Links roundup for 26 June 2012

Here’s a roundup of fan fiction in peril stories that might be of interest to fans:

  • At the beginning of June, fan discussion began to be seen at numerous sites raising the alarm over fanfic disappearing from Fanfiction.net (FFN). These actions were attributed to a vocal group of critics among FFN users who wanted to drive the site to enforce the content policy it put in place in 2001 and 2002, which caused the first wave of fans to leave the site. While some users protested the validity of the site’s actions, and grassroots efforts such as petitions have been started, to date there is no certain explanation of what prompted the new wave of takedowns.
  • One response by fans has been the creation of new multifandom fanfic archives or increased traffic directed to existing sites, including the OTW’s own AO3. However the size of the user base at FFN and the number of people affected make it unlikely that existing sites will be able to easily absorb the quantity of fans seeking new locations for their work. Wikinews has created an ongoing story of the reactions by fans on various fronts.
  • The actions at FFN have largely been ignored by the wider media. One exception has been a story at the Huffington Post which called attention to this failure in coverage. “If the only difference between a piece of fanfiction and a bestselling novel is the changing of character names and places, then is the mass deletion of thousands of stories without warning something that should be bigger news than a handful of Tumblr posts? There is a cultural hierarchy of taste at play here, one which places fanfiction as lowbrow geek fodder undeserving of any real attention. Were a library filled with thousands of works of ‘legitimate’ fiction destroyed, it would make front-page news.” While focusing on the effects of the lost fanfic, not mentioned in the piece was the loss to the authors of response to their works which, unlike the work itself, would not be able to recreated at another site, or the loss to readers of bookmarked works which they might be able to return to or recommend to others. In short, the community aspect of reading and writing in a particular location is a key factor in what is being lost.

If you’re a fan fiction writer or have used FanFiction.net, why not contribute to Fanlore? Additions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent Links Roundup — on transformativeworks.org, LJ, or DW — or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. Links are welcome in all languages!

Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.