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A label may be used to identify a fan or fanwork by fandom or pairing, or to provide warnings or just general information, usually in the form of tags.

Labeling fanworks hasn't always been the norm. Fanworks published in early print zines usually had no labels at all. One had to know someone who knew something about the zine in question, or get some information from a flyer.

Much early online fic also did not have labels. In 2016, a fan wrote:

I wasn’t going to put this in the hella long answer that I just posted because it’s not really relevant, but does anyone else remember the old archives? The really ancient ones? That looked like this?





That was all. No description, no author, no pairing, no rating, no tags, no warning. You didn’t even get a hint as to which version of Star Trek the fic was about. Just a blank page with a line of document names. It took forever to download them only to find it was a NOTP or kinky or what. And I’m not saying y’all have it easy, but…

Y’all have it easy.

# the good thing is # i have it easy too # which is awesome # fandom history # oh captain my captain was het # my fair jeanne was what we called genderswapping # it's about time was k/s # she moves in mysterious ways was m/omnipotent being in female form [1]


  1. ^ telesilla, October 16, 2016