Thank you very much for taking the time to reply.
I do realize that a lot of questions can't be answered publically because they involve the privacy of other people, not necessarily just the person asking the question. I think a lot of the frustration some of us feel arises out of the fact that we feel we don't get actual answers to our questions through the official channels. Someone left a comment here, then deleted it, saying I should have submitted this as an abuse request, rather than sending an email to Mark and Denise, but if your last support ticket was closed without response I don't think it's unreasonable to write directly to the employees of the company (particularly since this is a question that the abuse team volunteers probably can't answer, as they're not the ones with the authority to make decisions about looking at locked entries).
I do think that the problem with hostility goes both ways. People on the abuse team deal with a lot of ire, and I'm sure that often it's about decisions which are completely reasonable, and clearly explained in the FAQs and policy document. But there's the perception that legitimate questions also get ignored, and that perception doesn't come out of nothing. Abuse team members are wary about giving responses in public because it attracts hostility, but equally users are made to feel that if we speak out in public we're labelled as troublemakers and anything we say will be discounted. I only included shamanix
in this because he's the one who made the statement about when locked entries could be read; I have no reason to believe that he doesn't believe that to be the policy, or that it isn't what the policy is supposed to be. I copied my email to him because it was the polite thing to do, since I was quoting his comments. I see from the news thread that posting here has
got me labelled as someone out to fan flames though, so how can I trust that anything I say regarding any future abuse complaints will be listened to fairly? That's probably why so many people here lately have left their comments anonymously.
When we get an abuse team response they're signed with someone's first name, and we have no way of knowing what user that is. Obviously that's necessary to protect the volunteers from harassment, but we just have to trust that they won't pick up a ticket when they have personal biases against someone. It's not easy to admit to our own biases, and it's a natural response to want to put the boot in. And yes, that does go both ways, and it's true that my experiences have also made me less willing to give the abuse team the benefit of the doubt.
LJ abuse members obviously care about LJ enough to devote significant amounts of time and effort into being volunteers. I think a lot of other LJ users also care about LJ - otherwise we'd just dump it and use a different service when we're pissed off at how things are being run. People put time and energy into their communities, and it's the community aspect which gives LJ its value to us over alternative services. Some of the things that annoy people require relatively minor fixes - it's pretty annoying to go to an excellent discussion or article in your memories, only to find half the comments (or the whole piece) are missing because someone got suspended. I know some people, myself included, feel annoyed because we'd like
to support LiveJournal enthusiastically, and instead are in the position of being unwilling to get a paid account again.
Obviously the abuse team does have limited resources, but that's why I think Six Apart should be giving LJ a cash injection to put more paid staff on the team. They're buying and launching new services, so they're hardly broke!
Anyway, thank you again for your response, I do appreciate it very much.