OTW Signal, November 2023

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

OTW Legal has been partnering with other organizations to oppose the STOP CSAM Act. One of their partners, the ACLU, informed the public about the risks of having the act pass in the U.S. Senate.

The ACLU and its partners believe that the STOP CSAM Act will lead to censorship of First Amendment protected speech, including speech about reproductive health, sexual orientation and gender identity, and personal experiences related to gender, sex, and sexuality. Even today, platforms regularly remove content that has vague ties to sex or sexuality for fear of liability, and this would only increase if STOP CSAM incentivized apps and websites to exercise a heavier hand at content moderation.

You can read the letter the OTW signed on to at the ACLU site.


The BBC recently posted about an academic conference on Taylor Swift being held in Australia in February 2024.

Organisers hope the conference will explore themes like the fandom phenomenon, Swift’s team’s “marketing masterclass”, and the singer-songwriter’s impact on discussions of gender, identity, race, and intersectionality. Critical analysis of her brand and influence is also welcome, they say.

The speakers will be finalised over the coming months, and plans for a ticketed event for fans to take part in is in the works.

The conference on Swift is just one of many fan studies conferences around the globe on a variety of subjects. Fans were recently invited by the OTW project Fanhackers to take part in Discord chats which accompanied the Fandom Studies Network North America conference.

Fanhackers will be opening their Discord server for other fan studies events, so if you’d like to learn more about what fan studies are focusing on, or want to chat with other fans about it, keep an eye out for future announcements!

OTW Tips

Last month’s OTW Signal discussed academic fanwork collections. One effort by OTW volunteer Morgan Dawn is the Zinedom project, which preserves works from fanzines on AO3 with permission from their creators or the publishers of those zines. In 2022, the Zinedom project was incorporated into Open Doors as the AO3 Fanzine Scan Hosting Project. If you are a fanzine creator or publisher and would like to give Open Doors permission to import your works to AO3, please contact Open Doors!

We want your suggestions for the next OTW Signal post! 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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