April 10th, 2017

Why I'm not leaving Live Journal

With everybody going on about leaving Live Journal, for political reasons, I thought that I'd explain why I'm not leaving - after all I am a very political person, so I "ought" to leave, right?

Reson number one: I am lazy and conservative. I like what I have on LJ, I was so happy when peopel started comign back and post again and I don't want to lose that. LJ was my frist social media and it means a lot to me.

Reason number two is more complicated. First of all: the new user agreement can't really do anything against you, except suspend or take away your account - you know the way Facebook does if you show mum's breastfeeding or art with female nipples. Decisons which can't be appealed. Still we're not leaving facebook.

We're not leaving facebook despite the fact hat while they are punishing people for showin nursing mums, or the chests of breast cancer survivors, or even people who are born with disfigured faces, who are blocked for using a photo of themselves, they do not remove hate speech or direct threats against people. In 2015 a white guy went into a school in Trollhättan my old home town, and started trying to kill people based on their colour of skin. Thanks to the heroic actions by a school assistant, who was, murdered, and thankt to the police, only two people died. Neo-nazis and other racists of course see him as a white hero and started several pages on fb to claim that, and that he was "only defending Sweden agaisnt 'white genocide'" I reported all of these, and so did many others - did we get a result? Where they removed? Hear the hollow echo. Of course they weren't removed, for some reasons racist and neo-nazi propaganda never "violates the community rules" of facebook.
Where am I'm getting with this? Well, if w don't leave facebook for being an important organizational base for neo-nazis and white supremacists, and refusing to do anything about it (the same goes for the networks of pedophiles where fb even reported the BBC journalists who had gathered the facts and wanted fb to take down the pedophile rings), I don't think we can claim some kind of moral high ground when it comes to Live Journal. Not if we're still on facebook. While facebook doesn't use the the word political in their user agreement, and claim that they have no political agenda, only commercial, they are in fact very political - if you refuse to do something about racism and misogyni you are being political. I don't ask anyone to leave fb, or LJ, I definitely think people are prefectly justified in leaving LJ, but I'm not going to.

And this is another of the reasons: I grew up in a time when hating and fearing Russians and Russia was mandatory. And I'm an anarchist at heart, so mandatory doesn't sit well with me. So my gut reaction is to not jump on the anti-Russian bandwagon, even if there may be prefectly valid reasons (and I have protested against their anti-LGBTQ laws, as well as supported Amnesty's work there, so it's not that I don't want to critize them). I have Russian friends and I hate the prejudice and hate they are subjected to daily in Sweden. In the media, and many other places Russians are described as "animals", more brutal than westerners, presumably by their genetics. And all Russians are seen as anti-democratic. It is just not fair. So, I feel that we are holding LJ to a higher standard than other platforms, just because Russia, and Russians are perceived as evil.
The SCA has a group in Moscow, who has visited events in Sweden - I am old enough to think that this is fantastic: that people can travel from Russia to go to hobby gatherings in Sweden. It was not like that when I grew up. But I hear friends complaining about them coming, because, and I quote "It forces us all to censor ourselves when were socializing". When I said that I didn't feel that need, the person explained that: "Well, many of us are in the military and we like to talk about that at events". And I think that that could be easily solved by a) not talking about mundane stuff att medieval events and b)not talking loosely about military stuff, regardless if there are Russians on the site.
SO I will not start seeing everyone of Russian descent or nationality as an enemy, even if I don't like the current leadership.

For me personally the highest risk with remaining is probably that the swedish security police may take an interest in me, old friends who were active in the peace movement have had trouble with that. Scholars who had ties to the peace movement have also been pointed out as Russian agents in the papers and their work has been discredited, but since I study Early Modern clothing, there's little risk that I will be in the centre of such a smear campaign. Right wing journalists have also asked people to report to them if there are university teachers with leftist opinions, and I may be in more trouble there, but I don't think my LJ-blog will be the reason, more that I protest against neo-nazis when they march.

So, these are my feelings, a lot of them non-rational. But most of all I am not leaving because I'm lazy and conservative and like what I have.This may change, but I will wait and see where this goes.