Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sometimes, I hate being the bad guy

As much as I hate to be the legal muscle threatening, ban happy asshole I founded two troping website forks to help people escape from, sometimes, I find it's necessary.

However, before I go further, I must make it clear that despite trying to be the "anti-Fast Eddie" in terms of moderation style, I have a great of respect for copyright law and I take a dim view on spam, trolling, harassment, or any other internet douchebaggery you can possibly name.

And so, in the last few months, I have done the following harsh but necessary actions:

1. Banned not one but two shitposting, rule violating troublemakers from the Wikia fork of All The Tropes. One was a chronic shitposter I tried to show as much leniency as I possibly could, but ultimately blew every chance I gave them and finally crossed the line when I discovered they were basically building shrines of images of panty shots and pissed underpants, which led to me having to permaban them and delete all their NSFW BS. The other was longtime TV Tropes troll Nate Spidgewood, who I tried to explain to repeatedly he was in no way justified in vandalizing or trolling TV Tropes, that his actions were wrong, and that I wasn't going to take any of his shit on my own. I eventually permabanned him on the well reasoned argument of a TV Tropes member who advised me keeping the guy around was asking for trouble, and after seeing he was totally unrepentant in his vandal campaign against a site that had every right to banish him, I permabanned him too,

2. Related somewhat to the first item, I have discontinued my policy of letting people post images on the Image Link subpages on the Wikia mirror of ATT, mostly because it became a breeding ground for the Fetish Fuel crowd, and I agree with Wikia that there is a wiki for that, and I have no intention of storing some asshole's fap gallery. This was an admin fiat decision, something I HATE to do, but considering this is sort of thing that could piss off webhosting (with good cause), not to mention is just disgusting in general, I put my foot down.

3. Reported a fork of TV Tropes on Wikia called the "TV Tropes Wiki", which seems to have ripped off lots of All The Tropes material wholesale (literally, most of the text was obvious copy paste), and the fact they use the same name of an LLC (which is almost certainly trademarked) bothered me enough to advise them to rectify their copyright and trademark issues, and have already taken steps with Wikia to have it dealt with, as it cited and sourced none of it's content, and I have no tolerance for plagiarism, especially of our own content (cite the source, on the other hand, and I don't mind at all). As of the time of this writing, Wikia has closed the wiki.

So far, I haven't had to do anything else particularly harsh in awhile, and hopefully, I won't have to for a long while.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I tried to understand Social Justice Warriorism.....and I give up.

Warning, bit of an angry post here, so here's a "trigger warning" in advance.

As the title indicates, I tried to understand the SJW movement, even dabbled in it briefly myself to some greater or lesser degree, and ultimately, I have come to the conclusion it is just idiotic and nonsensical at its core for the following reasons:

1. Hugbox mentality.txt - This is a key tenet of SJWism I find insane, as it is obsessed with "safe spaces", not offending or triggering people, and while I admire the idea of restraint and tolerance, they take it to the extreme you aren't allowed to respectfully admit you don't believe in a SJW belief, as that's "intolerance". Granted, in a shallow sense, I see that, but frankly, I reject their idea of insulating the world from reality as unfeasible, since we live in reality, and that just an impossible pipe dream in the long run.

2. They cannot laugh anything off - Yes, I find racism and sexism disgusting, I won't deny it, but SJWs are convinced minorities can do no wrong (only white people do that), most men are evil of misogyny by default, transgender people and other gender non binary people deserve absolute respect and tolerance, and not believing any of this makes you a bigot.

Well, by their standards, I guess I am. Everyone is capable of evil as well as good, so all races can be equally guilty of doing wrong, both men and women can be horrible to one another, and while I'm willing to respect someone's choice to be transgender, genderfluid, nonbinary, and so on, it's more like I'm the "live and let live" type, but expecting everyone should just accept that and abandon all intolerance is asking way too much and totally ignores human nature.

The above paragraph would send the average SJW into a foaming at the mouth session, because they want a world where evil (as defined above) does not exist, and what they want will never happen as long as humanity is capable of it. Worse, I've come to laugh off sites like Encyclopedia Dramatica, but these people never will, because frankly, they themselves do not see the inherent contradiction in being so intolerant about intolerance that they act just as intolerant in their own way.

3. It's a culture defined by paranoia - SJWs believe in a world where women are constantly in fear of being raped and exploited, men are evil bastards at best unless they go full SJW, minorities are constantly oppressed, intolerance is everywhere, and by their standards, they live in reality in one long, neverending trigger session because they fear all this 24/7.

Frankly, this is foolish. Yes, there are areas where women are at risk of being raped and exploited erry day, but these types act like the first world is just as terrible as the third world in this regard......and it's not. Not all men are inherently evil simply for being born with a penis, and reverse racism does exist, as much as they want to pretend otherwise.

4. They focus on the leaves instead of the trees - SJWs believe like most rational people that there is intolerance in the world that needs addressing, but that's where the sanity ends.

Rational people think rape is horrible, but understand that some people like to make jokes about it in the name of trying to laugh it off. To SJWs, this is as bad as actually raping someone.

As a fan of the late George Carlin. this makes me face palm so, so much.

Rational people generally don't understand alternate sexualities as much as they probably should or need to, but most generally are willing to live and let live so long as it doesn't infringe on their own personal lives. SJWs want everyone to be totally understanding of this and scream oppression even when rational people try and just don't get it.

Rational people think racism and sexism suck, SJWs take every watermelon joke and "go back 2 the kitchen" crack in dead seriousness (guilty of this myself at one point in my life), even when the intention is obvious satire. And, even when it's serious, it's shitty, but trying to eliminate all racism and sexism on this planet is like pissing in an ocean of piss and trying to wish it away is just as foolish.

......I could go on, but while I'm willing to be civil to people who believe in the tenets of SJWism, I ultimately reject most of the extremes their tenets are based on due to their contradictions and their lack of base in logic and willful ignorance in human nature, and I refuse to apologize for that.

P.S. - I must offer an additional apology to members of Something Sensitive. I once got "triggered" by you guys during my brief SJW phase, and I'm sorry. Honestly, in retrospect, they are the intolerant idiots, not you guys.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

TV Tropes apparently hates authors and loves page views

One of the things that rankle me about TV Tropes is their arrogant policy on not taking down a page on anything unless three things happen.

1. Someone takes them to court.

2. It offends their advertisers (oh no, not their precious ad money!)

3. The work no longer exists (this is more a suggestion, and rarely followed up on)

In fact this policy page sums up their condescending opinion to authors pretty well.

Basically, if you are an author of a work and you request they take down a page on TV Tropes about your work, they will utterly refuse to unless you bring out lawyers. On the face of it, I understand this, as much like it is on Wikipedia, it is considered legal commentary to discuss a publicly available work of fiction, and even on All The Tropes, our own policy is only to do this in extreme cases.

However, if you want the page rewritten to address inaccuracy, they will indulge you, but only as far as they see fit to do so, and if they feel like doing so. If the page is collecting info about the author as a person, they will usually remove it, but not before digging in their heels and locking the page as a first resort to prevent it's removal as vandalism, even though SA goon JesuOtaku once had to worry about harassment and cyberstalking (with the article on her work on TV Tropes being one of the staging points) thanks to this sort of asshattery. In that case, I would totally understand if an author wanted the page modified or even removed if their personal life (beyond what they willingly made public) or safety was put at risk.

The reason I bring this up is due to a recent case of supreme TV Tropes jackassery involving an unfortunate fanfiction author named May Marlow (who gave me permission to write about her experience), who became another victim of TV Tropes' hostility towards writers concerning her Harry Potter fanfiction "If Them's The Rules", on Archive Of Our Own.

(It was not linked here since she has informed me of her intention of rewriting it)

In short, she felt several facts were being addressed poorly and several things shoehorned badly into certain tropes, which resulted in an offensive protrayal of the objective facts of her work. She originally would have been satisfied with just having the page altered to better reflect objective facts about her work, but the tropers dug in their heels, assumed ignorance of troping on her part (which I find offensive to any author), and basically told her she should be honored TV Tropes deigned to have a page on her work and that she was getting upset over nothing, which made her understandably upset enough to want the page removed.

(Speaking for myself here, if some arrogant douche called me a whining idiot to my face, I'd be mad too)

As Ms. Marlow hit the brick wall of TVT arrogance, some fans of hers attempted to blank the page in question in outrage regarding her plight, which resulted in the page being locked (more or less forever), and the horribly shoehorned and grossly inacurrate commentary still remains.

Frankly, I find TV Tropes's willingness to callously bitch slap an author of a work like this to be the height of cheek of arrogance on their part, and since TV Tropes will never apologize for their rude treatment of her, I will do that for them here in their place, and I hope other fanfiction authors spread the word about how TV Tropes is willing to show such disrespect to the writing community, as it is utterly deplorable.

In fact, part of the reason we founded All The Tropes was pure horror over how TV Tropes runs roughshod over writers in this fashion (one of our administrators is Bob Schroeck, writer of the megacrossover story Drunkard's Walk, who also was similarly given cruel treatment concerning his work by TV Tropes), and for my part, I'm just saddened yet another author was thrown under the bus by a website that has long fallen from grace, corrupted by the egos of its administration into prostituting its integrity for advertisement money and whoring for page views without regard for public opinion.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sex, maturity, and troping: Part 2

This is a followup post to my last one, and I'm using a screenshot from Something Awful again, but before I get to that, I need to point out something.

With the exception of the one Goon who had the moral integrity to contact me privately and explain their misgivings with my opinions, most of them prefer to set on their side of the fence, throwing shit over their paywalled site at tropers without ever bothering to address their critics, even in confidence, even when the critic in question more or less utterly agrees with their opinion.

In fact, in this SA TV Tropes mock thread post, some commentary is made I don't disagree with at all:

Long story short, it's a surprisingly positive post about how even tropers realize something is messed up and are praised for having the awareness to do the appropriate callout, then a GOON who makes a creepy comment earlier about the same topic is given a callout for being a creepy bastard.

My point here is that I and Something Awful are not all that different, except I want to reach a modus vivendi with my critics like I  have done with many of them like Project AFTER and the Fuck No TV Tropes tumblr, and I happen to believe, for all their faults, SA has some very good critics who make very good analysis about why the troping world needs improvement, but I'm dismayed that even if they can't acknowledge me publicly, I'm still open to hearing them out privately.

And yes, as the goon who contacted me made me aware, most of the people in that thread are just there to drown tropers and troping in piss without wanting to do anything to change what they call out, but according to Google's statistics, my biggest audience still happens to be their own site, and so even though I know public acknowledgement of me would be "drama importation", I still am extending an olive branch to the Goons who want to contact me in confidence and share their concerns about sex, maturity, and troping.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sex, maturity, and troping

One of the things tropers get blasted for, for the most part rightly IMO, is that they tend to be utterly immature when it comes to talking about sexual subjects.

Until TV Tropes was forced to literally put the kibosh on this due to their advertisers, I could partially sympathize with the mass censorship, as to be honest, it definitely eliminated some genuine creepiness due to tropers who, despite the demise of the Fetish Fuel pages, just couldn't help sharing some disturbing masturbation fantasies.

However, I don't think it's impossible to talk about sexual subjects in a mature manner, and given how sex and sexuality are just as legitimate a story device as anything else, they should be discussed by tropers like anything else.

The question, however, is where to draw the line between legitimate discussion and creepy perversion.

For starters, I would have to say TV Tropes has been doing it wrong., True, having their advertisers limit the scope of what they can discuss has cut down on a lot of perverse material, but it has also limited honest discussion of sexual topics if they would anger those advertisers.

For instance, the Naughty Tentacles trope. Even when it doesn't show up as a porn device, it is often referenced and alluded to in other media that isn't straight up porn (and even some of that has a plot, thin though it might be), but as the screenshot below shows, you cannot discuss it on TV Tropes AT ALL:

In the context of whether Naughty Tentacles are your personal sexual fetish, yes, I understand not discussing it, as honestly, it is TMI to know about someone's sexual fetishes, but if it's a story element or plot device, it's a legitimate trope, and the fact you can't talk about something because a third party you have prostituted your intellectual freedom to for money limits your ability to discuss a story strikes me as cowardice.

A few other examples of tropers and sexual maturity would be the infamous "boob chart", something the SA goons have trotted out as an example of utter depravity concerning TV Tropes since day one, as displayed here:

With the exception of the very last section, which strikes me as kinda dodgy at best and pretty creepy at worst, most of the information on this chart is information about female bust sizes and their classifications in various countries and their various names in English and their Japanese romanizations, and in some narrow contexts, I could see most of this information being useful when discussing female character design or stories in which a woman's bust size is a plot element (i.e. - where a woman disguised as a man has to hide her bust size to pass as one, she uses her cleavage to hide a plot important item, etc.), and in that sense, I believe this information could be used in a mature, dispassionate manner without going into the gutter.

However, whenever someone wants to claim tropers are irreedeemable perverts, this is trotted out as "proof tropers are depraved.png" despite the fact most of it is mere information without any slant one way or another, though since I have no idea what the author's original intent was, I cannot draw conclusions on that one way or the other.

That said, the problems with tropers talking about sex mainly seems to be during the following scenarios:

1. Troper Tales/Fetish Fuel - These were just bad, bad ideas, with the latter just begging for things to turn perverted fast.

2. The TV Tropes forums - Until Google found out about it, they still had a "sex thread" (called "The Nunnery" ) in which this was discussed, and apparently until they were forced to shut it down, it was pretty skeevy. In fact, most of the sex talk on the TVT forums seems to have gone into the gutter at one point or another.

In this case, I never really thought TV Tropes should have had a full blown forum, and while All The Tropes has a forum, it's mainly limited to site related matters (no off topic, non tropes/troping stuff) because we did not want to risk falling into the gutter ourselves, and besides, if you realy need to talk about what turns you on, there are better, more discreet communities on the internet for people who really need to talk about that.

3. The TVT Trope pages: This mostly was people turning trope examples into fetish fuel repositories, and TV Tropes has mostly put the kibosh on that by banning all examples on most sex related pages. Me, I'm not sure it's a totally ideal solution (some legitimate stuff can and did get caught in the crossfire), but in fairness to them, it definitely cut down on a lot of creepy BS.

4. The TVT Work pages: Even for works that aren't outright adult, and even for some that are, some tropers apparently couldn't resist turning pages about sexual works they enjoyed into "Why This Is Great To Masturbate To.txt", something I agree is just gross and fucked up. Explaining what sex related tropes the series in question use are fine, but quit adding material about why it arouses you IMO, that's just TMI, off topic, and disgusting.

In partial fairness to TV Tropes, they did have a salutary neglect policy in their early years, back when the site was more laidback and informal, but around the time it became really popular,  that's when the sheer amount of perversion the site encouraged due to the neglect became obvious, so in part, the fact there was so little attention paid towards boundaries since day one does explain why it go so bad and was hard to rein in, and the resistance they encountered to cleaning it up is somewhat understandable.

However, if you ask me, they went so far in the other direction to sanitize things that it has crippled the site mission of TV Tropes, since they are literally forbidden from maturely discussing certain sexual related topics, even if it's on mission, either due to advertisers or admin fiat.

But, since I run a site that has hopefully learned from TVT's errors and suffer none of their drawbacks like the ad money ball and chain, I think it's possible to avoid the pitfalls TVT ran into as outlined above and still be able to discuss sexual material used as tropes in media without being perverse about it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

In which I want to thank a SA Goon for their help

I was privately contacted by a member of the SA forums (who has asked I withhold their identity) who corrected several misimpressions I had about Something Awful, called me out on several biases I had that were unfounded, and alerted us to something in dire need of fixing on All The Tropes.

As for the last item, they pointed out the Fansadox articles we rescued from deletion and imported to our wiki were abominable cesspits of perversion, and after looking at them, not only did I agree, I had to fight back vomit at how much the articles in question were "Masturbation Material.txt."

All the subpages were condensed into the main article then removed, and the main article received an intense scrubbing by me personally to remove all the disgusting shit obviously written with one hand, and hopefully what is left covers that series (Which is Rape Porn.txt) in a more objective and honest way. I also left a review of the series, which I've read enough of to be utterly disgusted by it and fully agree anyone who unironically gets off on it is a sick bastard of the highest order.

I'm not removing the article itself, as it is a work of fiction, and thus is tropable, but I'll be damned if it EVER becomes a fetish fuel page promoting female rape, degradation, and humiliation ever again. In fact, while ATT may not be censored in the sense TV Tropes is, we are NOT and never will be a fetid hive of perversion, and we will not allow articles to actively promote it.

I'd also like to fall on my sword on few things:

1. While it's true Aatrek was a child molestor and a moderator of SA for some time, it is entirely possible his expulsion did not happen sooner due to unintentional negligence, not deliberate malice.

2. My revulsion to the attempted murder resulting from the Slenderman meme was a kneejerk reaction. It may have originated on SA, but that does not mean SA or it's creators had any malicious intentions with the deliberate intent of inciting murder, and if I implied otherwise, I apologize for allowing emotion to cloud my reason and retract those statements.

3. While I was informed "The Crackhead Clubhouse" forum on Something Awful does have somewhat deserved unsavory reputation for allowing all sorts of discussions on illegal drugs, they also do discuss legitimate medicine and related topics, and given I've never had direct experience with it, I should probably get an unfiltered opinion of the place (as most of my information is culled from the Anti-SA forum Something Sensitive ) via first hand experience before forming a firm opinion about it.

In conclusion, to this anonymous Goon who had the courage to contact me and be frank but civil about their misgivings with my unfounded and erroneous biases and whose honest appraisal of something our wiki needed to fix is acknowledged with my personal gratitude.