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January 2016 Newsletter, Volume 98

I. Celebrating Fanworks

There have been some big milestones at the AO3 recently. The Archive recently reached the 2 millon fanworks mark. It took over four years to reach 1 million fanworks, and less than two years to add the second million. Also recently, Tag Wrangling canonized AO3’s 20’000th fandom. Thanks to everyone who has been involved in the Archive’s success.

Plans have also been in the works for International Fanworks Day on February 15th. Join us for games, a short fanworks challenge, and Feedback Fest. Alternately, join in one of the many celebrations being held by others and tell us about it!

II. AT THE AO3

Our Accessibility, Design & Technology committee followed up the successful release of comment moderation in November with eight rapid-fire releases in December, making updates to the Rich Text Editor, challenges, and gifts, as well as behind-the-scenes fixes designed to improve overall Archive performance. In January, behind-the-scenes work continued with more performance improvements, Gem updates, and additions to the automated testing suite — and we found time to announce and deploy layout improvements for different screen sizes, too!

Open Doors announced three more archive imports recently: Hornblowerfic.com, and The Prydonian and Human Nature archives. This is a busy start to 2016 after capping off 2015 with five archive imports.

Our Abuse committee ended the year with a total of 4550 tickets for 2015, up from 2750 in 2014. Our Support committee ended 2015 with 8328 tickets. That’s a 40% increase over 2014 and double 2012!

As a reminder, AO3 will not remove works solely because they portray characters or relationships in a bad light. Per our Terms of Service: “You understand that using the Archive may expose you to material that is offensive, triggering, erroneous, sexually explicit, indecent, blasphemous, objectionable, grammatically incorrect, or badly spelled.”

III. Fanhackers and Legal Advocacy

Our Fanhackers committee has been restructured for better efficiency. It is no longer a discrete committee inside the OTW. Instead, the Fanhackers blog (and Tumblr) are now part of our Communications committee, and the Fan Studies Bibliography is now part of our Journal committee. The Fanhackers mission of making research about fans more useful and accessible will continue.

In December, our Legal committee submitted a comment in response to the European Commission’s request for comments regarding online platforms, online intermediaries, and cloud computing. The OTW’s comments emphasized the dangers of regulating based on the false assumption that all online platforms and intermediaries are large commercial entities like Google and eBay.

In January, a request was made asking fans for their stories about fanwork takedowns. Legal also helped make a public statement supporting fan film makers in the wake of a Paramount/CBS lawsuit against the makers of Axanar, a Star Trek fan film.

IV. GOVERNANCE

The resignation of Andrea Horbinski, Soledad Griffin, Jessica Steiner, Eylul Dogruel, Cat Meier, and M.J. MacRae from the OTW’s Board of Directors became effective on December 15th. After meeting with our Elections and Legal committees, newly elected Directors Matty Bowers and Atiya Hakeem announced that the remaining candidates from the November 2015 election would be appointed to the Board.

The Board is now hard at work. A draft of the 2016 budget is undergoing internal review for release as soon as possible. Minutes from Board meetings can be found on the minutes page, and future meeting times are listed on the new Board calendar page. (Note: Our website is currently being migrated to a new platform, so some links may malfunction for a little while. Thanks for your patience.)

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Our Volunteers & Recruiting committee has kicked off recruitment for 2016.

New Directors: Matty Bowers (President), Alex Tischer (Secretary), Atiya Hakeem (Treasurer), Aline Carrão, Katarina Harju.
New Committee Chairs: Atiya Hakeem (Finance), Alex Tischer (Web Strategy, Design & Development (Acting)), Alison Watson (Volunteers & Recruiting), James Baxter (Web Strategy, Design & Development), Mahewa (Elections)
New Committee Staff: Katie (Accessibility, Design & Technology), 1 Journal, Nele Noppe (Communications), Gil (Web Strategy, Design, & Development), Atiya Hakeem (Development & Membership)
New Coder Volunteers: Cesy
New Translator Volunteers: Olya, Rose Hannah, and Chien
New Volunteers & Recruiting Volunteers:

Departing Directors: Eylul Dogruel, Soledad Griffin, Andrea Horbinski, M.J. MacRae, Cat Meier, Jessica Steiner
Departing Committee Chairs: Soledad Griffin (I&O), Eylul Dogruel (Web Strategy, Design & Development (Acting)), Renay (Volunteers & Recruiting), Nele Noppe (Fanhackers), Daniel Lamson (Development & Membership), hele braunstein (Translation)
Departing Committee Staff: Xierroh (Translation), Amalia Blondet (AO3 Documentation & Translation), Katarina Harju (Translation), 1 Support, 1 Open Doors, 1 Wiki
Departing AO3 Documentation Volunteers: 1
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Selenay, Ciel, 1 other
Departing AD&T Coder Volunteers: Stephanie S.
Departing Strategic Planning Volunteers: 2
Departing Translator Volunteers: 7 others

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