morgandawn: (Art Noveau Blue)
Posted in full at: at May 05, 2016 at 11:21AM

I consider myself to be a “middle era” slash fan. I entered slash fandom in the early 1990s at a time where queer activism was rising and the Internet was just taking off. By then slash fandom had a good 20 years already under its belt. But even in the 1990s, if you were gay and/or into slash, it was something you kept hidden from other fans until you were sure you’d be welcomed. Many women lived in fear of being outed to their families, children, employers or churches. And some were outed with predictable consequences. A lot of this is detailed on Fanlore:

In my days of new-to-fandom, there was not much online slash fandom and few opportunities to find a slash community. If you posted about slash on Usenet, you were harassed. I was desperate to find slash fans and I located an old school Star Trek fan club in my area. I was welcomed by the group, invited into the club presidents home and offered a place at the table: but only if I could assure them I was not one of those filthy slashers. I said nothing and needless to say I did not return. Thankfully I found a slash mailing list (Virgule-L) and then the Internet happened and things changed.

Years later I ran into an early Star Trek fanzine publisher who told me that when she started publishing her slash zines in the 1980s, members of her local fan group had to swear they would not order the zine or take part in its production. Slash fanzine publishers were forced to stop selling their zines at fan conventions. Fans reported slash zine publishers to customs. Zines were seized by customs and fans had to explain in person why they were importing pornography. A fan in South Africa could not risk buying a slash zine, so the zine publisher and her friends mailed the fan 15 pages at a time, each from a different address. It is not surprising that many of the slash stories written and published in that era were written under a pseudonym. So persistent were the anti-slash fans, that after decades of being confronted with the same objections to slash over and over again, that slash fans wrote The Generic Slash Defense Letter.

The acceptance of slash within fandom has gradually lifted across fandom communities - but not everywhere and not for everyone. And the echoes of these incidents is something that many of us from that time - and the people who came immediately after us - still carry in their individual and collective consciousness. I look back now and shake my head in wonder. I also look to fandom today with gratitude that slash has become more accepted. And I look forward to tomorrow with the hope that we continue accepting it and the fans who read and write it.

Tags:fandom history, slash history, fandom meta, Star Trek history, DWCrosspost
Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)
morgandawn: (Zen fen lanning Green)
What we need:

more kindness, more history, more context, more empathy, more listening skills, more good faith
less blame, less assumptions, less zero sum conclusions, less bridge-burning, less finger pointing
morgandawn: (Art Noveau Blue)

post-security: public
Posted in full at: at December 08, 2015 at 07:32PM

To to anon who contacted me about orphaning work at AO3: I am not AO3 Abuse nor do I know much about AO3’s orphaning policies. I only know what I read online and what I’ve had seen in fandom over the years.

Those huge honking caveats aside…..

AO3 is pretty clear that you - and only you -  can orphan your work. No one can write into AO3 and demand that your name be removed. And as long as you claim your work, only you can delete the work from AO3′s servers (assuming the work does not violate AO3 terms and conditions/policies).

Once you orphan your work - and here AO3 is  also very clear - you permanently lose control over that copy on the archive.  This means you cannot come back later and remove the copy stored on the AO3 archive yourself (but note my suggestions below about working with AO3 Abuse).  AO3 does this protect themselves from later claims by other people that they own the work and that the work should be transferred to them or taken down. The copy of the orphaned story is permanently under the “custody and care” of AO3. Just like an orphaned child left on the doorstep.

But you still “own” your work elsewhere. If it is on another archive, you could either continue claiming it or delete it (depending on the archives policies). Youy can post it to your tumblr, or blog or website - or not. You could even submit it for publication.  This post explains  more - basically you will always retain the copyright to your own work.  But when you orphan your work on AO3, you are essentially handing over control over that one hard copy.

If you are still worried about someone linking your name down the road to an orphaned work, then delete the work - do not orphan it (but again, see my thoughts below - deleting a story on AO3 is just the first step).  If you have already orphaned it, make certain it is “locked’ so that only AO3  users can read it.   It won’t stop the story from being listed on AO3, but it does limit the number of looky-loos.  

And finally, if you have already orphaned your work, you may get further with AO3 Abuse if you send them the online evidence that would show how someone could link your real identity to the now orphaned story. In the example you gave you wanted to know what an author could do if they wrote an anon kink meme story that they then later posted to AO3 and claimed it as their own, only to then orphan the kink meme story, only to then later decide to delete the orphaned story.  In order to "out” you, someone would have to follow the same jumbled path.  They would need to offer up evidence that you are that writer.   This proof will most likely also exist outside AO3 (blogs, journals, tumblrs, websites, rec lists) so it should be relatively easy to show AO3 Abuse the path that would lead to your door. Once that is done, you will need to start focusing on erasing any other links to you outside of AO3. In other words, AO3 is only the first stop if someone is trying to link your RL and fandom life.   There have been several excellent posts over the years if you find your RL identity being linked to a fanwork (see below)

And a final note: kink meme stories are anonymous for many reasons - one reason is to allow people to explore tricky concepts/tropes without the fear of consequences. If you write a kink meme story, consider not posting it to AO3 under your fan pseud.

How to lower your profile online:

Tags:fandom meta, security through obscurity, ao3, ao3 abuse knows a lot more about this than I do, so please check with them, asking random strangers for advice on the Internets, DWCrosspost


Apr. 13th, 2015 06:26 pm
morgandawn: (Default)
 Week 2 of limited net connectivity (3 days offline in row). new service ordered (comcast, shudder)  but won't be installed until this weekend.  we have to ration our phone data plan for [personal profile] xlorp 's work, so online access will be spotty,

in the meantime ebooks-tree: what to do, what's happening

and you do not need to give credit card info to download the fic or books. If you must click on a link to see your fic, see these posts:

also, the badges that people are using link to a pay site that charges you for dmca takedowns. While registering gets you one 'free" takedown, I would be dubious signing up for something that charges $10 for "self-service" DMCA removals.

reminder: this is the Internets. Scraping and linking and archiving and sharing and reblogging and uploading will never be "resolved" or "stopped". Follow the AO3's suggestions about locking your fic and do not be freaked if this happens again and again.  Also keep this in mind when objecting to fans who are sharing or linking to your fanworks for the love of fandom...there are bigger and more troubling forces out there that will seek to profit from fandom. Do not stabby stab one other when the sharks are circling.

and last.....

Here Is Some Context For Your  Fandom Freakout

eBooks piracy has been a challenge for many published and indie authors for a while. You are in (good?) company. A site similar to ebooks-tree is Tuebl (2015) (2014) (2014) (2013)

morgandawn: (BSG Roslin wikidwitch)
I've been recently revisiting the concept of the Fourth Wall in light of ongoing fandom debates (Goodreads; Fall Out Boy to name just a few).
It occurred to me that fandom, like many other communities, has undergone a radical shift in response to new technologies (see this and thisboth posts by me). 
But first let me start with this concept: there is nothing individual fans can do about the Fall of the Fourth Wall. In fact, there is nothing that fandom can do to stop the deterioration of the Fourth Wall.  
So why even post?
Because I think that understanding the forces that are reshaping our fandom communities and understanding that these forces are also impacting other communities far outside fandom is the first step to reducing our amount of fear, uncertainty and denial. 
The loss of the Fourth Wall brings several consequences. Some are good, some are bad, and some are both.
The first consequence is Increased Visibility. For obvious reasons this is both good and bad. Increased visibility for the fan individual can be very very bad (see Outing).  Increased visibility  of fandom as a whole is a mixed thing. Why? Because it can lead to ....
Increased Validation/Acceptance/Legitimacy.  The more we are accepted and validated, the fewer individual fans need to worry about increased visibility (note: I saw fewer, not all because fandom is huge and spans many continents and cultures and religions and laws so the risks of visibility will never be reduced equally). The more legitimate our activities become, the more we can push back against overly restrictive copyright laws that would criminalize our fandom activities.  So these are all good things, right? Well, not always. It can be a bad thing  when fandom starts to internalize the message that we need the approval of the content creators to be accepted or to be acceptable.  (See the fabusina essay.  See also the comments in this Fanlore article.)

When we begin to redraw fandom into "good fans" who follow the rules and the etiquette and bad fans who operate outside of the "boundaries," we can end up with fandom religious wars and marginalized and ostracized communities (See RPF; Geek Hierarchy; Alpha/Beta/Omega).  

Of course, increased visibility does not necessarily mean increased acceptance.  It can also lead to everything from mocking to harassment and persecution.

Once you're on the world Internet stage for all to see, you don't get to choose how your "audience" responds.   Which leads us to the next consequence of the Falling of the Fourth Wall.
Increased Commercialization.  TPTB have always know that fannish activities (vids, fic, art, and conventions) have existed . Prior to the Internet, tracking and connecting up with these "unauthorized" fandom activities was difficult and often only happened when someone deliberately targeted a fan or a group of fans (Starsky & Hutch slashRat Patrol Melanie Rawn)  or when the fan activity randomly came across their path (See the Dreadnought  and Vice Line fanzines).  
But with the Internet, social media, search engines and algorithms, it is impossible to remain blind to the vibrant and uncontrolled world of Fandom.  So what do the content creators do when they see a group of possible consumers acting outside of the prescribed sphere?: they either shut it down or commercialize it.
And that is, IMHO, the bigger threat to fandom as we know it (if we define fandom as a group of enthusiasts who engage with one another as a community for fun and love and not profit).  As a group we might be able to handle the increased visibility and the pursuit of external legitimacy* - both the good and the bad parts.  But commercialization takes away our uniqueness and pushes us into well worn paths of pre-defined consumerism and social conformity. In literary terms, it robs us of our agency.  Fandom, not just media fandom but also science fiction, fantasy, anime fandom, have long been places where the "other" can find a home and turn "other" into "us." 
It is in this context that the OTW brings a value add to the fandom table. The OTW can help push back in an organized fashion against the criminalization  and commercialization of fannish activities. (See origins of the OTW).. They cannot speak for all of fandom,  nor do they want to. But as any underrepresented or "minority" group can attest, without some basic organization, very little  changes and you are at the mercy of those with money and power. Organized activity can also help individual  fans frame their own responses to the changes facing fandom  - to either accept the increased commercialization or to reject it.  To either be aware and mindful of the social and technological changes that are reshaping us or to keep reacting over and over with fear, uncertainty and denial.
And that is why I'd rather see fans talk about bigger social and technological shifts and what we can do as individuals  and communities to adapt to the changes instead of worrying about  visibility, the crumbling 4th Wall and "what is a good fan".  Because as I said above, the Internet and technological tools we are adopting are making that aspect of the discussion irrelevant.  We cannot turn back the clock on visibility, either as individuals or as a community.  We are facing a level of surveillance and visibility that no generation has faced before and it impacts us on all levels, not just fannish but also political and social.   But we may be able to lessen the impact of *commercialization* on fandom by realizing its corrosive nature to our community and talking about it.   And, as with any commercial enterprise, we can also push back by looking to our pockets books.   Because if  monetizing fandom and fandom activities does not make "them" money, they might find richer waters to over-fish. And if not, well we will always able to surf the waves even when they tell us we cannot swim in the sea.
*I need to write another post about how the pursuit of legitimacy can undermine a marginalized community like fandom.  Here is the short version: you can purse legitimacy/acceptance without internalizing it or using it create hierarchies of good/bad fans.  If there is one message I'd like "fandom" to embrace it is this:  

"Dear Content Creator, thank you so ever much for your approval/disapproval/love/
shock/horror/outrage/glee, but it is neither  necessary nor required. Please feel free to call at any time you wish to join our party.  Signed With Great Love, Fandom."

morgandawn: Fandom is my Fandom (Fandom is my Fandom)

In a recent chat, several fan academics discussed their criteria in selecting materials to use in their classroom. The relative privacy of publicly posted fanworks is something that fandom still has not come to terms with, but most historians, both fannish and otherwise, are falling on the side of including anything that is not password protected or behind a firewall (ex: members only mailing list, friends locked post). Most bloggers and Twitter and Tumbler users feel the same – if it is not locked or password protected, you can discuss and link to anything that is posted on the Internet.

I forwarded this chat to a fellow vidder who realized that because she had password protected her streaming vids on Vimeo, that this might be misconstrued by some to mean she did not want her fanvids shared or discussed.    

Because vidding has traditionally been more visibility averse, I took a deeper look to see what vidders are doing – and I found that even if the streaming version of a vid may be password protected, the download versions which often sit side by side in the same post are not.  The reason that most vidders password protect the streaming version of their vids may have more to do with the streaming platforms attitude towards fanvids.  YouTube vids are not password protected. Viddler vids were not password protected. and IMeem (platforms that, along with Viddler, have either folded or are no longer hospitable to fanvids) were not password protected.  Vimeo, one of the surviving streaming vid platforms is the one that most vidders use with password protection.

But back to the the default assumption that password = private: if your streaming vid is password protected, but your download is not, is your vid still “private”?  If your vid post is not locked or protected and your vid post link is transmitted via Twitter and Tumblr, is your vid still “meant for just fans”? Can you (and would you want to) put limits on where and how fans share and discuss your fanworks?

 I wonder if these are the wrong questions to be asking today. There are increasingly fewer levels of privacy and less separation between the fannish world and mundane world. We all, for better or for worse, inhabit the same public space and the streams are growing very muddy.   So much of our interactions as fans today are being…controlled? driven? shaped? technology that we have no say in. Technology that is  being developed by corporations that have entirely different goals in mind – namely monetizing our online content and using it to turn a profit. These large and silent players (corporations) are interwoven in our fannish culture and they are  influencing how we interact with one another.  These players are also ones that few fans acknowledge  exist in the fandom sphere let alone talk about. Instead, we spend most of our time critiquing one another for not following a certain set of rules or a fandom specific etiquette on sharing and discussing fanworks without examining how those rules came about and how they have changed over time in response to technology. I could write pages on how email, then Usenet, then mailing lists, then websites, then archives, then blogs have shifted our fandom norms of what fannish content could be shared and made visible to the world.  I could write even more about the introduction of photocopying to the fandom world and what it meant for fanzines and fan fiction and how fans shared and discussed them. And  I could talk for hours about how  the globalization of fandom has pushed our numbers to where we’re almost mainstream.   

Some corporations do offer their users privacy controls : Facebook, Twitter and LJ/DW allow you to limit access to posts and create privacy filters. Facebook is notorious however, for making weekly changes to their privacy settings that blow away your previous privacy choices. And let’s not mention Google, the literal elephant in the Internet room.

 As for Tumblr, where most of media fandom has migrated, once you post or upload an image, you have forever lost the ability to delete either the post or the image once it is reblogged. And nothing is locked. Tumblr is a place where fandom has collectively decided to park itself – and if there ever was a platform designed to wrest privacy and visibility control away from fandom, Tumblr is it.

 So once again, I ask: why are we focusing so narrowly on privacy and control, arguing over whether “this content is meant just for fans,” and debating where fans are “allowed” to share and discuss fanworks, when we are all sliding down the same 45 degree slope into greater visibility and loss of control?  Is there another question we should be asking, one that goes beyond the  “private vs. public” equation?  

As an old school “print” fan, I will continue to struggle with the increasing visibility of fandom and the exponential global access to our “members only club.”  But I do know that if we do not talk about the disconnect between our cultural expectations and what is happening in the greater Internet society, we are putting fandom and ourselves in the vulnerable position of being blindly overrun by technology changes . More importantly,  if we do not discuss how  corporations and technology  are shaping our fandom culture, we will lose even more “control” over our culture.   

I think the existence of the OTW and its goal to advocate for fandom on this larger and more open playing field is a first step towards defining - and defending - our version of “fandom”.  

Additional Reading

*The Future of Fanworks (edited to add [personal profile] cathexys' suggested reading: Association of Internet Researchers' Ethics Guide. Note this is tangential to the main post, but should help put The Future of Fanworks chat into an academic context.)
* The Changing Face of Fandom, and Its Challenge to the Outside World (Fandom has been around for a long, long time. It may have grown and changed and developed, but it is not going away. We will have challenges to face in our future, but we aren't going to disappear quietly back into Anonymity.”)
*OTW Fannews: Corporate assembly fandom


morgandawn: (Default)

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