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Where Personal and Professional Life Collide...

My life in 8 words: Organized chaos, by preference. Exhausting, but never boring

Farewell Livejournal....
citron presse
I went to post this morning, and got hit with the new ToS from Livejournal's Russian Overlords. 

I find that I cannot in clear conscience agree to them.  For one, a quick read of the translated terms tells me that Livejournal no longer pretends to adhere to the concept of Freedom of Speech and privacy as (still) practiced in the USA.  For those of us who occasionally have Opinions of the political (or gender/sex-related) nature, those protections were what made such posts possible.  Under Putin's Russia's laws, those posts would risk more than trolls and flamewars.  And there is no guarantee that 'locking' a post would protect it.

Also worrying is the notice that the available (and kinda shitty)  translation of the User Agreement" is not a legally binding document." The original User Agreement, which is valid, is located at the following address: http://www.livejournal.com/legal/tos-ru.bml - and is entirely in Russian. It might be exactly the same context as the translation - and it might not. We're not working on a standard of mutual trust to begin with...

This is the point at which I generally say "get in the damn car and drive in the direction of Away Very Fast." 

Nearly fifteen years of my life's on LJ, and it hurts, but this is one of those "it's not me, it's you" situations.

So if you're reading this at LJ, come join me on Dreamwidth, or at my main blog, or hell, even on Fb, for now.  Because the suricattus account is probably going to go away RSN.

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What are you on DW? Because "Suricattus" comes up empty.

I'm Editrx there.


(slowly, I'm bringing everything under a single ID, the better to cross platforms.)

I'm over there with this same name. Not that I write a whole lot! But I'll add you.

The English version is the same as Russian. The disclaimer about the English version being not legally binding is standard practice for translations. Always done for example for legal or audit reports in Asia, where the English translation is accurate and complete but if you go to courts then the local language (the language of the jurisdiction) version will be used by the local courts. The same is done by many US firms when they translate contracts to foreign customers, if things end up in US courts then the English language originals will be used by the courts and considered binding not the translations. It is funny to me as not a native English speaker how surprised and outraged Americans become when something in the world is not in English. We deal with it all the time and often have to tick all those TOS boxes which are exclusively in English (which is not our native) for American sites and are more accustomed to it I guess. About 95 percent of LJ users are Russian, it is a Russian company based in Russia, it is not surprising to me that Russian version and Russian law became the main thing here.

Edited at 2017-04-05 01:17 am (UTC)

They specifically said that the English version was not the legally binding version, and I personally have no way to check the translation's veracity.

Business contracts need to be done in a single language, yes, but doing it in the language that the majority of people who must sign if here (and I doubt your claim that 75% of users are Russian -
can you cite your source please?) cannot read is not good faith.

None of which changes the fact that the context of the translated version is still - as I said above - not something I can stay with. Your attempt to lecture me is hereby rejected.

Edited at 2017-04-05 01:35 am (UTC)

Gee, I was not lecturing you just sharing my thoughts. Translations not being binding is usual practice and nobody can check translation veracity. It is not a secret that an overwhelming majority of users here are Russian, it is enough to look at Cyrillic LJ top and the number of entries and comments there and it becomes absolutely clear. It is a Russian company based in Russia with mostly Russian users. Russian TOS with non-binding translations is nothing unusual, that's all. I have no business with you staying or going, just was sharing my thoughts on "this OMG Russian version is binding and I cannot read it!". Welcome to our world, English is not our native language (my third actually) but English versions are binding for a lot of stuff I sign up for (and I do not bother and cannot always understand the dense legalese in English too).

Edited at 2017-04-05 01:42 am (UTC)

About 95 percent of LJ users are Russian, it is a Russian company based in Russia,

Live Journal WAS an American company founded in America that was sold to a Russian company back in 2007.

The Live Journal Stats page has been offline for years now, but according to this page, Live Journal's users are still predominantly in the United States.


Edited at 2017-04-05 12:30 pm (UTC)

It definitely was in 2007 and probably even later than this. And it definitely isn't now. It the main blogging site in Russia (that's why SUP bought it) and one quick look at Cyrillic LJ top leaves little doubt about complete dominance of the Russian active users here (just compare it to ours). They still have heaps of huge bloggers with huge followings there (although rapidly declining too) including people famous offline etc. Many of them have huge advertising contracts via LJ and openly charge up to 5K USD for one promotion post. That's exactly what happened to LJ and has been much discussed in Russian media too. International users abandoned it and it became a Russian platform. Many of their top bloggers have been moving too because of the decline in Russian users numbers too. On our international side I am in top 40 of all times (!!) with two digits number of people reading me daily. For the Russian side these numbers are laughable, their top 50 gets tenths of thousands views.

The only thing that the Russians themselves acknowledged as still relevant in the international segment for them a while ago was ONTD community I think. But I heard about it a while ago, not sure what happened to ONTD since then.

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