The Elf ½ ([info]elfwreck) wrote in [info]metametameta,
@ 2008-07-26 21:59:00

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The Ongoing Situation
Link Roundup:
On July 19, [info]purplepopple/partly_bouncy/Michaela Ecks/Laura Hale (she is public about all these names) made a post on fanthropology about "How to maintain fandom privacy." (I'd link to it, but it's gone now.) It was a list of 15 things like "always assume anything you post online may become public" and "never give out your real name, even in locked posts" and "do not join social networking sites, message boards, or public fanfic archives." She also either changed fanhistory's policies, or reminded people that they existed--and these were there standards for respecting people's privacy: if the information can be found online, it's okay to make it easily googled.

It was, to say the least, not well-received.

Ithiliana posted How to Save Fandom From Being Outed by The Mean Girlz (TM). And Dejana posted Sometimes a brain can come in quite handy, pointing out that
partly_bouncy got ahold of astolat's real name. It's entirely possible it was posted in an obvious place and should have been better protected, and was added to FanHistory without anyone knowing that was Not Okay. Accidental outings happen. But then people tried to remove the info and... the site owner restored it.
If it's ever been revealed anywhere, FanHistory feels it has a right to print it, whether or not you object, and the precious line between fandom life and real life will not be respected. Even if it was posted under a friends lock. Even if it was said to a buddy in chat. If it's out there, they're taking it. All for the sake of, I assume, some pompous desire to bring The Truth to the world, whether or not it's actually useful or relevant to anything.
And they're off... partly_bouncy edited the Fanthropology post to add:
Advised to add: Apparently there is some controversy regarding the [LegalName linked to Fanname URL] article on Fan History. As referenced on the talk page for [LegalName linked to Fanname URL], we're willing to work with her to find a solution where the history can be accurately told regarding her involvement in fandom. Fan History understands people's privacy issues. It is why we are willing to work with people to make them comfortable regarding what information it out there. It is also why we want people to think about what they put out there. Given that, if [LegalName linked to Fanname URL] wishes to have the article about her changed to minimize those connections, we'd love to hear from her. We're willing to work with her, like anyone covered on Fan History, to address her concerns. For everyone else, we urge you to read our people help page, the rules, our philosophy and to actively engage on the wiki so Fan History can continue its mission to preserve the history of fandom.
So. Deliberately outing someone in a post already linked to [info]metafandom. (MF removed it on notification.) You can imagine the wankstorm. But wait... in the midst of the combination of outrage and occasional mentions that really, people should be aware that privacy online is limited... background details start to appear.

Fanhistory is not a nonprofit, fan-fun endeavor. It's a money-making venture, and Laura Hale is desperately looking for investment capital. And she advocates directly lying to users: "If you are making more than you need to operate, figure out some way to kick some back to the users in give aways or contests. And then, if you're asked, tell your users that all the extra money is going into a savings account for the site to help cover costs in the long run. Say this even if it isn't true." Post also contains mention that she suggests "promote wank" as a way to generate site hits. (There's a link to a screencap. And three pages of comments.)

Ithiliana Calls her out; announces to all of fandom (or at least, all that reads her journal or follows metafandom links and like that) that LH is somebody who actively seeks to harm other fans. She lies. She outs fans by connecting their real life identities with their fannish identities. She is trying to make money from a site which is billed as "history" and which contains lies, damn lies, and misinformation.... (Go read. Lots of links. This is COMPLEX.)

Somewhere in the midst of this, Laura posts in her Twitter:
Anyone good with PR who might be able to help me with an ongoing situation? If so, would love to get in touch ASAP. Screencap. (Hence shiny new icon. Which is fully gankable, and I hope that by not making her name visible on it, can be used for any kind of PR disaster post. But probably not on LJ; I believe the filesize is too big.)

Ciderpress says: I've got the thingie. Half in English, half in squibbly. She points out that "she is making money by gleefully soliciting and generating wank, by making our fandom a fundamentally unsafer and unhappier space. She causes misery, not *just* because she can, but because it puts money in her pockets."

Posts in favor of (or at least, not rabidly against) Laura's activities: Three people who've re-thought their support of and connection to her activities: It's a huge wankfest. If you like wank, follow links, read other posts in the journals, read the comments... it's all gone 'splodey. If you don't like wank... I recommend staying away from the wiki in question, and not giving her any more ad revenue or site hits she can use to try to pimp fannish activity to her potential investors.

Because we deserve better.

(Post a new comment)

Don't forget that...
2008-07-29 11:43 pm UTC (link)
...she wants $500K for Fanhistory.

Also an interesting link in there about Fanhistory's estimated worth. But beautiful writeup you have here. Very cohesive.

(Reply to this)

2009-05-08 12:53 pm UTC (link)
I do tend to feel about as neutral about Laura Hale as others feel about Denise Paolucci: that is, while I can understand and sympathise about how some things some people do really get under your skin - as Denise Paolucci really got under mine - I don't support all the "omg she's WORST FAN EVAH" stuff, which I think is largely sourced to the outrage from One True Wank.

(Outing [info]astolat, done with malicious intent, would indeed be bad: but I've never seen any indication that Laura knew [info]astolat wasn't out about writing the dragon novels.)

(Reply to this) (Thread)

2009-05-08 12:54 pm UTC (link)
Oops. I meant to post this to the post where this was linked.

(Reply to this) (Parent)

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