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Monday, May 22, 2006Special thanks to The Lactivist reader Imladris2, who sent over the link on this one.
Apparently, LiveJournal, the popular blog hosting site, is threatening to shut down one mother's blog because her default user image shows her daughter nursing at the breast. According to LiveJournal, this violates their terms of service because it shows images that may not be appropriate for a work or school environment.
In fact, a snippet of LiveJournal's response to the mother said:
These rules exist for the sole purpose of ensuring that users can browse the "public" parts of the site (for example, the directory) without worrying about encountering "not-safe-for-work/public" situations. For this reason, LiveJournal's rules regarding default user pictures are generally restrictive than is strictly defined by obscenity laws.
As another LiveJournal mommy-blogger points out:
It is perfectly legal for a woman to breastfeed where I work. It is legal to breastfeed in a public place. If the actual act of breastfeeding isn't considered obscene, legally, then it should stand to reason that a picture of a woman breastfeeding shouldn't be considered obscene.
This is ridiculous because LJ would never seek to have a woman change a picture of a baby being fed from a bottle, spoon, or cup.
Unfortunately, I see from the mom's site that she has removed the image and given up the fight. I can understand someone not wanting to deal with it anymore, but it's also dissapointing to see LiveJournal making this type of decision and standing by it.
Even more so, I'm a little offended at the tone that LiveJournal has taken with both the mom and those who have written in to support her. I've twice seen this statement in responses from the LiveJournal team...
Finally, please be aware that write-in campaigns are never effective in swaying the opinion of the Abuse Team or LiveJournal administrators, or in focusing attention on a particular issue. A flood of requests concerning the same issue only serve to slow down the responses given to valid inquiries such as your request for policy clarification.
Excuse me? Write-in campaigns quite often have an effect and I have no doubt that if LiveJournal's servers were shut down due to a massive influx of mail, that they'd give a little more consideration to their policies. Especially one as lame as this.
Also, my personal blog is housed on LiveJournal...but in light of this, I'm goign to have to give consideration to moving it elsewhere.