So today in fandom drama, someone's finally weaponized malicious tagging


This article underemphasizes exactly how bad stww was — people were reporting it was *crashing their browser* when it came up in search

But they’re 100% right about the hypocrisy of all this stuff marginalized fans have been fighting for for years suddenly being popular bc its affecting white fans now too

@phildini its been all fandom has been talking about for like a week and a half

@Satsuma ok, this is obvious and I feel stupid, but I didn't realize that it was a site infrastructure problem and not a policy/content problem. It just never occurred to me that AO3 might NOT have a block button

Since I'm on tumblr all the time I'm used to seeing criticism of AO3 framed as "they're gross pedos who shouldn't host content I don't like," and I'm like "learn to block people? Idk"

But when the question is "why isn't there a block function" the answer is important

@Satsuma "It would cost thirty million dollars and #### worker-hours of labor, which is impossible for our organization's stated purpose, and since we own the servers and aren't doing anything illegal, we don't have to change our policy"

But one way or another, otherwise-legal usage of the service causes problems for other people who want the service but don't want to see whatever person/topic is bothering them

@Satsuma again, I am not a dev and I don't know anything about the practical logistics of this, but this seems like a problem that's crying out for federated servers

@alpine_thistle @Satsuma Federated servers would make actual moderation possible without turning it into "soft"censorship. Basically having too much power--and burdens--concentrated in one site creates a lot of problems, who knew!

@ljwrites @Satsuma holy shit this should be taught in like. Political science/sociology courses. It's state failure in miniature

@ljwrites @alpine_thistle unfortunately ao3's stability is such a large part of the site's draw (well, that and all the crazy amounts of work that goes into making tag search so frictionless) so fandom is way more reluctant to jump ship than they are for social media platform stuff :/

@alpine_thistle yeah i mean there's a lot of people who will like, go on ao3, search something that they *don't like* and then get upset when something comes up

So if you see a lot of that kind of stuff (which, antis are everywhere so) its very easy to write off a lot of critiques about ao3

But the lack of a block function is definitely Not Good and it's been a frequent critique of the site from people who *are* genuinely trying to improve fandom for years and ao3 just...doesn't care

@Satsuma and I'm not really involved in the meta-fandom side of things voluntarily, so when something breaks into my attention sphere, it's usually the really fringe weirdos and not the sensible people with reasonable points

@alpine_thistle if you're interested in reading up on it, naye's racism & fandom tag is a good place to start:

@Satsuma … why would it crash browsers? It’s all rendered server-side?

The only (?) thing I can imagine it might do to cause a browser crash is if people are running third-party JavaScript based tag blockers, but that’s… kind of not the AO3’s fault?

@alis it hasn’t happened to me—i stay out of the tags as a matter of course anyway—so i can’t tell you exactly what the issue was, but it was mostly people with older phones (so, much less likely to be running browser extensions) who were complaining

@tozka ah i hadn't thought to check the byline

its a more provocative tone than i'd like but it does accurate reflect this particular microism of fandom discourse

@Satsuma @tozka heartbreaking: the worst person you know just made a great point

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