Fandom Wank Poll: Fandom Wank, possible virtures of.

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Title: Fandom Wank Poll: Fandom Wank, possible virtures of.
Creator: pauraque
Date(s): 22 January 2005
Medium: LiveJournal post
Topic: wank, Fandom_Wank
External Links: Fandom Wank Poll: Fandom_Wank, possible virtues of., Archived version
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Fandom Wank Poll: Fandom Wank, possible virtures of. is a early 2005 poll conducted by pauraque, and a collection of comments by other fans.

The poll's question was "The existence of Fandom_Wank serves as a deterrent to bad behavior in fandom." It had 166 participants.


One response to this poll and fan comments to it was the waning of ambivalence by sophia helix.

Fan Comments

[scarah2]: LOL, it leads to friendslocking and baleeting of bad behavior.

*ponders* I'm not an expert, but I have been around to see the Potter fandom grow from rare to huge, and it seems to me that sites like f_w and lj_drama bring out the worst in people, making them more likely to dive head-first into little scuffles and escalate, instead of just letting the original participants sort it out for themselves.

...then again, maybe diplomacy and tact are just going the way of the dinosaurs :-P
[scribbulus_ink]: People who are prone to behave in a certain way are going to do so with or without the presence of f_w. All f_w does is bring unnecessary attention to it.
[sideofzen]: F_W is there to point out the stupid, not control the stupid. =P
[ani bester]:

I still see the same amount of fandom drama now as I did before it existed, and to me, it seems that most people who cause it don't care about F-W it seems.

Also, I've noticed that sometiems F_W can actually increase the amount of fnadom drama that there is by brining it to the attention of people who have nothing to do with it or who otherwise might not know about it.

I think the wank over the Sugar Quill was increased by F_W and I think lots of wank of wankstar made into a bigger mess by them, and most stuff on FAP.

I've also seen them create wank where none existed, and example of that would be them creating wank over Hiede posting to remind people about daylight savings.

I'm not just giving HP exampled because I'm biased, but those are usually thw wanks I'm aware of prior to F_W involvement and I can see an effect of the wank being posted on F_W.

Also, when a person is wanked, soemtimes they become defensive of their actions and are more likely to stick by their wanky behavior than to apoligize for it.

So, frankly, I can't see how F-W helps prevent wank.

Sure I've seen people here and there F'lock stuff that they are afraid might cause wank, but I think that's just out of not wanting to see F_W go crazy over it than because they honestly don't want massive disagreement, or people to purposefully misconstrue it for the fun of finding wank (which also happens a lot on F-W)

Yes, there has been the occasional non-wanky post on Fandom Wank that's posted up by someone who hates the poster. But most of the populace at Fandom Wank sees ploys as transparent as that for the mini-grudge-matches they are and tell the FW poster off.

And I'll also point out that Fandom Wank has a known policy against having it's members troll in wanky places after FW has reported on it. When wank/arguments WITHIN Fandom Wank erupts, it's primarily because sockpuppets of those who were reported within FW come in to stir shit up and defend themselves their friends' bad behavior.
[caesia390]: This is just an impression, as I tend to skim over anything mentioning fandom_wank as I don't really care... But judging from the realtive lack of wank on my friendslist, I'd have to guess that it serves as an outlet for people to vent their frustration and bitchitude.

I don't see it as serving as a deterrent to bad behavior, but sometimes I read through it when I need something of a "my fandom eats charred, dead bunnies" wankery fix.

Sometimes, you gotta know how the whole pie lives, not just the other half.
[chaos rose]: I think that F_W encourages bad behavior, attention whoring, and trolling - while at the same time shooting the fandom sacred cows and grinding them into hamburger. The effect, IMHO, is mixed.
[sopia helix]:

I agree... that f_w sometimes inflames existing wank into a much bigger deal that it might have been had it gone unnoticed by fandom-at-large.

But, more worringly, I've noticed a recent trend in which the threat of f_w prevents fannish behavior, period. Several friends of mine have decided not to post things, or posted until heavily-filtered lock, in case of seeming "wanky," when they were genuinely upset or excited about something. Frankly, I'm getting pretty sick of the idea that anything a certain crowd deems self-involved or otherwise mockworthy is "wanky," and the fact that what might have been an interesting discussion to the participants can be stopped cold once the dreaded "wank" label is applied. I can think of several recent large discussions that were not, in my opinion, wanky (ie, flamewar-like) but they ended up on f_w, and yes, the talk pretty much died down. What's up with this arbiting of what is and is not a good discussion by people who only want to point and laugh, and not actually get involved themselves?...

And the funny thing is, I often enjoy f_w to death, usually agree with them, and know at least one of them well enough to get that the intention is just to have fun. But the other effect it has, to make people self-censor, just bugs me.
[anonymous]: It's bizarre how a self-appointed clique of f_w bnf's can make a slew of nasty, sometimes lie-filled or at least mistake-riddled posts and shut down interpersonal communications. Talk about an inner circle of misery.
[mctabby]: For every kerfuffle deterred by f_w, there seems to be another that's encouraged by it. All balances out, I guess.
[deslea]: I do think that otf_wank and i_wank might take the edge off some of the bad behaviour, though - those comms seem to encourage commonsense and keeping things in perspective. Generally speaking, they seem to have the relatively laid-back snark without the excesses.
[mariagoner]: Everything balances out, given an ice age or two.
[iibnf]: FW IS the bad behaviour!
[tekalynn]: Though it can be fun in a car-crash fashion, sometimes. As for deterrance, I don't think it does at all.
[gmth]: I don't think F_W deters wank. People are going to disagree and be assholes about it whether F_W is watching or not. I've seen loads of what I would consider wank go on that was never reported on F_W. And just because something winds up over there is no guarantee that it's going to be blown up even further, either -- the big kerfuffle I was involved in last year got blown up because a friend of the person I disagreed with decided to step into the fray, not because it got reported on F-W. Not saying F-W doesn't fan the flames from time to time, but I think it's just as common for people over there to have their say (which they would probably do anyway, if the wank occurs in public) and then move on.

I think some people are reluctant to speak their minds publicly because of fear of fandom_wank. But if someone is being that thoughtful about whether or not to post, they were probably never going to end up on fandom_wank anyway.

So I don't think that f_w deters bad behaviour. I just think it deters open and free discussion.

And having said that, I sometimes read f_w anyway.
[lizbee]: In my experience with the SugarQuill drama last year, F_W was not much of a deterrent -- until very late in the piece, when we realised that we were going to be mocked whatever we did, and stopped doing anything. Nothing much was resolved. Very annoying. But by that point, the relevant threads were overrun by anonymice with a dubious grasp of reality -- actual f_w regulars had mostly moved on.

I was about to say, "I don't think F_W serves as a deterrant," but... hm. Sometimes I'm afraid of being wanked, and I know I've seen more than one LJ post saying, "This is probably wanky, but..."

At the same time, I don't think F_W could ever stop flamewars/kerfluffles/what-have-you -- they're as natural to fandom as breathing is to human beings. Moreover, I don't think most F_Wers (or those who visit F_W, like myself) want F_W to deter "bad behavior", however that's defined, because then there aren't anymore flamewars to gawk at (and I admit that I enjoy gawking at flamewars, depending on the war).

Sometimes I wonder if F_W has changed fandom in some way, but I think it's more likely that fandom changed and F_W is part of that change. I remember (back when we walked uphill for our fanfic both ways in the snow with a 14.4 modem) when the Slashfic Hall Of Shame was widely denounced and it folded very quickly; I remember when Citizens Against Bad Slash set off a great hue and cry; and I remember when venues for critique and meta, like FCA-L and Prospect-L also got people all fusty.

But now we've got pottersues and deleterius and heave_ho, etc., etc. I'm not sure why LJ made it easier for people wanting to mock fic to find venues. OTOH, F_W isn't for mocking fiction, and it's pretty much one-of-a-kind; likewise, critique and meta don't have that many communities to themselves.

...I have no idea where I was going with this.
[cruisedirector]: The existence of fandom wank has in the case of several people I know served as a deterrent to fandom, period.

F_W is like a tv network saying, "You know, if there was a show called Ugly Car Crashes, it would be called tasteless and shameful, but, god, would it get ratings. Dammit, let's make it." People just like to gawk at car crashes. They feel ashamed about it, but once the show Ugly Car Crashes makes its debut, there's such a feeling of "Oh, thank god I'm not the only one!" that it becomes acceptable to admit you watch it. You may still have people refusing to watch and telling you how tasteless it is, but there will still be plenty of like-minded people to admit they watch it too.

F_W doesn't police anything, IMHO. It provides entertainment in a we're-embarrassed-to-admit-we-love-this-drama-so-long-as-it-isn't-about-US way. (For those who include themselves in that "we," of course.)

I think you'll find many of the posters of Fandom Wank aren't the least bit embarassed by the assosiation [with the tasteless and shameful]. As far as I know, there's no mortification going on over the fact that we like watching people do stupid or even occasionally evil things online. We've arguably got a lot of vices, but self-flagellation is not one of them....

I should hope that Fandom Wank doesn't serve as deterrent to bad behavior anywhere! We'd soon out of material to post and make fun of, then!

Also, I find the fact that so many people apparently go out of their way to not be featured on Fandom Wank kind of... baffling. I've been on Fandom Wank and I_Wank. I've wanked myself and happily declared it. I've had people verbally laugh at me. And guess what? I easily survived the experience!

Having people laugh at you for behaving in a stupid manner online isn't really that traumatic of an experience. Not to mention... unless you do something incredibly, mind-boggling evil and/or stupid... your piddling wank is likely to be forgotton a few days after it's featured in the comm. FW and it's sister communities are big, and they'll eventually move on to shinier things than you. At most, you'll just become a catchphrase or get a few icons dedicated to you.

So, I'm just really, really baffled by the Fandom Wank fear that I've apparently missed the first time around.

Not posting your thoughts because you're afraid you might get put on fandom_wank is like not posting fic because you're scared someone might not like it. :P Besides, if a person is posted on f_w for being wanky, it's probably because they were being wanky. Only rarely does something completely unwanky get posted, and that's smacked down pretty quickly by the f_w masses anyway. I myself have been guilty of posting unwanky material to the community, and was promptly given The People's Eyebrow by all present. Miraculously, I survived.

I hope f_w never, ever deters someone from being wanky. It would deprive me of so much joy, mockery, lesbian sex, and Dorito-eating.
[i nightblade/feenix]:

Maybe it's because fandom_wank's demographic has been changing...but I don't really see the huge flamefests that I used to.

It seems like Potter fandom's been a lot quieter, and I know Full Metal Alchemist's fandom has been less spectacular in its drama as of late. (Though, there may be extentuating circumstances in both cases--Order of the Phoenix for the former, series licensing for the latter.) However, both communities are somewhat conscious of fandom_wank, even though it's generally not a rule for us to declare in the drama that other people are mocking them on a semi-backwater LJ clone called JournalFen.

And those are just two examples. It seems like the drama has become less spectacular since...well...the start of 2004. There was the notorious Kristallnacht Crystalwank episode, and F_W eating itself two months after, but generally, the drama seems smaller.

There also seems to be a move toward reporting wank before it really gets going. As of late, I've been seeing quite a bit of "Small wank, but it'll grow." What people tend to forget, of course, is that everybody and their mom posts on f_w, or at least reads it. And often, being reported on f_w is a sign that you're becoming too absurd. In that sense, I can see F_W directly contributing as a deterrent to bad behavior.

Also, f_w's become a much larger community since its inception in 2002. It's grown a lot from where it started out, and it's spreading further. Soon the hive vagina will encapsulate the world. As more people take notice that, yes, there are eval snarky shit-slinging cunts ready to make fun of you, more people keep the drama sekrit and not out in the open. Aside from the direct retributions that BNFs can get for calling each other out, they now know that people will be laughing at them. And, I will admit, the majority of people do not agree with what f_w stands for. So they keep it under wraps.

And in that way, F_W indirectly contributes to improving fandom behavior, or at least public fandom behavior.

Just my two cents as a wanka. And a wanker.

Huh. I think it may cut down a little on LJ-based drama. Most fen on LJ know by now what f_w is and what they pick on. I got wanked once for reacting out of proportion to a troll, and since then I've been more mindful to count ten before replying to stuff. Not that being featured on f_w is traumatic exactly, but it is embarrassing, especially when, as in 90% of cases, you know you probably had it coming.

However, a lot of people who aren't heavily involved in the LJ side of things don't know what f_w is, how it works, and how to deal with it when they decide to poke you (to wit, roll your eyes and move on). Those are the people, I think, who swarm over there when they get wind of it and build the drama up even higher.
[dinpik]: That's something I've always found amusing -- the number of people who go, "Eww, fandom_wank!" but always know the latest posts.

You know fandom's always been wanky. And groups of people have always sat back and laughed at the wank. The only difference FW has made is that now when people are being wanky, they know they're being laughed at. The difference FW has made in my life, aside from hundreds of hours of enjoyment, is that I actually stop and think before just going off and doing something that could be considered wanky.

If I decide that what I have to say is worth ending up on FW -- and even though I've been on FW since the LJ days, yes I've been wanked a time or two and I deserved it -- then I post anyway. If fear of FW drives people from acting like wankers, then how's that a problem?

You mean people actually censor themselves because someone on the internet might make fun of them?

What kind of sunshine-and-roses kind of padded cell do they think the internet is?