Two fandom New Years’ warnings for 2014

Sorry to have to mention these, but again based on things I and other experienced fans have been seeing throughout Armitageworld and in blogospheres that touch on ours:

1. Requests or insistence by people that a blogger reveal one’s real life identity for a follow, or in order to come into contact, or in order to obtain access, often couched in the claim that one cannot be taken seriously under a pseudonym. First, be aware that pseudonymity is a perfectly legitimate status for a blogger (pseudonymity and anonymity are not the same thing — here is an explanation of the difference) or for anyone (here is a list of famous authors who use pseudonyms). There’s also nothing wrong with being “out” — as I have been for almost the last year — but it should be a decision contemplated for a while and taken in full awareness of its consequences. I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this — but you can give your identity to one person whom you trust and suddenly discover that a lot of people whom you don’t trust and who actually wish you ill know it. Or you can realize later that you shouldn’t have trusted that person. Pseudonymity gives people a lot of freedoms to explore and enjoy fandom without having to deal with negative real life misunderstanding, and if you’re comfortable with your pseudonymity, stick with it. It’s not worth a follow, even from an apparent BNF, to give it up unless you know you are ready to do that.

2. Anon hate comments that are sending people into despair and, when they become bullying, even allegedly causing suicide attempts in fandoms close to ours. I’ve said it before and will say it again — on the whole, we get much more grief through anon asks than we do pleasure. This is one difference between pseudonymity and anonymity — the former requires the maintenance of a consistent persona, whereas the later allows someone to wreak havoc where s/he pleases. Consider turning off anon asks on your tumblr to prevent random shit stirring, or not responding to anon asks or hate that only seek to upset us and others. If someone wants to ask a hard question, they should take responsibility for it with a pseudonym.

~ by Servetus on January 1, 2015.

25 Responses to “Two fandom New Years’ warnings for 2014”

  1. I had another one of those nastygrams pop up in comments to be moderated at my RA blog on, I think, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. All I could think of was “Don’t you have anything better to do around the holidays than spread vitriol?” And then they called me and fellow fans “old and desparate” — pretty sure they meant “desperate.” Pretty sure they don’t really understand this fandom at all. I put that trolling comment in the trash, where it deserved to go. Happy New Year, Serv!

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    • Happy New Year!

      In a lot of cases, now, it’s not even people who really care about the issue. It’s one thing if we talk about something we disagree about with each other — another thing entirely if we’re just responding to being poked by outsiders for their amusement, which is a lot of what went on this year.

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  2. Reblogged this on the armitage effect and commented:
    It’s a shame warnings like this have to be sent out, but forewarned is forearmed. Thanks, Servetus.

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  3. We can disagree without being disagreeable. I don’t know who said it, but I like it. There are some pretty miserable keyboard warriors out there, and sometimes it’s hard to keep it all in perspective. Don’t give the b*stards any power – let ’em stew in their own hater-juice! Happy New Year to them what’s like us 🙂 (And hell with the rest!)

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  4. Thanks for this

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    • To some extent, our shared pseudonymity is tied up together. If one person gossips, info that was supposed to be limited goes a lot further. So we really owe it to each other to be discreet.

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      • Amen! The fandom, & especially the blog world, implies an obligation of trust, especially for bloggers but also for commenters.

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  5. As the Armitage Effect continues to reap hordes of new followers, I can see the potential for garbage communications/arguments increasing as well. It’s a good time to take stock of your own personal fandom manifesto.
    I’m glad you’re still blogging after all the storms you’ve been through. You have honed your own purpose and mark clearly your guidelines.

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    • I meant the Armitage Effect as a general term. I don’t know if there is an entity by that name; if there is, I apologize for any confusion!

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      • that’s Angie’s blog’s name, but we understood you, I think 🙂

        Thanks for the kind words. I really do feel, at times, like the storms have strengthened me, although it’s a terrible cliche.

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  6. Reblogged this on FunkyBlueDandelion and commented:
    This. And not just this but also: you are responsible for you. What I mean is that not only are you responsible for what comes out of your mouth (and keyboard) but you’re also responsible for your own self-care. If someone is hassling you there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Take them. Don’t fear cutting toxic people out of your life, either in real life or online.

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  7. Reblogged this on Armitage Agonistes and commented:
    Requests or insistence by people that a blogger reveal one’s real life identity for a follow, or in order to come into contact, or in order to obtain access, often couched in the claim that one cannot be taken seriously under a pseudonym. – I saw this just yesterday when a commenter promised to follow a new blogger, only if the blogger revealed her true identity through email. Here’s a pertinent articile on the authenticity and necessity of psuedonyms online.

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  8. I’m really surprised that people could consider themselves literate, or even educated, & not understand the importance, historical and otherwise, of the pseudonymous writer. Rampant ignorance (or more likely meanness) betrayed once again… shaking my head.

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  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDlofPAOZy0 😉

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  10. […] way, encouraging everyone in the fandom who functions via pseudonym to come out; on the contrary. There can be good reasons to embrace pseudonymity. I am simply noting that a lot of the negativity that I anticipated has not come to pass in the […]

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  11. Reblogged this on Me + Richard Armitage and commented:

    On the pseudonymity thing — someone asking you to reveal to them your real identity can be a technique for bullying or harming you. Stay behind your pseud. Can’t believe this was only six months ago.

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    • Yes, I was discussing this with Benny last night. Some of the admonitions RA was sharing about always revealing your real name and personal info online are just wrong-headed, particularly for young people (Cybersmile’s target audience, yes?) and some types of social media. Maybe I have watched too many shows on Investigation Discovery, but there are predators out there in cyberspace up to no good and just looking for a naïve victim to latch on to. I hate that it is that way, but it is.

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  12. I had a negative (though not disastrous) experience with someone who responded to my initial friendliness almost exactly as you described at #1, Servetus. Fortunately, I shared very minimal information & proved not to be a pushover, so our association was brief. But I did find it a little upsetting, and I wish I had remembered your wise words then. Thanks for reminding us of them now.

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    • There was a lot of this phishing going around in our fandom in January / February, and it’s so easy to be trusting at the beginning. I think all of us probably were 🙂

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