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So what is up with LJ's policy of no breast feeding depicted in default user icons? How is this offensive? I've seen images of full frontal nudity in LJ icons. I've seen icons of a sexual nature that were meant to be offensive. And yet I don't see people being forced to abandon those icons. What could possibly be offensive about an icon of a woman breastfeeding her child? It's one of the most natural, beautiful and innocent acts there is. I don't get it. But to show my support for those people who wish to depict breastfeeding in their icons, I have made the accompanying icon for myself.




( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
May. 22nd, 2006 06:55 am (UTC)
Sorry - I just realized how very very BITCHY this comes across...
it's just that my FL page has been inundated with this "issue" and I've just been scrolling on by over and over...
But *you* I respect enough to bother to reply to. Not sure why...
But I'll delete the bitchy comment and leave you with the question "if there's this policy, why isn't it actually announced anywhere on LJ? and why don't we know anyone who has been subjected to it?"

le sigh... sorry I went psycho for a moment.
Please forgive any unintentional offense.
May. 22nd, 2006 07:46 am (UTC)
It does not specifically say "no breastfeeding" but because of the actions of one LJ user idiot, it was used as a standard to rate several LJ user's icons as unnaceptable. 30 complaints were initially logged by said idiot complaining about specific icons depicting breastfeeding. I just think that if you are going to have a policy, you have to be specific and not leave it open to interpretation. Don't be vague about it. If they don't want to see breastfeeding in icons, then say so. Then there won't be a question and people trying to see how graphic they can be before LJ has to do something about it.

No, I don't personally know anyone who recieved one of the emails from the abuse team. I can only refer you to this for "evidence" of that action:


And I don't mind you going psycho.

May. 22nd, 2006 09:20 am (UTC)

Okay, the thing is?
a) LiveJournal doesn't have a policy saying you can't show breastfeeding in your default icon...

There have been numerous posts to that mistaken effect on my FL of late.
Look at your first sentence as well...

b) the initial complaints came from wackazoid user... who was apparently, according to his/her own post submitting multiple complaints over and over...
LJ Abuse didn't go "hunting down" anyone - they did reply to several complaints...

c) the team is volunteer... and there was no "breastfeeding is okay" or "breastfeeding is not okay" guideline... so yes, there were bound to be mistakes

d) it's still a tempest in a teapot... a Troll found a good group of targets who then went ballistic (as desired) when caught in the crossfire...
No one has actually had her account suspended - nowhere has a policy been placed that says "no breastfeeding default icons"

e) okay, so they *shouldn't* change the wording if they find it in error? or they should've left the old wording?
You have to change the rules "midgame" if it's in line with what is required at the time... you can't expect rules written for a few hundred of Brad's friends to be function for millions of users... yes, they are going to change and evolve as issues arise.

but what the hey... It will pass soon enough... until the next Troll comes along to push buttons again. :P
May. 22nd, 2006 07:13 pm (UTC)
And you know, had I not been up browsing my FL, I wouldn't have even known this was any sort of issue. To make matter's worse, If I hadn't been tired and irritated by other things already, I probably wouldn't have jumped in on the issue. Hearing about it just irritated me a little bit more. Otherwise you all would have been treated to a rant on how irritating my co-worker was this week while we were in Chicago.

May. 22nd, 2006 07:18 pm (UTC)
/me taps fingers and waits patiently for cow-worker rant! ;)

May. 22nd, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC)
She's annoying to begin with but at the end of the day you get to go home and forget about her. Not so when you have to spend 4 days with her and she feels she needs to be attached to you at the hip.

May. 22nd, 2006 07:56 am (UTC)
And I think what most people are really objecting to is that after the initial complaints were made, LJ Abuse chose to change the wording in FAQ id 111 from:

"In particular, icons which contain sexually explicit or graphically violent images tend to be inappropriate for default userpics"


"In particular, icons which contain nudity or graphic violence tend to be inappropriate for default userpics").

And then that second standard was used as a basis for sending emails to specific people to ask them to change their default icons to not depict breastfeeding. Because breastfeeding obviously does not fall under the category of "sexually explicit" but does fall under the category of "nudity". So it seems like changing the rules mid-game.

May. 22nd, 2006 07:29 am (UTC)
Just in case you hadn't found it, I think this is what ryl was refering to:
May. 22nd, 2006 07:58 am (UTC)
Thanks, there are others as well.

May. 22nd, 2006 08:10 am (UTC)
You're up early. Or late....
May. 22nd, 2006 07:08 pm (UTC)
Late was the case on that one. I was up chatting with a friend who needed an ear and I was then browsing through my friends list before I went to bed as I had to be up at 6 am.

May. 22nd, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC)
I got it from justkimu, but it's the same issue.

May. 22nd, 2006 08:18 am (UTC)
They have a policy about that? Weird...
May. 22nd, 2006 02:58 pm (UTC)
My question is, are they opposed to women' full-frontal icon chest nudity, or men's? I will support this change if and only if they make people delete their icons of naked male chests as well as women.

Anyway, you can't get an LJ account on your own until you're 13. Before that, your parents have the ability to tweak your journal so you don't see horrible innocence-shattering images. There's also the feature where you can fix your friends page so you don't see any pictures on it, icons included (like what devilmiyu has. And what if it's a famous work of art? Can you get suspended for having the Venus de Milo as your default icon? She's naked from the waist up?

Hmmm...I think I just got an idea.
May. 22nd, 2006 03:04 pm (UTC)
This is what I mean when I tell people don't get me started
Oooo! And Michelangelo's David! I can iconize that! Care to go in with me on an artistic flaunting of authority?

I also have a bunch of Bettie Page icons I made last night. I may have to slightly alter the rotation for this week.

*insert grin of extreme evilness*
May. 22nd, 2006 06:06 pm (UTC)
The intent (if not the letter) of LiveJournal's policy has always been to bar potentially offensive nudity from default icons. For whatever reason, a lot of people do find images of breastfeeding to be offensive, and LiveJournal knows this. I can see no reason why LiveJournal shouldn't change the wording of their policy to more clearly indicate this intent whenever it comes to their attention that some of their users are either willfully or unknowingly violating this policy. Whether or not you and I personally believe these images to be offensive is immaterial.

And unfortunately, one cannot come up with a laundry list of potentially offensive types of images. Someone will always find a way to create an offensive image that isn't on that list. The best LiveJournal could possibly do is to make the intent of their policy as clear as possible, and adjust the wording as needed.
May. 22nd, 2006 07:10 pm (UTC)
I just think that if they know there is a specific case, such as breastfeeding, that they should ammend the policy as those cases are identified. Then those things at least would be less of an issue.

May. 22nd, 2006 07:39 pm (UTC)
Well I find pictures of bare-chested men to be VERY, VERY offensive. Can I get Livejournal policy changed to suit my poor tastes, too?

*tongue planted firmly in cheek*
May. 22nd, 2006 08:14 pm (UTC)
All nudity just blinds me. Can I complain as well? Maybe I'll just take a shot of me topless and use it for my icon.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )