Remember "Warriors For Innocence"? The group that tried to get a whole bunch of Livejournals and Communities deleted because they considered them to be fostering child abuse and rape (and some of the LJs they tried to get deleted included Harry Potter fanfic sites, support groups for rape and incest survivors, and a discussion group for Nabakov's "Lolita"!)?
(Here's a copy of what's posted on the other site...)
I work for a travel industry trade publication. We promote hits to our Web sites via Google ads, which, apparently, show up on LJ free accounts (I've had a paid one almost as long as I've had LJ).
On Monday morning, I found the following in my work E-mail:
From: (EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED)
Subject: Your Company’s Ad Appears on a Child Sex/Rape Site
Date: June 16, 2007 8:45:01 PM EDT
Dear [name of publication] Staff,
I have found a [name of publication] ad on a very inappropriate web page, in close proximity to such subjects as Incest, Family Sex, F***ing children, Child Molesting, Child Pornography, and other disturbing topics. I am sure that as a responsible and well respected company, you know nothing about this, as many advertisers on LiveJournal.com do not.
I have taken a screen shot of this disgusting page with your ad on it and will be glad to email it to you if someone will contact me with an email address to which to send it.
There are hundreds of these pages in the LiveJournal community with ads by many unsuspecting companies such as yours. Many of these sites have been reported to LiveJournal, but they choose to allow this content despite a negative reaction to it.
LiveJournal recently launched a campaign, in response to our requests, to suspend many of these inappropriate sites. Unfortunately, they have since changed their minds and have brought many of these sites back online.
I'm afraid that the only way to ensure the safety of your company's reputation is to remove all ad support from LiveJournal. Google Adsense and Google Adwords are the main providers of advertising for LiveJournal. I urge you to contact your advertising departments/managers and have your ads pulled from all of LiveJournal.com.
I can also provide information on how to conduct a search of "objectionable" sites that may contain your ad. I would be happy to work with you in obtaining any information that you need.
I trust that you do not support this and will withdraw your support from LiveJournal.com in order to maintain the reputation you have earned.
I look forward to hearing from you.
WFI team member
(WEBSITE ADDRESS REMOVED)
(EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED)
We are the only thing that stands between evil and the innocent. We can no longer stay silent or passive- no longer do nothing. ~ (WEBSITE ADDRESS REMOVED)
NOTE: DO NOT VISIT THE WFI WEBSITE! THEY HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO DOWNLOAD TO SOME NASTY SPYWARE AND/OR VIRUSES ONTO COMPUTERS! THIS IS WHY I HAVE REMOVED ALL LINKS TO THE SITE!
OK, so they've now decided to go after ALL of LiveJournal because LJ undeleted most of the LJs that were taken down. Also, notice the phishing for email addresses ("I... will be glad to email it to you if someone will contact me with an email address to which to send it."), and the implied threat to the receiving company ("I'm afraid that the only way to ensure the safety of your company's reputation is to remove all ad support from LiveJournal"... sort of like "the only way to ensure I don't torch your business is to pay me protection money".) Then there's the solicitation for their business, which, if it were accepted, opens the door for WFI to perform all SORTS of unethical marketing mischief ("I would be happy to work with you in obtaining any information that you need"). And, finally, the fact that they aren't targeting just certain LJ sites, but they're going after ALL of LJ since they didn't play ball according to WFI's rules.
My first conclusion? These guys couldn't care less about protecting children. They're an internet marketing scam, using unethical, and sometimes illegal, methods, to gather marketing and contact info about people.
My second conclusion? They're scum. Scum hiding behind the fine cause of protecting children from real harm in order to bully others into abiding by they're limited morality.