Editorial: Livejournal Bigwig Says "You're All Sockpuppets and the Lurkers Support Us in Email"
Melissa WilsonView all articles by Melissa Wilson
Regarding the planned strike this Friday March 21st, he said, "I don't know any of LJ posters familiar to me, those I have friended and commented, that would want to join said boycott. I honestly don't know any people that would seriously take up that initiative. So I am presuming such an idea to be marginal at best. Something like calling all the advertisers in the American section of livejournal and calling on them to cancel their ads." He also scoffed at the notion that anyone has called the advertisers.
He went on to suggest that everyone participating in the boycott is actually a sockpuppet: "[A]ny person can create several hundred fake LJ accounts, comment in them that 'on the 21st of March I will be silent in protest.' Then you journalists can quote those fake users and list the names of those that were silent that day. And add a cute catchprase like 'that's just the top of the iceberg.'"
Then he lied about the previous payment structure which existed before SixApart purchased the company. "First let's try an understand what constitutes a base account. At one point those accounts were the main offering on LJ. Due to the poor financial situation of the creators, the lack of money for development. And that's when LJ was not a business, it was a hobby for students. Then users were told, and I quote, 'Even if you pay, you will receive NOTHING extra for it. Your money is a donation. Do you like the project? Donate!' Such a model was in place from 1999 to 2005."
I'd like to take this time to point out that I've had a Livejournal account since 2002, and a Paid account since 2003. Paid accounts, even then, offered more icons, more space, and more bells and whistles, and those of us who came to the service free found that we liked it enough to pay for more. Nosik is gravely mistaken about the history of his own company, and that's a serious problem on its own.
How he knows we're all socks: "Over the last 2 years base account registrations cover about 10 percent of new users.
And finally, why he thinks the silent majority supports him: "The audience of LJ is divided into 3 groups. There is the silent majority, which uses LJ for their own needs and is indifferent to who, when and with what money made such a resource and supports it. There are the positive minority (7-10 percent in the Russian LJ), these people like LJ, they consider it useful and want it to develop further. They help us, including constructive criticism, thanks to which we correct our mistakes. And there is the third category. They endlessly, during the entire existence of LJ promote lour initiatives, whose only purpouse is to bring harm to LJ, its founders, their goal is to criticize, destablilize and ruin our reputation. They are usually motivated by wanting to attract attention to themselves. And they are successful every time. Their rhetoric is always the same - regardless of whether one blogs in English from California or in Russian in Moscow. These are the people that at one time wanted Brad Fitzpatrick to resign, when he was the sole lead of LJ. They asked to call each advertiser which cooperated with LJ and to threaten them with harm to their reputation, if he doesn't stop putting ads on LJ. They advocated going to competing platforms first for one reason, then another. ... The administration has reversed or corrected decisions, published apologies, restored accounts which were blocked due to differing points of view, made corrections to rules of use... With constructive dialog with LJ users, we can reform anything."
So in short, we dn't matter, our protest doesn't matter, and if we do say something, it's all from the same person anyway.
I think the strike should last a week.
(Thanks to DarkRoseTiger for the information.)
[Edit added by Cygnet; Melissa is on vacation.]
ETA: Mr. Nossik has posted a rebuttal of Melissa's editorial on his Journal, here. He has indicated he did not lie, and that the translation(s) misrepresent what he said. I would encourage our readers to review both sides of the matter, and read both his blog post and the reader responses to his post, and come to their own conclusions.
Additionally, I have extended an offer to Mr. Nossik for an English-language interview with Firefox News. As he appears to be able to write fluently in English, this should eliminate any issues with poor translations. We await his response.
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