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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 11:39 pm (UTC)
The anon meme offers the opportunity to offer dissenting opinions. We've had some really interesting, and I think productive, discussions on disability culture that I've otherwise only seen elsewhere under f'lock. People can talk freely without fearing that the Fandom Police will descend upon them.

Also, the meme brings people from very different fandoms together, people who normally don't interact unless their f'lists cross over somehow. You get a lot of different perspectives this way, which only adds to the quality of the discussion.
(Anonymous) wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 12:52 am (UTC)
I think part of that "under flock" thing comes down to the problem with LJ/DW culture and Public Discourse.

I want to have more of the conversations with other people with disabilities online that I usually have when offline, but a conversation that's started in my journal is considered "public", so I need to consider whether or not I actually want to have a conversation about disability that any one, disabled or not, can see and thus make assumptions about.

Sometimes I just do not want our in-group discussions about disability to be fodder for people without disabilities to use in arguments. And yet, since every discussion on line is "Disability 101", we'd have to have them in locked communities or on message boards that somehow vouched for others.

I've noticed that people of color also talk about this - wanting to have discussions about issues between people of color that aren't for the prying eyes of white people. I know there are some forums where they do that, but I'm not sure how they vouch for people, or if they take it on faith.
(Anonymous) wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 09:58 am (UTC)
I have been involved in 5 active intra-PoC communities that utilize varying degrees of locking on posts and they have all worked well, but they all have more focused purposes than a general intra-PoC remit. All the coms have moderated membership and vouching is used but not exclusively and there will always be an element of assuming that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it is a duck, especially on the web where quacking is the only ID we have. Maybe you should try starting a locked and moderated membership community based on your friendship group and then work outwards from there with a purpose in mind?