|Date(s):||2002 - present|
|Moderator:||anatsuno, apoplexia, arkane156, backfromspace, brad, eljuno, ereshkigal, eris, geekmagirl, hugsnkisses, ktnb, Oulangi, panthea, phosfate, renjenri, sepiamagpie, shoiryu, Snacky, sorchar, soy_latte, wankprophet|
|URL:||fandomwank.com (offline, not archived), wiki.fandomwank.com (offline as of 2013, archived link, journalfen.net)|
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
Also see Fandom Wank Wiki.
Fandom Wank has gone through many changes of venue since its inception.
All timeline information has been acquired from the Fandom Wank Wiki Timeline.
The Era of Livejournal (2002-2003)
The first Fandom Wank was founded on LiveJournal on October 16, 2002 by Dara and TOSsed on January 14, 2003. It is not known who reported it or why it was deleted from LiveJournal. Reactions were puzzled and angry.
The Era of Blurty (2003)
The Era of CrazyLife (March 2003)
The Era of Journalfen (2003-present)
Fandom Wank found a permanent home on March 16, 2003 when ZorroRojo, having just founded journalfen, offered them a place to stay. The newly homed community was founded by Dara, who created the Modsquad, and grew into the large, active community we see today.
The Fandom Wank Communities
The following is a vague way of grouping up the wank and wank-related and wank-stepchildren communities.
Fandom Wank is a part of a loosely affiliated set of wank and fan-related communities. In general, these communities were founded by the same people who founded Fandom Wank.
Fandom Wank Subsidaries
These communities are Fandom Wank-oriented and tend not to be wank communities themselves.
- Fandom Wank Icons - some icons were specific to a particular wank, others focused on the fandom wank community as a whole
- FW Mod Debate
- FW's Greatest Hits - This is where you can ask about wank from days gone by. And wank that never was reported by Fandom Wank.
- FW Fairy Tales
- FW Stuff (no entries as of July 4, 2014)
- FW Meetup
Wank Feeder Commmunities
These communities act as feeds for Fandom Wank and the other wank communities.
- Clairvoyantwank - For wank that is not yet at critical mass.
- Wank Report - For reporting wanks in the wild. Anonymous commenting is permitted. Note that the two posts together contain over 15,000 comments. A snapshot of the first pages of the third wank report and the fourth wank report can be found here and here.
These communities generally follow the same format as Fandom Wank for pointing and laughing.
- DL Anon - For wank about the Domlijah Tinhats. Apparently, enough to justify their own core wank constituency.
- HP Cornfield - For Harmonian and related Harry Potter wank, because there really was enough to populate a community.
- I-Wank - For reporting wanks you instigated, were heavily involved in, or the reason for. Or something.
- OTF Wank - For when fandom is not wanky enough and RL has better material.
- Wankitywank - This is where you mock the people who mocked. It's very meta.
These communities are generally more focused on discussion and ranting:
The Fandom Wank Spin-Offs
These communities are spin-offs but are not tied directly to Fandom Wank, though the founders are usually members of one or more of the above. They may or may not use the feeder communities. At this point, a Venn diagram would be helpful.
Pointing and laughing:
- 6A Cornfield - All wanking about LiveJournal goes here (link)
- Bad Penny - For revisiting old wanks.
- Fandom Wank Espanol - For wank in Spanish. (link)
- FW Offline - For wank that happens offline (link).
- Gaia Wank - For wank on/about Gaia Online.
- MockityMock - (Former) home of your friendly neighborhood cabal.
- Operation Mock - Discussion of Scientology, Anonymous's protest, and related wank.
- Political Wank - For wank about politics.
- Shy Wank - A meetup/friending meme community for shy users on Journalfen.
- Spitting Image
- Tech Wank
- The HMS STFU
- Unfunny Business - An increasingly important comm in recent times, news and discussion about topics deemed too heavy for Fandom Wank (such as racism and sexism) are banished to here.
- We Wank
Non Wank Communities
Doing stuff that's usually not pointing and laughing. That does not mean it does not happen.
- Fandom Court
- Fandom Discuss
- Feline Lounge
- FW Cookbook
- Metaquotes (JF)
- Random Lounge
- Random Rant
A Diagram of Wank
[Please make a Venn diagram and put it here.]
Reactions to Fandom Wank
Some fans see FW as a group who position themselves as arbiters of right and wrong within fandom. Cryptoxin described them as a rogue judiciary. Others see FW mainly as a group of mean-spirited mockers, or a home of trolls who stir up ill feelings.
Fandom Wank's Origins and Purpose: From a 2013 Interview
When it first started on Livejournal, you know people were talking about it, ‘oh this community where people are making fun of us, making fun of fandom, can you believe it?’. And what was funny for me was, like I said I was in X-Files for a long time and there were some really wanky things that went down in that fandom, and I remember it was – a lot of it took place on usenet mailing lists back in those days – and I remember thinking all the time that I would be watching these big fights and battles and accusations of rigging fandom – fanfic awards and [Emma laughs] things like that and I’d be like ‘this is crazy, am I the only person who finds it really funny?’ and big like BNFs who would be, you know tell- dictating to rest of fandom how you should do this and how you should do that, and sneaky people who set up sock puppets and argued with themselves, and just caused really big flame wars and stuff. So when I saw fandom_wank I was like ‘that’s exactly what I’ve been thinking about, [both laugh] people think this is funny, it’s not just me’. So that’s how I started following it on livejournal, and that was- that was over 10 years ago now.
...it’s a community, you know, um Journal Fen is a small livejournal clone, as I said, and it’s, you have to sign up for an account there. It’s not always easy, they don’t always have account creation on, and then people just join fandom_wank. I think we’re at like 6000 members, it would probably be more if account creation was on, but um it’s kind of slowed down its growth. It had its peak probably, you know, around Harry Potter peaking, kind of thing. It kind of went hand in hand with that fandom, I will say that. So people will post a wank, you know they’ll find something funny that they think is funny and they’ll post it to the community and then the community members will react to it, whether it’s laughing at it or mocking it in its own way, or saying ‘hey that was kind of interesting’ and you know moving on from there. That’s kind of how it operates.
It started in, I think it was 2002 on livejournal and it was started by someone whose name was arcane156, and she still has an account on Journal Fen but livejournal deleted fandom_wank after a few months. It got shut down after people complained to livejournal abuse about harassment. And then she got her own account deleted because they said that she owned it so they deleted them and, um, I don’t know it was actually harassment, any harassment going on to be honest, I mean when I think about what goes on today in fandom in anon comms, on tumblr, and so on I think ‘wow it was pretty mild’ then.
People didn’t want to be made fun of, and I understand that, but I don’t know that it was actually harassment, but maybe back then as a whole we as fandom were just really unused to being criticised. [both laugh] So after it was thrown off of LJ it went over to another livejournal clone which was called blurty, and I don’t even know if that’s still around. But fandom_wank was there for a while and I think that was kind of when I got more active in it. I think when it was on livejournal I had just been reading along, and then on blurty I sta- I remember commenting, and there was some really, we did have like um some wanky things that happened then. But again somebody complained and it got thrown off, all deleted, everything was lost. And so after, the people who own Journal Fen are fans themselves, as you might tell from the name journal fen. And they had been planning on opening that themselves, they also hosted I think it was Slash City [Emma makes sound of agreement], websites for people – slashers at the time – to do your own private website, that kind of web space. So they had planning on, I think, opening Journal Fen and when fandom_wank needed a home they kind of rushed into it and opened it and offered to host us. So we’ve been there, I looked this up, since March of 2003, so we’re coming up on the 10th anniversary on Journal Fen.
A lot of people have thought what we put up is not funny [chuckles] um, but you know that’s where we let that lie fast and loose I think. It’s only when it’s only when it’s really demonstrated, either it’s very clear to us ahead of time that that’s going to hurt someone – like the murder-suicide thing was not going to go through – or if it’s been demonstrated afterwards that it’s really causing people extreme pain or distress, or you know something that is really tangible that we can tell and that’s hard to make a rule because it’s one of those we know it when we see it, and we’ll get rid of stuff that will, you know people sometimes contact the mods off fandom_wank. We have a very visible email address and there is a lot of stuff that we deal with behind the scenes that people don’t actually ever see. And often people threaten to sue us, [laughs] that has happened over the years more times than I can count. But, um, people will come to us with legitimate complaints and we’ll take of that.... I think, you know sometimes in fandom – and I mean this is probably just from me, I can’t really speak for everybody on list members, and even the other mods – but I think that sometimes in fandom that people get really caught up in it and they take it really, really seriously. And I’m all for taking it seriously, you know, it’s one of the best hobbies I’ve ever had, one of the most fun things I’ve ever done, I’ve met some really great people, you know people have become my best friends over this, you know on the same side of that I think sometimes we take it really seriously and we let things that are not really matters of life and death become so important that we fight with people over ship wars. [Emma makes agreeing sound] You know there’s threats made and people get angry and stuff like that. I think fandom_wank the role is to remind us to laugh at ourselves. You know we can’t take it all that seriously. Again I don’t want to call that a purpose, ‘cause we’re just there to laugh at it, [Emma makes agreeing sound] when it looks like it has reached critical mass of absurdity, whatever it is, you know people fighting over ships, or people sock-puppeting their lives away, or stuff like that we’re going to be there to laugh at it. I think a few years ago when fandom was less splintered, before people started, you know, leaving livejournal for other platforms that kind of stuff, I think it did function as a central clearing house of fandom, sort of. You know like a gossip central, or a maybe almost like a fandom news kind of thing, it wasn’t ever its purpose but it was so active and people were posting so many things from so many different fandoms you could really get a good idea of what was going on in fandom.
...I don’t think we ever wanted to be the fandom police or function as that, again I can’t speak for everyone as a whole, I mean certainly people have come to fandom_wank and posted wanks and they’ve been called out for grudge wanking. We’re not- and a lot of- and the members would respond en masse: we’re not here to be fandom police, we’re not here to fight your battles for you. But I do think, I don’t know if I want to call it a chilling effect, but, some people looked at some of the things that were happening and they’d say maybe ‘okay maybe I am thinking twice about writing this post’ or ‘maybe I’m thinking twice about doing this or doing that’ and, you know in some ways it was that they were scared that, you know, something bad would happen and they’d end up on fandom_wank and they’d be immortalised forever, but for the most part I think that there are very few people who have that reputation. You know? [Emma makes agreeing noise] I think that you could probably count them on, alright, two hands maybe ten people that you could say of all the people who were wanked over the years: these are the ones that really stand out as, like, super-wankers and they can’t shed that reputation. But that’s probably because they were repeat wankers, ‘cause we had a lot of those [Emma chuckles] and they did things over and over and over again
you know some people really still hate us to this day. In the early days of fandom_wank when I would run across some people in, outside of fandom_wank , in other communities and stuff like that they would say ‘oh, you’re that person from fandom_wank’ and I’d be like argh and I’d find myself in a position of having to answer for all of fandom_wank’s sins and I kind of gave that one up a long time ago. I can’t really defend fandom_wank like that to people who are upset by it and who have been hurt by it, you know all I can say is I’m sorry, it’s not for everyone, some people have thicker skins than others, some people find things different than other people do. And you know I really, we really are never, it’s never our intention to hurt people but I know that people have been upset by it. And I think a lot of people got over it and moved past it, you know I see people someday- sometimes say ‘you know I was wanked, and you know it was kind of funny, you know I locked things down for a while, but I got over it’, but like I said I’m sure there are some people who bear massive grudges against us.
One of the other mods, phosphate on journalfen and annlarimer on livejournal, she says, er, “wankiness never changes but the way fandom reacts to it does”, so I think, you know, there’s a swing in fandom_wank and I think people prefer to talk about it anonymously these days. I think there’s been a great rise in anon memes and some of them are fandom specific, and there are a few that are fandom in general. And I think that’s where a lot of discussion and wank goes on, or discussion of wank, I think they’ve taken over a lot of the role that fandom_wank used to play... I think more in a fandom sense anon memes on LJ or Dreamwidth. You know there are fandom specific ones, so like I know the Doctor Who anon meme was very big for a long time. And then there’s one on LJ fail fandom anon that people just feel comfortable interacting anonymously, and that is one drawback to fandom_wank because we don’t have anon commenting on most of the time because when we have it’s always turned really sour really fast. People r- partly because, I think, the people are named in the thing and when, you know, people hide behind anonymity and really can be cruel. So that was one of the things that we kind of cut out early on in fandom_wank, we, when it started to get really bad for people. People making threats, people saying really inappropriate things we shut it off and I think some people really like to have an anonymous outlet. There’s been shifts in fandom in terms of tones of discussion I want to say with, like, social justice discussions, like race fail. You know, that brought a whole different tone to fandom and I think for the most part in a good way but I think a lot of people got really scared about saying something and saying something wrong, and perhaps afraid of being dog-piled. You know I see that a lot, so I think they turned to anon memes where they could discuss things without fear of putting a foot wrong and then getting attacked.
I think fandom_wank it still has its place and people still come to it when there’s some really big things that happen, but it’s not the same as it was and again that’s just a- it’s a combination of factors, it’s fandom splintering off of livejournal because of all of livejournal’s antics, you know, and going to dreamwidth or going to wherever they went to from that; tumblr, you know some people do everything on twitter these days, so it, you know there’s people everywhere and fandom is all over the place there’s still, there’s forums on fanfiction.net that people are very active in. So it’s all over the place and it’s going to be that same thing it used to be and the one thing that JournalFen offered to fandom_wank was it was never going to be thrown off of it. So as much as it focussed on livejournal and that aspect of fandom people could complain all they want but Journal- the JournalFen owners were never going to throw us off because people were being too mean. It was a different kind of situation back then so we had that freedom of stepping back and looking at people and saying ‘haha that was really funny’, but there’s no- that central clearing house has gone so we’ve had people post twitter wanks – they’re very hard to follow-
I don’t know about the future of fandom_wank! We’re still there, we’re not going anywhere. I know people have worried about, you know, if it gets deleted, or, you know, what if we just shut the whole thing down and we’re not going to do that. We like to have that archive of wank. It is kind of a little historical thing of fandom, you know, and I know some people don’t care about that, but there’s fanlore now and the OTW who do, who are concerned about the history of fandom. And I know one of our members at one point had downloaded a big chunk of fandom_wank to save just in case something happened. I would, if possible, someday back it up to somewhere else if we could. I know you can port communities to Dreamwidth now and I would do that for that reason. Just to save it. Just to have a backup archive of it. JournalFen they’re not planning on going anywhere. I know we talk to the owners sometimes and, you know when they’ve had down time or outages people worry because it is kind of, you know fandom_wank their big draw, I think, for a while and things got quiet over there and they worry ‘oh are they going to take that website away?’ but they have no plans to do that. We just hope it’ll stay the test of time. Um, there’s always the wiki, which is not complete, but you know, anybody can sign up for that and add wanks as they feel free. It’s just nice to have, I guess, you know, to look back sometimes at some of those crazy things that happened. It is a part of fandom, I’d hate to see it be lost forever.
- the waning of ambivalence: is fandom wank supressing fan behavior, Archived version (Jan 2005)
- Fandom Wank Poll, Archived version
- More information and chronology needed here.
- Fandom Wank Wiki; Wayback, Archived version
- Fandom Wank Community Info, Archived version
- Fandom Wank Communities
- WebCite for Fandom Wank Icons (accessed July 4, 2014).
- WebCite for FW Mod debate (accessed July 4, 2014).
- WebCite for FW's Greatest Hits (accessed July 4, 2014).
- FW Fairy Tales (accessed July 4, 2014).
- WebCite for FW Meetup (accessed July 4, 2014).
- WebCite for Clairvoyantwank (accessed July 4, 2014).
- WebCite Wank Report (accessed July 4, 2014).
- WebCite for 6A Cornfield (accessed July 4, 2014).
- WebCite for FW Offline (accessed July 4, 2014).