mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)
Mark Smith ([staff profile] mark) wrote in [site community profile] dw_news2010-01-15 01:38 pm

update on current events

Yesterday, we let you know that we've come under attack by an organized troll group attempting to disrupt our business operations. The chief tactic that this group is using is posing as a fictional "concerned parents" organization to contact our merchant processor, our upstream provider; the employers, professors, and parents of our contributors; and anyone else whose contact information they can find, in an attempt to convince those people that Dreamwidth is hosting child pornography. We have a few updates for you today.

First, PayPal, our merchant processor, has requested that we remove entries on our service that contain nothing but constitutionally and legally protected speech that is not against our Terms of Service. We will not be complying with PayPal's demand that we remove these legal entries posted by our users: our Guiding Principles say that we won't, and we're sticking by them.

Because we refuse to do so, we will need to switch our merchant processors. Until we can get up and running with our new processor, paying by credit card will not be available. We'll let you know as soon as payments are back up, of course. If you'd like to pay for your account in the meantime, the check and money order options remain available, although obviously they'll be slower. Also, if you currently have a paid account that will be expiring in the next week or two and you intend on extending your paid service, we would be happy to give you a one month extension on your paid time until we sort this out. Just let us know and we'll get you taken care of so you don't have any lapses in coverage.

Second, our hosting service, ServerBeach, has been nothing but fantastic in all of this. They're aware that this campaign of harassment and intimidation is the work of an organized group of trolls, and they've pledged to work with us rather than shutting us off on a reactionary basis. We're extremely grateful to them for all of their help and support in dealing with all of this. If you are in the market for hosting service for a project of yours, I highly recommend the friendly staff and quality service provided by ServerBeach.

Third, people have been asking for more information, as well as asking what they can do to help. We're sharing as much information publicly as we can right now, and will continue to do so. Right now, the best thing that you can do to help is just to go about your regular use of the site and let us deal with things. We'll let you know if there's anything you can do.

Finally, Dreamwidth does not need extra fiscal support right now. We are in a good enough position that a week or two of payment system downtime while we switch merchant processors is just inconvenient, nothing more. The suggestion [staff profile] denise made in comments to yesterday's news post still stands: if you have some spare money right now, please consider donating to Doctors Without Borders or another relief organization to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake. Online harassment and troll scare tactics are annoying, certainly, but the problems facing the people of Haiti are real and physical.

Finally, the comments to this post are being screened automatically. We very much appreciate every single one of the comments you've left us as well as all of the private messages, but it takes a lot of energy to moderate and reply to the comments to a post like this. Energy that we want to spend on other things right now.

Thanks for being the community you are. You make dealing with this kind of situation worth it.