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Joined Jul '10

The following letter is posted with permission from MTR

Dear fanfiction.net,

I am very concerned about the purging of stories you have undertaken recently. You have done this without warning to writers and without notifying members of your site that there would be a tightening of policy. I believe this is a reaction to a vocal minority that call themselves the Literate Union or LawlClan Critic Group, or something like that.

I write fanfiction and I post it on your site under the name mrstrentreznor. I have many loyal readers who have pushed my total hit rate to 2,574,874. Each of those hits is a chance for your site to earn some advertising revenue. Do the above groups write fanfic? Do they earn income for your site? Somehow I doubt it.

You ask that people allow anonymous reviews. In my experience the majority of anonymous reviews are ranting, abusive posts that bear no relevance to what I write. And because they are posted anonymously, I have no right of reply or way to contact the writer. If they truly believed what they wrote, then they would not be afraid to log in to the site and to have PM’s turned on, so that they too could receive these kinds of messages. I recently received this ‘review’ (I do hesitate to call it a review) in one of my stories titled ‘Bells’ and another titled ‘the Bad Seed’.

Story: Bells

Chapter: 1. Chapter 1

From: r u kidding me ()

r u kidding me:this is porn! and not even good porn! learn how to write decently and post elsewhere and maybe i'll read your stuff but this is garbage. and you think you're so great? i've read third graders book reports that's written better. it's not allowed on this site. consider yourself reported.

Both stories have no sex at all in them, let alone porn. It is rated M because I rate most of my stories M and M ratings ARE allowed on your site. This is a shotgun blast from someone who can barely write and clearly cannot read. At the very least in their cut and paste response, they could have turned on spellcheck and grammar check. This person presumes to tell me that my writing is below par.

I truly hope that you are not taking their complaints seriously.

I have three teenage children. It is ridiculous to expect the rest of the world to keep them safe; that is MY job as their parent. These people are expecting you to protect their children, and you can’t. Access to images that are pornographic on the internet is remarkably easy. The children of today are digital natives; they understand this world and they can pretty much get around age restrictions or any other limitations on websites. If they are reading fanfiction at least they are reading. It is the choice of such complainers to block certain sites in their own home if they wish to. They should not presume to parent my children.

Nor is Fanfiction.net a parent.

You are losing members on a daily basis. The site has had problems for more than a year now with issues in logging in, posting reviews and disappearing content. Each time you do not admit that you ARE having issues. You do not respond to complaints from members. Members are lucky to get a one word response. You post nothing on your home page saying that you are fixing it or that you are even aware of the issue. You respond to clearly wrong complaints and change the names of characters and yet do not fix other issues. You delete people’s profiles on the basis of anonymous complaints.

You are deleting translations of stories as well. A number of my stories have been translated into French. They have been done with my permission; they are published as a translation with a clear link to my page. It is not plagiarism and it is not a duplication of stories. It is providing a service for French readers.

Now you are deleting stories and removing profiles with no warning and no message to the members to make sure they have time to back-up a copy. Nor do you give them a warning or an opportunity to fix the issue.

This is poor business practice.

If there is one thing the recent popularity of ‘Fifty shades of grey’ has shown, it is that fanfiction can be a force for change. You could have ridden on EL James’ coat-tails to greater success. You could have said loud and long that it was YOUR site that published her first as snowqueenicedragon. You could have attracted many, many new readers to the site.

But you didn’t.

And now you are in effect, book burning.

Shame on you, fanfiction.

Yours sincerely,


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