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Refusal to Investigate information they asked for. - lj_abuse didn't work out [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Refusal to Investigate information they asked for. [Jul. 8th, 2010|06:26 pm]
lj_abuse didn't work out
I'm doing this on behalf of a friend of mine. She has written most of this up for me and I've edited it. I'm using a sock account for my own safety but it's likely I'll get suspended if they're really just trying to cover this up.

I'm sorry if this is tl;dr.

Sometime last year my friend received a community from someone. Recently she wanted to change that community into a personal journal which LJ Support do for people. She's also asked for them to do this with an account before only months ago with no problem.

On the 13th of June she opens a support request to ask them to do this.

On the 14th the request is moved to abuse, she finds this odd and makes a reply asking why it was moved to abuse.

On the 19th the journal she opened the request with, the community she wanted to be changed and most of her usernames are suspended and she receives this response:

Dear LiveJournal user [name removed],

We will not convert this community to a personal account, for reasons of which you are well aware. Additionally, you are also aware that due to your history of compromising accounts, you are not welcome on the LiveJournal service. As such, your account and all accounts associated with this account have been permanently suspended.

LiveJournal Abuse Prevention Team

Strange, since she's been on LJ since it started and has had an active journal for 5 years, has opened countless support request even a few recently and this never came up. Her information has not changed recently.

So she asks them to explain, saying she was never previously terminated and gets yet another vague reply:

Dear [name removed],

You were previously terminated from the LiveJournal service due to multiple instances of compromising accounts and selling the usernames. You are no longer welcome to maintain any accounts on the LiveJournal service, and any accounts that are linked to you, regardless of whether or not you currently control them, will be suspended immediately.

LiveJournal Abuse Prevention Team

She is now certain that they've got her mixed up with someone and states this in the request, also adding that she has opened request recently and it never got moved to abuse. The request is left open with no response.

Later she gets an email from someone she gave an account to asking about it, and that LJ Abuse said that this account was compromised. So my friend, thinking they suspended her because of an assumption emailed them from the first validated email on the account.

They wouldn't accept this, because the original email on the account was deleted when my friend no longer had access to it. Basically they were telling her to email them from an email she no longer had access to which she deleted from the account for her own safety and she had to prove with onsite information that it was in her control since 2000 to 2007, how can she do that when there's no on site info to show this? LiveJournal allows you to delete emails after six months, but it basically bites you in the rear if they decide you hijacked the account.

After a lot of discussion a username came up claiming it was tied to the most prolific account comp-er on LJ, a username my friend has never even touched, and she told them this, and they asked her for some information.

-Her longest used account (to establish her ID as different from the comp-er)
-Email addresses which she currently owns accounts on (to know which accounts to recognize as hers)
-Username of the person she gave the account to to differentiate them from each other as well as the date of transfer.
-And if the trade was done on LJ, when and where.

On the 23rd of June she gave them this information and received the following response on the 24th:

Thank you for this additional information. It may take a day or more to investigate, and we will respond to your request as soon as we are able.

5 days later on the 29th she asked them if they'd had a chance to investigate. No response.

She then asked them again on the 1st of July, still no response, yet the request remained open.

Then she asked again on the 6th of July and still no response, and the request still remains open as does the one they originally suspended her on.

On the 7th she opened another request asking for an update, thinking they may have just forgotten her request. They marked this request as "answered" and left it open and gave her no response.

My question (and most certainly hers) is why ask for information, and then completely ignore the person? If they are still investigating (which at this point, none of us believe they even looked at the information) why can't they simply say "We are still looking into it."? It would have took the same amount of time as changing the request to "answered".

It seems to us that she was suspended by mistake, they've realized what a balls up they've made, that the asking of information was a bluff thinking she wouldn't be able to provide it and now they're just ignoring her in hopes she will forget about it. However this post wasn't made to change their minds, to get a response or whatever, since we both know LJ are refusing to answer her, but simply to complain about their lack of response when they said it would take a day or more and never bothered to get back to her as well as the unprofessional (and almost troll like) replies she received in her first request.

We also did our own investigating, we know who this prolific account comper is, and LJ suspended other accounts believing they were tied to her, however because they were paid accounts they were unsuspended a day later after just receiving an IP address from the owners, a lot less info than what my friend gave. So if they truly are still investigating why is it taking so much longer than this "paid user" hmmm?

[User Picture]From: cdaae
2010-07-08 07:18 pm (UTC)
I'm not even sure what "compromising accounts" involves. Or why people would go around giving their accounts to other people. Although I guess I've had a couple that have been shared accounts.

I once got suspended because they'd decided I was the same person as a friend with a similar username, even though our IP addresses would have shown that we were on different continents.

As for the rest of it... IDK. If there's been a lot of swapping around of accounts, maybe they've got a lot of investigating to do. OTOH, LJ Abuse just plain ignoring people or refusing to answer them probably wouldn't shock a lot of us.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-07-08 07:57 pm (UTC)
I am the person who got suspended.

I gave two accounts away to this person in Feb since she asked me for them and I wasn't using them. I've opened other support requests since then with them being answered and no suspension. One request I opened in May, a month before I opened this request I got suspended on, and none of my information has changed.

I've noticed the person I gave the accounts to goes around trading names a lot. There's a whole community dedicated to trading each others names for better names. The person I mentioned who also got suspended for a mistake got hers unsuspended in a day, but as it was said, she had paid accounts, I don't (though I was considering it just a day before I got suspended).

I read about your story actually, they claim they do all this checking before suspending but I don't believe that for a second. I'm from the YUK, this person they think I am is in America.

Usually, from what I've read here, LJ Abuse just closes the request when they don't want to answer, yet all of my requests have been left open and they said they would respond once they've investigated. I've told them I don't want specifics of the delay, just confirmation that I'm not being ignored.

It's all just very confusing and frustrating especially when I've lost years worth of entries, but obviously they don't care about that.

I wouldn't be so bothered if I could just create a new account and carry on, but they've told me "I'm not welcome to maintain accounts" so I'm stuck.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-07-08 07:58 pm (UTC)
I obviously meant UK not YUK...
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[User Picture]From: cdaae
2010-07-08 08:07 pm (UTC)
That really sucks.

I seem to remember I could still log in and export my entries, even though the account was banned and I couldn't use it to post or comment. That was a few years ago now, and I don't remember where the export page is. Plus the system may have changed.

I hope it gets sorted out for you. The fact that the requests haven't been closed at least suggests that they are looking into it, albeit slowly and with a lack of communication.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-07-08 08:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you, and I hope so. If I don't get a response soon though I'll be filing a complaint with the BBB though. It may not get me a resolution but it'll be added to their records. Being unfairly suspended for 3 weeks and no response for two weeks is just not good customer service.
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[User Picture]From: intrepia
2010-07-08 09:17 pm (UTC)
Hi! I'm a volunteer with LJ Support, and I thought I might be able to provide some information that would be helpful for you.

First of all, I want to clarify that LJ Support and LJ Abuse are completely separate teams. It's possible to move requests between the two, as you've noticed, but the teams typically have little to no interaction between them. They're managed by different staff members, have different training and guidelines, and don't have access to the same information. So even though I volunteer with Support, I don't have any access to information about any particular Abuse case.

However, I can tell you that if someone asks a very routine question in Support, there would be no reason to examine their account history or anything like that. For example, if I see a request that goes "Help, how do I make an lj-cut?" I would just answer it by going, "Here's how to make an lj-cut." So it would be routine for someone who had some sort of compromised account (I'm not saying that's the case here, since I don't have any information about this case, just in general) to open Support requests regularly and just have them answered routinely.

But, it actually isn't routine for Support to convert a community back to a personal journal. In fact, this is not really supposed to be done (I think the FAQ might even say that this isn't possible), and it is only done in very rare cases, as exceptions to the rule. So when someone asks for a community to be converted to a personal journal, then Support would investigate to make sure that that account is really theirs (since communities can have multiple maintainers, and the person who makes a community could get kicked out by one of the other maintainers and stuff like that). And sometimes Support might have Abuse help in this investigation, because they have more tools available than we do. So that might explain why the request was originally moved over to Abuse.

Again, this is all just speculation on my part based on what usually happens, and I don't know anything about this particular situation, but I thought it might be helpful to know.

Finally, I know that in Support, we are very short on volunteers right now, and I'm pretty sure that Abuse is in the same situation, so it really might take a much longer time than we would like to process, investigate, and answer a request. It really is possible that your request is still in progress and there just hasn't been anyone with the time to do everything necessary to get back to you with an answer, instead of someone ignoring you out of malice. As you can imagine, there aren't very many people volunteering for LJ these days, and Support and Abuse are both mainly staffed by volunteers (with staff oversight).

Oh, and again, this is just me guessing, but I think there's a bunch of data recorded when someone conducts a paid transaction (credit card information, etc.), so that might make it easier to investigate paid accounts.
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[User Picture]From: right
2010-07-08 09:39 pm (UTC)
I am one of the administrators of the Communities category and I'm just commenting here to confirm that what intrepia said about our policies on converting communities is accurate. In support, we never investigate further on normal requests that don't potentially pose a risk to someone's account security.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-07-09 12:11 am (UTC)
But I asked for a community to be made a personal journal before and it was you that filled it for me, it wasn't moved to abuse so if it was as intrepia said that abuse do a check then why didn't they find out this "incriminating evidence" then? Why when I suddenly ask now why was I suddenly this "previously terminated user". I'm not asking you to answer since I know you don't/can't discuss that, just making a statement of why it's so random and confusing.

I will admit that the community wasn't mine, I asked a user (who's name I unfortunately can't remember) if I could have it and she gave it to me. If that was the case then surely I would have been told just simply no and not suspended for being previously terminated, which is untrue.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-07-09 12:26 am (UTC)
As I said to right, I've asked to have a community turned into a journal in March and if it's as you say that Abuse needs to check the user owns the community and the persons history, then it makes no sense why, when I ask to have another community changed, they throw out this random statement of me being previously terminated. If they simply wanted to refuse to do this then that would have been fine and I wouldn't have complained.

I also known Support Volunteers don't have access to abuse as I've actually volunteered for support on other LJ-clone sites, I never made a complaint about the Support team, but the Abuse team who are seemingly refusing to do their job.

I understand that it's mostly volunteer run on the team, however a simple "We are still investigating" is not much to ask is it? To reassure the user that they are not just being ignored? It wouldn't take any longer than moving a request to "answered" and not giving any response and making them feel even more ignored.

Also as I said about the paid user, all she did was give them an IP address to compare. Though if they do check paid transactions that might explain it but it seems to me (not saying as fact, but from the way I've been treated) that I've been put on the back list because my accounts are not paid.

I know this isn't anything to do with you, but 3 weeks of being suspended and 2 without even an updated is ridiculous.

it's also a shame that I was part of roleplays but because of this i've had to drop it all because I have no idea of what's going on and it seems like I'll never get a response.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-07-11 07:17 pm (UTC)
I'm completely convinced now that they are ignoring it, not out of malice (and I never said they're doing it to make me suffer), but because they've realised what a big mistake they've made but don't want to rectify it, what's one user who complains they've made a mistake going to do, right? Better to keep them suspended so people who notice aren't going to distrust the team.

There are people asking for my journals to be purged also because of this stupid idea of purging suspended journals so I guess they're hoping it'll make them loads of money too.

I've got other accounts on those emails I gave them that aren't suspended and they haven't gone through and suspended them, if I was this notorious journal hijacker I'm pretty sure they'd want to find out quickly and would have given me a quicker response and suspended my other journals.
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[User Picture]From: sailorangei
2010-10-18 05:05 am (UTC)
Was this ever resolved?
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