Filtering Tools

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In fandom there have been various software tools used to help people find things they want to see and avoid things they don't want to see. Fans have created tools, and the tools available have influenced fan culture.

Early days

  • Mailing lists were often split out into different lists for different fandoms, and even within a fandom for different types of fic or art - e.g. gen-only lists, slash-only lists, etc.
  • Usenet had many groups, and you could also choose which topics you followed within a group. Killfiles also date from this era.


  • LiveJournal had a range of tools, including blocking journals, "killfile" scripts to blacklist certain people, and community moderation tools. LiveJournal also had tags, so you could choose to view all the entries with a certain tag. Your friends page would still show all the entries, regardless of tag.


  • Dreamwidth added more tools, e.g. filtering out certain tags from your reading page, and being able to grant access without subscribing or vice versa, allowing you more control over what you do and don't see.


  • AO3 allows you to follow certain tags
  • AO3 allows you to include or exclude tags in a search in combinations - you can search for "GoodThing -BadThing" and get everything tagged GoodThing but not BadThing
  • AO3 Savior is a script that allows you to hide all works with certain tags so that you don't see them at all when browsing

Tumblr =

  • XKit was a great tool for filtering out things you didn't want to see, until the creator got bullied off Tumblr
  • New XKit does a similar thing
  • Tumblr Savior can also be helpful for filtering
  • Washboard is helpful for filtering and works on mobile
  • tool summary post

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