This Week in Fandom, Volume 97

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, the world recently lost a legend. Comics creator Stan Lee passed away at the age of 95. He will be fondly remembered by those who loved his work. Excelsior!

There’s currently quite the kerfuffle happening on Tumblr. Warning for mention of illegal nsfw material in this section.

As recently reported, the Tumblr app is no longer available on the Apple app store. It’s unclear who’s responsible for that. According to Tumblr’s Help Center, there are issues being worked out with the app that include content safeguards against media depicting child sexual abuse. Unfortunately, while this happens, the blogs of rule-abiding users are being deleted.

Users have been speculating that a bot has been deployed by Tumblr to delete blogs that contain illegal content, and that that bot is also deleting some blogs that do not contain illegal content, but it’s possible that the blog deletions are coincidence. Regardless as to what’s causing them, though, many people are unhappy. Several people are posting information about where they can be found on other platforms (some more seriously than others), and many people are complaining about the inhospitable nature of Tumblr during the account deletions.

However, it is possible to have an account restored after accidental deletion. There are some people who also accept temporary accidental deletions as collateral damage in a fight against child pornography. As more information has become available, it appears to be a matter of users simply dealing with any mistakes that are made and deciding whether they want to stay on the platform.

In other news, The New York Times reported on the conviction of a Chinese author of Boys’ Love novels. The author, who goes by the pen name Lady Tianyi, “faces more than a decade in prison, after a court in eastern China found her guilty last month of ‘producing and selling pornography,’ the state-run news media reported over the weekend.”

Many people are unhappy about the author’s potential punishment, with comments on Weibo supporting Lady Tianyi.

The backlash showcased the resentment that some Chinese citizens feel about increasingly strict limits on free speech under President Xi Jinping. Many also believe the government focuses too much on issues of morality while neglecting problems like corruption and violence against women.

(Did you know that the OTW has a Weibo account? You can follow us here!)

Lastly, a story from last week that we didn’t get a chance to report on. (Sorry about that, folks–I managed to injure my shoulder such that typing made my hand go numb, so TWIF got sadly neglected.) The Verge published an in-depth article on free speech in fanfiction. The article, which quotes OTW personnel and alumni, among others, takes a look at the role of censorship in fandom, both corporate and intra-community. It’s an interesting read that’s worth checking out if you missed it.

We want your suggestions! If you have a story you think we should include, please contact us! Suggestions are welcome in all languages. Submitting a story doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a TWIF post, and inclusion of a story doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

This Week in Fandom

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