jasmineskie: (CK by Caplinicons)
[personal profile] jasmineskie
[livejournal.com profile] metamaura had a marvelous idea. She started a community -- [livejournal.com profile] no_nasty_vgifts -- solely for the purpose of petitioning LJ to no longer make nasty vgifts an option. Go here to sign the petition.

What's the big deal about getting a black rose or a broken heart (or a lump of coal or pile of doggy poo) as a vgift? I personally think a black rose is kinda cool and just as pretty as a red or yellow rose, but imagine -- if you're already down in the dumps and some anonymous moron sends you a black rose with a hurtful message, well, you might not think it was so cool. You might wonder who out there, a person who presumably reads your journal on more than just an occasional basis, hates you enough to spend money to send you a nasty message but doesn't have the balls to sign a name to the gift.

I've had three people on my flist be sent these things recently by cruel, anonymous senders. The gifts were meant to hurt. They were meant to make the recipient feel bad, and in a cowardly way since they were sent anonymously. LJ users can block anonymous comments in their journals. LJ doesn't currently have an option (that I know of) to block anonymous gifts. Sure, the gifts can be deleted, but the damage has already been done, hasn't it.

Some people probably think this is much ado about nothing. For them, it probably is. They can look at a mean-spirited gift, laugh about the loser who spent good money to send it, and move on. Some people just have thicker skins than others; what rolls off their backs might depress someone else for days.

Life (and LJ) already offer plenty of ways for us to be cruel and nasty to each other. LJ doesn't need to make it so easy to be cruel anonymously just so they can make a buck.

Date: 2007-03-13 04:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aflon.livejournal.com
I've signed it. The stupid anony gifts is another sad indictment on today's society where people are unwilling to accept and acknowledge the responsibility for their actions. The lump of coal probably symbolises the lump of coal that first-footers take to a house in Scotland just after midnight on New Year's Day. They are meant to be the first visitors to the house (they should be tall, dark and handsome) turn up with Whisky and a lump of coal to bring the householder good luck for the new year.

Date: 2007-03-13 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
That's a very cool tradition. I didn't know anything about it; thanks for letting me know! In the US, a lump of coal has a far different meaning. It's what Santa leaves instead of gifts in the Christmas stockings of bad little boys and girls. So in the US, getting a lump of coal isn't such a good thing.

Date: 2007-03-13 05:02 pm (UTC)
ext_25166: (Ampersand Hearts)
From: [identity profile] abluegirl.livejournal.com
Thank you for this. :)

Date: 2007-03-13 05:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
*hugs* You had a good idea. Thank you for that!

Date: 2007-03-13 05:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unplugged32.livejournal.com
I'm so out of touch that I hadn't even realized these gifts were available. Thanks to metamaura for the petition and hugs to you for the heads up:)

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From: [identity profile] unplugged32.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-03-13 05:56 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2007-03-13 05:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
*hugs* Metamaura had a good idea. I'm happy to pimp it.

Date: 2007-03-13 05:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slashfairy.livejournal.com
thank you. yeah, like aflon says, there are possibly traditions behind different things, but people are just .. ugly, sometimes, and it's not necessary to put a whole business behind that.

i'll go sign. can i link here for this?

Date: 2007-03-13 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
*hugs* Sure, link away, both to here and to the petition. The more people who know about the petition, the better. :)

Date: 2007-03-13 05:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laeglass.livejournal.com
Thanks for the link! Signed it right away :)

I can't help but wonder why they've chosen those "gifts" in the gift shop to begin with.. :/

Date: 2007-03-13 05:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
Money, I'm sure. And probably because someone thought it would be cute. And in the right kind of situation, when the sender and recipient both know each other and have a history of joking with each other, they probably are cute. But it's way too easy for anonymous senders to use them to be cruel, which is what I don't like about the anonymous sending option.

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Date: 2007-03-13 05:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andolinn.livejournal.com
Have I ever told you how much I adore your kind spirit? We are in desperate need of kindness and positive actions in this world.

Life (and LJ) already offer plenty of ways for us to be cruel and nasty to each other. Yes they do, don't they? *sigh*

Date: 2007-03-13 06:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
Bunnies! *g* I love bunnies. :)

I just hate to see people hurt deliberately with these things. I know how it is to obsess about things (boy, do I ever), so I know how much a stupid little thing like a nasty anonymous vgift can bother someone.


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From: [identity profile] andolinn.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-03-13 06:15 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2007-03-13 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] feenie.livejournal.com
It is a great idea and I signed it as well. When I first saw the lump of coal, it didn't bother me;I got teased as a kid by my parents that if I didn't behave all I would get from Santa was the coal. *snort* Got it once too...as a joke.

THAT is the difference;if you give it to someone that you know would appreciate it as a joke that's fine. There's a fine line between being sarcastically funny and being rude, a very fine line;the giver of the gift needs to know if the person to whom the gift is intended can take it.

BUT those black roses and the heart are just not funny. Black roses on St. Valentine's Day? Very NOT in the spirit of a martyr, now is it?

Most definitely linking the petition.

Date: 2007-03-13 06:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
Exactly. If you're someone who's used to pranking and practical jokes, and you know who sent it, that's one thing. But lately these things are being sent just to be cruel.

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From: [identity profile] feenie.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-03-14 01:47 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2007-03-13 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sweetinstigator.livejournal.com
I actually adore the black rose , as a nice gift ... it hadn't even occured to me that it could be used as something so negative ...

Thank you for pointing this out to me , i'll be sure to sign it.

Date: 2007-03-13 06:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
I think the black rose is very pretty too. But lately they've been sent along with cruel, anonymous notes, and it's the whole anonymous thing I really object to.

Date: 2007-03-13 06:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eenoogje.livejournal.com
I didn't think bad about the black rose either, because I think they can be beautiful too. But if people are using them to hurt others, then we better get rid of them.

Date: 2007-03-13 06:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
I'm not sure it's the black rose that has to go, just the ability to send it anonymously as another way to be cruel. I think the black rose is pretty too. And any of the gifts can be sent along with a cruel note. I guess it's really the ability to send them anonymously with a cruel, nasty note, with no ability for the recipient to know where it came from that bothers me the most.

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From: [identity profile] eenoogje.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-03-13 08:29 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2007-03-13 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tortadicarote.livejournal.com
I signed.
I hope you don't mind that I copied your entry in my LJ.

Date: 2007-03-13 06:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
Not at all. The more people who know about the petition, the better. *hugs*

Date: 2007-03-13 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lady-razzle.livejournal.com
I'm almost entirely with you. Except that I got a black rose from Henry Mortensen and it made my YEAR. But then, we're not a conventional couple, having never strictly met.


Date: 2007-03-13 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lady-razzle.livejournal.com

my henry. Now I need my henry.

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Date: 2007-03-13 08:07 pm (UTC)
ext_59193: Made by Susie (Default)
From: [identity profile] shaharazade.livejournal.com
Hi Jassy! Petition Signed.

I have to say that I did not know that these suspect gifts existed. I feel so sad to think that there should be so much hatred on LJ. I have been told before that I am naive, perhaps I am, because I cannot understand why people want to hurt each other.

Hugs, Susie.

Date: 2007-03-14 09:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
Thanks, Susie. *hugs* I don't get why people would want to hurt each other than way either. :/

Date: 2007-03-13 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alliwantisanelf.livejournal.com

I want a black rose from Henry Mortensen too!

Raz, you're just too good for your own self, y'know???

I got a virtual gift from an anonymous giver once, and it was really sweet and nice. I got chocolates from [livejournal.com profile] shegollum too!

But that's all I got. Really. *pouts some more* Is it wrong to be so desperate?

Don't answer that.


I'm signing, because I know there are people out there who do things (like spend money, I don't get that but there it is) to hurt other people. The timing they use often sucks raw eggs as well. There's nothing like kicking somebody when they're already down--geez, isn't life cruel enough already?

Why they'd rather leave a nasty anonymous note with a black rose or a broken heart than go get themselves something off the $.99 menu at Wendy's or McD's, I just don't know. Maybe they don't like fries, jumbo drinks, or frosty's.

That's sad to think even a frosty or some really salty french fries can't make them happy, isn't it?

Hey, LJ? How about a virtual Barbie Legolas instead? *shudders, 'cause it's just too much in so many ways....*

Date: 2007-03-14 09:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
Hey Al!! *HUGS* Man, I've missed you! *snuggles*

It's so hard trying to figure out what's best. Nice anonymous gifts are fun to get and fun to give. I've given a few nice anonymous things on LJ here and there. But all this nasty business -- allow some people to be anonymously nasty, with no possible repercussions -- it's just too much of a temptation, and that sucks.

Frosty and french fries, much much better alternative. ;)

Date: 2007-03-13 08:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oceansnset.livejournal.com
I have given v-gifts and things anonymously. It has never crossed my mind to be hurtful with it.
I just believe a true gift expects nothing in return, not even recognition.
Plus, I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings by buying one a gift and not another.

I did sign the petition.

It's an option I really, really hate to lose, but if it is being used to hurt people then it has to go.

Date: 2007-03-14 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
I've given a few nice things anonymously too, and that's fun and cool. The hurtful stuff though... it just sucks. Thank you for signing the petition.

Date: 2007-03-13 10:46 pm (UTC)
ext_41467: (koulaangsty)
From: [identity profile] koulagirl666.livejournal.com
I signed too - I don't understand why people would want to use V-Gifts to be nasty but some of them are so open to being used that way.

Date: 2007-03-14 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
*hugs* Thank you.

And I don't understand it either. :/

Date: 2007-03-13 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peppervl.livejournal.com
I went over and read the petition.

While I think it's a horrible thing that people are using the gifts to send hurtful messages, I'm not going to sign it, because I don't agree with either option presented.

As has been pointed out before... the different gifts mean different things to different people. I know people who would love to get a black rose, but would hate a red or yellow one. [livejournal.com profile] aflon pointed out a cool positive side to the coal.

As for the anonymous thing, well, there are more reasons than hateful ones to send things anonymously. Maybe the sender doesn't want credit, maybe they don't have an LJ... I can go on and on.

Personally, I think that rather than ruin the fun of most people who aren't using the gifts for anything malicious because there are a few bad eggs out there (as I'd be willing to bet that in a circle of friends, if there's a lot of malicious V-gifts, they're all coming from the same source), they should put more control in the hands of people who get the gifts.

I think that rather than eliminate the so-called negative gifts or take away the option to send anonymously, LJ should give its users the option to opt-out of receiving anonymous gifts. If someone has opted-out, then when you select who you're sending the gift to, the option to remain anonymous will be grayed out, just like the option to comment anonymously is grayed out on journals that require you to have an LJ to post.

That way, people who are just having fun can still have fun, and people who don't want to receive anonymous gifts don't have to receive them.

Date: 2007-03-14 09:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
I wish users could opt out of receiving anonymous Vgifts, or receiving Vgifts entirely, but as Mo pointed out below (which I didn't know until I read her comment), LJ's already considered that suggestion and rejected it. No clue why, but yeah, so that's not an option as far as LJ staff are concerned.

The petition may do absolutely nothing. Maybe LJ staff don't think it's a problem, or the money they generate makes it worth their while to put up with some occasional complaints. And I agree, it is cool about learning things like the Scottish tradition of a lump of black coal on New Year's. Still, I doubt that's why LJ put up the lump of coal as an option as Christmas or the ripped out heart at Valentine's. Users ought to have the ability to block unwanted things from showing up on their user page without their permission, like nasty anonymous Vgifts. Maybe the petition will make LJ reconsider its rejection of what I think is an excellent idea -- allowing users to opt out of receiving anonymous Vgifts.

Thanks for discussing this here. :) Reading other opinions always makes me think about the reasons for my own, and whether I've thought things through well enough.

Date: 2007-03-14 12:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mesnica.livejournal.com
I think I would prefer a third action for the issue: allowing users to opt out from receiving gifts from anon and/or non-friends. It's not just gifts that already look mean-spirited that can be used in such a way. VGifts at the moment are the only way someone is contactable by just about everyone on the net if they wish so without the user being able to hinder them at all.

Sad to say though that I went over to [livejournal.com profile] suggestions and found that the same idea had been brought up a year ago already and had been rejected

Date: 2007-03-14 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
Oh man... I wish they hadn't rejected that option. That seems to be the simplest thing -- just allowing user to control what goes on their user info page from anonymous senders.

Thanks for pointing that out. *hugs*

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From: [identity profile] mesnica.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-03-14 09:37 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2007-03-14 03:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
I hope this is successful. At least if people have to say who they are it would cut down on the number sent.

Date: 2007-03-14 09:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
Me too. *hugs*

Date: 2007-03-14 09:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laura-iskra.livejournal.com
I signed it, ├ža va sans dire, and I still can't understand how someone can do something so cruel..

Date: 2007-03-14 09:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasmineskie.livejournal.com
Thank you. *hugs* I guess some people can't resist when they don't have to take responsibility for it.
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