I’ve largely been approaching the various “don’t censor fandom/the ao3″ conversations through a lens of race because many of the people arguing in favor of what’s essentially a free-for-all because desire is like sacred also don’t get that some of the stuff fandom desires leads to the erasure, objectification, or dehumanization of characters and fans of color

and i just saw this long ass “if you don’t like the ao3, make your own it’s open source” post and it reminded me of the fact that well… what happens when fans of color make our own?

We get accused of alienating white fans, reverse racism, and of causing drama.

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I’ve been thinking about the AO3 controversy a lot, and how pointing out racism is so often categorized as “purity wank.” 

AO3 prides itself on its transparency, its warning labels making it so, in theory, no one will be caught off guard reading something triggering.

If there is no intention to cut racist fanwork on AO3, there should be a “racism” content warning, and it should be something readers can flag, not just something the author chooses (because then it would only be used in fics where racial slurs are used and nothing else).

I know the chances of AO3 allowing (especially) Black people to tag fics as racist to inform other fans is below zero. AO3 will never prohibit racist fanfic, and it will never warn readers of racist content – unlike things like sexual assault, which they strongly encourage authors to warn readers of so “everyone” can have a safe experience.

I am 100% in favor of this idea (a racism content warning, and other bigotries while we’re at it).

What mechanism could we put in place to prevent the almost certain misuse of the tag by people with personal vendettas against particular authors, characters, or ships?

As in “Twenty years ago when Author was 14 they wrote something naive that kinkshamed something I like, therefore I will stalk them and flag everything they write as racist” as an extreme, but not unreal example.

OR Everyone who ships this (noncanon) pairing as opposed to this (other noncanon) pairing is racist.

I am actually looking for suggestions here.  I can’t figure anything out, but maybe it’s possible.

It is not possible. The very people who are supporting this idea are not people I trust at all in fandom, because their hypocritical ideas of what constitute racism and misogyny are based entirely on their shipping and kink preferences.

The very OP of this post supported an “appreciation week” for a character that was blatantly racist against Rose Tico because butthurt FinnRey shippers decided that accusing Rose of being anti-black was a better shipper war tactic.

so lol @ the idea of her flagging a damn thing. “This includes Rose/Finn! Better tag it as racist!” Or “Someone wrote sexual slavery fic and my newest crusade has decided that it’s all racist, so I’m gonna go through and tag all the kinks I don’t like as being racist.”

 (PS: People roleplay sexual slavery fic every fucking day in the privacy of their own home. Are they racist too? Are there only CERTAIN acts that are allowed to be published? Who decides that? Why are you that important? You aren’t.)

Or perhaps we’ll have the AMAZING wank of when fandomhatespeopleofcolor harassed a black rape survivor because they didn’t like the woman’s Sam Wilson fic. I’m sure that the ability to tag that fic would have turned out well. Or not, because they still argue to this day that nobody – including other rape survivors- have a right to publish such fic. Because they don’t like it. Because the abhorrent way that @fandomhatespeopleofcolor behaved was built upon racism and misogyny in THEIR OWN ACTIONS, but you damn well bet they played a victim and continued to bully and harass creators despite the fact that they need take a long look at their behavior. 

Do I get to flag every fic that MAKES THE CONSCIOUS CHOICE TO EXCLUDE ROSE WHEN SHE IS FINN’S CANON LOVE INTEREST as racist? No, because that would be stupid. But you can damn well bet that people would misuse any such flagging tool. People misuse allegations of racism and sexism on this website every fucking day.

Anyway, you want to scream to the world that a work isn’t your cup of tea? That’s why you have a tumblr. You think it’s actually problematic? That’s why you have a tumblr.

But you do not have a right to “flag” anyone’s content. You don’t have a right to ADD content to something that is already up.

And frankly, the Archive has never been concerned about keeping you safe from content. It’s been concerned about keeping content makers safe re: the ability to make content. If you don’t agree with that policy, then: yes, you should go somewhere else.

The simple fact is this: just because some person on the internet thinks it’s racist or “child porn” doesn’t mean it is. No, you don’t have a right to add that tag to someone’s fic. And no, you don’t deserve that right no matter who you are or what minority you belong to. Nobody does but the author.

There’s also a whole lot of “your desire is creepy and gross” in the comments of this post and lmao!! Why do you think your desires to bully and make false accusations of racism are more important than someone writing a fic where Tony Stark enslaves Steve Rogers and gets off on making him choke on his cock? 

Hint: Your desires aren’t more important. They aren’t. They never will be. 

Genuine accusations of racism can be put on tumblr and it can be discussed there. They should be. 

But in current fandom climate, allegations of “racism” need to be taken with the salt of the entire fucking Pacific, and the OP of this post (And literally all of Star Wars fandom) prove that to be true. 

Incorrect allegations built around your own personal preferences and shipping activities can be put behind a $3 paywall on Patreon, can’t they, @stitchmediamix? 

Fandom has cried wolf too many times. IT doesn’t have the right to this “flagging” system and it sure as well should never be trusted with it. 

Look at this asshole with an obvious vendetta.


(Like the Rose stuff? It wasn’t even like how they’re trying to say it is, y’all and on top of that, everything I create on Patreon for the $1 and $3 Tiers eventually makes it on my site unless I forget so it’s not like I’m forcing people to support me.)

Author: Zeenah

Zina writes about comics, nerd history, and ridiculous romance novels when not working frantically on her first collection of short stories and complaining about stuff. One day, she'll settle down and write that novel.