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Shota Community, Other LiveJournal Accounts Suspended

posted on 2007-05-30 16:00 EDT
Suspensions possibly related to watchdog group's reports to site

LiveJournal, Six Apart Incoporated's blogging community site which is popular in the anime/manga fan community, has permanently suspended its shota community and other accounts in a May 29-30 purge of alleged underaged sexual content. The shota community centered around fictional material on shotacon or shota, which is the Japanese term for attraction or relationships involving male minors. The Antiphonal journal on the site lists other fiction-centered communities, individual user accounts, and accounts for users' fictional role-playing characters as permanently suspended.

The organization Warriors for Innocence (WFI) has posted a blog entry on its website on May 30 that claims responsibility for sending requests to remove "over 500" unspecified sites or journals on LiveJournal "that promote pedophilia, child sex, child abuse, and other illegal activities." It also claims that "LiveJournal has revised their Terms Of Service (TOS) to include new standards that will ensure that they protect the safety and well-being of everyone who visits LiveJournal," although a text comparison of the current TOS and the TOS of April 2006 reveals no changes regarding sexual content. LiveJournal has not confirmed that WFI is directly involved in the suspension of the shota community and other accounts.

WFI says that it did not report sites that are about what it termed as "Lolita fashion." While acknowledging that "innocent journals were deleted," the group's organizers claims "we are not responsible" for the "mass hysteria over this," and further says that LiveJournal deleted journals independently of WFI. LiveJournal user Lizabeth Marcs has posted an email correspondence with the group.

LiveJournal's posted abuse policy says the site's abuse team "does not actively seek out violations of these policies or the Terms of Service" and "will only act when a complaint is filed." A maintainer for a suspended Harry Potter adult-themed fanfiction community (not directly related to anime or manga) has posted a response from the LiveJournal Abuse Team regarding the legal issues and the site's actions.

Neither LiveJournal nor Warriors for Innocence has responded yet to a press inquiry for comment.


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