Thursday, May 31, 2012

Letter to

Okay, yeah...I grew a spine...

Dear Fanfiction,
I am very concerned about the purging of stories you have undertaken recently. You have done this without warning to writers and without notifying members of your site that there would be a tightening of policy. I believe this is a reaction to a vocal minority that call themselves the Literate Union or LawlClan Critic Group, or something like that.

I have many loyal readers who have pushed my total hit rate to 1.5 million hits. Each of those hits is a chance for your site to earn some advertising revenue. Do the above groups write fanfic? Do they earn income for your site? Somehow I doubt it.

My stories are rated M because I rate most of my stories M and M ratings ARE allowed on your site. This is a shotgun blast from someone who can barely write and clearly cannot read. At the very least in their cut and paste response, they could have turned on spellcheck and grammar check. This person presumes to tell me that my writing is below par.

I truly hope that you are not taking their complaints seriously.

These people are expecting you to protect their children, and you can't. Access to images that are pornographic on the internet is remarkably easy. The children of today are digital natives; they understand this world and they can pretty much get around age restrictions or any other limitations on websites. If they are reading fanfiction at least they are reading. It is the choice of such complainers to block certain sites in their own home if they wish to. They should not presume to parent my children.

Nor is the fanfiction site a parent.

You are losing members on a daily basis. The site has had problems for more than a year now with issues in logging in, posting reviews and disappearing content. Each time you do not admit that you ARE having issues. You do not respond to complaints from members. Members are lucky to get a one word response. You post nothing on your home page saying that you are fixing it or that you are even aware of the issue. You respond to clearly wrong complaints and change the names of characters and yet do not fix other issues. You delete people's profiles on the basis of anonymous complaints.

Now you are deleting stories and removing profiles with no warning and no message to the members to make sure they have time to back-up a copy. Nor do you give them a warning or an opportunity to fix the issue.

This is poor business practice.

If there is one thing the recent popularity of 'Fifty shades of grey' has shown, it is that fanfiction can be a force for change. You could have ridden on EL James' coat-tails to greater success. You could have said loud and long that it was YOUR site that published her first as snowqueensicedragon. You could have attracted many, many new readers to the site.

But you didn't.

And now you are in effect, book burning. Censorship and freedom of speech are our constitutional rights. Do not let a minority of small-minded humans ruin what is an escape from reality, a place to relax and bond over literature. 

Shame on you, fanfiction.


Josephine Beckmann


  1. *stands up and applauds*

    I think that is one of the best letters I have seen to send to I've complained before about this very issue when the last purge happened. As more and more of my favorite authors are leaving I am forced to leave their site (even though it is easiest to read via my cell phone). I've noticed that a few have been proactive and purged their own stories and are posting elsewhere after letting their readers know what is happening. All I hope is that this doesn't prevent talented writers to stop all together.

  2. Your letter was perfect
    Please keep us informed as to whether or not you receive a response from FF
    Love your stories and will read them wherever I can get them:)