Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,
Insomnia
insomnia

Back again.

For those who didn't notice, SixApart suspended my account without notice just a little while back, because I made a post to a community, trying to identify who was behind one of the phony "sock puppet" accounts that we noticed on LJ's sponsored communities. Turns out, it was a SixApart employee who didn't identify themselves. I shared the results of my research, and was promptly suspended for it, as the very nature of the work I did -- getting info from a public whois record -- revealed information about that person that might be construed as violating the Terms of Service. 

According to 6A's current interpretation of what constitutes a privacy violation, an invasion of privacy could be as little as posting a user's name or address, or simply mentioning that their name and address is available via whois.

Kind of makes it difficult to identify a potential sockpuppet under those circumstances, I would argue.

Note that the person who's privacy was supposedly violated does not have to file an abuse complaint at all, or even mind that it was posted. Anyone can file the complaint, the party involved does not need to do so. I heard from someone in LJ that that's exactly what happened in this case. (It's good to have friends on the inside...)

What that means, essentially, is that if anyone wanted to suspend jwz, or pjammer, or valiskeogh (very widely read journals), or suspend lj_biz, or lj_support... well, they should have the same rights as suspending me, because all of the above have posted the exact same kind of public information I did in the past. 

I'd link to these examples, but it could be construed as violating someone's privacy...

***UPDATE - Although I didn't mention it in this post, the timeline of what LJ did was pretty, well, odd.
1> I made the comment with whois information that seemed to indicate that the sockpuppet might work for SixApart.
2> Another user confirmed this.
3> Someone in 6A monitoring the community -- not the person who supposedly had their privacy violated -- decided to arbitrarily suspend my journal without warning or explanation.
4> I talked to my wife, who notified people in her journal and my communities -- several thousand users -- what had happened. I hear that 6A started getting / seeing complaints.
5> After this, I received an email saying that my account was only temporarily suspended, but that I would have to schedule a time, preferably after 24 hours, to get it unsuspended. Difficult, since I have plans this weekend, so I suggested next week.
6> Shortly after my email, my account was immediately unsuspended. (Something tells me that they didn't want to wait until Monday, and didn't want to deal with more complaints.)
7> I noticed that I could log back in again, so I started making a post and taking action to delete the comment they didn't like, only to find that by the time I finished it... 
8> Someone suspended me a second time. I, fed up with their crap, decided to go to lunch.
9> I was told at this point that I didn't need to wait 24 hours, as suggested. The implication was that they could unsuspend me immediately.
10> I contacted the abuse department, letting them know I was available for the next 90 minutes to undelete the comment I made.
11> I received an email back three minutes later, saying that I was unsuspended. (Good luck getting that kind of responsiveness from 6A when someone is actually abusing you and you need help.)

Something tells me that SixApart's abuse team didn't want a weekend of complaints in their queue. Did you ever see that bit in the movie Gandhi, where he was before a court? The judge offered to release him on bail, and he refused... and so they just let him walk? The overall experience from my POV was a bit like that, albeit not quite as professionally, rapidly handled. 

Oh, and no, I'm hardly saying I'm Gandhi. I couldn't handle the celibacy and funny pajamas. And that whole death thing kinda sucked too. ***

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