LJ Drama, short for Live Journal Drama, began as a community on Live Journal that documented amusing and "dramatic" events in people's lives, as documented in their journals. After being banned from Live Journal because of complaints of harassment, spying and invasion of privacy, they created their own web site. After being kicked off a number of web hosts, they eventually settled on one that allowed such content. LJ Drama led to the creation of Encyclopaedia Dramatica, although the creators are slightly different. LJ Drama is now all but closed down, apparently due to boredom and because ED is considered to be more fun.
As a Live Journal community
LJ Drama began life as a Live Journal community. They would post links to people's blog entries and make fun of them.
Basically, if anyone posted anything controversial in their blogs, or had any fights or arguments with anyone in comments in their blogs, then they would end up on LJ Drama.
LJ Drama claimed that their sole reason for existence was to report drama. They were trying to act as something akin to a tabloid newspaper, with things that were true or not true, but things which were funny.
Criticism of LJ Drama
One of the main criticisms of LJ Drama is that they go beyond simply reporting on things and instead actually cause the problems themselves.
The main defence of this criticism is that if individual members happen to cause the problems, that doesn't mean that LJ Drama is causing the problems.
A second criticism is that LJ Drama are stalking and harassing people and smearing their names. They post people's real life information, leading to people getting very upset. They also post lies about people that can lead to them getting fired from their job, having relationship problems (both romantically and with friends/family) and can lead to them being violently attacked, raped and even murdered.
There are 2 main defences of this criticism: firstly that they are true things (sometimes at least) and hence are not slander, and secondly that it is parody and hence protected by US law. They also claim that anything that happens to them in real life, no matter how awful, is not their aim, and that they cannot be held responsible for it.
Banned from Live Journal
Live Journal's abuse team eventually decided to ban the LJ Drama community, because it broke their rules about what people could write in their journals. Basically, because it encouraged harassment and stalking.
Creation of their own web site
ljdrama.org was set up soon after the community was banned, with a group of the most prominent members of their LJ community helping to set it up.
Because of the popularity of the community, the web site also became popular.
Further relationship with Live Journal
Many attempts were made to create new LJ communities like the old LJ Drama community, some succeeding briefly, while most were banned. Links to the site were forever being deleted by LJ administrators, people involved were forever being banned, and were forever arguing their case that it was unfair to ban them.
Oddly, most LJ Drama members who were banned from LJ ended up having their bans overturned, whilst many of the people who they stalked and smeared ended up banned - often primarily as a result of their being stalked!
In other words, Live Journal's administrators often believed the lies that LJ Drama told. They would ban journals if they led to drama, and ban the people involved, in preference to banning people who caused the drama through LJ Drama.
In other words, Live Journal came to accept LJ Drama as a positive thing. Whilst they pretended to hate it, and banned people and so forth, much of Live Journal's success was undoubtedly linked to the success of gossip sites like LJ Drama.
Nature of LJ Drama
LJ Drama posts were typically something along the lines of this:
"It seems that our old friend Babymomma (link) is at it again, this time posting pictures of her messy room (link). Angrydaddy (link) accuses Babymomma of child abuse (link), people defend her, others agree, and drama ensues (link) (link) (link)."
Then the post will attract comments. People who read the article will then write to Babymomma to upset her. People will find out personal real life information about Babymomma. They will do everything that they can to escalate the problem until it spirals all out of control.
Then if Angrydaddy goes over to Babymomma's house and beats her up, after believing various lies written on LJ Drama about her, LJ Drama posts about that and makes light of it too. If someone else murders Babymomma, they make fun of that too, and claim that it isn't true. And so forth.
The posts are typically what are called lowest common denominator posts. They use rampant discrimination to their advantage by making fun of people's race, religion, beliefs, anything to do with violence, sexual activities or children, all designed to hurt people as much as possible.
Their aim is to hurt a few to make the many happy.
Spin offs of LJ Drama
Many similar sites were started by people who liked LJ Drama. These include:
- Fucktardcentral, a Dead Journal community which briefly created their own web site.
- LJ Review, a blog of sorts that "reviewed" journals and made massive smears against people.
- Encyclopaedia Dramatica, a wiki that documents things to make fun of people.
- Frienditto and Ghettoditto Livejournal drama archives.
There are undoubtedly many other spin off sites.
LJ Drama beyond Live Journal
Although initially LJ Drama was used purely to document Live Journal issues, when Live Journal had spin offs like Dead Journal, LJ Drama also felt it was reasonable to also document on what happened there. When Blogger and MySpace were created as alternatives to Live Journal, LJ Drama also felt like commenting on them too. Eventually LJ Drama also expanded to include 4chan, Habbo Hotel and various animal lover sites.
LJ Drama shut down?
After the creation of Encyclopaedia Dramatica, by largely the same people that were involved in LJ Drama, ED soon came to replace LJ Drama. People stopped bothering with posting stories on LJ Drama because it was more interesting to instead write an article about it on ED. Hence effectively ED replaced LJ Drama, and also went beyond that.