LiveJournal Privacy for those Who Can Afford It

Imagine you have been keeping a LiveJournal diary for a long period of time, amassing hundreds of posts about various details of your personal life. You have always been an open individual, so you naturally made all of your posts accessible to anyone who happened upon them — friend or foe. But now imagine that you’re starting a new job, and you decide that perhaps only your closest friends (not your co-workers or your boss) should have access to the intimate details of your life. So, naturally, you want to change the privacy setting for your LJ posts to “friends” rather than “everyone.”

Live Journal Change Privacy Setting

Lucky for you, LJ offers the ability to change the privacy settings for all of your posts at once, saving you the need to modify each post individually. This is the “Mass Security Tool”:

Live Journal Mass Security

However, David Brake, a researcher at Media@LSE, points out that only paid LJ accounts have the ability to change the privacy levels of several posts at once. If you have a “Basic” or “Plus” account, and click the “Mass Security Tool” link, you get an error message:

Live Journal Privacy Error

While LiveJournal brags that even unpaid user accounts have “Full Privacy Control,” it seems that only those who can afford to pay for privacy deserve the ability to change the privacy settings of all their posts simultaneously.

UPDATE: In the comments, Lamont Cranston notes a Windows app called LJ-Sec which allows one to change the privacy setting of Livejournal entries en masse. I can’t attest to its functionality, but I’m glad to see ways (at least for Windows users) to overcome LJ’s requirement to pay for privacy convenience.

5 comments

  1. There is a program for Windows that’s called LJ-Sec which allows one to change the privacy setting of Livejournal entries en masse. In fact, it works better than the built-in tool Livejournal offers paid users. LJ-Sec is free and can be used for any account level on Livejournal. LJ-Sec

  2. The post-hoc solutions don’t solve the LiveJournal image feeds problem. The site automatically distributes your images to a variety of feeds. It’s possible to opt-out, but complicated. I’ve written a tutorial, above, on how to opt-out of image feeds, but there’s still a problem.

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