OTW Signal, March 2021

Every month in OTW Signal we’ll take a look at stories that connect to the OTW’s mission and projects, including legal, technology, academic, fannish history, and preservation issues that are important for fandom, fan culture or transformative works.

In the News

After the January sale of writing platform Wattpad to South Korean internet company Naver, some fans have been expressing concern about the possible implications of a recently-announced update to the website’s terms of service.

Perhaps it’s inevitable that fans are wary: the 2007 Livejournal Strikethrough and 2018 Tumblr Purge, both of which took place after the sites were sold to new owners, are notorious moments in fandom history.

Nevertheless, it’s worth emphasizing that the implications of Wattpad’s new ownership are currently unknown, and that it is by no means clear that fans’ anxieties about a crackdown on explicit works are justified. Wattpad has always had guidelines regulating the content it publishes, and tweets from the site’s official account have sought to reassure users that nothing significant will be changing.

Either way, one thing that the OTW can say for certain is that all of our projects will continue to be run by and for fans, and that we always welcome new users on the Archive of Our Own! It might take a little while to get an account (you can check the status of our waiting list here), but anybody who wants to share their works on our platform is shouldn’t feel shy about signing up for an invite. If you just can’t wait, friends who are already AO3 users may also have additional invites that they can share with you.

OTW Tips

You can look forward to a longer introductory post for new AO3 users in the next few weeks. But in the meantime: did you know that when you import older works onto AO3, you can choose to list them under the date when you first put them online? Just select the option to ‘set a different publication date’ in the ‘Associations’ panel of the ‘Post new works’ page.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or news story you think we should know about, send us a link. We are looking for content in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in an OTW post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

OTW Signal

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