"No, I call bullshit!"
"Well, I called bullshit first, so your bullshit is bullshittier than mine!"
Neither the original (widely circulated, mostly via flock) post nor the several "it's bullshit because I said so" posts have any basis in anything concrete (as in, "here is a link to where Official Person A talks about Fact X"). The original post may be a rumour/hoax; the well-meaning "lol bullshit" posts may be spot-on or possibly people who don't know what they're talking about (that is, not involved in upstairs LJ administration) calling bullshit because they have good, solid reasons to believe it's all a hoax or rumour. Belief and opinion, however, are not knowledge. Until there is some sort of official word from SixApart saying that this is a completely ridiculous rumour that isn't founded in any sort of reality whatsoever, what the fuck is the point of trying to "prove" that the cautionary letter is bullshit by pointing to posts by people who know a friend who knows a friend? Give me someone who sits in on SixApart conference calls with big time media machines, and I'll call hoax right along with you. ETA: I think the outage issues are more than likely due to the dDoS attack (which LJ tech believes is the cause), but that in itself doesn't mean that LJ isn't being pressured to ban users due to objectionable fandom content. Cousin of ETA: LJ employee confirming that LJ is not targeting fannish journals.
I am on the fence about it (FTR, I did post the sooper sekrit missive under a lock as instructed) -- I figure, if it's a rumour or a hoax, there is still no harm in reminding ourselves that there are many aspects of fandom that are absolutely Not Digestible by the general public and may well send members of the aforementioned general public into a frenzied panic, writing letters to their congress rep asking them to stop dirty wizard/pirate/vampire pr0nz on the intrawebz. If we were dealing with original writing that featured noncon/bestiality/chan/etc, no one could say a fucking word, because a) it's FICTION and b) it's creative expression and that's a protected freedom. However, we're dealing with works derived from sources backed by big money, and big money means big problems for anyone who's on the wrong side of the shooting range. I think that as we sort of all hang out together on LJ and share our fannish squee, we can forget that fandom is still a subculture and there are thousands if not millions of people out there who would fear what we do and therefore try to destroy it. When you say "slasher" to a member of the esteemed general public, he or she will likely think you're talking Scream or one of the Hallowe'en series films, not two men getting it on.
Seven years ago, I was personally involved in a situation where TPTB pulled the plug on a vibrant Matrix fan community. It was absolutely unexpected, completely unprecedented, and a few people in the community were still sure it was all a big misunderstanding for weeks afterwards. Three years after that, a scene from an epic fanfic popular at the time the forum was killed appeared in The Matrix: Reloaded and yeah, I wish I were joking. Except I fangirled that fic and followed it religiously, and my jaw hit the floor when I saw the scene onscreen. But we don't talk about that, because of course it was pure coincidence. All I'm saying is this kind of thing does happen; I've seen it happen and been powerless to stop it, and I'm not the only one. It's not a bad thing to be reminded that it could happen to you, even if the reminder is delivered via nothing but a rumour. My point is that "proceed with caution" is not bad advice during these exciting fandom times.
On that front, I, like 2989238 other people on your flist, have a few things to say about the "answers" Mr Chris Williams of FanLib fame deigned to provide to Henry Jenkins.
I have involved over 100,000 people in online fan fiction events
What. What the fuck is that supposed to mean? What are these "online fan fiction events" ? I can has beerz at these events? No, seriously, what the fuck are these events and has anyone ever actually been to one? Inquiring minds. I mean, no, I've been to events, but those were run by HPEF not FanLib. So... what? I just. What?
The value proposition for fans is a free venue where they can pursue their passion by creating, showcasing, reading, reviewing, sharing, archiving, discovering stories, and by participating in fun events in a community with similar interests.
Dear Mr Williams; I would like to introduce you to my little friend. He looks a little like a goat, but that's just the result of a developmental disorder - his brother Frank is in much better shape. But anyway, I call my friend LiveJournal. I don't believe you've met, but he -- wow, a shocker! -- provides a free venue where fen can pursue their passion by creating, showcasing, reading, reviewing, sharing, archiving, discovering stories, and by participating in fun events in a community with similar interests! Fancy that. I also have another friend here, she's a little confused about her inner tubing at the moment but her name is Internet, and she -- oh wow -- gives pretty much anyone in the world the opportunity to create a free venue where fen can pursue their passion by creating, showcasing, reading, reviewing, sharing, archiving, discovering stories, and by participating in fun events in a community with similar interests! And for so many years, people have been doing just that! Isn't that a fun-filled coincidence? How exciting and radical! Totally New Thing, promise. Very Hip.
As noted above, fan fiction is already on the radar of media companies and publishers and being pushed into the public eye. We want to be a positive agent in this changing environment by collaborating with fans, media companies and rights holders.
You know, this is very glibly worded. "It's inevitable that you're going to be in the spotlight, so you might as well let us drag you kicking and screaming into it, yeah?" Except that fanfic and fandom have been on all sorts of radars for decades and there was never any need to become anything more than a blip. The fanfic community didn't fucking ask to be shoved off the radar and onto the fucking landing strip, mk. The environment wasn't even changing until you came along, so kindly take your toys and go back to helping build a better search engine, or something. We might even thank you for that.
We are in this for the long term to make FanLib.com a venue where anyone who wants to, can showcase and share their work, discover great stories, get closer to the talent behind their favorite fandoms and participate in fun storytelling events
Is it me or does he keep repeating the same thing over and over again? Does saying it multiple times make it truer?
This, though, this takes the whole cake. I'm reposting the question and answer together because wow, what a fucking tool.
[hj] This last question is a bit awkward for both of us but it has come up a number of times and so I feel I need to ask it: Isn't it somewhat symptiomatic of FanLib's problems that the spokespeople are more willing to talk to a man with credentials rather than some of the female fan writers who have approached you?
[cw] I do think your question is a bit unfair, but I'll answer anyway. I am here because you hold dual citizenship in fandom and academia, you maintain credibility and integrity in both worlds, and you told me I you would get a fair hearing and you would share the unedited results of our interview in its entirety with those interested in the matter. Meanwhile, we've been listening to the many comments we've received from the community and taking action. For proof check out our new TOS and FAQ on our website.
We intend to continue the conversation with the fan fiction community through our developing fan advisory board and, as time permits, by responding to other inquiries, comments and requests that we receive from interested individuals - obviously, regardless of gender.
First off, HJ never said the question was unfair; he said it was awkward, which it is. What's even more awkward is CW's complete weaselling out of the answer by choosing to focus on why he chose HJ and his blog. As opposed to explaining why he CHOSE NOT TO TALK TO THE FEMALE FANS.
The whole fucking interview is basically "come participate in fun events, showcase your work, use your creativity, zen bullshit blah blah zen!" "check out our new improved TOS!" What a goddamned letdown; not that I was expecting anything more. Why can't this guy just go away, like all good trolls do eventually?