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Ugh

Just submitted a deletion request for "my article" (bot-generated from Fanfiction.net) on FanHistory. Like the stupid idiot that I am, my FanFiction.net account had my real name... (note to self: change my real name). I'm not averse to letting people know I'm fannish, gods know, but I'd like to have some sort of control over that.

That said, the thermodynamics of information are strongly time-asymmetric, so... Well. That's life in the 21st century for you.

PS: Looking for my old fics, I encountered old fics by Smitty, A.j.'s fantastic archive, Bob the Hamster... Good times!

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
sara_lakali
Nov. 6th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the heads-up. I just submitted my deletion request for my FF-dot-net pen name.
__marcelo
Nov. 6th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
Best of luck.
(Deleted comment)
__marcelo
Nov. 6th, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'd rather not interact with Fanhistory at all, if I could...
outlawpoet
Nov. 6th, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't even know what it is, or what it's history is. A google shows an ordinary looking wiki. What's the scoop, Mr. Kent?
__marcelo
Nov. 6th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
A short description at Fandom Wank, and why it's so 'interesting' (begin with the post at the bottom).
outlawpoet
Nov. 6th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
I must be a bad person, because I kind of almost want to side with partly_bouncy. I'm sure Ithiliana is very sweet and in the right, but she's fantastically long-winded, and wrote for thousands of words calling partly_bouncy a liar and a punk without actually mentioning any of the lies or punky behavior, other than linking to other published internet stuff.

Back in the day I was a cypherpunk, and we used to say that our PGP-keyed mailing lists just meant that the Enemy would read our discussions _later_, and with more interest. But we had to make the effort, and it kept anyone not willing to invest the time in penetrating the web of trust keyrings or throwing supercomputing power at it- from reading out stuff.

Almost the whole time I've been on the internet I've been watching people go through this pattern, settling in, finding an audience, assuming that audience is the only people who see what they post, and then freaking when someone links to them from outside it. Special tools exist for going through archives of every kind and sanitizing/f-locking/redacting them for this very purpose.

Aggregators like http://www.spock.com/ are spreading this kind of reaction to people who don't have much of an internet publishing history at all.

Anonymity is cool. I think that it ought to be possible to do something ONCE without anyone finding out who you are, for political or cultural reasons. With some technical caveats, that's still possible on the internet via communities like wikileaks, freenet, thepiratebay. What I don't think is possible is anonymous community. You simply can't expect to build a reputation and interact with people via pseudonym on the internet or anywhere else without fantastic effort, or relying on luck and lack of interest to protect you. Maybe it would be nice if you could, but I've never seen a convincing argument either way, technically or culturally.
__marcelo
Nov. 6th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
You are absolutely right in that anonymous community is at best a a hugely difficult technical and organizational challenge, and that certainly fandom hasn't put in any significant effort in this regard. Also, it's true that nobody can -or actually, *should*- be safe from being linked to. That's what the Internet is about, and that's a good thing.

I think that the reaction, or at least my reaction, comes from the fact that Laura Hale portrays herself as part of fandom, and even relies on its help and input, while at the same time breaking the unspoken rules that make possible for us to do what we do (and that are ultimately responsible of much of the value we find in fandom). I was worried when Argentina's Clarin newspaper found about FanFiction.net, but I don't blame them - if you post anywhere, you can be found by anybody, that's what the Internet is for. I've even worked in a few projects that involved mining publicly available information hopefully for profit... but I'd feel uncomfortable mining a community I was a part of. It's not technically difficult, and it's not illegal, but it feels like an act of bad faith. I wouldn't call for Laura Hale to be sued, but I'm certainly not going to send her any email that I wouldn't be willing to see posted everywhere [Of course, that's at one level true of anything you send to anyone, encrypted or not, but there's a difference in the risk evaluation between an untrusted network and an untrusted person.]

Dunno. Probably I'm naive and had been too-lucky (which is always dangerous, because luck, by definition, doesn't hold). I realize this is to a large degree an emotional argument, and I'm open to be argued out of it :).
outlawpoet
Nov. 6th, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
well, she definitely seems to be taking advantage of an open community without adding much to it, such people are always iffy.

Even if the trend is inescapable, it's hard not to dislike game-theoretic defectors like that. It's just human nature to prefer grace and constructive community membership, where we can find it.
__marcelo
Nov. 6th, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
At least, it seems to be preferred by some; there are people who basically operate by greedy or near-greedy (in the algorithmic sense) algorithms.

outlawpoet
Nov. 6th, 2008 10:04 pm (UTC)
they still seem to resent it when people defect against them.

Lots of people rationalize defecting.
__marcelo
Nov. 6th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC)
True.
derryderrydown
Nov. 6th, 2008 06:37 pm (UTC)
So, you know how FH is planning to use a bot to scoop information from people's LJ profiles? I'm very tempted to put something in my profile specifically saying that FH is using my work without my permission, and quite possibly linking to all the exposes...
__marcelo
Nov. 6th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
Yes, I heard about that. Supposedly the bot doesn't farm profiles from journals set not to be mined by search engines, so in theory I should be somewhat safe, at least for now.

Adding something like that to the profile seems like a good idea, although it'll only be useful -after- the both has already set up your page at FH.
ratcreature
Nov. 6th, 2008 11:26 pm (UTC)
Heh, I'm starting to wonder whether I should feel left out in that so far none of her scraper bot projects ever harvested my profiles afaik, despite me always picking to be included in search engines and such. In a way it's kind of depressing to have not even enough presence in fandom to be auto-harvested...

I find the FH practices about as annoying as the scraper bots from spam blogs which do copy my content sometimes, mostly because her wiki is equally useless, with it including so much bot generated pages coupled with her weird ideas about edititng a wiki and her tacky and rather doomed ideas about generating profit.

I'm not actually pseudonymous in fandom, because anyone interested can just do a "whois" lookup for my website, which doesn't have any of these extra registrar privacy things enabled, so it lists me as a contact and nobody needs any detective skills. Mostly I started to use a pseud because my first name (with slight international spelling variances) was common in my first online fandom and already used by better known fans which had caused some confusion on lists for me (as in people never really thought of me first with my name), so no reason to continue that with my webpage, or to make my site harder to find because my name is fairly common in general. In a way I guess I picked a pseud for getting more exposure or at least name recognition rather than less.

Anyway, I'm sure the climate researcher sharing my full RL name and who is the person you get the most hits for when you google it, is probably thankful that I didn't decide to blog about my porn preferences under my full name, and the easy search results for our shared RL name now aren't slash recs, comic rants, fan art, and posts about kinks... *G*
__marcelo
Nov. 7th, 2008 12:54 am (UTC)
That seems like a viable online strategy; hopefully one day search engines will learn to distinguish between different people with the same name :).
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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