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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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i miss random afternoon naps already
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Sgastoryfinder social experiment?

On one hand, who doesn't go to sgastoryfinders to read the hilarity of some of the requests? OTOH, astroturfing requests for lulz in a community based on good-faith requests feels weird somehow. I kind of thought the funny was in the sincerity of the search and the way people remember things, in almost random bits of plot or dialogue or scene and why some things that seem insignificant to the author or even other readers make such a lasting impression that they define how the story is remembered. It was funny to see your fic remembered as the one where John wore pink or Rodney got a hangnail after he ate a donut, but also fascinating that something so small could define it, and try to work out why and how. And in any case, it was kind of flattering that anyone remembered it well enough to look for it at all because they wanted to read it again. The results either way are the same, but I feel kind of weird for the people who searched for the fic and those who wrote the ones that were found and didn't know they weren't doing something nice for someone else, but participating in a joke on themselves.

OTOH, it's two days post-con and my sense of humor is on par with a slug in the sun and I seriously am scheduling myself like, a weekend with Comedy Central or something. My recent personal tragedy involved a broken nail and a search for a file that took on epic proportions ending in a bitter exchange when it was found Child had absconded with it for reasons I decided I just didn't want to know, but for the record, I'm getting uncomfortable with him having an empty aquarium that is slowly being filled with layers of sand and decorated with rocks in a way not unlike a place you plan to store, oh, some sort of lizard. And frankly, how a nail file fits into this is information I just do not think I am ready to know.

How is everyone else's week going?

ETA: *winces* Okay, made it to second page of comments and there are actually some people who were upset by this. I apologize if anything I wrote here made them feel more uncomfortable. I can see their point on feeling unhappy they thought they were doing something nice for someone else and find out now they were kind of a punchline instead.

ETA 2: Mea culpa. Objectivity does indeed fly out the window when it's a close friend and cowriter whose fic ends up being involved. Thank God for people bringing me sympathetic post-vacation slump Snickers.

I apologize for my initial response if it came off flippant, because--yeah, no, that's pretty shitty behavior. I don't really participate in fic searches in public all that often, but I'm pretty sure if I did, I'd like to know I was starring in metacomedic performance art for the amusement of someone and their friends.

ETA 3: [personal profile] ineptshieldmaid in comments states the post has been taken down. More in the comment.

ETA 4: Thanks to [personal profile] raine for linking me: here toft apologizes with a longer explanation of her motives.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/39646.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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Not to mention the whole "abuse of community trust" thing. Trolling is bad enough; trolling by a BNF is much, much worse. Being treated like a sociology experiment by fools from outside is a pain but ultimately laugh-off-able, and can even bring a community together. Realizing that a BNF treated you like a sociology experiment is destructive, it makes the community doubt and mistrust each other. Especially when -- because she's a BNF, because people (including me!) like and admire and trust her -- people chime in to say, "Oh you so cute and silly! Do it again!"

I seriously think toft -- or some close friend of hers who is still active in SGA -- should write stories for her fake prompts, or have a challenge to write them. Otherwise I fear there's going to be persistent bad blood and bad feeling about this.

*nods* I really don't think she thought any farther than 'funny requests are good, more funny requests are better!' and fandom makes its own fun. Using unwitting people to carry it out for you and a friend's private lulz while they think they're helping out a fellow fen or someone they respect and like though is kind of douchey.

I mean, I can see the argument it's just some prompts on a community and no one like, had to slay orgres or anything to find the sekrit location of the fic, so it's not a big deal, but--IDK, yeah. I'm going to guess that this will set off a.) a wave of people wanting to be super cool and show off their mad request writing skillz or b.) people suspicious of unusual requests.

I kind of wish she'd just kept it a secret? Revealing the clever plan to show off how clever you are isn't really all that funny either.

That's a really good point -- it seems like pretty much a given that some of those requests had to be fake, but for the person doing it to be someone people know and trust is something else.

I really think part of the problem is that she 'revealed' it. Not just because it isn't funny, but also because... it takes it from a person doing whatever their weird thing is, amid all of us doing our weird things - at which point there's still the fact of wasting people's time and abusing their trust, but not much more than that - and makes it into someone elbowing their flist and going, "Hahaha, look at these silly people and how they fell for it." I in no way think she meant it that way, but it kind of feels that way from the outside - and that's without being part of the comm.

yeah, i really agree with mecurtin and a number of the people who have commented to toft's post (which i've now done as well). she just doesn't seem to have thought through what the damage to people whose stories would get caught up in the "experiment" would be.

Yeah, and revealing it like this isn't exactly a healing moment of trust, either.

I don't know toft at all outside of an awareness she wrote some SGA fic that was popular. It does seem, however, like she wasn't doing this out of mean spirited mockery and I can see how from the beginning it would seem totally hilarious.

But. I do agree it sets up a general feeling of mistrust and I think I'd feel a bit used if I were an active follower of the comm. I think it's unfortunate--beyond people's real feelings of betrayal--in that it plays to the tired idea that BNFs are just out to manipulate fandom for their own shallow thrills. Again, I don't think that's what she was consciously doing, but I think it harms the level of trust across fandom and not just in specific to this comm.

My week is actually going fairly well since my summer classes ended. I'd thought after so many years of college I'd seen the worst higher education could offer. But that was before entering the School of Education itself. I learned stunning gems like all teachers are on power trips and kids only misbehave for substitute teachers because they are afraid of them.

But now that is over and I have some unprecedented time entirely to myself. Which is so rare I literally have no idea to do with myself. I actually did some non-school writing, something I feared was never going to happen again.

Ugh. I dislike when people troll comms that are built on people being nice by helping each other out. It kinda ruins it a little for other people, who were acting in good faith.

Even in fandom, the Golden Rule should apply - "Do unto others ....". Shocking as it may be,(LOL) not everyone spends all their time in front of the computer and if they take the time out to help someone, that kindness shouldn't be abused. That's like kicking a puppy or an adult making fun of a child, it's unpleasant and it taints what it touches, whether it was meant or not. At least that's how I feel about it although perhaps I'm reaching an age where I'm becoming out of step with 'modern mores'. Next I'll be 'tsking' about the 'good old days' but getting old and cranky should be good for something. ;)

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