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Sunday, September 7, 2008

The New Look Of Eqal Censorship! / (Really Only "Privacy Protection"?)

"Update from the LG15 Universe
September 7th, 2008
As you know, we are preparing for a re-launch of the LG15 website that will include a new homepage (this is live now at LG15.com), the launch of the LG15 social network (holding page is live at LG15.com/theresistance), and a re-designed look/feel for Inside LG15 and the LGPedia to match the rest of the site. We’re really excited about the new social network and the new look/feel. One thing that we are doing as part of this process is to bring as much official information into the LGPedia as possible.

From the very beginning we created the LGPedia to be the #1 source for information about the LG15 universe and we chose to use wiki software so that it could be edited and improved by the fans. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Zoey and other contributors the LGPedia has flourished. It’s truly amazing. What we’d like to do going forward is to provide as much official graphics and information as possible so that the LGPedia is up-to-date and as thorough and exhaustive of a resource as it can possibly be. Additionally, we’ve had requests from cast and crew members and EQAL employees to put some guidelines in place concerning the inclusion of their personal information in the LGPedia. We really need to respect people’s privacy and thought this was a fair request. With this in mind Broken Kid is in the process of placing certain pages under administrator-only control so that we can protect people’s privacy and provide accurate information. These pages include all the cast, crew, and EQAL employee pages, and anything that refers to real people and real events/locations.

Please understand that the VAST majority of LGpedia will remain 100% community editable, including ALL of the pages and sections that refer to the fictional elements of shows in the LG15 Universe. We’re very excited about the increased profile the LGPedia will be taking within the LG15 universe, including the link on the homepage, and eventually inclusion throughout the site in a more integrated fashion.


source: insideLG15


  1. Way to sensationalize that title there, guys.

  2. This is not how a wiki works. This has turned it into a public relations tool for Eqal. I guess we are all Eqal so long as we are Eqal employees. The rest of us are just slave to your corporate machine. Or so you think.

    Shame on you Miles, Amanda and Greg. Mesh would turn in his grave.

  3. Um, Mesh isn't dead though...

  4. I think Eqal Inc. needs to learn the term "stakeholder". I thought all democrats believed in that principle. Heck even Wallmart knows how to at least pretend to be a good corporate citizen.

    I wonder what their investors would think if they knew how abusive Eqal is towards its own fans?

  5. This is so not censorship!

    They are just protecting their own people. Every person has a right to privacy, including the cast and crew. People need to take a step back, and put themselves into the shoes of these hard working people before crying out.


  6. "think Eqal Inc. needs to learn the term "stakeholder". I thought all democrats believed in that principle. Heck even Wallmart knows how to at least pretend to be a good corporate citizen."

    There's another term you need to learn: "property ownership."

    They own the wiki. It's theirs. It's on their site. It's always been theirs and it always will be. Get over it, stop your sanctimonious complaining and move on.

    You want to kick and scream and say "that sucks?" Go right ahead. But trying to suggest that they somehow have violated some inalienable right to do whatever they want with their property is the biggest load of crap I've heard, and I've heard a lot of McCain speeches this year.

  7. What part of not being able to edit do you not understand?

    They are removing contend created by fans which they don't like and they have taken away our ability to challenge or edit. That sounds pretty much like censorship to me.

    LGPedia has become nothing more than their PR tool. That is not the spirit of a wiki. They always had the ability to make authoritative edits. Why did they need to implement this tyrannical scheme?

  8. No one said they don't own it. Back in 06 we had a discussion on LGPedia and it was made clear that they owned it. That is fine. But ownership comes with responsibility. It was in fact the Warren supreme court of 1974 that taught us that....... not the Republicans.

    Eqal has the right to censor LGPedia. No one questions that. We are just calling them out for doing it.

    It is SUPPOSED to be a wiki and censorship is just not how a wiki is supposed to work.

  9. LGPedia has always been open for anyone to edit. That includes the person being written about on LGPedia. If they have a problem with what was written about them there are already wiki procedures in place to deal with that.

    To replace the wiki process with censorship is not the best approach. LGPedia has always been respectful. There is just NO excuse for this behavior from Eqal, Inc. This is just destructive to the friendly collaborative environment we have created over the years


  10. All information on LGPedia about the cast and crew is publicly available in other places or obtained from the crew themselves, as far as my understand goes. That being said, this move by Eqal is totally unnecessary.

    So we are starting off the New Resistance series by restricting the role of fans on LGPedia. I should have expected as such.

    I encourage LG15 to reverse this decision of theirs.

  11. elizkm86, whether it is justified or not, removing user edits is "censorship." the privacy of the cast and crew can be respected fully without banning users from editing categories of pages. wikipedia has policies to deal with these things.

    tom, you may be right they they "own the wiki," but its built on the labor of their fans. its a collaborative relationship, and the creators released the above statement in recognition of that fact.

  12. Tom, Liz, thanks for your understanding. MM, I think you are being incredibly unfair. We have to be able to control the content on our site and be able to respect the privacy of our cast, crew, and employees. Although you are correct that we don't "need" to make employee pages admin only, it's the easiest way for us to protect people and we shouldn't be "required" to make them fan editable. No corporate site has community editable employee bios! We've had LOTS of complaints from cast/crew and others and had to do something otherwise we were going to have an issue and it would have threatened the LGPedia. We think this is a VERY reasonable compromise. Again, the VAST majority of the LGPedia will be 100% community editable, and EVERYTHING that lives in the fictional universe will be community editable. In fact, the LGPedia will be even better because we are going to be putting more effort into giving you guys official photos and graphics and helping with the design so that it looks really cool and continues to make it the #1 most reliable and fun resource for LG15 fans. We made the post on Inside LG15 BECAUSE we respect the fans and wanted to let you know what we are doing and why we were doing it. If we wanted to be tyrannical censors, we would have just thrown down the banhammer.

  13. LGPedia has always been more than fair to cast, crew, and employees. Censorship was just not required or wanted. It is your site and you can do what you want. We don't need to respect you for it.

  14. Miles, I fail to understand what privacy issues there were that required disabling editing access to the pages. You simply could have made the edits and told the admin what was not to be up there, things like birthdays, age, etc.

    Other things are either publicly available or giving to LGPedia by the people themselves, so I fail to see what caused this reaction.

    Second, why not be upfront about it? If you had detailed your plans, and opened for fan comment, you and I both know that most of the fans would have agreed with you, and everyone would feel much better finding out something like that in that fashion than by happening upon it in LGPedia.

    You probably think this is some kind of scavenger hunt that fans delight in finding, some kind of "Gotcha" thing. The truth is, I much prefer you just tell us what you're going to do in advance.

  15. What a load of BS. Modelmotion is right on the money with this one.

  16. miles said: "No corporate site has community editable employee bios!"

    Well, no 'corporate' site uses wiki software for employee bios! Nor does EQAL.com

    miles said: "and we shouldn't be 'required' to make them fan editable"

    No, but these pages were, in many cases, substantially created by fan edits.

    I think that whatever the new guidelines are, they should be made public so fan editors know what is ok and what is not.

  17. Yeah, would have been better to post something on Inside prior to BK making edits. We are incredibly swamped working on launching the new site and the new show. It slipped through the cracks.

  18. We'll be getting new guidelines out there shortly. Working with BK, Zoey, and others to finalize things.

  19. hey miles, as long as you are checking lg15today, check out my post about what happened 2 years ago today.


    can you believe its been 2 years?

  20. This should have been fully discussed with the community that wrote LGPedia in the first place.

    Let us be clear about this. LGPedia may have been built on LG15.com but it was built by fans and it is run by fans. Your censorship is neither wanted or needed. That said you own Eqal, Inc. and hence you own LGPedia so you can legally enforce any censorship on the fans that you desire. Apparently you have chosen to do just that making this a very very very sad day for the once fan run LGPedia.

  21. Yeah milo, I did. It's crazy! I'm still amazed with the success of LG15 and I'm soooo excited that we're still able to do this. The new show is going to be AWESOME and definitely will take web shows to the next level. The new site is gonna be sweet too (finally finally finally the thing that was in my head that I talked about in the that post is actually being built)! Anyway, very cool.

  22. After reading everything and hearing Miles' responses I have to agree with him on this one. Although it was a poor way to go about it (an announcement really should have been made) it sounds like the reasoning for this is because there have been complaints from cast and crew about some of the information on the site. Maybe the info is readily available but maybe it's not and we're just really really good at digging up personal information on these people.

    Again, I realize this is painful and the censorship here does suck. A lot of effort was put into these profiles by several people but it appears that there were probably some legal issues with members of the cast and crew. That is a serious issue that can not be overlooked.

    yes it's censorship but it sounds like some of the information was harming people. In this case they probably made the best decision.

  23. Hey lg15 fans grab the cached items you created now. They should still be out there. Take that information and create your new fan lgpedia. ARG fans create their own wikis all the time and PMs never touch them. Simply reclaim your work.

  24. So Miles, censorship is the next level?

    Yay for progress.

    You really should be ashamed by what you have done today. LGPedia has always represented this community well. When you loose faith in the wiki process you loose faith in the power and spirit of collaboration that has made all of this possible.

  25. Cast and crew have always been invited to suggest changes to their LGPedia pages. This is just a smoke screen being created to seize control of LGPedia in the equivalent of a corporate coup by Eqal, Inc.

    Besides it is a wiki and anyone is (or was) free to edit.

    Lets face it. It is no longer LGPedia. It is now a corporate mouth piece for Eqal.

  26. Miles, I encourage you to make these new guidelines open for public comment and to reverse this decision and make the pages available for editing again. If the guidelines are accepted by the community, I fail to see why fans should be banned from editing the pages.

    This blog does a lot to encourage participation in the LGPedia. This is the first time that I know of that fans were stopped from helping on a mass number of pages. It doesn't take much for fans, who are doing free work to help the LGPeda, to get discouraged and to not be as willing to help.

    The LGPedia has been one of the greatest successes of lg15. Things like this only harm it. I encourage you to fix it. There has to be another solution other than banning editing on the pages.

  27. Modelmotion, I respect your opinions, but I happen to disagree with you here and largely understand where Miles is coming from. I'm a little surprised you are not more responsive to the expressed desire for a certain degree of privacy by cast/crew/employees of the show and the company's need to be responsive to that.

    But I'm a big advocate of privacy in a time when so much has been lost. Cameras are everywhere, and so much can be found on the internet. Finding a factoid from whatever source does not imply permission to propagate and republish that information.

    I think sometimes we take liberties for granted, and fail to realize there are reasonable limits in exercising those liberties. From a practical point of view, the "locked" pages of the LGPedia become no different than any other "official" page on LG15.com or EQAL.com which fans would not edit. Perhaps some formatting difference should be implemented to clearly distinguish the two.

    This blog does a lot of collecting and sharing of information about the people working on this show, and I think that as we do this, as a community, we should recognize and respect that they have a reasonable right to privacy just like any of us.

  28. I completely agree with qthec.

  29. There is a difference between the goal you are trying to achieve and the way you go about achieving it. Just because EQAL had an okay goal does not mean they went about achieving it in an okay fashion.

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. http://babyboxes.livejournal.com/59012.html

    look at my blog.
    - michiev.

    thank you!

  32. I think QtheC and Roy are exactly right, and I'm really disappointed that a great deal of the community refuses to think of this in any other way than "The creators are wrong, we're right. End of story." Yeah, you're annoyed with them for various reasons. Vendetta, blood lust, we get it.

    I mean some of you enjoy your privacy, think about that

  33. The comments have delved into privacy vs. non-privacy. No one is advocating no privacy, and these comments have completely missed the point. There are other ways to ensure the privacy of the cast and crew without banning fan access to edit the pages entirely. There isn't just one way to do things, and the decision to ban total access to the pages is wrong.

  34. After spending the last month talking to lawyers for 8+ hours a day about what company's are legally liable for when it comes to employee information, I have to say Creators/Eqal Inc. were correct in what they did.

    If a company's web site has employee's personal info posted on it, even if it was posted by someone outside the company and even if it's info already publicly available. They are liable for it and can be fined by the state and sued by the employee. And in California employee protection laws are more stringent then most other states. The fine would have been huge for just having something like employee birth dates.

    It is against the law to have personal employee info on a company website open to the public no matter who posted it. And you can't wait around and have a discussion about it first. If they waited to do something after the first complaint, they would still be liable. No matter what they did to correct it.

    I'm actually surprised they didn't take the entire LG15 site down and edit the info out. If a lawyer didn't tell them to do that, then they need to get a new lawyer. If the lawyer did tell them to do that and they ignored it. They better hope the employee's don't get their own lawyer.

  35. The info has been up for 2 years. It's not like this is new info they are removing. Why is it suddenly an issue now and why is it such an issue that they cannot wait to discuss it with the community?

  36. And to, play devil's advocate, the whole point of the locking (which is a better term for what it was, it wasn't to spit in any fans faces) was to keep those with EQAL a bit more safe.

    Yes, it can be argued if one searched they shall find, but if EQAL got sued for this violation of privacy they would automatically get in trouble because it IS there and they DO own it and who knows how many people would get burned in the process. Sure it might not have been the best way to handle it, but I don't think this hurts anyone. I mean will it really kill you not to know when exactly such and such's birthday is? And to boot Miles has already admitted it.

    This isn't about taking away your rights as community members who, unless I'm mistaken, find yourselves less interested in supporting EQAL anyway.

  37. It just means if you have something to contribute to one of these pages, you send it to an admin for addition. It's a trade off of a little bit of inconvenience by the community of LGPedia editors to insure the privacy requests of the cast/crew/employees (and other real people) are respected.

    Maybe there is some mechanism to reduce the inconvenience? (as with posts to InsideLG15 that are all moderated?)

  38. v9000 is right on point.

    no one ever said before that putting age, a myspace link, or a picture of a crew member was violating anyone's privacy. the information wouldn't have been there - like it was for close to 2 years now - if there had been a discussion and decision to not include this information.

    i think modelmotion's primary point is that the way these changes were accomplished were by closing off part of the lgpedia to fans. there is a strong view among wikpedians that people can't edit their own pages, and effectively a section of the lgpedia has now been cordoned off where self-editing is the only way it will be done.

    here's an example. The "EQAL" page was edited to remove a small segment about how I and others used the name EQAL as part of the April 2008 hoax, which predated the official announcement of EQAL. Nothing that was removed from the EQAL page today violated anyone's privacy. I guess it just looked a little unseemly having that on a page that is now trying to look like an official corporate description of EQAL.

    remember as a fan-run entity, the wikipedia has already had fan-agreed-upon rules, and this is the first time i can think of that a broad rule has been imposed on it. miles has apologized for not giving advance notice.

  39. Mkay, so I had typed up a longer post, but it didn't send. I don't have the energy to write it all out again, so here're the Sparknotes:


    Please don't say that "it's the principle of the thing," because that's baloney. We all know that removing a few birthdates and MySpaces is not a big deal.

    Yes, the announcement should've come before the page-locks, but that's MINOR. It's really not a big deal!

    Honestly! We have better things to worry about!

  40. Trying to claim this as privacy protection is just not accurate. It is about control and censorship....not privacy.

  41. i thought most of you were true fans.
    apparently not.

  42. "Reserve your right to think,
    for even to think wrongly
    is better than not to think at all."
    - Hypatia of Alexandria (Female Mathematician, Astronomer, and Philosopher)

    And this is from a lady whose libraries got burned to the ground.

    People have a right to be upset, and to speak their minds. Was it over the top? Maybe. Was it an accurate depiction of their feelings towards the subject? Definitely.

    Like milo said .. "No, but these pages were, in many cases, substantially created by fan edits."

    Fans made these pages, and that is why they have such strong feelings for the way they are changed and how they will be updated in the future.

    I think the C's were within their right to close off the cast and crew pages to fan editing, but I think the way they went about it was wrong.

    But hey, at least they aren't burning books ... yet.

  43. Anyone else find it ironic that the KateModern cast and crew pages remained untouched...

    I'll admit I'm a bit disheartened by the decision, but I completely understand why it has been made. (Though why they locked the Katherine McPhee page and not Something for Rockets I will never understand). I'm a bit annoyed that they left the image slot with the "Image not available" message, as I uploaded faceless profile images to try and eliminate that.

    Also, keep in mind, many of the pages remain unlocked. All the main and supporting actors can still be edited, as well as the Creators, Glenn, and Jenni. The Cameos page is still open as well. Only the crew and minor supporting actors have had their pages protected.

  44. LOL! You know why I think they're doing this?...because of me...

    Key quote:

    "Broken Kid is in the process of placing certain pages under administrator-only control so that we can protect people’s privacy and provide accurate information. These pages include all the cast, crew, and EQAL employee pages, and anything that refers to real people and real events/locations."

    You all remember when I exposed Broken Kid? I'll bet you money thats why they're doing it! Apparently Broken Kid is an EMPLOYEE of LG15, and HE brought this to their attention. I mean hell, my little stunt actually caused him to delete his official myspace page (of his real identity!) hahhahahahahahahahaha!!

  45. RoyTheBoy said what I'm thinking, but communicated it more eloquently than I could.

  46. Thank you, Joe, for actually being a sane person.

    When you're on a shoestring budget, shooting at the hip, yeah, it's the wild west.

    When investors pop up, when you're finally starting to make money off this thing - suddenly you and your company, which isn't even half a year old, is in danger. Everything you worked for can get screwed over because one person decided to post information that can cause a lot of problems.

    It's different when it's Wikipedia - that's an encyclopedia whose only purpose is the information. But to those who're talking about how LGPedia has been turned into an EQAL mouthpiece, let me make something clear for you: it always was.

    Anything that's on a site they host is going to exist for the purposes of promoting their IP, plain and simple. If you thought it was meant for something different, then you're naive and clearly don't know how this works.

    Now that there's money and liability on the line, you have to protect yourself and those interests. Now it's not just you and a few other friends; you've got a company and employees who require - and even demand - that kind of protection.

    Getting up in arms about this is incredibly selfish. You're not paying money to make this happen. You're not opening up your wallets and paying for the hosting, or for the production of the show. And with money comes responsibility. You do what you have to in order to survive. If you can't understand that now, you never will, because you don't understand the problems on just the business side of production, much less the creative.

    In a nutshell - get over it. Stop being immature "can't stop the signal" people, and realize that in order for this show to survive and grow it has to have a business aspect to it, and thus there are responsibilities.

  47. i think it is entirely sensible for eqal to be doing this, especially with the new show starting up, and i think it was great thta miles has come here, in what could be considered "our territory" and discuss it with us now, although it may have been better before the decission was finalised i can completely understand why it "slipped through the cracks". Guys thyey do this for us! Like tom said, we arent paying for this, the investor etc are, and if giving up control of a few pages of sensitive informatoin, which lets face it, it actually is for the employees of EQAL, is what we need to do to keep this new media going then i think we should support it fully! but like greg said, everyone has the right to their opinion, and my opinion is that they did the right thing!

  48. "FH14 said...
    Also, keep in mind, many of the pages remain unlocked. All the main and supporting actors can still be edited, as well as the Creators, Glenn, and Jenni. The Cameos page is still open as well. Only the crew and minor supporting actors have had their pages protected."

    For now, you mean. Who knows what will happen in the future.

    "xwestsidex said...

    LOL! You know why I think they're doing this?...because of me..."

    You have a SERIOUS self esteem issue that you should handle, that's all i'm saying about that.

    "silverblue said...

    RoyTheBoy said what I'm thinking, but communicated it more eloquently than I could."

    Roy's good at that :)

    "Tom said...

    Getting up in arms about this is incredibly selfish. You're not paying money to make this happen. You're not opening up your wallets and paying for the hosting, or for the production of the show."

    Wrong. Every single fancontributes views and assistance to LG15 Productions, now known as EQAL. One great example of that is by editing the LGpedia, something we promote heavily at LG15Today, because it helps to create a informative Wiki for them that will help generate hits and revenue. We don't take the money out of our wallet, at least not since the days when they asked for donations, but we work for them for free and that's just as worthy if not more so, IMHO.

  49. I honestly think everyone is overreacting. This is their livelihood and they have a right to protect it.

    For two years we've watched this high quality series/interactive series for free. Why not be a little appreciative?

  50. "
    Wrong. Every single fancontributes views and assistance to LG15 Productions, now known as EQAL. One great example of that is by editing the LGpedia, something we promote heavily at LG15Today, because it helps to create a informative Wiki for them that will help generate hits and revenue. We don't take the money out of our wallet, at least not since the days when they asked for donations, but we work for them for free and that's just as worthy if not more so, IMHO."

    No one put a gun to your head. Again, putting in that work thinking that somehow makes them owe you anything other than a handshake and a smile is naive. Also, very much overinflating the size and value of that participation. You can tell this very easily by the small number of views from the community videos that you promote on the blog.

    It's fun and it's great and it's informative, but that level of depth in the Wiki is not a requirement for getting into the show. It ain't that valuable.

    I'm sorry, but if it comes down to alienating some fans or leaving the company it took you two years to build open to liability problems, that's no choice at all. You can do what you need to to keep those fans, but once you lose your company, it's gone, and it isn't coming back.

    At this point it's reaching that point of funny and sad at how up in arms people are about this, calling it tyranny and that the producers should be "ashamed." My God, people. It's a Wiki.

    It's just a Wiki. Choosing to go onto someone else's site and edit their wiki does not mean you get to dictate how it is used, or that you have some claim of ownership to it. You treated it like a public service and now stand shocked when a private company, uh, acts like a private company.

    It's becoming painful to watch at this point.

  51. Couldn't have put it better myself Tom.

    Really guys... just relax. Even if the whole wiki got removed tommorow, the world would continue to spin. The majority of the Wiki is still editable. Why not update those available entries rather than whine in comments.

    The creators owe us nothing, get over your selves. Finding and posting an actors birthday or myspace entitles you to nothing. They are just covering their bases!

    Calm down people.

  52. Their initial reaction was silly and they should have talked to the community before they did it.
    That admitted that they should have done that and they are now talking with the admins on creating a policy.
    The reasons for editing the page are quite reasonable, to protect their employees and themselves.
    Now hopefully lessons will be learned, the pages will be unlocked and a policy put into place that can handle this.
    I think the reason why they haven't locked the katemodern casts pages is partially because they are bebo employees as well and the law for this thing is differen't in the uk.

  53. Are you guys really this naive? This move was NOT a knee-jerk reaction to a recent problem the Creators learned about. Edit summaries show that accounts such as Amanda, Broken Kid, and Zoey have made edits in the past removing what they are now classifying as "sensitive information." They clearly knew about the problem then. Instead of taking time to discuss this with the community, or at LEAST LGpedia admins before going forward with a solution to a problem they've had for MONTHS, they decided to just make a move. The only thing Miles said was that they should have put up the announcement before making said move, but I don't see him saying anywhere that they should have discussed this with the admins or the community or anyone. What I want to know is what the LGpedia admins have to say about all of this.

    And heck, I also want to know why so many people here are so quick to defend the Creators. The issue here isn't about whether Eqal employees deserve to have their privacy protected, I don't see anyone arguing that. What I DO see is people having legitimate issues with the way this entire thing was handled. There are good ways to deal with privacy issues and bad ways; they chose a bad one, one that completely goes against their previous statements regarding the nature of LGpedia and moves to censor the community by completely blocking access to editing pages.

  54. editing *certain* pages, I mean.

  55. Im not all up in arms about it, I'm just laughing about it now that they had to resort to measures to keep one person (me) from hurting another person's (Broken Kid, Zoey, Jonpro, Creators, etc) feelings.


  56. westside, this isn't all about you.

    And I agree with mm. But I shall leave it there. This whole things giving me a headache.


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