Msscribe

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Fan
Name: Ms.Scribe, msscribe, msscribe2003 (Yahoo Instant Messenger)
Alias(es): Dionne, light_music, dejaspirit, Delawarean, constantine
and of course, the numerous sockpuppets
Type: fan writer, sockpuppeteer
Fandoms: Harry Potter
Communities: FictionAlley, gt_hidden_room
Other:
URL: stories on Fiction Alley
stories on Portkey.org
msscribe on LiveJournal (archived by the Wayback Machine)
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Msscribe (also msscribe, MsScribe, Ms.Scribe)[1] was a fan in Harry Potter fandom who committed such shocking hijinks of deceit, sockpuppetry, and exploitation that she got her own exposé, see The Ms.Scribe Story: An Unauthorized Fandom Biography.

Her Fiction

Msscribe wrote at least 21 Harry Potter stories. Most are Harry/Hermione and/or Draco/Ginny. She also wrote a handful of other pairings, from Harry/Draco to rarepairs such as Ron/Narcissa.

Most of her Harry/Hermione and Draco/Ginny stories are online at Portkey.org. Her one Harry/Ginny story, "Knockers," was posted at the Ron/Hermione and pro-Harry/Ginny archive Checkmated until the archive went offline—even though it is sometimes interpreted as a parody of the Harry/Ginny ship. Several of her fics are also online at FictionAlley, and many of her NC-17 fics were posted The Restricted Section.[2] Some stories were also posted to her LiveJournal but have since been deleted.

Her fanfiction includes:

FictionAlley

See her FictionAlley Profile; WebCite

Some favorites:

  • Msscribe posted that her favorite authors were: Cassandra Claire, Nancy Malfoy, Lissanne, AngieJ, Babygrrl, Purebloodgryff, Rhysenn, Elia Sheldon, Clio, Ali Wildgoose.
  • Her favorite artists were: LadyLisse, Lizardlaugh, Mon Starling, Tosh.
  • Her pairings were: Harry/Hermione, Harry/Draco, Hermione/Ginny, Ginny/Draco, Ron/Ginny, Ron/Pansy, Ron/Hermione.

Msscribe registered at FictionAlley is November 2002. She was a mod at FictionAlley from early June 2003 to late March 2004. Her last post was 4th March, 2004 at 03:06 PM.

Other Fannish Involvement

Msscribe was originally involved as a high-ranking member of the staff at The Witching Hour, a Harry Potter symposium held in 2005. Sometime after March 4, 2004, she resigned/was replaced by someone else. [3]

Summary of the Famous Exposé

See also: The Ms.Scribe Story: An Unauthorized Fandom Biography

Beginning in late 2002, Msscribe developed a series of sockpuppets and Munchausen-y scenarios, including: fangirls, mean haters, life-threatening injury-complications requiring hospitalization and quasi-permanent disability, having her computer hacked, being stalked (sometimes by fundamentalist Christians), having a friend die, racist attacks, being the target of internet conspiracies, and generally becoming the most oppressed and harassed fan in the world. And that was just in 2003.

The purpose of her antics appears to have been social climbing within the Harry Potter fandom, as she consistently attached herself to BNFs and cultivated strategic alliances and enmities.[4] Although she wrote Harry Potter fanfic, her primary claim to fame was fame.

Despite elaborate explanations that worked in the short term, Msscribe was ultimately unmasked by a long series of IP matches that revealed her stalkers and sycophants alike were using her internet connection. Considerable denial within her chosen Harry Potter communities allowed the fiction to persist long after damning evidence was publicly available. It is unclear whether this denial was peculiar to the particular set of friends, to an aspect of Harry Potter culture, or to the entertainment value of seeing the controversy appear again and again on Fandom Wank. Wankaz have admitted to themselves that, in making fun of Msscribe, they also gave her the attention and fame (and even, among circles that distrust Fandom Wank, the esteem) she craved.[5]

Fannish Impact

See Impact of "The Ms.Scribe Story" for more.

Under the name Sporkify, Msscribe created the Livejournal Fandom Scruples in 2004, purportedly to watchdog "immoral" fanfiction (but actually to draw attention and righteous support and to ensure her name was associated with several Harry Potter BNFs). Fandom Scruples went on to become the subject of considerable ire.[6]

Another outcome of the Msscribe story being told all at once (and in Bad Penny, a forum with a panfannish audience) was that a number of people decided that HP fandom was extremely crazy. [7] With the Msscribe saga being described in depth (retroactively) and the Cassandra Claire controversy ongoing, the summer of 2006 appeared to be the summer of Harry Potter fans' humiliation.

As the evidence was examined, various apologies were offered and asked for, but some were deemed more sincere than others.

Pseuds

See List of MsScribe's Socks for much more detail.
one fan's 2006 graph of Msscribe's pseuds

Soon after Msscribe started posting fanfic to Fiction Alley in December 2002, she started creating sockpuppets.

Some of the troll socks were moral watchdogs who posted blacklists of fan writers who posted gay smut, "didn't think of the children", etc. The lists always included Msscribe.

Some socks were also set up as members of Gryffindor Tower [8] (a Harry/Ginny shipper archive) to make Gryffindor Tower look bad.

Some Comments

2006

MSScribe started the ball rolling, but she didn't do all her dirty work alone. She exploited things that already existed in fandom. The belief that there is One True Way, and that people who disagree with you are evil. The willingness to gang up on someone who is different. The whole Leader/Submissive Follower dynamic. The desire to belong to the hottest cliques. The belief that anyone who has anything critical to say about fandom as a whole is just a troll, out to destroy the entire fandom way of life. Perhaps one way to guard against people like her is to learn to think for yourself, and not be afraid to express your opinions. [9]
What I think was bright about Dionne was the way she used existing loyalties and tensions within the specific fandom and among the specific people she knew to pretty much ensure that even when the evidence did come to the surface in dribs and drabs, people would be unwilling to look at it or willing to dismiss it because the sources and the people who needed to hear it were already at odds and distrustful of one another. And she used FW on numerous occasions to publicise what was going on, at least once wank reporting herself using another sock. That's not creative or careful, but it's not stupid, either. I know my own personal resolution going forward out of all this is to be less easy to manipulate; to think, twice or three times, before acting on information that seems almost tailored to make me see red and go on the offence. [10]
I think the big thing that leads to susceptibility to sockpuppeting is this BNF mentality, particularly prevalent in the HP fandom around the time this was going down. When the fandom is focused on a few "big fans" and judge others by their devotion to those names, it's easy to slip in sockpuppets and trolling as long as the perpetrators are perceived to be above the law. [11]
I remember reading it and thinking "Where did she get the TIME?" so I think a lot of it amounts to people not believing someone would bother with such an elaborate series of stunts. So the advice from that would be "Yes, people would go this far. [12]
I am so pleased, so very, very pleased, to see the attention given to the Msscribe affair, because now there's fandom-wide awareness of the depths to which some emotionally-sick people will sink. Now, when someone say's 'XYZ freaks me out a bit', perhaps their concerns will be seen as valid, instead of imaginative. It also stands as a warning to other sick puppies out there - people do notice, people do back away, and people do keep evidence. I think a lot of the perpetrators rely on people's reluctance to create scenes or make accusations to get away with a lot of their behaviour. It must give them a feeling of confidence and superiority. I hope the Msscribe affair, the whole unmasking, makes the rest throw up in terror. On one hand, I feel sorry for anyone who is so obviously mentally unhinged; otoh, when you witness the behaviour first-hand, you simply feel sickened. [13]
I think the main point is that people don't want to see this kind of thing. People want to believe that other people are telling the truth, especially when the ones doing the lying are their friends. We really want to trust our friends, after all. So slip-ups and inconsistencies get ignored and glossed over until they're too big and there's too many to continue doing that. Fact is that anyone gets a pretty large benefit of the doubt before people start accusing them of lying, especially being a sockpuppet - which I think is *good* because otherwise we'd all be dead of paranoia, but leads to these kinds of situations. [14]
I've got two triggers that make me suddenly dial down my trust-o-meter: Someone's life being too interesting (because no one has that kind of stuff hapening [sic] in their life *all the time*) and inconsistencies in stories. I've met pathological liars in RL, and that's how they were caught out. They just couldn't stop embroidering, even when they contradicted themselves, and even when they left credibility behind. [15]

2016

[chandri]: omg, sometimes I go a long time between re-reading and I somehow FORGET the depth of the batshit WTAF of the Msscribe sockpuppet saga, like HOW DO I FORGET, it is INCREDIBLE [16]
[flourish]: Hey, I don’t want to rain on the funny-wank parade, but it would be nice if people remembered that the Msscribe thing happened to actual humans.

I was a teenager at the time. I had my first drink of alcohol at a room party she threw. When I found out how she’d been catfishing me and all my friends for years—it was a giant betrayal. It took me a long time to work through how utterly we’d been punked, and how some of my best fandom memories were now completely tainted by a person who, the whole time, had been playing us like puppets.

I know it feels like popcorn time for people who are distanced from this stuff. But please do recall that there are other people involved than Cassandra in most of these and that they had real consequences for many of us—and that we are still around. [17]
[countingnothings]: this was when I was first getting into fic, and fandom in general (internet baby that I am), and it shaped my understanding of text production and the intersections of author and audience, something that informs the work I do in grad school. so thank you, fandom wank, for raising me right. [18]
[yarsian]: Oh what a classic read for this cold miserable day! When I feel the greatest disconnect with younger fandom friends is when I make references to these things and get blank stares back. Read these tales children and learn fandom history.[19]
[friendshiptothemax]: I reread the Msscribe story at least once a year. It is SO GOOD. [20]
[thebaconsandwichofregret]:For those with whom I was discussing the MsScribe saga the other day and explaining that time I once got accused of being her. [21]
[doyeolhearme]: Okay, but have you guys read the Ms. Scribe’s Story: An Unauthorized Fandom Biography?

It’s freakin’ amazing. The author goes in depth about the drama, the wars, and etc. of the Harry Potter fandom of 2001-2005. Cassandra Clare is mentioned often in the later chapters, for she was a “friend” by ms.scribe.

Everyone was fuckin’ duped! Ms.Scribe was a mastermind. The author of the biography tells such a compelling story, complete with evidence

note: the biography was written approx. 10 years ago. many of the links are dead, but this does not take away from the story.[22]
[dr-hegemony]: This sorta reminds me of my time over at FimFiction, but it never got to this level of ‘outer hand’, the Harry Potter fandom sure was a wild beast. See this is why fandom should be study as a field of academic interest, there’s just so much that is interesting. Hopeful one day soon, I will do just that. [23]

Further Reading

2006

  • lying awake in the garden; WebCite, by musesfool, June 16, 2006
  • untitled; WebCite, by oulangi, “Personally, as someone who watched these sagas unfold from the sticky peanut gallery of fandom wank, I never quite *got* msscribe.” June 16, 2006

June 17, 2006:

June 18, 2006:

June 19, 2006:

June 20, 2006:

June 21, 2006:

  • ….in which it makes a thousand matches; WebCite, by soupytwist, June 21, 2006
  • untitled; WebCite, by doctoraicha, "So you would've believed inconclusive IP evidence over a friend who you had no reason to believe was dishonest?" June 21, 2006
  • untitled, page 1 WebCite, untitled, page 2; WebCite, Maeglin Yedi, "So yeah, it really matters that the other side of this story is now finally revealed, even if the original wanks started 3 years ago. Because these wanks influenced a whole lot more people than just the ones personally involved. It influenced fandom as a whole, especially when the sockpuppets started targeting fandom in general and not just small groups of people in it." June 21, 2006

June 22, 2006:

June 23, 2006:

June 24, 2006:

June 26, 2006:

  • Tangled Web, page 1; WebCite, page 2; WebCite, by papersky, June 25, 2006
  • untitled; WebCite, by Cleolinda Jones, “You don't have to bow and scrape and beg forgiveness for some vague sin. Just acknowledge that something hurtful happened, even if we're still in the discovery process and aren't entirely sure what's what yet.” June 26, 2006
  • Fine...; WebCite, by ari o, June 26, 2006

June 28, 2006:

October 2006:

2007

2010

  • unpopular fannish opinion: i feel bad about mocking the snapewives, by seperis ("This came up in MsScribe too, actually; the weird thing was, there was a lot of OMG NO SHUT UP at the idea of calling CPS because she was using multiple sockpuppets to play a really fun game of munchausen by internet proxy, but I think the dealbreaker was she was ironic enough about it. It's not even that I think there's a double standard here; I think it's a very consistent standard. MsScribe's actions, though destructive, sometimes personally, were in retrospect clever; she was manipulative and played on stereotyping, and it wasn't like she believed her own sockpuppets were real or something. They were tools for a goal.")

2012

2013

2014

  • Don't make me laugh, this is dark shit, ; archive link, a Tumblr post with over 6000 notes, consisting of fans using created Tumblrs of BNFs to comment on this, and other fandom scandals and personalities; each Tumblr link goes to a page of commentary, making this a unique fanwork (February 2014)

2017

Undated

See Also

References

  1. The capitalization of her username was always msscribe. Her LiveJournal layout and name field stylized her name as "Ms.Scribe", and she signed her name "Ms.Scribe" at FictionAlley Park (example). Fans usually capitalize the username as Msscribe when discussing her, or as MsScribe to clarify pronunciation, but she did not use these capitalization variations herself. She said of The Ms.Scribe Story: "Hey Charlotte, girl, you got my name right! You wouldn’t believe how many people fuck that up." (archive.is capture of the LiveJournal post.)
  2. RestrictedSection.org, Stories by Author - M, archived by the Wayback Machine 17 November 2005.
  3. A 2004 Announcement
  4. In a 2004 email to Heidi8, Angua said, "I think she catered to the prejudices she saw in the fandom in a (successful) attempt to be popular and accepted. So she targeted homophobes, racists, smut-haters, extreme Christians, and... H/G shippers. ;)" reposted on her livejournal; Archive, Jun. 22nd, 2006.
  5. Discussion in Untitled i-wank; Archive, posted 22 June 2006. Accessed 19 December 2008.
  6. Darlas_mom. Fandom Scruples (now offline) 25 January 2004. Accessed 19 December 2008.
  7. Cofax. Livejournal post; Archive, 20 June 2006. Accessed 19 December 2008.
  8. Gryffindor Tower's Hidden Room; WebCite, some 2003 posts
  9. comment by gwynfyd at mecurtin's fanthropology post "Diagnosing Malicious Puppetry"; Archive (June 24, 2006)
  10. comment by tiferet at mecurtin's fanthropology post "Diagnosing Malicious Puppetry"; Archive (June 25, 2006)
  11. comment by eiviiaru at mecurtin's fanthropology post "Diagnosing Malicious Puppetry"; Archive (June 24, 2006)
  12. comment by morchades at mecurtin's fanthropology post "Diagnosing Malicious Puppetry"; Archive (June 24, 2006)
  13. comment by tboy at mecurtin's fanthropology post "Diagnosing Malicious Puppetry"; Archive (June 25, 2006)
  14. comment by kazaera at mecurtin's fanthropology post "Diagnosing Malicious Puppetry"; Archive (June 25, 2006)
  15. comment by brown betty at mecurtin's fanthropology post "Diagnosing Malicious Puppetry"; Archive (June 26, 2006)
  16. chandri.tumblr
  17. flourish.tumblr
  18. countingnothings.tumblr
  19. yarsian.tumblr
  20. friendshiptothemax.tumblr
  21. thebaconsandwichofregret.tumblr
  22. doyeolhearme.tumblr
  23. dr-hegemony.tumblr
  24. WebCite.