dejana: (oh noes!)
So, you may have heard that half the LiveJournal U.S. staff was laid off. Obviously, LJ's not going anywhere in a hurry, since the Russian owners are still out there, but who knows what service is going to be like? And if the plug might eventually be pulled?

Just in case, I've backed up my journal and duplicated all my entries over to JournalFen with a couple of handy tools. (You won't see the entries if you go there; I put all the public posts under a custom filter to keep things tidy, but if LJ ever kicks the bucket I can open them all up easily.)

ljArchive is a handy piece of software that will download a backup of your entire journal to your computer, comments and all.

LJ-Sec is a security management tool that can copy all your entries to another journal service such as JF or IJ. It does not preserve comments, but it does a beautiful job of duplicating the entries, and it also works on community posts. It's also very useful in that it can change your security settings en masse. If you want to make a bunch of entries in an old journal private, for example, this is the tool for you.

A somewhat outdated (moods and community posts can be transferred, for example) FAQ and guide to other options can be found here.

If LJ were to go down, that would probably be it for me. Everyone would be scattered to the winds, and I don't think I'd have the energy or the drive anymore to start over and build a new circle of friends from scratch. I feel overwhelmed by the wide scatter of fandom sites as it is; LJ is one of the last major hubs.

While I'm being alarmist, I learned last night that there's a new law pending that would prohibit the sale of any product intended for children that isn't certified lead-free. That's all well and good, but it also affects used items such as toys and books. I'm no lawyer, but the indication is that it will become illegal to sell or donate used children's books, clothes or toys if you can't prove they are lead-free. I'm not sure if this affects private citizens or just businesses, but there it is. [info]

Also, FanWorksFinder was recently taken over by FanHistory, so if you have listings there, you may want to pull them.
dejana: (Susan - Duty)
Public Service Announcement

Remember the FanHistory wiki? See my tagged entries under fanhistory:expose to read about the fiasco that went down over the summer, if you're unaware.

It's come to my attention that FH now has a bot that will create pages for LiveJournal users, like they've been doing with profiles. If you're one of those who is serious about keeping yourself off FanHistory, be sure to read the details linked below:
dejana: (Susan - Duty)
First, some follow-up to this post.

It's become evident that FanHistory on the whole is far more about generating revenue for its owner than being a resource for the fandom it's supposed to serve. Some pretty damning evidence was provided in the comments on my initial post, but [ profile] liviapenn has a far more comprehensive writeup about it: [link] I would hazard a guess that this is why this entire issue hasn't shown up on the Journalfen wank communities; it would be serving [ profile] partly_bouncy's goals.

The [ profile] astolat article has been removed from the wiki and the entirety of FanHistory has been locked down to admin-edit only. I know some people have been removing all mention of [ profile] astolat from their posts to further protect her identity, but from her response to my comment in her post she seems to be OK with the connection, so I'm leaving it.

There's possibly a troll running around the various posts on this subject, but as there's no proof at this point, I give the benefit of the doubt. [ profile] partly_bouncy does have some supporters.

I will say this. We are clearly dealing with someone who knows how the game works. If the MsScribe saga has taught us anything, it's that conspiracy theories sometimes turn out to be true. I hope that this time around, we've all learned the tricks of the trade well enough to foil [ profile] partly_bouncy's attempts to use them.

Second, there are some things I feel I should come clean about. The following isn't all that relevant to the [ profile] astolat incident, because when all's said and done the fundamental issue here is that it is Not Okay to post someone's real-life information without their consent. The websites and individuals involved don't really matter. The right to anonymity should be respected. But as the overall topic is expanding into a more general discussion of FanHistory itself, I feel it's only fair to be up-front about my background and position.

As I explained in some of my comments on my initial post, I've never been a supporter of OTW. When the whole thing started, as the fanarchive concept, I was the admin of a multi-fandom archive I'd been slowly building for two years as an alternative to things like and FanLib. I was working alone, and wasn't well-known in fandom, so it was slow going. When I saw the overwhelming response to the fanarchive idea, I was jealous. I wasn't a BNF; I didn't have thousands of contacts ready to support my project like these people did. I was also a bit offended by the "new frontier" tone of many of the comments and posts; it seemed none of the idea's supporters were aware that multi-fandom archives and fandom wikis and things already existed. Had anyone even looked to see if there was already such a community out there waiting for members? When owners of existing resources spoke up about their sites, they were brushed off, and I began to suspect a superiority complex. I may, of course, have been entirely wrong, but that was the attitude I perceived.

So when FanHistory emerged as a vocal opponent of OTW, I saw us as being in the same boat. We were both independent labors of love (or so I thought) being ignored because we weren't BNFs. So, although I never reached out to [ profile] partly_bouncy herself, I supported FanHistory as much as I could by mentioning it on my forum and journal and encouraging people to create pages there. I created an account and added some information myself. I liked the idea of a fandom wiki and wanted to support the person who'd done it first.

Now, of course, since all this information on [ profile] partly_bouncy's goals and practices has come to light, I am no longer friendly toward FanHistory and am sorry I ever was. In addition, my feelings toward OTW have softened over time. OTW is no longer just about the archive, and its plans include several things that mine don't, so I now recognize it has its own niche to fill. I still feel some bitterness about the whole thing, but with time I'm likely to get over it, and I try to maintain an objective view of issues as they arise.

As it relates to the topic at hand: Before all this happened, I liked FanHistory and I have never supported OTW. I still felt that FanHistory was wrong to connect [ profile] astolat's real-life information to her fandom persona. My position on this issue has nothing to do with a bias toward one site or the other.

On a totally unrelated but completely awesome note, I just read that FanLib is throwing in the towel and shutting down. Score one for fandom vs. commercialism. :D

ETA: [ profile] partly_bouncy has reportedly made an official statement on the whole fiasco at FanHistory. For those of you who don't want to visit the site, it has been reposted on LJ by [ profile] nestra: [link]
dejana: (Susan - Duty)
Overall note: It's been brought to my attention that FanHistory is probably making money off the extra hits generated by this drama. I have rerouted all FH links through an anonymizer to avoid contributing to such revenue. If you'd prefer not to visit FanHistory at all, screencaps of the linked pages are also provided. In the interest of protecting the identity of the fan in question, all links to the [ profile] fanthropology post have been replaced by censored screencaps.

I'm probably inviting wank by making this public, but I don't really care. There aren't any key figures reading my LJ anyway. ;P

So thanks to lol_meme (how's that for a source?) I just found out about this issue that's apparently been going on for at least the past month. Remember that FanHistory wiki I posted about around half a year ago, when I had a moment of ego weakness and wanted a page on there? Well, apparently the owner got her hands on [ profile] astolat's real name. And added said name, and several details of her offline and professional life, to the FanHistory page about her. And if someone tries to remove [ profile] astolat's real-life details, saying "she doesn't want these things linked, please stop," the owner reverses the edits and restores the revealing page. And when challenged, said owner made a giant post to [ profile] fanthropology proclaiming your real-life details fair game if you've ever posted on an archive, made an online journal, or joined a message board.

Revision history of [ profile] astolat's page: [link] [image]
Talk page for [ profile] astolat's listing: [image]
FH owner's rules for maintaining privacy: [page 1] [page 2] (HUGE IMAGE WARNING. Showing all comments as of 3 PM.)

This both pisses me off and freaks me the hell out.

Now, I don't know how [ profile] partly_bouncy got ahold of [ profile] astolat's real name. It's entirely possible it was posted in an obvious place and should have been better protected, and was added to FanHistory without anyone knowing that was Not Okay. Accidental outings happen. But then people tried to remove the info and... the site owner restored it. Forced it back on there like it was some precious data people have a right to know. That's what really burns my cookies.

With this act, FanHistory is doing something not even lol_meme would do to Cassie Clare. Something not even charlottelennox would do to MsScribe. Something not even 4chan would do to all but its most hated enemies, from what I've heard. Putting someone's real identity out there whether they want it to be or not, a piece of information that is absolutely irrelevant to any kind of serious fandom history record. This pushes them firmly out of "media" territory and into "paparazzi."

4chan, people. This makes FanHistory lower than 4chan.

Obviously, there's no law that says unwanted information must be removed. Once you put something out there on the internet, it's technically fair game. But fandom has always had a rather widely-accepted understanding about things. Certain things are Not Okay. If someone posts your fanworks on their archive without your permission and refuses to remove them when you ask, that is Not Okay. What I realize now is, with FanHistory, we now have an entity that flies in the face of all those mores. If it's ever been revealed anywhere, FanHistory feels it has a right to print it, whether or not you object, and the precious line between fandom life and real life will not be respected. Even if it was posted under a friends lock. Even if it was said to a buddy in chat. If it's out there, they're taking it. All for the sake of, I assume, some pompous desire to bring The Truth to the world, whether or not it's actually useful or relevant to anything.

I wonder if this has anything to do with [ profile] astolat being (as I recall) the inspiration behind OTW, which [ profile] partly_bouncy has been a vocal enemy of since the beginning.

On a personal note, I'm soon going to become a bit of a fandom historian myself, but I have already agreed to remove some recovered stories whose authors have contacted me requesting they not be on there. Same goes for the upcoming directory; I won't link to you if you don't want me to. On the flip side of the coin, I've always made a reasonable effort to keep my real name separate from my fandom persona, but with a little Google research I think it's possible to put them together. I never worried about it much, because who's gonna bother to out a minor name like me? But now it seems there is at least one person out there who would not only put time and effort into hunting down my real-life identity, but would force that identity into the public eye whether I wanted it there or not. And all for no other reason than adding one more detail to her precious fandom encyclopedia. My life, for a few extra bytes of data. I wouldn't have much to worry about if I were outed, since I'm not a public figure and I don't produce controversial material, but it's still a very unsettling thought.

I am somewhat ashamed to have ever supported FanHistory or its owner.

ETA: Since I'm sure someone will eventually bring this up. On further investigation it seems [ profile] partly_bouncy thinks [ profile] astolat's real name should be listed since she's part of OTW and they are using real names there. (Since the beginning, though, OTW has had a policy of keeping their OTW faces - their real ones, for legal reasons - separate from their fandom faces, so it's not a connection that was intended to be made.) Regardless, if someone wants their real-life identifying information removed from a fandom site, it should be removed, no ifs, ands, or buts.

Setting that entire issue aside, [ profile] partly_bouncy still opened up a serious can of worms with her [ profile] fanthropology post and its mirroring policy over on FanHistory, whether she intended to or not. Argue [ profile] astolat's case all you want, but the owner of FanHistory has declared your personal information fair game if you have ever interacted in fandom, on any level anywhere, and for me that falls firmly in the category of Not Okay.

ETA 2: Some notes for those of you new to this whole FanHistory thing...

  • FanHistory has a bot that will eventually add a page for you if you have a profile on, if you don't have one already. Yes, that page will only contain very basic information, but more importantly, it opens the door for more details to be added. It creates a "stub" article for the purpose of encouraging people to add more information about you, and increases the chances that some well-meaning someone will stumble upon it and go "Oh, I know this person, but there's hardly anything here! I'll add some more!" without stopping to consider if you want your details on there (or possibly even believing that the presence of the page indicates your consent).

  • FanHistory does have a rule against adding personal information to pages. However, it contains the following exception: If a member of fandom puts that information out there about themselves with the intention of that information being utilized by fandom. (source [image]) As applied to [ profile] astolat, this means FanHistory believes it's OK to include her real name since she revealed it as part of the OTW staff (as mentioned in my earlier ETA). However, it's always been the policy of OTW to keep its board's real identities separate from its fandom identities. I still believe their desire for such separation should be respected.

  • FanHistory does include a procedure for requesting the article about you be deleted. (source [image]) However, the site does not appear to maintain a blacklist of any kind. You may still be mentioned on other pages, and people are still free to create new articles about you. The responsibility is left on you to monitor FanHistory and submit a deletion request all over again if new articles appear. If you are a BNF (Big Name Fan), FanHistory will refuse to delete your page. (source [image])

  • There is also an option to have your article locked so only you can edit it. With the possibility that someone might recreate your article if you have it deleted, the best course of action may be to request restricted control, strip your article down to its basest components, and have it locked so nobody can add any further details about you to your page. Of course, if you are a BNF, this option may be denied to you as well. (source [image])

These rules do provide some restrictions and recourse, but the exceptions made for BNFs are equally alarming. What we have here is a place where BNFs are officially put on the same level as real-life celebrities, where just because they are in the public eye or significant to the community in some way, their entire lives are considered public property. Yes, that is the way the outside world works, but I would ask if this is the kind of attitude we want in fandom.

I will be up-front and say that yes, I do read and sometimes participate in the wank communities on JournalFen. I enjoy a good tale of drama as much as the next spectator. Yes, that puts me in the category of those who believe if you post something on the internet, you should expect the world to read it. But the line between online lives and offline lives has always been an overall respected barrier in fandom. Even in the midst of the ugliest drama, bringing up personal details is always considered taboo by the majority. Your real life is your permanent private property, and if anyone tries to violate that in public, there are usually 50 people ready to jump on that person and lock the information down. I am still firmly of the opinion that if [ profile] astolat wants her real name and details removed from her FanHistory article, even if she is using her real name in her work with OTW, it should be removed from her article. She may be a BNF, but her personal life is still her property, to reveal or conceal as she sees fit. Nobody else has the right to make that decision for her.

If nothing else, I definitely support spreading the word about this, so people will at least be aware of the controversy and can pursue whatever options they desire. Love it or hate it, people should know what's going on so they can make their own decisions about presenting or protecting their information.

Yes, you may link to this post if it helps.

ETA 3: There's a new "advised to add" (whatever that indicates) paragraph on [ profile] partly_bouncy's [ profile] fanthropology post. (link) It seems FanHistory may be willing to work with [ profile] astolat on this issue after all... but that still doesn't make it okay that they posted her information in the first place. I love how [ profile] partly_bouncy's addition uses real names and then links them directly to the [ profile] astolat page. Top form, there.

ETA 4: Hopefully this will be the last edit.

[ profile] astolat has made a post on the issue, containing some helpful tips on how to handle it if you ever end up in a similar situation. [link]

Some other posts on the topic (feel free to offer yours in the comments and I'll most likely add it):

Final ETA: I've made a follow-up post rather than continue adding to this one. [link]


dejana: (Default)
Dejana Talis

About Me

I'm a techie, a geek, a fangirl, and an aspiring writer. I've been in internet fandom since 1996. I welcome new LJ friends, but please allow me some time to get to know you before I friend you back.

I have a tendency to attempt a little of everything, whether or not I have time for it. See my userinfo for more about me and what I do.

July 2015

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