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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.



(Anonymous) wrote:
Jul. 18th, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
I find the way that people are talking about the latest anon meme very strange. Like everyone's talking around it, and is very quick to say "Oh, but don't read there, it's awful!" If it's awful why are you reading there? It's pretty easy to avoid. And if you keep feeling the temptation, Chrome Nanny or Leechblock on Firefox will help.

There is certainly something going on that so many people are on anon-memes of various sorts (lol_meme is what, 4 years old now and still going?), making locked communities to discuss things, and making a lot of locked-down posts. People are angry. And it's easy for people to dismiss that anger as all "oh, the fragile flowers in fandom who can't stand having their privileged checked!" And while that is some of it, that is not all of it. There's a lot of discussion and thrashing out of ideas and just talking about why some things are "okay" and some things are not. And sometimes we don't want to have these conversations attached to our names because it's still okay in fandom to sniff and go "Oh, so_and_so. Wasn't she the one who, five years ago, said X?" Because we all know that no one changes their minds, no one develops new ideas, and no one learns anything ever. We're all static and never changing.

If I want to say "I think it's really shitty the way a bunch of people are jumping down This Person's throat for fucking up and not giving her any time to breath and respond", I have to really ask who I know is going to agree, who is going to loathe me for that, and who is going to attack me for it. If I say the same thing on an anonymeme, I can get a testing of exactly how bad what I've said is - or if it's bad at all - and still discuss the matter without needing to wonder who's going to attack me for it.

There's no nuance anymore in these discussions. And I really hate that. At least anonymously I can discuss things and work out my issues. All I want to talk about on my LJ anymore is my favorite color and the weather, because they seem the safest topics.
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
[personal profile] crypto wrote:
Jul. 18th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your comment! Yeah, that's a lot of what I've been seeing & thinking about -- how there are a lot of dialogues happening in anon spaces that don't happen so much anymore in (public) LJ/DW spaces.
(Anonymous) wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
Off topic, but thank you for the Leechblock tip. There are people whose journals I never want to read even by accident.
(Anonymous) wrote:
Jul. 25th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)

I still follow metafandom but these days it's mostly to remind me of why I'm no longer in fandom. Just so I never get tempted to go back.
(Anonymous) wrote:
Aug. 3rd, 2010 06:07 am (UTC)
Agreed with everything said here.