Insomnia (insomnia) wrote in burning_man,

Readers of burning_man... hey there. It's your moderator here!

I've always made a point of being very "hands off" regarding this community, except when things get particularly spammy. However, something has happened which threatens the continued existence of this community.

There was a post in news today that indicates that Brad, the owner of the site, is setting up limits on how often people can post, and how often communities can be posted to.

"The first limit to be going live is post frequency, per 24 hour rolling window...

Free users: 3 posts (maybe 4 or 5?)
Early adopters: 10 posts
Paid/Perm Users: 20 posts"

These limits will also effect communities, too.

Now, I am very familiar with the argument of limiting the ability of people to use scripts to attack LiveJournal. There was a fair amount of talk on how to do it correctly, too.

Scripts have telltale signs -- they are usually designed to either:
- pound the system as fast as they can
- pound the system at a predictable rate

Therefore, in order to filter them out, all you'd need to do is to identify posts in those given criteria (not hard) and suspend posting from that source.

That's not what this does, however. It basically takes a service and makes it considerably less usable. This is especially true for communities. burning_man frequently goes far over the amounts of posts per day that Brad is advocating.

Crippling communities is stupid, because communities are a *BIG* attraction for people to use LiveJournal. Under Brad's idea, a community like wtcdisaster, which was created on 9/11 and had 231 posts on the day of the disaster, couldn't exist, even with a $100 permanent account! We had a fraction of the users back then that we have today, so if we get involved in a war that gets a bit "intense", we can pretty much forget about having communities that would allow people to share news or emergency information.

What Brad proposes as a solution to malicious scripts is like using a sledgehammer to operate on a pimple. What's worse, however, is that his solution won't even work. You can't address the issue of malicious scripts unless you limit both posting *AND* comments. Brad knows this, which is why he mentioned that his "limits" were only the first of several. He'll want to limit the replies you can get/make too. As a person who has had over 700 replies for a single post, I take offense to this. No more memorial posts for users who die, no more large group discussions, no more Christmas posts where hundreds of people spontaneously flash each other... just pavement where community should be.

If you care about your community and about the functionality of LiveJournal which many of you have paid for, then please do what you can to express your displeasure with this overkill approach to "security". After all, paid users are making the payment on his house and his car -- shouldn't he be obligated to run the service professionally and create a fix for this security issue that may be a little more difficult to code, but which won't ruin the community that we've all helped to build around ourselves?

Thanks for listening -

your humble mod

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