June 24th, 2006


Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

Okay. I just want you to know that I'm officially sick of the war in Iraq.

As such, I'm officially demanding the following:

- A timetable for the complete and total withdrawal of all imperialist aggressor forces!

- Amnesty for all the brave Iraqis who took arms against the U.S. and their puppet stooges! 

- The release of all Iraqi and foriegn revolutionary patriots from U.S. and Iraqi prisons!

- Full compensation for the victims of the colonialist aggressor's illegal war of occupation!

(Um... yeah? Really? You don't say?! )

Well... nevermind.


Did SixApart *really* call us a bunch of teenagers?

Why yes, yes they did. And they have before, too.

In an interview with CBS News last year, SixApart co-founder Mena Trott said the following, in an exact quote:

"Yeah. I mean, it's uh... on LiveJournal it's about 70% are teenage girls".

The video of this is available here, on the righthand side of the page.

So, are 70% of LiveJournal users really teenage girls? No. That's simply not a true statement. About 67% of LiveJournal's users are women, and their ages vary considerably.

Personally, I have a problem with SixApart's staff not responding to -- or, in some cases, perpetuating -- stereotypes about LiveJournal's users, based on their age or presumed maturity levels. LiveJournal doesn't have a monopoly on drama or irresponsibility, any more than Vox has a monopoly on elitism or TypePad has a monopoly on arrogance. I worked hard at LJ to build positive perceptions of our users in the press, in order to get LJ to be taken seriously not only as a large site, but also as one with appeal to people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests.

So, was there legitimate reason for the signers of the petition to be concerned that they were being misrepresented and targeted based on age? Absolutely. Sure there was.

The people who signed the petition weren't sheep, as implied. They weren't goats either. 

They were, however, essentially correct.

Even as SixApart approaches advertisers with statistics and demographics, at the highest level, it appears that their staff really didn't know much about who we really are -- only about who they thought we were. Hopefully, the petition has been a bit of a wake up call.

This just in from the conflict in Afghanistan...

Censorship!  And lots of it! The Afghani government has provided reporters with a whole big list of things the media cannot do or say. 

"This means that the media cannot talk about the reality of what is going on in Afghanistan - the killings, car bombs and military operations," Vincent Brossel, head of Reporter Sans Frontiers' (RSF) Asia Pacific desk, told IRIN from Paris.

Some of the things specifically are cited as "things which must be banned or restricted" include:

• Reporting on enemy statements.
• Reports which cause irritation or imply national disunity.
• Interviews with insurgent commanders.
• Reporting on acts of terrorism as the lead story of the news.
• Reports that hurt public morale and cause disappointment.
• Reporting on religious decrees.
• Reports against the presence of coalition forces.
• Reports that suggest low morale amongst Afghanistan's military.
• Referring to the Mujahideen as “warlords”.
• Reports that endanger territorial unity and national sovereignty.
• Potentially provocative reports relating to riots and violence.
• Reporting on topics that violate public morals and customs.
• Referring to the enemy as warriors, resistance, etc.
• Negative, harsh, or slanderous reports against public figures.

So, basically, the new rules are so vague that a reporter can't really report the news accurately. Got it.

I have the full translated text of the document, which is as follows:

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