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.


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  2. Right on, Geth.

    If TVTropes ended up going under because of ad problems, then I hope to god that you end up replacing him as the go-to source for trope identification.