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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

wembley: Are your children playing with Lucifer's testes? (luciferstestes)
[personal profile] wembley wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 01:13 am (UTC)
(is there some kind of Fight Club thing where you're not supposed to link to it? or actually name it?

It's not an anon-meme thing, it's an LJ-media-fandom thing. Pretend it's not there, because anon negativity is really, really frowned upon. Or only refer to it obliquely. I guess the idea is to view the anon meme as trolling and so not to give them attention, but... that's not how anon memes like this work. They feed off current hot topic discussions in fandom, but not off mention of the anonmeme itself. If the participants feel secure enough, it'll keep going for a while. Having a "don't feed the trolls" policy toward anon memes is pointless.
wembley: Revamped version of my very first LJ icon. It's of Wembley Fraggle. (mohinder bandage)
[personal profile] wembley wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 01:19 am (UTC)
Also, re: The First Rule Of Fight Club, I think a lot of people are probably reading it and not talking about it because it's not socially acceptable to publicly admit you're reading it, though I think that attitude is starting to shift.
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)
[personal profile] cofax7 wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 04:57 am (UTC)
They feed off current hot topic discussions in fandom, but not off mention of the anonmeme itself.

Erm, I beg to disagree. Mentioning it in public resulted in getting linked to in the anonymeme and having some of the residents come and argue with me (anonymously) in my LJ. And not all the anons were particularly courteous. So, yeah, there is an incentive not to talk about it.
wembley: Revamped version of my very first LJ icon. It's of Wembley Fraggle. (Default)
[personal profile] wembley wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 07:26 pm (UTC)
Thaaaaat is a really good point that I completely didn't think about -- I apologize.
(Anonymous) wrote:
Jul. 25th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
Also perhaps because fandom, anonymity, and airing-dirty-laundry-space have this long and uneasy history with LJ itself. A shared password on a personal journal is grounds for suspension. There was strikethrough. f_w got TOSed off. But Abuse doesn't seek out offenses, just acts on them when there's a report. If no-one who isn't already part of it doesn't know where it is or what's on it exactly, it can't get reported; if it's not reported, it can't be made to disappear.