christine~ (eppylover) wrote,

Public Service Announcement, a.k.a. Rant

The following rant is not against LiveJournal - on the contrary, I love LJ.
This is actually intended to hopefully turn on a little light bulb above the heads of a few naïve LJ'ers ...and I'm especially concerned about those under 14, but not exclusively... who air a little too much dirty laundry, or are blithely posting under the mistaken impression that certain people will never read it. You guys have got enough issues to contend with in life. LJ, as with all online folderol, is not a right - it's a privilege. Even for me.

Yes, I am aware of the chance my own husband may someday be told about certain posts. The eppylover is living on the edge. ;P

blog/journal privacy is a mythAfter all, everything blogged on the 'net is public fodder. It is. Some people are actually stupid enough to believe the idiotic "this is my journal and you have no right to snoop into it" theory (yeah, sure, we're all on the honor system here, dumbasses) ... and there are even the few, the proud and the ignorant who post intimate details for their eyes only... which exhibits a lack of forethought to begin with... but on top of that, they don't even make their journals (so-called) "private." Reminiscent of the 60's adolescents with the little flimsily-locked diaries kept hidden under mattresses. A big difference: we were living with the danger of our parents (or worse, our little sibling, hee) discovering and reading it - and *facepalm* you guys are exposing yourselves to the entire world.

Even if it's made "private," there are ways, yes there are, to read these entries. At the very least, despite a "privacy policy," the blog/journal's administration can do whatever they want with any of your stuff (unless it's legally copyrighted), even make it public if they want. Certainly that would be bad for business, but hell, all they did was issue a "policy" with their "promise" they'd keep things confidential. (Privacy Policy: See the last sentence of the last bulleted paragraph under "Information Use, Sharing and Disclosure." And also see any other journal or blog site's policy statements.)

What if a journal site was going out of business anyway, and wanted to make a final crazy splash? You couldn't sue them. Did you sign a contract with them? No, you just checked a box that said "Private." Means nothing. Honor system again. I doubt if the online privacy "promises" made by providers could be debated in a court of law. We already know that the law and/or government has no problem whatsoever sifting through every little bit of anyone's "private" or friends-locked journals.

Bottom line is - if you wouldn't print it on the front page of the New York Times, don't type it into your journal. You're a bit of a fool or a subconscious danger-seeker if you don't believe that.

Ah, but some people do like to live dangerously.
(At this, Eppylover fights the tendency for her imagination to drift over to Brian's escapades.)

Did You Know

That, if you're under age 14, your parents have the ability to review your entire journal, even if they don't know your username and/or password?
And I wouldn't doubt that if you are of legal age but still living with your parents and using their computer, it wouldn't be too much of a struggle for the parents to gain access.
How Parents can Access their Children's Personal Information
In compliance with COPPA, parents and legal guardians may request from us to review, delete or stop the collection of the personally identifiable information of their child. You may do so in one of two ways.

If you know the user name and password, follow the instructions below regarding Changing your Preferences and Personal Information, or you may contact us by letter, phone or email using the address information provided at the bottom of this page.

If you request that no further information about your child be collected or used, we will be required to terminate your child's ability to use's products and services that require a user to "sign in."

Did you know if you delete your LJ, it's usually not completely deleted:

You can delete your account by visiting our Account Deletion page; however, please note that some personal information, primarily your contact information, may remain in's records to the extent necessary to protect LiveJournal's legal interests or document compliance with regulatory requirements.

Granted, most parents are computer-illiterate knobs; however, unless they're total morons (the type who couldn't figure out Tab A into Slot B equals You), they would surely have the ability to ask around at work or church or the grocery store and find an internet mavin; or at least a shlemiel with enough web knowledge to get the job done for them. They simply scroll to the bottom of each LJ page for the "Privacy Policy," send the required snail-mail, and voilà! they've got not only full access to reading everything you've written, but also full use of your journal.

I would assume that all online blogs and journals have a similar government-mandated policy. Depending on circumstances and the pressure applied to the provider - and the circumstances wouldn't have to be too crucial - I imagine any journal/blog provider would open access to a parent even if their child wasn't a minor - if the child was still living with them.

Mama Eppylover is only asking that you consider any future complications from your present actions. ♥
You now have my permission to cast your eyes upward and mutter, "asdfghjkljklsjaklsalf*k!"

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