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Oh the horrors of the Internets! - Morgan Dawn Livejournal:The Here And Now
The Here And Now
Oh the horrors of the Internets!
To give some context, when I started on the Internet (1994) no one talked about slash in any of the public forums. There were few websites and even fewer devoted to fanfic and none devoted to slash.  There was no central search function (you found websites by clicking on links and then following them to other links. A true treasure hunt).

In 1995, when one fan posted a list of fanzine publishers to her website  (under password protection) there was an outcry and she took it down. On one mailing list newsletter, there were requests that fans not mention author or publisher names when reviewing zines, even in private one-to-one e-mail. I was a member of a slash mailing list (the first one as far as we know) and in order to join we had to give our real names, affirm our gender and promise to never reveal the existence of the mailing list (its name was Virgule-L and boy if time travel existed would I be in trouble for just mentioning it. Shhh, don't tell anyone and maybe the mods won't notice).

By 1999, fandom had exploded messily all over the Internet and slash fanfic archives and mailing lists were popping up all over. LJ didn't gain traction in fandom until 2004, but in 1999 you could find a lot of slash on the Internet. By 1999 there even were a few search engines that offered up substantive slash results such as Alta Vista.  Still, the concept of slash in the Internet was disconcerting for many fans. For more reading:
Internet Fans Controversy Du Jour (1997) by Sandy Herrold
Slash and the Arrival of the Internet

From a fan in 1999:
"Well, due to a recent job change, I was required to purchase a personal computer. I’m not on the net and of course the first thing I did was to go to the Star Trek sites. I was very amazed and shocked to find out how easy it was to locate “slash” and K/S pages on the web. I did not realize how easy it was for anyone, and I mean anyone, to find out about K/S by simply typing in Star Trek on the search page and going to all the sites. And while I admit that it was a benefit to me, since I downloaded many of the stories to my PC, I was more than a bit dismayed that it was on the web so openly. It left a rather bad taste in my mouth. It cannot be argued by anyone involved in this wonderful fandom that we are a unique group. And while everyone [here] finds nothing wrong with the idea of K/S, there are many, many people, including Star Trek fans, who do and they can be quite radical and vocal in their opinions on the subject. The fact that it is now so openly displayed on the web, for anyone to see, will only add fuel to their fire and perhaps threaten our special fandom. As someone who has been involved in K/S right from the very beginning, I have to say that the one thing that meant a lot to me about being involved in this fandom was the privacy I had when I ordered my zines. Except for the occasional lost zine, there was no chance that anyone else except the editor and myself would read the zine I ordered....And while there is a certain advantage to just screening up a web page and downloading a story instantly and for free, I think it is negated by the fact that it’s displayed so openly. When I was going through those web pages, I noticed that none of the main K/S editors and authors had contributed any stories or pictures on those pages. I think it’s bad enough that both Bill and Leonard have been questioned in public about the subject of K/S (certainly something that has to be uncomfortable for them, no matter how graciously they may handle such questions), but to give people who object strongly to our special fandom a chance to see it openly displayed with “no holds barred” on the net I think is just asking for trouble. K/S is a big part of my life (albeit a private one) and I would hate to see it end or have people involved in it feel ashamed because now due to new technology, it is literally available to anyone with a PC (just think of the number). I am sure that there is going to be a number of people who are going to disagree with me on this subject, but it is something that I feel very strongly about. I think that if K/S is to survive, it must remain underground. ...Can you imagine what Paramount might do if and when they find out about K/S being so openly displayed on the web? Especially since then they are already trying to shut down some Star Trek sites, because they feel it is a violation of their property rights to the series. I shudder to think what they might do if and when they find out about the “slash” sites. We don’t need any more nails in the coffin. K/S is not for everyone, so it shouldn’t be available to everyone. But it is and I think that is cause for worry."
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2 comments or Leave a comment
astartexx From: astartexx Date: August 10th, 2013 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)
It's strange to think that we came from hiding in plain sight to welcome additional promotion for a lot of shows, I'm thinking Teen Wolf or Hannibal as good recent examples. Sure you have the creators who still don't understand the interwebs like Moffat or GRRM, but they are truly in the minority and it's fun to see young fans not getting that attitude at all. They are so irritated by it and I love it.

Edited at 2013-08-10 08:14 am (UTC)
braver_creature From: braver_creature Date: August 10th, 2013 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been loving reading these posts, btw (though I am terrible at commenting).

This one I find especially interesting when juxtaposed to the one about the K/S zines and the relationship between their editors and the print shops.

As someone whose fannish activity outside of cons is totally web-based, I find it actually scary to think about having to go into a business and say "HEY GUYS, WHAT IS YOUR POLICY ON REPRODUCING ALIEN ERECTIONS, RENDERED IN EXQUISITE DETAIL, BY HAND?"

Strange times.
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