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Abuse Prevention Team Policies and Procedures

Table of Contents
Policies
Adult Content
Child Pornography and Explicit Images of Minors
Copyright Violation
Evasion of Termination
Hate Speech
High Volume Reposters / Aggregators
Illegal Content
Impersonation
Inappropriate Content
Journal Ban Evasion
Journal Break-in
Missing Maintainers
Non-LiveJournal Requests
Objectionable Userpic
Self Harm
Shared Authorization Code
Spam
Suicidal Posts
Third-Party Requests
Threatening Content
Unwanted Friending
Miscellaneous
Definitions
Standard Compliance Timeline
Adult Content
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

Content is present which is intended for adult readers, and should not be accessible to minors.

Action

If the content is graphic and explicit in nature (for example, an image which contains nudity, sexuality (including homosexual relationships), or violence), the content will be flagged as containing explicit adult content. Journals or communities which consist primarily of such content will have a journal-wide setting placed which affects all entries posted to the journal or community. If the content is not graphic or explicit in nature, no action will be taken. This includes images which contain non-sexualized nudity, such as images of mothers breastfeeding or an image of the Statue of David.

Note

See FAQ 281 on what happens when content is flagged as either "Adult concepts" or "Explicit adult content". Reports of explicit adult content should be submitted using the "Report" link on entries, journals, and profiles; these reports will not be accepted through the standard abuse reporting process. All reported content is reviewed by staff and volunteers before it is set as containing explicit adult content. Having content flagged as containing explicit adult content does not mean it is in violation of LiveJournal's User Agreement, and no other action will be taken for posting this type of content.

Explanation

LiveJournal is committed to allowing users the ability to post a wide variety of content, but we recognize that certain types of content should not be accessible to minors. This policy assists in preventing minors from viewing adult content without affecting adults.

Child Pornography and Explicit Images of Minors
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

A user has posted content on LiveJournal, or has provided means for others to obtain content, which meets the legal definition of child pornography.

Action

Content which does not clearly meet the definition of child pornography but which is questionable due to uncertainty regarding the age of person(s) portrayed, or which, for any other reason demonstrates characteristics which, in LiveJournal's opinion, is questionable, LiveJournal will disable access to that material pending internal review. If the poster can provide clear evidence that the person was 18 or older at the time the image was created, they may continue use of the material.

Note

Any photograph, video, or other similar content which would lead an ordinary person to conclude that it depicts an actual minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct is covered by this policy.

Explanation

LiveJournal has zero tolerance for this type of illegal content, or the users who have posted it.

Copyright Violation
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

LiveJournal has received official notification in compliance with Russian Federation law that content posted by a user violates the copyright of another person or business.

Action

Upon receipt of an official notification, access to the material will be disabled in 24 hours. The copy of the copyright violation report will be forwarded to the user who has posted the violation material.

Note

LiveJournal does not make legal determinations regarding use of content allegedly infringing on another person's copyright, such as whether or not use of the content qualifies as "fair use". Users who feel they have a legal right to use the material should present us with copyright licences or valid court order allowing them to use this material. We strongly advise that they consult with a lawyer before doing so.

Explanation

We only reсeive copyright reports via form or by email to copyright@livejournal.com. The report must contain information in accordance with Russian Fereral law #149 (ch.15.7, ##2-3). Photos which depict the reporter themselves are not considered subjects to copyright violation and are reviewed individually.

Evasion of Termination
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

Offender has continued to use LiveJournal after being informed that they are no longer permitted to maintain any accounts on the site (terminated).

Action

If there is proof that a user who was previously terminated is using the service again, all accounts belonging to that person will be permanently suspended.

Note

This policy only applies to users who have previously been terminated. Most users who have had accounts suspended are still permitted to use alternate accounts, and will only have action taken against them if they continue to violate the User Agreement.

Explanation

This policy allows us to continue enforcing the termination of individuals who have been removed from the service for either grievous violations of law, or who have proven they are unable to abide by the User Agreement.

Hate Speech
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

A user has posted content which encourages, incites, or advocates harm or violence against a specific person or group of people.

Action

If the content meets the above criteria, access to that content will be disabled. If a journal or community consists primarily of hate speech, the account will be permanently suspended.

Note

Hate speech is a crime if the speaker threatens violence against a specific person or group of persons that has, or is perceived to have, a character trait that is protected by law, and if the speaker has the apparent ability to carry out the threat. This policy does not apply to content which is clearly satirical/hyperbole.

Explanation

We have decided to not allow content which incites harm against any person or group. We feel it is important that users do not use LiveJournal as a means of encouraging violence against anyone, regardless of the reason.

High Volume Reposters / Aggregators
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

An account is being used to aggregate or repost a large volume of content which is not blatant spam, but is also not obviously meaningful content.

Action

LiveJournal will suspend accounts which have been detected as violating one or more of the following rules:

1) Aggregation or reposting on LiveJournal must be meaningful. The content being syndicated or reposted should be relevant to other LiveJournal members, not just marketing material, SEO content, or attempts to manipulate Ratings.

2) You must comply with the rules outlined in LiveJournal's Bot Policy. In particular, you should be familiar with the sections on Rates & Limits and Well-Formed User Agents.

3) A description of the intended purpose of the aggregator should be included in the profile page of your account.

4) Any high volume account which is being used primarily for aggregation should use LiveJournal's syndicated account type. If more control and/or historical entries are needed, a Professional package of service for an account must be used. Accounts being used primarily for reposting other entries in high volume must also use a Professional package of service for their account. Please note that purchasing a Professional package does not grant you exemption from the other rules listed or other site policies.

Note

If your account has been suspended, and you are both willing and able to change the activity of your aggregator to bring it in compliance with these rules, please contact the Abuse Prevention Team.

Explanation

Accounts falling into this category put a greater strain on LiveJournal's resources than typical accounts, and are often used for a variety of questionable purposes. This set of rules helps ensure that these activities will be done in a way which does not negatively impact the LiveJournal service for others.

Illegal Content
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

User is posting content which is intrinsically illegal, or is soliciting, instructing, or encouraging others to violate the law.

Action

In the case of content which is intrinsically illegal, such as attempting to buy or sell things which are illegal to distribute, access to the post will be disabled. Content which solicits, instructs, or encourages illegal activities will result in access to the post being disabled. If the illegal activity is deemed by the Abuse Prevention Team to be likely to cause permanent or irreparable harm, permanent suspension may be considered.

Note

This policy does not cover material which merely discusses illegal activities from a theoretical, academic, or personal experience viewpoint. As noted in section XXI of the User Agreement, LiveJournal is based in Russian Fereration, and as such is governed by Russian federal law. Users not residing in the Russian Federation are still required to abide by RF law on LiveJournal.

Explanation

While discussing illegal activities may not be illegal itself, providing information to others on how to break the law can be. To protect ourselves and our users, we take action to remove this material when it is brought to our attention.

Impersonation
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

Content is present in which an individual is misrepresenting their identity.

Action

If a journal exists primarily to impersonate, the journal will be permanently suspended. If there is content that misrepresents the poster's identity, but the journal does not exist primarily for this purpose, access to the post will be disabled.

Note

Journals which exist as satire of, or to role-play as a public figure are considered allowable so long as the journal very clearly states that the journal author is not actually the person they are representing. This should be visible both in the journal's profile and in the journal itself (either incorporated into the style or in a future dated entry). One such disclaimer, which users in this situation are welcome to use, is: "In creating this journal, the author has assumed another person's identity for the sole purpose of entertainment, without intending to obtain a benefit or to injure or defraud either the person whose identity the author has assumed, nor any reader of this content."

Explanation

Identity theft is a serious problem, and to reduce the risk of someone claiming to be someone else and taking actions or saying things that would damage the actual person, we've chosen to forbid impersonation of other individuals on our service. We do, however, recognize that many users wish to create journals of public figures, which we've chosen to permit if it a user makes a clear, visible statement that they are not actually that person.

Inappropriate Content
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

A user has posted content which incites, encourages, or advocates pedophilia, the abuse of children in any way, or the act of rape.

Action

All accounts belonging to the user who posted the material will be terminated.

Explanation

This policy exists due to the extremely harmful nature of the activities in question, and we do not want users who incite, encourage, or advocate any of these activities present on LiveJournal.

Journal Ban Evasion
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

A user which has been banned from a journal or community is using alternate accounts to continue commenting.

Action

User should receive a warning that use of alternate accounts for the purpose of circumventing bans is not permitted.

Note

Repeat offenders will be subject to further action taken against their account(s).

Explanation

Because LiveJournal offers technical solutions to prevent unwanted contact from other people, we feel it is important that people attempt to resolve their disputes through use of these tools prior to intervention from the Abuse Prevention Team. In some cases, however, new accounts are created to continue to contact someone who has banned the user from their journal. This policy is designed to ensure that a user can block unwanted contact even from users who attempt to circumvent the technical measures in place.

Journal Break-in
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

A person has gained access to another user's account without the authorization of the journal owner.

Action

All accounts owned by the responsible person will be terminated. Any user who posts any scheme which attempts to gather LiveJournal users' passwords will also be subject to termination. The individual whose account was accessed should be provided a link to FAQ 117 which contains information on how to resecure their account.

Note

Users should never provide their passwords to anyone, including their friends or representatives of LiveJournal, for any reason. Similarly, you should never log in to another person's account even if they have provided you with the password and given you permission. In such cases, if the other user later claims they did not authorize you to log in, the Abuse Prevention Team will assume their statement is true without substantial evidence to the contrary. In cases where there is evidence that a large number of accounts have been broken into, all accounts suspected of being inappropriately accessed may be suspended until each journal owner has contacted the Abuse Prevention Team and taken appropriate steps to re-secure their account.

Explanation

LiveJournal takes extensive precautions to prevent users from losing access to their accounts. Some users still, however, lose access to their accounts through various means. LiveJournal has no tolerance for individuals who break in to other users' accounts, and has adopted the policy to send a clear message that such people will not be allowed to maintain accounts here.

Missing Maintainers
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

An active community is experiencing issues which require the attention of a maintainer to resolve, and no active maintainer is present.

Action

If there are situations present in the community which require a maintainer's intervention, the Abuse Prevention Team will attempt to contact the maintainer(s), inquire if they still wish to maintain their communities, and transfer maintainership to another member of the community as appropriate.

Note

Inactive communities or communities which do not have any situations present which would require the attention of an owner/maintainer will not have maintainership transferred.

Explanation

Sometimes people stop using LiveJournal, and sometimes that person will be a community maintainer. We feel it is necessary, under certain circumstances, to give maintainer status to other members within the community to deal with problems along the lines of spam, harassing users, and a number of other problems which can arise in active communities.

Non-LiveJournal Requests
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

Any report regarding material which is not present on LiveJournal.

Action

The reporting user should be informed we have no influence over the content, and should be advised that in order to resolve their issue they will need to contact the appropriate department of the website where the content is located.

Note

This also includes reports of action taken by a user on another service. We do not take action against users on LiveJournal for offenses they may have committed elsewhere.

Explanation

This one speaks for itself; we simply can't act as the Support or Abuse department for another website. It's none of our business what occurs off our servers, unless that offsite content is brought to LiveJournal in some way.

Objectionable Userpic
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

A userpic violates User Agreement in terms of inappropriate content.

Action

The userpic will be taken down by Abuse Prevention Team, and the account owner will be noted.

Self Harm
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

Material posted which encourages or instructs others on how to engage in destructive behavior such as self-injury, self-mutilation, anorexia, drug or alcohol overdose, or suicide.

Action

If the material provides instructions on how to commit self-destructive behavior, or encourages others to do same, access to the material will be disabled. If an entire journal or community is dedicated to instructing or encouraging self-destructive behavior, the account will be suspended. Content which only discusses self-destructive behavior, even in positive terms, is not prohibited.

Note

This policy does not apply to content which is clearly satirical/hyperbole.

Explanation

LiveJournal does not condone self-destructive behavior in any capacity, such as communities which promote anorexia as a healthy lifestyle choice, but we also recognize that users should be able to discuss and seek support for dealing with problems related to self-harm. We do not, however, allow content which encourages or instructs others on how to engage in self-destructive behavior.

Shared Authorization Code
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

A user has shared the URL (with authorization code) for their Abuse report with others, thereby removing the security and confidentiality of the report.

Action

The user should be informed that the report will be closed without further comment, and instructed to open a new request if they wish for their complaint to be considered, and should be advised against sharing the authorization code of the new report.

Explanation

Requests are meant to be private communications between one user and the Abuse Prevention Team; many users are unaware that by sharing the link to their request they give others access to view and comment to that request. We feel it is important to continue communications in a new, secure request.

Spam
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

Numerous identical or nearly identical unsolicited, unwanted, abusing comments or entries have been posted to various journals and/or communities.

Action

If a journal owner or community maintainer believes a comment is spam, he or she should delete the content, and select the "Mark as Spam" option which will appear. This will submit a report to our spam management system, and will be included with any other reports against the same user (or IP address for anonymous comments). These reports are periodically reviewed and acted upon by the Abuse Prevention Team. If it is determined that a user is spamming, they will receive a warning. Repeat offenses will lead to further action being taken. Accounts which exist primarily for the purpose of spamming will be permanently suspended.

Explanation

People almost unanimously agree that spam is unwanted, whether it be in the form of email, entries on their friends pages, or comments to their journal. Because of this, we believe it is appropriate to prohibit users of the service from posting a large number of unsolicited comments or entries.

Suicidal Posts
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

A report has been received indicating that a user is at risk for suicide.

Action

If the user has stated in no uncertain terms that (a) he or she intends to commit suicide, (b) his or her stated plans are currently happening or scheduled for a specific time, and (c) the Abuse Prevention Team is able to determine sufficient information for the police to locate the user (full name and either address or telephone number), the user's local authorities will be contacted, provided with the information available, and the caller will urge the authorities to send an officer to the user's location for a "wellness check". If all three of these conditions are not met, no action can be taken.

Note

The conditions which are outlined above are in place because these are generally required by authorities before they can assist in these matters.

Explanation

Suicide is a very serious matter, and we believe it is our responsibility to notify proper authorities when we are made aware of a LiveJournal user attempting to commit suicide. While we may not be legally required to do so, we feel it is our moral and ethical obligation to take any and all action we can to prevent the potential loss of someone's life.

Third-Party Requests
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

A report is submitted by someone other than the person directly affected or targeted by abuse.

Action

No action required. The person submitting the report should be advised that the person directly involved with the situation will need to contact the Abuse Prevention Team.

Note

Requests from third parties may be considered if there is clear evidence that the person directly involved cannot submit a request on their own behalf.

Explanation

The person who is targeted by the post may not have any objections to the material that is posted. Because of this, we feel it important to receive a request from the person actually affected by the offending content, or someone legally authorized to act for them, to ensure they want to have the material removed.

Threatening Content
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

An entry or comment threatens harm to another person.

Action

In all cases where a user indicates they feel threatened, they should be advised to contact their local authorities. No action should be taken until the person being threatened has confirmed that action by LiveJournal will not destroy evidence for any criminal investigation they may pursue. If confirmed, access to the entry will be disabled. Repeat offenders may have further action taken against their account.

Note

Threats which are clearly satirical, hyperbolic, or demonstrate by other means that the poster has neither the ability nor intent to carry out the threat will not be acted on.

Explanation

We acknowledge that removing a threatening entry will not remove an individual's intent to act, and in many cases may hinder authorities' ability to investigate a matter. We do, however, feel it appropriate to remove threatening content if the person being threatened acknowledges this, and that users repeatedly threatening others should not be permitted to continue doing so.

Unwanted Friending
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Summary

A user has been added to the friends list of another user to whom they do not wish to be connected.

Action

If the journal used does not appear to exist primarily to harass the user(s) they have friended, no action required. Journals which exist primarily to add many users to their friends list as a means of harassing or spamming others will be permanently suspended.

Note

Often taken into consideration to determine if a journal exists solely to harass or disrupt use of the service for others.

Explanation

The isolated act of adding someone to your friends list only grants a person the ability to read their public entries on your friends page, and we do not generally consider this to be an act of harassment. However, in some cases, users do clearly add people to their friends list as a means to spam, harass, or gain the attention of the intended victim(s), and in these cases we feel it is important to take action.

See Also


Definitions
Last updated: 12 April 2017

Suspension
When an single entry is suspended, it is accessible and viewable only to the poster of the entry and Abuse Prevention Team. Users are able to edit suspended entries and submit requests for the edited version to be reviewed by the Abuse Prevention Team. Should the edited version comply with LiveJournal's stated policies and User Agreement, the new entry will again be visible and accessible. Should the edited version not comply with LiveJournal's stated policies and User Agreement, the entry will remain suspended.

When a user's account is suspended, all entries and comments the user has made through that account anywhere on LiveJournal are hidden, and no new entries or comments can be posted. Unless they have been informed that the suspension is permanent, a user can have their account unsuspended.
Read-Only
A journal which has been placed in read-only mode is unable to have new entries or comments posted to it, and the journal owner cannot post new entries or comments anywhere on the site. This status is used as an alternative to both permanent and temporary suspensions in situations where LiveJournal believes it is reasonable to do so. Journals which have committed serious violations or which are inherently a violation of our Policies (such as an impersonation journal, or those journals which exist solely to harass others) will be subject to suspension rather than read-only.
Termination
A terminated user refers to a person who has had all accounts belonging to them permanently suspended, and has been informed they are not welcome to continue using LiveJournal.
Notice of No Contact
A Notice of No Contact prohibits two users from having any contact with one another in any form on LiveJournal. This is used in very limited cases where extensive harassment between two users has occurred over a long period of time, and cannot be resolved through any other means (such as banning the other user from their journal). This is considered a last resort and a final warning; violation of a Notice of No Contact will generally result in termination.
Disable Access to Material
LiveJournal's available tools for removing access to material are to either suspend a single entry, suspend an entire account, or to delete the content. LiveJournal will opt to suspend single entries before entire accounts where it is possible and reasonable to do so. Deletion of content by LiveJournal staff or volunteers is our least preferred method of disabling access to material, and will generally only be done when a user cannot edit or delete content themselves (such as anonymous comments, content posted by accounts which are in a "purged" status, or content which is present in communities to which the user no longer has access).
Repeat Offenders
Users who have repeatedly violated the same policy will have further action taken against them for each subsequent violation. Emails to users who have violated a policy should explain what specific action will be taken on their next violation. Any violation, if committed enough times, can lead to termination.

Violations which were posted prior to the first warning being sent will generally only result in a new warning being issued. Exceptions to this principle will usually only occur when LiveJournal has a legal obligation to do otherwise, as is the case with Copyright Violations.

The standard process for most cases is to suspend a single entry on first offense. On second offense, the entry is suspended and the journal placed in read-only mode until the journal owner has contacted the Abuse Prevention Team indicating they will not continue to violate the same policy. Subsequent offenses would result in violating entries being suspended and the journal being placed in read-only mode. Finally, should there be repeated and systematic offenses of the same nature, LiveJournal will terminate the account.

Standard Compliance Timeline
Last updated: 12 April 2017

  • In cases where it is not possible to disable access to material, a user is given 72 hours to comply from the time an email is sent, with the time rounded as necessary to bring the deadline to 10:00 by Moscow time (GMT+3). Failure to remove the content by the given deadline will result in the suspension of the account which has posted the material.
  • A suspended user should receive an email from the Abuse Prevention Team which contains instructions on how to unsuspend their account, as well as information on what actions they will need to take to prevent being re-suspended.
  • Once a user has unsuspended their account, they will have 2 hours to make the necessary corrections. Additional time may be granted at the discretion of the Abuse Prevention Team, if they believe this additional time would be necessary to complete the required changes. If a user fails to make the necessary corrections in this time frame, their account will be suspended permanently.

See Also

Definitions