For years now Fanfiction.net has enjoyed the notoriety of being one of the most used, well liked, comprehensive, and broad-ranged fanfiction archives on the Internet. It is perhaps the most well-known fanfiction archive out there and has only recently begun to see real competition from the likes of Archive of Our Own.
However, this place in our lives has been continually used and abused. While previously their actions could have been ignored, or have even been somewhat balanced by minor improvements, we can suffer the abuse no longer. Our steadily decreasing patience has taken one too many hits, caused by the neverending changes they have implemented. While they still insist on not improving on things that need to be!
In recent months, however, the changes they have made have been far too broad and have had far too large an impact on US, the users. They claim it is for the betterment of the community at large but it seems to hinder more than aid and we should not stand for it. Despite the fact that we do not pay a service charge for the use of this site, the fact still remains they provide us with a service/product; we are the consumer, and they should be catering to our needs.
The bottom line is: things are changing and not for the better. This is something we should not be putting up with. We need to stand up and make our voices heard.
The Primary Issues/Changes:
1. The return of advertisements on the main fandom hubs and story pages.
2. The inability to highlight and copy sections of text.
3. The blocking of flagfic.net (inability to use fanfiction downloaders)
What this means for us (ie. why this sucks):
1. Ads clog up the page and are huge eyesores. They are actually quite annoying, especially for mobile users. It is difficult to close an Ad and the Ads cover significant portions of the page at times, making this very frustrating for users. Furthermore, the ads themselves are, for lack of a better term, crap and just annoying to see. Really, I just want to read fanfic and relax.
2. Really, the primary reasoning for ending the ability to highlight is to prevent plagiarism. THAT IS YOUR JOB AS MODERATORS!! I enjoy the ability to highlight. It allows me to search for terms or specific places in the text, look up words or quotes, and most importantly share funny, cute, intelligent, and significant quotes with other fans.
3. The inability to utilize a fanfiction downloader, especially one as user-friendly as Flagfic.net, is near criminal! Again, the primary reason for this is to decrease plagiarism. Again, I say, THAT IS YOUR JOB!! Fanfiction downloaders are a huge help in sharing and reading fanfiction on the go. Long trips, especially on planes, trains, and coaches, means there is a lack of a good, steady, and most importantly CHEAP form of Internet connectivity. Without a fanfiction downloader, I would spend hours on a plane at the beginning and end of each year bored out of my head. Not to mention the coach rides to and from Gatwick. A secondary reason for this travesty is apparently to keep the number of hits on the site up. Really fanfiction.net. We always return without fail because we need new fics. We also follow fic and need the updates. One download is not going to stop us from wanting to use your site.
Let us address the one major point of contention even we, the readers, share with the Fanfiction.net moderators: plagiarism.
Plagiarism was at one point bordering on an epidemic on fanfiction.net and it seemed as if moderators did nothing about it. It was not the moderators’ insistence in a fic being pulled down that caused it to disappear off the site. It was the reviewers’ outrage at the audacity of the person claiming something that did not belong to them. There have been times that a simple disclaimer has been put on after the fact, as nothing more than aside. These fics, despite being reported, remain up! Even after the original author complains! It takes months for them to do their job if they ever do. Why are we being made to suffer for their incompetence?
They seem to feel the addition of a few new features in the search option allows them to place these restrictions on us.
This is not a just a case of the innocent suffering for the guilty, but the innocent suffering for the incompetent.
The Fanfiction.net moderators simply need to start doing their jobs and policing their site, starting with following up promptly on reports of any variety and actually making it a site we all WANT to use.
As much as we love the site, the way in which the site is heading makes us want to not use it. Despite the benefits of using this site, we ask you, our fellow readers/writers/users of Fanfiction.net, to join us in a boycott on the 1st of November 2013. Spread the word, let your fellow fans know that we will no longer sit back idly as they alter things in a way that does not benefit us while throwing pretty party favours at us as if we would not notice the drastic and disastrous changes they are making.
They are arguably the biggest, best, and most well organized archive available for the reading of fanfiction. This, however, is the reason why they should be held to a higher standard. A standard that they are not reaching at this time.
Beginning November 1st 2013