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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.
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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.

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