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I am addressing this very seriously to EVERY lawyer with legal expertise in copyright infringement and fair use, and I'm also addressing this to any lawyer well-versed in the legal statutes on internet child pornography.

As I'm sure many of you already know, pornish_pixies was permanently deleted today by Livejournal.com, along with a number of other communities with "incest" as an interest, an incomplete list of which is here.


Straight up, people. What are our options as a fandom to fight this? What are all our options to fight this, and how can we as a fandom collectively work to deal with Six Apart in this issue?

Please respond, because I really, really want to get started on the part where the fandom rallies together to make our voices heard by Six Apart.

Thanks.

Comments

unfilthy
May. 30th, 2007 04:05 am (UTC)
Another Approach?
Considering that the root cause of these deletions seems to be this vigilante group (via norefer.com), who isn't working with any law enforcement agency or any of the legitimate organizations working to catch sexual predators online, I wonder whether an alternative approach would be more productive.

Perhaps instead of trying to deal with this issue through LJ, it would be worth exploring whether they're breaking any laws, whether it's possible to report their actions to the authorities, or take some form of legal action against them. I bring this up because it's not just that fandom got caught in the crossfire, but that looking at these people's site, I find the things they do (and encourage others to do) to be highly disturbing, and I believe they're doing actual harm to the legitimate efforts to catch sex offenders.

One bit of glaring idiocy I found on their site, on a page dedicated to encouraging and instructing people on how to pose as children online in order to "prevent the perverts from interacting with real kids" is this gem, explaining the last part of this charade, "the reveal" intended to scare pedophiles straight (or, outside La-La Land, likely make them more cautious):

"Revealing means that you reveal that you are not a child and you scare this guy so badly that he hopefully will stop doing this in the future. You tell him that you are going to contact LE- even though you are not going to." (here, via norefer)

Considering how incredibly stupid these people are, I'm wondering whether everything they're doing is actually legal, as well as whether any legal action can be taken against them to protect both fandom and the legitimate organizations that do actual work in this area.
sansfinpetit
May. 30th, 2007 04:33 am (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
This is actually a very good idea. Based on what I've read about them so far, they seem to be a fishy, crackpot group of people...."organization" my arse. Vigilante's cause nothing but trouble for the people that are doing any real good....what they're doing is harmful towards the people who are professionals and the fact that they can't even name which LE group they "work with" is something that should be raising eyebrows. Also...in her response to liz_marcs:

"As I've said in previous posts, a lot of what I do never makes it onto a web page. I do a lot of work behind the scenes. Seeing infants and toddlers being raped and tortured is ugly and difficult work, but finding it and turning it in does make a difference."

Doesn't that sound like she actually seeks these people out, lets them do these horrible things to children, and then takes action? That's what it came across as to me. I am not a legal expert, nor am I a CPS worker, but I am taking a class on Abuse and Neglect in the Family right now, and if there's one thing I have learned, it is to stop the abuse before it happens. It sounds to me like this woman is doing exactly the opposite of that, and I'm sure advocates and professionals would definitely be appalled at that statement, especially coming from someone who is so determined to get "these monsters" off of the internet.
belleweather
May. 30th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
Actually, I wonder if their statements about pedophilia would be actionable as libel and would rise to the level of accusing the people that they targeted of being pedophiles?

Plus, Bonus points if we can find enough injured parties to make it a UK Suit. :)
elements
May. 30th, 2007 07:52 am (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
Did you take a screenshot of the place on the WfI site where you found that? Because that's the kind of thing that deeply worries me.

This website, which purports to protect children, has instructions on how to impersonate a child online on its site. That's more than a bit disturbing to me and one of the reasons why I worry that this org may be very sincere and well-meaning but may in fact not be going about things in the way that law enforcement would like.

If I understand you right, essentially, they provide a paedophile's training manual on how to pretend to be a kid online. Because clearly that's not a tactic actual predators ever use to get close to kids. If there hadn't been a zillion stories about perverts posing as teenagers on MySpace in the past year I might buy that WfI is just ignorant of this possibility, but it's been in the news so much I can't imagine they don't know that these tactics can be used for evil.

And then, when the good guys use this questionable strategy, say they do catch a predator, what then? All they can do is shout "boo!" at them, because unless they have been very carefully trained and careful of their steps, there's a danger that any evidence they've gathered would be considered entrapment.

I think these WfI folks mean well, but they're very naive if they think that predators are going to be stopped by a surprise reveal and an empty threat. Even if a predator is scared initially, when they figure out the WfI person hasn't actually called the law, they're not going to be so intimidated. That can't be *good* for protecting kids. I mean, I am not a criminal psychology expert or anything, but a surprise reveal doesn't seem a likely deterrent for behaviors that are probably compulsive and pathologically ingrained and just on the whole a lot harder to remove than your average bad habit. If WfI is indeed a serious org, then they should have some clue about predator psychology, and they should be worried that their info might be abused.

Anyway, I'm more than preaching to the choir here, sorry.
unfilthy
May. 30th, 2007 08:11 am (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
That page is a scroller, so no, I didn't take screen shots, but it's there if you want to see it. At the bottom there are tips on how to create a childlike profile, and throughout there are instructions on how not to get caught in a lie, including stuff like making sure you know the major landmarks in the area you say you live in, how to avoid things your don't want (like avoiding subjects or voice chats) by saying your parents just walked in, or they'll hear you, or they look at your downloads, and so on and so forth. They say that if you're to receive kiddy porn, you might want to use an older computer for your "undercover" work, as you'll need to hand it over to the authorities. These people are dangerous. And very very stupid.

Don't worry about preaching to the choir, I'm still at the stage where I can barely believe these people are doing this, and knowing that others feel the same way is more than welcome.
unfilthy
May. 30th, 2007 08:21 am (UTC)
WFI's Instructions for Impersonating a Child
From the same page:

"Profile Page:

Here’s a sample Profile Page you can use for each persona or character that you use. Make sure you have this with you when you do Predator Barrier. If you make another persona, then make another Profile Page. This sample has false names and information included.


Your persona’s screen name: Steph965

Password: lol267

DOB on account: 5/12/1988

Your persona’s first and last name: Stephanie Robertson

Your age: DOB: 13, 9/21/1993

Your height and weight: 5' 1" 98 pounds (they like 'em small)

What size clothes/bra you wear: Size small, and bra size A, but it's still a little big on me. lol

Your Mom’s name/age: Dad’s name/age: Carol, 38, Carl, 41

Siblings- names/ages: Cathy, 19 Toby, 12

Friends names/ages: Jennifer Smith, 13

Ex boyfriends- names, ages, when broke up, etc:
Billy, 14 broke up on 1/15/07 because he's immature and cheated on me with Lisa.

City you live in: Los Angeles, CA

School you go to: Grade you are in: Wilson Middle School, 8th grade

Classes you like: Computers, PE, History

Classes you hate: English, Math

Link to school’s web site for reference: www dot Wilson dot com

Names of landmarks nearby:

Mall- Westfield Shopping Town, 123 N. Mall Street
Main Stores: Torrid, Gap, Body Jewelry, Macy's, etc
List Main Restaurants, video arcades, etc

Movie Theater- Bob's Movies, 123 Movie Street

Names of the other schools in town

Summer activities: Hang out at the mall, go to movies, go to best friend's house, swimming, etc

Activities: (List favorite music, tv shows, food, games, magazines, etc)"



This shit is seriously disturbing.
iko
May. 30th, 2007 09:32 am (UTC)
Re: WFI's Instructions for Impersonating a Child
They are hosted by Blogger. Does this content violate Blogger's TOS? Blogger's content policy discusses that you're not allowed to impersonate another person. Does content like this (instructions on how to impersonate another person) constitute a violation?

And yes, it is very disturbing.
frabjously
May. 30th, 2007 09:53 am (UTC)
Re: WFI's Instructions for Impersonating a Child
I am amazed they think this is a good idea.
starshards
May. 30th, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC)
Re: WFI's Instructions for Impersonating a Child
Sorry to just randomly poke my nose in, but that's some really fucked up shit.

I mean... isn't impersonating a child rather sick in itself?

Jesus, what the hell do they do if they end up 'catching' a 13 year old boy. They'd damn well traumatise him.

Seriously their whole operation is disturbingly sloppy. =/
greeneyedtengu
May. 30th, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC)
Re: WFI's Instructions for Impersonating a Child
They seem to be fans of CSI to a hard degree, as they state that they have no problem sending these people deeper into hiding because 'computer forensics are really really good'. Ugh.
phantomas
May. 31st, 2007 12:39 pm (UTC)
Re: WFI's Instructions for Impersonating a Child
It is, and thank you for digging it up.

I wonder if we all shouldn't in fact get a blog and then report WFI to the Blogger equivalent of LJ Abuse...given the content of their pages, it's very possible that Blogger Abuse might take some action..?
meiran
May. 30th, 2007 07:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
This is my concern: law enforcement officials and even To Catch a Predator have to be so amazingly careful not to do things that could constitute as entrapment.

Wouldn't these people, if they aren't being careful, qualify for entrapment if they were working with law enforcment and trying to get convinctions based on false pretenses like these? Obviously I'm not a lawyer, just somebody that grew up in a household with law enforcment, but this seems wrong somehow, and like something law enforcement would discourage.
heidi8
May. 30th, 2007 07:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
From the Department of Irony - BestWeekEver reported today that a Dateline producer is suing the To Catch A Predator team and calling them "shady" - the complaint is on Smoking Gun.
maisontv
May. 30th, 2007 07:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
Not only is it batshit insane, it's actually hindering and demeaning the efforts of actual law enforcement officials. I'm only a freshman criminology major, but from what I can see, by giving parents a "guide" to catching and "scaring" online predators, they are actually preventing parents from reporting these people to the police AND making the confronted offender more cautious. They won't stop because you yell at them; it just makes them smarter pedophiles.

My younger sister (14) has a Facebook and I saw a significantly older guy posting on her wall. The ONLY reason I did not immediately report him to Facebook and the police is that my sister didn't list her birthday and her profile picture was of our dog, so I had no concrete evidence that he was preying on her. I did however message him and informed him that she was only 14 and he backed off.
greeneyedtengu
May. 30th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
Here's what they have to say about harming legitimate efforts:

"Claims have been made that we're "hurting" the "legitimate" effort to fight pedophiles. How? By striving to ensure that their attempts to legitimize their sick ideas are not ignored by those that host them? Other claims that "law enforcement can't monitor them now" are baseless as well. They've already been reported to law enforcement, and those that make these claims are naive if they believe that LE cannot monitor these individuals simply because LJ has deleted their journals. Computer forensics has progressed by leaps and bounds in recent years."
kengr
May. 30th, 2007 10:05 am (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
http://www.answers.com/topic/barratry

The first definition is not *quite* what they are doing. But it's similar in spirit.
kengr
May. 30th, 2007 10:10 am (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
Actually, if any of them are on Yahoo pretending to be a kid when you aren't is a TOS violation!

This came up on the news the other night. It's a major annoyance for folks doing undercover work to trap predators.

And I rather suspect that most ISPs will take a dim view of anybody but law enforcement types or those *directly* working with them doing that sort of thing.
unfilthy
May. 30th, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
Unfortunately, we can't prove they're actually doing it. They're just saying that they are, and encouraging others to, and I don't think Yahoo can do anything about that.
(Anonymous)
May. 30th, 2007 04:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
Which is exactly what they're nailing us fandom folk for.

Not doing something.

Report them to yahoo.
thelana
May. 30th, 2007 12:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
Somebody should notify perverted-justice.com and ask them how much they like somebody perverting their methods like that (and even invoking them a la "You think this is illegal, you should watch Dateline!").
khym_chanur
May. 30th, 2007 07:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
The problem is that this group stumbled upon a "you can be held legally responsible for the actions of your users" theory that actually got SixApart's legal team worried. No matter what is done about the Warriors for Innocence group, it won't make the lawyers forget about the theory.
raikoala
May. 30th, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
The 'reveal' paragraph is so disturbing. It sounds so incredibly childish "say it with me: Ped*o*phile". Asides from it being clear that this approach on the subject is not even helpful, what's with the "neener, neener, neener - I caught YOUUUU, pedo~!"

I am not sure these people need to PRETEND they are children, if they are going to be acting like that anyway. And what about "even if you're not going to report them"? If you're going to do something this stupid and pose as a child, at least do the only senseful thing in this entire ordeal and REPORT the person.

This is aggrevating because this is messing severely with a VERY serious issue in a very irresponsible and thoughtless way.
starchildemt
May. 31st, 2007 01:15 am (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
I also noticed the part where they are very careful to make sure people don't use their name:

Do not say you are from Warriors For Innocence or that you are affiliated with us. You are a concerned citizen who is doing this on their own.

I also found a news article with a very interesting quote by the Six Apart CEO:

"Our decision here was not based on pure legal issues," countered Six Apart's Berkowitz. "It was based on what community we want to build and what we think is appropriate within that community and what's not. We have an awful broad range of discussions and topics and other things going on in LiveJournal, and we encourage other broad-ranging conversations on all sorts of topics. This was a specific case where we felt there was not a reason (for these journals to stay online)."

I can't remember the code for making a nifty link within the sentence because my brain is fried right now, but the article is here:

http://news.com.com/Mass+deletion+sparks+LiveJournal+revolt/2100-1025_3-6187619.html?tag=item

Very interesting article. But it's the quote that has me thinking WTF more than anything else. We don't all have the same religion or belief system, and much as we'd rather not think about it, bad things happen. I'd think it would be better to give people an online outlet to work through things so the cycle doesn't continue. We all agree exploiting children is bad. I just wasn't aware being a victim was a punishable offense.

I just want an answer, so what kind of community ARE we trying to build, exactly?
rayden54
May. 31st, 2007 01:38 am (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
[quote]Perhaps instead of trying to deal with this issue through LJ, it would be worth exploring whether they're breaking any laws, whether it's possible to report their actions to the authorities, or take some form of legal action against them. [/quote]

That would require the targeted individuals to reveal themselves to the authorities and we have no guarentee that they would rule in our favor.
dbaxdevilsfan
May. 31st, 2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Another Approach?
It appears the page with the information on how to pretend to be a child has been edited. By them? By Blogger? Who knows. The content of the page though is gone. :)
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