Nothing like a little drama to spice the place up, eh?
Without rehashing a lot of the craziness of the last day or so, to keep people up to date, it was brought to the mod team's attention yesterday that there were some issues of plagiarism in the community. I'm not going to name those names here, but the people involved know who they are. This is not the first time it's come up, for sure, but the first time it was truly credible and was dealt with, from my otherwise uninvolved position, appropriately.
With that said, plagiarism is
a problem. Intellectual dishonesty aside, we also run into a LiveJournal terms of service
LiveJournal falls under the DMCA Safe Harbor Agreement and cannot control, or be held responsible or liable, for any of the Content that appears on the Service. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, LiveJournal imposes certain guidelines to promote the safety and security of all of its users. By using the Service, you hereby agree to comply with the following guidelines for posting Content on the Service. Failure to comply with the guidelines set forth below may result in flagging or restricting access to any and all Content posted to the Service, deletion of said Content, and/or suspension of your Account without further notice:
Offensive and Inappropriate Content: Should any Content that you have posted be reported to LiveJournal as being offensive or inappropriate, LiveJournal has the right to flag, restrict access, or delete said Content at any time without prior notice. In addition, LiveJournal might call upon you to retract, modify, or protect (by means of privacy settings) the Content in question within a reasonable amount of time, as determined by the LiveJournal staff. Should you fail to meet such a request, LiveJournal may flag, restrict access, delete said Content, or terminate your Account at its sole discretion without assuming control, responsibility, or liability for the Content posted on the Service under the terms of the DMCA Safe Harbor Agreement. Should Content be reported to LiveJournal as containing full nudity, violence, obscenity, gang-related Content, hate-based Content based on racial, ethnic, gender, transgender, disability, or sexual orientation, harassment of other users, endangerment to minors, incitation to violence or criminal activity, violation of another person’s intellectual property rights, or Content that is otherwise offensive or inappropriate under the TOS, LiveJournal reserves the right to flag, restrict access, and/or delete said Content and/or suspend your Account at any time without notice;
tl;dr: plagiarism can be serious business.
So, with this in mind, we are adding to our stable of rules somewhat:
11. Plagiarism cannot be tolerated in the community, as it violates Section XIII of the Terms of Service and could put the community or its users at risk. Please cite what you quote from, as any sort of infringement of this nature will have to be deleted on sight.
This rule does not exist because we want it to, but because, after significant discussion amongst the mod team, we don't feel we have a choice. While no one from LiveJournal or from any other place has approached us regarding copyright infringement, DMCA violations, theft, or otherwise, we'd rather not have to deal with it at all. We don't want the community to be suspended, we don't want any of our posters being suspended, and we don't want to put those commenting on plagiarized entries at risk. I assume everyone here feels the same way.
Now: if you run into issues, if you notice some crazy copypasta, the mods will
deal with it. Remember: we have a special dedicated post
that all of us track and monitor regularly, so if there's an issue, take it there - don't rely on PMs to mods you prefer, as they may not be available, and none of us are going to ignore certain posts based on personalities or other issues - we all keep each other in check, and we're all looking to make sure talk_politics remains the best place on LJ to discuss political issues of all kinds.
Finally, in the event you saw a post today that was quickly removed, please note that personal offensive references in postings are frowned upon here. We're glad to have discussions about our behavior, about community issues, and about anything else that comes along, but the way to do it is not to come out with guns blazing in a blindside. I'm sure we all agree that such posts aren't productive, and if there are issues regarding what was discussed in that post, this is absolutely the proper place to air those issues.
I got a little long-winded, but this issue was serious enough to warrant some significant discussion. Our door is always open, and thanks for continuing to be awesome people.