OTW 2022 Board Election

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Event
Event: 2022 OTW Board Election
Participants: Organization for Transformative Works (OTW)
Date(s): June-August 2022, voting 12th-15th August
Type: Election
Fandom: panfandom
URL: OTW Elections site, FAQ, Main OTW site
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

The 2022 Organization for Transformative Works Board of Directors election took place between June 19th and August 16th, 2022.

On June 19th, 2022, the candidates for the 2022 OTW Board Election were publicly announced. Five candidates, one of whom had previously served on the Board, contested three available seats.[1] In alphabetical order by given name, the candidates were:

For the first time, candidates’ full legal names were not to be publicly posted unless they were appointed or elected to the Board. This step was was likely taken due to the May 2022 incident in which an unknown party sent malicious emails containing CSAM to the organisation's volunteers. [2]

On August 16, 2022, the Elections Committee announced the 2022 Elections Results. Heather McGuire and Natalia Gruber (in alphabetical order) were successfully elected to the Board of Directors and will begin their terms on October 1, 2022. In addition, Michelle Schroeder, the third place candidate, was appointed to fill the seat vacated by E. Anna Szegedi for the remainder of her term (two years), when she stepped down from her position on the Board prior to the 2022 election.[3]

Timeline

Key dates for the 2022 OTW Board Election were as follows:

  • June 17th: Candidacy deadline at 11:59pm UTC
  • June 19th: Candidates publicly announced
  • June 26th: Deadline to submit Q&A questions for candidates
  • June 30th: OTW membership deadline for prospective voters
  • August 12th: Voting begins at 12:01am UTC
  • August 15th: Voting closes at 11:59pm UTC
  • August 16th: Election results announced
  • October 1st: Board turnover begins. [4]

For a more detailed timeline of events for the OTW 2022 Election, refer to the 2022 Election Timeline.

Candidates' Platforms

Members of the public were able to submit questions for the candidates via the Elections Committee and in four candidate chats involving the five candidates. The five candidates responded to three batches of Q&As. [5] [6]

Election Statistics

The 2022 Election had a total of 11643 eligible voters, of whom 4574 cast a ballot, representing 39.3% of potential voters. The number of ballots cast increased 98.4%, from 2305 ballots in 2021, and the percentage of members voting also nearly doubled, from 20.5% in 2021.[7]

Controversy

A controversy regarding one of the candidates, Tiffany G., went viral in August. Many fans feared that AO3 was in danger of being censored.

During the August 1 live chat on Discord with the candidates, fans became concerned regarding some of Tiffany G's answers, starting with this one:

Well, I think a lot of external people are very concerned about the fact that some works contain child pornography, pedophilic content, and other illegal content. If possible (this is not entirely possible after I chatted with people from PAC though), I am interested in providing extra help to the PAC team and Legal team to update the ToS and policies on those.[8]

This answer (later amended in Discord itself to "...the fact that they think some works contain...") prompted several followup questions from the audience about whether she was proposing to restrict content, to which Tiffany responded:

OK this is a follow-up to the last question - people think we host child porn content and such things. This issue is actually closely related to the incident when our service is banned in my home country. It might also be helpful to clarify that to the public. I am not an expert but look forward to discussing it more with respective committees.[8]

Well, this is really hard to explain in a few sentences. I think it is going to be different for every work. So more clarification will be helpful and enough, given the fact that most people will not have time to read through everything in ToS.[8]

At this point, the moderator added, "Archive of Our Own does not host any works that contain materials that are illegal in the United States, such as child pornography."[8] More followup answers from Tiffany:

a) I support 100% “maximum inclusiveness of content”, yet there is always a boundary to everything. Since OTW is already an influential org, we need to protect our image and hold a better image to the public. I want the public to think of us as an inclusive and socially responsible community. So in general, we have to do something to change. Things like making the rating system more specific and obvious to users will be what I want to do. b) Not really restricting the content being posted. I hope it is like more warnings and ratings for posting work so people know what to expect. And all of these are not surprising to people who do not wish to see this.[8]

a) That is not what I proposed actually. I would want to be more specific in the rating system and clarifications so people know what to expect. b) If there are changes, it is going to be some slower work I suspect. Will work with PAC to figure out if changes are necessary.[8]

And finally:

As I have mentioned before, AO3 is no longer accessible in my home country due to some incident related to a piece of pedophilic work that is posted at AO3. This makes users very difficult to read and write with AO3. When I was reading the comments about the incident, a lot of people seemed to have a negative opinion about us. So, I think there is at least something we can do to help build a better image for us in my home country.[8]

Although she did not name the country explicitly, this country was generally assumed to be China, who had banned AO3 two years previously (see Blocking of AO3 in China). Furthermore, her description of the banning incident was recognizable to fans familiar with the 227 incident in China, including another user in the Discord chat itself, who referenced the Great Firewall of China in response, which she did not refute.

Initial Reactions

Most OTW elections are fairly uneventful, so the number of people who noticed Tiffany's comments was initially very limited, including people who attended the chat itself and fail_fandomanon, where a long discussion thread occurred. The chat transcript was not posted to the OTW website until August 5, and there are no comments on it until August 9. On August 9, a tumblr fan posted, "I am voting because there is a person running who in the chat transcripts really concerns me because it is anti language and I do not fucking want that anywhere near the board."[9] On August 11, one of the people who reblogged the post also shared the information on twitter, and that's when the news truly went viral.

Several users felt that she was quite naive and didn't understand how the AO3 worked, and expressed concern over her statements:

I'm a bit concerned by one of the candidates running for the Organisation for Transformative Works (they run AO3 and Fanlore) board elections this month.

This interview from the start of August is not reassuring https://elections.transformativeworks.org/chat-transcript-august-1/

I won't be voting for them.

This person also keeps bringing up VPN as a way to stop the hacking incident from earlier this year, alongside MFA.

MFA could have potentially helped, but unless someone was waiting to perform a man in the middle attack at some cafe an admin was at... VPN wouldn't have helped.

Likely, they need to look at who has privileges with their volunteer database and what they can do with it.

Also how that database is secured.

milli 🌈📚🎨🍖 hit_the_books (@hitthebookspost), August 11th 2022.[10]

I think she’s too focused on appeasement and her own past shame, and that opens the door to manipulation by puritywankers, but whatever kind of better outreach she’s envisioning might actually be fine if she really is talking about better communicating what AO3 is to fans in mainland China and not about removing content. Most fans there hadn’t heard of it till the ban and all the wank around it. I’m sure there is considerable misinformation. I don’t think PR should be a major OTW priority, but if Chinese fans see a need and a way to fill it, that could be good. (TBH, it doesn’t sound like Tiffany is super experienced or confident just as an individual person, so IDK if other mainland Chinese fans would actually agree with her, but it’s worth keeping an open mind.)

olderthannetfic, August 12th 2022.[11]

For anyone curios but too lazy to read the whole transcript. She mentions wanting to work in the legal department and trying to restrict/limit dead dove content, and when pressed further by the chat backtrack slightly

She mentions being a fandom newbie and having an outsiders point of view which tbh feels a little weird. When asked how she would resolve personal conflicts with what AO3 stands for (ie post the dead dove stuff if you want) she mentions debating it which.... :/

Froggy🐸 ~ currently barking (@FroggyIcon), August 11th 2022.[12]

Escalation

Many fans thought the candidate's language was similar to that of an anti-shipper, and began to believe that the candidate would encourage censorship on the AO3.

Reminder that the OTW election is coming up and if you are eligible to vote you should vote.

I am voting because there is a person running who in the chat transcripts really concerns me because it is anti language and I do not fucking want that anywhere near the board.

anarchycox, August ??th 2022.[13]

[vilhelmine, August 11th, 2022]

It looks like she is an anti-shipper, too. She seems to be one of those people that believes fics involving explicit content with a minor is equivalent to the real-life crime and should not be hosted on AO3.

Quote from her:

Well, I think a lot of external people are very concerned about the fact that some works contain child pornography, pedophilic content, and other illegal content. If possible (this is not entirely possible after I chatted with people from PAC though), I am interested in providing extra help to the PAC team and Legal team to update the ToS and policies on those.

[gettingtothemoney, August 11th, 2022[14]]

Yikes on a bike. Sounds like the only reason she is running is so that she can push her pro-censorship agenda onto AO3...

The ongoing pro-shipper vs anti-shipper conflict only inflamed the issue, and the issues with the candidate became exaggerated and fell into traditional conflict beats; namely that the candidate wanted to censor queer content on the AO3, didn't understand fandom history, and would be the harbinger of AO3's capitulation to and destruction at the hands of pro-censorship bodies (primarily the PRC government). Users started to make callout posts and spread information about the candidate. Some of the information that was being spread only partially true, or was an exaggeration of what the candidate actually said.

Tiffany G from the OTW Elections

  • Described trans women as angry and scary
  • Supports Chinese state censoring and believes that Ao3 is in the wrong for including content their censors ban, actively lies about what got it banned, includes state dog whistles
  • Said making Ao3 look good to ‘external sources’ and cleaning up its image by changing the ToS is a main concern
  • Ignores when the interviewer corrects her inaccurate statements and terminology, only talks about herself, and doesn’t spare a kind word to her fellow runners
  • Doesn’t know the basics of how Ao3 works, suggests implementation of things Ao3 already has
  • Describes herself as a 'fandom newbie’ who’s still seeing how things work, later states she’s been with Ao3 from the start, these are incompatible statements
  • States Ao3 is used too much for 'adult works’ and that something should be done to 'change this’
  • Says all underage works should be censored and removed, when asked how, claims she doesn’t want them censored and removed, these are incompatible statements
  • Works for a governmental body, unknown if it’s China, but Chinese users are worried she’s trying to get into a position of power to leak identifiable data back to the state, this is about real people’s safety

There is no doubt that if Tiffany gets in, she will attempt to gut everything on Ao3.

pinkaxolotl85, August 13th, 2022[15].

Because she stated her support for maximum inclusiveness of content and refuted the questions assuming that she was proposing content restrictions[8], many fans argued that the candidate did not support censorship or wish to restrict content, but many others argued that she did. A number of fans took her comments regarding "child pornography" to mean that she secretly wanted to censor and remove queer content.

“I support 100% “maximum inclusiveness of content”, yet there is always a boundary to everything.” This comment, and most of the answers involving censorship by Tiffany are extremely worrying as an avid AO3 consumer. Who is this person to decide what’s the boundary allowed on our archive? If they start setting “boundaries” to be “socially responsible” when will it stop? It starts with “CP”, then goes to LGBTQ+ content and ends up deleting NSFW posts too. We’ve seen it happen many times before. Please don’t allow Tiffany to be on the board.

Milo, August 11, 2022.[16]

Tiffany seems awfully fixated on the Archive’s public image and what she considers child pornography, as well as not really seeming to understand the extensive tagging system the Archive is so well known for.

“I support 100% “maximum inclusiveness of content”, yet there is always a boundary to everything.”

Tiffany, that is not what maximum inclusivity means.

Brittany, August 12, 2022.[17]

If someone comes to a predominantly QUEER space (like AO3) and tells you that censorship is necessary to eradicate CSAM... it's not actually CSAM they want to eradicate...

I've seen this type of discourse about Pride and about queer literature and queer movies and queer communities. It's a tried and true technique of the right and conservative movements.

duchessonfire, August 13th, 2022.[18]

Tiffany G.'s candidate bio mentions that "she is working as a technical support person in a governmental organization."[19] The bio does not say what country Tiffany currently lives in or which government she works for. Nonetheless, a number of fans started believing that she worked for the Chinese government and that once in power she would censor all controversial works and would send information on Chinese users to the PRC government. There was no evidence for this claim.

Tiffany G also mentioned that they work in a governmental organisation in China. Just consider why a pro-censorship, fandom newbie(Tiffany said it themself), and government staff wants to run for the election of an organisation that is holistically against their agenda. In my personal worst imagination, once they got the seat, they will immediately pack all the information of Chinese users in AO3 and report them to the Government. The consequence will be horrible.

clawsofakiller, August 12th, 2022.[20]

[lepetitberger, August 14th 2022]

How is no one suggesting that they’re a government plant? lol

this from Tiffany G’s bio: “At present, she is working as a technical support person in a governmental organization.”

Right…

[SheElfXantusia, August 14th 2022]

Because why should any government care about an organisation that protects fanfiction? What would be the benefits for any government if OTW was compromised?

[ZaryaBubbler, August 14th 2022]

China has massive governmental overreach into other countries business, just as American Evangelical Christian's have massive overreach into European business. It's not about caring, it's about control.

[WanderingHuntress, August 14th 2022]

Having had a bit of time to think on this entire affair, my biggest concern here isn't even about potential overreach of the Chinese government to other countries, but the potential ramifications to Chinese fans, especially authors. When the government has set a precedent for arresting and imprisoning fanfiction writers for producing LGBT and other mature content, and email registration in China is tied to irl identities, this doesn't even need to touch another country to be potentially dangerous for certain users and account holders.

[ZaryaBubbler, August 14th 2022[21]]

Which is exactly why I'm afraid of government overreach. It's not about punishing people from other countries, the biggest people at risk are Chinese citizens, even including those in foreign countries.

While this claim gained traction, other users pointed out how unrealistic these claims were.

Other people took it to mean “Tiffany is against pornographic or underage works and wants them to be banned.” Some people took this, combined with her nationality, to the conclusion of “Tiffany is a secret plant of the Chinese Communist Party who wants to join the board, get all the ao3 user data, and then have the users from mainland China arrested” (despite the fact that this is not information the board would have access to, if for no other reason than ao3 is blocked in China so anyone trying to view the site from mainland china has to use a VPN anyway.) Some people are upset that the OTW elections committee “allowed” her to run in the first place, because they think that not letting anyone with opinions the current board or elections committee didn’t like is an absolutely great precedent to set.

[...]

If the people who think she’s doing espionage on behalf of the CCP are correct, then… look, I can’t even finish that sentence because I find the idea of the CCP deciding that a) they need to get ao3 user data and b) the way to do that is to run a clearly unqualified candidate in a public board election absurd.

runawaymarbles, in response to anon, August 14th 2022.[22]

I’ve seen a few Chinese fans on tumblr expressing concerns (source), (source), that she is a government plant, and that if elected, she would use her position on the board to access private user information and doxx AO3 users living in China, reporting their activities to the Chinese authorities.

ETA: I should clarify that these concerns are unfounded. OTW board members do not have access to users’ private data. Even if this conspiracy theory were true, OTW board members don’t have this kind of power.

bngrc, August 12th, 2022. [23]

227 Incident

Much of the wank also inflamed old tensions regarding the Blocking of AO3 in China, often referred to as the 227 Incident.

The August 11 tweets about Tiffany G. were spread to the Chinese social media site weibo within hours, where Chinese AO3 fans also expressed concerns about her as a candidate.[24] Chinese fans' frame of reference was not anti-shipping, but their personal experience with government censorship in general and the 227 incident in particular.

On weibo, as well as on international platforms, they expressed the belief that Tiffany G. was an xfx (also known as "prawn" or "shrimp"), one of the fans who took part in the original 2020 mass reporting of the AO3 and are widely believed to have caused the PRC government to ban the AO3 from China.

这是个虾吧,虾占了老福特高层又想染指AO3

This is a shrimp. The shrimp has taken over the senior management of the old Ford and wants to get involved in AO3

reply to a weibo post, machine translation, 12 August 2022[25]

🤡这个Tiffany G是不是虾啊···除了虾谁会说AO3被封是因为儿童色情···甚至举报材料都是故意曲解AO3分级,AO3是儿童X情文学集中地的谎言。

This Tiffany G is a “prawn” …Who else but a prawn would claim that AO3 was blacklisted because of értóng sèqíng (CP ℹ️)…going so far as misrepresent the charges that were brought against AO3; it’s a lie [to claim that] AO3 is a place full of CP.

Wendy21694072, translation by bngrc.[26]

Chinese fans are exceptionally agressive with her, due to her rhetoric opening up their wound of when AO3 got banned. There was a lot of pain and grief after that incident because to many fans, AO3 was their sanctuary for creative works. If she is elected (however unlikely that may be) and her personal information is leaked, her life would be a living hell.

AliceThrowaway1, August 13th 2022 [27].

Twitter user MuZhiYou explained to the international audience that suspicions were raised among Chinese fans because Tiffany mentioned in the August 1 chat that AO3 is mainly used to post adult content. This practice (also called "using AO3 as parking lot" (停车场)) is a way for Chinese fanfic writers to bypass the censorship of local fanfic platforms by posting the sex scenes on AO3 and including the link within the story on Lofter, Weibo, jjwxc etc. One of the arguments xfx used to justify their actions was that AO3 was an illegal porn site, and to Chinese fans Tiffany's statements sounded very similar.[28]

Another point that caused mistrust in her was the fact that the information she provided about the mass reporting of AO3 was not correct. AO3 was not reported for hosting child pornography, but due to a conflict generated in The Untamed RPF fandom.[29][30]

Voter Ineligibility

OTW supporters who were motivated by the recent controversy to cast a vote in the election soon realised another problem - many of them were not eligible to vote. Many had been making small monthly donations to the OTW, however as the minimum donation for membership was $10 (USD) and their contributions per month were often less than this, they were not considered OTW members.

This resulted in a Change.org petition started by River Noble which demanded that not only should the OTW fire volunteers with pro-censorship views and bar pro-censorship candidates from taking Board positions, but also to reform the election proceedure to allow those who had made frequent small donations to become full voting members.

We the petitioners request that OTW:
  • Not allow candidates on a ballot who advocate or act in ways contrary to the mission and values of the OTW (i.e., not allow candidates to run who are pro-censorship.)
  • Create a policy to immediately and irrevocably remove any board member, staff member, or volunteer who acts or advocates for actions contrary to the mission and values of OTW.
  • Amend their faulty membership criteria so that monthly donors who donate $10 total within a year automatically become members. (Note that a one-time annual donation of $10 qualifies someone for voting membership, but annual donations of OVER $10 DO NOT if the donations are less than $10 per month!)
  • Allow time in the election process for ballot errors to be addressed and corrected so that every eligible voter has the chance to vote and have their vote be counted.

River Noble, Change OTW Election Policies.[31]

Racism Allegations

A number of users called out the escalating claims as racist and sinophobic, particularly the claims regarding Tiffany G being a Chinese spy, and the portrayal of her as someone who was going to doxx Chinese users and censor anything controversial on the AO3.

I’m still in the midst of reading through all the interviews and q&a’s, so I’m not gonna comment yet on the rest of the situation, but the amount of sinophobia and borderline conspiracy theories I’m seeing about Tiffany being some ’scary dangerous Chinese government official coming to take away your freedoms’ is quite frankly ridiculous and embarrassing and dangerous itself.

This is a prime example of why fans of colour are so often alienated from wider fandom as a whole. How the fuck are folks supposed to engage or feel safe when so many of these spaces start peddling this racist bullshit?

of-monsters-and-werewolves, August 15th, 2022.[32]

just putting it out there, criticizing the opinions of tiffany g is not sinophobic, but treating her like the sole embodiment of the burning of ao3 into antiqueer censorship hell via a spooky foreign government is hella sinophobic

tiffany g has opinions that you don’t like, y'all don’t need to be bringing the red scare to ao3

yishaqeni, August 14th, 2022.[33]

Man, this whole sitch with Tiffany G really showed yalls racist, xenophobic colors like, unapologetically. be angry and upset all you want about their stance, orthat OTW's requirements to run are too lax, but maybe stop with the chinese = EVIL takes. do better, cunts

moki🌈 (@moki_arts), August 16th 2022. [34]

Some fans disagreed with this assessment, asserting that it could not be racist as Chinese users were also using the same rhetoric. Some also claimed that it couldn't be sinophobic as they believed the claims to be true.

I like how some ppl are spinning criticisms against Tiffany G in the OTW Board Election as fandom attack on a POC. That's not true. Chinese Twitter and Weibo are popping off and they do not like her pro-censorship stance. Search "Tiffany B" to scroll thru the Chinese comments.

dat bgtea - project dog-lizard, the book (@iambgtea)[35]

[fix your heart or die (RENAISSANCE LOCKDOWN) (@mrsallmight), August 16th 2022]

incorrect, it's being brought up because people were being fucking racist in their dislike against tiffany instead of being normal about it and it continued the ongoing conversation about racism in the ao3 that has been going on for years.

[mandykei (@nyata51), August 16th 2022]

It is not racism . Omg. We hate her because she wants to install censorship. Many Chinese users hate her too. Please don't just simply everything as racism when a person is critized. You didn't even know what she said.

[fix your heart or die (RENAISSANCE LOCKDOWN) (@mrsallmight), August 16th 2022]

I do know what she said because I actually read her responses multiple times. and people saying she's some chinese op down for censorship is kinda racist actually. just because you say it isn't racist doesn't stop it from being racist lmao.

[mandykei (@nyata51), August 16th 2022. [36]]

No. She said Chinese censorship is good and it should be applied everywhere. It is her words.

You know, I think it's pretty racist and xenophobic to ignore Chinese fans who gave their own opinions and worry and even theories about Tiffany G just because some don't want to admit they weren't completely right about this scenario.

There are problems in fandoms, there are bigots who will suddenly happily jump out and into a current issue to slide their bullshit into the panic (...let's be honest, a number of them weren't even hiding in the first place...) and people absolutely need to be more aware of that.

But to flat out say EVERYONE who was voicing concern over her candidacy was racist/xenophobic and even going so far as it say poc who voiced the same worry are chasing white favoritism is, frankly, bullshit.

If you're only going to pay attention to western side of things and ignore everyone else that are even from the same continent+country Tiffany G herself admitted she's from just because it doesn't fit your own view of things that's bullshit, racist, and xenophobic.

Mx (@MxScarredFacade), August 16th 2022.[37]

Aftermath

Following the announcement that Heather McGuire, Natalia Gruber and Michelle Schroeder had been elected, the reaction on social media quickly turned from congratulating the candidates to celebrating that Tiffany G had not been elected.

tiffany g didn’t get in!!! ding dong the wicked witch is dead!!

rocky // ao3 lived!! (@marigoldclouds), August 16th 2022.[38]

This taught us a lesson that we had to fight to protect what is precious to us. There will be more Tiffany G in the future, so I hope after this people will be more aware that we can't take AO3 for granted and will be actively protect this place as much as we can.

HaruHana (@le_ngocanh), August 16th 2022.[39]

The evil has been defeated.

Bye, bye, Tiffany G, pls take your purity culture with you & never darken our doors again.

#AO3

Jinath Hyder (@JinathHyder), August 16th 2022.[40]

Many fans also continued calling for tighter restrictions on who could run as a board member, such as ensuring candidates "demonstrated commitment to the organization and its values." and were not pro-censorship.

Now can we PLEASE set rules so future candidates have to share the core values of Ao3 to prevent this bullshit from happening again? How was Tiffany G even allowed to run when she was against EVERYTHING Ao3 stands for?

🔞 💀 Yuubi 🐺 any/all (@GrimYuubi), August 16th 2022.[41]

I'm referring to calls to tightening the vetting process. Even current OTW guidelines include the intention that candidates have "demonstrated commitment to the organization and its values." Tiffany G did not, showed little understanding of how AO3 works, and was allowed to run.

Heartsib (@Heartsib), August 16th 2022.[42]

Some users went further and advocated for anyone working for the Chinese government or other "oppressive" governments to be barred from running for Board.

[🍀☕ Ummi🌻🇺🇦 (@Umbrael), August 16th 2022[43]]

Please adjust the rules about who can run for the board going forward. Having anyone who: 1.) works for any oppressive government in any capacity & 2.) wants to censor fanworks in any way - during board elections isn't true to the intent of #OTW/#Ao3 & should NEVER be allowed.

[blacktea is on TEAM STACHE! (@inscribed_in), August 16, 2022]

While I agreed they should adjust the rules. And that censorship should be actively warded off I will say most large governments could be defined as oppressive in many ways.

I live in 'the land of the free' and home of the NSA and cops that beat protesters.

I don't think anyone should be disallowed from running based solely on where they live or are from.

[lovelybydecay (@lovelybydecay), August 16, 2022]

it'd be perfectly reasonable to screen for conflict of interest, especially government affiliation in a country that actively works to impose censorship beyond their borders

[MidnightMagpies (@MagpiesMidnight)]

It's not just lackeys from commie regimes, think of all the enemies AO3 potentially has in the mainstream western media! Enemies with deep pockets. How hard would it be for them to hack the AO3 vote next time?? Pro censorship candidates shouldn't be eligible to even stand.

我觉得AO3至少可以增加一条规定“禁止任何政府人员参选管理层”,这是保证无政府机构独立性的合理条款,也基本没有损害什么会员权利
I think AO3 can at least add a rule that "prohibit any government personnel from running for management", which is a reasonable clause to ensure the independence of anarchy, and basically does not damage any member rights

橘势平稳的蛋 on weibo, machine translation, August 12, 2022[44]

A number of users called this take out as being sinophobic and unimplementable.

From what i understand of Tiffany Gs candidacy her being voted in would have been terrible. Statements like this and others that claim her to be a “ccp spy” however, are ignorant and racist and like. Do better holy shit.

“Works for any oppressive govt” okay guess that means the UK and USA are right the fuck out. Western twitter has repackaged the chinaphobia of years past and racism of all the time into this new form wherein we try to make it look like this isnt racism but actually social justice

How justified to criticize the chinese govt and label it “oppressive” & yet say nothing about how america is on purpose giving black people lead poisoning. Most govts are oppressive but were only bringing up the crimes of the ccp to justify chinaphobia and Chinese discrimination

Insane to me how ppl can say this and believe theyre in the right. To blindly believe every chinese person w/ a bad idea is a spy for the ccp is like if i decided every piece of shit in the US was a member of the kkk. BC there are kkk members in us govt so CLEARLY IT MUST BE—

“In any capacity” literally the sheer audacity of this statement is killing me. Imagine the next ao3 candidate, a TSA agent from NYC. “Sorry your govt is oppressive & you work for it so its a no.” But that would never happen bc they dont mean “oppressive govt” they mean “Chinese”

She worked in /tech support/ like oh my god. MANY jobs in china are govt positions in some way just like they are in the west as well. Censorship is bad!! But this overreaction conspiracy theory is rooted in racism and phobia.

My ASD begs me to clarify it is not literally killing me but... People really should have stopped the tiffany g hate train at “has bad ideas that would harm ao3” and not “evil ccp spy we have to create regulations so no one from china can ever run again!!!”

恰似一江向东流 SLAVA UKRAINI @Dazaipedia (@Dazaipedia), August 16th 2022.[45]

[Fae 🧑‍🦽 Astarion Kisser : *.☽

(@JolyKujoh), August 16th 2022.[46]]
hey can you address the absolute fucking racism in this take because what the fuck is that first point my good thitch. NOBODY under an oppressive government? that excludes most people in the US too. PLEASE dump the racism from your takes.

[matei ❤︎s カノン (@parumialtu)]

“works for” is literally right there…?

[Fae 🧑‍🦽 Astarion Kisser : *.☽

(@JolyKujoh)]
And then you look at what falls under govt work, such as teachers, medical specialists, construction workers, air traffic controllers, dentists, psychiatrists...

A lot of people also can't choose their jobs, and to exclude them because of that is wrong. And also the raging--

[matei ❤︎s カノン (@parumialtu)]

well im sure they werent referring to that. i personally dont know how to refer to a job in direct contact with the government bc english isnt my first language but i hope you understand what i mean when i say it? but i understand your second point and can see why it would be

considered xenophobia now. though i still think it has to do with understanding exactly what people mean by that statement

[Fae 🧑‍🦽 Astarion Kisser : *.☽ (@JolyKujoh)]

I get what you're saying. But I have to disagree with "they don't.mean that" bc it doesn't matter if they do or not those are still govt jobs.

Excluding LARGELY poc populations based on government oppression is not a good look, and honestly even people from the US would count--

If you look at everything happening here. I'm American and our country is one of the most propagandistic ones out there. To exclude people based on that is wrong, especially when so many are speaking out against it, even if they work for their oppressors.

It's just wrong.

the way everybody just assumed tiffany g was from china even though all she said was that she was asian? and now people are being openly and "rightly" sinophobic, demanding otw to ban chinese fans from running for the board? how do you not think this is actually horrifying.

🌑 (@thebigtheatre), August 16th 2022.[47]

Statements from the OTW

At the September 25 public Board meeting, a guest asked the Board if they would consider changing the rules in future Board elections. Elections chair Marion answered,

Elections has no current plans to make changes to our eligibility criteria. We want our elections to remain as inclusive as possible, and we believe it’s the role of the OTW’s membership to determine who is suitable to serve their interests on the OTW Board of Directors. During our election process, anyone who wants to can ask candidates questions, and this allows our members to make an informed decision when they go to cast their ballots.[48]

The Board also reported that they had shared a message about the election internally with volunteers. That message thanked the candidates for running, expressed appreciation for all the volunteers, and condemned the hostile, racist rhetoric on social media.

At the January 2023 public Board meeting, another guest referenced the 2022 election and asked whether there were plans to prevent people whose beliefs were antithetical to the OTW's mission from getting onto the Board. The meeting minutes contain the following statement from the Board:

The OTW Board of Directors truly understands and appreciates the concern and engagement of our users and members in the election process, especially when they believe any candidate poses a threat to our organization. We encourage members to stay up to date and discuss candidates as needed during the election season. However, the Board does not condone the racist abuse suffered by one of the volunteers who stood up for election to the Board in 2022. Any and all persons who are elected to the Board of Directors are expected to serve their terms in accordance with the OTW’s mission, bylaws, and Delaware corporate law, where our organization is incorporated, regardless of candidates’ personal beliefs. We believe that we are protected enough by the existing structures against this type of situation.[49]

References

  1. ^ 2022 Elections Candidates Announcement, Organization for Transformative Works, published June 19th 2022 (Accessed August 15th, 2022).
  2. ^ A Statement on Malicious Email Attacks Against OTW Volunteers, Organization for Transformative Works, published May 7th 2022 (Accessed August 15th, 2022).
  3. ^ 2022 Election Results, Organization for Transformative Works, posted August 16, 2022. (Accessed August 16th, 2022).
  4. ^ Election Timeline 2022, Organization for Transformative Works, posted May 1st, 2022. (Accessed March 1st 2023).
  5. ^ Category: 2022 Candidate Chat, Organization for Transformative Works, posted August 5th, 2021. (Accessed August 15th, 2022).
  6. ^ Category: 2022 Q&A, Organization for Transformative Works, posted 6th - 28th July. (Accessed August 15th, 2022).
  7. ^ OTW Election Statistics for 2022, Organization for Transformative Works, posted August 24, 2022. (Accessed 24 August 2022.)
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h [1], Chat Transcript – August 1, Organisation for Transformative Works, posted 5th August 2022, accessed 15th August 2022
  9. ^ Reminder that the OTW election is coming up and if you are eligible to vote you should vote., Archived version, by anarchycox, 9 August 2022.
  10. ^ I'm a bit concerned by one of the candidates running for the Organisation for Transformative Works (they run AO3 and Fanlore) board elections this month by hitthebookspost, posted August 11th, accessed August 16th (archive)
  11. ^ Man, a lot of the commentary is pretty harsh by olderthannetfic, posted August 12th, accessed August 15th (archive)
  12. ^ For anyone curios but too lazy to read the whole transcript... by FroggyIcon, posted August 11th, accessed August 16th (archive)
  13. ^ Reminder that the OTW election is coming up and if you are eligible to vote you should vote by anarchycox, posted ??th August, accessed 15th August 2022 (archive)
  14. ^ OTW Board Election replies by vilhelmine and gettingtothemoney, posted August 11th 2022, accessed August 17th 2022. (archive)
  15. ^ by pinkaxolotl85, posted on August 13th 2022, accessed August 15th 2022 (archive)
  16. ^ comment on Chat Transcript – August 1, 11 August 2022.
  17. ^ comment on Chat Transcript – August 1, 12 August 2022.
  18. ^ I have been reading a bit on the OTW elections and the whole Tiffany G thing... by duchessonfire, published August 13th 2022, accessed August 15th 2022 (archive)
  19. ^ Tiffany G’s Bio & Platform, Archived version, 2022-06-19. (Accessed 16 September 2022.)
  20. ^ Very Important Information by clawsofakiller, published August 12th 2022, accessed August 15th 2022 (archive)
  21. ^ OTW Board Election reply by ZaryaBubbler, posted August 14th 2022, accessed August 17th 2022. (archive)
  22. ^ Hii! I don’t understand what’s going on with AO3 and the election? by runawaymarbles in response to anon, posted August 14th 2022, accessed August 15th 2022 (archive)
  23. ^ There is some spicy Chinese discourse about the OTW Election happening on social media right now by bngrc, posted August 12th 2022, Accessed August 15th 2022 (archive)
  24. ^ Tiffany G's candidacy has made it to Weibo. And everyone is extremely angry and concerned about her promotion of censorship and twisting facts to suit her agenda. The post exposing her now has 7.8k likes, and 5.3k reposts., tweet by Karenkk_axel, 11 August 2022.
  25. ^ weibo post by 橘势平稳的蛋, Archived version, 11/12 August 2022.
  26. ^ 最无奈的一点,是那个Tiffany G真觉得这么做是为了ao3好。 by Wendy21694072, translation by bngrc, posted August 12th 2022, Accessed August 15th 2022 (archive)
  27. ^ OTW Board Election, Archived version reply by AliceThrowaway1, posted August 12th 2022, accessed August 15th 2022.
  28. ^ Tiffany G chats fragment where she talks about AO3 image in Asia., Archived version Posted Aug 11, 2022
  29. ^ Tiffany G Q&A session fragment where she states that the belief of AO3 hosting child porn content was what prompted people to report it., Archived version
  30. ^ 2022 OTW Board election, Archived version. Collection of Weibo posts and machine translated by Aethel on Dreamwidth. Posted 12 August 2022. Accessed 17 August 2022.
  31. ^ Change OTW Election Policies, Change.org, published August 14th, accessed August 15th (archive)
  32. ^ I’m still in the midst of reading through all the interviews and q&a’s... by of-monsters-and-werewolves, posted and accessed August 15th, 2022 (archive)
  33. ^ just putting it out there... by yishaqeni, posted August 14th 2022, and accessed August 15th, 2022 (archive)
  34. ^ Man, this whole sitch with Tiffany G really showed yalls racist by moki_arts, posted August 16th 2022, and accessed August 16th, 2022 (archive)
  35. ^ I like how some ppl are spinning criticisms against Tiffany G... by iambgtea, posted August 12th 2022, and accessed August 16th, 2022 (archive)
  36. ^ incorrect... by mrsallmight, posted August 16th 2022, and accessed August 16th, 2022 (archive)
  37. ^ You know, I think it's pretty racist and xenophobic to ignore Chinese fans... by MxScarredFacade, posted August 16th 2022, and accessed August 16th, 2022 (archive)
  38. ^ tiffany g didn’t get in!!! by marigoldclouds, posted August 16th 2022, and accessed August 16th, 2022 (archive)
  39. ^ This taught us a lesson that we had to fight to protect what is precious to us by le_ngocanh, posted August 16th 2022, and accessed August 16th, 2022 (archive)
  40. ^ The evil has been defeated by jinathhyder, posted August 16th 2022, and accessed August 16th, 2022 (archive)
  41. ^ Now can we PLEASE set rules so future candidates have to share the core values of Ao3 to prevent this bullshit from happening again?, Archived version by GrimYuubi, posted August 16th 2022, and accessed August 16th, 2022.
  42. ^ I'm referring to calls to tightening the vetting process. by Heartsib, posted August 16th 2022, and accessed August 16th, 2022 (archive)
  43. ^ Please adjust the rules about who can run for the board going forward. by Umbrael, in response to the OTW, posted August 16th 2022, and accessed August 19th, 2022 (archive)
  44. ^ weibo post by 橘势平稳的蛋, forwarding another post by 翡理兰德_, Archived version, 12 August 2022.
  45. ^ From what i understand of Tiffany Gs candidacy her being voted in would have been terrible. by Dazaipedia, posted August 16th 2022, and accessed August 19th, 2022 (archive)
  46. ^ hey can you address the absolute fucking racism in this take by JolyKujoh], posted August 16th 2022, and accessed August 19th, 2022 (archive)
  47. ^ the way everybody just assumed tiffany g was from china even though all she said was that she was asian? by thebigtheatre, posted August 16th 2022, and accessed August 19th, 2022 (archive)
  48. ^ Board Meeting Minutes: 25 September 2022, Archived version, 2022-10-17.
  49. ^ Board Meeting Minutes: 07 January 2023, Archived version, 2023-02-03.
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