I learned once, in the context of spirituality, to ask myself the question: “Is it possible that there is something i do not fully understand … the understanding of which could change everything?”
I think that could apply to this LJ/6A situation too. Having just read The terrible secret of Livejournal i think i have just realised something. I need a little more time to think about it, and the implications, but in a nutshell it says that Six Apart have done fandom a huge favour by not saying what’s legal and what’s illegal. I think one paragraph of the article sums it up very well:
The best thing Six Apart could do for fandom is basically what they did. They said “We will obey the law.” They have to say that. They didn’t say what the law actually entails, which means they didn’t admit to knowing what the law actually entails, and they didn’t force us all to have the very unfortunate discussion of how much fandom material is actually legal. They said “We will ban anyone we know is doing illegal things through Livejournal.” They also have to say that. They didn’t say how strongly they have to know you’re doing illegal things to warrant a ban. They didn’t say it – because it would be suicide – but they came as close as they possibly could to saying, “If you make sure we don’t see it, we’ll let you post what you want to post. And we’ll try hard not to look until we’re forced to.”
I still don’t think Six Apart handled the situation very well; permanently deleting was a bit much in my opinion, i don’t like the underhand removal of the strikethrough, i can’t believe it took them 5 days to even acknowledge they’d noticed something was going on … and i am still waiting for a public apology from burr86. Add to that all the other things i’ve disliked about LiveJournal over the years, and i am very happy to be out of it. But i have definitely softened my opinion of Six Apart since reading that article and considering what i did not fully understand.