Hello everyone, and happy Saturday! Recently, I did something I haven’t done in a long time: I wrote a fanfic, one for Danganronpa to be exact. I was inspired to do it, because I admire the character Junko Enoshima, the villain of series, so much. To me, she’s a female villain in a class of her own, being feminine (meaning she’s not guy in a female’s body), a mastermind, unpredictable, and she doesn’t have to lean on any male characters to achieve her ends. She’s actually like a female Joker, and I love her character for it. However, that’s not the point of this post. My story, going along with the signature of yours truly, is violent, disturbing, explicitly sexual, and honestly may be the most horrific work I’ve produced yet, so I naturally wanted to share it with the world ^_^. Unfortunately, when looking for an outlet to get my work to the public and receive feedback, I was upset upon learning the king of fanfiction websites back when I wondered those grounds, Fanficton.net, doesn’t accept MA content. MA content has explicit sexual situations and violence, a criteria fitting my usual style of story.
Now, me being the researcher I am, I looked up what all the hubbub was about concerning Fanfiction.net’s banning of mature content. My research discovered they banned NC-17 content a while back, and the banning of MA content began when they allowed users under 18 to join the site in 2002. You have one side of the fence comparing what they did to book burning (After the ban was enacted, thousands upon thousands of stories were deleted) and violating one’s right of free speech, then you have others believing a “special interest” group of elitists, specifically a group called Critics United, are using the new rules to “purge” the site of works they deem inappropriate for their stomping grounds, then you have others, the lawful good types, that say Fanfiction.net laid out the ground rules for their site and if you break them, then you deserve to get banned. I, of course, have my own admonition for Fanfiction.net, and why I will not be joining the site.
The issue is consistency. After I read their policy, do you know one of the first things I found on the website? A lemon! No, not the greatest citrus fruit in the world for making drinks, but, in internet lingo, an explicitly sexual story, a Pokemon one between a grown Ash and Serena that made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. My research on Reddit also indicated that you can post an MA story on Fanficton.net… as long as you label it as M (Which this story was labeled as) and don’t surprise your readers too much with the content. Then it won’t get reported, right? But what happens when you piss off the wrong person or leave an honest opinion on another story, giving an opportunity for a slighted writer to “examine” your own? Your work may get targeted, while another violator gets a pass. Is that fair? I’d argue it isn’t fair to you, nor the community, and that’s the issue I have with Fanfiction.net. If you have a policy on your website, or a rule or law… anywhere, it’s not right to enforce it when you feel like it, whether to purge the site for space, to make a point, or to show you mean business (One of those lawful good types, who’s on the site’s side concerning the banning, left it! Why? Because she said she posted several stories in violation of their rules, but none of them got reported). It’s unjust to the people signing to your website expecting fade-to-blacks but instead get Fifty Fades of Grey whips, chains, and buttplugs. And it’s even more unjust to the people seeing MA stories on your site and then wondering why you removed theirs but not so-and-sos. Lack of consistency leads to corruption in a system, in people being able to abuse the policies to their convenience, and that corruption blossoms when you don’t enforce your policies initially and create a breeding ground of offenders. Then you have people, as I’ve read, who’ve invested chapter after chapter, sometimes novel lengths works, on your site, believing your policy is different, because you wrote one law but decided to enforce another. If you’re not willing to enforce your policies regularly for whatever reason, you need to be practical and either make your policy slacker, or create a more consistent means to enforce it.
And that’s my thoughts on the issue in a nutshell. From my experience, Fanficton.net used to be a balanced place. It’s where my sister got her start writing afterall, and she’s the one who inspired me to be a writer. However, their need to appeal to everyone along with the lack of enforcement of the policies they created, despite what side of the fence you prescribed to, created divisiveness in the community, a fissure among writers and readers who should be joining hands in artistic expression instead of slandering one another. It’s been noted the purge of stories hasn’t slowed Fanfiction.net’s following at all, but it has opened the gateway for competitors to grow, such as Archive of Our Own, Dreamwidth, and Live Journal. Also, as the story of MySpace and Twitter’s falling stock have shown, a few small competitors can take things a long way, that long way a painful journey to your site’s obsolescence. As for the writer, for the sake of his artistic expression, you’ll find my latest story, For the Love of Despair, on AO3 (Archive of Your Own) the moment they allow me to join their Beta (fingers crossed, rabbit’s foot over shoulder). If you find yourself offended by my deleterious style, please follow the rating system and tags presented, and don’t read it ;). But for the daring, and for the ones the right age, I invite you to my latest work.