LiveJournal spreads responsibility between bloggers and commentators

The company has tightened responsibility for other people's comments. Bloggers are voting with their feet.
Today, April 4, the popular bloghosting "LiveJournal" (LiveJournal) has changed the user agreement. This document regulates the relationship between the administration of the service and its users, its conditions must be accepted by all subscribers of the service - otherwise they will be refused registration. Changes in the agreement may be related to the move of LJ to Russia: the owner of the service - the company Rambler & Co Alexandra Mamuta transferred LJ to the management of the Russian LLC "SUP Media" (also included in the holding), wrote Kommersant. Earlier bloghosting was managed by American LiveJournal Inc.

Significant changes have appeared in the new user agreement. For example, LiveJournal directly responsible for the comments of third parties on the bloggers themselves. "The user who posted a comment on the blog and the user who leads such a blog bear subsidiary responsibility for such a comment," the document says. The same responsibility is borne by the community owners in LJ for comments of users in these communities.

"Vedomosti" studied the user agreements of services Mail.ru, "In contact", Facebook, "Yandex". They all disclaim responsibility for the content that their users post. But none of the companies rigidly prescribes subsidiary responsibility of users for other people's comments. Representatives of Yandex and Mail.ru Group say they do not plan to change agreements. The Facebook representative has not yet responded to the request.

 "The essence of the user agreement has not changed, it was previously registered a refusal of responsibility for the actions of third parties," said the representative of Rambler & Co, Matvey Alekseev. "In the new version of the agreement, the wording became more clear - we believe that in this form they are more in line with Russian legislation," he added, without revealing the details.

The responsibility of site owners for posted information is the innovation of recent years. In particular, responsibility is provided for the publication of extremist information, calls for riots, the justification of terrorism, calls for suicide, etc. If information is recognized as illegal, the site may be blocked in Russia and its owner brought to justice - depending on the nature of the violation. If the site is registered as a media, then another mechanism operates: first, the publication is issued by the Roskomnadzor warning and requires the information to be deleted, and if this is not done, the media is held accountable.

 The LJ agreement also constantly reminds that the legislation obliges the service to store user data and transmit it to authorized bodies upon their request.

In fact, LJ is safe and wants to directly show to the court that the responsibility should not be borne by the owner of the service, but users, explains Sergey Kopylov, deputy director of the Coordination Center of the national Internet domain on legal issues. The user agreement, he said, is a public offer and its provisions have legal force in court. If the agreement does not explicitly state the user's liability, then in the event of a claim (for example, libel), the decision on whether the blogger is responsible for other people's comments on his blog remains at the discretion of the court. The user agreement LJ tells the court which decision it can take without burdening the search for a commentator, Kopylov sums up.

LJ decided to communicate in an obvious way to his users that they are bloggers: according to the recently adopted law, it is the blogger who is responsible for any information that is placed on his blog, a source in one of the Internet companies says. Another thing is that according to the law a popular blogger is the one whose blog is visited by at least 3000 people a day, and LJ took all of them, adds Vedomosti interlocutor.

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