Great Moments in Internet History Part 1

Hello everyone! I have decided to start randomly chronicling great moments in internet history. These will not be important events, but rather they will be random and LOL worthy events in the history of the internet. So let’s go ahead and get this train rolling!

LiveJournal says “NO” to fanfic!

Way, way back (in technology and internet time) people used a service called LiveJournal. It was a veritable wasteland of crappy fan fiction, crappier “blogs” (if you count angsty teenager whining about how horrible life is as a blog), and the crappiest thing of all: furries. At one point someone over at LiveJournal, then owned by SixApart, wisely decided enough is enough!

In May of 2007, LiveJournal mods were given a mission. They were told to seek out and destroy all fan fiction, more specifically slash fiction, involving Harry Potter and underage characters in general. Now, it is important to understand that these journals were not devoted to people simply extending J.K. Rowlings stories or putting the characters in different scenarios. No, not at all. These people were writing these characters in to various sexual scenarios. Bad writing? Check! Copyright violations? Maybe, maybe not. Pedophilia? Oh yeah, you better believe it!

Anyways, the user base was sent in to an uproar. They believed they should have been given some sort of warning. I personally wonder what type of warning that would have been. Maybe something like this, “excuse me sir/miss, but we really need you to go ahead and back up your smut involving underage children. Yeah, we are going to delete your possibly illegal material.”

People furiously protested the move by…well, by posting on LiveJournal. Of course there were threats of deleting accounts that were never followed up on, threats of taking it to the media as if they would care, and the almighty threat to sue for violation of something or another. The really strange part came when LiveJournal backed down. If any entity was ever in the right for so-called censorship it was LiveJournal on this issue. Their own terms of service banned any material that would encourage or condone any illegal behavior. I would call pedophilia pretty damned illegal.

So in the end the people stayed. The content was mostly restored. The people of LiveJournal were able to continue writing fan fiction about the homosexual relationship Harry had with Dumbledore to their heart’s content.

Google Becomes Evil!

Ah Google! Everyone loves them, or do they? Since it’s beginning in 1998, Google has had an unofficial motto of “Don’t Be Evil”. Sounds simple, right? I mean it’s not like evil is a subjective term or anything. Well, in 2004 they went public. Today Google has the highest price for a single piece of stock. That’s right, not even Apple and Exxon stock, the two most valuable overall companies in the world, can touch Google’s per share price. That by itself is enough to send most hipsters and hippies running, but what they did in 2005 made a lot of people look twice.

Google China was founded in 2005 in an effort to expand Google’s already huge market share in to China. China has over a billion potential customers which makes it practically the largest market in the world. In order to get in to that market, Google immediately started censoring the internet in mainland China. Yes, evil, according to many people, had invaded Google. Google’s argument was a sound one though. They believed that by working with and being a part of the IT industry in China that they could help to open up and ease censorship. How wrong they were!

Eventually the honeymoon ended when Google found that government sponsored hacking had been going on. That’s when Google decided they had had enough of China’s crap and moved operations to Hong Kong. They were done censoring and were officially taking their ball and going home. There was much rejoicing by the hippie community.

Okay, that’s going to be it for this week. Check back later for more adventures with Great Moments in Internet History!

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