A New History of Fandom Purges


On November 24th, 2018, I posted a list of major deletions of sites or of content on sites that stripped fandom of its history. A bunch of pro-shipper blogs had just been deleted, and people were nervous. I suppose I was thinking “All this has happened before…”

On December 3rd, 2018, Tumblr’s Department of Irony announced the NSFW ban. Thanks for providing this salutary lesson to The Youth and a billion reblogs to me, I guess.

Today, we have AO3 for writing. Audio, images, and video are in as much danger as ever, yet fans attack AO3 every donation drive. For those of you who forget our past…


This is only a small taste of the many times that:

  • Fannish moderators got bored, ran out of money, or had a falling out, deleting a site/list/forum along the way.
  • Sites got bought out and closed for being unprofitable.
  • Fandom got hit as governments targeted piracy or political dissidents.
  • Fans grudge reported each other.
  • Official forums got deleted when the canon finished.

It’s not always malicious. It’s not always about us. But we lose every time.

Some of these purges hit everyone. Many of them hit m/m content specifically or female gaze-y material in general. This is why antis are dead wrong. This is why anti-fujoshi policies end up being anti-m/m policies. This is why we need clear labeling, not content restrictions.

This is why we need AO3.

And it’s why we need a solution for audio, visuals, and video too.