I've been asked a lot of different things lately in regard to the work I do with lj_abuse. Each of the cases we get requires a lot of investigation and inquiry to past precedents, FAQ references, as well as references to the Abuse Bible, LiveJournal's Terms of Service.
It's interesting to me how people throughout LJ can totally disregard ToS in favor of their own personal agenda, or try and make up their own set of rules, such that they demand imposition on everyone within the confines of LiveJournal. It's pretty simple to accept that the speed limit on I-85 is 70MPH. I understand people feeling that such a speed is too fast, or that it is too slow. Or that all interstates in North America should be the Autobahn. But here's the thing, folks. No matter what the fuck you think, say, or do - the goddamned speed limit is 70 MPH - end of story.
Oh, and what's more? That more people don't even bother to read the ToS to begin with. That thing you are referred to when you create your account - that EVERYONE gets referred to when they create an account - that gives you LJ's rules/guidelines, as it were. Like all of the sudden, ToS just "happened" to fuck up your day.
I'm proud to volunteer for the Abuse Team. I believe that the team, its methodology, and its members are as fair and impartial as is possible to be. I accept and have no problem with anyone who is critical of the team and the work we do, that is more than fair. Conversely, if you don't DO the job, or really know HOW it's done, such criticism isn't worth taking seriously. It requires a lot to give of yourself, in time, energy, and resources, to volunteer for anything to begin with. You are willingly entering into a situation where you have to take a lot of shit to see the end result of fairness, which I believe we achieve more often than not.
I see tons of stuff that I find morally objectionable, but I believe that people have the right to say what they want to say until or unless it infringes upon someone else's rights as dictated by the rulebook. Hell, in the not-too-distant past I've even ended friendships as a result of things people said here on LJ that I found completely fucked up - but they have just as much right to say what they want to say as I or anyone else does. And if it bothers me, I don't have to read it or be affected by it. That's my choice, something I can do for myself that doesn't require outside intervention.
I also hate censorship. For as much as I staunchly disagree with racism, sexism, homophobia (duh), and the like, and while I find pretty much all of that rhetoric invalid, ridiculous, baseless, and unredeeming, I'm careful on a personal level to go into battle about it. My personal feelings about things get left at the door when I work in Abuse. ToS doesn't care what my personal feelings are on anything, and rightly so.
The First Amendment is a big deal with us. Classic example, Fred Phelps and his hatemonger cult. I hate him, hate everything about him and every word out of the asshole he calls a mouth. Big fucking deal, though - he's as much an American citizen as I am and as such he is free to say whatever he wants to say, regardless how anyone else feels about it. The more people who get to hear his bullshit, the more people see him for what he is. He does more damage flying under society's radar, so by all means let him say what he wants to say, as loudly as he wants to say it. Matter of fact, I'll personally hold his megaphone in one hand while in the other I hold a sign that points to him and reads "Listen carefully to this stupid Hitleresque motherfucker!"
Read your Terms of Service, people. Say what you want to say, there is no rule that says you have to play nice. All we ask is that you play by the rules and comply when you break one, no matter what the other guy did. That's more than fair. You're responsible for yourself, not anyone else. You're also responsible for how you react to others, good, bad, or indifferent. And let's not forget what I find to be the most astonishing thing about everyone who bitches about ToS and lj_abuse - it would be one thing if following ToS was difficult, but it's not. Grandstanding and threatning legal action in the name of being taken seriously? Are you fucking kidding me with this bullshit?
You have many choices in keeping an online journal, there are many to choose from. Part of what makes LiveJournal special is that it's an open source project. Don't like how we do stuff? Fine - take the code and start your own. Just remember before you rip on us and tell us to fuck off that you have other choices, so you can live by LiveJournal's ToS or fuck off yourself. So there. >:OP