Fiver didn't know the language on that notice board. Fiver only knew that something bad was coming. What did Fiver do? He got out. Got out before, it turns out, the warren was destroyed by men to make way for an estate development. He got as many others as he could out of Sandleford warren with him, by appealing to his more charismatic brother to get the others to follow them.
And they didn't know where they were going. There were woods and a river and then they fell in with Cowslip's warren with its hideous secret. There was a barn where rats attacked them. These were places with shelter but no safety, and each time they had to keep going. Fiver knew what they were looking for--a high lonely place where Man wouldn't come--but it was a concept only to most of them. But Fiver had faith, and his brother had faith in him. And it was a tough journey but they found Watership Down at last--and even then the adventures didn't stop.
The deletion of ponderosa121's journal was effectively my notice board, and it doesn't matter what the effing details are on that sign. I'm a rabbit in the same warren as ponderosa121--I produce the same material she does (she has drawn art of my fanfics; I have written fanfics for her smuttastic concepts). I know there are many of you who are not of our ilk; you do not write what we write, draw what we draw, read or look at what we read and look at. Yes. I know fandom is not uniform. But the bulldozer men with the gas hoses are coming for fandom members like her and like me.
Those of you who say you won't let Livejournal intimidate you, that you want to stay and fight--ponderosa121 cannot stay and fight. They kicked her out. I will not stop producing the type of materials for which they banned her; I am HERE for those materials. I do not wish to lock my journal, because lurkers should have a place to find smut too. I have every reason to imagine I will be next in Livejournal's cross-hairs.
(I am sure some of you are thinking about how NC-17 art might compare to NC-17 prose and that Livejournal may have a stronger reaction to the one than the other. I say that Livejournal's track record ain't too reassuring to me on this one, and I don't think anyone's safe in making those assumptions.)
That is why I am preparing to find a new place in anticipation that my journal may also be deleted by Livejournal's mods. I am not planning to leave Livejournal to teach SixApart a lesson or because they'll miss my business and beg me to come back or because I think LJ does not support freedom of speech--issues that some have accused those of us who speak of leaving Livejournal of naively embracing.
Let me make a few things clear.
1. I know that Livejournal is a business and it may do as it pleases. I am not even angry about it, just unhappy that they have decided to kick my kind out. That is their right because they are a business. They may do it without warning, without greater clarification in their Terms of Service, without anything other than, "We think you broke our rules and our decision is final, goodbye." I don't like it but I cannot say it isn't fair. There is no fair in business, and I do not believe that asking them for clearer rules is going to be useful. (That having been said, good on everyone voicing their unhappiness over this level of customer treatment. Livejournal has no obligation to make us happy, but it's nice that they can't miss how unhappy we are.)
2. I do not believe that fandom is some substantial financial pillar of Livejournal--if all the fannish journals stopped giving LJ money, I do not believe LJ would feel it one whit. I also have no agenda against those who want to keep their paid features and plan to keep on paying for them. Shoot, I love my hundred-some icons, and I love Livejournal's features in general. That's why we're here and partly why many won't consider going anywhere else.
3. I believe that Livejournal would be happy if all the adult-content journals disappeared; I do not believe they would feel they had been "taught a lesson" or be remorseful.
4. Expecting others to give up Livejournal in the wake of the deletions is unreasonable. Many haven't even heard of the banned users, many couldn't care less about that content (or actively dislike it), and many are under no threat because of their own content. Fandom is not solely defined by slash or by smut. And many fandom members have contacts via their Livejournals that have nothing to do with fandom. Many of us have years and years of history at Livejournal and love its features and hate the prospect of leaving it.
5. I do not plan to delete my journal myself. I may choose to stop posting in it once there is a better alternative or I may continue to cross-post along with that alternative, but my livejournal won't be deleted unless LJ does it themselves or unless a day comes when I feel threatened by having its content online. Because content disappearing from the web is the triumph of chaos over order, is a book being burnt, is--ah, hell, it's just bad, okay? I've got enough metaphors in this post as it is.
All that said, Livejournal has told at least one of my fandom friends--a friend whose journal content and fandom contributions contain the same material as mine--that she is not welcome here any longer. I do not want to stay in a club that won't have her, so, yes, it is a little bit about principle, but more than that I want to keep producing the same material and I want to be in a space that is not hostile to that material and I want to be with her and with others like her. So I must prepare to go elsewhere.
My Watership Down, like Fiver's, is just a concept right now, that high lonely place where Man won't come. I think it's neither GreatestJournal nor InsaneJournal; I think those are likely only places to shelter if it comes time to flee the bulldozers and the gas. But Fiver had faith in his concept and so do I. Envisioning it is the first step to finding it. Or creating it.
(Funny thing is, I usually identify with Hazel or Bigwig in that book. Go figure.)