I'm not sure how I could improve on it, so here's the Metafilter post that inspired my move:
"LiveJournal represents social media without borders."
December 30, 2016 10:48 AMAs of a few days ago, the IP addresses for blogging service LiveJournal have moved to 81.19.74.*, a block that lookup services locate in Moscow, Russia. Now users -- especially those who do not trust the Russian government -- are leaving the platform and advising others to leave.
For years, the online blogging community LiveJournal -- popular in Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine -- has served as a key communications platform for Russian dissidents (the Committee to Protect Journalists earlier this month called on Russian authorities to release a LiveJournal user who has been sentenced to 2 years in prison for a critical blog post). Even after Russian company SUP bought it from California-based Six Apart in 2007 (previously), the fact that SUP continued to run the servers in the US meant that users felt relatively safe; a 2009 press releasespecifically said that LiveJournal, Inc.* would continue to run technical operations and servers in the United States (and claimed that 5.7 million LiveJournal users were Russia-based).
December 22 support request, following a multi-hour service outage: "Since yesterday's upgrade, our work firewall is blocking you because you appear to it to be based in the Russian Federation. Have you got a Western mirror I can use?"
Tracerouting livejournal.com now points to a Moscow location and an ISP operated by Rambler Internet Holding LLC, the company that also owns SUP. (Former LiveJournal user Gary McGath says that a few days ago, he checked the IP location of livejournal.com, and it was in San Francisco.) LiveJournal's official news posts do not mention the change; users have begun to ask questions there and on their own journals.
Rumors have it that LiveJournal has also begun to delete the LiveJournal accounts of some Russian-language bloggers, especially pro-Ukraine bloggers. (Twitter search, anonymous comment.) Also, users can no longer browse and read LiveJournal over an encrypted (HTTPS) connection; going to https://www.livejournal.com redirects the user to the insecure site.
- "The servers are in Russia, political purge of accounts alleged"
- "Why Now"
- "Dirty deeds afoot on LJ"
- "LJ server move confirmed"
- "Deleting Your Livejournal: You Don't Have To Set Yourself On Fire On Your Way Out Of The Building"
Some users are switching to the competing Dreamwidth service (which is based in the US and which can import LiveJournal entries and communities); new user statistics show newbyday new user numbers spiking up from a baseline rate of hundreds of daily signups to over 87,000 new users in the last week. The Internet Archive's ArchiveTeam was already on the case, given LJ's size, historical importance, and history of controversy and apparent state of decline -- they started archiving LJ's public posts in March of this year.