February 2021 Newsletter, Volume 154


Legal has been working hard on a couple of submissions that will be going out in March to U.S. lawmakers, including comments to the Senate Judiciary Committee and a submission to the U.S. Copyright Office supporting improvements we have proposed to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s “vidding” exemption. They’ve also corresponded with some apps and sites that have been offering merchandise or services in ways that are likely to confuse users into thinking they’re affiliated with the OTW.

The informational side of OTW Legal is also going strong. Legal staffer Casey Fiesler presented as part of an online town hall event sponsored by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, to answer everyone’s questions regarding recent developments in copyright law for internet creators. They’ve also worked with Communications to prepare for a panel appearance at the Pop Madness virtual con hosted by the San Antonio (Texas, U.S.) public library.


Accessibility, Design & Technology has been busy this February! In addition to finding and fixing some bugs, they deployed the previously announced changes to comments, such as the ability to freeze comments and the ability for AO3 admins to restrict comments on news posts. They reviewed and discussed various future plans, including updates to Rails and Elasticsearch. AD&T also worked with Policy & Abuse to approve plans to make hiding comments easier for admins.

Open Doors released a news post announcing the upcoming import of Lord of the Rings archive FrodoHealers.

Following on the success of previous efforts to recruit tag wranglers fluent in Chinese, Tag Wrangling initiated a special effort to recruit new wrangling volunteers fluent in Russian, which is the third most used language on the Archive. They also started planning for an upcoming recruitment of tag wranglers fluent in Portuguese, as the Archive continues to gain usage in more languages. We welcome all the new users joining us — and there are a lot of you! In January, Tag Wrangling wrangled a record-breaking 440,000 tags — more than a thousand tags per wrangler! — across more than 41,000 fandoms. Meanwhile, at the time of this writing, Support was on track to receive over 1,500 tickets in February, and Policy & Abuse had received over 2,300 tickets and expected to reach 3,000 by the end of February.


This year’s celebrations for International Fanworks Day were a success! Communications focused on lesser-known fandoms, characters, ships, and fanworks with a writing prompt and Feedback Fest, and they also hosted a chatroom games marathon on Discord. Find out how to view participants’ fanworks and recs in the event wrap-up post. Meanwhile, Fanlore ran a very successful fourth annual IFD Fanlore Challenge during the week of the event, which saw several new editors get their start on Fanlore by taking part in the challenge. Thank you to everyone who participated in all the festivities!

Board will be hosting a public meeting on March 14, at 15:00 UTC (What time is that for me?). To participate, keep an eye on our Twitter account – a link to the chatroom will be posted about an hour before the meeting. Hope to see you there!

Systems worked on getting a new firewall installed and also began upgrading the software underlying Fanlore.


From 25 January to 24 February, Volunteers & Recruiting received 110 new requests, and completed 92, leaving us with 40 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 24 February 2021, the OTW has 939 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: destinies, Erika, Grace Chen, Katherine Hoovestol, Megs and 2 other Fanlore staffers; Rhine (Translation)
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: abrandnewheart, Al, Ashley P., Auri, Cyan Ryan, Droid, equestrianstatue, Glasses, homusapiens, Ike, Isabella Ruffalo, ItchyWitchie, Jin, Kaellig, Karrin Blue, Kaylyn, KB, Kirk, KN, Lije Baley, Lind, magfira, MC, Mikey, Minorin, Mossflower, NTaya, Peppery, Raizel, Raptor, seres, Silverdragon, Silver Kou, Soppon, tanzanite, the_gabih, Winter, Zara
New Translation Volunteers: 1 volunteer

Departing Committee Staff: Madara and 1 other Policy & Abuse staffer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: raunchyandpaunchy & 5 other volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: Meepu, Michelle Uller, & 3 other volunteers

For more information about the purview of our committees, please access the committee listing on our website.


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