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A little late, but still...

So Livejournal has been bought out by SUP, a Russian media company that already was running the site's Russian servers (significant because Livejournal is BY FAR #1 for social networking in Russia; think MySpace times 100).

Naturally, there are two sides: there's the guys with the tin-foil hats, saying that this is a cunning plan by Vladimir Putin to take over the internet and quash dissent, and there's guys like Brad Fitzpatrick, basically saying to calm the fuck down.

I'm in a separate group that's not freaked, and not calling for the Rapture, but I'm not happy.

The entire country of Russia is essentially a lawless haven for people who get ahead with nothing more than brute force and money. There's an incredible gulf between the winners and the losers in Russia, much higher than that in America. Furthermore, the government resorts to a shadow government that intimidates and abuses it's people, who sadly don't know any better. I don't think that Soviet Russia is going to take over America, and bring us back to the Cold War era and all the goodies and fun and Hoovers of the era, but I do think that the reason for Putin's power is much less the power of Russia and much more the power of having power through any means necessary.

I'm not going to run screaming or make any more grossly emo posts on the matter (and the fact that I've been writing this since Monday should say something, other than "it was saved on my work PC and I lost two days to sickness this week; really, people are going to look at me and go "Oh, that's SOOOOOOOO TUESDAY!"), nor am I going to abandon a permanent account JUST yet, but I'm definitely paying attention.

I think it says a lot that trepidation over this isn't nearly what it was when an established Silicon Valley company - Six Apart - bought out Livejournal - got a lot more attention paid to it than some faceless company in Russia with questionable ties to an Oligarchy. When SA bought Livejournal, it was nothing but "OMG! CORPORATE TIES!!!!!! HORRIBLE! TERRIBLE! FUCK YOU, SIX APART!!!". And now, it's "Oh, well, they're tied to a government that not only makes it's own people disappear when they disagree with the government like Stalin did, but just got the man that killed someone by using radioactive waste elected to said government, but THEY'RE NOT SIX APART! 8D!!!", with the only complaint being about the Snap ads. And what did Six Apart do that was so bad? Really. They mishandled a few minor situations, but the things that went wrong during the Six Apart era were mostly the fault of established Livejournal norms (like LJ Abuse). I do find it funny how badly Six Apart misjudged it's users; these fags look for any reason to be whiny, emotastic bitches, just to get heard, and Six Apart could do nothing right from the start, and nothing was going to change that. I think focusing on "core technologies" had nothing to do with this sale, I think 6A's CEO was just sick and tired of dealing with these retards.

So now, when SAP does something that the users don't like, who are they going to complain to? Do you think SUP is going to give two shits about what a few teenaged American morons thinks about it's decisions? They know they're going to get their revenue, and that's all that matters. This "advisory board" is a farce, and no one knows it yet, not even Brad, who I think is powerless at this point.

I'll see how this goes. And if I don't like what I see... I'll leave. Simple as that. I have the resources to go whereever I want, and while reading things from my friends is something I'll miss, I can surely take things elsewhere, be it to a place like Facebook, or my own website, or someplace else.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
dmajohnson
Dec. 8th, 2007 03:19 am (UTC)
Two words: Oh. Snap.

I can't say I'm in either of the two camps either, but I can say for certain that I'm leaning towards the emo bois and grlz in the tin foil hats. :( The only reason I really stick around LJ is the friends list feature. My friends are here and I can view their blogs in a simple scroll down. However, I had to be a typical American pig, but I can't see anything good come from handing a site off the a Russian media company.

First Gamespot and now this. Bah, the internets hate me. -_-

(Emo boy avatar for great justice.)
samuraiter
Dec. 8th, 2007 08:52 pm (UTC)
My friends are here and I can view their blogs in a simple scroll down.

Which is why I do not intend to leave. That, and I do pay to be here, so ... there is that, too. Further, I doubt a Russian corporation will be targeting anybody in fandom if they decide to get uppity about anything.
superbus
Dec. 9th, 2007 01:48 am (UTC)
No, they'll just go after anyone that says something politically that they don't like.

Though personally, I think SUP finds those people small-fish.
samuraiter
Dec. 8th, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC)
Minor Devil's Advocate: What does it tell you when people have more fear and hatred for American corporations than they do for the KGB and the country they run?
dmajohnson
Dec. 8th, 2007 10:25 pm (UTC)
I guess it's just me being pessimistic as always, but I think it says more about people than it does corporate or government entities. :/
superbus
Dec. 9th, 2007 01:47 am (UTC)
It tells me a lot.

1) It tells me that people are horribly self-centred. You yourself indirectly proved this, with your comment that, hey, at least SUP isn't going to come after fandoms that they don't like (which is ironic, as again, that was less Six Apart and more LJ Abuse, which is rivalled in shit-baggery nowadays only by Wikipedia's admins). When Six Apart took over LJ, everyone was concerned that they weren't going to care about the common blogger, and it was some corporate empire. Are they kidding me? Six Apart handled the bloggers with kid gloves! And everytime they tried, the bloggers all went "You're not handling me well enough, faggot!". I personally thought Six Apart did a good job in everything but keeping LJA under control.

2) It tells me that people don't read the fucking news. I want to go into these communities and play a game of word association. And when people go "oh goodie!", thinking they're going to get words like "boobs" or "anime buttsex", I'm going to give them "Alexander Litvinenko", and they're going to go "huh? Is that a wrestler?". It's ironic; of all the news sites I could bring into my RSS reader, I only take in two: CNN (the best of a weak bunch of American sites) and The Guardian (the site I get the best news from, both worldwide and American. BTW, Guardian is BRITISH), and The Guardian was the only one that really gave the Litvinenko murder more than passing airplay; no one else gave a shit because, hey, how about those Black Friday specials? :D

I mention him because the man widely believed to be his murderer, Andrei Lugovoi, was just elected to Russia's Parliament in what is internationally believed to be a puppet election rife with intimidation and flat-out threats for anyone not voting the Kremlin line. These are the people we are "happy" that bought LJ? Oh, BTW, the last straw for Litvinenko was his stating that the Kremlin was behind the three-gunshot murder of Anna Politkovskaya, a claim that I feel has some weight behind it, as she was horribly critical of Putin's regime.

Americans naturally don't care about this; we are the most selfish, self-absorbed people in the world. As long as someone gives them a shiny to play with, they're happy.
samuraiter
Dec. 9th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
*nods*

Very good points, 'Bus. I agree with the first, particularly, though I lack any inside knowledge of how LJ Abuse (fails to) operate(s), aside from what you have said to me in the past. True, my first thought was curiosity as to how fandom might be affected, but ... in all fairness, it's a bit of a reflex to think of one's own people first. It's a failing of mine.

As to Mr. Putin and the resurrection of the KGB, I have been following the progress of that in The Economist (also British). The murders of Litvinenko and Politkavskaya both stand as flagrant and unpunished, and they are indicative of a return to the Soviet method of squashing dissent. According to the ongoing reports I have read, the KGB have been planning their return to power since the fall of the Communist Party and the end of Soviet rule, creating a shadow government not unlike that of the genrou who ruled Japan from the Meiji period to the end of World War II. It reads like good spy fiction, but, unfortunately, it is completely true, and nothing has been done about it for a variety of reasons, the biggest of which is that the U.S. has had its head buried in (literal) sand since 9 / 11. Putin rose to power in '01; is it any surprise, then, that he has been hard at work to advance the plans of his faction while our military is unavailable?

The acquisition of LJ by SUP is purely tangential to those events, of course, though it does make me wonder. Of more concern to me is the chain of rigged elections, missile tests, and political murders in Russia itself. Putin and his keepers are getting bolder as the U.S. election approaches, and I get the feeling that they know exactly how to handle Dubya; the Russia problem might have to wait for the next President, and, by then, it is likely that the KGB will be too entrenched to dislodge. At best, this means extremely chilly relations for a long time to come. At worst, it means a second Cold War, one in which the U.S. is at extreme disadvantage.

I do worry about these things, 'Bus.
burning_phoneix
Dec. 9th, 2007 05:58 am (UTC)
I wonder what will happen when the fanbois start whining to the restructed KGB (read LJ abuse). I'd pay to see that shit.
dmajohnson
Dec. 9th, 2007 01:41 pm (UTC)
It'll just be the same thing that happens every time they complain to LJAbuse. I'd go so far as to say that LJAbuse is the only thing there's no "danger" of every chaning. -_-
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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