowed! There'd be more flouncing than in a Victorian haberdasher's. Yet FB gets away with all this and more (as well as being a vastly inferior platform in terms of threading, linking, etc.), without - well, I wouldn't say without a grumble, but certainly without a mass exodus to MySpace. Strange, n'est-ce pas?

I know. And the other day I couldn't even view my Facebook page at all. On googling, I discovered that the "White Screen of Death" is a problem that's been occurring for at least five years. None of the suggested fixes fixed it, though eventually, after nearly 24 hours my page returned. And let's not even get into the banning of people for posting photos of novelty knitted elephant underpants with willie warmer trunk. There was absolutely no bare flesh visible, yet I saw two people banned for several days for posting the photo in question.

And yet, as you say, most of these people flouncing off to Dreamwidth have Facebook accounts they use without a murmur.

I suppose because they're used differently? I'm not leaving LJ and as you say it's a far superior platform; I loathe Facebook but I'm not leaving that either since it's the only practical way to keep in touch with two continents' worth of friends and relations.

I think it might be because Facebook was never going to be anything but evil, whereas so many LJers still remember when it was Brad and the servers in his basement, and still feel betrayed that it isn't that anymore? I don't know.

Yes, that may well be true. I arrived in 2006, which I gather was just after its heyday, so maybe I feel less nostalgic about it.

"Imagine if LJ decided that pictures of breastfeeding mothers weren't allowed!"

You are being sarcastic, yes? LJ did exactly that, as part of a crackdown on "pornography", over ten years ago. This was, I think, before it became Russian. There was a lot of fuss, and many protesting changes of user icons. Somehow LJ survived.

I must have just missed that (or not noticed)!

Indeed. https://fanlore.org/wiki/Nipplegate

It was things like that which pushed a load of people I know to move to DW when it sprang up.

Thanks for the link. Yes, that predates the beginning of my LJ by a few months.

Then again, that was more than 10 years ago, and as far as I know breastfeeding is still banned from FB.

As they say about banks, FB is too big to fail...

Plus, it occurs to me, a number of the people who are leaving LJ are very unhappy about being subject to Russian law. I'm not amused that the Terms of Service we are asked to consent to are only legally binding in the Russian text, and the translation is identified as not binding, but this goes beyond that. I'm not enthusiastic about the Russian government, but the US government is problematic, too. It's more of a leap for US users (didn't you say something like this during the last crisis?).

I think I did. I seem to remember someone telling me I was wrong about it, too.

That or remember what it's like to be subject to Russian law and really, really hate the feeling. To Americans, imho, the difference between Russian and US governments is a bit like the difference between a Ford and a Nissan (or, possibly, a Ford and a Yugo), but to many of us who experienced the Russian government it's more like the difference between a Ford and being beaten.

Also - Facebook does many stupid things, but very few evil things. They are not, for instance, legally required to equate LGBT subjects with porn.

Yes. I wonder how much people want excuses not to engage thoughtfully. FB is such an excuse. The very fact that the newsfeed is "curated" (loathsome word to me) means that it's okay to miss a lot of what your friends post. And they post trivia all the time, since it's so easy. And you can just click like without reading. LJ makes all that harder. And then you can, in good conscience, think about ways that LJ is misbehaving, since it encourages you to think. And then people have a thoughtful excuse to bail out of being thoughtful. At least that's what I sometimes think.

Pretty good analysis! :-)

I mean, who reads Terms of Service? Unless you're on LJ, and so read what's there.

Facebook has somehow become 'the only place' to get people on... It's managed to reach out to people who don't otherwise bother much with the Internet - like someone's aunt that they only see once a year, or their grandparents... It's dispiriting, and I wish there'd been a better choice, but it seems pretty entrenched by now.

That too.


I think people are just used to America being "the boss" of platforming (all of my LJ friends who are melting down are Americans) and are wary of Russia controlling or having rights to their content? Personally I'm just annoyed that the English version isn't legally binding (and my last entry wasn't able to crosspost from DW... how curious), but otherwise all I care about is that I can write my entries and keep them.

Edited at 2017-04-07 11:15 pm (UTC)

The TOS seems dire -- but -- will Russia really want to limit the free speech of Americans in America?

I don't think Russian politicians really care about what we say here, and they're smart enough to know that if they do something, anything, to enforce their rules on Americans, it will make them look bad, possibly at a moment in time when they need to look good in the larger world.

The TOS is meant to stifle their fellow Russians. This might cause less of a kerfluffle, but then again, everyone will know, which could backfire.

I'm sorry people are leaving. And if they go to Facebook, we know it's rife with Russian bots. This might be the more Russian-interference-free place to be.

Good point. (I'm not on FB, because I hate controlling monopolies - let alone the sale of data.)

This feels qualitatively different to me, insofar as a good 2/3 of the remaining people I have on LJ just moved to DW.