Re: Whole lotta fuss going on at Fanfiction.net about the "purge". Lost any favourites?

Re: Whole lotta fuss going on at Fanfiction.net about the "purge". Lost any favourites?

From an author's note on a HP fanfic I was reading on the site, I heard about a "purge" going on at FFn.

I've been on the site for over 6 years and never heard of a purge going on, so I started looking for information.

The situation seems to be: Apparently, FFn's rather vague fanfic guidelines were written in 2003 (when the last purge deleted most mature and all slash stories according to a friend who was "there" for it ) and are supposed to refuse overly "mature" stories and/or summaries (which quite surprised me when I found that out, considering some of the listings/stories I've seen in the 6 years I've been on the site. I can only say that the admins apparently were not following their own guidelines up till now. )

Now, with no previous warning to the writers involved, a large purge was instituted/is going on/has been completed. Over 6000 HP stories were deleted (which is about 3% of them) in a 3 day period amongst many, many other fandoms. Both Dr. Who and Buffy have been hit the hardest with a near 12% attrition rate. There are claims in some postings on different sites that this purge is due in part to pressure from a self appointed fanfic "police group" (I've found a link in a posting which the poster claims is to the group but I haven't yet had a chance to investigate ). Further, that some of the stories have been unfairly deleted for minor things (like using the word "kill" in a summary ) and in some cases both the writer and their entire works (and all the extras like years worth of reviews ) have been banished for things that could have been corrected if the writer had been given a warning and a chance (say a week ) to correct the problem. A FEW stories have been reinstated but their reviews/extras are permanently gone.

I know FFn is a privately owned site (one tends to forget that given it's humongous size ) and can therefore set any rules they want to but I do think they should have been fair enough to the writers posting there ( whose varied works the site makes a fair bit of money from or it wouldn't exist ) to at least have given them a warning BEFORE their works were deleted.

I know that a HP author whose earlier stories I've read on FFn ( I did find his recent work too raunchy and can agree that perhaps his work should have been posted on FFn's companion site of AdultFanFic.net) has had everything deleted. Works that were on the site for at least 3-4 years and apparently approved by the admins or at least they didn't object.

One writer in protesting what she thought was an unfair deletion of her story claims she was told in an e-mail from an FFn admin that the site is only interested in "G-Rated" writers and stories.

Because of my limited computer skills and slow 'net connection, I "save" my favourite stories/writers by bookmarking them. So I'm going to have to go through my "huge" FFn bookmarks list and see what else I might have lost and if I can find it elsewhere. Sigh...I'm just going to have to learn how to save stuff to a disc or flash drive.

Anyone else have comments on this?

Sorry for the long post. I don't often post (I'm going to try and change that :) so it seems I'm making up for lost time. So Hello to everyone.


Comments

MST/Reading the Books

I've only seen this through losing a whole slew of favourites in the "Reading the Stories" sub-genre.

For those of you not familiar, these usually work on the premise that somebody finds a copy of the relevant books (for me, the "Harry Potter" books although I've seen references to this type of story in the "Twilight" and "Percy Jackson" fandoms also, and I gather others exist) and embarks on a read-through, with or without company but always with copious comment and criticism.

A popular choice is for Dolores Umbridge to be the recipient of the books, and to force the whole school to read them in an attempt to discredit Dumbledore and Harry. Obviously this usually backfires spectacularly on both Umbridge and Fudge, and has a variable effect on the rest of the cast. Another choice is for the main cast to be given the books early so as to change what happens later.

Unfortunately this kind of story falls foul of FF.net's "No MST3K" rule. As with many rules, this one has not been enforced very rigorously and there are quite a lot of stories of this type, some of which aren't half bad. At least one author made it through all 7 books and embarked on a "what happened next" story which is chugging along quite nicely.

As mentioned above, there's a group of self-appointed "monitor" users (who might or might not be the same as the "moral guardian" bunch) who have been uttering threats (some of them more than just rude, and verging on malicious) for ages and finally reported huge numbers of these stories to the administration. Again, without so much as a whisper of a heads-up, the stories have simply been deleted in a haphazard fashion: one author had alternate stories in the series wiped with the intervening stories left alone.

Happily for me and others who are interested, some enterprising chaps have set up a "refuge site" using the proboards forum system, which isn't so easy to read but at least preserves the stories.

lost stories etc.

Miri
NotACat---The "Reading the Stories" genre is one I've enjoyed too and I'm sorry to hear it's been hit.

"Happily for me and others who are interested, some enterprising chaps have set up a "refuge site" using the proboards forum system, which isn't so easy to read but at least preserves the stories."

Could you give me some information on how accessing this "refuge site" works? I don't use forums very often so I'm not too familiar with their set-up.

I understand also that a large, possibly massive, migration from FFn to other sites seems to have started. Especially to a multi-fandom site (including HP ) called "An Archive of Our Own" or AO3. A local friend, who is also a fanfic writer, put her name in their "queue" a while ago to register as a writer (you don't need to register just to read fanfic ) and it took her 6-8 weeks to get it. Last night she entered my name in the queue for me and checked the length of the line if front of me and was shocked to find out that there is now a queue of over 20,000 people and that the projected date of approval is early next Jan.!

"As mentioned above, there's a group of self-appointed "monitor" users (who might or might not be the same as the "moral guardian" bunch) who have been uttering threats (some of them more than just rude, and verging on malicious) for ages and finally reported huge numbers of these stories to the administration. Again, without so much as a whisper of a heads-up, the stories have simply been deleted in a haphazard fashion: one author had alternate stories in the series wiped with the intervening stories left alone."

Sadly, the cause of this does indeed seem to be some self-appointed fanfic "police group/s". A character calling himself Lord Kelvin seems to be a name that comes up. I read some subtle but smug and nasty bullying that included him on a FFn forum thread ostensibly for writers--the link to this showed up in an LJ posting I found when researching the fuss. The original "victim" was a writer protesting the deletions and when 2 others came to her defense, they too were "trolled". Another friend who has been active on FFn for years says that she has seen "Lord Kelvin" causing problems like this before

I've found out that the biggest fuss among several is over stories that FFn ( or really the fanfic police ) considers as being too mature for the site's M rating which is supposed to be the top rating and anything beyond is a No-No, something the site admins have managed to ignore for years. Crazily enough the site HAS a rating beyond their M rate which is MA. There are claims in forum postings on LJ that when this was brought up to the admins their reply was that the MA rating was for violence and foul language but not for sex. In other words, it seems that it's OK to expose young readers to violence and "potty mouth language" but not to anything that refers to love making/sex in anything more than the mildest, blandest fashion.

If anyone is interested, there IS an online petition going on at http://www.change.org/petitions/fanfiction-net-stop-the-destruction-of-f...

When I checked it yesterday they had over 30,000 signatures and rising. While FFn might well ignore the petition despite the numbers (wonder how large a group the fic police is ), a threat to their income might get their attention. So, I've suggested to the petition people that since FFn gets it's money, and it's a fair bit apparently, from it's advertisers (who are there because of all the fanfic writers after all ) that the protesters also let the advertisers on FFn know that their ads will be getting seen a lot less because of the site's actions. Maybe, FFn'll pay more attention to the money people than the thought control people.

reading the Harry Potter Books
Miri wrote:

Miri
"Happily for me and others who are interested, some enterprising chaps have set up a "refuge site" using the proboards forum system, which isn't so easy to read but at least preserves the stories."

Could you give me some information on how accessing this "refuge site" works? I don't use forums very often so I'm not too familiar with their set-up.

The forum is here:
http://readingthehpbooks.proboards.com/

I'm not too crazy about the format either—there's no alerting system as such and some of the formatting is somewhat borked—but it's better than nothing.

Be aware, some of the stories are…of less than stellar quality, shall we say? Also you might want to tread carefully if you want to avoid certain 'ships, because I haven't yet found any systematic way of telling what's going on without opening a story up, and "what is seen cannot be unseen", sadly…