Another LiveJournal Account Change

So this whole OpenID-through-LiveJournal thing isn’t working out. To their credit LiveJournal has done a lot to support OpenID, but they’re not doing enough. Their OpenID support is still half-baked. I thought I would show my support by being an early adopter and bearing with it, but that has not worked.

(Skip to the next paragraph to avoid the tech talk…) There is a technical design flaw with OpenID that is easily worked around in implementation, but LJ has decided not to do so at this time. Because OpenID is decentralized by design, anyone can set up an OpenID server, create hundreds of spammy accounts, and post crap everywhere. Other online services (for example Blogger and WordPress) deal with it by using spam detection. If something looks spammy, it either gets outright prevented or flagged for moderation. This has the added bonus that it works for everything, not just OpenID. It detects spam in anonymous comments, in “burner” accounts (where people sign up, post spam, then never use the account again) and so on. LiveJournal, on the other hand, assumes all OpenID accounts are spamming scum and therefore limits what they can do. I can’t post links in comments. I can’t post pictures in comments. I can’t post embedded media. People can’t even properly link to me, as Ariock found out when he tried to use the “lj-user” tag. OpenID accounts are third-class citizens, behind paid accounts, behind free accounts, and just above anonymous spammers. LJ could solve the problem by introducing spam filtering (which would also help filter spam from anonymous accounts.) This basically blacklists certain kinds of posts. Or even easier, they could hook up the OpenID accounts to their e-commerce system so that OpenID people could have paid accounts. This would basically whitelist the people who paid. But no. LiveJournal continues to do nothing.

So what is going to happen? Posts will continue to be published on the [info]brianenigma_rss feed. My reading and commenting on LJ will switch from [info] to [info]BrianEnigma.

What does this mean to you? Probably nothing. If you are on LiveJournal and have me on your friend list as the OpenID, you probably also have my original BrianEnigma account on there, too. I don’t think my OpenID account has collected any new followers that were not on the first account.

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