Not really up for replying to all of that. I think the points I want to make are:
- it’s true that tumblr is a public forum and therefore you can’t expect privacy or anonymity, but every person deserves respect and consideration, whether online or in real life
- regardless of whether or not the fourth wall is real, most fandoms prefer a degree of separation between their fanworks and the inspiration for those fanworks. they’re entitled to try and preserve that separation and it’s rude (and in some cases genuinely traumatizing) to try and fuck with that
- i don’t think Aja is acting out of maliciousness. she has an honest belief that fandom shouldn’t or shouldn’t have to hide behind the fourth wall. i don’t actually disagree with her. it’s her actions that are pissing people off. forcing people out of the fandom closet before they’re ready to— it’s no wonder people are full of resentment. her being a fan and therefore ‘one of us’ doesn’t give her a pass on this.
- I also agree people should be treated with respect. I guess we have different definitions of what respectful behavior is. Personally attacking someone for doing something you disagree with professionally: not respectful.
- It’s fine to want to preserve the fourth wall. I actually depend on it––I am not someone who wants to tell everyone I know IRL that I’m in fandom. But I don’t think Aja saying “we shouldn’t have to hide!” and writing an opinion piece to that effect, or writing pieces about fandom for a quasi-mainstream online community, is doing anything to endanger the fourth wall––not any more than people who aren’t involved in fandom being aware of fandom in the first place.
- I guess I don’t understand how people are being outed. For example, if someone quoted something I said on my tumblr, and if you then clicked on that tumblr, you would know that the girl whose pseudonym is tomato_greens is interested in [x] fandoms. You would know that no matter how you found my online presence-–and I’ve googled myself, okay, you can find me if you look up recipes with green tomatoes. We are all vulnerable to being “found out” by random mainstream people.
- That said, when you look at my tumblr, you don’t get my personal information because I haven’t chosen to make that stuff public. From what Aja says and from what I’ve seen, she genuinely avoids connecting people’s RL with their online lives without explicit permission. Are people getting more traffic from non-fandom visitors due to her articles? Maybe, but the only people who will click on the links in the article are people who interested in fan culture anyway––people who might have Googled “[x] fandom” and found the same links. So I don’t understand who’s being outed, or how.
I would appreciate hearing anything else you have to say, but only if you want to participate. I’m not trying to force anyone’s hand into having a discussion they don’t want to have or don’t feel up to having.
I keep being in the middle of writing things and then just reblogging tomato-greens because she’s already written what I was writing about.
Years ago, I locked my LJ, because I wanted to keep my fannish activity private. These days, I don’t care so much, so I’m okay with participating in/commenting on fandom via Tumblr. But I accept that my privacy is MY responsibility. If someone links to my public content and I wish they hadn’t, it’s my own damn fault for posting the content publicly. The person who linked to my public content is doing something that’s long accepted on the web and in media. They don’t need my permission, because I gave tacit permission by making it publicly available. Don’t want something publicized? Don’t publicly post it. It’s not the responsibility of a journalist or a fan or a random stranger to figure out if you’re someone who’s okay with linking to your public content - it’s your responsibility to not post things that you’d rather were kept private.
I’m actually curious as to where this idea that linking to someone’s publicly available content on a public social media site is “outing” them in any way, shape, or form came from. It’s a new one on me, that’s for sure.
You want to know what outing is? Someone lurking on a support forum for women who have ended pregnancies after a fatal prenatal diagnosis tracked me down by tracing my IP, finding my personal website, and using my website registration, looked up my name, found my personal info, and called my boss to tell him I’d had an abortion and they thought he should fire me for being a baby-killer.
That’s outing. Not linking to a public Tumblr.
It bears repeating: outing is also when someone anonymously phones your editor and tells him about your LiveJournal, and he calls you up a few days before Christmas and says, “I’m kinda weirded out right now… I don’t think you’re going to be working for us anymore.”
That is being outed. That happened to me in December 2003.
I will never do that to anyone else.
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