ljseek (ljseek) wrote,
ljseek
ljseek

LjSEEK.COM and Privacy

Recently we've been getting lot of questions and requests regarding
privacy. The privacy is extremely important to us. Usually journal owners appreciate
their posts to be searchable, which increases journal audience allows to
find more friends and get more comments, some however would like to limit
visibility. But how do you discover what journal owner really wants ?


This is tough question to solve - if you take a look at search engines -
these would index any page they find on the Internet, unless special
tags are used or special file (robots.txt) created to forbid them doing
so.

In RSS, which we use for indexing, there are no such tags, so many blog
search engines would simply index everything. As we only index LiveJournal
journals we can do it better - we check if user had set "Minimize your journal's inclusion in search
engine results" and do not index such journals. This method is however
not 100% reliable. First - we can't catch changes in this setting at once
- due to large number of Users at LiveJournal we only check this
flag when we add new journal to index and about once per month. You also can use Journal Tools Page
to update it. This way
also does not work with some custom LiveJournal page designs.

Indexing Friend-Only or Private Entries.

At this point we simply do not do it
and we even could not do it if we'd like. LiveJournal protects your data
reliably at our best knowledge. We would have to ask your password to be able
to index private and friends only posts. If you find some private or friend only
data in the journal this must be data which was public and only later
was made private. We're using RSS interface to get information updates
and we simply have no way to discover if some post become private/friend
only. If this is a concern for you drop us a note, listing which posts
you need to be removed and we'll try to help you.

Information re-publishing.

We always try to follow fair-use
principle when re-publishing information. In search results we only
display snippets so users are directed to your journal for full posts.
We also have "Cached" version page which show full post, which is done
for convenience purposes allowing us to show version which we have in
the database (which might be updated since then) as well as highlight
matching terms. This is quite similar to what Major search engines do
with web site pages. We also do not show any advertisements on cached
page.

Future Improvements.

We'll soon
add user registration feature which would allow users upon registration
and confirmation of ownership of certain journal allow to control its
state in our database. One would be able to enable/disable indexing
independent from global LiveJournal settings, block display of cached
version or snippets, remove posts which you would not like to be
visible. Stay tuned.
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