• Member Since 14th Jan, 2012
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Experience is the name we give our mistakes.

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    Photography stuff

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    Thank you all, again.

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All Things in Moderation · 1:14pm July 7th

Content Warning: Discussion of sexual abuse.

Vagueposting sucks. This is about the thing that caused Wanderer D to go off in a personal blog. I just have to say that because people assume - are assuming, I'm told - this kind of thing is about me. I'm as shocked as you are to hear it, frankly. I was there to see what happened, happen, though, and I want to bring context to this, and talk about alternative moderating strategies that I want to implement in new communities I have been given power in.

Let's clear the air on this. What caused a site moderator to go off and write his blog about the cancer of leftists and how both sides are as bad as each other is because a friend of mine, in a mutual server, talked about their experience being raped by an older user of this site while they were seventeen at a pony convention, and having their blog calling out their rapist being taken down because it was treated as a personal attack. They called Wanderer specifically out for this, and Wanderer responded... well, you can see on his page. That is the straw that broke the camel's back here.

I would use direct quotes in ordinary circumstances because I do not want to misrepresent this situation or Wanderer D. However, this was said in a semi-public semi-private Discord server, and frankly, while he reached out to me to reassure me, and I told him I'd be writing about this, I'm not comfortable asking his permission. I am going to say that I have those logs, and that I would consider direct quotes defamatory, so I will be trying to steelman him instead.

I would also prefer it if this wasn't personal, but the fact that this was the inciting incident, the fact that Wanderer is speaking as site staff (as much as he says he isn't, he's made a personal blog about moderation policy going forward, this is a moderation issue) and the fact that people assume when someone talks about cancerous leftists they're talking about me kind of forces my hand. Still. Don't go after him over this, I'm not going to be putting direct links here and I'm going to be deleting any comments that provide them. First and only warning.

Wanderer's position is that these incidents are largely cases of he-said she-said and incredibly difficult to moderate, that callout blogs and personal attacks and brigading aren't valid tactics, that allowing personal attacks like that opens the door for abuse. That callout blogs are explicitly against the rules, and that this is clearly a situation where a moderator will be blamed if they enforce the rules, and blamed if they don't. That users keep wanting to be an exception to the rules for their specific case of targeted harassment, and that's unacceptable. That is the harassment and bullying he is talking about, the inciting incident for his blog.

Without context, with only the context he has provided in his own blog on this, it's pretty reasonable. But there is further mitigating context.

Here, the situation was verifiable. The rapist publicly confessed, which the moderators saw when deleting that confession under site rules. The rapist then went on to use their platform on this site to target other people within this community, and apparently, in other communities they went on to be in. Serious, real life harm was done here.

To see a site moderator justify the policy of only shutting down the victims, because that is the abuse that happens on the platform rather than through it, as a stand against dogmatic moral puritanism and throw a tantrum over it is appalling. To see them throw this tantrum to the victim's face before taking to the site to blog about it was fucking disgusting. That is the only emotive language I will allow myself here.

In Wanderer's defense, this was only after the victim called him out specifically for how this situation was handled, as an individual, and it is the whole FimFiction team that handled this. However, I will quote Wanderer's blog while presenting this context behind it:

But don't you dare come crying to me because you went hunting down  someone to antagonize and you got your ass handed back to you and you  just expect me to lean in for you because we happened to be agreeing on a  topic at one time in the past. You get to report that like everyone  else, and if the moderation team decides action is needed, then it happens.

Moderators don't owe you any sort of action or consequence for shit  that you get to interpret in your head about how things should be. Deal  with it.

And if you don't like it, there's the fucking unfollow  button, or if you want to do us all a favor, you can always request an  account deletion.

This cannot exist as a callout post. I cannot criticize that position without having a positive alternative, and Wanderer has correct and important points about the consequences of mob justice mentality and the toxicity it brings to the communities that entertain it. However, mob justice is clearly servicing a need that is not otherwise being fulfilled, and it is a complicated need. Being held accountable for these decisions is exhausting and unpaid work. But the alternative is that work not being done.

I am working with a team on an alternative platform, and this situation caused us to seriously discuss what we would do better, because it is an extremely difficult, complicated, and necessary question to ensure there is policy for. We cannot pretend these situations won't happen, and we need a policy of least harm to address it.

This isn't a unique situation, especially when consent is a lot more dubious, or there is consent but the full context is just kind of gross. My heart broke to learn about Warren Ellis pulling from his audience, and he was my favourite working writer right up until I learned this. Lots of Youtubers get outed for it. Having a platform, even a platform as small and niche as pony fiction, gives people an audience and a power within that audience that they can leverage.

Currently, the site policy is that all callouts and accusations must be deleted, sometimes accompanied by a temp-ban. This is a policy that protects against false accusations and libel, which is important. This is also a policy that can only ever protect abusers in legitimate cases. There will always be a mix of true and false cases, but a single enforcement decision across them is malpractice.

There are a lot of reasons I think that moderator action alone is not enough, either, even in communities where moderators are more invested in protecting their userbase.

Calling out abusers through their platform is a necessary prophylactic, and the abused have a need to be heard. Simply banning a user is not enough, because it does not address the true nature of the threat. A warning sign needs to be put up, and I think that it is the right of the abused to be the one to put it there rather than to be spoken for. The justification that this harm is done off-site is not justification if the site, the platform, is what is being used to facilitate it. You have given them, continue to give them, their community.

Testimonials are also, unfortunately, usually the only way that moderators are ever going to find out about this stuff happening off their platform, sifting through the wreckage.

It is also worth noting that users will take these accusations elsewhere, where it can't be moderated, to fulfill that need if it is officially denied. This is obviously bad for moderators, it takes things outside your enforcement space, but it also means that action is only allowed to be taken outside of the community that is under threat.

However, false accusations are rampant, as we've recently seen with one knucklehead posting a callout blog earlier in the week using faked Discord chatlogs and getting dunked on for it. Callouts like this are a tactic abusers use to pre-emptively get ahead of a narrative and silence their victims or at least discredit them by beating them to the story. I don't think I need to give examples, I'm sure you already thought of one, the internet is a screaming hellvoid.

The policy that I am proposing within my own space is a form of protest permission. I'm pulling a lot from "Who Gets What and Why" by Alvin E Roth, a fantastic book on marketplace design theory - specifically, a book about designing the kind of marketplaces that can't be handled with money or traditional economics, stuff like chaining organ donors together. Stuff like moderating internet communities.

Basically, black markets will always form to service a great enough need which cannot be serviced otherwise. The best way to prevent a black market, where possible, is to provide a superior legitimate alternative, or at least, a good enough service that its benefits outweigh the risk and inconvenience of the black market.

So, like, in most cases, people would rather use Steam than torrent, because the benefits of Steam's service outweigh the benefits of piracy. This is even when the black market alternative is free, because the 'free' comes with inconvenience and personal risk.

In this case, there is an unavoidable need for the abused to speak out against their abusers, and any community that allows people to gain a platform will eventually host abusers, unfortunately. The black market alternative is going to other platforms, a bad solution for everyone involved. An entirely unregulated marketplace - an unmoderated community - isn't good either, because it allows for greater overall harm.

Protest permission is trying to provide a superior legitimate alternative, as a way to encourage people to work with the moderator team to help filter the legitimacy of cases. This means that the moderator team has to provide a tangible benefit that outweighs the risk of retribution and having their permission request denied.

I am currently helping to draft a criteria that would allow users to come to the moderating team with sufficient evidence to lodge a right to a callout post, at which point it will be moderator cosigned. Stuff like messaging done through the platform, police statements, video and audio evidence, credible witness testimony, stuff that cannot be doctored and can be verified by the moderator staff. This would allow moderators a chance to investigate the claim, and to prepare for the increased workload when it hits. It also provides justification for moderators nuking callout posts that try to bypass this system.

For users, it gives a strong incentive for working with the moderators. It doesn't rely on trusting a solution done behind closed doors, and the moderator cosigning gives the claim earned legitimacy to their audience. It allows them to speak on the platform and ensure that they will have some protection from backlash for it.

There will still be people who are legitimate but know they don't have evidence who'll try to get a post out before they can get smited for trying it, seeking forgiveness over permission, and that sucks. But at the very least, logging the attempt gives more data for future flagging, makes future reporting more credible, when that smiting has to happen. Even though that smiting still has to happen, or it's a moral hazard.

Oh, who am I kidding. All of this is a moral hazard. But, that one's a big one.

Ideally, the benefits of working through the mods on this outweighs the sense that the evidence might be too weak and will get rejected, though, and allows moderators a chance to work out potential action before it's a public he-said she-said mess.

This is miserable, godawful work for moderators that I'm proposing. The workload of sifting through this, and by being consistent enough with the benefits of working with the team, is probably going to be hell. It is why it is a suggestion that I only feel comfortable making when it is work that I am proposing for myself, for a team that I am apart of.

As for FimFiction? It'd be nice if its most consistent moral stand wasn't against taking any at all.

Comments ( 75 )

Watching this fandom slowly self-destruct over attempting to be "Neutral" is a very painful process.

Comment posted by Bendy deleted July 7th
MrNumbers #3 · July 7th · · 5 ·

It took eight years for this website to implement linking reports to what was being reported, meaning moderators would have to go and manually look for the issues being reported on, and if they couldn't find them, moving on. This was not a communicated flaw.

It only got fixed when I came into the FimFiction Discord and presented a .rar file of dozens of screenshots of eugenicist, fascist and genocidal rhetoric that I had reported but saw no moderator action. It took yelling at Knighty for fucking hours before he implemented the fix to stop me throwing my own tantrum.

As for FimFiction? It'd be nice if its most consistent moral stand wasn't against taking any at all.

Especially given your previous blog about how that isn't actually possible.

Artist #5 · July 7th · · 4 ·

I’m telling you that FimFiction is going down hill now.

D’s blog bothered me deeply, but I had little basis to really approach it rationally, and so was having a hard time clearly articulating why. Thank you for the context, and more so for putting to words what I couldn’t.

Thank you too for always being willing to stand up and speak out for what’s right. It’s folks like you who keep me a part of this community.

Neece #7 · July 7th · · 3 ·

There's a reason why public accusations are in some places considered a crime even when true. The job you describe of checking sources to guarantee it's valid is more akin to a police investigation that'll result in legal action than a moderation team to allow such public accusations to happen. It's noble, until a mistake happens and then what? Who's going to be held responsible for allowing a false accusation possibly causing real life damage to someone innocent?

To be fair the case you mention is serious and is a crime, legal matter that needs to get taken to proper authorities. That's place for criminal investigation and legal determination of fault. Something whose merit to judge not only takes over a decade of dedicated effort to earn, but is also exclusively a duty allocated by the state.

You're suggesting getting a bunch of people to decide on a fan fiction site who gets the right to accuse others of committing crimes. No matter the evidence and proof, you're ascribing yourselves effective judicial power. You're deciding to be active judges with the self-given legal power to decide who gets to use your platform to accuse someone of committing rape - and by the nature of it being done with your blessing it'll be taken much more seriously. It'll be "official". It won't be an accusation made by an user, it'll be the platform itself doing it.

It might bring you direct legal repercussions depending on where it's hosted.

Necessary disclaimer, I'm not a law student, my sister is. This is based on my local laws and discussions that have happened at home. I can understand that neutrality might look like a bad decision, but reserving to those in charge "legal power" to decide who gets to face mob justice with legitimation and who doesn't is a step back on the development of more just justice systems.

TL;DR: I don't think that's a good idea because it can backfire in a very, very ugly manner, but I also sincerely hope it doesn't and results in less toxic behaviors.

This is miserable, godawful work for moderators that I'm proposing. The workload of sifting through this, and by being consistent enough with the benefits of working with the team, is probably going to be hell

yeah... good moderation is a hard social work.... I wish i had something more than mere words...

MrNumbers #9 · July 7th · · 10 ·


Yeah as long as this isn't hosted in Britain we should be fine. In most places, truth is a perfect defense. What we're signing off on is that we have been convinced the accuser is credible. When we make a mistake on that - I have no illusions on 'if' - it's going to suck but the alternative of a decision-making process is allowing all callouts, or allowing no callouts, and both are more harmful.

You're describing the trolley problem. Through inaction, five people die, but through action, one person dies as a direct consequence of a choice you made. We don't get a say on whether there's a trolley, or people on the tracks. It's fucked up that we'll have that power, we will be given that power, but I disagree with your framing. It puts far too much emphasis on the decision to act, and not the consequences of inaction. And it implies we don't have that power if we choose to ignore it.

One of the most important differences between website moderation and a state carceral system is that we do not have the means to remove people deemed dangerous to our society. We have to have the society remove them from itself.

SweetBanana #10 · July 7th · · 10 ·

Great blog post, sheds a great deal of light upon the whole issue.

Fimfiction has a deeply embedded culture of apathy, especially among the moderation. Knighty, in his infinite capacity for questionable decisions, saw fit that everything should go on the site provided it wouldn't interrupt his revenue stream because the authorities got onto it. Now we're really starting to see the consequences of that gross negligence.

Communities are a little bit like gardens, or perhaps they're like ponds. Either way, healthy communities are regulated communities. Either gardeners and winnowers can work to keep the area lush, or the garden/pond can be left to regulate itself given the proper means. Fimfiction in relation to this metaphor, is a dying and anoxic pond. The gardeners try and make content, but the winnowers sit back and let detritus pile up until scum and weeds choke up everything. Strangling out the old growths and preventing new growth from forming. Eventually the gardeners start leaving out of frustration, and all that's left is a spot waiting for the slow reclamation of time.

Fimfiction's negligence is almost criminal. What was once a lake that shimmered with potential has now been rendered to a fetid puddle with the last gardeners hoping that the new incoming season will bring the change that is sorely needed.

Latrans #11 · July 7th · · 1 ·

Can we get some more info on this alternative site? I know a number of people looking for a new internet home.


Fimfiction's negligence is almost criminal.

And you said it yourself: nothing will change unless it crosses the line into actually criminal. (I have just enough respect for their collective intelligence to call this an "unless" instead of an "until")

Latrans #14 · July 7th · · 1 ·

Careful with the direct link...

This is good news! Offprint was the site we were eyeballing. Knowing MrNumbers is going to be part of their mod team does nothing but make me more hopeful.

Site Blogger
RBDash47 #15 · July 7th · · 2 ·

We're good with the direct link. We've gotten a fair few new users in the past day or two. Happy to have people come check us out! (With the caveat that the site is still very alpha but the dev team is working hard and continuing to iterate.)

You're blowing this way out of proportion here. We're not talking about legal cases, we're talking about the process of booting someone off of a web forum. Something that most websites are able to do without any sort of complicated verification process or red tape. Not saying that's preferable, since that does end up getting abused, but the worst thing that will happen is that they're no longer able to communicate via that one particular forum. It's not going to have serious life consequences like you're implying. People get booted all the time from Fimfiction for far less serious reasons.

I don’t like wanderer much and think his post a bit too tantrum like and probably is against the very callout posting rules he’s supposed to enforce but I *mostly* agree with his and the site’s more hands off stance to moderation. While the rapist in question should probably be purged because his attack occurring at a pone related event could signal him being a threat to those using pone platforms like this, I also don’t think mods should be off site or morality police. Callouts are mob justice and a rule discouraging them is probably a good thing simply to prevent brigading. You have an accusation with proof, especially proof this person used a pone platform to take advantage of their victim? Take it to a mod or admin. If they do nothing, take it to the cops or something, then you can post like this all you want. I actually agree with you on this particular issue involving this particular rapist and that more needs to be done with him but think that maybe your proposal for future incidents just goes too far. Callout posting almost never ends well and usually just results in brawls via blogposting. Mods probably shouldn’t be encouraging that if they want to maintain order on the site.

Figments #18 · July 7th · · 5 ·


offprint's admin and lead dev speaking here.

there's a difference between "maintaining order" and "doing what's best for the site and its community". oftentimes, maintaining order does nothing but indicate a lack of moral integrity, a matter of following the letter of the law but not the spirit, and ends up actively harming the community such order was meant to protect and safeguard.

if we want to be better, we can't dismiss out of hand the function of callout posts—especially those done in good faith by survivors of abuse—just for the sake of maintaining some ephemeral sense of normalcy. people need to respect and trust that the moderator team has their backs, and is doing all they can to make sure the community feels happy and healthy to be a part of. if that sometimes means you have to be arbitrators, that you have to pick a side between Right and Wrong, then so be it.

the right answer has never and will never be to sit on the fence and do nothing.

MrNumbers #19 · July 7th · · 5 ·


My take on this is that banning organized protest guarantees disorganized protest. If we can only be seen as obstacles, then the only relationship we can have is antagonistic. If we want to be able to moderate, not just act as riot cops, there needs to be beneficial concessions, to give worst case scenarios best case outcomes.



If you guys hate this place so much and keep advertising that your site in every post, why are you all still around here? Just go there if this place sucks so much.

As for the greater good ‘best for the community’ stuff, problem is everyone has a different idea of what that is. Only an absolute echo chamber of monothink could possibly function longterm with calloutposting allowed. Otherwise, I can assure you, eventually you’re going to have to deal with a callout you think is fine, but users and other mods won’t. While fence sitting isn’t the best position for a mod to be, its also equally bad for mods to encourage mob mentality.

This is hard.

I'm a close friend of the survivor. I've heard him tell the story. It's frightening, and though I have no way of verifying the facts, I believe him and it's clear that he's still affected by this. I can't imagine being in that situation as a teenager. I know drugs were involved and the perpetrator may not have been "trying" to traumatize the survivor, but the bottom line is she did something very bad and he's still dealing with the aftermath. I also know he was seventeen at the time, though I don't know what the age difference between them was (if it's more than a couple of years then this is far more serious).

I'm sympathetic to my friend. If the perpetrator admitted it openly in a way that can't be denied, then yes, I think she should be banned. I don't have the context on how deniable the admission is, as in whether she merely said she was sorry something bad happened, or if she openly said something like, "yes, I know I raped you". If it's something along the lines of the latter statement, then I think a ban is justified specifically because the survivor of the act is a member of this community. Fimfiction doesn't and shouldn't need a criminal conviction to take action against somepony; a clear preponderance of evidence should be sufficient.

That said.

If the admission is not specific enough to clearly indicate the perpetrator committed sexual assault, I don't know if a ban would be appropriate. I believe my friend, absolutely, but I really don't like the idea of the site banning people without evidence. Fimfiction is not the police. It's not their job to do criminal detective work, and it would be legally dangerous for them to try with no protections in place for victims or the accused. It's also legally dangerous for the site to leave up accusations of criminal activity, whether or not the perpetrator admits to the accusations in text form, so I completely understand the need to take the blog down.

Without more context I'm left uncertain about whether the staff did the right thing or not. I do know that D is not solely responsible for site decisions. I also know that it's a headache for staff to constantly be harassed about a decision made years ago, especially if it is truly the case that there wasn't a crystal-clear admission of sexual assault. I also know it would probably be a big mistake for the website to ban her at this point unless further evidence were to emerge, because it could send the message that harassing the staff for several years about an old decision is the proper way to evoke change—especially when this behavior is accompanied by numerous additional accusations, statements, and potential libel (and I'm not referring to things stated by the actual survivor of the event) that the site is legally obligated to censor.

Moderating this sort of thing is thankless. I'm angered by what happened to my friend. I don't want to see anypony banned without solid justification for it. All of these things are true at the same time, so it's like I said. This is hard.

is advertising illegal now?

Yeah, all this pretty much. I feel about this I guess the same way I feel about abolishing the police and the prison State and all that, that there will always be impossible decisions, but that the best thing we can do long-term is build a better society where people are less likely to do shitty things, via cultural changes, implementing socialism, education, a variety of stuff. I should probably blog about this or something.

alkarian #24 · July 7th · · 4 ·

Aw shit, here we go again. I just want to read shippy pony stories :raritydespair: But now my feed is exploding with blog posts and not in a good way.


Latrans #25 · July 7th · · 6 ·


Just go there if this place sucks so much.

That's what we are doing. A significant number of people here are unhappy with the way fimfic has evolved over the past couple years. Now that a new place has become available, we are all telling our friends about it so we can go there together. Are you upset that we are doing exactly as you are suggesting?

Only an absolute echo chamber of monothink could possibly function longterm with calloutposting allowed. Otherwise, I can assure you, eventually you’re going to have to deal with a callout you think is fine, but users and other mods won’t. While fence sitting isn’t the best position for a mod to be, its also equally bad for mods to encourage mob mentality.

I'd like you to re-read that. Slowly, while trying to understand how it relates to the topic at hand. It's like you are echoing MrNumbers, but with vitriol.

I was mostly referring to MrNumbers' statement in the blog about direct links. Good to know my worry was unfounded.

MrNumbers #27 · July 7th · · 7 ·


Yeah turns out anarchists have a different perspective on "mobs". The entire academic history against mob mentality has almost exclusively been done from anti-democratic perspectives, right from its origins critiquing the French revolution as inferior to monarchy. I get the problem, but these are policies to address how people actually follow incentives, and not how we wish they could behave.


. I don't have the context on how deniable the admission is, as in whether she merely said she was sorry something bad happened, or if she openly said something like, "yes, I know I raped you".

Far, far closer to the latter. Entirely corroborated the account but ended with "but it was okay for me to do that", essentially, in a site group. Hard to track down because as you say, history.

To clarify, I meant direct links to Wanderer to facilitate brigading.

Serious question, what’s to prevent callout posting from turning into genuine harassment? What’s the line even? If you open the door to one, how do you stop the other from following?


There isn't one, they're the same thing, and it's what's going to happen with or without our consent. It's simply a case of what we can do to guarantee a seat at the bargaining table, and leverage that to minimize excessive strategies. But we need to have something to offer to make people come to us voluntarily, and not simply try to do as much damage before they get caught.

That sounds genuinely like a bad idea but its not my site so whatever. Its just, given what happened last week, I don’t really think allowing mobs attacking people is necessarily a great policy. Rather, a ban on that altogether seems like a better option.

And you've missed the point again. The ban already exists, and that didn't stop any of this.

And you missed the point in that I’m talking about the new site being set up that would possibly allow this.

And I'm telling you why the distinction is moot. For that matter, so is Numbers:

it's what's going to happen with or without our consent

The distinction’s only moot to someone such as yourself not reading the comments before posting. There’s a difference between it happening and moderators endorsing it. Just because you can’t prevent everything doesn’t mean you should be encouraging it.

Look, you can go support mob justice all you want. I’m not jumping on that ship though.

I think a relevant metaphor is alcohol, where outlawing it didn't work so they regulate and tax the bejeezus out of it instead. That's the proposal, minus the "tax" half because no money is changing hands in the first place.

iisaw #37 · July 7th · · 5 ·


...why are you all still around here? Just go there if this place sucks so much.

What a wonderful idea! Why didn't I think of that?

Oh, wait... I did! :pinkiehappy:

Loki #38 · July 7th · · 1 ·

I do understand where you're coming from. The issue seems to be, as you mentioned, a 'he said, she said' thing. If actionable proof exists, then the accusation can't be deleted. If it doesn't, it's going to be damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Just because an ego and a sense of moral superiority doesn't mean you and the minority get to dictate the whole community. You don't even constitute a large part of it yet you insist that it's rotting from the actions of bad faith actors. Spoiler: You're the rot. You and your lot harass mods as often as you can, trying to get them to enact your will like a bunch of petty tyrants. Please take yourself and your 'army' of sub-50 discord users and piss off to Offprint already. I'm sure you can circlejerk around the same, sterile feel good stories time and time again until you're forced to come back here when you're forced to acknowledge that having less than 400 views on a story doesn't flatter your egos quite as much, or you descend the purity spiral so hard the site destroys itself from the inside. So please, just leave and save everyone from this wretched ear ache and the forced shit stirring, lying and holier-than-thou shaming act already. Thank you! And goodbye.

Figments #40 · July 8th · · 8 ·


that's a lot of words for what's effectively "I'm a smelly pissbaby that can't stop talking"

Aw man, and here I thought D might be one of the more decent folks on the admin team. Now that he's posted a screed denouncing the "cancer of leftists," methinks a special new fanbase is going to coalesce around him if he lets it.

Displaying the typical maturity of your ilk with infantile names. Don't worry though. You can be as tyrannical and censorship-happy as you want on your site. One which I - and the majority of other people - will never visit because it's shit. :trollestia:
Basic Business Tip: Consumers will always choose the store that offers them the most choice over the store that intentionally limits the sort of products it offers.

R5h #43 · July 8th · · 5 ·


Basic Business Tip: Consumers will always choose the store that offers them the most choice over the store that intentionally limits the sort of products it offers.

This is a weird thing to say, for 3 reasons I can think of right now.
1) Consumers getting the "most choice" is not always the deciding factor in success of a business. Look at Apple and the extremely limited choices they provide.
2) Offprint literally offers more choice than FiMFiction because Offprint is a general fiction site rather than just an MLP fanfiction site. (Actually, you can put nonfiction on Offprint too, if you want, so that's yet more choice.)
3) When FiMFiction decides not to ban toxic assholes, and Nazis, and literal rapists, that does actually cause other people to leave—people who feel uncomfortable around those extremely unpleasant groups. That's true for any community. It's like a saying I've heard before: "If you allow both sheep and wolves in your pasture, you'll end up with just wolves." So while the (lack of) moderation choices on FiMFiction might not be intentionally limiting the "sort of product it offers", those moderation choices still end with some users leaving.

1. Apple sells a brand moreso than a product. They sell high and produce cheaply, but since their products are seen more as an item of status as opposed to a product with better specs than their competitors, they can get away with selling a highly limited selection of products. Offprint doesn't produce anything, it hosts the creations of other users, so it's more comparable to a storefront if anything.
2. In theory, yes. But since the moderation team will disallow anything it deems problematic, and this reputation is well known amongst those who advocate it, it doesn't incentivize people to use it at risk of having their good disallowed. They're also attempting to enter a marketplace with alternatives and arguably better competitors already in place: Quantity I.E. allows anything and everything = AO3. Quality = Royalroad. And despite advertising itself as a general fiction website, considering its userbase is mostly made up of people from here, it's only going to produce the same sort of stories whilst also being even more limited with what's able to be produced because of the creators and moderators views.

some users

This is the most important thing here. Some. There won't be a mass exodus of authors and their followers like the writers probably expect. Most people are generally apathetic and simply don't care. Most people haven't even seen these 'nazis', 'rapists' and 'toxic assholes' because they're not nearly sizable enough to be considered a problem by anything but the people who advocate for Offprint. It's going to have a very small userbase, which'll be for its benefit I suppose since it'll have a low server load and thus be very cheap to run. The fact of the matter is, most people simply don't care. It's just one niche corner of the internet that some people choose to think about constantly and let get to them. Nobody will notice, even with the inevitable tide of blogposts calling for the exodus of what is a provable minority of writers. And speaking of moderation, AO3 has next to zero of it and it's the most popular fanfiction website on the internet. And it literally allows for actual nazi, pedophilic and racist content, unlike here.

Figments #45 · July 8th · · 6 ·


they don't sell child porn and swastika patches at target, you fucking idiot

False equivalence!
Compare your site to other actual fiction websites instead of choosing an example I never raised. How is your site in any way different from royal road or ao3? You're not actually offering anything they aren't, except you're advertising the fact you'll disallow fictions you deem problematic hence you're already establishing restrictions on content allowed.


Basic Business Tip: Consumers will always choose the store that offers them the most choice over the store that intentionally limits the sort of products it offers.

False equivalence!


Honestly the only thing that surprises me about you is that Numbers doesn't have you blocked already.

In a site filled with gravid douchebags you manage to be the one so dense that light bends around you. Congratulations.

>Trying to argue semantics instead of acknowledging the argument made

a shop of any size or kind


a place where things are manufactured

Stories = manufactured.

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