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19 April 2009 @ 06:44 am
Dreamwidth: Fandom Jumps Ship . . . Again  
When the first posts started to appear on Metafandom concerning Dreamwidth, I was intrigued. Being curious (and totally outside the loop as far as most things fannish), I read with interest those posts discussing this revolution in online social networking.

So, what have I learned:

  • Dreamwidth is in closed beta until 30 April. (This has been repeated in every post concerning the service. By now, if you haven't saved the date, you're just not listening.)

  • Anyone who would like an invite code prior to that date will need to find someone from whom they can ask for a code.

  • If you feel uncomfortable asking people you may not really know, there are a few lists on which you can leave your name and e-mail address, and receive a code from someone who already has a Dreamwidth account. Whether the codes are given in order of requests, or to people who have posted elsewhere on Dreamwidth discussions is unclear. (In the interest of disclosure, I signed up to one such list; can't find the link, though.)

  • If you were not lucky enough to get a code prior to 30 April, you'll be able to purchase a basic membership for $3.00 (US) a month.

  • If you registered on Dreamwidth with Open ID, a code will be waiting for you come either 30 April or 1 May. (If this is the case, I'm not exactly sure why, for the last half month, it was necessary to ask random folks for codes. It really makes me feel awkward to ask "Hi, you don't know me and our interests don't cross, but please may have a code?" It originally appeared that registering with Open ID would allow you to comment on the site, and had nothing to do with securing an invitation code.)

  • Post-30 April, Dreamwidth will be in Open Beta, which likely means on the surface things will look good, but there will probably be glitches along the way, as the kinks are worked out.

  • Once you have a journal, you will be able to set a hierarchical structure of your intimate circle, your fairly close friends, your acquaintances, and everyone else. It appears to be no different from how it's probably done via filters and groups on FLs anyway; the only difference will be that people will now have to acknowledge that no rational person who has a friends list of over 30 people and communities is reading every single post/comment on a regular bases.


And what have I taken away from the increasing number of meta'd Dreamwidth posts?

  • That I really don't like the name. Admittedly, this is purely subjective on my part, but Dreamwidth fails to conjure any image of what this service is or does.

  • A great many posts being quoted are not informative. They're little more than save the date, oooh!shiny, in with the in-crowd repetition. Perspective -- both pro and con -- would be nice.

  • That I'm not very impressed with Dreamwidth's "Diversity Statement". It reads like a typical PR fluff piece, with only one important statement:

    With servers in the US we're obliged to follow US laws, but we're serious about knowing and protecting your rights when it comes to free expression and privacy.


    And if free expression and/or privacy come into conflict with US law, Dreamwidth will do what it must to comply. This is common sense from a business perspective, and I don't fault them for this, but it makes clear that the rest of the statement is window dressing.

  • As April has progressed, what should have been welcome anticipation about Dreamwidth, has developed into a sour feeling about the whole thing. When excitement and enthusiasm move into the realm of over-hype, I'm left feeling both pressured and that others are trying to convince themselves far more than me.


Now, the 30th of April can't get here soon enough, just to have the conversation move on to something else.
 
 
 
Skittish Eclipsefoxfirefey on April 20th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
The explanation of the name is found here and is thus:
We came up with the word 'dreamwidth' by analogy with 'bandwidth' -- if bandwidth is a measure of how much data you can transfer, dreamwidth is a measure of how much creativity you can transfer. We chose 'Studios', because a studio is where an artist works.
A bit twee, but it could've been some Web 2.0 thing that cuts out vowels from where vowels ought to be (Jirnl!), so I guess I count my blessings.

I think the splitting of friends into access/subscribe has broader effects than the ability to set up a hiearchical structure; see my tables on user relationships for some examples.

I can honestly state that the rest of the statement isn't window dressing just because DW has to follow US law. An instance of this would be breastfeeding icons as a default--LJ doesn't allow them (or didn't; don't know if the policy changed) even though it's not really against any law. We've gone through the effort of removing the flagging code; while people can mark content in their journals NSFW or adult, others won't be making that choice for them. Additionally, DW's lack of advertising gives them a bit of latitude for allowing things from a business perspective--there won't be screenshots of ads next to objectionable content sent to advertisers that DW then must try and pacify. They only have to follow the law, not go beyond it. Another sign of our commitment to diversity is our accessibility team--we're putting in work to make sure our site is as accessible as we can make it for nontraditional users. These things are more than just lip service or PR fluff, as they've taken time and effort to implement. We also have a broad variety of volunteers; if someone wants to participate in coding, we do our best to mentor them. This is responsible for some of the highest rates of female developers in our project in OSS--over half.

Since you hear too much overhype (which I agree and sympathize with), here are some cons to DW that I can think of, some of which you've probably heard of or mentioned:

* There are some things on LJs that are difficult or impossible to import. These include polls, voice posts, and Scrapbooks entries. DW can't import these.
* Invite codes are a pro and a con by their very nature. They help keep the site stable, discourage bot and spam accounts--but they also can make people feel excluded despite the best of efforts.
* DW isn't going to have all of the features of LJ to start out with. Phone posts aren't going to be available, not TxtLJ features. Because we're planning to replace the ScrapBook system, we won't start out with photo hosting.
* The network effect. Most people have connections with LJ, and not all of those connections are going to move to DW.
* Bugs, like you mentioned. DW is still fixing them.
* Paid accounts on DW are more expensive than on LJ because advertisers aren't footing part of the bill.
* The DW team has some personalities that others might have problems with for various reasons--example being the site owner, who was head of LJ Abuse when many frustrating things were happening, but there are others.
* There's likely to be some drama as people figure out new social conventions, especially regarding the access/subscribe split. Additionally, paid users get Google Analytics now, and I don't think anybody's really talked about how that's going to change the social landscape--you won't be able to link to somebody else anymore and assume they won't know the reference unless you take care about it.
* Some Dr. Who fans are mightily disappointed that the abbreviation for DW is the same as their fandom.

I'm of the opinion that DW's biggest pro is our nimble development and strong volunteer team. We have done and are planning a lot of changes and development has been pretty swift in the past few months; I think features more than anything else will differentiate us from LJ over the next year.
Skittish Eclipse: mywordfoxfirefey on April 20th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
Anyway, I'm sorry people are a bit too squee right now, and I hope it calms down after the 30th, although I'm not sure talk about Dreamwidth will die then; I actually imagine there's going to be a bunch more after the floodgates open for a bit, after which it will calm down some. I'd guess the pattern's going to be:

* Any problems DW encounters in open beta will be either defended (it's new!) or lambasted (proves it sucks!)
* DW is going to be judged on whether or not its seed accounts sell quickly or not
* More posts about people going to DW or saying why they're not going or saying they're staying here AND going there, ad nauseum
* Offerings of invite codes. Askings of invite codes.
* More posts about people talking about their experiences on DW, how they find things to be, things they like, things they don't like, ad nauseum

Additionally, some people will start cross posting from their LJs to DW, and if they're using the built in cross poster, they might do things like disable comments on LJ and redirect them to DW.
Dash O'Pepperpfeffermuse on April 21st, 2009 02:21 am (UTC)
The explanation of the name is found here and is thus: We came up with the word 'dreamwidth' by analogy with 'bandwidth' . . . We chose 'Studios', because a studio is where an artist works.

The problem is that the analogy with "bandwidth" fails because there's nothing really linking me back to it when you remove "band" and substitute it with "dream" -- especially when it stands alone as Dreamwidth.

As far as "studio", it's really not here nor there, unless the service is being specifically marketed to fans and creative types, as opposed to the average MySpace or Facebook user who slaps up a page to keep in touch with their mates. I don't particularly like either of those two services, but the former conveys exactly what it is, and the latter's use can be inferred from the name.

I can honestly state that the rest of the statement isn't window dressing just because DW has to follow US law. An instance of this would be breastfeeding icons as a default--LJ doesn't allow them (or didn't; don't know if the policy changed) even though it's not really against any law.

As it's not against US law, there's no reason for DW to become involved in judging whether breastfeeding icons can be shown or not. If someone rams a law through tomorrow that all images of breastfeeding are against the law in the US, DW will comply with that law. (What LJ allows or doesn't allow on their service is moot to this discussion.) Your diversity statement will only protect your users up to the point where DW, your users and US law don't conflict.

And I don't even want to touch the question of whether your diversity statement means that you're also welcoming of the legally protected speech of groups/organizations that do not share the ideals of DW or its members. I have no idea how you intend to handle that issue when it rears its ugly head.

Additionally, DW's lack of advertising gives them a bit of latitude for allowing things from a business perspective--there won't be screenshots of ads next to objectionable content sent to advertisers that DW then must try and pacify.

If you're basing DW's monetary stability on the large support you're presently generating among the fannish communities, I think you'll be disappointed come next year. As someone else posted, fandom is both notoriously fickle and notoriously cheap. If we can get something for free, there is little incentive to pay for it.

Like LJ, I think there will come a point where DW will have to make the decision to remain a niche service without ads or expand the business with them.

we're putting in work to make sure our site is as accessible as we can make it for nontraditional users.

I don't use a Kurzweil, but that kind of accessibility has been around -- especially on major commercial sites -- for a while now. I don't know if you're unique as far as social networking go, as none of my visually impaired friends tend to use those anyway.

Thank you for giving a list of some negatives. The lemon garlic hummus was starting to get overwhelming. ;-)

Edited at 2009-04-21 02:22 am (UTC)
Skittish Eclipsefoxfirefey on April 21st, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
As it's not against US law, there's no reason for DW to become involved in judging whether breastfeeding icons can be shown or not. If someone rams a law through tomorrow that all images of breastfeeding are against the law in the US, DW will comply with that law. (What LJ allows or doesn't allow on their service is moot to this discussion.) Your diversity statement will only protect your users up to the point where DW, your users and US law don't conflict.

I don't use a Kurzweil, but that kind of accessibility has been around -- especially on major commercial sites -- for a while now. I don't know if you're unique as far as social networking go, as none of my visually impaired friends tend to use those anyway.

It's not that I expect everything to be posies and sparkles so much as I disagree that our diversity statement is just window dressing or typical PR fluff because of the factor that we are under US law. It's not so much that I want people to gush or praise, since in many ways we are doing things that just should be done because they are the right things to do, or that I think things are perfect or that there are not places in which we can be criticized so much as I don't want people to say that we make no efforts or that it isn't important to us at all.

We added "other" to the gender options to try and give people outside of the gender binary better choices. When we heard someone mention that putting names in red was upsetting because of cultural connotations, we put up a site scheme in a different color that night. The documentation team strives to make documentation accessible for more than just sighted people by avoiding visual, spatial, or movement-specific language as much as possible. The owners auctioned off a seed account to raise funds to help fans of color attend Wiscon.

There's certainly room for criticism, and it's good for people like you to remind others that, like pretty much all US-based sites on the internet, we have to follow US law when it affects us. It's not so much about if we're currently perfect, it's about the work we are willing to do and have already done to improve, and I don't think it will ever be complete.

And I don't even want to touch the question of whether your diversity statement means that you're also welcoming of the legally protected speech of groups/organizations that do not share the ideals of DW or its members. I have no idea how you intend to handle that issue when it rears its ugly head.

Obviously one can say what one likes until a situation like this actually comes up and is dealt with, but from everything I read and discuss with members of the project and those in the know, if the speech is legally protected and the account is not harassing members in ways that are against the TOS, well, it can stay. Now, one could very well point out that that isn't very welcoming, just tolerating, but I don't think even Dreamwidth can make everybody like each other. But it does mean that even if Dreamwidth overall hate somebody's content, we'll host it even though it goes against our beliefs if the content is legally protected.

I'm sure that could make for some epic drama storm at some point, and I think it's okay for people to remain cynical about it until something like that actually happens.
Skittish Eclipse: eyefoxfirefey on April 21st, 2009 08:02 pm (UTC)
If you're basing DW's monetary stability on the large support you're presently generating among the fannish communities, I think you'll be disappointed come next year. As someone else posted, fandom is both notoriously fickle and notoriously cheap. If we can get something for free, there is little incentive to pay for it.

DW's monetary stability is based on historical rates of LJ paid accounts under the invite code system. The estimates take the lower percent range in an attempt to be conservative--that is, 4-5% of active accounts need to be paid in order to support the service. (There are things that might affect this, of course, like the recession. But every business starts as a gamble.) I will say that Dreamwidth is very well aware of the actual costs to run a service like this given the owners' previous experiences, so they're not going to run into problems where they weren't expecting the kinds of costs running a service like this generates.

We're aware that people do need incentives to pay for accounts, so we do reserve features for paid accounts and are planning on developing more.

I think everyone will have a better idea about funding come April 30th when we see how seed accounts sell, because those are intended to provide the funds to sustain the service through its first year of operations while it gets on its feet. Original expectations were that they would sell quite slowly, as Dreamwidth is an unproven service and the cost ($200) is quite steep. However, enough people seem to have expressed interest in them that it's possible they'll go quickly. But, well, people say a lot of things and then balk when time comes to put down the cash, so I'm curious to see how it goes.
Skittish Eclipse: mischieffoxfirefey on April 21st, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
Like LJ, I think there will come a point where DW will have to make the decision to remain a niche service without ads or expand the business with them.

You are, of course, assuming DW succeeds at all! ::wink::

Well, current declarations point to remaining a niche service:
I believe it's possible for a small group of highly motivated, highly experienced people to build a service that accepts it's always going to be a niche market, and I believe it's possible to rock the everliving hell out of that niche.

Or from the Business FAQ:
In short, we don't ever expect -- or really even want -- to get über-rich on this. We want to earn enough to support ourselves and our families, and use the rest to nurture and support the community and the project. Both of us are passionate about online community, and we want to build a good one. We're going into this with the idea that Dreamwidth isn't going to be the next Facebook or Myspace; we're always going to be the family-owned business down on the corner of the neighborhood. Our goal is to build a sustainable, long-term business that will be here for a long time. We're both prepared to make this something we'll work on for the rest of our careers, and we're designing for that from the ground up.


And, to be honest, I still consider LJ a niche service everywhere but Russia (even though there are more Russian accounts than US accounts). Six Apart bought it, like it buys every single other company (Rojo, Pownce), for its staff, which it then used to make its own (still niche) blogging service Vox. The most active accounts LJ has ever had is around 2.5 million in 2005 (before the ads) and it started to decline shortly after the Six Apart purchase. SUP's purchase and work and investments and marketing have stabilized and started to increase those numbers, but it's not yet quite up to where it used to be, and I'm certain that LJ is only becoming more niche in the US market because Russian accounts were growing at a time when the number of active users was only remaining stable, and because I have not seen any real promotional efforts by SUP to expand the US market like they have in the UK, India, or Russia.

Anyway, it's still one of those things in the area of "well, you can say that all you like, but when the time comes...", but I think that the intentions as they stand are at the very least heartfelt. They have to start somewhere, and only time can tell if they'll bear out.
(Deleted comment)
Skittish Eclipse: mywordfoxfirefey on May 12th, 2009 05:27 am (UTC)
Not surprising! For some reason, this got linked from the FanHistory wiki, ha.

Is their content legal? Then I'd imagine yes. It's always possible that a shifting legal landscape may make some things illegal that used to be allowed.

But it's not as if LJ doesn't have content like white_racialism or n_eugenics or savemarriage.

DW has already run into complaints about a community that posts disturbing material (just shock pictures, ala rotten.com); but as far as we know it's legal, so the response has been "don't look at it". I find it very plausible that not everybody will see that as a plus--some people would rather be on a service where that kind of content is not allowed.
sidewinder: u will be assimilated!sidewinder on May 12th, 2009 12:40 pm (UTC)
Not surprising! For some reason, this got linked from the FanHistory wiki, ha.

"For some reason"? Well, the reason is simple--unlike some other forums out there that are primarily only linking to glowing praise and promotion posts, we're trying to link to any public discussion that we find about DW's services, to present multiple points of view.
Bounce!partly_bouncy on May 12th, 2009 12:48 pm (UTC)
Ditto that. Fan History's mission is to document the history of fandom. Similar policies re:LiveJournal were subject to a lot of discussion in fandom. The policies and how they will be implemented are things that matter to a fannish audience. When some one affiliated with the organization offers clarity regarding the implementation of policy, it is fair game so I'm not surprised a contributor added this information. If there is information that is incorrect or biased, we're more than happy to work with supporters or Dreamwidth Studios to make it more balanced.
Skittish Eclipsefoxfirefey on May 13th, 2009 03:54 am (UTC)
Oh, heavens no, I think everything I said is fair game and I don't really find anything there to be incorrect or biased. The page seems awkwardly organized and summarized in places, but heck, that's just how articles in progress go. The only thing I'd suggest would be that links in my comments to be reproduced as links in the wiki article as well, for better context and convenience to readers, and there is one instance (the niche services quote) where I used blockquoting that's not indented on the wiki. I'm quoting someone else, and looking at it there, one wouldn't necessarily know that.

I was just surprised to see so much of that article (esp. when it was fairly new, it's much more expansive nowadays it seems) to consist of quotes from me, that's all. I'm not in fandom, so it was a little amusing to me in some ways as well--can't really figure out a good reason why it amuses, though, as for most intents and purposes information from me about this subject is as good as information from a fandom person, so.

One unrelated sidenote--would you like a Mediawiki extension that gives you tags for making LJ/IJ/JF/DW/Vox usernames? I use it on DW's wiki, you might find it useful as well.
Skittish Eclipsefoxfirefey on May 13th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
In which case I recommend some of siderea's DW posts, as she has a couple interesting critical ones. There's a fandom communities list on the wiki you might like as well.
Bounce!partly_bouncy on May 13th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
It is a wiki. You can edit it. We would really appreciate it if you could help contribute to it because it would be a great signal to others that we're accepting of those points of views and welcome contributions from Dreamwidth Studios contributors.

I would do it except I don't actively edit as much as I used to and we're a bit busy dealing with Roswell fandom issues and the continuing saga of Russet Noon.

If you have any issues editing or don't know how, please comment on the talk page and I'll make sure an admin will be there to walk you through it. We look forward to your contributions because we really value your perspective and providing an article that you feel better represents the community.
sidewindersidewinder on May 13th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
You are welcome to go ahead and add them yourself. (It's a wiki, anyone can edit. Please do.)

While I'm an admin, I'm currently on editing/content-adding break except for important administrative issues until after MediaWestCon. And the more people outside of the admin staff and regular contributors who add to articles, the much better the perspective on various issues tends to be.
Dash O'Pepperpfeffermuse on May 13th, 2009 04:39 am (UTC)
Not surprising! For some reason, this got linked from the FanHistory wiki, ha.

What does the fact that my post got linked from the FanHistory wiki have to do with anything? It was also linked in the comments of a Metafandom post; so, enchanted_black could have just as easily found it there.

You apparently "stumbled" upon my entry yourself -- either via a link made in a comment on Metafandom or via an Icerocket search -- and had no problem making five replies to it. Or in your opinion, am I just unworthy of having anyone except the great and powerful Oz foxfirefey respond to a politely stated opinion within my own person journal?

Rahaeli was most polite in letting me know how s/he came upon an earlier post I made. And because of our brief and very cordial discussion, I have a lot of respect for him/her.

And up until your snide comment tonight, I had believed you to be polite and respectful, as well.

But it's not as if LJ doesn't have content like [info]white_racialism or [info]n_eugenics or [info]savemarriage.

Please stop bringing up what LJ, IJ, JF,, DJ or any other journaling site does or doesn't do. Their policies are their own, and not Dreamwidth's, and are moot to any discussion.

Dreamwidth stresses diversity; I don't know if you're the only service to do so, but it has been one of the major marketing points within fandom. The word itself conjures up grand images of a more welcoming and accepting society; people putting forth their better nature, not their worst. And that's not actually the case, is it?

As long as the speech is legally protected and doesn't violate US law, it's welcome on Dreamwidth. Which makes this:

We welcome people of any gender identity or expression, race, ethnicity, size, nationality, sexual orientation, ability level, religion, culture, subculture, and political opinion. We welcome activists, artists, bloggers, crafters, dilettantes, musicians, photographers, readers, writers, ordinary people, extraordinary people, and everyone in between. We welcome people who want to change the world, people who want to keep in touch with friends, people who want to make great art, and people who just need a break after work. We welcome fans, geeks, nerds, and pixel-stained technopeasant wretches. We welcome Internet beginners who aren't sure what any of those terms refer to.


as I said earlier, window dressing and nothing more. The crux remains:

With servers in the US we're obliged to follow US laws, but we're serious about knowing and protecting your rights when it comes to free expression and privacy.


which is exactly the same for every other US-based journaling service, and makes Dreamwidth no better or worse than them.

You know, I'd really like to freeze your comment just for its rudeness to both myself and the poster, but I do try to respect all commenters on my journal.

Edited at 2009-05-13 04:40 am (UTC)
Skittish Eclipse: space cadetfoxfirefey on May 13th, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)
An apology from me is in order--I am very sorry that I worded things in a disrespectful or snide manner. I did not mean to be rude to either you, enchanted_black, or the writers of the FanHistory wiki. Because I've had a busy past couple of days, I dashed things off in a far too casual manner and probably should have made much more thoughtful responses and not resorted to shorthand mannerisms.

If you are interested in me addressing other aspects of this comment reply (where I came from to this post, etc), I can do that, but I think it might also be rude to try and expound further without anybody's interest in it, as an apology from me is much more important right now than any explanations.

(Aside: This icon is my "space cadet" icon, that I use when I've been less-than-smart.)

Edited at 2009-05-13 05:01 am (UTC)
Dash O'Pepper: Peacepfeffermuse on May 14th, 2009 06:24 am (UTC)
Because I've had a busy past couple of days, I dashed things off in a far too casual manner and probably should have made much more thoughtful responses and not resorted to shorthand mannerisms.


You know, an amazing thing occurs when we're under stress or have a busy past couple of days: we tend to lose our oh-so-carefully-cultivated-personae, and reveal our truer natures and genuine feelings about things.

Which explains how you go from this:

enchanted_black: I just stumbled upon this . . .
foxfirefey: Not surprising! For some reason, this got linked from the FanHistory wiki, ha.


to this:

I dashed things off in a far too casual manner and probably should have made much more thoughtful responses and not resorted to shorthand mannerisms


There was nothing either casual or shorthand intended in your opening sentence. It was quite succinct.

I did not mean to be rude to either you, enchanted_black:, or the writers of the FanHistory wiki.


While you probably didn't intend to be rude to me in my own journal, regarding my own post -- your "shorthand", notwithstanding -- it's quite clear that you did intend to be rude about me. Perhaps you thought you were responding somewhere else?

For what it's worth, I accept your apology for the public relations move it is, and in that spirit, I'd prefer to politely terminate our discussion.
Skittish Eclipse: mywordfoxfirefey on May 14th, 2009 07:22 am (UTC)
While you probably didn't intend to be rude to me in my own journal, regarding my own post -- your "shorthand", notwithstanding -- it's quite clear that you did intend to be rude about me. Perhaps you thought you were responding somewhere else?

No, no! Your post is just fine, with interesting points that other people weren't talking about, and I can definitely see why it got linked from the wiki to provide varied coverage.

"This" was a shorthand for "this comment" and referred not to your post's inclusion in the wiki, but to my comment that enchanted_muse was replying to being quoted and directly linked from the FanHistory wiki, right in the body. I was downplaying it because, well, I thought there were probably better sources than me on that subject, and I felt kind of intimidated being so heavily quoted on a notable resource (although as mentioned elsewhere, it was entirely fair game and I have no rights to complain about it). I realize it's my responsibility, however, to make sure that my comments don't end up sounding rude, and I failed there.

It was also rude of me to not review the full extent of our discussion beforehand, which had taken place weeks before, and so I ended up making irrelevant and previously addressed points regarding content existing on LJ.

With that being said, I agree that I would like to end things on a polite note, and wish you well.
zvi LikesTVzvi_likes_tv on May 13th, 2009 07:23 am (UTC)
tracked entry; probably found via icerocket, but I don't remember
I would just like to point out that pedophiles and Neo-Nazis/homophobes have separate legal cases, with regard to U.S. law. If pedophiles are exchanging media of actual children, or passing information on how to obtain such media, they're on the wrong side of the law. So long as the Neo-Nazis/homophobes are not specific as to person or place (i.e. no criminal conspiracy, no threats), they're free to commune in their hatefulness.

I also think that there's some miscommunication as to the sort of promise DW is making. On the one hand, DW is promising that the service's behavior towards users of all kinds will be respectful. For example, on finding that the default site scheme's putting usernames in red conflicted with a ?Korean? custom of only putting the names of the dead in red, they rolled out alternate site schemes ahead of planned release.

On the other hand, DW is planning to refrain from policing the interaction of its users, preferring instead to give users tools to prevent contact from/interaction with people with whom they disagree over pushing people off of DW because they say disagreeable things in their own journals or communities.

And, on the third hand, DW is planning to only give userinfo in response to actual legal documents or judgements, and not just letters on cotton paper signed Esq. Strikethrough happened because a particular pressure group wrote in letters of complaint, not because any government attorneys (or even private attorneys) filed documents in any court of law, much less because a judge or jury had even considered the question of whether anything was obscene or child porn.