For some reason a bird speaking Japanese is mildly off putting.

> Literal translation

Bird:“ ‘Uhm Hello, this is the Ono family.”

Bird: “What’s wrong?”

Owner: “Abe-chan, you’re a little too early. Once the phone’s picked up, then properly say hello.”

Bird: “Okay, understood.”

Owner: “Do you really understand? I’m counting on you. Hello, this is the Ono family residence in Gifu.”]

Bird: “Okay, I understand!”

Owner: “Got it.”

> That’s clearly some sort of Pokemon.

> Off-putting? It’s like birds were meant to speak Japanese!

> For some reason it’s never occurred to me that birds can mimic languages other than English. It’s so cool, though!

quoth the raven; “moshi moshi”

Mildly annoyed voice: Hai, WAKARIMASHITAAAAAA!

I actually ran across some of thebibliosphere’s other warnings about certain aromatics commonly used for breathing problems not being safe for young kids only a few weeks ago. (When somebody was loudly going on about how “problematic” she was with the essential oil safety PSAs, and I got curious enough to look through archives.)

That actually made me really mad, too. Because, yes, that does include Vicks. It contains enough menthol, eucalyptus, and camphor to be dangerous for kids who are sensitive to any/all of the above. And this really should be better known safety info.

On a personal level, which really got me going? After I started school and got exposed to every cold/flu in the world that way, I spent at least half the time with really nasty-sounding “asthmatic bronchitis”. No actual chest congestion involved; it was all undiagnosed asthma flares from colds/flu (with tons of inappropriate antibiotics that did nothing to help). I still get that for weeks after a cold, but thankfully a new doctor listened to the wheezing and finally decided to try treating the asthma symptoms when I was like 15. Amazing the difference just access to a rescue inhaler makes.

Anyway, my mother was a huge believer in Vicks salve. Especially at night, when sleeping was already hard enough with the coughing and wheezing fits. I could tell that getting slathered in it was actively making my breathing worse, besides the burning being hellish with my sensory issues.

But, of course that was ridiculous, I was just being Difficult–and worse breathing was proof that I really needed more Vicks to loosen the chest congestion! Which didn’t exist, yeah. Plenty of awful croupy-whooping cough hybrid sounding coughing, very different cause. And those fumes did the opposite of calming the asthma spasms.

I didn’t die, obviously. Though I’m not convinced now that it didn’t help with some of the blacking out episodes 😦

Anyway, I imagine that’s a far from unusual scenario, even when nobody ends up in the ER or worse.

In this particular case, I am at least pretty sure they were not yet having to include label warnings not to use it on kids under 10 back then. Less excuse now.

But, even if you think you’re Doing The Right Thing, with good intentions? Please pay better attention to what other people are saying about their own bodies and health. Yes, even if they’re children and you don’t understand how what they are saying could be so. It’s not your body.

And the main problem probably lies with you if you want to turn that sort of thing into some kind of power struggle, maybe especially dealing with a very sick child. No matter how annoying you find it when they’re sick and keeping you awake! Better to be honest about that and deal with it in some other way on your own, than to take it out on the other person. Much less under the excuse that it’s For Their Own Good.

(Besides the general PSA that no, Vicks salve is not good to slather on younger kids. Please don’t do that, even if they’re not telling you it’s causing worse problems.)






Oh my god, food extract is not the same as an essential oil.

Food extract is the flavoring of something cooked down into a carrier oil or alcohol that is safe for human ingestion.

Essential oil is the pure extract of the plant refined down and distilled for concentrated medicinal purposes to a significantly higher strength than simply adding ground up mint leaves to your water. The two are not comparable in any way.

Cinnamon extract and cinnamon essential oil are not the same thing.

One is about 100 times the strength of the other and can also cause acute organ failure. I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the food extract.

Sweet gods I’m not trying to be mean, I want you to be aware and safe and stop putting yourselves and others at risk. Please.

Like maybe my tone is hard to read, maybe it just comes off as really angry but it’s not, it’s fear and worry. I read posts and clutch my head in alarm going “no! No! That’s how people die!” And then I get exasperated because a bunch of people not formally qualified chime in with “um actually this is a lie” and it’s not, it’s really, really not.

I’m not some big pharma advocate. I’m a crunchy witch hippy just like you with salt rock lamps and rose quartz all over my house. I just happen to have spent the last 15 years of my life studying the actual science of holistic medicines and I’m trying to help you not get hurt (or worse) becuase you trusted a sales person with no idea what the ever loving hell they were talking about beyond a sales pitch designed to maximize profit. Gah.

I see this so often in the Mommy world. There was a lady not long ago in one of the mom groups who was really worried about her toddler. He’d had a persistent cough for weeks and the doctor couldn’t figure out why. Someone asked, well what have to tried to treat it with, so far? She said she was using a humidifier, honey, and eucalyptus EO in the shower every night.


In case you were wondering, eucalyptus can cause respiratory distress in young children.

Sadly I don’t wonder. I have a friend whose daughter died from a home made menthol oil chest rub. She wasn’t even ten yet, but her mom– a qualified aromatherapist– thought she’d be old enough to handle it. She went into respitory distress and died seizing in her mother’s arms on route to the hospital. It was one of the most harrowing stories I had to listen to during my holistic training. She stood up there, on this podium next to a bunch of ponzy scheme essential oil sellers who looked like they wanted the floor to swallow them, and said “I killed my child with good intentions”.

I’ll never forget the look on her face.

So to reiterate, children under the age of ten should not be directly exposed to things like eucalyptus oil, peppermint or wintergreen. If you are using such things in your house and your child starts to complain of headaches, lethargy and general “feel worse”, don’t just assume it’s the cold/flu. Those are all signs of menthol sensitivity and they only get worse with increased exposure. Ventilate the room, take them outside if you can until the air clears. Do not apply again.

Rapid onset wheezing may be a sign of allergic reaction or possible asthma attack triggered by the menthol too. If they tell you their chest is warm or fuzzy when you use it, that’s another sign it’s not going down well with them. Again, ventilate the area or remove anything you applied to them. Administer inhalers if necessary. Watch for any more labored breathing or if they suddenly go limp or you can’t wake them up. If they do call 911.

This can also apply to people with allergies and asthma who are otherwise healthy.

One of the safest, natural ways to alleviate congestion is with just pure good old fashioned warm steam. Keep the air moist, drink plenty of warm fluids. Menthol can help relieve the feeling of congestion, but there’s limited evidence to suggest it actually clears the airways. And for the love of god don’t inhale mustard or horseradish (I’ve seen that suggestion on posts too, though how you’d get those oils I don’t know). That’s literally what tear gas is made of.

I apologize sincerely for bringing this long post back into your lives, fam, but I’m getting inundated with questions about what can the possible harm be if you dab a little neat peppermint oil on your child’s skin to help them with a little head cold, and this is the most succinct way I can put it.

The harm you may do, is in fact death. I am not telling you these things to be a kill joy, I’m telling you so you won’t accidentally kill yours.


















i didnt realise ao3 was started in response to lj deleting account relating to p//edophi|ia and they explicitly support the posting of such works yikes

it wasn’t, like, ~~~we luv pedophilia, it was way more complicated than that!

although it’s true AO3 does allow all fannish content provided it’s properly warned for, there’s a long history there – of spaces being used by fans until the host decided whatever we were doing was too weird and distasteful and either kicking us off, banning certain content, or changing the nature of the site until it was no longer viable as a host.

you’re referring to the LJ Strikethrough of 2007, which, being an ancient crone, I lived through, and since I was hanging out in the last vestiges of SGA and in bandom, I saw some of the fallout. this was before LJ was sold to the Russians (which is a whole ‘nother story), when it was still owned by Six Apart; in an effort to clean up LJ’s act, Six Apart decided to delete all accounts using tags like underage, incest, rape, etc.

this was supposed to get rid of actual child porn on the site, and I hope it did, but it also targeted fan communities. this was a problem for a couple reasons; for one thing, not every story tagged with these words is in favor of them; for another, these things happen to real people and these personal posts were also potentially in danger of being attacked; for the last one, look, I ain’t into this kind of fic but people write about what people write about, and if it’s fictional and not explicitly banned in the TOS (correct me if I’m wrong; I don’t think written content about this stuff was banned?) then it’s not cool for a content host to just start deleting communities without warning.

but that’s what happened! these deletions were also primarily targeting slash communities, which smacked of some serious homophobia since things were deleted that had nothing to do with any of this kind of content.

eventually someone found out it was this super conservative religious group who’d sent a list of journal names to Six Apart, and who if I remember correctly targeted slash fic on purpose, even after it became clear that the fic was, well, totally fictional. after a while, Six Apart admitted they’d made a mistake and started to reinstate journals, but all of fandom was pretty shaken up.

THEN Boldthrough happened, which was essentially the same debacle several months later, at which point fandom began its long slow migration from LJ to GJ, IJ, and eventually AO3, Twitter, and tumblr.

AO3 was opened in 2008 in response to several incidents, of which Strikethrough was a really intense one. remember, also, that back in 2008 the stigma surrounding fandom was significantly greater and more shameful than it is today, so finding hosts willing to archive fic was difficult unless someone had the dough to pay for server space – often not an option. this was also back when’s HTML restrictions were so great that users couldn’t use any special characters or bold or italicize anything, and it didn’t allow R-rated content, so it was clearly not ideal. in addition, although cease & desist letters were much less common than they were in the early 2000s and before, DMCA takedowns were still a phantom on the horizon.

LONG STORY SHORT, even though pedophilia is reprehensible and I personally cannot stomach fanfic that involves that kind of content, AO3 was founded specially as a safe space for fandom communities that could not find homes elsewhere. it requires warnings precisely for that reason, and if you find a story that is not properly warned, you can alert the admins and get the story labeled appropriately.

IDK, maybe it’s just because I am, again, ancient, but I was in and around fandom before homosexuality was legal in all 50 states. so were most of the people who started AO3. for most of my formative life, being gay was associated with pedophilia, and so was writing about gay characters. just – it’s a lot more complicated than you might expect, and there’s a reason many older fans who have been involved in several generations of fandom were so grateful to have AO3 as an option.

I don’t read, for example, Hydra Trash Party fics.  They squick me, and I generally feel they are pretty gross.  But writing noncon body-horror is not the same as saying “yeah, I totally want to go out and rape and torture people for years while brainwashing them!” or even “yeah, I wouldn’t do it myself, but it would be totally okay if someone did!”  Nobody is hurt by it, and nobody is going to be hurt by it.  So should I have the right to go, that is gross, you don’t get to write or read that?  No.

In the same way, writing about underage teens getting it on–sometimes with each other, sometimes with adults, sometimes consensually, sometimes not–is not the same as child pornography, nor does reading a fic about Hermione and Snape getting it on while she was his student mean someone thinks that would be a good and/or healthy thing in real life.

Fiction affects reality, but fiction is not reality.  And writing about something does not mean you want to do it in real life, or believe that anyone should.

Let’s take a closer look at that “Ao3 supports pedophilia!” shall we?

1) The only fics I have ever come across that had actual pedophilia (i.e. someone having sex with a child), it was clearly and explicitly abuse.  It was not meant to titillate or arouse.  It was meant to horrify.  It was seldom explicit.

2) There’s a lot more incest, but it is usually portrayed either as explicitly mutually consensual (i.e. Sam/Dean) or as abusive.

3) I’ve been in fandom for a decade and a half.  When people start getting upset at “omg pedophilia, think of the children!” the fics they are usually objecting to aren’t actually pedophilia.  Usually, it is teenagers having sex, especially queer sex.  And people don’t like that, and use pedophilia as an excuse to shame people for writing/reading sex they don’t like.

Let’s look closer at Strikethrough, shall we?  I hope that, if there were any communities of actual pedophiles on LJ, they got taken down, too.  But here are some of the communities that got taken down that were not in any way supporting pedophilia and/or rape and/or incest that got taken down:

1) at least one support community for survivors of sexual abuse.

2) a literary book discussion group that was reading Lolita.

3) lots of slash fanfic communities, for things like Draco/Harry fic set in their fourth year (when both boys would have been 15).

Basically, this very conservative “family values” group hated porn, and they hated queer stuff even more, and used “but think of the children, it’s pedophilia!” to pressure LJ to get rid of huge swathes of things they didn’t like.  And one time taking down the worst of it wasn’t good enough for them.  No, this was step one on a moral crusade.  If you acceded to their demands, all that did was whet their appetite, and soon they would be back with a new list of demands.  This is why the 2007 strikethrough was not an isolated event, but rather one of a series of events, nor was LJ the only website thus targeted.  It starts with anything that can get labelled “pedophilia” or “incest” because that’s low-hanging fruit.  But they use that to go after anything relating to queer teen sexuality.  Then anything with teen sexuality.  Then once the community is already divided and diminished, they go after anything with non-con.  Then whatever is next on their list.  It doesn’t stop until they’ve won the point and nothing but suitably “family-friendly” fics that match their purity test are allowed.

Which is why AO3 has no morality content in their terms of service.  You can’t break copyright beyond fair use (and AO3 has an expansive view of “fair use” and a team of lawyers on call).  You can’t use AO3 for commercial advertising.  And you can’t post ACTUAL child pornography, i.e. the things that are legally prohibited, i.e. actual photographs or videos of actual children (not teens) in sexually explicit positions–you know, the stuff that actually hurts kids.  Other than that?  It’s fair game.  You can post anything you want, and the archive will not judge.  There is no handle for the Moral Majority Family-Friendly Thought Police to latch onto, no cracks they can exploit to divide and conquer.

We’ve been down that road.  It doesn’t lead anywhere good.

Reblogging this for the excellent explanation of what exactly the moral crusaders did last time. They had an explicit agenda of anti-queerness, and they specifically targeted slash and femslash communities in particular, such that many ship communities became (or started as) deliberately members-only. You had to apply, and your personal blog had to look like a real person and a fan. You were vetted, a la 1990s private servers.

During this period, Dreamwidth was also targeted by attacking its payment processor. They had to get a new one. These “Warriors” (literally called themselves that!) were totally on board with destroying fandom as a side effect of destroying the parts of fandom they didn’t like.

If you’re carrying out harassment of people right now because they’re posting works with sexual elements you don’t agree with? (And it’s always sex, never non-sexual violence, how strange….) If you’re doing that, you’re also totally on board with destroying fandom as a side effect of destroying the parts of fandom you don’t like. Because your tactics are fandom-destroying, and so is your agenda.

reblogging because this is important: strikethru and boldthru and all the various “purges” that fandom went thru about 10 years ago: this had to do with OUTSIDERS deciding that fandom in general and fanfiction in specific were evil and needed to be destroyed; unless we were writing and shipping good vanilla M/F married people. These were outsiders, going after fictional writing about fictional characters.

AO3 and OTW are HUGE, because now we have an organization, with very smart women and a lot of lawyers, that have our back. Fannish history is important, people! It has not always been this way.

This is so, so important: there’s that other post about AO3 and fanfiction floating around, about our history. People decry violent video games but no one is trying to force companies out of business. But people can and do attack fanfiction: an activity primarily written by women for women, about fictional characters. And often about sex. We have to constantly defend ourselves, protect ourselves, support each other against charges like “paeodophilia”.

^^^rebageling again for excellent commentary

Throwing this in because I was also present: This was during the American Government’s attempts to pass censorship laws on the internet. As MOST of those domains had their serves in America, they were beholden to those censorship laws. A great deal of was removed because they happened to lose a goddamn courtcase. I’ve been on the site since 2002. They may not have ‘officially’ allowed NC-17 rated content (what it used to be listed as in the filters), it never did a damn thing to remove it. Ever. They had it listed as a rating option during ‘New Story’ uploading after all. It was i nthe search filters. After they lost the courtcase however, they legally had to start doing things about the mature content reports they got. The admins and mods were not actively looking for fic to remove, they were just responding to reports they had already received. 

tl;dr – I know tumblr is all about black and white “you’re either all right or all wrong” thinking, but it’s important to understand what actually happened before going “ew ao3 was made to give pedophiles a safe place to post” because that is 110% not what happened.

This is why so, so many of the comparatively older fannish folks on tumblr like me are so vehemently against stuff like the anti movement and “all ships are valid UNLESS”. It smacks of censorship and content policing – and we’ve been there. We got our shit deleted and our accounts banned because someone else thought what we were reading or writing or talking about needed to just… not exist. No warning. Literally overnight. We just woke up and stuff was gone.

And yeah, the group was legit called Warriors for Innocence (or maybe of). I knew several people that were members of survivor/support groups that lost their groups – and their main support network – when Strikethrough happened (ten years ago holy shit).

You antis need to listen when us older fans tell you that the censorship you’re advocating for, when put into practice, is NOT a positive thing; it’s an extremely scary thing!

I can guarantee that you would be very, very upset if another event like LJ Strikethrough were to happen today because *you* are just as vulnerable as the rest of us! If you support the rights of marginalized groups of people, if you’re a slash or fem slash shipper, if you support gender identities that aren’t defined by biological sex, if you care about representation, if you support women, if you have any kind of kink, if you care about fandom in any capacity beyond its eradication, YOU DO NOT ACTUALLY WANT THE SORT OF CENSORSHIP YOU’RE ADVOCATING!!

People were terrified during Strikethrough.  I was there.  Communities were being shut down, individual users were being shut down.  People were losing access to their own fics, their feedback, their comments – a LOT went on in comments on LJ.  Think more coherent reblogs, much more personal, very widespread.  Comments were also very important, and in terms of networking/communicating, were absolutely critical.  

LJ was, for many people, central.  

It was a fundamental part of the infrastructure of fandom at the time.  

Having it attacked, having parts of your fandom’s territory just deleted like that, was very very scary.  People didn’t know who was next.  Every day, the list of stricken journals grew.  And not all of them came back, not all of them recovered their content.  Some people even voluntarily deleted their content as a form of protest.  It was a bad time.

You do not have to interact with fic that grosses you out or makes you uncomfortable.  Tagging is a thing.  And even outside of tags, you are responsible for curating your own fandom experience.  It is not right to expect it to be curated for you.  And it is not right to lash out when someone refuses to do so and expects you to walk away from things that do not concern you.

I was gonna say “things that don’t harm anyone” but I realize you can argue that.  If you get triggered, that’s upsetting.  That could be considered harm.  And I have sympathy for that.  I do.

I have run across fic that triggered me.  I have pretty specific triggers, and people don’t always think to warn for them because they aren’t that big a deal for a lot of people.  Or it’s sort of bundled into kink and is presumed, that if you’re okay with certain kinds of kink, you’re okay with this.  So I’ve been blindsided by it before.  And it sucks for a couple of days while I get over it.

That was not the fault of the authors! You could argue that tagging should have been used, and maybe it should, but ultimately that’s not an ironclad obligation.  It’s a tool people provide out of courtesy.

That was not the fault of the site!  The site is there to give authors a way to make fiction available, not to judge each work and interrogate its validity and make sure everything is tagged so that nobody has to see anything bad, ever.

That was not even my fault!  It was my responsibility to try to curate my experience, and I tried, but it wasn’t my fault because I didn’t deliberately set out to trigger myself.

When I get triggered, unless it is by a deliberate act, it is actually the fault of the people who hurt me in the first place! And I refuse to let them off the hook and blame perfectly innocent people who just wanna write their fanfiction! I may hate that fanfiction, but that is irrelevant to the question of whether or not people should be allowed to post whatever they want.

Also, some people cope by writing about fucked-up shit.  My best friend in the whole wide world has shared her fic with me, and HOO BOY it is messed up. She wrote it during a time in her life when she was in and just coming out of a horrifically abusive relationship.  I mean, it was exactly the kind of relationship all of us here on Tumblr love to hate.  She was married to a shitty, abusive man who preyed on someone younger than he was and used his influence over her to treat her in a way that would be right at home in that Lundy Bancroft book Why Does He Do That?  He was a real rapist, a verified grade-A bad fuckin’ guy.  (She was lucky to escape.  I have immense respect for her.)  And she wrote some fucked up fic to deal with it, and she shared it, and people were invested in it.  And because this was early 2000′s, she had to host it on a foreign server and cover her tracks, because at that time no-place was safe to post it.

“Yeah, but if she’s writing it for therapy, she doesn’t have to post it where other people might have to see it!” I hear you say.

But like … what the hell??? “Shut up, don’t talk about it, it’s bad to talk about these things, because these things are bad!” is something used against folks with trauma.

“This isn’t good for me, I can’t talk about this, I can’t be your audience for this,” that’s fine, those are boundaries that people with trauma use to defend themselves.  You should learn to say those things!  It will help you!

But expecting other people to never create and share art about trauma is just so thunderously oppressive I lack the ability to fully articulate it.

And nobody should have to disclose their history of trauma to prove their motives are pure or virtuous enough for their speech to be protected.  I’ve only really been able to openly say “I was assaulted, it was traumatic, I am a little fucked up from it” for the past couple of years, tops.  I couldn’t talk about it before that.  Couldn’t!  And it was over 20 years ago!

I also believe, very firmly, that you don’t need a history of abuse to find writing really messed-up shit satisfying, or to find reading it cathartic.  I believe 100% in the freedom of creative expression, and the freedom to read whatever fucked up shit you want to read.

All y’all fandom youngsters can spit nails all you want over gross rape fic, incest fic, whatever.

Fine, I don’t like it either!

But that fucked up shit?  That fucked up shit helped carve out the spaces we have today.  You don’t have to like it, but campaigning to get it deleted, harassing content creators, calling people rapists and pedophiles who have never done and would never ever do such a thing, that is not the way to improve the world, it doesn’t keep actual kids or teens or assault/rape victims safe.  It wouldn’t have made me feel safe when I was 16 and did’t want what was going on.  It doesn’t make me feel safe now.  I can say with the perspective of someone 24 years away from that event, it doesn’t make the world safer for people like I was.  It actually makes it worse.

Learn to steer clear of the messed-up stuff you don’t like.  It’s a skill, you get better with practice.  Have someone else vet stuff for you if you need help doing it now.

Everything that is sketchy and gross is not criminal, and writing about a thing is not morally the same as doing it.  Please stop acting like writing about an adult and a teenager having really questionable, gross sex is as bad as the actual registered sex offender they caught hanging around an actual elementary school two neighborhoods over from mine, just trying to talk to the kids.  The former is, at most, in poor taste, and potentially triggering to abuse victims.  The second makes me want to vomit because even though he was just talking, that guy was gearing up to try something and create another abuse victim.  A g a i n.  

The first can be avoided because it is imaginary and you, an adult, have power over your back button so that you don’t have to witness harm to imaginary people.  The second, those very real kids had to rely on real adults and real law enforcement to keep them safe from very real assault.  

(It worked!  The neighborhood rallied!  He was arrested for violating parole!)

Pretty sure Sleazebag McDongface didn’t read some gross NC-17 Draco/Lucius fic before deciding to harm an actual human being.  Pretty sure not having read it didn’t keep him from doing it. ‘Cause he fuckin’ did it.  And he would have done worse. But actual people stopped him.

I get wanting to protect victims when so many of us are victims ourselves, but man, going after fiction is not the way to do it.

An author is not a perpetrator.  Stop trying to make those things synonymous in the minds of other fans, and in the minds of other recovering victims.

I’m a crone who also lived through strikethrough, and all y’all young fans need to read this and understand it if you don’t want history to repeat itself someday.

Here’s the thing, also: it doesn’t stop with fic about objectionable stuff.

If you have a website with TOS that includes any kind of “objectionable content” rules, there will be parties who will use those rules to try to silence other people whom they want silenced.

Let’s look at the alt-right and MRA movements today, or GamerGate a few years ago. What is one of their primary weapons? They report black or feminist or really any leftist YouTube channels (or Twitter accounts, or whatever) whose message they don’t like and claim those channels are are violating TOS by posting hate speech or incitations to violence or whatever bullshit they can come up with, in an attempt to silence those channels.

When Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequence came under fire for starting a crowdfunding endeavor to fund the production of her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series of videos, male gamers tried to get her KickStarter and various social media accounts shut down by reporting her for for hate speech and promoting terrorism.

Luckily, that became a big enough story that the dudes failed and their efforts backfired. But a lot of times, these tactics work.

How do I know this? Because it happened to me. Not over major shit like the examples above, but over something completely petty.

Back in the mid-to-late 90s, before LiveJournal really became the place for fandom, before was really a thing, you had to create your own personal website on whatever free webhost you could find (GeoCities was popular, but there were others) if you wanted to host your fic somewhere.

And back then, TV studios and book authors were still sending their lawyers after people who wrote fanfic, issuing cease and desist letters to not only the authors, but also to their webhosts.

At the time, I was writing perfectly het Mulder/Scully fanfic. No rape, no pedophilia, no slash. Maybe a little BDSM. But largely it was unobjectionable.

Then the 8th season of X-Files started, David Duchovny decided he only wanted to be involved part-time, and the show decided to bring in another male character. The fandom lost their shit–as fandoms do–over the idea of “replacing” Mulder blah blah blah.

One of the most popular fanfic mailing lists–one that had previously had no restrictions on what characters or pairings could be posted–decided that if you wrote fanfic involving this character, you were no longer welcome. Well, this was the mailing list with all the readers. Sure, authors could go to other mailing lists, but they wouldn’t have exposure to the sort of readership this other list boasted.

I spoke out, saying that this change was unfair to fic authors and that the moderator of this list was behaving in a pretty vile way. The moderator and her friends took aim at me and began a campaign of harassment, and a few days later, suddenly my website with my XF fanfic was TOSed because someone had reported it. So was the next site I tried to create to host my fic, and the one after that.

Thanks to the way AO3s TOS are constructed, that sort of shit doesn’t happen now. I can speak up if I need to, and while I may receive harassment on my various social media accounts, there’s no chance they can have my fic taken down just because they have an agenda and don’t like me for reasons not relating to my fic.

So yeah, AO3′s rules protect fic a lot of us might find objectionable. But they also protect fic that is in no way objectionable from being targeted by unrelated harassment campaigns. And since any of us could find ourselves in the sights of those sort of campaigns at any time, we need to thank our lucky stars for that.

I like this last addition.

When I helped write the ToS for AO3, I wasn’t primarily thinking about strikethrough. I was primarily thinking of FFN, where so many people post things that are technically against the ToS but that the community tolerates. Any time someone gets pissed off, they can go on a grudge-reporting spree and target their enemy’s work. Often, that means guys targeting slash or Twilight fic because it’s “for girls” and thus sucks. Sometimes, it’s one ship vs. another. I was also thinking of Miss Scribe and all of that other Harry Potter fandom drama. (And if you think fans are above destroying an entire archive just to strike at one enemy, think again!)

We can’t force people to like each other. We can’t force people to be nice to each other. But we could take away fandom bullies’ favorite tools.

So we did.

Watching young (ostensibly liberal) bloggers and fans take up the deeply conservative rhetoric and moral crusading of the right wing and evangelical groups from the 90s has been both fascinating from an anthropological perspective, and fucking horrifying for someone who lived through this time period and the death of LJ.  

This thread keeps getting better.

It galls me to think that those of us who went through all this shit might have to go through it again because people who were still in primary school at the time don’t see anything wrong with harassing us over

Like, I hate to pull this argument, but we are your fandom elders, we did what we did to preserve fandom for y’all, so y’all would have space to safely explore the sane things we did and still do. And in doing so we rightly realized that if we wanted to protect the comfortable, cuddly parts, we also needed to protect the dark parts.

You can hate non-con fic all you want, and I will always advocate for adequate tagging/warning (especially with franchises that are aimed at younger audiences, e.g. MLP:FIM and SU) so that you don’t have to see it because I sympathize, but I will never support people who want to make sure that it isn’t even there to be seen. I’ve been through that once. It didn’t help anyone. It didn’t fix anything.

Please, learn to curate your own online experience. You are responsible for not clicking, or clicking away. Don’t try to force others to do it for you. That’s not cool. You aren’t protecting children. You are asking fandom to treat everyone like a child. There is a massive difference.

And a law was recently passed in the US that will further empower this sort of censorship. 😦