January 2019 Newsletter, Volume 131


During January, Accessibility, Design & Technology made several updates to AO3, one of which was a change in how tags are sorted for wrangling. This change will mean more efficient wrangling and less strain on the servers going forward. However, Tag Wrangling would like to remind folks that, for the next little while, it may take up to a month for new tags to be wrangled, rather than the usual goal of two weeks. Thanks to everybody for your patience and understanding while we get everything sorted.


During December, Accessibility, Design & Technology made several updates to AO3, including successfully updating the Archive’s login system with a switch to the Devise gem. During January, they made other updates, including squashing several bugs related to Collections.

AO3 traditionally sees traffic spike around the end of the year, and some old traffic records were soundly broken over the last couple of months: there were 857 million page views in December 2018 (compared to 731 million in 2017), and 219 million page views in the first week of January 2019 (compared to 189 million in the first week of 2018).

Policy & Abuse received approximately 1,100 tickets during December, bringing the 2018 total to approximately 12,300. During January, Policy & Abuse received approximately 1,000 tickets. As a reminder, sending in multiple reports about the same case with no new information, or encouraging others to also report the same issue, slows down Policy & Abuse drastically. They investigate every ticket sent in, and the more complex the case, the longer it takes.

Support received 1,518 tickets during December, bringing the 2018 total to 18,743 (1,478 of which were in languages other than English). During January, Support received 1,165 tickets, nearly 200 of which were in Chinese. Thanks to the Translation committee for helping with all non-English tickets!

Tag Wrangling wrangled about 194,000 tags in November, and in December they handled a whopping 238,000 (approximately)!


In December, Legal worked with Communications to inform users regarding changes to the Tumblr terms of service. Also in December, Legal staffer Rebecca K. appeared on the Three Patch Podcast to talk about OTW Legal’s advocacy work.

In addition to that work, Legal got some excellent news in December regarding a trademark matter they’ve been working on. Together with allies at Suffolk Law School, Legal had opposed registration of the term “Rapunzel” as a brand of dolls, explaining how fans make fanart, fanfiction, and other works regarding the fairy tale character, and demonstrating that fans use the name as a generic descriptor of the character. The U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled that it was proper for to advocacy groups (like the OTW!) to file such oppositions. Our allies’ case will go forward to what we hope will be a great success!

In January, Legal worked with Communications on two posts for Copyright Week – one regarding the long-awaited expansion of the public domain, and the other regarding the dangers of Internet filtering and a positive development regarding EU copyright.


As of 25 January the OTW has 712 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: antonomasia09 (Tag Wrangling), Christine Mains (TWC), Jessa (Finance), Julia Santos (Tag Wrangling) and 2 other Tag Wrangling staffers
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: AlgaeRa, Armand, Ayumi09, Brie Atienza, c_doves, deliciousghosts, EldritchLaura, Elsinore, Evey A, faejilly , Ffwydriad, Hemisphaerica, HerderInk, HS, Isis C, Jackee Wu, Jessa Sue, Ketsele, KillClaudio, Kjcblackstar, Lilized, lydia-theda, Madi, Marian Weaver, Meicdon13, NikitaRia, Ohsodeluded, Pete M, Rei, René D, R.M. Hartwell, Resilur, Shalee, SherlockianWhovian, syr shimmer, thomastelbon, touchinghearts, tread-softly, unknownlifeform

Departing Committee Staff: Siobhan Gibson (AO3 Docs Staffer), Seamus Johnston (Systems Staffer), 3 other Systems Staffers, Tisha Turk (Communications Staffer), 2 other Communications Staffers, Misty Fritz (Elections Staffer), 1 AD&T Staffer, Kit Molnar and 3 other Support Staffers, 3 Open Doors staffer, 1 Tag Wrangling staff, Girard (Legal Staffer)
Departing AD&T Coder Volunteers: 2 volunteers
Departing AD&T QA Tester Volunteers: 2 volunteers
Departing Fanlore Volunteers: Francesca Coppa and 2 other Fanlore Gardeners, fictionforlife, Fie, and 3 other Graphics Volunteers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 7 Tag Wranglers
Departing Translation Volunteers: canakya, Stefan Fjellander, wellperhaps and 3 other Translation volunteers
Departing TWC Volunteers: Amanda Retartha

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


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