Alt.startrek.creative Slash Wars

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Event
Event: Alt.startrek.creative Slash Wars
Name(s):
Date(s): Spring 1997
Type: discussion
Fandom: Star Trek
URL:
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The discussions that took place on alt.startrek.creative in the Spring of 1997 led to the formation of Alt.startrek.creative.erotica.moderated where adult het and slash fan fiction could be posted under moderation to reduce spam.[1] Unlike other Usenet groups at the time, alt.startek.creative allowed the posting of all types of fan fiction - and this practice did not change even after the debates. However, for many Star Trek fans, the negativity of the discussions caused them to move to more adult mailing lists where access could be controlled and membership was limited to fans who were accepting of adult themes.

Also see Some Fan Comments During the Planning Stage: The Topic -- "What is Canon, and Should Non-Explicit Same-Sex Stories Be Included?".

First There Were The NC17 Wars: 1997

The slash discussion was part of a larger discussion about the presence of any adult fanfiction on the newsgroup. On 4/29/1997 Josh Liller posted the following:
"Will you sex-crazed people who visit this newsgroup greatly cut back on the number of NC-17 stories you post!"[2]
Pro NC 17 Responses:
"If you are a believer in freedom of expression, you will understand exactly why your post is offensive.

Unfortunately for you, this is a forum of free expression. Since not everyone has access to a.s.c.erotica, the NC-17 fanfics inevitably show up here. And they have a perfect right to be here.

Normally I don't read fanfic erotica (frankly, I don't WANT to know what Sisko, Janeway, etc. do in bed :)), but because the postings usually indicate NC-17 in the header I can skip over them. If their presence bothers you that much, don't read them.

In order for the proportion of NC-17 fanfics to DECREASE, you have to have an INCREASE in non-NC-17 fanfics. And I wonder what you yourself are doing to INCREASE that number." [3]
"I doubt that you could find a majority of fans that agree on *anything*. If you want to prove the point, you might try backing it up with some facts. It doesn't really matter though, whether a majority of readers is against sex stories or not. Apparently (by the percentage of posted stories) a majority of *writers* is all in favor. The writers in this group are not being paid (or if they are, I'd like to know how...) for what they post here. They do it out of the goodness of their hearts. *You* are not paying them. That means you don't get a say in what they write or post. Sorry." [4]
Among the anti-NC17 Responses:
"What *you* don't seem to understand is that restraint and rules are necessary for society to function. Yes, you are free to express yourself -- but within the limits of society -- or else you will have only chaos and anarchy.

There *are* young people who visit this newsgroup. Kids don't need to be reading this sex junk -- it belongs over on the other startrek.creative.erotica newsgroup. Parents would not appreciate finding

out that explicit sex stories that are posted here. And the majority of fans don't like the presence of the sex stories either."[5]
In the end, nothing changed except for one newsgroup member attempting to explain the "birds and bees" of the Internet:
"Mind you, this isn't "society" -- whatever the hell *that* is! -- this is the Internet. And it goes all over the entire world, and the only real rule is, there ARE no systemwide rules. There are a few customs, observed by more users than not. But there are NO hard and fast "rules", and I for one hope that there never will be. We have handed over far too much of our freedom to well-meaning moralistic prudes. This NG, and the 'Net in general, are where I personally draw the line. In case you hadn't noticed, the very essence of the 'Net is decentralized chaos -- and for the most part it works really well."[6]

Then Came The Slash Debates: 1997

A few weeks later, Tom, another newsgroup member posted this complaint:
"We've had enough gay fanfic stories, thank you. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned heterosexual stories? How about Dax banging Quark? Or Worf ramming Yar? I waited over a week and there was only one heterosexual story and it was a repost. MORE HETEROSEXUAL EROTICA PLEASE!"[7]
Some members felt that this was a troll,[8] however a few did engage:
"Tom, If you want to read about Dax banging Quark or Worf ramming Yar, why don't you write a story about it? Asking other people to change their writing preference to match your own fantasies isn't very effective, because it *ain't* going to happen."[9]
Others objectors were confused over the differences between alt.startrek.creative and alt.startrek.creative.erotica, wondering why slash writers didn't post their fic in the erotica section:
" I've come across this garbage (gay stories) quite enough, thank you. I understand that there is a special newsgroup for this topic, so why don't people post to that group?"[10]
Usenet members quickly set them straight:
"As far as I know, ASC has always existed for the posting and discussion of *all* Star Trek fanfic; from Sean's technical stuff to my bdsm smut (notice that both Sean and I mark our headers so that the non-techs won't read his stuff, and the non smut readers won't read mine) and *everything* in between.

ASFS/ASCE, however, has had a much broader charter, being not only for the posting and discussion of TrekSmut, but also for frank discussion of which characters we'd like to see with which other character, complaints about the way TPTB handle sex and relationships, and all matters that pertain to Trek and sex.

ASCE was formed back when we thought ASFS was being overrun with spam. It was the fall of '95 and the spam was *very* light compared to what ASCE now gets, but we thought changing names might help. In retrospect, I don't think it did, many more ISPs carried asfs than now carry asce, and we still have massive spamming."[11]
As for why there are two newsgroups that allow posting of erotic material:
"ASC is for the posting of *all* trek fanfic, and the discussion of same. ASCE is for the posting and discussion of trek erotica. ASCE is carried by only 29% of ISPs, meaning that over 2/3rds of the citizens of the net are unable to access it. Adult stories have *always* been within the charter of ASC, and still are to this day."[12]

Others pointed out that the Star Trek newsgroup was unique in that it offered an optional separate space for adult fanfic:

"Another note for those that protest the smut. Star Trek is the only show/universe to have a seperate ng for smut. If you're an X-Files fan who doesn't like slash, you still have to pick through it over on their creative ng. Fanfic writers will write what they want and most of them will respect the rights of their fellow artists. If anyone reading this also hangs out on the X-Files group, I'd love to find out what the prevailing attitude regading the posting of smut is over there."[13]
And on a final satirical note, a member reminded the newsgroup that all stories were clearly labeled and if they wanted to avoid explicit material all one had to do was read:
"Look, I hate to tell you this, but in the ancient days, people had to get up to change the channel, didn't have computers, and had to get their news from these tabloids printed on cheap paper with odd names like "Post" and "Times" and "Gazette". Phones were these big black things with a dial and wired into the wall. And you had to shift gears yourself in your car. I'm so sorry that you have to go through the ordeal of opening a post and reading the subject line. Jeez, you must really be run ragged by this hardship. Tell your grandkids while you let them know that you had to ride a bus ten miles to school."[14]

alt.startrek.creative.all-ages: 1997

On May 15, 1997, a few fans issued a call to discuss the possibility of creating a "family friendly" Star Trek fan fiction newsgroup:

"This is an official call for discussion to create an offshoot of alt.startrek.creative that will answer the pleas for no slash and no graphic adult stories. The proposed new group would be alt.startrek.creative.pg-13 Natch, stories posted there would also be posted on a.s.c., just like stories posted on a.s.c.erotica are also posted on a.s.c., but it should satisfy those begging for a family-friendly group."[15]

The newsgroup would be moderated and if a story was rejected, it would be reviewed via an appeal process to three moderators. And slash would not be welcomed.

This led to:
"Why 'no slash?' You see, contrary to popular belief, not all slash stories are NC-17 or even R. "[16]
Shannara, one of the proposed moderators replied:
"Sure, as long as the characters engaging in same-sex romance are not characters who are established in canon as being straight. Author-created characters in gay relationships and characters like Dax (the only one I can think of) who are established as being other than straight, are fine being depicted in such relationships.....I consider "slash" by definition to be explicit in nature. The new group is for non-explicit stories."[17]
To many this felt like carefully engineered discrimination:[18]
"If the sexual preference of the characters is being singled out as the only element of canon which must be maintained in order for a story to be considered PG-13 then I must conclude that this rule is using Paramount's anti-gay attitude to justify discrimination against gay young adults.[19]
"If people really are trying to create a group appropriate for children, well that's fine. But that means that *all* G, PG, and PG-13 stories should be welcome there. Shannara made a very good point earlier about the appeal of non-explicit slash stories to gay youth. I'd like to extend that to *all* children. Exposure as a child to positive gay role-models is one of the best ways to combat homophobia.

But, if the purpose of this new group is to create a slash free atmosphere ... that's very different. For a group of people to say that they cannot tolerate the sight of slash stories on a newsgroup that they frequent is beyond offensive, it's absolutely homophobic. I realize that there are people who want a slash-free group. That does not mean that we need to cater to that. At my university the Office of Resident Life gets dozens of requests from students every year, asking that they not be placed with homosexual roommates. These requests are not honored. Why? Because, in the opinion of the university administrators, they don't deserve to be.

I think we're faced with a similar situation here. Now, obviously I can't stop anyone from establishing alt.startrek.creative.no-slash-here. But I don't have to approve of it, and I'm not going to just sit here and allow people to hide their homophobia behind our children. If you want to establish a non-explicit stories group, great. If you want to establish a slash-free group at least have the courage to admit to what you're doing."[20]
Others looked at this as an unwarranted intrusion into creativity:
"As a person who posts here on an extremely limited basis, I have been a lurker throughout this debate. Now that the issues have been more clearly defined, I feel a strong need to register my opinon: Creating a newsgroup in which sexual content is not welcome makes sense, I suppose. However, regulating who is attracted to whom in fan fiction set in the Star Trek universe is an unwelcome intrusion into the freedom of the fanfic writer to explore that which TPTB have not."[21]
Not everyone agreed:
"I haven't posted anything about this, because it all seems so ridiculous. asc was created for all Trek, but some people complained about the graphic sex stories and so asce was created. Not everyone can get access to asce, so asc was left open and people (that are either PG-13 or less people, or Christians, or simply not readers of slash) continued to complain, so Shannara logically calls for a new forum for a PG-13, all ages, non-explicit, non-slash material forum and suddenly many otherwise sensible people get their panties in a bunch. I would think people would be happy to have a forum for that material and be able to refer said complainers to the new group and keep them from wasting bandwidth on asc. Instead, there is back-stabbing, name-calling and generally shameful and non-IDIC behaviour. Shannara, I for one, (being a reader of ALL kinds of fanfic), am grateful for your actions and laud your efforts despite the criticisms leveled against you and the new group. Now when someone posts "Why are there so many gay stories?!" I'll be happy to tell them exactly where to go. ;)"[22]
The Final FAQ:
Alt.Startrek.All-ages (ASCA) is a subgroup of Alt.Startrek.Creative (ASC)

for the posting of fan fiction stories from ASC that would also be considered appropriate for older children and younger teens to read. This is not a kiddie group. The material will be geared towards and be suitable for adults so we do recommend parental guidance. However parents can let their children read from this newsgroup without concern about NC-17 material being present. It is moderated and does not permit graphic sex, extreme violence, or presentation of concepts (such as slash, bdsm, drug use, etc.) or relationships in which the principle "canon" characters are shown to be engaged in behaviour of an adult and/or controversial nature which parents might feel is inappropriate to children....

Some stories (such as slash, bdsm, drug use, etc.) which depict sexual relationships between characters that in canon obviously are not in sexual relationships nor will they ever be are not permitted ASCA. An example of such a story would be a love story between Spock and Kirk, Crusher and Troi, or Sisko and Keiko. Such stories often include relationships that might be interpreted as violating commonly held sexual harassment guidelines about things like doctor/patient relationships and sexual relationships between superiors and subordinates. This type of story also sometimes changes well established sexual mores of a canon character. A Miles/Dax story would violate canon because Miles has already been established in canon as monogamous in his marriage to Keiko.

Our reason for excluding Slash is that while such changes from the established norm are fine for adult readers who can discern their intent, they would potentially confuse older children/young teenagers about the nature of adult sexual relationships, adult friendships, and adult professional relationships. The exclusion of Slash is not intended as a judgement value on what type of relationship is appropriate in real adult life and should not be taken as such.

Even though Paramont has chosen to largely ignore the existence of gays and lesbians, nonexplicit stories that include gays and lesbians but conform to canon with regard to established characters are welcome here. "[23]

Within a year the flow of stories to the new newsgroup slowed significantly and some fans suggested that the moderation be removed to encourage fans to post their family friendly fiction. The moderators insisted however that the newsgroup was not dead, it was just "resting".[24]

Some 1997 Final Words

While the "seperate" spaces was acceptable to some, it was not to others. And eventually, even the debate became an issue as readers (and posters) grew weary of the discussion. In July 1997, a newsgroup FAQ editor called for a "cooling off period" as part of the newsgroup's FAQ:[25]
"What has been known as the slash debate has gotten out of hand. While I don't want to perminatly (sic) ban any topic, I believe a long cooling off period is needed. So I'm asking that for the next month and a half, the following subjects be kept to yourself:
  • The merits of slash
  • Slash and ASCA
  • The Definition of Slash
  • Why people write slash
  • Why people hate slash[26]
For many fans, this was the final straw.
"What *do* you think you are doing? An FAQ is supposed to reflect the consensus of opinion on a group - there is no consensus on this subject.

Now we've got authors threatening to take their bats home if you try to do just what you're trying to do now.

Personally I rather like the slash discussions, keeps the blood flowing and the anti-narrowmindness muscles exercised.

Just because you do an excellent job (many excellent jobs in fact) doesn't give you the right to attempt to enforce an unnatural silence on debate. I intend to ignore this FAQ, I invite others to do likewise.

Little hint for you - if you don't like the flames, don't read 'em

plenty of stories being posted in between the flames and the spam."[27]
One member attempted to bring some levity to the situation:
"I respectfully suggest we table Mr Winter's suggestion to table the debate about whether or not to debate the slash debate."[28]
By Sept 1997, another FAQ was issued attempting once again to create and "end point" to the slash debate. The FAQ was ambiguous leaving only the FAQ maintainers in the know of whether slash was on or off topic.
"We consider the topic of slash on ASC to be closed. It is permitted. If the topic comes up again, the FAQ Maintainer or his or her designated succesor (sic) will post this as a mini-FAQ. Discussion of other asspects (sic) of slash as it pertains to fan-fiction is also permitted under the general cause of the purpose of ASC. We'd rather not go though such a hot debate again, so please remember to remain civil when discussing this or any other issue which may be sensitive.[29]

In typical Usenet fashion, many members pretty much ignored the vague FAQ restrictions and continued to discuss the whys and wherefores of slash....

A 1999 Slash Debate

As online fandom became more accessible and navigable, so did the abilities of fans to slice their preferences thinner.

In early 1999, a discussion took place regarding a fan's refusal to allow slash on their personal website, a Star Trek: Voyager fiction archive.

The discussion was titled "A Word About Tolerance" and the original poster was Strwriter, later known as thanfiction.

Excerpts from the original post:
I am a heterosexual.

I am a Christian.

I believe that homosexuality is wrong.

I do not read homosexual fanfic, nor do I want in on any webpage or webring I administrate.

I am not intolerant.

I am not a homophobe.

I also do not like raw tomatoes. Now, I have nothing against the American tomato growers, I have nothing against the tomato industry, I have many friends who like tomatoes, and I have never said a bad word about them. I just don't like the way they taste, and if a friend were to place a tomato on my plate, I would politely but firmly remove it and say "thank you, but I don't like tomatoes."

[snipped]

Tolerance seems to be defined as tacit agreement. It's fine for me to be a heterosexual myself, but if I don't want to read homosexual fic or post it on my page--if I don't want to 'eat the tomato'--then I am called a homophobe, a bigot, a Christian right-wing elitist, and a number of other terms that I don't care to repeat in a public forum. I am compared to the despicably evil people who murder college students for their sexual orientation, and the topic of great actions of historic prejudice is raised. I am treated as though I might any moment haul out the noose and call for a mob.

I'm not.

I just don't like it.

[snipped]

This seems to me to be the true intolerance, and it's very sad. A lot of my heterosexual friends walk on eggshells around the homosexuals in our community, because they are afraid of being called prejudiced if they do not agree with all aspects of the homosexual lifestyle. Do you realize how tragic this is? Because of a few (I cannot be sure of the ratio) militent and vocal homosexuals, and a few evil individuals who do terrible things while blaspheming Christ (and I say this because no true Christian, someone who has invited Christ into their heart, would commit such acts, and for a non-Christian to do something in the name of Christ is blasphemy) these young people are robbed of possible friendships with heterosexuals, or forced to hide their sexuality to attain those friendships.[30]

Excerpts from some of the responses:

I think that, when anyone is a member of a persecuted group, they may tend to fight against anything that even smells like the second cousin of persecution. And, to some, "I don't accept slash" smells like the first cousin to persecution.

To me, it doesn't. I'm a bisexual atheist slash writer, but that doesn't smell like even a fifteenth cousin to persecution, at least not all by itself. Tack certain phrases onto the end and it does, but not by itself. And certainly not "I don't accept slash, here's the address of the slash webring." ("I don't accept slash because I think it's wrong", however, might cause me to jump on your ass. And I think your post borders on it. I'm tempted to flame--really tempted, but I think you're not trying to be offensive. So I will go with what I think the intent is, rather than the words.)

[snipped]

I've got a problem with folks crying "wolf" when there's only an innocent German shepherd around. But they do look an awful lot alike: sometimes there's only a hair's difference between the two, and so it's understandable that people make mistakes.[31]
To respond to your statement, I am glad you are tolerant. I am glad you feel comfortable in decribing your preferences for your website, and I honor your choice. Other than that, I like tomatoes.[32]
I am honestly not sure, though I have noted the same thing. In fact [another fan] and I have been carrying on an extremely civil and pleasant conversation in email, which began over the flap about his list. I suspect I've been intolerant meself a time or two.

I can speculate -- when you spend your life as an outcast even among your own kin, you do end up rather thin-skinned after a while. And yes, some in my community have adopted the "professional victim" mind-set, in which everything is someone else's fault. And although Hitler did murder many gay folks, not everyone who dislikes homosexuality is in any way like unto Hitler. God no.

I suspect part of it is, even having the freedom to speak out here -- and for many of us, including me, on the Net is the sum of our freedom, I have almost none IRL -- is heady and unaccustomed. Not being used to possessing any power at all, it is easy to go overboard when finally trying to use it. That's my guess, anyway.[33]
I just have one thing to say: Why must we be *only* tolerant? I don't expect individuals to embrace each others' differences, not in today's society, but can't we come to respect the individual for having the guts to stand up and say "Hey, I'm different!" instead of just "tolerating" them.[34]
My impression is that you would consider homosexuality different from blackness or femaleness or Koreanness. I wouldn't because those, for me, are just elements of identity.... Let me state this plainly, if the reason for your dislike is because you think that some expression is inherently wrong, then be prepared to accept that your belief may be interpreted as intolerant.[35]
I am a heterosexual agnostic who loves slash, especially of the K/S variety. I think the reason some of us have knee-jerk reactions to statements like "I think homosexuality is wrong." is that they speak not just of personal preference. It's a judgement which may affect whether gay people have their civil rights violated, are beaten and/or killed in the streets, or are treated as folks with a "pathology" requiring "treatment". When you say "it's wrong" you're saying it "shouldn't exist." Once we've reached such a conclusion about any lifestyle, it's next to impossible for us not to affect its practitioners. Why? Because we don't limit ourselves to holding our judgements privately or to keep matters pertaining to the "offending" conduct out of our personal lives. Even if we don't support rabid mobs, draconian measures to violate or limit legal rights, at the very least we're still nurturing a social climate that leaves them as outcasts. Just to give an example, how many adolescents don't commit suicide because they've internalized the notion that homosexuality "is wrong"? I'm not trying to get in the way of anyone deciding what they read, put in their home pages, who they associate with, et cetera. Nor do I think that people should pretend they support any lifestyle they don't understand, have issues with, whatever. But life would certainly be a lot easier if we could hold to our values without needing to straight-jacket everyone else with them. Unfortunately, the "majority" is more often than not unwilling to do that.[36]
Just a quick note. I'm starting up a Due South fanfic archive. I won't allow any Star Trek stories on it (unless they're crossovers). Does that make me intolerant of Star Trek? No, it just means that the fanfic I want on that particular archive happens to be based on Due South. The same with this girl, as far as I can see. She hasn't made any attack against homosexuality; she simply chooses to focus on het stories for her website. We cannot force her to include slash stories just because we like slash. That would be an example of intolerance.[37]
I am and agnostic and not too happy with Christians myself, especially nowadays with all the things the Christian right is doing; but, the woman is entitled to make decisions as to what stories she wants on her website and what stories she doesn't and she is entitled to base that decision on anything she wants. It is only if she makes an attempt to say what others put on their websites that I have a problem with it.[38]
I'm frankly getting tired of having this discussion over and over again. I've defend slash on this newsgroup more times than I care to remember, but in this instance, I think it's the slash fans who are stirring the pot and refusing to let go. And I don't think they're making any friends or convincing anyone, either.... What if I started screaming discrimination because a P/K site or list wouldn't post my P/T story? (Actually, I don't have a P/T story, because the whole idea nauseates me, but the current controversy makes me want to write one and insist that it be archived in the Star Trek Slash Archive.) Surely people are allowed to feature stories that are of the sort they like, and don't have to accept those of a type they dislike. If not, why do we have so many mailing lists and web sites exclusively for J/C, P/T, P/K, etc? [39]
I'm surprised at your refusal to see that behavior is not independent of context. Of course people are allowed to feature stories they like and refuse the stories they don't want. When they do that on the basis of sexual preference that is called discrimination. If they did it on the basis of race, that would also be discrimination. Same with gender. I do not understand what is unclear about this point. I'm not saying don't discriminate. I'm saying, and I've repeatedly said, do whatever you want.[40]
So, if I own a radio station and I refuse to play rap because I don't like it, don't like the content of many rap songs, does that make me a racist? She's not excluding gay *authors* who write non-slash. That would be discrimination. She's excluding a type of fanfic she does not like. The reasons are irrelevant.[41]
It just very well might, but before we deal with your putative racism, let's analyze your comparison. It is not quite a true parallel to the situation we're discussing. You own a radio station. Strwriter owns a website. You say, 'I don't like the content of rap songs.' Strwriter says, 'I don't like the content of slash stories.' So far, it's pretty much the same situation. You are both expressing a preference. But the moment Strwriter adds a 'because,' the comparison falls apart. Suppose I ask you why you don't like the content of rap songs. If you tell me, 'I don't like the content of rap songs because they glorify violence, demean women and paint an inaccurate picture of African American society,' you are expressing a preference. If, on the other hand, you were to say, 'I don't like rap because my religious beliefs tell me God disapproves of black people,' you are expressing intolerance. When Strwriter said, "I am a Christian. I do not like want slash on my website," she was appealing to her religious belief to explain her decision not to have slash on her website. That is an expression of intolerance. I understand that she wouldn't want to think of herself as an intolerant person. I completely understand why she would appeal to a book she's been taught to revere for justification of her position, and by all the things she believes to be true, she's right to do so. But that still doesn't negate the fact of her intolerant behavior.[42]
Your logic does not completely hold water. I have on my personal pages some Quantum Leap stories as well as an index to more QL fanfic. On the index I mention that I will not list "slash" fiction in my index. In fact, I will still refuse to include in my index any QL story which has explicit sexual content of any kind. By your logic, you could easily conclude that I am against sexual activity, or the depictions thereof. And you would be wrong. I rather enjoy sexual activity (hetero), and in the proper context I have no objections to its depictions. But my QL index is my site, and if I want to make it PG-rated, that's my choice to make, for whatever reason.[43]
Just clarifying a few things. Strwriter has been repeatedly referred to as a "he". Well, I'm Strwriter, and last time I checked, I was a bonified 15-year-old American female...or a very strangely constructed male ;-)

Also, the tomato analogy was deliberatly chosen. No one would dream of being nasty or insulting to someone if they didn't like tomatoes, as long as they were nice to people who did. It's the same with homosexuality, (I have aright to my own beliefs as long as I don't try to force them on you) though culinary and sexual choices are no where near the same league of importance. "Love the sinner, hate the sin", as one of you put it. I don't agree with homosexuality, but one of my best friends where I work is a practicing lesbian.

For those of you who missed the point of the first post, here it is, stated as plainly as possible:

We all have a right to our own opinions.

We all have a right to include or refuse anything on our webpages or webrings for any reason.

We all have a right to call each other nasty names and put one another's religions (or lack thereof) down...but exercizing that right is wrong.[44]

References

  1. Alt.startrek.creative.erotica had been created a few years earlier but the debate helped pushed the newsgroup into moderated status after it became clear that Spam was an ongoing problem.
  2. Less NC-17 stories!; reference link.
  3. Victor Wong in Less NC-17 stories!; reference link.
  4. A.C. Chapin in Less NC-17 stories!; reference link.
  5. madmac in Less NC-17 stories!; reference link.
  6. Greywolf the Wanderer in Less NC-17 stories!; reference link.
  7. Enough with the gay stories dated May 8, 1997; reference link.
  8. Among then was the fact that the member was using a hotmail account and did not post again in the thread.. Tom did return in another thread a few days later to complain he was being miscast as a homophobe. More in ATTN: People who responded to the "enough gay stories" posts dated May 11, 1997; reference link.
  9. luvDS9 in Enough with the gay stories dated May 8, 1997; reference link.
  10. George Morgan in Enough with the gay stories dated May 8, 1997; reference link.
  11. Ruth Gifford in The Gay Smut Issue (I love that title!) dated May 16, 1997; reference.
  12. A Response To My Opponents -- Enough With The Gay Stories dated May 11, 1997; reference link.
  13. Gail Pamphilon in The Gay Smut Issue (I love that title!) dated May 16, 1997; reference link.
  14. JWinterEsq in ATTN: People who responded to the "enough gay stories" posts dated May 11, 1997; reference link.
  15. Shannara in Call for discussion re: alt.startrek.creative.pg-13 dated May 15, 1997; reference link.
  16. Taffy in Call for discussion re: alt.startrek.creative.pg-13 dated May 15, 1997; reference link.
  17. Shannara in Call for discussion re: alt.startrek.creative.pg-13 dated May 15, 1997; reference link.
  18. It did not help that one of the proposed moderators was George Morgan whose abrasive style can be best summed up in the following quote:"Just so you know, it's done. It's called alt.startrek.creative.all-ages. Object all you wish. You have your place. We have ours. Live with it...... Those of us who don't like slash now have our place where we can have our haven. If you must piss on us, Graywolf, be advised that I do have a bucket and disinfectant :)" Source: multiple quotes from Call for discussion re: alt.startrek.creative.pg-13 dated May 15, 1997; reference link.
  19. Paul Carver in Call for discussion re: alt.startrek.creative.pg-13 dated May 15, 1997; reference link.
  20. Taffy in Call for discussion re: alt.startrek.creative.pg-13 dated May 15, 1997; reference link.
  21. GreenWoman in Call for discussion re: alt.startrek.creative.pg-13 dated May 15, 1997; reference link.
  22. LuvDS9 in Call for discussion re: alt.startrek.creative.all-ages dated May 23, 1997; reference link.
  23. FAQ.
  24. alt.startrek.creative.all-ages Dated Oct 17, 1998; reference link.
  25. On Usenet newsgroups, volunteers would work on maintaining and updating the group's FAQ )frequently asked questions). FAQs were supposed to represent established customs, norms and rules of behavior and were not to be used to unilaterally set new polices. Unlike mailing lists, the ownership and coordination of newsgroups was less hierarchical and more collaborative. Changes to the newsgroup were to be initiated through "Calls For Discussion" and, after there was discussion, then implemented.
  26. FAQ Maintainer's Notes: The Slash Debate dated July 5, 1997. The section was titled "Message From The Maintainer" and was posted by Stephen Ratliff, FAQ Maintainer. "Messages from the Maintainer" were not considered part of the FAQ itself; reference link.
  27. Frankie Jackson in FAQ Maintainer's Notes: The Slash Debate dated July 5, 1997; reference link.
  28. Annchgo in "Slash debate" debate..... dated July 9, 1997; reference link.
  29. Stephen Ratliff in FAQ What Happened This Summer dated September 12, 1997; reference link.
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