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The LJ Account Purge

So, in the most recent LJ News post, they're talking about doing something they've been talking about FOREVER.  Namely, the deletion of suspended accounts from LJ.  As part of this, they're also talking about deleting accounts that have been Inactive for more than 2 years.  As a data analyst in real life, I whole heartedly understand where they're coming from.  It frees up space, cleans up the back end a bit, and gives them a bit of freedom, as well as gives new users a whole new list of names to choose from.  

However, some people, are looking at this whole thing as VERY BAD. For instance, bookshop has a whole post about it. And then another one later trying to rally some sort of Call to Action to show LJ that this isn't cool.

Her argument comes from a fannish and proprietary place, wherein people will be losing their writing, or their comments on other peoples writing, or people's comments on their writing. And that this is only the beginning. That if we let LJ get away with this, it could mean LJ's right to get rid of our content whenever they want!

Seriously. It's the internet. If you have faith that your content is always going to be available all the time, even if you've paid for it at some point in time, you're wrong. If you're currently paying for it, then yes, I'd be concerned. But chances are likely that people that have been gone from LJ - as in not active at all - for 2 years, they don't care about the stuff they left behind. Or, they're dead.

(LJ does have a provision for leaving memorial accounts open for people that have passed on.)

But, lets look at it this way. Say LJ was free for everyone. No one every paid a cent into LJ for anything other than it's creators. Now, if LJ was shutting down because those people could no longer function under the cost, and then the domain registration lapsed - which happens - all the stuff that was here would be gone. It happens every day on sites all over the internet. Is it sad? Yes. But, it happens.

And like I said, from a data perspective, it makes all the sense in the world. If the people that have been inactive (the deceased excepted) didn't take their stuff with them before they left is that LJ's fault? No.

Funnily enough, just the other day, I was link hopping...like you do...and came across my old Blurty Journal. (Years old site built around the LJ model but supposedly for the 18+ crowd.) I posted some writing there from time to time when I first opened it - in fact I have a permanent Early Adopter account there. (Not that I've done anything with it in years.) But, really and truly I was surprised to see it was still around. Like open-mouthed surprised to see it. I figured it had been lost to the void of the internet - and I was fine with that. Because I've got all the writing from that site safely saved elsewhere, and it's okay.

EVEN if, for some reason, LJ was shutting down accounts at random - but they were giving a heads-up like they are now? I'd be okay. A little put out because I have a permanent account, but okay nonetheless. There's tools out there (for free) where you can download your entire journal to your desktop. Voilá!

Comments

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shetiger
Jul. 15th, 2010 04:01 am (UTC)
Yes, all of this. I just...it's like decorating your office, then moving on to a different job, and then getting pissed off years later when they take the stuff down off the walls. I'd make a post similar to this except I don't have the nerve.
cherith
Jul. 15th, 2010 04:44 am (UTC)
I'm glad I'm not alone here.
uberreiniger
Jul. 15th, 2010 04:17 am (UTC)
LJ users love to hate LJ. That's just how they are. Yeah, if someone's been gone for two years then they're not coming back. Purge it and move on.
naeko
Jul. 15th, 2010 05:28 am (UTC)
I've been hoping they'd do this FOR YEARS! There are a few accounts that I've tried to get ahold of for various reasons (ranging from they mod comms that need attendance, to I just want to snag their names) and they don't even seem to hold the emails attached to those accounts anymore. Hell, I think half the people who have my journal friended abandoned their accounts 3+ years ago. I just do NOT see any reason to keep that shit.

If it's really that important to you, find a way to login to your old account, and get your shit (I've gotten into accounts all over the internet YEARS after losing access to everything attached to them, just by communicating with the developers; it has to be possible here on LJ). But to just stare at a dead account and flail your arms and wail makes no sense.

On a side note, what programs do you know of that will let you back up your journal? I still use LJArchive on the windows side of my machine, but it's been so long since it's been attended by anyone with a coding mind that it's sort of iffy. It won't export anything, anymore, so I can only view my journal through the program itself. I thought there was something else that would turn your journal into a "journal" and let you print it, but I can't remember details.
cherith
Jul. 15th, 2010 05:34 am (UTC)
I've used LJ Archive in the past. But there's also LJBook.com, which actually supports more than just LJ. I think there's also one that's like LJdump or something like LJ Archive, but I haven't used it before.
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