Abe Hassan (burr86) wrote in lj_biz,
Abe Hassan

sponsored community guidelines

In response to your concerns, we've written up something that we're going to ask our sponsors to agree to before they proceed with creating their communities here. We want to strike a balance between allowing companies to have somewhere on LJ where they can talk with people who are interested in their movie/product/gerbil sweaters/whatever, but also be very respectful of your individual spaces and your use of the site. To that end, we're going to require our sponsors to agree to some ground rules, just like advertisers agree to our ad guidelines. (Yes, we're going to put these in the sponsored community FAQ.)

Companies creating sponsored communities on LiveJournal will agree that ...

  • They will select a username that is not already registered; they will not be given any usernames that are in active use.

  • LiveJournal will not remove any other content that discusses the same topic in any fashion, positive or negative, unless it is in violation of our Terms of Service.

  • Within the boundaries of our Terms of Service, they are otherwise free to run their communities however they wish; the maintainers/moderators of those communities can delete comments and entries at their own discretion.

  • Users will not be automatically joined to communities under any circumstances. Users must specifically choose to join, read, or comment in these communities.

  • Representatives of the community will not send community invites to any user who has not clearly requested one. They may not use the "community invite" tool to send unsolicited messages to users, nor are they allowed to post unwanted identical comments or entries ("spam") intended to promote their community in other journals or communities.

  • They will not utilize contact information from member or watcher lists, nor will they initiate contact with you outside of the community without prior written notification or user consent.

  • The community will be clearly labeled as a sponsored community, and the icon next to the community will be different from the regular community icon.

  • Their maintainer accounts will not attempt to hide their identities; company representatives will be listed in the community's userinfo as maintainers.

  • They will not create additional accounts to artificially inflate the membership count, nor will they use alternate accounts to generate additional traffic (such as entries or comments) in their communities.

I know you're going to ask, "Why didn't you have these written up before you launched this program?" The answer is simple: we thought we were doing a good job of explaining the general norms and practices here on LJ to the sponsors. (The existing sponsored community is well within the boundaries set forth above, for example.) We've also been working only with sponsors who we expect to play fair and provide something of interest to users.

So, we didn't think there was a need to formalize the rules beyond that. We recognize that having additional guidelines will put some people more at ease, so we're willing to make this agreement explicit with our sponsors if you feel it will help to make things clearer.

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