True: LiveJournal has disabled the ability to make new Basic (free of charge and relatively free of advertising) accounts as of last week.
True: They forgot to mention this important fact in the self-aggrandising Day 100 news post. However, a staff member edited the FAQ as the change went live.
False: The LiveJournal Advisory Board was consulted and advised against the decision.
False: LiveJournal has disabled the ability to create free accounts. [No, just ad-free ones.]
False: LiveJournal has disabled the ability to create Basic communities.
False: When your existing Paid Account expires it will automatically convert to a Plus account and you won't be allowed to switch back to Basic.
Presumed True: LiveJournal support staff and developers had nothing to do with this; they are just following orders from on high. Spamming Support about it won't fix the problem.
What outrages the users is not necessarily the fact that they made this change (although it does make you think the management is only interested in money and not the users' opinions, and it could well turn out to be counterproductive in the short term when all the paid users leave in disgust) but that the management, not having learned from their past mistakes, yet again tried to hide it and then spin it as something other than what it clearly was — a monetary decision. But how could management learn from their past mistakes when the senior staff changes every six months? Jason Shellen certainly seems to have a high-profile background in blogging (having worked for Blogger and written Google's feed reader) but he evidently knows nothing at all about LiveJournal and its culture, and he didn't stop to consult his staff before putting his big boots right in.
So… is anyone I know considering nominating themselves for the Advisory Board position? I am, but I don't stand any chance of winning a popularity contest with only 99 friends and they are looking for only one user to represent the entire non-Cyrillic world. Let's just hope it doesn't end up being a well-known troublemaker.