STOP the destruction of Fanfiction.net!

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Title: STOP the destruction of Fanfiction.net!
Creator: Charlotte Weatherly
Date(s): September 13, 2002
Medium: online
Fandom:
Topic:
External Links: STOP the destruction of Fanfiction.net! at "Change.org"
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STOP the destruction of Fanfiction.net! was a 2002 essay and petition by Charlotte Weatherly.

When it closed, the petition had 44,115 supporters.

A similar petition in 2012 was Reverse the NC-17 Ruling on Fanfiction.net!.

The Essay

Ever since it was opened, Fanfiction.NET had always been a place for avid fans-- of ANYTHING-- to feel at home. To express whatever is on our minds and truly let our love for characters, plotlines and scenarios shine through.

Now all of a sudden, FF.net has decided to go through a massive upheaval and remove thousands of stories from its library, some of the best fanfics ever written, gone, never to be read again. They are removing anything involving sexual situations, or violence, or inspired by a song, the list goes on. And we as readers see this as a gross waste of talent and incredible material.

Fanfiction.net has always been a place for us writers to 'Unleash our imagination' as the tagline states, and now we are having that right to freedom of speech and expression taken away from us. Since when are they allowed to dictate what goes into our stories? They are OUR pieces of work. What if the violence or sexual content is part of the plotline? This whole situation is absurd. There are better ways to deal with 'inappropriate' content than to remove it altogether. What about adult filters? Age restrictions? There are so many other options!!

So I'm asking please, for all us readers, writers, and fans alike... STOP THE DESTRUCTION OF FF.NET!!!!

Comments at the Petition

[Jasmine Poynter]: Because this is a major waste of talent and time; some people write that stuff for weeks, even longer. I'm in the middle of a fanfic at the moment, and now I don't want to post it, knowing that it might be taken down. This website is so popular among fangirls and fans, so I don't understand why this is happening. But I'm sure another website host will make another website, because this shit is important.
[Kay Be]:

I was flabbergasted when I saw this - I cannot believe so much valuable work is being trashed because it doesn't fit parameters that have not been strictly enforced since they were put into action. I have been a patron of FF.net going on eight years now and have read all types of fiction. The work on this site (the work that is being threatened) is what inspired and encouraged me to start writing myself. Some of the best writing I have ever had the pleasure of reading I've read here. Some of which would be trashed due to this rash enforcement. What is the point of a ratings system if anything disagreeable is automatically purged? Most other sites have age restrictions, I do not see how that is a more difficult task to implement than these new "Image Managers" which quite frankly I think is pointless. I much rather no images on this site for literature and a free range of story content than a little image of the author next to a bland PG story title.

How can you have Books, TV shows, Movies, etc that have sexual or violent themes, or course language on this site yet expect the stories created on here to not reflect and stay true to the core of that story and it's characters? It is preposterous. This feels like someone catching a teenager drinking underage and then enacting prohibition on the whole town as a "reasonable" measure.

The though of all those labored over works squandered suddenly TEN YEARS after there being no issue - I am truly disheartened, and I hope either a different course of action is taken or I wish ff.net and its future users (all within the PG reading range) the best as I sadly look for a site where one can truly "unleash their imagination".
[Laura Crafton]: I'm signing because ff.net is where I first discovered the world of being an accepted writer. It's also been a huge source of inspiration, fun, and comfort, for nearly half my life. "Cleansing" it wont do anything more than destroy stories that some authors have spent years of their lives on. By doing this purge, regardless of how appropriately people rate their works, ff.net is taking away a source of creative freedom and is, ultimately, denying us writers a very important sense of protection.
[Olivia P.]: Fanfiction, or any fiction for that matter, is an expression of the writer's inner monologue. Creative license is taken away if Fanfiction "cleanses" its site of these stories, and that, actually, violates the first amendment to the US Constitution, because creative license entails freedom of speech. Don't be like the idiots who decided SOPA and PIPA were a good idea. We writers have a right to our creativity, and to take it away is denying us of everything we have a right to in the first place.
[Callie Newberg]:


I love fanfiction.net because I can go into situations with characters I love that might never be possible in the actual tv show, book or movie. When writers compose fan fictions, they put a warning for what is in their stories. Everybody that goes on ff.net knows how to read. There is no need for this.
[jake morris]: fanfiction is a right to every man, woman, and young person who wishs to express themselves!
[Clarise Wright]:

Because fanfiction.net is where I first discovered and fell in love with the idea of fanfiction. It's the site that encouraged me to start writing seriously instead of just the dabbling I'd done previously. It's the site that help me improve my writing style and expand ideas by reading the works of other amateur writers. I actually remember a time when the site required you to have an account and there was a button one had to push to read stories with "Mature Content", just like any other site with things children shouldn't be reading. I remember when it was suppose to be the PARENTS responsibility to keep their underage children from watching or reading something on the internet they shouldn't, not the responsibility of the authors to "censor" their works in case their fragile little underage minds went through the well warned process of reading something with "mature" content. What is the point of have a tagline reading "Unleash Your Imagination" if leashing it --nay, CAGING IT-- is precisely what the site ends up doing? Why bother with image editors that only 1% of the people on the site even care about when they could bring back that proper M17-rated content filter they had in the beginning? If there are brats out there accessing things they KNOW they're not suppose to and poking their noses in where they don't belong, how is that the problem of an OPEN CONTENT fanfiction site? Why not just give up and rename the site "G-ratedFanfictionSafeForDisobedientLittleBrats.net"?

I'll be honest in saying I've tried moving to other fanfiction sites when I got fed up with fanfiction.net insisting everything had to be a safe read for those still in Primary School, but they all seemed to have had the same problems we're now encountering on the site from the beginning or it was impossible to FIND anything without having to slog through page after page of stories not even related to what you're looking for. I always found myself coming back to fanfiction.net despite my annoyance with them.
[Kevin Meredith]: Glad to here FF.net is finally listening to us readers.
[Ricardo Ortiz-Joseph]: Fics are STILL being deleted. NOW we've also got to deel with those Critics United guys!
[Emily Kosek]: It's a contradiction. Unleash your imagination- you're removing stories that authors take all their time to write. People actually work very hard on their stories. Just go back to the way it was before. I've been an author on the site for 2 years now, and I wish it would go back to where authors didn't have to be scared about their stories being deleted.
[Mark Gaffney]: I find it ridiculous that after ten years they choose now to enact there rules.
[Hector Nuno]:

This recent policy change is an utter insult to writers and author everywhere. FF once a beacon of free writing and thought is failing simply because they wish to remove extreme violent, sexual, and mature themes which are essential to creating certain stories that need those themes. By making this policy FF is essentially saying that stories must confirm to their standards or be removed without warning or even a chance to protect your stories.

Some of my favorite stories are now gone, my story may be at risk for all I know. As such this NEEDS to stop, otherwise censorship and more obstacles to free expression will continue.
[Jessica Schilling]: Fanfiction.net used to be a place where authors could grow and flourish, but now everybody is afraid all of their hard work will be erased, as if it had never been. This is ridiculous! Perhaps the rules on FF.net should be changed, instead of completely obliterating thousands of stories.
[Sylvia Aloysius]: I am an avid reader for fanfiction for more than 10 years...Now I am in 23 years old. In that duration I had read thousands of fiction, good or bad. The writers had put in their heart to write those wonderful fics, a place where imagination were free to run wild. Now for FF.net to just cut off and delete people hard work is a crime. Not to mention its also a site where our english and other language can be improved, which i myself also had upgraded most of my language to a better grade, A+ mind you.
[Elisheva Zahtz]: When Fanfiction.NET was created, I jumped at the chance to be able to post things I had written, regardless of the rating. Worst comes to worst they would be M. But now? I can't post anything. I'm scared to! I don't want my stories to be reported! Why would I continue using a site that I couldn't post any of my writing on?! I really feel it's wrong to suddenly put limits like these up. Really. I mean, for the past couple of years it was fine, but all of a sudden, it's wrong?! If people choose a story, they keep in mind the reason! They know what they're getting into! It's not fair, and a violation of the freedom of the press and the freedom of speech.
[Hannah Sylvester]: Because I like fanfiction...THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
[Benjamin Larsh]: Because we have the right as human beings to be protected from "Holier than Thou" bullies who have no problem with trampling over our freedoms just because they don't want to deal with the real world.
[Jeffrey Thomas]:

Its Fanfiction. Who cares if it has violence or lemons or severe bashing on a character or type. If you don't want some users to read the real racy or graphic or, well- hardcore types of scenes. Then they should adopt the DOB system like DeviantART. In their profiles they have the users b-day and once the user puts it in, they can't change it. And only people +18 can have full access to all the stories rated M or MA. That makes a whole lot more sense then deleting an amazing +120,000 story- because it has to many graphic details on how a bullet went through someones brain and they have too many harem/singles lemons going on... but I can understand why they would hate it, I mean if I read a story about me having a harem- why would I include having sex with them- they don't need to show how much love I have for all my girls. DDD. It's exactly like the petition says "Fanfiction.NET had always been a place for avid fans-- of ANYTHING-- to feel at home. To express whatever is on our minds and truly let our love for characters, plotlines and scenarios shine through". But now they are "removing anything involving sexual situations, or violence, or inspired by a song, the list goes on' and it really is of all the time spent putting into the material for such an amazing story & talent. The tagline, for gods' sake says, 'Unleash Your Imagination' how can we do that, if by the time we do 'unleash' it- it gets shot down like a duck at hunting and deleted.

So I'm asking please, for all us readers, writers, and fans alike... STOP THE DESTRUCTION OF FF.NET!!!!

References