Calling out Michaela Ecks/Laura Hale/Purplepopple/Partly Bouncy

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Title: Calling out Michaela Ecks/Laura Hale/Purplepopple/Partly Bouncy
Creator: Ithiliana (and commenters)
Date(s): July 22, 2008
Medium: online
Fandom: all
Topic: archives, fanworks, meta, essays, fandom
External Links: page one, Archived version; page two, Archived version; page three, Archived version
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Calling out Michaela Ecks/Laura Hale/Purplepopple/Partly Bouncy is a post by ithiliana on Live Journal on July 22, 2008.

The topic is the behavior of Laura Hale

A key paragraph from the original post:

The purpose of this post is to call out somebody who actively seeks to harm other fans. She lies. She outs fans by connecting their real life identities with their fannish identities. She is trying to make money from a site which is billed as "history" and which contains lies, damn lies, and misinformation as well as the public outing of fans which, despite her claims, she will not remove if asked, not if the person asking fits her definition of an "influential" fan although many influential fans are *not* outed in the journal.

Excerpts from Comments: Page One

  • comment by onelittlesleep ("I'm very much NOT a supporter of OTW in anyway, but this: She has recently posted a link in Metafandom that leads to her post where she outs, not for the first time, a fan. is intolerable behavior. She breached the most standard of acceptable social conduct, to never EVER out another fangirl. I'm totally disturbed that my anti-OTW standpoint can be in any way connected to an action that's so spiteful and loathsome. Thanks for making this post.")
  • comment by Ithiliana ("Thank you! And I especially appreciate your comment: one does not have to be a supporter of OTW to find what Laura has done repugnant, or at least I would hope so. Her personal feud against some of the people involved in OTW is an entirely separate thing from possible critical feedback on issues around OTW.")
  • comment by onelittlesleep ("YES, it is entirely separate. I think it could be confusing though, because there are people who are not on board with the OTW that do have some valid concerns about not...being able to connect the OTW's public, RL voices with their known, fandom personalities. For me, having that disconnect really prevents me from feeling comfortable with the OTW, because I can't...really know who they are. I don't know who it was that spoke on NPR, you know? All I could know of her (to judge how I feel about their leadership) would have to be gleaned from what I know, solely, of her fandom-character. So without that connection, I feel a little lost. YET, I have no tolerance for people outing fans. No matter how much I WANT to know who those people are, it is their every right to be private and anonymous, if they want to. Someone outing them is breaking a basic, fandom-wide behavioral convention and it's alarming to me and objectionable.")
  • comment by ithiliana ("Full disclosure: I am on the board for the academic journal (under my professional name), and am currently a volunteer for beta testing the wiki (which I also plan to do under my professional name). When I volunteered for OTW back in the day, we were asked just what level of confidentiality we wanted, and the organization has very careful privacy protections in place. I said flat out, I had no objection to operating with both real life and fan name for just that reason. It is a concern, the lack of....connectedness? Ethos, in terms of knowing who is who. I was frustrated back in the debacle that there were not more women academics who were in fandom and did scholarship who were able to say so, to be a spokesperson (instead of the perennial journalistic reliance on Henry Jenkins, admirable as his work is). And, as egotistical as it sounds, I figured I'd have to put my money where my mouth is. (Not that I am likely to be any huge spokesperson for fandom anytime soon!)")
  • comment by onelittlesleep ("Yes, thank you for this response! I wasn't sure if, by voicing what I thought was a valid issue with the OTW, if I was going to offend you or anyone else. But your response is pretty positive, and I'm glad that someone with the OTW is taking that issue seriously and considering it personally. I also hope that this conversation helped also clarify that, though I probably share some similar critical thoughts of OTW with someone like partly_bouncy, I would in no way ever consider acting as she did in outing another fan. I made a post recently where I openly expressed a lot of my irritation with the OTW (in rant-form), and though I stick by that post as an honest assessment of how I felt at that time, I just want to say clearly that I am not a completely stubborn person and would LIKE to actually have these kinds of conversations more, with OTW supporters. UM, though I'm sure my post didn't really display that at ALL. Anyway, from that and your own posts on the subject, I can imagine what your impressions are, of me. So I am appreciative that you responded here with a lot of thoughtfulness and civility, even though my own conduct probably didn't merit respectable conversation. Just your comment here has been very informative.")
  • comment by elz ("It's a tricky issue. Because the OTW is set up as a nonprofit (for financial reasons, I believe), the members of the board are required to use their real names. But how many fans are really completely and totally cool with saying, "here's my full legal name, here are my professional credentials, and here's a link to my 15 years of explicit slash fic"? As ithiliana says, it's a luxury to know that that won't have negative repercussions for you. And so on the one hand, I'm glad we can take advantage of the knowledge and experience of fans who are also accomplished lawyers, academics, authors and businesspeople, but on the other hand, there's clearly a huge difference in perspective between the fans who know, or think they know, who the members of the board are and the fans who are left going, "where the heck did these people come from and what do they have to do with fandom?" I don't know what the answer is, and I'm sure things will only get more complicated when the board positions are open for election.")
  • comment by elz ("I just imagine that the integration of RL and fandom-life identities would be a probable longterm goal for the OTW, since they're working to not only encourage more fandom organization and self-sufficiency, but to normalize fandom in the public and academic spheres. Ooh, I haven't really gotten that impression. I genuinely think it's more: we do our own thing in our own spaces here on the internet, we want to be allowed to continue doing it, and we'd like to have a plan for what to do if anyone tries to take that away from us. Less about overturning the status quo and more about maintaining it. I don't see fanfic ever ultimately being less id-driven on the whole, so even if it's legally fine and dandy, I don't see the average fan really wanting to share her Supernatural pegging fic or whatever with her mom. There are more benefits to anonymity than legal protection!")
  • comment by llyfrgell ("Sorry, I'm butting in from metafandom and I'm kind of late to the party - but I just wanted to say that I'm actually doing some volunteer work for the OTW (and Rebecca Tushnet in particular) on constructing privacy policies for them, and the integration of RL and fandom identities is DEFINITELY NOT what the organization is working towards. They're very conscious of the problems that many of their members/donors will face if their online and RL identities are linked, and it's an issue that's important to them, though there's not a definite solution yet. We're working on it! Also, I'm another OTW person who is willing to link my real name to my LJ name - I'm just not cool enough for anyone to care! :-)")
  • comment by imaginarycircus ("I just found both my entries there not that long ago and I laughed for about ten minutes--wildly incomplete and focussing on wank related to BNFs. Anyone who thinks they can sell thousands of empty bot culled entries and a couple of wanky entries about BNFs is a few nails short of a coffin.")
  • comment by ithiliana ("But wikis can be! I have a dream.....*coffcoff* Um, sorry, getting zonked. But I think anybody who goes into a wiki thinking they are the total expert and have to control all the information will soon find themselves in dire straits, possibly involving wank.")
  • comment by Ithiliana "I do not at all mind [you linking to this post]. My personal policy is that anything that is unlocked ([[[fan fiction]] and meta mostly) is free for the linking!")
  • comment by storydivagirl ("I think this whole thing is creepy and I'm in no way involved for or against OTW. This person has crossed a line when you're sharing personal information on someone under the guise that "anyone can get it anyway".")
  • comment by ladycat777 ("I sometimes think we need a fannish most wanted board, of people who just cannot be trusted.")
  • comment by boogieshoes ("...i'm all for keeping historical records of fandom, but it should be well researched, and researchers should be open to criticisms and revisions if they're shown to be wrong. they certainly shouldn't make a last stand at the Alamo, metaphorically speaking, especially when 'hard evidence' can be as difficult to find and maintain as it is in fandom lore.")
  • comment by half elf lost ("Now this post would make an interesting article about Laura Hale/Michela Ecks in her FH wiki!")
  • comment by white serpent ("Some of the errors were fixed [about me on Fan History Wiki], some not. Yes; I'm sorry about that. I have my own biases and knowledge gaps. Because of those, I wouldn't have created an article about you on a serious fandom wiki. Given it was already there, and she'd banned you, I made the attempt to make it less horrible. In the long run, that may have been a greater mistake than leaving it. I would have made a more serious attempt at fixing it if I hadn't run away screaming from the FH wiki. I've said in a few places that what she did on her wiki didn't bother me as long as she presented it as a home for her essays and her research notes-- that she would let other people help her clean up if they wanted. If she was interested in wank, who really cared? When she later attempted to transform it into THE fandom wiki, focus and tone became a serious problem. For awhile, I was willing to accept she just hadn't got around to cleaning things up and filling things in. That excuse wore thin when things kept not getting fixed while more and more articles were created, thinner still when she banned people honestly trying to fix them, and wore out entirely when she started deliberately using the wiki as a weapon. There are good faith errors, and then there's malice; I was willing to help her with the former to the best of my ability, but not with the latter.")
  • comment by tiferet (""I suspect I'm not a person you enjoy interacting with" I hope you won't take it amiss when I confess that I have no memory of interacting with you outside of this conversation, in which you've been perfectly pleasant—though I am always suspicious of the motives of people who have an admitted involvement in FW, but I didn't actually know you were until just now. I honestly have no idea who you are at this time, although that could be because I'm answering these in breaks at an unusually hellacious workday. Maybe at 10 PM I'll remember. It does absolutely freak me out that people out there would look to the FW wiki for JUST THE FACTS MA'AM. I don't like the FW wiki better than I like anything else that has to do with FW, but I've never complained very much about the entries there because...that's what I'd expect an FW wiki to say about me, and most people who actually meet me or take the time to read my journal do come to the conclusion that FW is not entirely truthful or in any way unbiased.")
  • comment by white serpent ("I may very well say it's the best and most accurate fandom wiki out there, but I'm being sarcastic. (Wait. Actually, if Fanhistory is the other option, I may be serious.) I suspect (hope?) Laura is unique in relying on it. She also used the lol_meme wiki and lol_meme itself as if they were reliable sources. Anyone who thinks an anon meme can be cited... well, that pretty much says it all.")
  • comment by tiferet ("Eh. My big issue with FW is not that they say mean things about me or even that they misrepresent my arguments but rather that, in general, they function to humiliate people and damage their reputations in fandom, which is a fate I believe is rarely deserved (Victoria Bitter and Ms. Scribe being the exceptions that prove the rule) and that they facilitate trolling and dogpiling. Nobody believes that, because they DID say mean things about me and misrepresent my arguments, but whatevs. I have a few friends who post there and a few more friends who read there. I don't hate everyone who's ever had anything to do with the place, but I think what y'all do there is morally wrong. I am sure I do things that other people who like me think are morally wrong and I don't demand that people I get on with socially do nothing I think is morally wrong; only that they not ask me to pretend otherwise and condone it.")
  • comment by Heidi8 ("Hi! I've been semi-afk for 2+ days, but I wanted to pop over and say thanks for trying to clean up the outing-issues on the wiki this week. I think that it was clear from her 2002 post on VOY regarding her contacting my law firm back in 2001 that she considers outing people within their RL a way to attack people she doesn't like. I've always felt that's why she put my last name on the wiki and registered heidi[lastname].com - which I managed to recently reclaim! - and point it to the page about me on the wiki. Hopefully that will remain minimized...")
  • comment by white serpent ("A lot of what Michela does seems to be motivated by a certainty that there are vast, evil conspiracies to get her. She seems to be very good at twisting anything she sees into proof of those conspiracies. (The irony is that the "conspiracies" start to exist because she treats people as if they were plotting against her, so she gives them a common cause to band together.) Once she convinces herself of that, she seems to see any steps as justified to fight them. And she's vindictive. Even so, the fact that she truly believes what she is saying can make her convincing. I think she needs help. I feel very sorry for her. Unfortunately, feeling sorry for her doesn't mean that she doesn't pose a significant risk. I find Michela's lack of respect for people requesting information be removed frightening. I find her privacy policy infuriating. As you may or may not be aware, I had my own issue with someone contacting me at work over a fandom matter. Michela is certainly aware of it. I'm appalled she wants to help it happen to others.")
  • comment by white serpent ("I guess I just feel that if someone has tried to take a step back from using their real name publicly, even if they have done so in the past, they should be allowed to do so. I agree with that. There are a lot of things I was comfortable with on usenet back in the day... when everything was much smaller, and long before it all became Google-searchable. There is absolutely nothing I can do at this point to get rid of any of it, except start pretending to be someone else. I'd rather not pretend, and I'd rather not have my name become important fandom history.")
  • comment by Heidi8 ("We had a huge discussion on HPfGU-Mod back in 2001 or 2002 about whether we wanted to make the list's archives completely public so people could read the posts without joining the group - and that was before said posts would have made it into the Google archive as I think they do now! And we decided against it because they were posted by people who thought they would not be public, so it would be unfair to change the rules part-way through the game.")

Excerpts from Comments: Page Two

  • comment by Ithiliana ("I am about to do something I've almost never done--delete a comment. Then I'll delete this. I am doing so only because I do not want the link to the screencapture in my journal. I understand it's necessary for evidence, but I do not want to directly link anybody to it (I had not linked to it in the community, and had redacted the fan's name). I know it's probably hypocritical since my post is all about the issue, but for some reason, this choice just makes me uncomfortable. I'm sorry, and hope you understand.")
  • comment by caras galadhon ("I have no exciting Laura Hale stories past that time she showed up in my LJ in a metapost and tried to argue that her term for RPF was more valid than "RPF," despite the fact that the fandom doesn't use her term. Eyeroll-inducing and indicative of her approach to everything fannish, but mostly harmless (past that chunk of my time she wasted).")
  • comment by msilverstar ("Someone did the same thing to bandom, bandfic, bandslash, because popslash was there first. Might have been her arguing, I tuned it out because I didn't care, but someone will know...")
  • comment by caras gladhon ("You mean Laura and her "ebandom" thing? I'm always struck by how she's big into trying to redefine terminology for the larger fannish community. *shaking head* A real lack of understanding as to how language works on her part, I've got to say.")
  • comment by Carmarthen ("If I didn't know it was impossible to be as time-consumingly insane in internet fandom AND the SCA, I would totally think I knew her RL identity. Unfortunately, there are two of them. (What bothers me sometimes is that a long, long time ago, under another pseudonym, where I was less careful about connecting my real name with my pseud, I had her friended on LJ. Because at the time, she did not appear overtly crazy and malicious.)")
  • comment by Ithiliana ("I can understand some of the concerns expressed in the beginning (and there were major communcation problems) and even now (though the over the top freaked out anti-academic minority really work my nerves!). I suspect if you asked around in private people would be willing to give you their fan names--I've been told several of them in just that way. As even Laura says, the information for some of them is well known among fans/friends; it's just been considered rude to post it in public ways, linking them.")
  • comment by anonymous ("Another fact which does not seem to be mentioned is that the LJ community fanthropology is pervaded by Laura H. and her circle; she doesn't just post there quite often (about the OTW fanarchive inception and about Fanlib to name but two topics), it looks like her 'sysops' does too: the one who is the technical head of fandomination archive and therefore most probably of the fanhistory wiki too, under the LJ name of jim_sage. I am surprised to be the first one to mention -and her direct participation and long-standing influence at fanthropology- though the last probably explains why the mods hesitated so long to act and delete her outing post.")
  • comment by white serpent ("the one who is the technical head of fandomination archive and therefore most probably of the fanhistory wiki too, under the LJ name of jim_sage. This is possible, but it strikes me as unlikely. was a multifandom fanfiction archive that she developed with Jim based on an implementation paper that she wrote (possibly for her master's thesis). I believe she dropped it and left it entirely to Jim in 2005 (maybe 2006?) after a series of disagreements. It's possible they came to an agreement afterward and he's involved in fanhistory, but it seems more likely to me that he's not. They don't have each other friended, and joule indicates that's not a recent development. You could just as well claim that because she used to be a moderator, Xing is obviously a sysop and behind the programming of fanhistory. And that would be wrong, since, as far as I know, they can't stand each other and Xing hasn't spoken to her since 2001. I guess-- please be careful about accusing people who used to be her friends of being involved in her current projects. They're usually not, because they used to be her friends.")
  • comment by jim sama ("Jim_sama (me) designed fandomination (which is getting a very happy web 2.0 upgrade that has been several years in development). She parted the site somewhere in 2005 or 2006, i don't recall, after disagreement over inplementation and overall purpose of the site. She no longer is affiliated with the site in any form (which I personally feel is for the better). We do not communicate, period, and I have no hand in her fanhistory project.... Laura has not been associated with Fandomination for several years. I have absolutely NOTHING to do with her fanhistory thing. I don't know who Jim_sage is, Jim_sama (me) is the admin and developer of fandomination. I will not go into why she and fandomination parted ways other than irreconcilable differences in implementation. We do not communicate at -ALL-")
  • comment by unperfectwolf ("I forgot that there are people out there who can't discuss their nc-17 slash rps with their boss. And then things like this happen and holy shit, I fail to understand this person's logic. If she wants to make money off of this, she needs people who make her the money, and all I can seem to see her doing is making more and more of us run and hide. I remember the debacle from several years ago and have always kept a wary eye on Fan History since then--I did not, however, think that it was going to happen all over again. I think that ethrosdemon is right, that maybe "not feeding the trolls" is no longer going to work. I think we need to upgrade to some anti-troll spray. I am not sure how this will come about, but maybe fandom collectively shunning and nofollowing their links could be the start.")
  • comment by laura holt pi ("I hate to break it to you, but most of fandom don't even know Fan History and OTW exist. You're all so self-obsessed that you've convinced yourselves you are fandom. You're not. In the case of Ithiliana, I'd question whether she's even included in fandom, since her only fannish activities seem to involve attacking people. Is that fandom?")
  • comment by unperfectwolf ("Yeah, well, a lot of people didn't know about Riley and the PtQ war and a lot of people don't know about Cassie Claire and a lot of people don't know about ckll and even more probably don't know about the Sali issue and even more probably don't know about the Brown Rider issue. All of these things have been major upheavals in their fandoms--just because YOU or a lot of people or who ever don't know about whatever the current trend is doesn't mean that they aren't--or weren't, since some of them have been resolved or a non-issue for many many year--a problem. As for OTW, I have left that alone since the beginning, as I am not sure I agree with it at all (that's another issue in and of itself, one that doesn't belong in this post, since that's not what this post is about). I'm glad that this has brought both to your attention, though, so that you are aware of both issues, no matter which side you fall on. I don't think that "most of" fandom will ever really know a lot about the same thing as for the huge size of fandom, which brings up an altogether separate point of what Laura or whoever things she is doing by creating a history of fandom: the sheer size of this wiki would be insane, because I know in the almost 11 years I have been in fandom now, I've floated through a lot of fandoms and seen a lot of history made, and that I have been in very few in comparison to the whole. As far as a small group being a fandom: this is completely legitimate. I mean, look at the entourage fandom—there's something like 15 of us and we're a fandom. Any group of any size can be a fandom, or a sect of one, or a group of friends from all sorts of fandoms. As far as the comments about ithiliana goes, I think you have lost sight of what makes someone a part of fandom. Her scholarly work for sure contributes to fandom, even as a whole, because it is about things we do. Her friendship to others in fandom and knowledge of certain fandoms again brings her into the fold, as being a part of fandom has never meant to need to write fic, hold discussions, mod communities, make vids or draw art: it has always, and hopefully always will be, that to be a part of fandom that you must a) enjoy something so much that you b) seek out others that feel the same. Perhaps this has changed since I joined my first messageboard (which was, I admit, on InsideTheWeb) back in the winter of 1997/1998. Even if it hasn't, she has had many posts for discussing things in many different fandom's, and that certainly counts.")
  • comment by ardath rekha ("In an interesting development, after reading all of this I decided to go to the Fanhistory site and request the (miniscule) information about me be removed. When I'd viewed this as a legitimate enterprise, I'd initially actually corrected a few things on there, repointing from my defunct LJ to my active IJ, and specifying the fandom I'd been in and how long I'd been in it. I'd actually even added the fandom yesterday, but as of today, it appears that all pages on Fan History are only editable by sysops. That's really going to cramp her wiki's style, now, isn't it, if she actually has to do all of the updates herself? I wonder how many deletions she was trying to prevent by doing that... and how much spam content she was afraid she was going to get.")
  • comment by lenmoxmacbeth ("Just so everyone here knows, Laura does very few updates herself now. Whether the updates were considered "legitimate" by you dogpilers or not, every time she updated a page, someone had to flock over to bitch - but when one of the other mods updates a page, everything's fine and dandy? I've been out for the last four days, and I haven't visited FanHistory yet today. I'm an admin there, but my duties are primarily resolving NPOV conflicts. However, if it is the case that only sysops can now edit pages on FanHistory, I don't blame Laura in the least - dogpiling such as that generated by the OP's post would only result in people flocking over there to blank and mangle pages without any kind of rhyme or reason. (Blanking pages is vandalism, by the way. It's that way on any wiki that has a policy on vandalism.) I doubt very much that Laura locked it to do all of the updates herself. Either way, I'm done with this post, and I'm done with metafandom. I've seen some idiot stuff posted to that comm in the past, but a post made for the sole purpose of "calling out" another person is not meta and does not belong on a comm. I don't like fandom to begin with - I started helping Laura ONLY because of my experience in journalism and using neutral point of view. However, the OP here and the experience of reading through this thread has justified my dislike.")
  • comment by ardath rekha ("I think she went a bit overboard in limiting the rewrites to just sysops. Anonyposts should be blocked there, right now. But if she doesn't trust her own mods and members, things are never going to get better for the site. It advertises itself as being created and edited by the general public, after all. I have to say that the sheer laziness that went into the construction of my page's stub was... impressive in the worst sort of way. I'd consider it only a few steps up, in quality, from the word-salads that spam sites put on their pages to improve their google standings. I found myself correcting the content on general principles because, you know... if it's a page about me I'd like it to be accurate, but... why should I be putting that kind of effort into a page that diverts people from my actual material? Well, once this all dies down, hopefully I can get them to delete it. It's not like it has any particularly worthwhile information on it, anyway. Google itself has more and better in its search results.")
  • comment by franzeska ("I understand why most people don't like ending up on wank communities, but FandomWank (for one) is fantastic at keeping track of nutjobs. They are frequently too quick to condemn people, but once they've got some real dirt, they never let it go. I personally assumed partly_bouncy couldn't be that bad because I didn't see some big FW Wiki page on her past transgressions.")
  • comment by cereta ("Honestly, I suspect that either everyone [at Fandom Wank Wiki] is sitting on their collective hands or the mods are keeping it from hitting. Given that LH specifically asked people to try to get the wiki on F_W, and just a few posts down, one of said people posted what looks, at least knowing about LH's request, like a really, really blatantly manufactured wank that includes, oh, look, a link to the wiki, I'd bet there's some deliberate holding back going on.")
  • comment by anonymous ("Posting anonymouse because Laura Hale creeps me the fuck out. I also understand that since I am a supporter of the Organization for Transformative Works that some will believe I am targeting her because of her stance against that organization, especially the OTW wiki. Nah. Even people who utterly loathe OTW (ie, me and most the people I know) are going "lol Michela, you are batshit crazy, get the fuck away from us." Thank you so much for collecting all of these links. You have no idea how much I appreciate being able to say "Just go read this." and link to you instead of having to retype everything over and over and over again over IM.")
  • comment by ithillana ("Thank you! I wrote and posted it and am collecting links for that very purpose--so that the post can be easily referenced (I imagine we'll have to do something like this again in a year or two, the way fandom history/memory cycles go).... I think this information needs to be clearly posted and linked and kept in mind as part of fan history! :>")

Excerpts from Comments: Page Three

  • comment from still glorious ("Wow, some people clearly have too much time on their hands. I don't even understand what exactly she is doing. She's telling through her blog that people write RPS and outs their real names??? What on earth does she gain from that???? And more importantly who gives a shit? Sorry, this happen to you and to others. And great work on making this public.")
  • comment from ithillana ("It is a very complicated story! The site is not a simple weblog: it is a wiki. I am not linking because I haven't learned how to link without adding to her google count, and I don't want to give her anymore links. She claims she is trying to amass all of fandom history (as opposed to more fandom specific wikis). She is also trying to get funded (venture capital) as a consultant to help corporations market to fandom (she has posted information and a video trying to raise the funding).... I think many of us in fandom are quite happy to spend hours on fan projects, but her using fan labor (she is always trying to get volunteers for the wiki, all the more so in that she bans them on a regular basis) and then planning to make money off fan labor.")
  • comment by anonymous ("Thank you for this post! A friend of mine forwarded me here when I was asking about the situation. You see, someone recently posted in several communities for a fandom I'm part of, drumming up help for the wiki, and at first I thought, "Hunh, this is sort of interesting" and considered helping. And then all my immediate friends objected near violently. At first I thought their response was simply due to feeling betrayed by the fact that a nameless bot has been gathering information about them off of FFN without their permission. But most of these friends have a very large divide between RL and fandom and don't want to have the two spilling into each other, making this a greater risk for them. And so now the situation is clearly more complex than I thought, and after reading this post and some other material, my desire to help has sort of, well, vanished completely. I did notice an article was created about my fic, but since I'm relatively new to fandom altogether, there's no real wank to be added. Plus, I've been using my real name online since 96, long before I realized how foolish that could be, so it's far too late for anybody to out me now. But I'm clearly the exception, and I still feel a sense of righteous anger (and general fear) in behalf of my friends.")