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Anon culture in fandom

  • Jul. 18th, 2010 at 4:13 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
So I'm working on my next post for the Symposium blog and I'd like to write about anonymity in fandom. But I need your help!

I've been following the latest anon meme that sprung out of the ViVidCon debates (is there some kind of Fight Club thing where you're not supposed to link to it? or actually name it? I'm going to err on the side of caution here, but let me know if there are standard anon meme rules or norms I should be observing), and it's been pretty fascinating to see the different dynamics of how discussions play out there vs. on LJ/DW. I've checked out a few other anon memes in the past, but this is the longest I've ever followed one. Yet I haven't left any comments on the meme, so I can't claim to be a participant-observer -- there's something about posting anon that just weirds me out (personally, not when other people do it). I'm not sure what it is, but I definitely got weirded out the couple of times in the past that I posted on anon love memes where you tell people on the flist how awesome they are. Which, hey, people on my flist are awesome, and deserve to hear that! So I don't know what my mental block here is.

So I'd love to hear from any of you about the pleasures (and perils!) of posting anon, or participating in anon memes. I'm also thinking of saying something about kink memes, which are the other major place that I'm aware of that carve out a pro-anon space in fandom, and seem to be on the rise over the last couple of years. But I know even less about kink meme culture than anon memes! So any observations, insights, experiences you'd like to share about kink memes & anonymity would be welcome.

And I think I need a third thing, right? I figured I'd at least reference the WoW/Blizzard Real ID controversy, but it would be nice to have a third instance of anon culture in LJ/DW-based media fandom, if anyone has suggestions.

Anon posting for comments is on, naturally (ETA: and IP logging is off). Thanks in advance!

ETA 2: I've fallen way behind on responding to comments, but I'm reading them all & appreciate all the perspectives & experiences & context that everyone's offering.

ETA 3: The first part of my Symposium blog post on anon memes is now up.

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Comments

vehemently: (Default)
[personal profile] vehemently wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)
I like to call a spade a spade! Also, the anonymeme you're talking about has a thread somewhere in it lamenting how people aren't comfortable publicizing it. Fail_fandomanon (awkward name) is here.

(I was perturbed, when it first started, to find it aping W*ll Sh*tt*rly's icky language, but it's clear that a preponderance of the participants view him with contempt, and the name is an unfortunate -- and really, awkwardly-named -- coincidence.)

I first heard of permanons via friends who RP in anon LJ comms. To which I didn't really see the appeal, but then, I don't RP. It is certainly the cast that Wank_Report has become much more active and discussiony (okay, mostly flamey and lulzy) in the past year or two; it used to be much, much flatter. I don't think anonywank is the only reason F_W disallows anon comments -- spam is certainly a factor -- but it certainly cuts down on the likelihood of the wanked person charging in to explain her rightness. Unless she already has an account.

[personal profile] cofax7 likes to say that fandom routes around a choke point. The fail anon in particular is an obvious sign that conformity isn't working the way it usually does. (The same is also true of anon story-reviewing. Which, ask me some time about the X-Files history of anon reviews. Now that was a war.) Why not, and whether that can be remedied under out own names, is hard to say; I really don't care to imagine a future in which fannish interaction defaults to anonymity. I'm here for the people, you know? Not the aggregate people.
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)
[personal profile] cofax7 wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 04:55 am (UTC)
Which, ask me some time about the X-Files history of anon reviews. Now that was a war.

::has unpleasant flashback::

Crypto, you might want to scroll back in my LJ a week or so back: there was a long discussion with an anon in it that I don't know if you saw.

I really don't care to imagine a future in which fannish interaction defaults to anonymity. I'm here for the people, you know? Not the aggregate people.

Yeah, that.
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
[personal profile] crypto wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 10:21 pm (UTC)
I am so very up for hearing about the X-Files history of anon reviews! I would, um, buy you one or more beverages-of-your-choice for that, because it sounds like the kind of story best told over drinks. Or around a campfire, late at night, near a long-abandoned vacation resort whose sudden closure is shrouded in mystery.

I'm kind of stuck on whether the fail anon truly represents routing around a choke point, vs. a general increase in permanons meaning that everything is now potentially permanonable and will be permanoned for at least 15 minutes. But anonymity as fannish default is just as chilling a thought as everything eventually shifting over to Facebook.
vehemently: (Default)
[personal profile] vehemently wrote:
Jul. 20th, 2010 12:14 am (UTC)
I don't think the fail anon meme is unique in that regard, though; I think it covers the same rantypants topics that you'd find on FFR, only slightly more political. (Honestly, less political than I expected. "Who annoys you in fandom" is only incidental to politics, and indeed the chief "culprits" are more abrasive rather than more political than people not named.)

So it's something about ranting or saying dumb, self-centered things in public that's the choke point, and the fact that politics inspires ranting and both causes and punishes dumb self-centeredness is only a small part of the story.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jul. 20th, 2010 12:25 am (UTC)
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
[personal profile] crypto wrote:
Jul. 20th, 2010 12:28 am (UTC)
Yikes -- hair-raising indeed. (Beverages-of-your-choice offer extends to you too, of course.)
[identity profile] bloodrivendream.livejournal.com wrote:
Jul. 25th, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
I really don't care to imagine a future in which fannish interaction defaults to anonymity. I'm here for the people, you know? Not the aggregate people.
- This.