Type of site
|Created by||Unenkulkija and Karhuntassu|
Varjojen Kirja (Varjojenkirja.com) is an online information and society networking site for the Finnish pagan (Paganism) community. It is a non-profit organization run by married couple Unenkulkija and Karhuntassu and has been operated since late 2004.
Originally released as an online library for herbs, charmstones, witchcraft rites and horoscopes, it soon gained popularity among Finnish pagans. Most of the site content is wiki-styled user-editable which has enabled the site to expand its content 5 to 10 times from the original content.
The site receives over 300.000 page loads per month making it one of the most popular and best-known Finnish pagan sites. In Google along there 128.000 hits which is mostly because of the large article content. Most of the site visitors are non-registered users which find the site from search engines, although site has active userbase of nearly 2000 user registration since 2004. Currently there are nearly 500 active users of which site receives 100 to 200 logins per date.
Site has been cited in many Finnish print-medias and sites as an information source for horoscope, witchcraft and it is one of the most quoted Finnish pagan sites online. Due the popularity of the content there has been several copyright-issues between site-owners and the third party site owners who have copied the content without referencing to the original. This has led to Cease and desist styled contacts to the content copiers from the owners and original authors of the articles.
When started in 2004 site contained 200 - 300 different articles, a number which has steadily increased thank to user-contribution driven content of the site. Originally most of the articles concentrated on Wicca as a pagan religion, but later specially in summer 2009 main articles were fully rewritten and changed to aim most known natural-based belief-systems currently active in Finland. Site contains nowadays almost 2000 different articles of the paganism, witchcraft and different kind of religions. Site also has quite large discussion board and active online society.
In the 2006 copyright of the content was changed to a Creative Commons, but due major update of the site in summer 2009 all newly written content on the site have been partially copyrighted. Content is said to be free to use for personal use and also for third party websites as long as source is mentioned in the form of the quote.
During its operating years there has been several controversies. Most of these has been caused by the site's user-verification policy which demands registering users to identify themselves by using SMS verification. Users name and address must be recognizable from the phone records. As this is unlike most of registration demands the online pagan resources, it has started a flame wars on the hundreds of other more open-access Finnish internet communities.
The method of registration has changed several times during operating years, although SMS identification has always been mandatory. During years 2005-2007 identifying using phone records was not mandatory and identity confirmation was done by requiring HETU (National identification number) but this was ended by the complaints to the National Data Protection Supervisor. Finnish law permits HETU inquiring only in the case of credit services.
In 2006 site was under police investigation because of the Denial-of-service attack was made against site using vulnerability in the registration verification system by a Finnish individual.
Site has faced also has several legal-threats and accusations of defamation, user-removal and content-based charges but Almost all of these have made users removed from the site by misbehavior or trolling. No charge has ever raised against site or against it owners.
- Online interview of the administrators, 2008