Previous Entry Share Next Entry
On the whole FB-Twitter repost thing: A few words
cap, captain miss america
teaberryblue
So, LiveJournal just created a feature that isn't particularly well-thought-out.

Is anyone surprised? I am not. We're kinda used to them not really thinking about how many users don't use their journals as traditional blogs. Some people do, and those people, I am sure, would love to have all the features a traditional blog has. Other people don't, and in those cases, these new features are potentially problematic in the way they're structured now.

Telling LJ you don't like them is awesome. That is a good way to respond to something you don't like.

HOWEVER, I am getting really sick of commentary from people on my friendslists and elsewhere that suddenly assumes people who have been given access to their locked posts for years are now going to misuse that trust, when they didn't misuse it before.

Yeah, there are plenty of cases of people leaking information from LJ to other places. It's been happening for years and years and people who do that are usually douchebags-- although not always; I can think of a few cases where it was really important that information from a locked post was shared. But the majority of times, this is an asshole move.

But the vast majority of us are not assholes. We respect the trust of people who allow us to see their locked posts. We have never shared information that was not intended to be shared, or have only shared it in cases where we felt an obligation to do so. We respect the line between people's different internet personae and we do not cross it.

I do not treat other people like potential criminals. If someone hurts me or does something to wrong me, I treat them as a person who has wronged me, until such a time that we can work out our differences, if I believe that's possible. I believe that it is inherently unkind to treat a person who has done nothing wrong as if I expect them to. It's something you see in a lot of workplaces, an uncomfortable relationship between management and their employees, where employees are treated as potential thieves. Sometimes, entire shifts of employees are fired, even ones who have proven their trustworthiness over months and years, because of inventory loss. I believe that is a wrong way to treat human beings.

And so, I also believe it is a wrong way to treat human beings to level threats at people or to take action that shows an inherent mistrust of people with whom you have trusted information about yourself until now. If you do not trust people to respect your privacy and the privacy of your other friends, don't let them see information that you do not trust them with. If your friends claim to mistrust other people in whom you have placed your trust, ask whether that is reasonable. Ask if your response would be the same in a face to face situation, if one friend told you that they do not trust someone whom you have known and trusted for a long time. Me, I would be insulted if someone came to me and said they expected me to change the way I run my journal because they did not trust and respect my judgment, or felt that they were entitled to decide who should have access to my posts of certain types. I have chosen whom to share what information with. I should not have to amend my choices to suit someone else's inherent mistrust.

I realize that plenty of people have felt betrayed by other people regarding lack of prudence as far as sharing internet information. But that lack of prudence, or deliberate disregard, has been going on since I first came online in 1995. No new feature is going to suddenly turn people who weren't assholes before into assholes. Do not trust people who have shown disregard for you in the past-- but do not treat people who have worked hard to gain your trust and respect as if they are potential threats. They do not deserve it, and that display of mistrust is, to me, more hurtful than most of the mistakes people could make.
Tags: , ,

  • 1
Most of the post I've seen are things saying "if you use this feature on locked posts in my journal, I will defriend you." Are you seeing others?

I see it as a disclaimer. I mean, I'm not hyper vigilant about my identity online, but I have friends who are. (Honestly, if you google my name I'm not anywhere on the first 10 pages.) And I'd hate to be the one who inadvertently led their employer to find their gay porn, you know?

I'm sorry you're feeling hurt by all this nonsense.

Those are the majority of posts I've seen. Many of them are writte thisn in a reasonable "Do I really need to say this?" Or "I won't insult my friends by suggeasting they would do this," voice, but many are written in a tone that suggests that they do not assume the people on their friendslists are capable of making the same responsible decisions about what to share that they havealways made.

I have to admit that coming back to LJ after a week off and find so many defriending threats was a real bummer.

I'm with you in that I trust most people to do the right thing. Of course, I also think that such statements were a simplified backlash against what felt like a breach of privacy, which seems inevitable whenever you mix Facebook in with anything.

Yeah, and those feelings are totally valid. I just feel it's wrong to take those feelings out on people who didn't do anything wrong. We all know people have a right to defriend us or not share information with us if it makes them uncomfortable and the majority of us respect that.

You make some good points. It's interesting to me to compare LJ friends' responses to these changes.

Yeah, I have seen a lot of different responses to this, and I think that is in a lot of ways because every single person uses LJ a different way. But there's a big difference to me between saying "hey, I don't think this is right for me," and using scare tactics to influence people who haven't really had a chance to assess for themselves whether it's right for them.

I don't friend a$$hats so I didn't feel the need to say anything about it on my LJ, though I did leave a snarky comment on the news post.

What I am uneasy about is the way this whole thing was handled by the powers that be. Like you said this isn't the first time they've screwed the pooch, and it got me thinking hard about how and why I use LJ. I liked my illusion of privacy and control.

Yay! Not friending asshats! I approve.

I left some serious and critical comments on the LJ post. I think that the option to have this feature is an inherently good one, because it does help a segment of the LJ userbase. I don't like the idea of journal owners getting to decide whether this feature exists in their journals, because comments on posts are the copyright of the person who left the comment, not the person who keeps the journal, and they should be allowed to crosspost them if they see fit. However, the journal owner should be able to specify what type of link, if any, is included in those crossposted comments-- do they want them to be divorced from their journal completely? Do they only want links in them if it's a public entry? Would they prefer a username link to a specific journal URL link? All three are feasible options, and I'd like to see them implement the same feature while opening up those options. And then leave users to trust their friends to use good judgment. Crossposting a comment that quotes a locked post is poor judgment. But I think most people would consider that before posting.

I genuinely don't think this was such a huge error on LJ's part in terms of offering the feature. I do think they erred in not giving the feature more customization. They do have a pretty good record of fixing things when they realize they've fucked up. It would just be nice for them to do more research before implementing fuckups.

You have a good point about the copyright of the comments, and if the first option (divorced from the journal owner completely) was available...I have to admit my reaction would've been different, despite my dislike for Facebook.

I know 8,000+ users are really a small segment of the user base, so this feature is probably here to stay. What bothers me is that if there wasn't a simple market survey to gain awareness of these concerns beforehand or even a pilot program to iron out the bugs...how can I trust their professionalism with the data they already have on their users?

It seems they're not learning from past fuckups on how to manage these types of change, and that is what I find worrying.

I love you, and this post. Some of the posts on my flist have been downright offensive, and it makes me like I'm not trusted.

Yeah, I understand people being upset at LJ but treating flists like they're not capable of making responsible decisions is just not cool. We're all friends here and we should be treating each other like friends, not like we're all out to get each other. I love you, too, and I don't treat people I love like they would ever even consider doing something to hurt me.

I admire the way you approach these kinds of things, Tea. For the most part, my friends' posts have been more ranty about the choices lj have made and a kind of cutesy remark about "I know my friends probably won't do this and I'm telling you that I won't cross-post on your locked posts" -- but I can see how comments could get accusatory and offensive quickly...

Yeah, I think plenty of people have just been genuinely worried and posting to say that the feature makes them uncomfortable. But some of them have crossed the line into really seeming like they're accusing people on their flists of suddenly not knowing that this is bad behavior when it is pretty common knowledge that it is.

I have been quietly contemplating how this facebook linkage is so very different than, um, cut'n'paste. A little easier, sure, but that's not the reaction it's getting.

The problem I see with it is that LJ does control the formatting. It's impossible for me to share my comment using LJ's controls and decide whether or not to link it to the post in question. So right now, the feature is fundamentally flawed. But that doesn't make the feature a bad feature. It makes it a poorly-implemented feature. I'm also kind of upset that pingback is getting treated like a villainous thing, which is likely only because it was posted about in the same news update. Pingback is a really great thing-- I love to be able to see who's signal-boosted my posts when I start getting comments from people I don't know.

I have been kind of upset to have so many people on my friendslist yelling at me - even if it is directed at everyone on their friendslist and not me personally, repeatedly seeing "If you do X I will never talk to you again" from people I like makes me feel like I am doing something wrong even if I would never have done X anyway.

So. Thank you for not doing that. And I would still love you even if you pressed the wrong tickybox.

If I pressed the wrong ticky, I would go on Facebook and delete it!

It sort of reminds me of the old story about the mother who warned the children not to put beans up their noses. None of them had even thought of doing it before. It was her warning not to do it that made them all think they should try it. I genuinely believe that most LJ users would learn how the feature works and think about using it in the same way that they think about using any other feature, according to the same rules they've always used other features: don't pass on information that isn't intended to be passed on. LJ entries warning people that the functionality is kinda creepy in certain set circumstances are good. LJ entries acting like everyone on earth is likely to use this creepy functionality and pressuring people not to use it even in non-creepy circumstances are kinda jerky.

This is a great perspective on it. I don't think I read my copypasta very quickly, but it was as much a 'pass info on' thing as anything. I wouldn't be with the defriending 'threats' personally.

I think the things that bothered me about the copypasta was that it heavily implied that if people leave this on their journals, their friends are likely to use it. And that I do sort of feel like the reasoning in that post for removing it wholesale (and then "warning" that people can still use it in their own view) is like saying that people can't be trusted not to use it. I would have felt differently about the post if it was a "hey, I post comments by doing tab+enter, so this new feature is getting in my way! Here's how to get rid of it so you can hit tab+enter again!" But I felt like it was saying "Get rid of this because people can't be trusted to make responsible choices!"

Does that make sense?

Exactly. I was thinking this on your previous post too, but I like how you say it here.

I've seen a good half dozen of these defriending threats pop up on my friend's list too, and I feel a little insulted to see them. I'm not interested in abusing the trust of people I'm friend's with, and I am annoyed that suddenly it's assumed I will. It makes me wonder why I'm friends with them in the first place, if they assume I might post all their stuff on Facebook or twitter in the first place.

Yeah. I've had a few defriends in the past couple days, which I expect were prompted by this, and I actually respect that, since neither of them are people I know very well, so I suspect they were just thinking, "okay, I want to take off people I don't know well enough to know their posting habits." If this changes the way you want to use your friendslist, that is totally cool. But I really don't think anyone on my friendslist is going to publicly post anything that I, you know, say "hey, this is not for public consumption." People have better manners than that in general.

If you do not trust people to respect your privacy and the privacy of your other friends, don't let them see information that you do not trust them with.

This. It's simple. That's what filters are for! I have some friends that have gone blabbing things to my ex in the past and it's simple, I now just don't let them see anything that I wouldn't want passed on in the first place. ;)


Yeah, there are always going to be people who do shitty things or just plain have off judgment, and it's totally within anyone's rights to do whatever the heck they have to to protect personal information from those people.

Thanks for posting this. I've been feeling the same way about all of these posts.

No problem. I think people are totally within their rights to be unhappy about the way the new feature was implemented, but I don't like when misplaced anger gets taken out on the wrong people.

(Deleted comment)
Well, that's not what pingback is, anyway. You can only pingback your own LJ. It's when you post an LJ entry that includes a link to a post they made, it tells them so. It tells people regardless of whether it's a locked post, but it's only something you can do yourself. I don't think links to posts inside comments will pingback a post, that's not how pingback works on any blog I've used.

If people think that's what pingback is, that's really bad, because pingback is completely voluntary, and if you're writing a post you don't want people to see that links someone else, you can just turn off pingback while you're writing it and it won't ping back. Pingback is an incredibly useful and good feature 99% of the time, because it tells people if someone's signal boosted a post.

(Deleted comment)
I'm confused. What's happening?

LJ created a new feature that lets people voluntarily cross-post their comments to Facebook or Twitter. Not necessarily a bad feature for people who want to do that, but it auto-links the post that they commented on, even if the post is a friends-locked post. People on Facebook or Twitter can't SEE the f-locked post, but it still brings up some privacy concerns for people who keep their internet identities separate, because people can get to their journals that way, or find out they've written a locked post about a specific subject. So it's not implemented really well. A lot of people have been registering why this upsets them, which is totally valid, but some of the commentary I've read has been written in a way to implicate people on their flists as not being trustworthy enough to figure out this is a stupid/insensitive thing to do all on their own.

I always felt like my friends who mentioned it in their journals said it more in a 'heads up' sort of way, but that could also just be my friends. When I wrote mine, I wasn't sure if it was necessary because of what you just mentioned, but then again some people have different privacy boundaries so I wanted to be clear about what my boundaries were so no feelings were hurt later on. But to my defense, it wasn't clear to me how the functionality worked at the time of writing it. I thought the post would show and that the option for cross-posting was also automatic for locked posts. And I know I don't always realize when a post is locked or not so I couldn't assume others would.

I didn't think you said anything problematic at all.

I think the thing with not noticing if posts are locked is that I usually don't notice...until I want to mention something about them elsewhere. I always check to see if posts are locked before I quote them or link to them, and I think most other people do, too.

The funny thing about this is, to me, there are a lot of people who are up in arms about the very concept of linking to locked posts at all, claiming it violates their privacy to even let other people know that a locked post was made. And I actually get why that upsets people, but I had never heard anyone state that objection publicly until this came up. Usually when people link to locked posts, which does happen from time to time, because someone genuinely didn't notice it was locked, all the objections come from people who can't see it complaining that it is annoying to be linked to a locked post. I don't recall any time I've seen the person being linked to object.

I think it may be the issue of people's inherent distrust in Facebook, which I totally understand (I don't particularly trust it, either, but I use it to keep in touch with several people who can't necessarily give out a personal email address), and the fact that really before this, people mainly posted links to locked posts on LJ, so not somewhere where non-LJ-people would see. I'm not accusing anyone who is upset about it now of being oversensitive or anything like that (although I have seen a couple total hypocrites who have publicly posted screencaps of other people's locked posts and told those people to lighten up who are now freaking out about this because THEIR privacy is threatened), my interest in this reaction is more of a "hmm, I never thought of that as something that people would consider bad before, because I've never seen anyone bring it up prior to this."

  • 1
?

Log in