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…
HERE IS WHAT HISTORY HAS TAUGHT US!
- 1992 – Chelsea Quinn Yarbro forces a zine to be destroyed
- 1995 – Viacom/Paramount goes after fansites
- 1995 – Anne Rice gets IWTV fic deleted everywhere
- 1997 – Fox and Lucasfilm go after fansites
- 1998 – AOL goes after X-Files fansites
- 2000 – Warner Brothers goes after Harry Potter fansites
- 2000 – Anne Rice anne rices again
- 2001 – Tripod Massacre
- 2001 – Anne Rice goes after IWTV fic on FFN
- 2001 – The Bronze shut down as Buffy changes networks
- 2002 – FFN bans porn
- 2002 – FFN bans RPF
- 2003 – Gryffindor Tower implodes
- 2004 – FFN bans script format
- 2005 – FFN bans CYOA, Readerfic, 2nd person, Songfic
- 2005 – Sheezyart bans adult content; y!gallery founded
- 2005 – Viacom/Paramount goes after fansites again
- 2006 – Sakura Lemon Archive suddenly closes
- 2007 – Strikethrough, Boldthrough on Livejournal
- 2007 – Youtube institutes Content ID, deleting many fanvids
- 2008 – Slash Cotillion closes, taking much historical m/m with it
- 2009 – GeoCities shuts down, taking old fannish websites
- 2009 – Greatestjournal shuts down; RPGs deleted
- 2009 – Marvel gets scans_daily deleted
- 2009 – imeem, major vidding hub, closes suddenly
- 2010 – FFN forums purged for inactivity
- 2010 – DeviantArt purges adult fanfic
- 2010 – Literate Union goes after Twilight fandom on FFN
- 2011 – Delicious destroyed by Yahoo’s incompetence
- 2011 – China arrests women for writing m/m; destroys danmei.org
- 2012 – major FFN crackdown on porn
- 2012 – Megaupload deleted for piracy; also destroys vids, podfic
- 2013 – Max-Dan-Wiz.com purged of fan-generated content
- 2014 – Quizilla shuts down
- 2014 – China purges m/m story websites; arrests female authors
- 2014 – Blip.tv deletes vids
- 2014 – Viddler deletes vids
- 2015 – Journalfen’s servers become fully robust, deleting Fandom Wank
- 2016 – y!Gallery deleted
- 2016 – Elfwood goes offline
- 2016 – Audiofic Archive corrupted; major blow to podfic
- 2017 – Chinese author jailed after being ratted out over fandom drama
- 2017 – Parents get queer Warrior Cats fic purged from Wattpad
- 2018 – Tumblr deletes pro-shipper blogs
- 2018 – Tumblr announces NSFW ban
- 2018 – Wattpad deletes accounts/fics without warning
- 2019 – China purges weibo of m/m; more women jailed
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.