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December 15th, 2009


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angelikitten
04:46 am - Oh LJ...
LiveJournal's making a change to the gender setting on the profile page.

* Gender will be a mandatory field at account creation.

* LiveJournal is removing the Unspecified option for the gender field. That's right: you get to be male or female. Period. That's it. (Source.)


I... I don't even have words to explain how much this hurts me. And it does hurt, because I can't see what good limiting the gender option does at all, especially if the information is staying private.

It's probably silly of me to be crying about this, but I just don't need this shit right now.

(For those who'd like suggestions on how to deal with this, this post has some ideas, which is where I found out about it.)


[Edit] Apparently the change is not going through (edit at the bottom of the page), sorry!
Current Mood: crushedcrushed

(15 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:terry_terrible
Date:December 15th, 2009 05:11 am (UTC)
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fuck this shit.
[User Picture]
From:angelikitten
Date:December 15th, 2009 06:48 am (UTC)
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Pretty much :(
[User Picture]
From:espreite
Date:December 15th, 2009 05:30 am (UTC)
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Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. I give up on this whole goddamn internet, right now. Facebook, I knew was crap. Livejournal I had a hunch about, but it's still my natural habitat and this is like a knife in the heart. Thanks for the links.
[User Picture]
From:angelikitten
Date:December 15th, 2009 06:50 am (UTC)
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Sorry for having to be the one to let you know about this :(
[User Picture]
From:sleepless_x
Date:December 15th, 2009 06:24 am (UTC)
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Why are they pulling this crap? >:(
[User Picture]
From:suburbanamnesia
Date:December 15th, 2009 06:43 am (UTC)
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Advertisers, likely. D:< *deepsighofrage*
[User Picture]
From:angelikitten
Date:December 15th, 2009 06:45 am (UTC)
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*nods* It's the only explanation anyone's come up with so far. Except, possibly, huge amounts of ignorance.
[User Picture]
From:angelikitten
Date:December 15th, 2009 06:52 am (UTC)
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Because they are most definitely not awesome.
[User Picture]
From:naath
Date:December 15th, 2009 11:50 am (UTC)
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Official line is that it was a fuck-up. Now, I'm willing to buy that because it never went live, the code in question contains other fuckups and the code in question would not totally remove the 'unspecified' option (which I would expect a policy-change to do).

However, even if we are to accept that it was a simple fuck-up (and, I write code for a living... such fuck ups are not unknown) this is one in a long line of fuckups that hit marginalised groups HARD and barely impact on other people. This, to me, speaks of a lack of diversity training and awareness at LJ-Central (and indeed, in companies in general). Yes, it's easy to sleepily write code that omits some option the policy says should be there - but it is easier if you personally didn't really know/care why that option was there, if you care about the option you're less likely to forget about it when coding.
[User Picture]
From:squinting_kitty
Date:December 15th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
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I agree.
[User Picture]
From:suburbanamnesia
Date:December 15th, 2009 06:46 am (UTC)
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Ugh, fuck that. Livejournal, get it together. Discriminating against a large portion of your userbase in order to get teh ad revenues is NOT good business practice. I'm cisfemale, and I still don't want to do business with a company that would pull this shit.

*internet hugs for OP, if you want them*

I sent a modified form letter in as feedback and passed it on in my personal journal.
[User Picture]
From:angelikitten
Date:December 15th, 2009 06:54 am (UTC)
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I will take the hugs, but I like the fact that you're passing the news on even more :)
From:raenbow
Date:December 15th, 2009 08:57 am (UTC)
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This is crazy, and I don't see how it can ever work smoothly. I don't think gender should ever be a "drop down box" list of choices (although from the technical point of view I can appreciate that letting someone select "male" or "female" from a list is a lot safer than giving people a textbox to fill with mlae / femael typos.)

I also don't see why gender has to be a mandatory field.

1) If you're a young girl, advertising~ yourself as a young girl is only going to attract trouble.
2) For this reason (and several others), many female users will set the drop down box to male, thus messing with the advertisers as well as skewing the LJ userbase statistics.
3) Not everyone is male or female

LJ don't need to know which gender I am. :[
[User Picture]
From:oudeteron
Date:December 15th, 2009 01:27 pm (UTC)
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I am so glad I found this post only after the final edit. I get enough mandatory - not to mention wrong - gendering bullshit in day to day life; I don't need more of the same from a site that has so far been decent.
[User Picture]
From:montrealais
Date:December 15th, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
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Here's the answer I got:


Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your concerns. We understand that gender is not binary, and intend to respect that understanding for our users.

At this time, the code you reference is not live on the site, and will not become so in the future. We know that you, and many other users, have serious concerns about any requirement to specify gender, so we'd like to take a moment to explain events and our position further.

The intention of this code was to change the sign-up process to include a field for the selection of gender; that the code would completely disable the "Unspecified" option at the same time was deemed unacceptable. While the code in question had gone to our beta (testing) server, it had not gone to our production server, and will not do so due to this problem. Furthermore, we'd like to clarify that code posted to the changelog community is not always final, as such code must then go through the beta testing process and can often be changed before actual implementation.

Additionally, some erroneous information has been spread regarding the potential public display of the gender field. We would like to clarify that gender is not currently publicly displayed on the profile, nor anywhere else on the site, and there are no plans to change this behavior.

Regards,
LiveJournal Community Care Team

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