Further Explanation on my Departure from Fanfiction.net
As some of you may be aware, I have recently taken down my fanfiction from fanfiction.net. I have been unable to give much insight on this decision until now.
First off: it was my decision to leave fanfiction.net.
Some people who use, or have used, fanfiction.net will be aware of two groups on there; the LU and LAWLCAN. These two groups take it upon themselves to police fanfiction.net and report/flame stories and authors they feel breech fanfiction.net’s guidelines and/or TOS (terms of service). Authors and stories targeted will be those that are the unaccepted format (scripts, lists, interactive, song-fics…), incorrectly categorised/rated stories, containing content that exceeds fanfiction.net’s M rating, and containing bad grammar/spelling.
In one respect, the LU and LAWLCAN’s actions can be considered virtuous. After all, they are trying to uphold standards and rules set by fanfiction.net. However, to achieve this, the LU and LAWLCAN themselves break guidelines and TOS. Mass reporting and flaming (sending harassing/derogatory reviews and messages) are against fanfiction.net’s guidelines and TOS, yet these tactics employed by the LU and LAWLCAN is allowed to continue and is equal to cyber bullying – another aspect which fanfiction.net is against.
The LU and LAWLCAN break TOS to get what they want but are not penalised for their actions. Authors who have suffered abuse from members of these two groups often find their accounts or stories removed from fanfiction.net with little or nothing being done about the wrong doing they have endured.
This hardly seems fair to me. It seems like it is one rule for some users and another for the rest. In my opinion, cyber bullying is far worse than a story with some bad language and poor grammar. Readers always have the option to ignore stories of poor quality or they don’t like; cyber bullying is not so easily ignored!
What makes this even more frustrating, is that the LU and LAWLCAN are not officially associated with fanfiction.net and are not an authority for the site. Members of these two groups target stories they personally feel breech the guidelines or TOS, when in retrospect the story could well be adhering to the guidelines and have done nothing wrong. Fanfiction.net will see a story/author being constantly reported or receiving negative reviews for “inappropriate content” and they will remove the story/author without necessarily reviewing the piece themselves.
It all seems very unfair; despite user’s complaints on such behaviour, Fanfiction.net has done nothing about this and the LU and LAWLCAN have continued in their activities. Recently, things have worsened as the LU and LAWLCAN have gone into overdrive and fanfiction.net has pulled hundreds, possibly thousands, of stories and authors from their site – some unfairly and wrongly so. It is rumoured that parents have also been complaining about their children having access the sexually and violently graphic stories (though there is no solid proof of this), and has caused fanfiction.net to act so rashly just recently.
This is just idiocy; as such actions will not solve the problem. It is very easy to post stories on fanfiction.net that exceeds the maximum M rating. Instead of creating fail-safes that help prevent younger users from reading stories unsuitable for them, or making it harder for users to post stories with content they do not want on their site, they are happy to allow groups like the LU and LAWLCAN run havoc on their site because they are too lazy to monitor the site themselves. Even though fanfiction.net has recently culled many offending stories (a good number were also unfairly taken down), they will gain more users who will no doubt post inappropriate stories, thus making the LU/LAWLCAN kick up a big fuss and fanfiction.net having to axe many stories once again. It is a vicious circle with many innocent authors getting caught in the crossfire with little or no support from fanfiction.net.
It is a sad state of affairs, for it is the many number of authors that has made fanfiction.net what it is today. It is because of these authors we go to read fanfiction, and even give it a go ourselves. Fanfiction.net is one of the biggest sites for fanfiction, yet they have little regard for their authors. It is because of such attitudes I have chosen to leave and join sites that are more accommodating and versatile to its users.
I have not given up my fanfiction and will continue to work on my projects. Right now, all my work is available on AO3 (link at the top of the site) and I will also be posting on the Writer’s Coffee Shop eventually. More news on my fanfiction and other projects will be coming soon. Big changes are coming so please keep an eye on this blog.
~ Roux Roux ~