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I Think It's Time I Walked Quietly Away from TVTropes
I Think It's Time I Walked Quietly Away from TVTropes
#1
Long story short:  some repressed twit stumbled over the Naughty Tentacles page, complained to Google, and for the second time Google yanked all the advertising on the wiki and sent the management into a tizzy.  Naughty Tentacles (a page of some 8 years' standing, IIRC) is now on permanent redlink and goes to a petulant "We don't want pages like this" message.  And Fast Eddie and his coterie have sprung into action -- they took the entire Fanfic Recommendations section down to sanitize it (it's back, but is full of broken markup), and are proceeding to censor the rest of the wiki of anything that Fast Eddie finds squicky.
I'm taking the time to slowly think out my reactions to this; I may end up posting a bit of an essay here when I'm done.
-- Bob
---------
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.
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#2
Well, it was a nice thing while it lasted.
- Grumpy Uncle Gearhead
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#3
Gah, why do people do this. Furthermore why does google care about 'naughty' pages. Pages serving malware or other criminal activity sure, but the slightest bit of something that could offend a puritan and google feels compleded to pull its adds. Sure they probably do this to avoid the negative PR, and from a buisness standpoint that is probably a wise decision, but what the hell america. Why are pages filled with blood gore or murder okay, but not this?

Hell if I remember correctly they even had a barrier up saying you must be over yay old to see this. So why was this even a problem. I mad.
E: "Did they... did they just endorse the combination of the JSDF and US Army by showing them as two lesbian lolicons moving in together and holding hands and talking about how 'intimate' they were?"
B: "Have you forgotten so soon? They're phasing out Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
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#4
Quote:I Think It's Time I Walked Quietly Away from TVTropes
So, now you'll have time to drop by the SJGames forums? No, wait - now you'll have more time to write?
--
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012
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#5
Quote:No, wait - now you'll have more time to write?
You haven't noticed the most recent changes in the file sizes at the top of the forum homepage?
-- Bob
---------
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.
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#6
I find it ironic that TVTropes itself is falling victim to "They Changed It, Now It Sucks." It's a shame that the Puritan Zealots are forcing their views by means of pulling ad-money though.
---

The Master said: "It is all in vain! I have never yet seen a man who can perceive his own faults and bring the charge home against himself."

>Analects: Book V, Chaper XXVI
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#7
... They wiped Fate/Stay Night. For fucks sake... Someone at either TVtropes or Google needs a good hard KICK IN THE BALLS.
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#8
Quote:You haven't noticed the most recent changes in the file sizes at the top of the forum homepage?

BWUAH!?

This is marvelous news!

TVTropes - Add TvTropes itself to the 'They Changed it, now it Sucks' page, as well as any other relevant pages..
"No can brain today. Want cheezeburger."
From NGE: Nobody Dies, by Gregg Landsman
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5579457/1/NGE_Nobody_Dies
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#9
Maybe someone should drop notes to places like BoingBoing to let them know what's going on there. Maybe if we can get enough outside media coverage to shame them over the censorship, some of it might be reversed.

Oh, and Sky? Run over to the Internet Archive and use it to grab copies of any pages you don't want to lose access to. I know that I plan to go through my entire contribution history and rescue backup copies of anything that gets purged.

ETA:  Hm.  I wonder how hypocritical the censorship is.  Have they nuked the page for Lolita, for instance? 
-- Bob
---------
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.
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#10
It appears so. However the Elegant Gothic Lolita seems to be doing fine... How fun.
---

The Master said: "It is all in vain! I have never yet seen a man who can perceive his own faults and bring the charge home against himself."

>Analects: Book V, Chaper XXVI
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#11
I'm somewhat bemused looking at the H-Game index page. Some very sex-focused games are still there, some the-sex-is-barely-even-a-footnote games (like FSN) are gone... What, are they flipping a coin?

On the other hand, my understanding is that not all things currently being blocked are final decisions. It's hard to tell what's going on though, with there currently being a number of inconsistent messages and behaviors.

-Morgan. Isn't google usually happy to get money from porn anyway?
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#12
Boingboing, Reddit, Fark?
"No can brain today. Want cheezeburger."
From NGE: Nobody Dies, by Gregg Landsman
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5579457/1/NGE_Nobody_Dies
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#13
TVTropes is big enough nowadays... Slashdot it, too.
--
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012
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#14
Then go do that voodoo that you do so well, people.
ETA:  EGL doesn't qualify under the current rules, despite how vague they are -- it's about a style, not sex.
ETA2:  Fast Eddie has posted a comment that seems to suggest that Lolita is unacceptable to TVTropes.
-- Bob
---------
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.
Reply
 
#15
Spent part of last night reading part of the TVTropes forums threads about the whole mess -- not all of them, at least one expanded faster than I could read for a while.

I'm even more convinced I need to just cut my connections to the wiki and leave but I find myself strangely reluctant.
-- Bob
---------
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.
Reply
TV Tropes
#16
You could find the filthiest examples possible of 'safe' tropes' and populate them.
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#17
It's always difficult to walk away from something... You just have to ask yourself: Do you get more by staying than you would lose by going?
--
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012
Reply
 
#18
Well, I need to leave if only to be true to my own values vis-a-vis censorship and principles of intellectual freedom. When the last incident occurred, I took a six-month sabbatical from the Wiki -- occasionally reading, never editing -- because of how freaking angry I was at the... the intellectual bankruptcy forced on the wiki by its effective indebtedness to Google via using its ad service.

The first round of "solutions" to the problem included what amounted to a EULA requiring contributors to agree to never post anything that was unsuitable for a grade school-age child to read -- almost literally that language -- and it was disturbingly reminiscent of the attempt made here in the US in 1996 with the Communications Decency Act to turn the entire Internet into a children-only zone. Even though the language was changed before I actually took my sabbatical, it still incensed me -- it infuriated and insulted me. It took me that six months to calm myself down and tentatively accept that the new system of walling off "mature" content from the Google ads was a necessary evil that I could -- would have to -- live with. It was, I thought, unwanted by the wiki management, but necessary to keep the wiki going.

But to find that now Fast Eddie is using the second such incident as an excuse to purge everything he doesn't like from the wiki, I am beyond infuriated. I find it a betrayal of the wiki's principles and purpose, that on a wiki that claims to be devoted to exploring the structural elements of all media some media and some elements are unacceptable -- not because the community there decided on it, but because one squeamish, bluenosed administrator decided that just adhering to the terms of the Google contract and the law as not enough -- he had to get rid of everything he personally thought was icky.

Yes, I know there is allegedly a five-person committee set up to review the "deleted" works and tropes. But Fast Eddie has made a few posts that seem to indicate that he reserves the right to overrule the committee if they approve something he disapproves of.

Regardless, it means that the wiki is not a community with community standards -- it is some kind of group-contribution project that must adhere to Fast Eddie's standards, which are higher than any court or legislative body has tried to impose in recent history.

Ack. I went and ranted. Argh. The point is, I cannot stay there and be true to my values. But I have invested so much time and energy and creativity into the wiki, that it's hard to walk away.
Quote:You could find the filthiest examples possible of 'safe' tropes' and populate them.
It would be fun, but sadly temporary; they'd be purged before I could turn around.

No, I think the best thing to do is bring the light of media attention to bear on the wiki and its governance. Has anyone here contacted/posted/whatever to the various outlets mentioned above?  I'm planning on writing to Cory Doctorow/BoingBoing tonight if time allows, since it was a posting there X many years ago that first sent me to TVTropes.  I'm sure he'd be interested in the recent developments.

ETA:  Confirmed that Fast Eddie has admitted that he intends to overrule his committee any time he damned well feels like it.  (If I were smart I would have grabbed the link before I closed the tab to post here.)  I think that really seals it for me.
-- Bob
---------
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.
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Other Options
#19
It is Fast Eddy's business and his unexpectedly high revenue stream; so you cannot truly blame him can you?
It is a bottom line decision and he is certainly giving it to the dedicated community in the bottom - without even the common courtesy of a reacharound.
You do have the tools and the talent - and Bob's Trope-o-Sphere could quickly grow into a more inclusive Tropes community.
Just throwing it out there...
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#20
Bob, it sounds to me like you need to round up the committee (if your voice has any pull with them at all) and suggest that if this is where Fast Eddie wants to go with TV Tropes, then it's best to leave him to his own devices. In short, they should leave TV Tropes as well and just build a whole new website, one without Fast Eddie and Google Ads.
Project Wonderful is a pretty good ad service and would probably do a better job catering to the demographic since they allow you to choose what ads you want on the site. Also, they don't mind NSFW content one bit. (To give you an idea just how much they don't mind, they happily place ads on webcomics like Curvy for other sites like Slipshine. Not providing the links because both sites are so NSFW that you don't even want family looking over your shoulder.)

Yasuri Nanami is my number one waifu, if only because she would horribly murder all the others if they didn't shut up and toe the line.
"They did not care about all the other attempts wizards had made on the Lone Power through history; as far as a computer is concerned, there is no program that cannot be debugged, or at worst, rewritten."
-Diane Duane, High Wizardry
"If our friendship depends on things like space and time, we've destroyed our own brotherhood! But overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don't you think that we might see each other once or twice?"
-Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
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#21
Project Wonderful also doesn't pay like Google does, which means the financing for a high-bandwidth site would have to be supplanted by something else as well -- but that's neither here nor there regarding Bob's decision.

One I agree with, by the way, but I suspect my disagreement is more my instinctual dislike of anyone behaving like a petty tyrant.  I don't have a dog in this fight since I've never contributed to TVTropes and don't 'hang out' there.

--sofaspud
--"Listening to your kid is the audio equivalent of a Salvador Dali painting, Spud." --OpMegs
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#22
Do leave him to his own devices, Bob... he'll become just an obscure footnote of the internet inside of ten years, more likely five. And word will get out on it's own.

Go, have a drink of your calming beverage of choice. Delete the hyperlinks from your browser and web pages. And do remind yourself, it's just an entertainment website, and maybe you should just relax.
--

"You know how parents tell you everything's going to fine, but you know they're lying to make you feel better? Everything's going to be fine." - The Doctor
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#23
The part that annoys me the most, even more then the censorship attitude the admins seem to be taking (Which is just WEIRD on Tvtropes) is the mess over the fanfic recommendations pages. I've found that the tropers tended to be pretty good at suggesting fics that I've quite enjoyed. Certainly a higher success rate than most sites anyway.
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#24
I don't have the time or temperament to run an alternative to TVTropes, although I would gladly migrate there if someone else were tp do it.

JFerio -- I think you may have the right of it. Before the Net became mainstream, as many of you will know, there were a number of BBS networks, which exchanged messages through various means that were effective, but slow (it could take days for a message to propagate through an entire network). I was, in the early 90s, a prolific contributor to one of the largest of those networks (in both number of member systems and number of discussion boards), a system called Intelec, until it changed admins, and the new guy just went overboard imposing his personal agenda on the network. I can't remember everything he did, but perhaps the biggest one was he banned any and all discussion of abortion, which cost him almost all the participants in the Legal Issues forum. And of course there was the "disagree openly with the admin and you're banned" rule, which is always a sign of impending collapse. I walked away from Intelec after making a fair effort to reverse the worst of the changes. Anyway, the upshot is that no one remembers the guy, or Intelec any more. (Oh, he and it are both still out there; I found Intelec on the Web once, trying to exist as a Net-based hub for a "family friendly" BBS network. But it was quite obviously a pale shadow of itself, maintained primarily by a guy with an agenda and a grudge against the Internet itself.)

So yes, after I make my fair effort, and after I replace my troper page with a much shorter "he's no longer here" blurb, delete all references to my written works and put a "do not cover my work please" note in the place of the DW page, I will do exactly as you suggest -- nuke all my links and try to take my mind off it.

Sky: Yeah, you're not the only one confused and complaining. But Fast Eddie is clearly heading quickly toward "disagree and get banned" territory, so few people are pushing very hard.

Anyway, I had no chance to write to BoingBoing last night. Maybe tonight.
-- Bob
---------
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.
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#25
Overall, Bob, it's really a sign of the way most people should treat online communities.

Something like 4 years back, I basically had it bludgeoned into me in one community I was significantly part of, after some issues with a couple of members. I won't go into details, but the two key things I took away from that are that I basically, no matter how long the interaction goes for, I really do not actually know any of the people in that community (here and USS Tamerlane are exceptions to that rule, and that's only because a member of each lives where I do *waves to Mal*), and that any community I participate in will always be one asshat away from me needing to leave for my own sake. Many times, it's just another member of the community who's been given a little more leeway than they should for the behavior exhibited, but occasionally, it's someone in charge of the community.

And the behavior of Fast Eddie is well above what it takes for me to decide to leave. I left a video gaming forum specifically because a thread on thrift hunting got seriously derailed when one member was found to be lying about the deals he was getting, and the epic dogpile that followed for several days. I started blocking people from my feed who were seriously continuing the dogpile, and left once I literally ran out of room in the block list. This was more that the mods of the forum seemed to be too hands-off, rather than someone getting their panties into a wad.

This does mean I tend not to sign up for forums or other communities without at least some level of thought given to my own contribution level. If I'm going to just lurk somewhere, I might as well do it anonymously anyway. Smile And even then, I always keep in mind that, I may need to walk away from any time investment at any time, with little to no real warning to me.
--

"You know how parents tell you everything's going to fine, but you know they're lying to make you feel better? Everything's going to be fine." - The Doctor
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