Eh? WTF?

Saturday, May 8th, 2010 01:58 am
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
[personal profile] charmian

It's not clear exactly what happened here, but why would a staffer choose to make a random comment on an entry using their staff account? How did they even find their journal? As far as I can tell what happened is that the staff person does admit to leaving a comment on an entry which was in 'bad taste' and then deleting it, but then it's unclear whether the entry was locked (as the person alleges) or not (as the staff member alleges).

More disturbing are the allegations made by this person, although they admit to 'trolling' in the past, so they might not be a reliable source. However... do volunteers really have the ability to see locked posts? Or is it only closed support requests?

Date: 2010-05-11 05:26 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] vulva
Hi there, I was just linked to this entry by someone in the original post.

Here is exactly what happened:

The post that he commented on was not only flocked, but viewable to only a specific group of my friends. I'm not new to Livejournal, nor am I completely moronic. I have had problems in the past with people reading my entries, so everything is sealed tight. My "Friends Only" post with banner is screened, and only LJ members can comment.

Earlier that week, I went to my Livejournal to link something to someone on the University computers, and was logged out of LJ: the only entry that was visible was the entry with a friends only banner.

Fast forward a week, and I received a comment notification on my blackberry from "dnewhall". The comment itself was beyond creepy.

The comment:

"hi. *eyes open wide*
I'm watching."

Now, it would be one thing if this was in a friending post. But it wasn't.

It was a picture of myself and a friend where our cleavage was on display. Not tasteless, but you know, private.
I'm already very careful about pictures on the internet, hence the post only being shown to specific friends on my flist. Secondly, the post did have some text of a personal nature which I would not, under any circumstance, made available to all of my flist, much less PUBLIC.

So I got home, edited the post so that it was no longer public. But the comment was gone, and all I had was the email notification.

So yeah, I never post pictures of myself in my LJ, all of a sudden I get a comment on a flocked entry that has a picture and it's miraculously public?

No one from LJ gets in touch with me when I send out a long, ranting, angry email. I am unsurprised. I make a post to my journal, all of my friends see it. People urge me to make this post public so that everyone can see it and see what is going on. At this point I still want to dot all the i's. That is to say, that in my letter to LJ, I point out that I understand that things have been wonky lately, and I'm willing to give LJ the benefit of the doubt that something may have gone wrong and the server switched my settings, but that was the only thing affected. Well, that an my tag settings being wonky (but I only discovered that this week when a friend pointed it out to me, so I'm unsure how long it has been like that).

I receive a message from LJ saying "I'm looking into right away!"

No word for a near month.

I make a comment on the LJ news post and all of a sudden, oh look! I get a reply!

Here is their reply:

"Dear LiveJournal user vulva,

I am sorry for the intrusion into your personal space by one of our staff members. Our team has a strict policy against commenting in user journals, and his actions were in violation of this policy. His supervisor was notified of the situation and the appropriate internal actions have been taken.

Regarding the entry itself, at the time the comment was posted it was attached to a public entry with a "Friends Only" banner, and this was witnessed by other staff members who saw the comment before it was deleted. We have no log of this entry's settings being changed by a staff member, and since it was edited just after you filed this support request and the server only stores the time of the most recent edit, it seems there is no evidence that the entry was friends-only at the time the comment was made.

Once again, I apologize for the offense caused to you by a member of our staff, as well as for the length of time it has taken to respond to your request, as it was misfiled on our end. Our policy regarding commenting in users' journals has been made clear to the entire team, so that this sort of offense may be avoided in the future."

Here is my response to that:
""Regarding the entry itself, at the time the comment was posted it was attached to a public entry with a "Friends Only" banner"

You claim that other staff members saw this entry in question with a "Friends Only" banner. Unfortunately, this is absolutely false. You'll find a "Friends Only" banner here:

And you'll see that it hasn't been edited in awhile, or at least, since before this incident. I never had double "Friends Only" banners. Not only that, I am wondering how or why another staff member would have seen the comment made. Is it normal for LJ staff to make inappropriate comments like that and link or show it to other staff members? The comment wasn't up for long at all, in which case I am wondering WHY my journal was being, for lack of a better term, trolled by LJ Staff members?
I understand and appreciate you finally getting back in touch with me, and I can appreciate your policy being reinforced with your staff members.

I can understand the position that you and LJ are in, especially regarding the first part of this reply to you, but I assure you that whoever is claiming to have seen a Friends Only banner is either lying, or confused. I can understand a coworker, or even a coworker defending or protecting a staff member, but I'd like to make myself absolutely clear; I feel unsafe using LJ the way that I have previously, as do many/most people that I know on LJ in regards to this situation. I can understand that certain staff members, such as yourself, need access to accounts to verify abuse claims, etc, etc, but this honestly is such a gross violation of my privacy, I can't even begin to wrap my mind around it.

I have spent far too much money, and time on Livejournal to be- I'm sorry if I'm exaggerating- a victim of a thing like this.

I don't want to cause a huge hooplah around this, and my comment made on the LJ News was mostly out of frustration because I wasn't ever contacted. (Obviously this tactic worked), but I want to know WHAT will change, HOW it's going to change, and what this means for ME.

Does this mean that Staff member 'dnewhall' will be banned or unable to access my account? Because at this point, for someone to leave a comment like that has left me feeling threatened and unsafe on a service that I PAY FOR.

I don't think I'm asking too much, but I'd really appreciate/expect some clarification on the point I have raised."

The comment was NOT up very long, true, but what? Does that mean that he made an uber creepy comment and then linked someone else on the team going "hurr durr look at my comment"? Isn't that beyond unprofessional?

Think that I'm starting drama all that you want, but I literally have nothing to gain from this. If anything it's beyond upsetting for me, because now I feel like him+other staff members are just going through my journal.

I've saved all my entries on my computer and I'm slowly removing anything personal. Because...well, really, why the fuck would I want any creeper like that reading my stuff?

If this is long and nonsensical, I apologize, I've been at work all day.

Date: 2010-05-11 06:27 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] vulva
Exactly my point. Which is why I'm not really dismissing this as a "oh somehow my entry just got made public, nbd, it's fixed now".

I understand that accidents happen, but 100 entries back? One that has my picture? Other people saw it? Really?

Date: 2010-05-11 09:16 am (UTC)
rydra_wong: "dreamwidth" on green/red background (dreamwidth -- green)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
I just wanted to thank you for sharing the details of what happened.

This is appalling, and I think we're all trying to work out WTF exactly went on, and who had the access to do what.

Date: 2010-05-12 02:11 pm (UTC)
trialia: River Song (Alex Kingston) drinking a cup of coffee. (Default)
From: [personal profile] trialia
Random irrelevant comment: I recognise that icon texture! One of [personal profile] oxoniensis', right?

Date: 2010-05-12 02:22 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: "dreamwidth" on green/red background (dreamwidth -- green)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
Yes, she made the icon -- isn't it gorgeous? It's one of the ones available from the wiki:

Date: 2010-05-12 02:30 pm (UTC)
trialia: River Song (Alex Kingston) drinking a cup of coffee. (Default)
From: [personal profile] trialia
It is! I recognised the texture because I saved the larger version of it when she first posted it. I love her textures.

Thanks for the link :)

Date: 2010-05-11 02:13 pm (UTC)
sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)
From: [personal profile] sophie
Agreed with everybody who's already replied - this is appalling on LJ's part. :/

(And I hope that I didn't come across in the first paragraph of this comment of mine that I thought you were moronic; if I did, I apologise.)

Date: 2010-05-11 02:47 pm (UTC)
jonquil: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jonquil
This is completely appalling, both what happened, the inadequate reply LJ made, the fact that it took public scolding to get that inadequate reply, and the steadfast denial.

[staff profile] mark has made a public commitment not to do this sort of thing, but I can see how you might well not want to take that promise.

I can give you a DW code if you want. PM me.

That was an aside. What happened to you was WRONG.

Date: 2010-05-12 10:49 am (UTC)
tcpip: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tcpip
"Appropriate internal actions". Well, some elaboration on that would be nice.

Date: 2010-06-09 02:24 pm (UTC)
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
From: [personal profile] yvi
Heya! Did you ever receive more than that 'apology' on the news post and the answer to your abuse request?

Date: 2010-09-14 03:27 am (UTC)
miera_c: (hate cookie)
From: [personal profile] miera_c
Well, that's creepy as hell.

Date: 2010-09-22 10:42 pm (UTC)
mrs_tribble: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrs_tribble
I've seen your name floating about, and so I know you're no idiot.

Having heard about your story before actually reading this, I think that you'd be absolutely within your rights to kick up a stink. LJ staff really don't care about those of us who use the service they provide - for instance, people complained about abuse thrown at me that included stroboscopic icons, because I suffer from severe epilepsy and wasn't able to get on the page to link to it and complain myself if I didn't want to wind up in A&E. Their response to the friends who reported it was "She doesn't have to look". It's on my fucking FRIENDS PAGE because I'm a member of the community that was attacked - WTF do they expect me to do? I can't skip past with the damage not already done!

What happened to you is grotesque and horrible. I for one am not paying for an account again in the future, as I won't endorse a site that allows its staff to troll and abuse, and does nothing about cyber-bullying full stop.

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