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OT: FF.net Deleting Smutty Fics-- No Warnings!

OT: FF.net Deleting Smutty Fics-- No Warnings!

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18th C dress
I've said this elsewhere so my apologies if you're getting this twice, and my apologies for going off topic but I think it relevant.

Just got an email from someone I beta for. Apparently ff.net has started deleting fics that are too smutty (and the associated reviews) with no warnings. D:

From their front page:

June 4th 2012 -- Notices:
  • Please note we would like to clarify the content policy we have in place since 2002. FanFiction.Net follows the Fiction Rating system ranging from Fiction K to Fiction M. Although Fiction Ratings goes up to Fiction MA, FanFiction.Net since 2002 has not allowed Fiction MA rated content which can contain adult/explicit content on the site. FanFiction.Net only accepts content in the Fiction K through Fiction M range. Fiction M can contain adult language, themes and suggestions. Detailed descriptions of physical interaction of sexual or violent nature is considered Fiction MA and has not been allowed on the site since 2002.

So if you've got anything questionable up there (or something you particularly like to reread) then I'd advise you to go grab a copy while you can. You should just be able to go up to File/Save page as... and choose to save it as a complete web page (the extension will be .html). Then you can view it from your computer as if it were still online. Alternatively you can print it as a .pdf and save a copy that way.

Boo.
  • Hrm. Wonder if someone went on a reporting spree, or if ff.net's admins went looking.
    • My understanding of it, especially given the notice on the front page, is that the admins went looking (they only really seem to enforce their Terms of Service periodically); but that there do also exist communities on ff.net solely for the purpose of (with a great amount of glee upon occasion, I am told) finding fics that violate the ToS and getting them removed.

      I am of mixed feelings on the matter. On the surface, okay, we all agreed to those ToS and if we violate them, then what can one expect? But on the other hand, I can't say that I personally find the ToS detailed enough to guarantee where that line is. No "strong" language or "explicit" sex? By whose definition? What I find "strong" or "explicit" may not agree with someone else's definition. Additionally, what is considered "strong" language on the Internet is probably not the same as what, say, network TV would consider "strong" language.

      I am told they do searches for certain words. Why not post them up somewhere as a list of words which are definitely, in all cases and situations, strictly verboten? Does frequency of use matter? Can I get away with one "fuck" in a 30,000 word story but not ten? Or is even one too many? Then why not tell me that that word is an issue and give me a chance to replace it with something more acceptable, rather than just deleting (in theory) a 30,000 word fic and all the associated reviews just because I used "fuck" once within it? It hasn't happened yet, but you know what I mean. I made a judgement call, using that word in that fic and in that scene and to the best of my knowledge it is acceptable. If it's not I would want to be told that it's not and be given a chance to replace it with, admittedly, something that I would find less effective, but that they would allow.

      I would also find it really useful to have an example of what would and would not be considered "too explicit" for a sex scene. I mean, is the difference simply whether I use something like "manhood" as opposed to, say, "cock" or "penis"?

      Having said all that, if a fic plagiarizes other works, then I have no argument with it being removed immediately without warning, because there is a lot less leeway with whether or not something is plagiarized than I find there is with what constitutes "strong" language or "explicit" sex, and I can't believe for one moment that someone who has a book in front of them that they are copying word for word (unless they are quoting, which isn't the same thing at all as using someone else's words within the body of your own work in a way that a casual reader would not realize that the work as presented was not 100% your own) or copying and pasting from somewhere else electronically is unaware that what they are doing is plagiarism and not only against the ToS, but actually against the law. Sheesh, we were taught about plagiarism and the difference between that and simply writing a paper with information you obtained from other sources back in grade school when we first started to present papers we'd researched independently. It went hand in hand with how to do a bibliography, and I don't expect anyone over say thirteen to have troubles comprehending the concept.

      --Wow, kind of went off on a tangent there, eh? XD Um, TL;DR: Read the first paragraph. The rest is extraneous. XD
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