Author of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels behind HBO’s popular Game of Thrones TV show, George R. R. Martin, is almost done with a long-delayed project whose completion has been clamored for by fans for years: he’s finally moving his blog off of LiveJournal!
A user on one of the subreddits dedicated to Martin’s books, /r/ASOIAF, noticed that Martin changed his Twitter bio to read: “New blog format coming soon! Till then…http://grrm.livejournal.com.” Martin has used the LiveJournal blogging platform for years, long after everyone else had moved on to platforms like Tumblr or WordPress.
LiveJournal was purchased by Russian media company `SUP! Media in 2007, and moved all of its offices to Russia in 2016. In 2017, the company changed its terms and conditions to conform with Russian law. Wikipedia summarizes the new rules:
The new terms prohibit users from posting “advertising and/or political solicitation materials”, or performing any actions that are “contradictory to the laws of the Russian Federation”. The terms also state that users are subject to Article 10.2 of the Federal Act of the Russian Federation No. 149, which dictates that blogs with more than 3000 daily visitors are classified as media outlets and may not be published anonymously, are responsible for the dissemination of unverified information, and are restricted from posting pornography, obscene language, or “extremist materials”.
Martin’s decision to move off the archaic platform may be a matter of necessity rather than of choice. As one of the few remaining notable users of LiveJournal and one of the most famous authors in the world, Martin’s blog almost certainly has more than 3,000 daily visitors and must therefore be classified as a media outlet. As a result, the various blog posts Martin posts each year claiming to be working hard on and/or almost done with The Winds of Winter, the penultimate book in the ASOIAF series, could be classified as “dissemination of unverified information,” in other words, “fake news,” while posts touting non-Game-of-Thrones projects that no one cares about, like Wild Cards, would probably qualify as “extremist materials” under the draconian regulations.
Martin hasn’t established a timeline for the blog migration yet, but if we go by his previous schedule, we can expect the new platform to unveil sometime around August, 2028. We’ll keep you updated as this situation develops.