Chat Transcript – August 1

[​​Note: All questions from members and candidate responses appear in the form they were submitted and represent only the views of the individual who wrote them. Questions and responses are not endorsed by the Organization for Transformative Works.]

Sveritas

Hi everyone, and welcome to our 4th (and final) candidate chat for 2022!

Today you’ll have the opportunity to observe 2 candidates: Michelle S and Tiffany G.

My name is Sveritas and I’ll be hosting the candidate side today. On the audience/open_chat side, your host will be my fellow Elections Committee member disjointed.

Disjointed, can you wave so everyone can see you?

disjointed

👋

Sveritas

Thanks, disjointed!

A transcript of the candidate side of the chat will be posted publicly on our website. The open chat transcript will not be posted there, but its transcripts will remain visible until after the election. During the chat, you may see candidates fix their typos; this is to make Elections Volunteers’ job easier later.

As the candidates discuss each question, audience members can notify disjointed that you have questions for the candidates – either follow-ups or new questions – by raising your hand like this: o/ (for new questions), or o// (for follow-ups to the current question)

Disjointed will pass me the questions, and I will ask them during appropriate pauses in the conversation between the candidates. Disjointed and I welcome all questions, subject to the following restrictions: – Specify who your question is for, or if it’s for all candidates. – Refer to everyone in the room by their username in this conversation. Don’t use other names you may know them by. – Please keep questions reasonable and polite, as well as under 50 words (these are our expectations: https://elections.transformativeworks.org/electionsprocess-behavior-expectations/). – Make sure your question is not a repeat of one already answered in the platforms (https://elections.transformativeworks.org/category/2021-en/2021-bios-and-platforms/) or the Q&A (https://elections.transformativeworks.org/category/2021-en/2021-qa/). If it’s a follow-up to one of those, please say so.

Now, I’d like to welcome our candidates and invite them to say hello

Michelle S

Hi! 🙂

Tiffany G

👋🏽 Hello

Sveritas

Our first question today is: Can you say something nice about each of your fellow candidates?

Michelle S

I would love to say nice things about my fellow candidates! I met Heather when we were both on AO3 Docs, so I appreciate her love of documentation. I like Natalia’s experience and familiarity with the OTW as a whole. I’ve been impressed with Noémie’s answers to the questions so far, both in the Q&A rounds and the chats we’ve already had. I love the new perspective and enthusiasm Tiffany has brought to the questions as well! 🙂

Everyone has been so friendly and supportive this election season, which is always nice. And shout out to Elections staff as well, who have also been awesome!

Tiffany G

Everyone has worked longer here at OTW compared to me. So the time and effort you have put in really helped and inspired me. it would not be possible without all of you.

Sveritas

Thank you both for your kind words. Next up we have questions directed at our candidates individually.

For Michelle S.: Lots of decision-making processes and debate within the org require the skills of active listening, influencing without authority, collaborative problem-solving, particularly when there is a crisis that needs immediate attention and action from Board. Have you had past experiences that equip you with these skills? If so, what are those experiences?

For Tiffany G.: If elected as a board member, what do you most look forward to being able to do that you haven’t been able to do in other positions at the OTW? What do you anticipate will be the biggest challenge?

Tiffany G

I am very interested in the work of PAC and Legal since the very beginning. I have not had a chance to experience it so look forward to learning more about them. I believe a lot of external people have issues with our ToS and policies so working with those will be the biggest challenge. I have had discussions with respective volunteers and it seems like we have limited resources and legal issues that need to be addressed, and delivered to the public.

Michelle S

I’ve worked in retail for quite a while now, so that has given me a lot of practice in active listening! Especially when dealing with upset customers, it’s important to listen and reflect on what is being said so that you can best come up with a solution that works for everyone. As far as collaborative problem-solving, my work as a chair has helped a lot with that. With two other co-chairs, we’re always working together to get work done and solve any problems, so I’m fairly confident that will transfer over to Board work as well.

Sveritas

Thank you for you answers! Our next question is: What is your least favourite thing about working for the OTW? How do you think this can be improved upon?

Tiffany G

I don’t have a least favourite thing actually… if I have to pick a thing, it might be the fact that TW documentation is too complicated. I would want to record some tutorials about the specific terms in fan fiction so a newbie like myself can easily understand and get started. But we have already done a good job as of now.

Michelle S

As I mentioned in the first Q&A round, one frustrating aspect is how long certain things can take to complete, especially projects involving multiple committees. I think this doesn’t necessarily need a lot of improvement – often, the extra time leads to a better finished product! – but perhaps discussing potential deadlines for steps in the process in advance would help to streamline projects or at least set expectations.

Sveritas

Thank you both for sharing about your struggles within the org. Next we have questions for candidates specifically again!

For Michelle S.: in your Q&A on Board Work, you mentioned finalizng and filling the Paid Staff Transition Officer role. I see this role and the Diversity Consultant Research Officer as vital to the strategic vision of OTW but also difficult to recruit for. What do you think you can do to help push forward the search and recruit processes for these positions?

For Tiffany G: You’ve mentioned in the Q&As and in these chats that you’d be interested in changes to the TOS and our policies — can you expand more on what changes you think might be interesting?

Michelle S

I think making the documentation more visible would help, and potentially reaching out to qualified volunteers directly. There’s a pretty thorough position description for the Diversity Consultant Research Officer on our internal tools, but if you don’t know where to find it, it’s not going to help you decide if that’s a position you can fill. So I think just talking about it more would also help people realize that hey, maybe that’s something they could do.

Tiffany G

Well, I think a lot of external people are very concerned about the fact that some works contain child pornography, pedophilic content, and other illegal content. If possible (this is not entirely possible after I chatted with people from PAC though), I am interested in providing extra help to the PAC team and Legal team to update the ToS and policies on those.

Sveritas

Thank you both for your answers! Next we have a chance for you both to show case your time management skills: The OTW Board can be a very time-demanding task with a lot happening in a short period of time—sometimes planned for and sometimes unplanned for. What tools and/or mechanisms do you have (and/or do you intend to use) to balance these demands with the rest of your commitments?

Tiffany G

My full-time job is a standard 9-5 job and there is once or twice per year when I need to do some extra work over the weekend. Other than that my time has been very flexible. I use an Outlook calendar andTo Do list to keep track of my deadlines… I always work 2+ jobs at the same time so I am pretty good at multitasking.

Michelle S

AO3 Docs has a priority system for the documents in progress, so if I need to step back from a high-priority task to concentrate on Board work, I know a lower priority task can sit for an extra week or two if someone has to take up my task in my stead. If it’s planned busyness, I can take time off work or move around my OTW tasks in advance to make sure I’m available to handle whatever needs my attention.

Sveritas

Thank you both! We have questions specific to our candidates again here:

for Michelle S.: What skills do you think you’ve learned from serving as a committee chair that will carry over to your Board work? Do you have any specific examples of times you demonstrated those skills

And a follow up for Tiffany G.: If you were to work with Legal and PAC to update the Archive’s ToS on content like pedophilia, would you want to disallow those types of works, or are you referring to another type of change or clarification?

Tiffany G

OK this is a follow-up to the last question – people think we host child porn content and such things. This issue is actually closely related to the incident when our service is banned in my home country. It might also be helpful to clarify that to the public. I am not an expert but look forward to discussing it more with respective committees.

Michelle S

One skill I’ve definitely learned is collaborative leadership. Working with my other co-chairs has taught me how to pass tasks around as necessary, and to make sure I know how to do everything we do as chairs even if I don’t do specific chair tasks on a regular basis. I think that will come in handy if I am elected to Board.

Tiffany G

Well, this is really hard to explain in a few sentences. I think it is going to be different for every work. So more clarification will be helpful and enough, given the fact that most people will not have time to read through everything in ToS.

Sveritas

Thank you both! Just to clarify Tiffany, the Archive of Our Own does not host any works that contain materials that are illegal in the United States, such as child pornography. Which leads us to the next two follow-up questions for Tiffany G. : a) You mention wanting to update the TOS to address concerns about content posted to the site. How does that fit into AO3 general principle of “maximum inclusiveness of content”? Which content and why?

  1. b) you proposing that the Terms of Service be updated to restrict additional content that is currently allowed on the Archive?

We also have a question for Michelle S. specifically too in the meantime: The internal wiki posting for Diversity Consultant Research Officer is thorough indeed, but this thoroughness may also make the job seem very daunting. How do you plan on promoting the vacancy for this role and drumming up excitement, without losing emphasis on its serious nature?

Michelle S

I think that’s why it’s also important to talk about it, both generally and to potentially interested volunteers. It’s possible to both explain it more casually while also not downplaying the seriousness of the role, which I think would help get it out to more people.

Tiffany G

  1. a) I support 100% “maximum inclusiveness of content”, yet there is always a boundary to everything. Since OTW is already an influential org, we need to protect our image and hold a better image to the public. I want the public to think of us as an inclusive and socially responsible community. So in general, we have to do something to change. Things like making the rating system more specific and obvious to users will be what I want to do.
  2. b) Not really restricting the content being posted. I hope it is like more warnings and ratings for posting work so people know what to expect. And all of these are not surprising to people who do not wish to see this.

Sveritas

Thank you for your answers! We do have two more related follow ups for Tiffany G. on the topic of content on AO3:

  1. a) please does your definition of content that should be disallowed include all written content depicting sexual content of minors?

 

  1. b) please clarify how you propose we treat the content we currently have in the archive that should be banned with those proposed TOS changes

Tiffany G

  1. a) That is not what I proposed actually. I would want to be more specific in the rating system and clarifications so people know what to expect.
  2. b) If there are changes, it is going to be some slower work I suspect. Will work with PAC to figure out if changes are necessary.

Sveritas

Thank you for your clarification! Now let’s move on to a question for both candidates:

Many OTW volunteers specifically choose committees and roles that don’t overlap directly with their work experience because they want to learn new skills. What are some skills you think you’ve learned specifically because of your OTW volunteering that would help you on Board?

Michelle S

I chose to volunteer for Docs because I did have the skills for it, though I’ve definitely seen improvement in my technical writing and editing skills since joining. I’ve also gotten very fond of documenting things in general, since I feel like it’s important in an all-volunteer organization. When people can drop out at any time, it’s important to document training and tasks and anything else relevant to the overall running of a committee, so that hopefully no vital information is lost over time or when key people depart. I believe being able to write and update that documentation would be a big asset as far as Board work goes.

Tiffany G

I have learned a lot of things here at OTW. To be specific, I never worked 100% online before so this is something new for me, so the communications, use of Slack, and tools we use… all very cool experience that I think will be useful.

Sveritas

Thank you both for your answers! Our next question is: OTW teams can be a bit afraid of revealing too much about work that isn’t 100% done for various reasons. What’s your experience when it comes to balancing transparency and updating others on ongoing work? What do you think the OTW should do about communicating about projects we’re still brainstorming?

Michelle S

It can be hard to talk about work that isn’t completed yet, since you often can’t be sure that it will be done in time. Sometimes a higher-priority task comes up, or sometimes you find out that you need to do tasks B, C, and D before you can complete A. So publicly declaring that Task A is coming soon, only to not be able to provide it on time, can be a little discouraging. That said, I do think it’s important to talk about upcoming changes in a more general sense, as AO3 did with features such as comment blocking and opting out of gifts. It’s always going to be a balancing act, and I think it just needs to be discussed for each case as it comes up, to best decide what to do.

Tiffany G

Interesting question! I never thought about it before. But I believe it is important to stick with the rest of my teammates and make sure we are on the same page. If everyone decides that we will keep it a secret, I will do the same. If they think we can talk about it, I will do the same. For projects we are brainstorming, I think it is important to communicate with the public so they know about our effort. That depends on the policy though. I will stick with whatever we decide on.

Sveritas

Thank you both! We have a question for Tiffany G. next: You’ve mentioned your newness as a benefit before. What do you think is the benefit of joining Board when still relatively new to volunteering to the OTW? What do you think that you will be able to bring to the table that would set you apart from a more experienced candidate?

Tiffany G

I was thinking that I could provide a more outsider’s point of view. So I guess to bring in some fresh blood and energy. I have some other experience from other places I can bring to the table. To set me apart from a more experienced candidate, there is certainly a lack of experience for me knowing people working on different committees. But I can make an extra effort to get to know people and their duties/hardships.

Sveritas

Thank you for your answer. Now let’s jump onto another question for both candidates: As a Board member, how would you handle communicating the stances of OTW and AO3 in the possible event that you do not personally agree with such perspectives?

Michelle S

For me, that’s just part of being a Board member. It’s important to have consistency in messaging, and if it’s something the Board and the OTW have agreed on, I would communicate it on our behalf no matter what my personal feelings on the matter are.

Tiffany G

I have answered a similar question before from the last chat. But anyway, there is what I can do. I was a member of the debate club so learned a lot to argue about something I do not agree with. I totally understand that we need to stand together as a whole so whatever I have to say, I will do it with no problem.

Sveritas

Thank you both for your answers! Our next question is: What is something that you love about the OTW that you’d like to make flourish during your time on Board?

Tiffany G

I really like Open Doors so that will be something I want to see flourishing. AO3 too. It is something I have always liked and I have learned so much from it. I hope to see a lot of work from different cultures being posted there so we can learn from each other.

Michelle S

One of the things I love is how much room there is for social chatter to exist alongside work chatter internally. I never would have met all the people I’ve come to know over the years without being able to chat in a room devoted to a specific book series, or to a particular video game. It’s definitely helped me develop relationships across committee lines, and I’d love to see that continue and flourish during my time on Board. It’s a great way to learn about the work other committees do, once you make friends with people on a more social level, too.

Sveritas

Thank you both for your answers! Now for the last question of 2022, we’ll end on a slightly lighter note: Tell us about a fandom that you love, and wish that AO3 had more content for.

Tiffany G

My favorite manga as a kid was “The Rose of Versailles”. It gave me a lot of tears and lessons to be learned as a young woman. I view it as a feminist work with historical settings. Will be very cool if we have more content for that one.

Michelle S

Oh, I had a hard time narrowing it down to two fandoms last chat XD Let’s see… I’m a big fan of The Goblin Emperor, so it’s included in my favorite tags on AO3 so that I can check back on it every few weeks to read all the new content. There’s great fanworks there, but I always want more to read, haha.

Sveritas

Thank you both for sharing your treasured fandom with us!

That’s all the questions we have for today! Thank you to our audience for being so supportive and for submitting questions!

Thank you also to our lovely candidates. Thanks to disjointed for modding the open chat. We’ll have the transcript of this room up on the website within a few days. Have a great day, everyone!

Michelle S

Thanks! 👋

Tiffany G

🎉

[Note: The following question was asked after the end of the question period, but was answered by the candidate(s) in open_chat]

Audience Member

I’m very curious what Tiffany considers a “better image” that the OTW should present to the public. As in, what part of our image is unsuitable.

Tiffany G

As I have mentioned before, AO3 is no longer accessible in my home country due to some incident related to a piece of pedophilic work that is posted at AO3. This makes users very difficult to read and write with AO3. When I was reading the comments about the incident, a lot of people seemed to have a negative opinion about us. So, I think there is at least something we can do to help build a better image for us in my home country.

341 thoughts to “Chat Transcript – August 1”

  1. Very disappointed in Tiffany here. I would not be surprised if people donate money specifically to be able to vote against her.

      1. Really concerned about some of Tiffany’s comments, especially regarding changing the TOS. What she seems to be proposing goes directly against what AO3 was established to do. I won’t be voting for her.

        1. What alarms me the most is that Tiffany got as far as being a candidate at all here. It indicates some weakness somewhere in the system that a person whose values and agenda are the polar opposite of what Ao3 is managed to get this far.

        2. Will not be voting for Tiffany in any sense of the word. Freedom of speech and tags are what make this site so amazing. Tags are there for people not to read what they don’t want to read. Follow them.

      2. Next time there’s a donation drive, I’ll donate just to be able to vote against pro-censorship candidates.

        1. Couldn’t have said it better myself. I thought I could afford to not do it because hey, I’m a broke college student, but fuck it, this shit’s too important to not do it.

          Next time, I’m joining in.

      3. I agree and I really wish I’d donated in time this year. This has been enlightening for me and I now know I need to be more involved in the future. It seems like Tiffany is viewing AO3 through a very specific lens and I am made uncomfortable by some of their interests and concerns. An archive shouldn’t be run like a business, seeking “growth” or palatability. Public image seems to be their main concern and that could become problematic as it shouldn’t be the main priority. You can tell by what they say that they are indeed new to fandom. I encourage people to envision what they realistically want from the Archive and the amazing team running it. Vote thoughtfully! For all of us.

      4. I am very surprised and concerned that a person who wants to censor AO3 content is running for a Board position. It is too late this year, but I am going to donate so that I can vote in future elections.
        Censorship has no place in AO3 – AO3 is meant to be a safe haven for fandoms.

        1. I’m really concerned about the way Tiffany views AO3. Says she’s worried for our “image” but ao3 does not have an image. It’s not a social media. Ao3 is an archive, it’s like a library. It does not have an image and it shouldn’t have.

          And she says she wants to make sure “people know what to expect” but but already have that? We have tagging, filtering and warnings? Does she even know ao3?

          Please, if you want to vote, do not vote for her.

    1. Extraordinary disappointed by Tiffany G’s statement. Her viewpoints seem adirect contradiction to what makes AO3 great and why it was founded. The site is not for the public, the site is for writers, in all of their ugly glory.

      1. I won’t vote Tiffany, I know exactly how censorship in China works, it’s disgusting.

    2. I’m sorry but with all due respect.
      Kick Tiffany OUT!!! Why a person like that is even on the board in the first place???
      Get more strict rules and precautions.

    3. I will be doing exactly this. I’ve wanted to become a member for years, but I’ve not ever gotten around to setting up a recurring donation. That’s changing today because it is clear to me that the founding principles of ao3 are now at risk, and I want to participate in the next election to protect these principles.

      1. I’m nervous about Tiffany G. I wish I donated earlier to be able to vote against her. I came to AO3 because my favorite sites were heavily censored and it forced a lot of writers and fans to leave. If that happens to AO3 I will have to find another site or pray someone creates a new AO3. AO3 has a wonderful tagging capabilities to prevent me from reading things I don’t like or trigger me and what Tiffany is implying is she wants to completely cut out content that doesn’t fit the family friendly narrative. Aka Censoring.

    4. I’m assuming Tiffany’s home country is China considering AO3 only got banned here. Correct me if I’m wrong. As someone who actually belongs to the Chinese fandom, I just want to single out a fact that AO3 DIDN’T get banned here because of pedo work. She is lying.
      The true story in short is that in 2020 a fan from a RPS fandom posted an article with a paro where one of the celebrities in this RPS was a prostitute and the celebrity, Xiao Zhan’s fans were furious about this and reported AO3 massively to the administration with the cause of promoting pornography. Considering the strict policies in China as you know, pornography is not allowed here. Hence the website got banned here. It was not because of the child pornography as Tiffany said and the so-called negative comments about AO3 mainly came from the furious fans who snitched the website to the administration. Ask anyone in China and you’ll know she’s lying.

      1. Cecenanfen is correct. China did not ban AO3 for pedophilia content. Anyone outside China can spend 10 minutes on google to find out the truth (fans inside China are already very familiar with the 227 mass reporting incident by the fans of Xiao Zhan).
        AO3 may have already been on China’s list of sites to be take down (the shadow ban) but the 227 incident tipped the scale.
        So why did Tiffany said what she said? Best case, Tiffany is incredibly ignorant of AO3 history in China, which doesn’t make sense for a person who claims to have been using AO3 for 10 years (the China ban was in 2020). Worse case, Tiffany is spreading outright lies.
        In either cases, this is not a person who is fit to be on the board of OTW.

      2. Exactly. I’m in Shanghai. I was here in the before, during, and after. Tiffany’s wrong.

    5. Don’t vote Tiffany pls. AS I KNOW It won’t work even AO3 banned underage works. AO3 was in fact complained because some events about 「rps works and idols’ competition」, underage works is just one of the report excuses. Don’t want to see more tragedy.

    6. Tiffany, I’m also from China, and I just wanna say that you are intentionally avoiding to bring up the real issue. The reason ao3 was banned has nothing to do with involving pedophilloic contents, but the fact that China is sensitive to all fanfics that relates to LGBTQ+ shippings and all mature and explicit contents. Also mainly because a bunch of fans of a notorious male star reported the website because of the LGBTQ+ contents.
      Reading your words is making me sick. I have all the reasons to believe you can’t bring any positive influence to ao3. And I’m just gonna say it: who the fxck cares about what China think of ao3? I don’t anyway. China is way too sensitive to be taken seriously on regards of content creating. Call me extreme but I’m saying honest words here.

    7. Indeed, she says that she’s been using ao3 for years and yet she thinks that works aren’t properly tagged or rated. I’ve been to a lot of fanfiction sites in my time, and ao3 is by far the superior option always. Tagging in the archive is so easy and it allows for so much, literally no other tagging system even holds a candle to it. I understand concerns about child pornography, but I don’t want people to start censoring the archive, the fact that anyone can publish whatever they want is what makes it wonderful.

    8. I’m so concerned about it that I donated so that I can vote next year. I don’t want anyone like this becoming a part of the board. Their values seem completely incompatible with the OTW mission statement, and I’m honestly baffled how they got this far.

      1. She is literally saying the issue is with other people believing ao3 hosts CP when it does not and advocating for clarifying language in hopes that a better ToS will prevent ao3 from being viewed as a hotbed for illegal shit. THAT is how she got this far. She is literally saying it would be nice to have better phrasing so that when ao3 is under consideration for being banned – as it was in her own damn country – we can point to something specific that delineates the fact that nothing on ao3 is real. You know, the basic premise of this site. She got this far because she is right and you guys all panicked at the first mention of censorship – which she directly and repeatedly refuted.

        1. thank you . jesus christ she could not have been clearer. shes only ever mentioned she wants to improve the rating and trigger warning system, and said explicitly she does not intend on restricting content. you can even disagree with her point of improving the rating system. but that doesnt mean you have to lie about her and assume she wants to destroy ao3 from the inside lol

    9. These comments are exhausting. Ao3 is banned in T’s home country because idiots with power can’t understand that nothing on ao3 is the same as real life abuse. T wants to codify the language so that EXTERNAL PEOPLE can better understand what we do and don’t do here. Everyone saw the word “pedophilia” and freaked the fuck out because of antis and now we’re going to overlook a perfectly decent candidate because y’all can’t read. Seeking to make more explicit what it is that ao3 does and does not do is a worthy goal. My only issue is that T didn’t explain this as well as she could have, but tbh I can’t be sure if that’s entirely her issue or if it lies with everyone else to some degree for ignoring every single instance of her explicitly stating she is not seeking to cull or ban literally anything. I don’t really know how much clearer she could have been that this is about EXTERNAL PEOPLE and authorities – LITERALLY antis – making the site look bad, and wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to be clearer about the fact that NOTHING ON THIS SITE IS REALITY. You know, the stance the site was built on.

      So many of you wondering how she got this far in the interview process since she “clearly” is against ao3, and I hate to tell you but the issue is y’all’s reading comprehension.

      1. Actually. she mentioned specifically wanting to change the TOS which effects all of us. Opening that door – banning specific content etc is directly against what Ao3 stands for.

        For those of us having been through this before on many platforms (tmblr being the most recent) it’s a scary thing when people want to start changing the openness of allowed content.

        Once it starts it snowballs to so much being censored that it’s no longer a viable place to write content for anymore.

  2. It doesn’t sound like Tiffany has ever used AO3. Multiple times she proposes things AO3 already has and never explains what’s confusing about a perfectly comprehensible ratings system.

    1. Tiffany keeps bringing up her “home country” as an example of why AO3 image can be seen as “bad”. I don’t know if there are any other countries that have banned ao3 but the most well-known is China. Considering its own internal conservative laws, how the government treats freedom of speech and human rights when it comes to LGBTQ+ people and so forth, this is *not* a great example. The government could say it is for “child pornography” and yet be for entirely different reasons such as simple pornography. Plus, the stories running around regarding this matter have been different. Would be good to know which is this “home country” Tiffany speaks of to understand.

      1. Tiffany’s answers are alarming as others said and she really seems like she has heard rumors about AO3 instead of actually using it. Her claims are baseless and outright seem callous

      2. Besides why we should cater to a country that hates us queer? Lmao she’s better out

      3. ‘Illegal’ is ambiguous. Not sure which country Tiffany is talking about. AO3 was accessible in China for years until a large group of fans weren’t happy with some fan fictions. They reported AO3 in the name of illegal context to the govt, i.e. pedophile, which leads to the ban of entile AO3 in China. But I’m sure AO3 is not a place of such things.

      4. As a Chinese, I am worried about her words. Because China didn’t actually block ao3 before, there were also many Chinese who used ao3 until someone wrote an RPF and it was found by the fans of the star in this fanfic, they launched a massive attack on the fic and ao3,they reported ao3 on the government website and asked China to block ao3. Then government did, which eventually caused dissatisfaction among other Chinese users and caused a large-scale controversy on the Internet. This incident also made social news in China. Fans of this star are slandering ao3 as a “pedophile site” on the Chinese internet again in an attempt to rationalize their actions, which is in line with Tiffany’s statement and makes me very disturbed

      5. “keeps”? she brought it up once. she mentioned people thinking ao3 hosts illegal content is Similar to why it was banned in her home country, thats it. outside of that shes been clear that 1. ao3 does not host illegal content 2. she does not want to restrict what can be posted on the site 3. she wants the rating system to be clearer to reflect this. you can even disagree with the 3rd point but that doesnt mean you have to lie about her very clearly stated intentions

    2. I sort-of agree with Tiffany. While I don’t think we should ban content depicting pedophilia, stronger warnings might be more suitable, instead of a simple “Underage” tag, there should also be one for age gaps and incest.

      Also, I feel like we should disallow NSFW content of real-life minors, but fictional ones are fine with the Underage tag behind them.

      1. There is literally a tagging system in place for this already. Which Tiffany, as tag wrangler, should be familiar with.

        “Age gaps” is not an inherently Bad or Problematic element in fiction, and it’s EXACTLY this kind of false morality flagging that makes Tiffany’s candidacy so worrying. What qualifies as Problematic Content? Who decides that? At what point are we just censoring anything we don’t personally like?

        If you don’t like that type of fiction, it is very easy to avoid, by using AO3’s already very robust and extremely useful tools. That’s the point everyone else is making in these comments; the tools Tiffany is talking about already exist.

        1. As much as certain content may make me personally uncomfortable I don’t think we should restrict it because it’s not up to mine or anyone else’s personal tastes to dictate that. All of the fics that have made me uncomfortable were all fit with the proper tags and warnings that I just skimmed over, as long as the author properly tags it I don’t really care because it doesn’t effect me. I wish I would have donated last time so I could vote but I sincerely hope Tiffany does not get elected because I fear that it’ll just be a repeat of previous platforms going downhill because of censorship

      2. Ah but that’s the thing– there ARE tags like that and they are used heavily. I’ve been able to curate my experience just fine with the tools we have at hand. Increasing the ‘seriousness’ and making the warnings stronger seems very redundant and largely performative. If we’re already tagging thoroughly and effectively then why do we need to virtue signal by adding more redundancy and seriousness? Also hard disagree that age gaps are problematic– do we need to go down the rabbit hole of the 200 y/o vampire dating a 50 year old human? I think seeking clarity in the normal tags is more than enough. Let the authors tag as needed rather than making it a federal mandated issue.

        Finally: NSFW content of real life minors IS banned. It’s called child pornography and it’s illegal and disallowed on the site. Anything else with fictional characters, under aged or not, child likenesses or not, is all barbie dolls and no real life children are harmed.

        Respectfully disagree on these fronts, my tarnished in grace.

        1. while i agree with your statements, i have most DEFINITELY seen NSFW works containing real life minors on the website. unsure of the legality behind something being written rather than being recorded or photographed though

          1. As someone who wrote a partly autobiographical story (without including last names) about my sexual experiences as a minor and therefore also described my real life minor sexual partners (who were my age), I’m wondering how a rule to forbid nsfw fiction of real life minors would impact this work… I think writing nsfw fanfiction of teen celebrities is disturbing and I’ll avoid it at all costs (Which I can do thanks to the tags) but if the rule is “no nsfw about real life minors” or “no nsfw about real life minors without their consent” then does my story apply to it? Rules are blunt instruments

        2. actually, there is NSFW content of real life minors allowed on ao3; there’s lots of explicit sexual content written about underage minecraft youtubers on the site.
          i agree with everything else you said, though

          1. All sexual depictions of real minors is illegal in the U.S, AO3’s TOS DOES NOT ALLOW sexual works featuring real minors.

            AO3 doesn’t screen the content of a work before you post it, it removes works that break the TOS through reports by the users. All readers need to take responsibility and report fanfics that are breaking AO3s TOS.
            You can’t expect a volunteer site to flag and remove posts by itself the same way big companies do (Twitter, Instagram, YouTube), especially when even those are struggling.

            Implying that AO3 allows CSEM of any kind is dangerous. Protect the site your using and learn about its functioning please.

        3. Nsfw content of real minors isn’t banned, it’s “images of real children” in pornographic situations,or link to those kinds of images, that are banned.

          Source: “Content may not be uploaded to OTW’s servers if it contains or links to child pornography (images of real children)”

          You can still write a nsfw story about yourself as a minor (which is technically nsfw content about a real life minor)

        4. That’s wrong though, NSFW content of real life minors is allowed because it is fictional writing, so it doesn’t fall under CP and like you said, real life minors are not harmed because it’s fictional writing.

          You can find tons of works featuring artists who are minor in this site. To say that it’s not allowed it’s false. What is not allowed is real CP/CSEM, which fictional works does not fall under that.

      3. Except we DO have tags for age gaps and incest that authors can and should use. They just aren’t one of the main bolded warnings. Also, I don’t know if you’ve just marked it to automatically allow NSFW and forgot about it, but minors are the whole reason we have an extra page with a warning when a fic contains adult content (rated M or E). The tags and ratings and warnings are there because it is not the archive’s job to babysit everyone’s reading experience. It’s an ARCHIVE. It accepts ALL fanworks, problematic or not, because many sites before this one decided to sanitize and purge anything not strictly cishet and rated G.

      4. Incest, sure, why not, but why on earth would we need a content warning for age gap between adults??

      5. Just FYI that there are tags for age gap and incest – the current AO3 tagging system allows for extremely specific content warnings even within those categories.

      6. There ARE tags for Underage, Incest, and various other content that people might find objectionable. Those things already exist. They are also self-explanatory. When you say, “Stronger warnings” are needed, what exactly does that mean? If the concept itself is triggering, adding more specific details doesn’t help and arguably hurts when, again, “Underage”, “incest”, “age gap” are perfectly clear and enough on their own to warn someone away from a story if they don’t want to read things that contain those elements.

      7. NSFW of real minors would count as child pornography – which is already against the rules of the TOS!

      8. more detail like age gaps and incest are what the tagging system is for. the archive warnings are an intentionally curated list so that they’re easy to navigate

      9. But the thing is, age gap and incest tags *do* exist. You can literally search it up in AO3 and I promise you that you will find works with those tags. I’m sure that (most) people are aware of the basic etiquette of tagging works properly and appropriately, so as to make sure that people who don’t want to view those specific works get filtered out.

        I do agree with you about the disallowing of NSFW content of IRL minors, but the people will write what they want…

      10. you can literally put any tag you want on a fic. there is no restriction. You can have an age gap one and incest one already. as many iterations as you want. Once you start disallowing one thing, it’s a slippery slope. THAT’S WHAT TAGS ARE FOR.

      11. Fictional content of real-life minors is legal under US law – this is a fact. “Legal under US law” is specifically the line Ao3 draws so that they dont start censoring content based on morals, because that is a slippery slope.

        There could be use in adding an archive warning for Incest, but Tiffany made no mention of that at all, or any specifics about how she wants more specific tags.

      12. From Tiffany’s answers, what I can only see is AO3 will have more limitations in terms of content. I don’t see even a brief plan for the change of the content and warnings. Tiffany just said that would be discussed with the respective committee. It means Tiffany doesn’t know what to do and how to do but keeping useless discussions. The whole plan and logic are really unclear.

        If Tiffany’s home country is China, the real reason of banning ao3 is the China Mainland network restriction policy, instead of contents in ao3. China mainland bans google, Facebook, Twitter, pixiv, line, all LGBT and NSFW… etc. contents. I would say Tiffany did mislead people in this point.

      13. What about content of a real life adult, depicted as a minor? Since that would still be fictional.

        1. That’s me, I’m an adult and wrote a story about some of my weird sexual experiences as a minor (teen) with my partners who of course were my age so also minors at the time, and very much real people… So technically I wrote nsfw about us, real life minors, and what about it? It’s life. Teenagers have sex. I don’t like Tiffany ‘s moral panic approach

      14. “Hi this is my not real OC Shirla Timple (do not confuse with some kis actress, tottally different)…”
        You see the problem with trying cencorship yet?

      15. The tag for incest already exist and is, actually, one of the most used, because we’re all depraved here lol. Don’t know about the age gap but tags evolve with the users who write content, so I’m pretty confident in saying that if that sensibility already exists, it has a tag.
        Hard disagree with your censorship stance on nsfw content. Ao3 isn’t that kind of space, if you want sanitized content there are other online spaces you can peruse. All NSFW content on ao3 comes with a warning, it’s up to the user to curate their own experience.

      16. No. We don’t need to add more mandatory warnings. Also fictional underage isn’t “pedophilia.” Take your anti bullshit and shove it.

      17. But it does exist already! If people took a few minutes of their time to see how the tags work, a good part of this conversation could have been avoided.

      18. It is not the purpose of an archive to judge its contents: only to hold them.

        Tiffany G completely misunderstands AO3 and its purpose simply by bringing questions of morality into the equation. AO3 isn’t a social medium, nor a website with social media-like functions. There is no “reputation” or “image” to protect. The archive is just that- an archive of works, regardless of content matter. Consulting works that are safe and enjoyable is an individual responsibility. The responsibility that writers have is to warn readers of the contents of their work, which they can do via the incredibly robust tagging and inclusion/exclusion system AO3 has, and that Tiffany G has apparently never even heard of (and yes, “incest”, “age gap” and similar tags already all exist. I don’t know how you want to invent something that’s already right there).

        Censorship of one thing will open doors to censorship of many other things, and that was never the purpose of the archive. Tiffany G fundamentally misunderstands the role that AO3 occupies as a fandom space, and I can never ever agree with her on anything because she’s just proven to the world that she doesn’t even have a basic understanding of the platform she’s trying to police.

        Keep real-life morality out of fiction. It’s all just fiction y’all.

      19. There is nothing good that would come out of banning NSFW content for real-life minors. No matter how problematic you may believe that is, banning the content won’t do anything.
        First, it’s FICTION. It’s not real.
        Second, would you rather have those works improperly tagged? Because that’s what enacting a ban like that is going to do. It’s not going to stop the content, it’s just going to make it impossible to avoid.

        I really don’t understand the point of view that fictional characters are fine but real ones are not. Let’s take a movie actor. You’d be ok with NSFW works with the character they play, but if you simply change their name, now it’s suddenly something that should be banned?
        What about someone’s OC that just happens to share the same name as an IRL minor? Now we need to check every name we want to use in our OC’s against a list of IRL people? That’s insane.

        ANY censorship on the platform is basically the beginning of the end, and I will never vote for a candidate that attempts to propose such a thing. AO3 is an archive, and should not be allowed to dictate what type of content can be posted.

        As for stronger warnings, I’m really curious what you mean by that. There’s already a very obvious “Underage” warning that you can filter out.
        Adding more warnings has been talked about before, and I won’t say that I’m opposed to it if there is a good enough reason. The question again is, where do you draw the line? The current warnings of Underage, Rape, and Graphic Violence seem to cover everything pretty well. Maybe adding an Incest warning is a good idea, but that’s still (IMO) a much less triggering topic than the other three warnings that exist. The problem with adding more warnings is that it’s entirely a matter of opinion on what is problematic and what is not. That is why the tagging system is in place. If you don’t like incest, filter it out. Problem solved.

      20. So uh. Dunno if you don’t know this already, but that’s what Additional Tags are for. Plenty of people put those in the additonal tags area, same as they would Alternate Universe – Canon divergent or other similar tags. So the tagging system works just fine. A lot of people (seemingly yourself included) just don’t know how to use it properly in order to fully filter out what you don’t want.

      21. Evangelicals in Florida thought books involving critical thought about gender assigned at birth was inappropriate for children. So they banned them in schools. They banned content that suggested anyone could be gay or trans or nonbinary or queer, even if sexual relations weren’t depicted or even considered in the works, because they said it was all sexual and would harm kids. What gave them the right to decide what was moral and what wasn’t?

        What gives you the right?

      22. It would not ruin my day if required tags for incest and age gap were implemented, but there would have to be discussion about what counts as incest (Is it incest if he’s an AU version of his brother?) and what degree of age gaps need the tag, so it could get complicated. So I can see your point, but unfortunately Tiffany didn’t state any details of what she wants to do, and instead uses the same language as anti-ship crusaders who declare every ship they don’t like to be “pedophilia”. So she doesn’t seem very trustworthy.

  3. Some of the things Tiffany has mentioned are concerning to say the least as a few others have mentioned. She clearly hasn’t used Ao3 enough to be familiar with it, such as the ratings system. She is not someone I want on the board.

    1. I’m am very concerned about Tiffany’s ideas concerning AO3 it seems like she’s in favor of the kind of censorship that AO3 was specifically built to be against and overall does not seem to in line with Ao3lOTWs ideals, I do not think she is a fit candidate for this position. AO3 rating and tagging system is some of the most comprehensive Ive ever experienced and it is extremely easy to find content any one person would enjoy or filter any content they want to avoid, and any attempts at introducing censorship are anathema to what AO3 is.

    2. I hope everyone realizes that this platform belongs to the creators, not to be used for ideological struggle.

  4. The rating system on AO3 is already extremely specific – E is for Explicit. It has an age wall already in place. There are Archive Warnings. There is an amazing tagging system. Can someone please show Tiffany how simple it is to find these things???? Because this sounds like the beginning of a dangerous slope. Also inform Tiffany of what happened on FF.Net too please. And Tumblr…

    1. I’m very concerned by some of the things Tiffany said. Of course there is always room for improvement, but I really think the rating and warning system on AO3 is specific and comprehenive enough as it is.

      1. Tiffany G makes it out like properly tagging and marking works is difficult when it’s so straight forward. And it takes 2 second of searching on Google to figure out what a term means, but what she wants already exists.

        She talks about the prevalence of illegal work like cp, to change tos regarding that, and how ao3 is banned in her home country because of that, which tells us she wants to disallow that content but then says she isn’t proposing to disallow that content, which goes against what she said before, at least in my interpretation.

        I dont know if she understands why people like ao3. The tagging system is pretty straight forward and easy to understand. We can already filter out what we don’t want to read. She never explained what she wanted to change about the system, I don’t see what needs to be changed in the system when it comes to marking works with questionable content. The site already has a system in place that explains what each rating means. We have archive warning tags, which include one that warns people about underage characters when it comes to cp and the like. I don’t understand what she wants to change in the system if she isn’t out to disallow content as she had said. And it just sounds like she doesn’t know how ao3 works, in the sense of rating system. I wish I knew whether she had actually posted work on ao3 because it doesn’t seem she has considering she thinks our rating and tagging system isn’t enough.

        I, as a reader, know what to expect in the work I read with what already exists. The only time I get surprised is someone not properly marking their work properly, which isn’t something ao3 can fix.

        As a writer, I know how to properly tag and knew that the little ? explains to me anything I may not understand, like what is considered Mature vs what is considered Explicit. Ao3 has the best tagging system compared to other sites I’ve been on and doesn’t need to change a thing.

        I think she needs to learn a bit more about ao3 and how it’s tagging and rating system works before proposing changes because I don’t personally think she understands how it works currently.

        1. she does not talk about the prevalence of illegal works. she talks about how people THINK theres a prevalence of illegal works (she even clarifies that according to the legal team, that isnt true!). and she does not intend to change the tos to pander to her home country, she actually brings up people mistakenly believing ao3 hosts illegal works is SIMILAR to the reasons ao3 is banned in her home country (again, she does NOT suggest to restrict what works can be posted to pander to this ban). you can disagree with her for any reason but at least read the interview properly and disagree with her for the things she actually says and not things you misunderstood

    2. it’s a dangerous slope and what I gathered from her answers is that she intends to propose changes in censoring so that it becomes more “accesible” worldwide?? also about ao3’s public image? big no.

    3. I agree with Kaycee and the rest here. Tiffany and people like Tiffany are what threaten the freedom of expression through fiction, which is the core of AO3 and related domains. Tiffany does not inspire trust and understanding but rather the kind of mistrust and suspicion that divides and wrecks a community. She is not someone I want on the board either and I hope she genuinely reevaluates her perspective.

    4. It is DISGRACEFUL that OTW has allowed Tiffany G. to run for the Board. Tiffany who opposes everything the OTW was created to protect. Censorship & moral panic are NOT welcome in fandom. I will be casting my vote for literally any candidate besides Tiffany G.

      I have donated to the OTW for years. I actually donated over $100 this past fiscal year. I may have reconsider if this kind of thing continues.

      OTW- do better. How does allowing this pro-censorship candidate to run further your legally defined mission as a nonprofit? Why should we support OTW if you’re allowing people to openly run on a platform of violating your founding and legally binding tenets??????????

      I am beyond disappointed.

      1. I agree that Tiffany G seems like a poor choice, but would you really rather the existing organisation effectively rig its own elections? Can you imagine the scandal if people were excluded from running on that kind of basis? Much more important to use your vote to shape the OTW the way you think is right.

        1. It’s their board. They get to decide what makes someone eligible or ineligible for membership. She holds positions that should make her ineligible to ever be a candidate. Don’t mistake a board election for an election to public office.

  5. Man, I wish I had the money to donate last time so I could vote because Tiffany is saying some really concerning things. Like, everything she mentions is something already in place by the archive. :\

  6. I’m sorry, WHAT? Child pornography?? Comparing a work of fiction that is entirely avoidable and up to the user to view to CP is disgusting. Not only is it a slap in the face to actual victims, but it is LITERALLY NOT ILLEGAL to write that sort of fiction. It is fictional for a reason. My mind is blown.

    Those in charge of ACTUAL CP moderation have requested people stop reporting things that are works of fiction, and it is quite literally protected beneath the law. If no actual children are harmed, it is not prosecutable. Absolutely disgusted that someone like this is trying to infiltrate. If you disagree, you are perfectly within your rights to not read it. That’s what tag utilization is for. A lot of people I know write that sort of thing as a way to vent their own traumas, and it’s repulsive that this person is trying to take away the right to write fiction on a site designated for that very purpose.

    1. What in the world is Tiffany talking about? Pedophilia and CP? The content written on AO3 is to the same degree as actual published writing found in any library and bookstore around the world. There isn’t anything illegal by U.S. standards on this site, which is the country this site is hosted in and is bound to follow the laws of to my understanding.

      I think it’s alarming that Tiffany is bringing up these topics as if the archive is full of these works, when you often have to actively search for them with the way the tagging system works. Our tagging system, rating system, etc. are all set up to filter things out that people aren’t looking for when you use it.

      Frankly, this just sounds like alarm bells for imposing censorship over the site based on personal preference.

      1. Right?? It’s incredibly stupid. I’m still in shock every time I come back and read this. I will definitely be leaving the site if someone as ignorant as this is elected. As a survivor of sexual abuse, I think this shit is ridiculous.

  7. “I have clearly never used AO3 before, please elect me to the board!” What a joke. I cannot imagine the audacity of trying to take charge in a community you apparently don’t even participate in or have never even glanced at, from the sounds of it, if you don’t realize content warnings, tags, and ratings are what make AO3 the treasure it is.

    1. Highly concerning that someone running for the board would want to enact the censorship laws of their home country and impose those standards on a site where those things are legal. Even more concerning is Tiffany referring to fictional content as “child pornography” repeatedly after being called on it.

      3x concerning is that Tiffany thinks AO3’s public image is more important than AO3’s mission as a fandom archive that won’t arbitrarily purge content it deems “inappropriate”.

      This is not an area where a self-described “fandom outsider” has valuable input, especially given that AO3 was created by fans for fans.

      1. I could not agree more. With all of these things. There are other sites that do not have AO3’s mission or values, which do periodically while content they deem inappropriate. I do not understand the desire to police this space for the comfort of users who HAVE those spaces already. AO3 is not a publicly traded company, it does not have investors (for this very reason!). I am not concerned with its image.

      2. Will this change mean China will lift the ban on ao3?Obviously not.Tiffany’s description of what happened in the past is confusing and completely upside down

      3. Tiffany G is bringing a very clear crash between east and west attitudes in matters like censorship in content, and the idea of a clean “public image”. Which sounds terrifying like a real world political matter. With a very, very self centered focus in what happened in her own country. I might be wrong but, instead of coming to change an international and USA law bound site to adhere to your own country’s moralities instead of actually making a change or questioning your own country’s is a bad move for everyone…

        I understand that we hold the laws of the country of origin, and that many legal aspects of how the board takes its dessicions are bound by this. But I think it’s very straightforwards in how fictional underage and real child pornography is defined, that we can agree is totally forbidden in most countries by law and by the archive already. It’s sounds like witch hunt to me.

    2. My question is, how was she allowed to run for the board if she has so little experience with AO3. I feel like the OTW should have more precautions in place for events like these

  8. I appreciate that Tiffany has good intentions, but it doesn’t seem like she has much of an understanding of the complexity of issues surrounding content censorship and tagging, or how fraught the use of the term “pedophilia” has become when describing fiction.

    I also don’t know which country she’s referring to specifically as having made AO3 inaccessible, but I doubt there is any way that more detailed tagging systems or a better public image will ever sanitise AO3 enough to satisfy, say, China’s draconian censorship of queer and sexual content.

  9. It worries me that Tiffany G persistently speaks of ‘pedophilic’ work / content despite the clarification from Sveritas.

  10. Tiffany, are you saying that those of us who live in countries where there is freedom of expression should have to give that up so that countries who instead enjoy censoring content can have access? That makes a no from me on Tiffany. Censorship is not the answer.

    AO3 has one of the best tagging and rating systems.

    She should just say she wants the censorship she has in her home country on AO3.

    1. Genuinely concerned someone like Tiffany is not only running for a position but also a volunteer. Things she is saying are distinctly against the AO3 TOCs and also the reason why its the only archive online right now. There are systems in place, OTW is doing incredible work. But this is absolutely a red flaf. If she’s concerned about public issues, then I hope she’s tackling actual published works that people pay for that dont have any tags or warnings. Everything she is saying is nonsensical. I dont agree with or want her to be a part of this community, she has no idea how it works, all of her answers are incredibly vague, her skills are nonevident and her POV is not in line with what we need to protect this global archive.

      This person should be removed from running especially given her new-ness and naivety, not to mention she doesnt understand the spirit of what AO3 is and is painting it in a bad light that needs to be “fixed”

  11. Seconding the concerns others have noted here in the replies about Tiffany’s answers. The rating and tagging system is already extremely thorough and I find her interest in altering the ToS, which serves to protect creators, very troubling.

  12. I will not be able to continue to financially support the OTW if they elect a board member who equates fiction to the horrific harm perpetuated against real, living individuals. I love, respect, and appreciate the vital work the OTW does, but I cannot and will not help fund an organization that operates at the pleasure of someone who disparages and demeans the experiences of survivors of CSEM in this way. The gravity of my experiences as a victim of CSEM outweighs everything Tiffany has said here.
    Hoping to see elections results which don’t lead to me departing from the OTW. Wishing all the best.

  13. I would also be interested in the SPECIFICS of how Tiffany wants clearer warnings to “build a better image”, since the Underage tag already exists and is a compulsory warning. Overall, this language about better image is disappointing and seems to be siding with the people who can’t separate fictional content from harm to real children. Underage fictional content is not CSEM, and “child porn” is not the correct term anyway.

    “I support 100% “maximum inclusiveness of content”, yet there is always a boundary to everything.” So, in other words, you do NOT support maximum inclusiveness. The “boundary” is US law. It is sad that other countries have different laws and some content on Ao3 might be illegal there, but we’re not going to ban M/M porn because being gay is illegal in some countries either.

    1. Honestly, Tiffany sounds very inexperienced to me based on this interview – someone who doesn’t really know how the archive or even fandom works. Which is not a shame – everyone starts somewhere -, but probably not qualified to be a Board member.

  14. I will certainly not be voting for Tiffany after this concerning transcript. I have very serious doubts as to her knowledge and motivations behind apparently being new to fandom and immediately trying to change TOS and whatever ‘image’ might potentially exist.

    1. Sadly, as a new member, I was not able to vote. I am very concerned by Tiffany’s comments and hope the board sees these comments as another form of our collective voice. She clearly does not understand Ao3 or fandom and wishes to censor work. This goes against the vision and purpose of this platform.

  15. Um. Really perplexed at Tiffany’s answers. A fandom newbie with no real awareness of how Ao3 works, else they wouldn’t go on about clarifying something that’s specific already – namely the rating system.

    For me it’s a no, sorry.

  16. AO3 already has a great tagging system and warnings for the content that Tiffany mentions. So the solution she’s hinting at is censorship of “harmful/explicit” works? This is the antithesis of AO3’s mission. There can be no inclusion with censorship.

  17. Tiffany is sending up a lot of red flags for me. There is no such thing as “illegal” fiction. Let me repeat and rephrase: there is no “illegal” content on AO3. What happens when we start marking fiction as illegal? As a fandom “newbie,” I’m guessing she’s never heard of the livejournal purge and thus one of the main reasons the Archive even exists. The tagging system on AO3 is wonderful, letting you exclude all types of extremely specific tags from your search queries. Please do not vote for this person.

  18. Tiffany is raising lots of red flags. The archive already has a lot of the features discussed and some of her ideas would be redundant and unnecessary within the frameworks we already have. Sure it can always be improved but those ideas don’t feel like steps forward.

    Frankly, working on our ‘image’ when we’re doing nothing wrong also concerns me. There’s no winning with the types of puritans that give AO3 a bad rap. Nothing short of chaste, kid friendly neutering of adult fandom space will ever satisfy them. As for being banned in China, that wasn’t something that happened because of any wrongdoing or anything within AO3’s control. There are ways to address AO3 being banned, and none of the ways she is proposing gives me confidence that she would handle it the appropriate way. My money is betting that she’ll try to censor or condemn content, taking us down a path we’ve been down too many times before. I’m sick of the purity hounds chasing adults and LGBTQA+ folks out of their spaces and this all smacks of it. I don’t want this sort of talk anywhere near the last bastion of truly free fanworks.

    I don’t want Tiffany on the board based off of her answers, and I deeply regret that I didn’t register to vote despite donating for years. She gives me very big wolf in sheep’s clothing vibes and I hope those eligible to vote kick her to the curb. Tiffany, apologies for the harshness but… if you truly are new here but are trying to get on the board with such inaccurate charged ideas then… well, I don’t know what to say. If you don’t actually go here, ma’am, and you are so fixated on the pedophilia myth pushed by antis then your time would be better spent learning our history and being part of the community before trying to be on the board.

    Also for the record since I’m here: “The OTW represents a practice of transformative fanwork historically rooted in a primarily female culture.” Female culture? Just want to draw everyone’s attention to this and get people talking about this concerning little tidbit and get some clarification.

  19. Frankly I think Tiffany’s answers demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of AO3 and therefore unsuitability for this position. She should be removed from consideration and the voting pool.

  20. I’m not entirely sure how Tiffany would be a help since most of their suggestions indicates:
    a.- They’re not familiar with how an archive works
    b.- They do not understand how ratings and tags works.
    c.- They cannot explain themselves clearly.
    d.- Working in PAC and legal matters isn’t enough to be in a board of this type.
    e.- (And the most concerning for me)The few opinions they let out show they prefer to make the archive famly friendly instead of, well, an archive. The type of censor they propose, wanting to “better the image” of the page and the lack of understanding on how a fiction archive works is, at least, concerning.

    I do not want them on the board.

  21. I will be sorely disappointed in OTW if they allow a person who is not familiar with fandoms, has embraced very concerning censorship views AND clearly had never used the archive, on their board.

    Its rating and tagging system is one if not the best ever made. The tools allowed for creators and users to hide and classify works should be widely used over the internet. Its no one else’s fault but the user itself if they’re not using them or abusing them and the moderation team is really good at addressing instances of abuse.

    We are living in an increasingly sanitized and censored world where pearl clutching executives dictate what people can consume and create. We cannot allow that sort of pro-censorship agenda to make its way onto the OTW.

    I’ll have to stop financially supporting the organization as I’ve been doing for years and I believe many, many more share this sentiment

  22. I’m concerned on multiple levels by Tiffany’s responses. Firstly she doesn’t seem to actually believe in AO3 core values, instead wishing to bring AO3’s TOS and content moderation in line with censorship standards in other countries based on spurious accusations of “pedophilic content” and moreover she persists in insisting that this content exists and is a problem even after the moderator explicitly clarified AO3’s content policies to her. This does not bode well for how she would function in a group setting like the board.

    I also believe that her suggestions for updates wouldn’t actually address the problems she claims they would. She states that most people don’t read the TOS which provides the definitions of the terms that she wishes to write a guide for yet somehow thinks that the same people that would ignore the TOS would read through a list of definitions before using the site. I think a more practicable course of action would be to suggest reviewing and streamlining AO3’s already existing help guides, perhaps after opening up a community comment period about what features and language updates would be helpful, and also improving Google indexing so that when someone googles something like “what is ao3 e rating” they can quickly get to the help page where AO3 answers that.

    1. Tiffany’s comments are very insulting as someone who was sexually assaulted as a teen. As a fan of dark fic I’ve read some pretty gross stuff, but nothing compares to the shame and embarrassment that my assault caused me and I think it’s very offensive to say words on a page are equivalent to what happened to me.
      I don’t think she’s remotely qualified to be on the board, she doesn’t have an understanding of fandom history or culture, and doesn’t seem all that willing to learn.

  23. Very concerned that Tiffany may be an anti-ship person trying to get into a place of power to change things based on their obsession with AO3’s ‘public image’ and making a ‘socially responsible community.’ That last part especially screams morally puritanical beliefs that like to restrict/ban content that they don’t personally agree with.

    There’s a vagueness in their responses as well, Sveritas has to constantly ask them to clarify what they mean. That, and them saying they are a newbie to fanfiction terms? They also really highlight that they are ‘external’ to the platform, saying that there are ‘external concerns’ about the public image? They even needed to be explicitly told that there isn’t any child pornography being hosted on AO3. Antis very commonly, and incorrectly, like to call fiction written with underage characters in sexual scenarios cp. Even that term is dated, and not used for sensitive reasons, something they must not have been educated with in this topic.

    As for the ratings, the only thing that could even be remotely confusing about it is that E is Explicit, not for Everyone. Easy fix, just change the E to an X? Really simple honestly.

    Tiffany does not seem like a good, progressive candidate with the level of ignorance they have on the freedoms this platform provides. I do NOT want to see this platform scrubbed like Tumblr.

  24. Tiffany’s inexperience and overall responses to these questions are very concerning to me. I don’t think she meets the expectations nor the requirements of being a board member whatsoever.

  25. A little concerned about Tiffany here, whose answers seem a little vague in regards to how she wants to handle underage writing content of fictional characters (which is not legally child pornography in the US). What she proposes (robust clarifications of included content, tagging, etc) already exist. Unless she means to combat choosing not to archive warnings which is indeed a warning in of itself regarding consent to read without warnings.

    There is already an age wall restriction on AO3 in regards to explicit content. I believe Fictional content made by and for other adults (including sexual content) should be free to reasonably consent to and AO3 already has great tools in place for this. Tiffany seems to have a different understanding of what constitutes as pedophilic content so I’d like to see her clarify that. This kind of moral objecting to what often boils down to kink between adults for adults (using characters that don’t exist to stand in for interests like age regression, DDLG, D/S, trauma recounting, or even just plain not considering characters to be minors) mischaracterizes what it is for alarmist reasons.

    If AO3 wants to avoid what happened to Tumblr and FF.net we need to be as clear as possible about sticking to our guns re: permissible fictional content or we wade into issues of censorship and disrespect for victims of CSEM

  26. I’m concerned about several of Tiffany G’s responses here. I believe board member should be aware of the extensive filter and tagging system in place at the archive, and her answers suggest she doesn’t know how to use them.

  27. Very disappointed with Tiffany’s answers. Sounds like she’s not aware that AO3 has one of the best tagging systems on any fanfic sites. Would not want her on the board.

  28. I’m very disturbed by some of the callous things Tiffany said here. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and I am deeply hurt and offended by Tiffany equating write a horny story about anime characters with the real life horrors I have been through. It’s like they don’t think of CSA survivors as real people with their own ability to create and consume art, and more like they think of us as props for their own conservative political agenda. Given the way hard right conservatives are espousing these exact same beliefs in mainstream American politics right now (using erroneous cries of “pedophilia” to silence, oppress, and attack queer people) I am extremely upset that someone like Tiffany is even being CONSIDERED for such a predominantly queer archive. As a AO3 user of 10 years, I would likely remove my account if Tiffany is elected. Please address this

  29. Tiffany doesn’t sound like they use Ao3 themselves very much and it also sounds like they may not understand the fact that fanfiction can be *anything* the author wants it to be. It’s a “transformative work” after all. The rating system works great, and so does the tagging system. I’m staunchly anti censorship and Tiffany sounds like they want to kowtow to people on the outside looking in who don’t understand fan fiction and fan works. We don’t need another ff.net style purge, or even another tumblr purge. Ao3 is there last bastion of freedom to write whatever fan works an author wants, even ones that Tiffany doesn’t like and doesn’t see the value of. This person even being up for vote worries me.

    1. Exactly, Tiffany G doesn’t see the issue as a lack of understanding of art and critical thinking around it, but instead as an issue of optics. The Archive isn’t a commercial platform that needs good marketing, or better PR, it’s a non-profit archive. with an already robust tagging and warning system.

      Concerning that Tiffany is from a country that censors sites like Ao3 and presents the solution as doing more censoring.

  30. Tiffany G is very disappointing, why is she even here, is she not aware of what happened to all the other sites? I will not be voting for an anti.

  31. AO3 already has a great tagging and warning system, and misuses of that can also be reported, which gives the impression that Tiffany doesn’t really use the archive that much… combined with her statement, she seems like the very thing the archive stands AGAINST. She could very well lead the Archive down the path of being one of the censored sites, when the reason the Archive exist is to battle that. Big, big red flags from Tiffany.

  32. I am not too aware of the details behind why AO3 was said to have been banned in China besides my own assumption it was because AO3 is known for hosting LGBT+ content. I’m curious why Tiffany believes it would be unbanned/have a better reputation even if the Underage tag were to be removed or renamed. I understand it as there are numerous topics and an array of content hosted on here that the CCP might find objectionable. If anyone has any resources I would love to read up on it. In general, not pleased with Tiffany’s answers but I believe I missed the voting window. Hoping for the best.

    1. I just voted! The E-Mail says Monday 12th of August is the deadline, but since 12th August is not a monday, I believe this to be a typo. I think voting is possible until Monday, 15th of August!

    2. The site was banned in China due to a fanfic based on two actors from a Chinese BL drama called CQL/The Untqmed (Xiao Xhan and Wang Yibo) with one actor being deemed with female parts and very explicit things happening there, and many other fics of similar stature.

  33. Tiffany’s responses are deeply concerning. It’s unfortunate that the site is banned in her home country, but that’s almost certainly due more to the queer content than anything else.
    AO3 is a sanctuary of free speech fiction, and now more than ever it must remain so. It’s a fanfic archive, it will NEVER be respected by anyone outside of fandom, and that’s fine. The ppl who loudly and publicly complain about content they don’t like on here, as if they can’t simply filter it out, are the ones who are giving AO3 a bad look and dragging negative and dangerous attention towards it.
    The tagging, filtering, and rating systems on AO3 could not be more clear, and anyone who may need clarification can easily find it. We must not engage in purity and/or respectability politics, because it’s never really about either of those things. It’s about queerphobia and control.

  34. Tiffany would not be good for the future of AO3. I’ve been a reader here for many, many years. The current ratings, tags are warnings system is actually very easy to use, there are many tools available on AO3 to help readers specifically curate the kind of stories you’re shown, including the ‘Exclude’ filter option. Providing works are properly rated, tagged and warned, it’s super easy to exclude things you don’t want to read. Tiffany and her pro-censorship agenda, has no place on AO3.

  35. Ao3 isnt accessible in her home country and she calls herself a fabdom newbie but she wants to be a board member? Ao3 has a rating system and a tagging system. If someone wanted to avoid something they very easily can and do. She is constantly backtracking on her censorship stance. How do you have ao3 banned in your country and your idea for that is “more censorship is good”? Excuse me? Do you have some agenda or something? Ao3 doesn’t need a public image because its not MADE for the public. Its an archive and fanfiction site. This is very concerning and raising too many red flags.

    1. The OTW needs to remove Tiffany G from the running. You can not tolerate intolerance, the paradox of doing so if what has led to devestating real world consequences. This is a dangerous slope that the OTW will likely be dealing with more and more as fanfictiction continues to grow in popularity. Tiffany G has made it clear her personal views are not at all aligned with the OTW’s mission statement and this should disqualify her from the running and future volunteer positions.

  36. IS Tiffany G referring to AO3 being banned in China? It was banned not because of “pedophilic content” (whatever THAT means) but because BL fans of an idol were mad about a fanfiction that didn’t cater to them and started up such a storm to the point that the government noticed and banned it because it contained gay content, not “illegal, morally wrong” content. The only “illegality” here is that some countries are very homophobic and censorship heavy, so again, does this Tiffany G person have an agenda? They can’t even get facts right and are consistently backtracking on their censorship stance. Very very very concerning, considering what AO3 was created and invented for.

    1. The fanfic in question was a story where the actors were written as a minor and a much older trans sex worker. The BL fans in question blew up the fic on mainstream social media (where even slightly sexual content is liable to be banned) and it caused a backlash and that is what created the so called storm. Please get your facts right.

  37. Well, the rating system of AO3 system is already excellent. It’s not AO3’s fault that readers keep clicking away the content warnings. Also I think that Tiffany has a censorship agenda. I don’t want any censors as a board member.Once you start “updating” policies, forbidding this or that, there won’t be any end to this. Queer content might be banned, if you go down that road.

    I hope that everyone, who is entitled to vote, sees the red flags here.

  38. Tiffany’s answers are rather concerning. As Sveritas said, AO3 is built upon “maximum inclusiveness of content” and is inherently against censorship. There is already a highly detailed rating and tagging system put into place for users to filter content they don’t wish to see. I don’t see Tiffany G as a good candidate to be on the OTW board.

  39. I too would like to know what exactly Tiffany’s proposed solutions are, as her answers are incredibly vague and repetitive. This line “Not really restricting the content being posted. I hope it is like more warnings and ratings for posting work so people know what to expect. And all of these are not surprising to people who do not wish to see this” is concerning for someone who is a tag wrangler to make, since that is exactly the purpose of the tag system.
    There are already age limits in place, which people have to actively accept to see any content rated M or E. The answers given in this interview are quite concerning, as not only does she appear to not know the history of why the archive was made, she does not appear to have considered the ramifications of things such as moderating individual works, which has caused massive issues in the past on fanfic hosting sites, with people abusing it to target users they don’t like. I appreciate her enthusiasm, but she ought to learn more about the history of fandom and ao3 before running for a position of leadership, since her views as presented here are in opposition to ideas the archive and OTW were built on.

  40. I think Tiffany needs to do a history course on what happened to ff.net and tumblr as well as a course on how to actually use the website she’s speaking on. Nothing of what she said is new to the site, but instead treads on dangerous censorship waters imo

  41. Tiffany seems like havent used ao3 sufficient enough because ao3 has one of the most efficient tagging systems of all.

    They just want a new way of censorship and ao3 is not for that, is for freedom of creation ni matter of the subject; that is why we creators use exact tags.

    I hope they don’t become part of the board.

  42. Deeply disappointed in Tiffany’s answers here… Multiple times it seems like she is avoiding giving a straight answer regarding banning & removal of legal fan content. Also disinterested in any candidate that deeply concerned with what “the public” thinks about the site. Ao3 is not for “the public” as a whole – it’s for fans. The vast majority of “the public” do not understand (or care to understand) fan content, and “the public” is what led to the LJ exodus in the first place… Sigh

  43. It’s quite obvious why Tiffany signed up for this gig. She’s in this hoping to get somewhere in ultimately having AO3 ban mature works involving underage characters. The usage of the word ‘pedophilic’ about fictional content really gives her away smh. Just a tip for you Tiffany; might not want to use the word ‘pedophilic’ for anything but stuff involving _real_ children, aye?

    1. To her “credit” (in the most strained way possible), at least this accusation is presumably leveled against fictional underage characters, unlike some circumstances where it is leveled against *adult* fictional characters that the attacker dislikes for one reason or another.

      It’s all from the same garbage playbook, mind you, but one can at least see why Tiffany’s argument gains something that resembles validity from the peripherally interested (ignoring, of course, what manner of nonsense we all got up to in our teenage years).

  44. Tiffany does not reflect the views of anyone right minded person who has used ao3 for more than a minute. How she got here is anyone’s guess. Do not vote for her.

    1. Tiffany seems to have terrible ideas about what to do with AO3, and no clear understanding of how it works today. Keeping AO3 anti-censorship is keeping AO3 alive, and the ideals it was founded on alive.

      1. I am against Tiffany running for AO3. I don’t think she understands what AO3 is for. AO3 is for fans made by fans. We don’t need to appear “better” to the public. She also seems inexperienced. Other than that, she seems to be procensorship which is everything that AO3 is for. Again, it is for fans made by fans. We don’t need to have a “better public image.”

  45. I am quite honestly terrified that someone like Tiffany is already volunteering/working for OTW/AO3 when they appear to be pro-censorship, which goes directly against everything the Archive stands for. I in no way feel that the tagging/rating system on AO3 is confusing, and I have never encountered any content that I was not explicitly searching for in my half decade of using the Archive.

    1. Agreed. I, as a survivor of CSEM, feel less safe in a space when I know that people with power over that space are callous, offensive, disrespectful, and triggering when they speak about CSEM and CSA as phenomena.
      I also don’t know what to think of an employee who laments that they believe their employer archives CSEM, as if that would be something to post coyly about online instead of taking to law enforcement.

    2. Tiffany G is a walking red flag because they clearly have no idea what AO3 stand for. They clearly want to make AO3 another tumblr so “their home country fans” can access the site, to please their government. That’s insane. Also AO3 NEVER mean for public. They are for fans and run by fans, why need “external” pov for how AO3 work?? Who exactly is “external” people here??

      AO3 is likely the last place in the whole internet to have the true “freedom”. While it still has its flaws, letting someone like Tiffany G run this place will be the first step into the wrong direction and the start of the site’s downfall. Please vote wisely.

  46. It’s honestly pretty concerning that Tiffany seems unfamiliar with multiple aspects of Ao3 that already address most everything she brought up. Being a fandom newbie is one thing, but seeming unaware of basic functions that already exist (incredibly clear rating and warning categories), combined with her admitted lack of experience in working solely online, make this seem like an incredibly poor board candidate, at best.

  47. The things Tiffany says here are highly concerning and borderline anti-ship rhetoric :/ Tagging and filtering already exists and is extremely robust. I absolutely would not want someone on the board who clearly isn’t very familiar with how the systems already in use function.

  48. Everyone has already said it but I’m SO baffled that Tiffany suggests measures that are already in place. very unprofessional and shady.

  49. Not only does Tiffany sound like she has a censorship agenda, but it sounds like she doesn’t even use AO3. There’s a comprehensive tagging system already in place. The website itself is meant to be a place where people can post fanworks without worrying about censorship. There’s no need to cater to the public – it’s called Archive of OUR OWN.

    “I was in a debate team so I know how to argue with what I don’t agree with” – you should be focusing on crafting concise, well-researched answers… Tiffany doesn’t sound like a good fit for AO3.

    1. Yes, exactly!!

      Tiffany sounds extremely young and inexperienced. She’s not committing to any specific course of suggested action, speaking vaguely, and pretty much behaving as a single-issue candidate. She clearly does not have a comprehensive – or even basic! – understanding of the breadth of responsibility this sort of position would require, or of the founding principles on which it stands.

      She’s giving huge “I’ve been interning in the mailroom a month, now I’d like a corner office” vibes and I am NOT here for it.

      Also- debate club is really her best reference for her ability to speak clearly and without bias? She’s telling on herself in a big way. Debate club is about advocating FOR a single bias convincingly enough that you win over the other side. Debate is strongly holding an opinion– not at all what she was asked about in that question, which was how she’d go about *neutrally* presenting official OTW information she didn’t personally agree with.

      As if there weren’t already enough red flags in her interview to decorate a whole flotilla, let me add this one to the bunch.

      Honestly I’m alarmed that she’s even allowed to be in the candidate pool. Maybe we should have a basic AO3 Aptitude prerequisite for future elections. If a prospective candidate doesn’t even know how the Archive works, I truly don’t think they should be eligible to help control its future.

  50. Tiffany clearly hasn’t been in fandom space for very long. It’s very obvious. Not only that, but has she ever used AO3? There’s a rating system and a way to filter it to be the experience you want. She is not someone I want on the board.

  51. Just what is it Tiffany’s real goal there? The tagging system of AO3 is one of the best out there to classify however you desire in your work. One can browse and exclude certain tags and ratings if you want to filter your reading experience. She says she doesn’t want censorship but her other words clearly veneer that route. I bet that if she were to be prodded about “illegal content”, he goalposts would keep moving further to censor any queer content.

    And Tiffany, real talk? Stop talking about pedophilia and csem (child sexual exploitation material) when referring to fictional works. You are watering down a heavy term to refer to written content that does not exploit and traumatise a real living breathing human being.

  52. Yeah, Tiffany is not a fit for OTW, I think. She’s endorsing censorship when Ao3 already has a robust tagging system in place that allows you to exclude things a user might find squicky or uncomfortable. She might be better suited to the FFnet board.

  53. I’m disappointed in Tiffany’s responses. She mentions the need to look for solutions to problems that don’t exist, such as “I would want to be more specific in the rating system and clarifications so people know what to expect” – that’s exactly what tags are for and they’re used extensively in a very detailed manner by the writers, and the ratings system is pretty good anyway. You’re never going to open a fic and find something outrageously unexpected, because that’s exactly what those tags are for! Sometimes an outsider’s perspective just comes with a lack of knowledge about how the site works, it seems. She seems focused on public image and the fact that the website was banned in her country, which is indeed upsetting, but a lot of times this language is used to describe gay content and justify its censorship anyway. Also, “the public” has never had a particularly good perception of websites associated with fanfic anyway.

    1. She mentioned elsewhere that she had a lot of trouble understanding the documentation when she became tag wrangler, having to google many of the terms. Which I take to mean that for all of the time that she was using the site before that, she might not have had a proper understanding of HOW to use the tagging / filtering system or what any of it meant…. I think she put her foot in her mouth big time by focusing on making changes that aren’t actually needed when what I see as her real issue here is that the way the archive works might not be entirely clear or easy to understand to new fans. But of course, not knowing that this was the actual problem, then she couldn’t make that part of her platform. Sucks that she is going to be learning all of this the hard way on a public stage in the middle of an election

  54. I don’t think Tiffany is an active user of Ao3. Everything is labeled nicely so you can ban what you don’t want to see.
    To add up i find it quite hurtful as a CSEM survivor to read that shes calling “pedophilic content” to literary writting.
    Is just… Harsh.

  55. I am disappointed in Tiffany’s words were, more so I am concerned with her wording about making Ao3 more palatable to the public. She seems very concerned with Ao3’s public image when Ao3 was created for fans by fans, in addition to that, it has the most explicit tagging system I have seen on a fanfiction site.

    For someone who says they are a fandom newbie and yet says that they have been using Ao3 for a long time, it concerns and off-putting to me that she seems to have zero ideas about the tagging system works. She clearly hasn’t used Ao3 enough to be familiar with things that are basic. In addition, Tiffany’s description of the ban in China on Ao3 over certain work does not match up. Doing some research was an RPF fanfiction of one of the actors from the show Untamed that got the authorities’ attention because it was reported en mass by the actor’s fans, for its LGBTQ+ content.

    From the way Tiffany is talking about Ao3, she is not someone I would consider being on the board.

    1. Co-sign everything Kori says here, especially with respect to Tiffany G’s fixation on AO3’s “public image”. This is not America’s Next Top Model; being palatable and marketable to the general public is not and has never been what AO3 is about, and a board member being overly concerned about that is a red flag for me for all the reasons Kori and others have expressed. I am absolutely baffled at the notion that it’s a good idea to water down AO3’s principles so it can be palatable to authoritarian regimes that think censorship is acceptable. Tiffany has a censorship agenda that is utterly inconsistent with the principles on which AO3 was founded and has run for its 14+ years of existence. It’s a “No” for me.

  56. No, but… I think Tiffany doesn’t know the AO3’s warning system.

    I would love to know more about the accident she talked about. But, I don’t think one accident should define the ao3 community.

  57. AO3 is one of the last bastions left for transformative and fan-created works. I’m old enough to have been around in fandoms for the deaths of tumblr, FF.net, and LJ, and I’m sure people before me can remember other, smaller fansites going defunct, and the impact of those sites dying on the communities of writers and artists they left homeless.

    This is a central hub for written works, and while Tiffany may not be a bad-faith actor, her platform is a slippery slope that could very easily lead to censorship of future works, or even worse, a massive purge of already published stories, many of which would henceforth be lost forever. AO3 is hosted in the US, and follows US law with regard to what content is and is not allowed on the site. It is not obligated to conform to the standards or laws of any other country, as unfair as that may seem at times. The answer to government censorship over fictional content has never been more censorship, and it never will be.

    Creating more major warning tags? I’d welcome that with open arms. Cultivating an environment on the site that encourages proper tagging and rating so people are better able to curate their experience here through filters? That’d be amazing! But AO3 does not need to improve its public image with anyone, let alone with people who have little to no experience using it.

    If you get something positive out of using AO3 and are eligible to vote, I would strongly suggest putting your support behind one of the other four candidates running who aren’t Tiffany.

  58. Uh… I’m not too sure about Tiffany. Seems like she has a bit of a censorship agenda, which is like, the opposite of what AO3 represents. I can only hope she doesn’t get elected, because I can’t imagine what that’d mean for the archive. As an avid user of the archive, her words are very concerning to me, and it definitely makes me wish I’d donated this year so I could cast just one more vote for a different candidate.

    1. As countless others from our community already recognized: Tiffany is in NO way a suitable candidate and should be ruled out immediately. They seem to have no understanding of fandom history nor the archive itself, aside from being greatly inexperienced. The tagging and warning system that is already in place is working excellently. Censorship has no place in fiction. Period. China cencors LGBT+ content, and the incident they referred to was about gay fanfiction, not CP. Referring to fictional content as CP is by definition wrong in itself, why is someone so blatantly unqualified even considered? They are not inclusive and will not represent the archive in the way it was intended. I have never been so regretful about forgetting to donate, let this be a reminder to always support the archive!

  59. Many of Tiffany’s answers are deeply concerning to me. As Sveritas said, AO3 is built upon “maximum inclusiveness of content” and is inherently against censorship. AO3’s tagging system is already highly detailed, as its rating system, and both exist and function well to allow users to filter content they don’t wish to see.

    She not only appears to be unfamiliar with the history of why the archive was made, she also appears to not know or care about the ramifications about the types of moderating she’s suggesting–moderating that has caused massive issues on past fanfic hosting sites, where people abused it to target users they don’t like. She needs to educate herself and learn more about the history of censorship, fanworks, and the AO3 before running for a position of leadership. As of right now, her views–at least as presented here–are in direct opposition to the ideas that both the Archive and OTW were built on.

    In short, Tiffany G is NOT a good candidate to be on the OTW board and I’m deeply concerned that she’s in a position to be so.

  60. Tiffany represents the exact opposite of what AO3 was meant to be. This is alarming, especially as a creator on the website. I don’t want to have to change platforms to avoid more censorship.

  61. I am incredibly concerned by Tiffany G’s comments and her blatant pro-censorship agenda. Despite claiming that she’s been here since Day 1, clearly, she does not understand that AO3 was founded as a reaction from ffnet purges and LJ strikethroughs. The whole point of AO3 is freedom of artistic expression. It’s not meant to be a space that’s “public friendly”. One could argue that it’s meant to be the opposite of that, in fact.

  62. The rating system is already in place. The tagging system is already in place. There are adult content warnings already in place. Tiffany talks of censorship.I wouldn’t feel comfortable having her elected.

  63. Absolutely baffled by Tiffany’s responses. After reading through her answers, I cannot imagine how she even got on the ballot. She doesn’t seem to understand the warning system, which, while always improving, is incredibly thorough and easy to use. She also seems to have a strong swing towards censorship, which is not what OTW stands for. I will absolutely not be voting for her and I have no idea how she even ended up as a candidate with these views.

    1. This is the part that really bothers me, and that OTW needs to address for future election cycles. How did someone with views so completely opposed to OTW’s core values even get on the list of candidates? Do they not have ANY vetting process? Or a simple knowledge-based test to show that someone serving on OTW’s board knows how AO3 works and what tools are currently available on the site?

      I did donate this year (and the year before, etc), but I didn’t check the box to be an OTW voter, and I am deeply regretting it now. I won’t make that mistake next time.

  64. Okay so I’m getting vibes off Tiffany that are not exactly putting me at ease. Frankly speaking she does not at all seem to have ao3’s best interests at heart at all. I hope she’s not getting elected for the good of everything ao3 stands for.

  65. There is no place on the OTW board for someone like Tiffany G who doesn’t know the difference between fiction and CP, who clearly doesn’t understand the rating/tagging system successfully employed on AO3, and is a fandom newbie enough to not have lived through both FF.Net purges and the Tumblr purge. Too many of us have survived constant attacks on our creative spaces to allow someone who is unapologetically pro-censorship to have a leadership role with OTW, one of the last true bastions of fandom works. It’s a no from me, dawg.

  66. This is *very* concerning. AO3 from it’s very conception has been about anti-censotship. The idea of changing TOS just doesn’t sit right with me. This feels like the first step to a NSFW ban. Please do not vote for Tiffany G.

  67. I’m concerned by the persona that Tiffany G. is putting forward.

    By “external people” it’s not clear if Tiffany G. is referring to now-OTW members or the general public, the latter of which whose opinion does not really matter if they are not using OTW. Additionally, I distrust anyone who refers to CSEM as “child pornography”, as CSEM is the preferred and more accurate term for works exploiting minors. Furthermore, none of the content on the Archive is CSEM, because it is FICTION. Tiffany G.’s responses to these questions read almost exactly the same as something that the pro-censorship people the OTW was created to combat might say, and that is deeply concerning for the future of the OTW.

    Also deeply concerning is the statement “we need to protect our image and hold a better image to the public. I want the public to think of us as an inclusive and socially responsible community.” It reads VERY MUCH like anti-queer rhetoric of needing us to be “socially acceptable” and that is NOT what the OTW was created for. We do not need to sterilize the fiction that we enjoy in our free time to be deemed more “socially responsible”. AO3’s tagging system is the most robust on offer from any free website, and to insist that the rating system needs to be more specific is foolish as it ALREADY IS.

    It is unfortunate that AO3 is no longer available in her home country due to some of the works contained on it, but that is not a reason to censor the whole archive.

    Tiffany G. contradicts herself multiple times in these chats and brings up some concerning viewpoints. I encourage anyone who values the OTW as it is to not vote for her. She seems to have very little experience and a lot of opinions that make her unfit for this role.

    1. This chat transcript puts into a different light some things that she has said elsewhere during the election process — like for example in her bio and platform she mentioned “I believe that technology can play a vital role in aiding the organization to grow in the future. I have some ideas that could help make this organization’s projects be more accessible to everyone.” I wish someone had asked her more questions about this. Did she mean just better security procedures, like she has mentioned in the Q&A and other chats, or did she have an app in mind. Because this would track with her idea to update the TOS, as we all know that the very clear reason AO3 will never have an app is because the TOS of apple & android are so draconian about censorship. But this is just speculations, and maybe biased on my part, because she is a new user and younger ppl in fandom tend to be weird about apps and I am wary of that lol

  68. I’m really afraid of what ao3 would become if people like Tiffany take the rule. I live in a country with heavy censorship, I don’t need to see deja vu here.

  69. Very uncomfortable with Tiffany’s responses– the answers given have a certain tone of censorship that is against everything the OTW stands for. This concerns me as a user of AO3 and occasional donor.

    1. Me parece una total falta de respeto por el derecho ajeno que Tiffany venga a proponer CENSURAR la página web Ao3. Es triste que en su país no pueda tener acceso al sitio pero eso no le da derecho a venir a proponer básicamente una dictadura de censura contra los demás usuarios.

  70. What Tiffany G is saying sounds fine and moral on paper, but it would be the antithesis of everything AO3 represents. This is clearly someone who is naive about the internal system–the legal protections AO3 already has, why the TOS is the way that it is, and the decades of struggle that fanfic writers such as myself have had to go through, in order to have this sort of website even exist. Saying that you want to update the TOS in order to combat “alleged” issues, that AO3 definitely has never condoned or allowed to be on their site.

    The new generation of fans that I’ve seen (if you’re even remotely online, you are aware of the wave of antis/fan-police that have overtaken nearly ever fanbase nowadays), over the last eight years or so, have gotten it into their heads that AO3 is meant to be a POLITICAL website, filled with ethical standards and moral virtues. And this is likely the group that Tiffany G is reaching out toward, many of which are pro-censorship like herself, based on this transcript. However, if you want a discussion of morals, go to a Philosophy class. If you want to condemn people for “illegal” content, work for government agencies designed to handle them. There are lawyers hired by AO3 to keep everyone’s legal rights safe, so why she thinks the TOS even needs to be re-written for a non-existent issue is concerning. Perhaps well-meaning, but it’ll accomplish nothing. Instead of doing this, adding more tags might be useful, or emphasizing the use of blacklisting/excluding tags. And, if it comes down to it, create a blocking feature for other authors whose works you don’t mesh with, since a lot of the complaints around this supposed “illegal content” is just people being angry at others for no reason. I’ll welcome decisions made by the OTW so long as it does not allow censorship to squirm in.

    AO3 is one of the final areas that we have to see fanfic truly run wild without restraint. This is not a corporate platform–there’s a reason why AO3 does NOT have an app in any online store, and it’s precisely because of this. The danger of censorship is that it’ll come for us all eventually. Tiffany G is not the right candidate to bring to the board, and I hope fellow lovers of this niche subculture agree with me. Fanfic saved my life when I was younger, and I won’t see it be eradicated in my adulthood.

    1. It doesn’t even sound “fine and moral” on paper. It sounds like she is advocating for censorship, doesn’t understand the way the archive works, and wants the change the archive to meet the restrictive laws of one country.

  71. People like Tiffany G. are precisely why websites like ff.net and Tumblr went down. What they are against is happening with Twitter artists, who are publicly threatened, insulted, and “canceled” because of people who claim they depicted “pedophilic” or racist art. Many have gotten so scared to create for fandoms just for that reason. Including me.
    The Ao3 tagging system is a safe space for adults on the internet who don’t want their content baby-proof, and removing content including minors for the image of Ao3 would start the same shitshow here on Ao3 as it is happening on Twitter right now.
    Personally, I wouldn’t want Tiffany G. on the board. They say that they are a newbie, and they seem not to know anything about how Ao3 functions and filters. How would they even want to contribute to a website that they can’t operate?
    I’d rather see many of the people who commented here on the board than them. Tiffany gives me the impression that they want the same to happen to Ao3 as to many other fan sites.
    Reading the transcript, I was concerned and saw a lot of red flags in her answers. It’s the same as the behavior of antis on the internet, who cannot discern between fiction and reality, and who disregard real-life survivors of awful crimes like sexual harassment and worse whilst comparing their experiences to fiction. It is disrespectful to anyone who has gone through something like that, and it is disrespectful to writers who create free content in their own free time without any pay or reward.
    Because of that, fandoms established Dead Dove: Don’t Eat and DL; DR way before Ao3’s tagging system won an award. Because of that, this fandom is safe for any and all niche fandoms and authors, for any ship and any content, and because of that, I cannot see Tiffany G. with their backward opinions on the board with a clear conscience.

  72. tiffanys comments are really disturbing and alerting. ao3 and otw are made to allow creators to create without censorship. Tiffany is clearly making statements aligning with the puritans that want to dictate what content is allowed. calling fiction child porn when its FICTION. tiffany cant tell the difference between written fiction and real humans, real victims??? tiffany shouldn’t even be an option!!! tiffany goes against what these platforms were made for, and would destroy the last sanctuary creators of transformative works have. PLEASE DONT LET THIS HAPPEN!!

  73. Everyone else has said it, but I’ll add my comment as well.

    Before you put yourself up for leadership of an organization, you have to do the work to know the organization. You can still be a breath of fresh air, but be an educated one.

    By the content of this interview, Tiffany has not proved themselves as educated or particularly interested in being so.

    This is concerning and not the leadership we need at OTW, especially in light of increasing pressures for censorship in media and online spaces.

    1. I think Tiffany G is not using the whole spectrum of AO3 tagging system if they are having issues with policing their own content, but honestly their POV has an unhealthy way to make Ao3 an ad friendly website, which ultimately is not the purpose of AO3 and it goes against everything it stands for.

      Making a better image does sound like making it marketable and, once again, is not the purpose of the archive, if Tiffany G wants to make it marketable, would be easier to go to the other alternatives for fanfics and make them more “presentable” for investors, so hopefully the board is against this direction

    2. I think Tiffany has little knowledge about how detailed and specific the tagging system we have right now. It is a red flag for me, as I would not vote for anyone who seems like doesn’t have a strong understanding of AO3

    3. It looks like initially Tiffany intended to change ToS to censor contents she deems “illegal”, but when pressed further, she backtracked to vague answers such as wanting to make the rating and tagging system more obvious, which are already specific and obvious enough. So either she wants to impose censorship, or she’s not familiar with Ao3’s tagging system. Either way, she has no place in our community, let alone be in a position of power.

    4. Sadly I am not eligible to vote, but I need to say that it seems to me that Tiffany is forgetting about one the reasons why AO3 was born – to archive and prevent another LJ strikethrough or ff.net purge from happening. AO3 is an archive of OUR own, and I think trying to sanitize the archive, as Tiffany’s answers seem to hint, to “rehabilitate” the “public image” of the site is completely against the purpose both of the OTW and AO3 – protecting original and transformative works from both censorship and copyright issues.
      AO3 has an extensive tagging system that functions both as a filter and as a warning, and it warns repeatedly about seeing adult content (unless you disable the warning, you have to agree to see it! It doesn’t force you!)

      I don’t think Tiffany is the right candidate for the board – their ideas contradict the spirit of OTW and AO3. This is not a person I would want in a position to advocate for my works. If you are leigible to vote, please put your support behind other candidates.

  74. Tiffany G just doesn’t belong to the OTW/AO3 team.

    Not only did Tiffany severel times insisted that the archive of OUR OWN should change its rules to cater to the random outside people with false opinions – she also literally implied that China (I assume) banning AO3 was good actually and caused only by the authors posting illegal (???) works instead of you know, the country being under dictatorship & heavily biased against queerness…

    I also wonder what is Tiffany thinking of as “other illegal content” beyond pedophilia that was pointed out separately? Just think about the implications here for a second cos I can’t come up with anything good here.

  75. I believe there has been a grave misunderstanding as to what an “archive” is. An archive is made to collect information and knowledge no matter the subject or source.
    When thinking of an archive, most people would, I assume, think of a historical archive. You wouldn’t remove something you find distasteful from that kind of archive, why would you want to remove and censor this one?
    From my understanding, ao3 is meant to be an archive of works by anyone, on any subject matter. It’s also meant to be a safe haven for those who have been forced from other writing sites and archives for being ‘disgusting’ or whatever you want to label it.
    If Tiffany G gets elected, I can’t see this platform surviving at all, let alone as the safe space it was created to be.

  76. Tiffany’s responses are completely against what the Archive and OTW stand for. OTW was founded in part as a response to overreaching censorship on other platforms, and having someone on the board who clearly wants to start censoring content on AO3 would be completely unacceptable.
    Censoring any type of content, regardless of how some may consider it would be the start of the downfall of AO3.

  77. Tiffany has an agenda, and it is not one that will help AO3 in the slightest. She seems entirely unaware that the archive had won awards for its tagging system, “Underage” is already an archive warning, and the board is not responsible if a user doesn’t tag properly.

    I would ask who would be reviewing this objectionable material if Tiffany gets her way. Who will be the morality police here?

  78. Please remove Tiffany from ao3 governance entirely. I don’t think they’re qualified to stand for election.

  79. I am here to echo the comments regarding Tiffany. I think her rhetoric is entirely against Ao3’s core values. I highly encourage those who can vote to not vote for her. I fear it would be a slippery slope if censorship were allowed to happen on the archive.

  80. Tiffany’s views are completely contradictory to the values of Ao3, why are they being allowed to run at all? Are we going to have a fanfiction.net or tumblr situation on our hands again. Yet another purge of hundreds of hours of work to satisfy puritans who can’t manage their own internet viewing. Yet again destroying lgbt and adult content because some people don’t like it and refuse to use the systems already in place. Give me a break, here we go again.

    Also as someone who was actually groomed by a pedophile you can sod off with calling fiction pedophilic. How dare you equate my real, traumatic, life changing experience to fiction. Fiction in all it’s forms has covered dark topics from the dawn of man and it will continue to do so. People need to be responsible and curate their own experience with fan works.

  81. I’m gonna just bite the bullet and say: Fanfiction isn’t “pedophilic content”. No matter how graphic or unpleasant, it’s just fiction. For the same reason, it’s also not “illegal” content, the same way they aren’t jailing writers who put that kind of content in mainstream books and TV shows. Calling it something it’s not – something that goes hand in hand with actual real harm to real children – is disingenuous and manipulative.

  82. AO3 needs to be preserved and protected from any kind of censorship. It is a place of artistic freedom, which is why fans love it so much.

  83. This person shouldn’t even be an option for the board, with the whole pro-censorship ideas, it’s such a hurtful point of view about the transformative work done for fans by fans that the archive has been protecting until now. This person CAN’T bring those ideas to ao3, it would be the archive’s fall it they do. Hoping no one will vote for Tiffany.

  84. I sadly cannot vote, but given that most, if not all, comments here are very against Tiffanys ideas, I am reassured.
    I hope people will vote against her accordingly.
    I agree with the other users, and believe Tiffanys agenda is dangerous for the OTW, as it goes against what theyre trying to build and preserve.
    For those who cant vote.. Please don’t vote Tiffany.

  85. Right, not quite so eloquent as our compatriots, but acceptable?

    Adding my voice as a user concerned by Tiffany’s responses, the OTW legal team has been very specific about the kinds of fictional works which are and are not allowed on AO3 to maximize the protection of all works of fanfiction. All of us who were there for different strikethroughs and censorship debacles knows it starts with ‘this one thing’ and ends in ‘the gays are evil and while we’re at it anyone who says I’m wrong for saying ‘gays are evil’ is evil too’.

    I’m sorry to hear that Tiffany’s access to AO3 has been governmentally restricted. However, many places are uncomfortable with, or even ban, spaces for art and entertainment that pushes boundaries by being queer, female, PoC driven, or any and all of the above. Trying to fit into the box defined by regressive regimes with is not what fanfiction is about for many users and not what I want for AO3’s future. I do not think Tiffany is ready to be on OTW’s board and hope that as she spends more time in fandom she’ll come to understand why YKINMKATO is such an important concept on many levels.

  86. Tiffany clearly has absolutely no idea how AO3 or even fandom at large works. Her constant rambling about AO3 hosting ‘CSEM’ (an absolutely awful and completely untrue statement, may I add) and ‘censorship’ is laughable considering I’m almost certain she’s talking about a situation that happened in China, a country that is more than happy to censor absolutely anything they see fit. If they’d censored the website due to it hosting LGBT fanworks, fanworks about Black people, or explicit fanworks, would she be advocating for those to be removed for the sake of ‘public image’ too?

    She’s impossible to take seriously for a multitude of reasons, except in this situation, it isn’t even laughable. She ought to be ashamed of herself.

  87. Adding my voice as a user concerned by Tiffany’s responses, the OTW legal team has been very specific about the kinds of fictional works which are and are not allowed on AO3 to maximize the protection of all works of fanfiction. All of us who were there for different strikethroughs and censorship debacles knows it starts with ‘this one thing’ and ends in ‘the gays are evil and while we’re at it anyone who says I’m wrong for saying ‘gays are evil’ is evil too’.

    I’m sorry to hear that Tiffany’s access to AO3 has been governmentally restricted. However, many places are uncomfortable with, or even ban, spaces for art and entertainment that pushes boundaries by being queer, female, PoC driven, or any and all of the above. Trying to fit into the box defined by regressive regimes with is not what fanfiction is about for many users and not what I want for AO3’s future. I do not think Tiffany is ready to be on OTW’s board and hope that as she spends more time in fandom she’ll come to understand why YKINMKATO is such an important concept on many levels.

  88. Tiffany genuinely scares me. She has no idea what she’s talking about and has a clear pro-censorship leaning.

  89. I will literally give you guys money to NOT elect Tiffany. Her responses are so strange. I’m definitely donating way more to avoid candidates like her.

  90. Tiffany G in her responses has displayed a lack of basic understanding of the functions of the AO3 website (the clear tagging, the warnings, tag wrangling), a lack of understanding that CSAM does not equate to written sexual content involving minors under current US law, and an ignorance of the mission of OTW and AO3 as a whole. It concerns me greatly that a person who is averse to OTW’s values has managed to not only run in the election, but operate within OTW itself.

  91. Tiffany’s remarks sound quite concerning. To provide some context to someone who’s a “newbie” to fandoms, AO3 is such an integral part of the fandom and it will be detrimental to enact any censorship. the website is one of the few blessings in the fandom – there is no need to “build a better image”. the website should not be bending to countries that have censorship laws, by taking away the freedom of speech that the site had for so many years for everyone. it severally diminishes the value of AO3 and the mission that AO3 is a nonprofit solely dedicated to the fandom to allow users to freely express their passions in writing and sharing fan fiction.

  92. So just because your country banned ao3 in China, all of us have to suffer censorship too? It’s pretty disappointing and concerning that someone like Tiffany G is even being considered, she doesn’t even seem to know how the tagging system works. And she keeps calling the content cp, which… is not. She is definitely right when she calls herself a newbie, and that’s why she shouldn’t be voted.
    Ao3 is for fans, not for the “public image.”

  93. Oh god this is extremely bad. This candidate stands against everything AO3 is good for. Please PLEASE do not vote for them. They seem to be extremely pro-censorship. AO3 is by fans FOR fans, it’s weird that a person who seems like an outsider wants to better present the site to the public – when in reality it is supposed to be a safe place FOR a very niche group of people who’d never find this safe haven anywhere else.

    Please PLEASE do not vote for them.

  94. I am concerned with what Tiffany has said. AO3 will die off if censorship is brought into play. Look at what happened to Tumblr. It used to be my favourite social media app, now I don’t touch it anymore. If the same thing happens to AO3 I will have to move elsewhere. The tagging system is there for a reason, censorship doesn’t belong here at all.

  95. I am extremely concerned about Tiffany G. It sounds like they barely know how Ao3 works and their pro-censorship responses go against what the OTW stand for. Additionally the comments on “improving public image” seem odd, Ao3 is an archive, I don’t understand why public image would be a pressing issue, normally when a site focuses on cleaning up their image it’s to attract advertisers, which for obvious reasons would not work here.

  96. Sorry but Tiffany’s views are concerning. Someone with these ideas and, by their words, are fandom newbies, shouldn’t be in a position to make changes on AO3. As a user this is scary to say the least, I mean… remember FFnet and Tumblr.

  97. I don’t know if Tiffany is just an unexperienced newbie too used to other “pure” (allow me the term) sites or if she actually has a malicious censorship agenda, but regardless of that, she’s not fit to be in any position of power here.
    By the way she talks, as many already pointed out, she has no familiarity whatsoever to the GREAT AO3 tagging and warning system. If someone doesn’t want to see FICTIONAl works with underage content, or even adult content in general, they can easily outfilter them in just a few clicks on both mobile and desktop. There are plenty of filter options to be sure to see only works one wants to see.
    I’m sorry she can’t freely browse AO3 on her country, but the answer to that is not “more censorship”.
    The thing about AO3 having “a better image” is concerning as well. The target audience is already here, while everyone who find the mere fact that everyone can post any kind of fiction as “questionable”, is not the target of AO3. A better image is something big companies do because they want money, through ads usually. AO3 doesn’t need a better image, its image is already good enough for those who matters.

    Aside from all that, she should know that putting on the same level fictional adult content involving FICTIONAL minors with actual child pornography is rune and extremely insulting to victims. She’s basically telling them that the value of their experiences and THEM AS PERSON is the same of a bunch of pixels and few written words.
    This attitude reminds me of some – well, many, actually – people on other sites like Twitter who are convinced that if they don’t like a kind of content, it shouldn’t exist and whoever partakes in it is a bad person. It’s usually people who can’t tell fiction from reality and who often, behind a self-appointed moral high ground, go harass other content creators for a fanfiction or a fanart they don’t like.
    Tiffany sounds dangerously similar to those individuals.

    I regret not donating, because I really want to vote against her. I love AO3, I’ve been here for years and I’d hate to see it becoming another censorship disaster like FF.net, LJ or Tumblr. This is OUR space, keep your censorship-distributing hands away from it.

  98. This procensorship stance that appears to be rooted in adhering to the authoritarian Chinese government is so dangerous to the mission of AO3… it appears to be censorship and autocratically motivated in away that could be very dangerous to the security of queer creators on ao3, — i.e. part of the reason ao3 was founded. I was there for livejournal, strikethrough, and various other moves of censorship that have destroyed platforms, and I am just afraid for the future here. I don’t think that anybody on a pro censorship and autocratic platform should be able to have power in an organization that was founded to be a safe place for queer content to thrive. She should not be in the running at all, there are so many dog whistles here in what she’s saying.

    Her platform also appears to be tied to censorious governments that would remove queer work, adult work, basically anything that’s not “family friendly” (which as we know, is a dog whistle for anything not G-rated and heterosexual). This is so dangerous.

    Ao3 is one of the last bastions of safety for a lot of us, and I would just urge the folks involved to please consider what the presence of someone like that in that space could mean, and how dangerous it could be for the future as well as the security of people involved.

    This candidate should be removed from the running. I’ve been on ao3 and in fandom for a long time, I’ve seen what happens when censorious governments get involved with fandom platforms, and so I’m sure you understand my concern. This person is a danger to what ao3 stands for, and to the security of the users who find safety here.

  99. SO many red flags with Tiffany. “I believe in freedom of speech but with boundaries”, her goal being about giving the OTW a “better image” because of their “reputation” (amongst whom)?, having to start an answer with “that’s not what I said”, and let’s be honest: she’s not interested in more warnings/ratings. She wants to get rid of the stuff she finds gross. Hard pass.

  100. Tiffany’s comments are incredibly alarming. Censorship is a dangerous path, and even more so when she paints such a broad brush in her answers that implicitly marks CSEM, dead dove, and simple explicit smutty content as the same sort of thing that “the public” should be shooed away from. Putting Tiffany on the board is going to lead to the next LJ Strikethrough.

  101. A bit concerned on Tiffany’s views about ao3 and whether or not they truly understand what the site is meant for. I don’t believe they’re a good fit.

  102. I wish I had known who was running. I would’ve indicated that I would’ve liked to vote.

    1. I personally think it’s better that the ones who are voting now DIDN’T know about the runners, specifically because of the case of Tiffany G. A lot of pro-censorship people already dislike AO3 and don’t support it, especially monetarily. If a pro-censorship candidate like Tiffany had been revealed before the cut-off, then there would definitely be more people in the pool agreeing with her (frankly concerning) sentiments and buying in only to change what they want.

      I definitely regret not being able to vote either, but I understand that it’s better for voters to be people who already support the site rather than those who want to “buy a ticket” just to change it.

  103. The tagging system in AO3 is already the most extensive and easiy-to-use system for cataloging, properly labeling, and warning for fanworks. We should be voting in people who actually *use* the site, which I have some concerns about this candidate’s understanding of these features and WHY they’re there in the first place. It’s clear they miss the point of the OTW.

    Also some concern on this candidate’s seemingly narrow view of AO3 content, restricted fandom experience, and use of alarming language and talking points similar to ones used by fancops/pro-censorship groups. AO3 needs to provide better guidelines for candidacy.

  104. Like many people have pointed out, Tiffany G’s statements raise a few concern to the future of AO3. Censorship is exactly what makes other sites suck. Moreover, a lot of censorship will occur around LGBTQ-themed stuff. Let’s look at China for example because it’s a country with a heavy censorship towards LGBTQ works. Recently there’s news that even a kissing scene can’t be shown/known explicitly.

    Imagine if AO3 becoming like that, where writers have to be careful on what to write. It’s not fair and goes against WHY AO3 even existed in the first place. Being a newbie who is bringing a fresh air wouldn’t be so great if that fresh air is some kind of an agenda.

  105. Tiffany is not familiar enough with the archive, its purpose, and how it works to be involved at this level, and her replies should sound alarm bells for everyone. While I want to believe that her desire to help is genuine, her rhetoric is concerning to say the least, particularly given the current climate of censorship with regard to fictional media. She needs to take the time to educate herself more thoroughly before attempting to get involved at this level again.

  106. Just another drop in the bucket but—I’m extremely concerned with some of the things Tiffany G is saying here. She does not seem to be familiar with some of the basic features of AO3 despite apparently being a volunteer? I also don’t believe she shares the values of the archive.

    Tiffany should withdraw her candidacy. She is obviously unsuited for this position.

  107. I will not be willing to continue to financially support the OTW if they elect a board member like that. Tiffany’s comments and attitude are highly concerning. Censorship has no place in an archive.

  108. As it’s in-line with what many others have already said, I don’t really see Tiffany as a very good fit for OTW. At a time where media (especially queer media or anything related) is being actively scrubbed clean, made illegal if it wasn’t already, and/or being viewed as a social and political boost for capitalism (and everything that comes with it), further placing censorship in a place not meant for it seems like a slippery slope to a dangerous place.

    Calling content, whatever that content may be, “pedophilic” or “illegal” in nature furthers that, especially when the political climate of the world (especially circling queer people and what they create) is not a precedent that should be furthered, particularly in a fandom space since fandom tends to reflect the political aspects of the world around it on a much smaller scale.

    The leadership within the OTW is one that shouldn’t be questioned or sowing distrust within a community that doesn’t wish to see it end because of censorship or political ideations that have the sole mean or purpose of hurt, especially by someone who appears to show either wilful ignorance or in truth, doesn’t even seem to know how to properly function within a space that gives one the tools they need to cultivate their own experience.

  109. Joining my voice to many others to speak up and say that Tiffany as a candidate is not one that I am comfortable with in any way being associated with the OTW or AO3. We have needs that genuinely need to be addressed with the archive, but this? Is not it. All of these are puritain dogwhistles that are not at all good news for the Archive.

  110. It’s baffling that Tiffany even made it to the voting stage when she seems so entirely unqualified for the position.

  111. “I support 100% “maximum inclusiveness of content”, yet there is always a boundary to everything.” This comment, and most of the answers involving censorship by Tiffany are extremely worrying as an avid AO3 consumer. Who is this person to decide what’s the boundary allowed on our archive? If they start setting “boundaries” to be “socially responsible” when will it stop? It starts with “CP”, then goes to LGBTQ+ content and ends up deleting NSFW posts too. We’ve seen it happen many times before. Please don’t allow Tiffany to be on the board.

  112. A lot of Tiffany’s comments concern me. Especially the fact that she claims herself as a “fandom newbie”. If you are new to an organization I don’t believe you should immediately try to put yourself on a board or at the top of the totem pole to speak. A lot of her comments regarding the censorship of her home country In regard to A03 concern me. Especially with calling a lot of fiction work as child pornography, and wanting to change the tagging system to make it more “ appropriate for the public“. AO3 was not created for the general public, it was created by fans for fans to read everything and anything.

    it feels very much like the censorship of what happened to Tumblr back in 2012, which is a very big concern for me.

    Then there’s also the fact that AO3 has the best tagging system over any other site. It’s leaps and bounds ahead of its competition, making everything clear and concise with strong warnings and suggestion.

  113. I’m very concerned and feel uncomfortable about Tiffany’s responses to this. I would stop donating to ao3 if someone like that is on the Board.

  114. Given the worrying increase in corporatization of content and calls for censorship worldwide, anyone running for the board of OTW – which explicitly fights against both of those things – should, at a base level, abide by the organization’s principles. Tiffany’s candidacy should, frankly, be a non-starter based on their remarks here, which are not only ill-informed about how the Archive works, but continually push dangerous rhetoric equating fiction to real-world harm and suggest censorship to improve a hypothetical “public image”. Putting aside the absolute horror of the idea that censorship solves censorship, these are corporate concerns – cowardly ones, at that – and antithetical to the OTW’s mission statement. Tiffany should have been screened out of the process before this based on their agenda; I can only hope the election screens Tiffany out instead. (Lesson learned: I will be donating next year, though I desperately hope I will not have to decide whether to give money to an organization being run by a pro-censorship candidate. That…I dunno.)

  115. I wish I donated so I could vote… for anyone except Tiffany. She sounds unfamiliar with the site, and is promoting the antithesis of the goals that AO3 was founded on. She wants restriction and exclusion, while the archive was founded on freedom and inclusion— inclusion of everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly. This is a space by fans, for fans— what does “the public” have to do with anything? If people hold negative opinions on the site, removing the “problematic” content won’t be enough and never will be enough— the “public” that objects to that content would next want to remove the kinky, the explicit, the queer, until nothing but a wasteland of PG and G-rated content remains. If you give the pro-censorship “public” an inch, they take a mile. Improvements could always be made to tagging and other features, but Tiffany is suggesting outright censorship in the name of cleaning up the sites “public image”. AO3 needs to stay above that and remain as it is: problematic and unashamed. Clearly Tiffany is not the right choice to uphold that.

  116. How does Tiffany G. become a candidate? I cannot believe she is familiar with AO3 warning system. I feel disappointed in Tiffany’s words.

  117. Deeply concerned that Tiffany doesn’t seem to know how Ao3 or OTW really works, along with her pro censorship options. Everyone has said it very well so I don’t have much to add, other than saying that I would not trust her on the board.

  118. I do not want censorship brought to AO3, no thank you Tiffany G- the tags are more than enough on AO3 for me and readers.

  119. So Tiffany wants to censor a site… that was founded to be anti-censorship. It’s like when Cartoon Network decided to do live action shows. “Ao3 is no longer viewable in my country!” Well, sounds like it’s no longer your issue then.

  120. I believe I’m from the same country as Tiffany. Well, same country, “different” system.

    People who climb the wall and still look to recreate the environment behind the wall are not suitable for OTW. I hope Tiffany can remember that many people from our country post on AO3 because their content would be censored or blocked on other platforms. Even sites like Wland reject fanworks that break the “moral bottom line”.

    It is vital that AO3 remains a safe platform for ALL fanworks, of every kind. Tiffany’s answers are vague and self-contradictory in regards to OTW’s ToS. I understand where this manner of speech comes from, but the OTW occupies a very different online space with very different rules and boundaries.

    It is a shame because I would otherwise really appreciate someone like Tiffany on the OTW board. Much of her POV and the interests she brings to OTW are excellent and extremely relevant to me.

    If Tiffany G is a candidate again next year, I look forward to seeing if her perspective has changed, and to potentially voting for her at that time.

  121. ao3 is named archive of our own. why should we conform to the “public”? a better image for the public? no one I knew outside of fandoms knows that ao3 even existed. this site is not a witeside app or an app run by corporates that all people of all genders freely use like tiktok or twitter or even tumblr. using censorship for a better image ain’t it. also, we already have an extensive system tagging that I myself have used for years. I read what’s comfortable with me and don’t read what I don’t like, simple as that. you don’t need to worry about what image the public sees of ao3 because the site isn’t made for the general public in the first place.

    the site takes a lot of time learning to navigate that’s true and I get that ao3 is banned in your home country but changing the site and using censorship aint it. censorship kills fandoms.

    I’m sorry Tiffany but you won’t be getting my vote.

  122. Absolutely horrified at the statements Tiffany has made. It’s clear that her interest is in heavier censorship because the tagging systems she is proposing already exist. She is more interested in removing content that she considers morally questionable, which is not a call she nor anyone else should be making for an entire community. She frequently emphasizes changing the public view of AO3 in order to cater to her political system, seemingly in order to get it unbanned in her country, which is naive as it is dangerous. The reason AO3 is banned in certain countries isn’t because it has a supposedly bad reputation, but because the politics of the area she is in is one that supports censorship. Her lack of understanding of the difference between pedophilic content and fictional content is also deeply concerning. Pedophilic content is content that is directly exploiting a living human being and it is an absolute insult to those who have suffered at the hands of pedophilia to call underage fanfic “pedophilic.” She clearly has clearly allowed her warped morals to influence her idea of what is and isn’t censorship and it’s disgraceful. Due to the comments, it seems as though the feelings about her are pretty unanimous, but I am still disgusted she even got this far.

    Aside from her beliefs directly opposing the purpose of AO3, her repeated mention of her lack of experience coupled with her vague answers really display a lack of knowledge about the website and fandom as a whole, which alone should be a disqualifying factor. She claims she can bring in fresh eyes from an outside perspective, but the only perspective she has specified is an interest in banning, blocking, and censoring works. If she had greater influence, she would destroy AO3, which is one of the last bastions of uncensored speech in social media in this age.

    Tiffany’s beliefs are disturbing and her lack of experience and newness to fandom is not an asset but a massive liability to OTW and AO3.

  123. I am commenting to protest Tiffany even making it on to the ballot. This person seems to be standing on a platform of censorship and commercial appeal, which goes against everything AO3 stands for. It would be irresponsible to ignore these statements that she’s made in her own words. We as a community should not stand for this.

  124. Tiffany’s remarks are concerning and if I could I would also donate to vote against her. I love what AO3 provides and stands for. I don’t want it to be the next ff.net / Tumblr

  125. her bio says she’s been using ao3 for 10 years but in this chat sounds like she’s never even been on the site. make it make sense.

  126. Tiffany G says our site is banned in her country. In fact, the reason behind it is the organized mass reporting, which has nothing to do with censorship, and our website tags are well categorized. The scope of illegality is difficult to define, and the whistleblower believes that our website is illegal and reports the entire website. Hopefully Tiffany G isn’t one of the whistleblowers. All in all, the proposal to review the work before publishing it hurts creative enthusiasm.

  127. I am concerned that the rhetoric discussing why A03 was blocked in this person’s country is inaccurate. The only known country that AO3 has been banned in has been China, to my knowledge, and that was due to a work posted about a celebrity getting mass reported to the government for “promoting pornography”, not at all in relation to CSEM. It strikes me as very disingenuous and even manipulative, and I do not think that it is appropriate to allow a candidate to be voted upon when they are actively deceiving in their interview process.

    Prior comments have elaborated very well on the incompatibility of the censorship mindset and the policies of this organization. I would like to add the reminder that every single attempt to censor NSFW media in this manner will ALWAYS bring harm to extremely marginalized communities and creators, especially in regards to how specific demographics are considered “illicit” to governments and are often censored wholecloth (queer communities especially).

    I do not trust Tiffany and I do not think she should even be eligible to receive votes.

  128. With the modern resurgence of puritanical moral panic, fierce efforts to associate the LGBT community with pedophilia, and what seems to be a concentrated effort to steer clear of mentioning that depicting same-sex relationships is also prohibited and grounds to get a site blocked in China, Tiffany’s statements are deeply, deeply concerning. Their blatant refusal to elaborate on what, exactly, they envision happening to Ao3’s content policy and terms of service speaks volumes.

    Censorship has no place anywhere near creative writing. Keep Tiffany off the board.

  129. Tiffany seems awfully fixated on the Archive’s public image and what she considers child pornography, as well as not really seeming to understand the extensive tagging system the Archive is so well known for.
    “I support 100% “maximum inclusiveness of content”, yet there is always a boundary to everything.”
    Tiffany, that is not what maximum inclusivity means.

  130. There are many problems with Tiffany’s answers, but it is disingenuous at best to focus on the fact that the RPF fic that led to the AO3 ban in China was marked Underage (for involving a relationship between a 16yo and a 22yo) without mentioning that the vast majority of the complaints sent to the Chinese government focused not on the actor portrayed as a teenager but on the fact that the other actor was portrayed as a trans sex worker. Fans of that actor felt this was degrading and mass-reported the fic for THAT reason.

    So banning “pedophilic” content wouldn’t have saved AO3 in China to begin with. The insinuation that AO3 should follow China’s authoritarian and increasingly homophobic rules despite being US-based, just to “look good to outsiders” is downright terrifying.

  131. I would not feel comfortable having someone who makes false (and damaging) claims of your website hosting illegal content to become a board member. Please reconsider.

  132. Incredibly concerned by Tiffany G. and how shes allowed to run. Her platform is clearly rooted in cencorship and anti behavior and goes against everything AO# is built upon and is a worrisome move.

  133. I’m very disappointed. Tiffany said AO3 was banned in China because of pedo works. That is not true. I witnessed XiaoZhan’s fans sold ao3 out to Chinese government. They gathered on Weibo and called the gov one by one and claimed they wanted ao3 to be walled. Ao3 was then banned in China because China is pro-censorship and doesn’t like free speech. The ban of ao3 was infamous in China and everyone knows the course of the event. I doubt Tiffany’s honesty. Not to mention it will be ridiculous if a pro-censorship person like Tiffany becoming a leader of OTW.

  134. Tiffany G.’s comments are deeply, deeply concerning. The public image does not matter when the entire core principle of AO3 is to be for the fans, by the fans, and without censorship. It is an archive, a project to foster fandom communities, not an enterprise looking to make a profit. I do not understand what Tiffany G. means by wanting to improve the existing content warnings when AO3 has a robust, incredibly intricate and complex tagging system that is already more than capable of providing adequate warnings for every type of content. There is frankly nothing to improve on that front. Her comments on pedophilic content are troubling, since actual CSEM will never be hosted on the site: CSEM involves real children and is not something up for debate, it is a crime to be reported to the police, immediately. Fictional content involving fictional minors is not CSEM, is not illegal and is not a crime. If what she means is to have AO3 make a clearer statement on the site never hosting actual, real pedophilic content and that everything archived there is strictly fictional – thus not CSEM – then I can understand that. But no other changes on that front are necessary, in my opinion. Even as someone who is personally uncomfortable with explicit fictional works involving very underage characters: it is not illegal, and has every right to exist on the site, full stop. Censorship is not the answer, not even to make a site more palatable to another country’s government. I doubt restricting underage content alone would lift the ban, either. But the point is that changing a site’s core principles in order to have a ban lifted in another country is not needed in the first place, as unfortunate as it is to the fans living in that country. It is a difficult matter and i do not blame Tiffany G. for wanting to correct that. But this is not the way to do it.

    Also, if Tiffany G. reads this: you are not a bad person, and I do not believe you had any ill intentions making these statements. You are not wrong for caring about the fandom experience of your own people. I hope this has been a chance for you to learn about these matters, as navigating the current fandom climate can be extremely difficult, daunting and even frightening, at times. So keep listening and learning about these subjects. It is what we all do.

  135. Sorry my English is not so good.
    Though other things were already pointed out by so many people, I just want to restate my view that the current rating system we have on AO3 is specific and detailed enough. What Tiffany has mentioned is obviously against the basis of AO3.
    Also, since Tiffany has mentioned that AO3 was banned in her home country “due to some incident related to a piece of pedophilic work that is posted at AO3”, I want to ask Tiffany G, what is your logic under this reasoning? I see no reason for anyone to say “Oh, because my home country blocked AO3 due to some pedophilic work, therefore, we should obey the foundation of our website to censor those content which contain pedophilic and child pornography.” This makes zero sense to me.
    Besides all this, as a Chinese, when I saw Tiffany G talking about banned and censorship, I can only think of my home country China. Firstly I apologized to Tiffany if her home country is not China. However, if her home country is the same as mine, I want to point out that her reasoning is COMPLETELY FAKE. It is true that AO3 was blocked in China, BUT, it is NEVER because of “pedophilic work that is posted at AO3”. For anyone who have no idea what happened in Feb 27th, 2020, China, (which we Chinese fans more often called “227 Incident” ), I would suggest you go to reddit to see this: https://www.reddit.com/r/FanFiction/comments/fbsei5/how_ao3_was_blocked_in_china/
    Lastly I want to say something may sounds personal. As a fanfic writer, after 227 Incident, I have tried 5 or 6 platforms to post my work, and have to bear the growing censorship. Back to 2015, I would never thought that one day my work will be reviewed by professional or robots before posted, and I never thought that I could no longer write explicit content because it would be banned in every platform I’ve tried so far. I have to turned my works into pictures, put watermarks on it, or even flip it, turn in upside down just because this is the only way I can pass the robotic audit.
    Everyone started nice. “We only want to be more specific on some content”. But once you allowed her to do so, you will eventually lose everything. In 2010, I can write almost anything I want in Chinese biggest female fiction website, 晋江文学城, but later, you have to point out the two characters are adult before you wrote sexual content. And now, no detailed sexual content is allowed.
    If my past decade of fanfic experience tells me anything, I would say AO3 should never banned any content, not even child pornography.

  136. Sorry my English is not so good.
    Though other things were already pointed out by so many people, I just want to restate my view that the current rating system we have on AO3 is specific and detailed enough. What Tiffany has mentioned is obviously against the basis of AO3.
    Also, since Tiffany has mentioned that AO3 was banned in her home country, “due to some incident related to a piece of pedophilic work that is posted at AO3”, I want to ask Tiffany G, what is your logic under this reasoning? I see no reason for anyone to say “Oh, because my home country blocked AO3 due to some pedophilic work, therefore, we should violate the foundation of our website to censor those content which contain pedophilic and child pornography.” This makes zero sense to me.
    Besides all this, as a Chinese, when I saw Tiffany G talking about banned and censorship, I can only think of my home country China. Firstly I apologized to Tiffany if her home country is not China. However, if her home country is the same as mine, I want to point out that her reasoning is COMPLETELY FAKE. It is true that AO3 was blocked in China, BUT, it is NEVER because of “pedophilic work that is posted at AO3”. For anyone who have no idea what happened in Feb 27th, 2020, China, (which we Chinese fans more often called “227 Incident” ), I would suggest you go to reddit to see this: https://www.reddit.com/r/FanFiction/comments/fbsei5/how_ao3_was_blocked_in_china/
    Lastly I want to say something may sounds personal. As a fanfic writer, after 227 Incident, I have tried 5 or 6 platforms to post my work, and have to bear the growing censorship. Back to 2015, I would never thought that one day my work will be reviewed by professional or robots before posted, and I never thought that I could no longer write explicit content because it would be banned in every platform I've tried so far. I have to turned my works into pictures, put watermarks on it, or even flip it, turn in upside down just because this is the only way I can pass the robotic audit.
    Everyone started nice. “We only want to be more specific on some content”. But once you allowed her to do so, you will eventually lose everything. In 2010, I can write almost anything I want in Chinese biggest female fiction website, 晋江文学城, but later, you have to point out the two characters are adult before you wrote sexual content. And now, no detailed sexual content is allowed.
    If my past decade of fanfic experience tells me anything, I would say AO3 should never banned any content, not even child pornography.

  137. I think Tiffany has little knowledge about how detailed and specific the tagging system we have right now. It is a red flag for me, as I would not vote for anyone who seems like doesn’t have a strong understanding of AO3

  138. Would love clarification on “So, I think there is at least something we can do to help build a better image for us in my home country.” said by candidate.
    What are the actions they are proposing?
    – Remove any and all RPF content because that is the thing that caused the moral panic, mass-reporting of AO3 to their government and subsequent AO3 ban in the country?
    – Remove any and all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other non-cis, non-hetero content not moral enough to appease the censorship of the country they come from?
    – Remove any and all content of media (tv shows, books, movies) banned there?
    – Remove works with references to any religions and all religions because that too is banned there, being an Atheist state?
    – Submit each and every fanwork work for approval to their governing bodies to make sure it passes the morality standards of the country so it’s allowed to be posted?
    – Create a paywall so any of the approved “adult” content can be accessed by anyone around the world?
    – Petition to their government that this site is “clean” and “moral” so please unban it so we can post more Danmei content, oh, by the way, please unban Danmei too?

    I am finding it very hard to understand what the “something” the candidate proposes is. Please enlighten me. Please also let me know if the OTW plans to be a website that caters to that one country only, by heavily censoring millions of fanworks because this one person wants it to be unbanned in their country.

    Beyond disappointed by this turn of events.

  139. It is extremely concerning and, frankly, frightening that Tiffany G., a candidate whose views seem antithetical to the very purpose of the OTW—particularly AO3–was allowed to run for the board in the first place. With ever-increasing occurrences of book bans throughout the United States and continued pushes for content censorship across the internet, it is now more important than ever to protect freedom of creative expression online. AO3 is one of the last remaining websites that provides creatives and readers alike with a space free from censorship of fiction. The importance that AO3 maintain its policy of maximum inclusiveness in fictional content cannot be overstated. Based on Tiffany G.’s answers, it is apparent that they do not share this sentiment. Their answers have led me to believe that electing Tiffany G. to the OTW board will jeopardize the future of the OTW and AO3.

    Going forward, I do hope that the OTW expands its requirements for candidacy to ensure that potential board members share and uphold the fan-first, content-inclusive ideals upon which the OTW was founded. Given the fraught nature of our current fandom climate, as well as the aforementioned, widespread internet content censorship, it is imperative that such a vital organization as OTW refrain from giving even an inch to those who push for the censorship of any sort of fictional content—because they *will* take a mile.

  140. I’m echoing a lot of the sentiments already shared in the comments section, but Tiffany’s responses in this transcript are all very concerning. Her focus on censorship and misunderstandings around the purpose and history of the archive do not inspire confidence at all in her qualifications to sit as a board member. Not only are her proposals vague, but it feels very much like she has a focused agenda against specific and, as Sveritas has already pointed out, legal content hosted on the archive which feels directly counter to the mission of the OTW.

  141. Ashamed to be from the same country with Tiffany. She’s like everything people tend to think of when speaking of China, 100% in conformity with the stereotype of China and Chinese.

  142. Adding my US$0.02 that Tiffany seems to have a censorship agenda and no real idea how extremely good the tagging system is for Ao3. And also some sort of assumption that the content creators on Ao3 really care about what “external people” think or about Ao3’s “image” in general. “Maximum inclusiveness” means even the stuff you personally can’t stand for whatever reason, which is why you filter your searches and tag your works. And, as yet another survivor of CSA, I don’t want other people deciding for me what I can write, and I also don’t feel like other people should be curating my experiences for me. I can do that for myself.

    Please do not let this person anywhere near this sacred space where we can create without fear.

  143. It’s simple, don’t vote for Tiffany, whose claims and operations I am very familiar with: give you a crowning sounding reason that is overwhelmingly correct, but no rules to operate, and she won’t give you any rules of operation because they will limit the power. In some places where AO3 is banned, this argument is called, “If the punishment is unknowable, the power is unpredictable.” which I believe Tiffany knows very well.

  144. While I may not like some of the content that is posted on Ao3, the entire point of Ao3 is to avoid works of entire fandoms disappearing like the old days of Y!Gallery, de.licious, yahoo groups, ffnet and LJ.

    Ao3 has a tagging system for a reason (even if some writers don’t utilize it.) It’s a place where people can post their writing or art without worrying about their account being terminated for adult content. It’s an archive for everyone.

    This site isn’t for “the public,” it’s for fandom. It’s for creators and the people who consume what they create.

    This site is not for someone like Tiffany to have a position of power, as they want to censor, prune, and remove content. They would be better suited to a more astringently moderated site like FFnet, tumblr or LJ, or creating their own community where they can dictate what can or can’t be posted.

    I’ve already lost contact with enough creators because they’ve been driven off sites like LJ, tumblr, or shadowbanned on reddit or twitter. Ao3 is the last bastion of creative archives, and I would feel like I’m walking on eggshells if someone like Tiffany were on the board.

  145. Any talk of censoring or restricting content on AO3 is very concerning to me. AO3 is one of the few places where fic is not restricted in some way. Her concerns about how “outside” people might see the site are concerning as well. This site is for those who choose to use it, and it has no interest in hiding what it is. Why would the opinions of people who don’t use the site matter at all? If you want a site with more restrictions, make another site.

  146. I’m Chinese. I’ve been writing fanfictions for over 10 years. China’s censorship has severely crippled slash our freedom. AO3 used to be the only platform where we can post our stories without worrying about being censored. China’s ban on AO3 is something we can never get over. I can’t believe a candidate wants to bring censorship to AO3. Their positions gave me a lot of anxiety. I won’t be voting for them.

  147. The OTW needs to remove Tiffany G from the running. You can not tolerate intolerance, the paradox of doing so if what has led to devestating real world consequences. This is a dangerous slope that the OTW will likely be dealing with more and more as fanfiction continues to grow in popularity. Tiffany G has made it clear her personal views are not at all aligned with the OTW’s mission statement and this should disqualify her from the running and future volunteer positions.

  148. Yeah, seconding a lot of the stuff everyone else has said – Tiffany’s pushing for censorship (which by implication, to fit China’s extraordinarily overzealous censorship rules) and caring seemingly more about AO3’s image than its function as an archive goes entirely contrary to AO3’s goals and is a foot in the door for every rabid book-burning conservative who wants to ban all queer media. We’ve seen these things happen to other fandom spaces, and frankly I’m now wishing I’d donated prior to July 30 so that I could help vote for literally anyone other than her.

    Also, if AO3’s not available where she lives and she’s a “fandom newbie,” why exactly is she even a candidate? Surely at least basic familiarity with the platform should be a prerequisite.

  149. Really wish ppl would stop using CSA as an excuse to curb underage internet works. That shit helped more than anything else to process what happened to me and now I just exclude it from my searches. Which is pretty easy to do cause Ao3 has such an amazing search/sort function. Also am very concerned and confused by the idea of having to manage a public image as, as an archive I don’t think Ao3 should really have one aside from it existing, and why would we need an outsiders perspective on the site that ‘By fans for Fans. Wish I’d donated last financial year now. But will def do so now so at least in the future I can take part in protecting what is such a corner stone in my life.

  150. Tiffany G’s claims are false. AO3 was never named by Chinese government for underage sexual contents. As a matter of fact, China does not allow ANY adult contents ( can you imagine?). Tiffany G is only here to force her Chinese censorship onto this platform. She’s not fit to serve on the board, or any functional roles.

  151. Hey Tiffany, news flash, censoring underage content on AO3 won’t make AO3 any less banned in your country.

    How did this person even make it this far in the AO3 election process?

  152. As fanfic writer in Chinese fandoms, I have deeply suffered the heavy censorship due to local laws and conservative sites. Censorship, sounding morally passable but in reality evil, will deeply hurt creativity and passion. In my sad experience, if my gay characters make out in the story, my fic cannot be posted on many popular fanfic sites. I don’t think that’s what Ao3 want to be.

    I found acceptance and freedom in Ao3 international fandoms and often feel grateful for the core value of it. I urge you to protect such value.

    I also question Tiffany G’s candidacy consideration. Some data would be helpful for the board to know the candidates better: how much contents one had read from Ao3, how much content one created themselves, how wide in variety of their reading, how many kudos/comments were given, etc. To be a board member in this site, being a frequent user should be the bare minimum requirement. I’m not saying one has to use Ao3 every single day to qualify. However someone who doesn’t use it often enough to understand its tagging and rating system is certainly less qualified.

  153. Do not vote for Tiffany G.
    As a native Chinese speaker, I have to clarify that the direct reason AO3 got banned by the Chinese govt is the massive report by a specific fan group. The so-called unallowed content is actually some rps fiction about one actor. The long-standing claim that AO3 hosts child porn content is more like political words from this fan group to discredit the website and rationalize the ban.

  154. I think I come from the same “home country” as Tiffany, and how she describes the reasons AO3 was banned is subjective and misleading. Tons of Chinese writers and readers from all sorts of fandoms sob about the fact that we lost the freedom to post and read on AO3, it was once’s considered the LAST resort that people can freely share fandom stories.

    Ever since AO3 was banned, the restrictions became even tighter and it is an extremely unfriendly signal to LGBTQ and other groups with less voices (and who almost lost ALL voice in the country).

    AO3 is still the sought after land to find stories with magnificent creativity, inclusion and diversity. If Tiffany G is from the same homeland as me, they should protect its freedom of expression, instead of taking it away.

    And to be more specific about the reason why AO3 was banned in China, it was because of the increasingly serious trend of a reporting system.

    People *report* things against their will to authorities and usually the report will be successful.

    So AO3 was reported and banned.
    So fandom writers now have to use several layers of URLs to post stories with *maybe* sensitive content.
    So their URLs May also be reported and deleted.

    That is why Chinese reader learn to “save” everything as soon as possible so it can be revisited later.

    No, Tiffany G. You cannot represent the writers and readers from your home country. Not me as a reader, not me as a writer.

  155. I AM so angry and provoked by the last answer by Tiffany G.

    Everyone in China who CARES about AO3 ,will all truly know the reason WHY ao3 Was blocked from China.
    It’s because a group of fans who is upset about some specific fanart here ,therefore they reported it to the government website,when the complaints reach enough amounts,it will naturally block ao3
    THEY Don’t even have to check its content.

    So I made there to say some conclusion here.

    1 She don’t know the true reason.
    2. She said she has been using ao3 for 10 years.
    3 She was either lying about 1 or faking 2,maybe both

    Therefore, I doubt her purpose on this election. I also doubt her purpose to the TOS, I think she was hiding something. And I don’t like the idea that she is going use the same policy from China and apply it to AO3.

  156. I will be voting against Tiffany G this election as I worry what she’s said here shows her to be against the OTW’s core values and AO3 in particular should not be trying to make itself palatable to any corporate standards nor censorship-happy authoritarian regimes.

    I suspect the home country Tiffany is talking about is China which has a litany of websites banned for being pro-queer or having queer content. She is also mischaracterizing the incident that got AO3 banned in China as being ‘pedophilic’ when AO3 was scheduled for being blocked for a long time and the actual incident seems to have been some fans trying to get the CCP to ban the site due to portraying a celebrity in a way they didn’t like. If AO3 were to ban ‘pedophilic’ content it would not get AO3 unbanned unless it also removed queer and erotic content altogether which goes against the site’s core mission to be as inclusive as possible.

    In the future the OTW should consider putting in place standards so that only candidates in line with the OTW’s core mission and policies can run for the board as to prevent compromising its core mission. I would like to ask other OTW members to vote for other candidates in order to preserve AO3 as an inclusive archive for everyone and to prevent it going down the same path as livejournal, ff dot net and tumblr.

  157. I’m deeply uncomfortable with what Tiffany is saying here.

    1. She sounds very unfamiliar with how ao3 fic search actually works. Does she not know how to filter tags? How can you suggest adjustments if you don’t even know how the search engine works?

    2. She’s more concerned about ao3’s image than its actual mission. Ao3’s image is going to be one with no censorship, which, regardless of morality issues, there are going to be people who don’t like that. For those people, you can’t sanitize this kind of site without destroying what it seeks to promote.

    3. Last but not least! Got some serious censorship vibes going on here! Illegal content? Illegal *fictional* content? It’s all fictional! This is exactly what that church group used to shut down many livejournal communities, and I don’t want to go back there! If we start down this road of censoring fictional content, we know how this ends. I don’t feel like Tiffany is an appropriate fit for this position, since she seems to be at odds with the formal mission of ao3, and would create a situation of working at odds with each other within a organization founded on creative freedom, which would be good for none of the involved.

  158. I am concerned by Tiffany G’s candidacy. AO3 was created with the purpose of hosting ALL fanworks. This place was made by fans, for fans. The tagging/warning/filtering system is sufficient, if not one of the most extensive out there, for fans to avoid content they do not wish to see.

    Fanfiction is a creative space, one where we can explore all themes good or bad in FICTION, which should not be limited to only what certain people deem morally acceptable. This place has explicit warnings and a dedicated warning page for users to be 18+ or proceed at their own risk where appropriate, there should not be doubt that users are expected to be mature enough to handle mature themes and realise where certain themes are wrong in real life but can still be explored in fiction. When I was in school, the school library had Lolita in stock, not because anyone was condoning the themes within but to demonstrate the way it was written. They made sure anyone that did access it had the maturity to appreciate this by limiting it to only Year 12-13 (16+) and a quick warning talk by the librarian when you took it out. We have the same system here, it is sufficient.

    I understand where Tiffany G is coming from, and how frustrating it is for the website to not be available in their country. But to censor AO3 in any way is not the solution, just as Disney taking out LGBTQ+ scenes from specific country releases is not the solution.

    I feel this candidate is against the core value of AO3 and the spirit in which it was founded.

  159. I’ve been around fandoms/fanfic sites, including ao3/dreamwidth/FF.net/AFF/livejournal/tumblr/etc for a very long time and some of the stuff Tiffany says are concerning and implies extra censorship that ao3 does not need and should not bend to.

  160. >“newbie like myself”
    meanwhile, back in the second chat she says
    >“I have been a user of AO3 for a long time”

    Which one is it? If you’ve been using Ao3 for a long time you’re not a newbie and should know how it works. Yet HERE she makes herself out to be new and inexperienced in things (which uh, not someone I want helping to make decisions for Ao3). This does NOT add up and strikes me as some very dishonest and shady behaviour.

  161. I’m very concerned that about Tiffany’s responses. I’m also from the same county where Ao3 has been banned, so I knew where her points came from.
    It’ll be totally disastrous if she wants to export the systematic censorship into here. I also wonder why people without certain freedom want to bring down the freedom for others.
    Not to be skeptic but I do wonder if anyone did a good background check on this person and I can’t help with a familiar feeling that’s she’s comes with a purpose or mission behind her. Sites for fan fictions and fan arts have been destroyed completely in my country over the past few years, because of censorship rules. I can’t help but feeling they are coming for Ao3 too.
    Also Ao3 is not a profitable commercial product like tumblr and it feels wrong and unnatural to follow the downfall path of the prior.

  162. Super uncomfortable with the answers Tiffany has given out and I sincerely hope they do not get on the board. Tiffany is clearly not fit for A03, everyone deserves a chance for archiving the hard work they have put out, no matter how ‘dirty’, ‘pedophilic’, ‘incest-y’, whatever Dead Dove out there. Fiction is fiction, don’t censor creative minds because of puritan views.

  163. I know others have said it, but Tiffany’s lack of understanding of how the A03 site works and suggesting changes that are already in place and work is concerning. They don’t seem to express themselves clearly, sometimes not even answering questions clearly.

    While they say they are new to the site and fandom (and there is nothing wrong with this), they seem incredibly inexperienced with the site and how it works, runs, how tags work, and the philosophy behind the whole point of the site being created – which makes me wonder what qualified her to run or potentially sit on the board and try to improve the site and how it works?

    They have also given incorrect information on why the site was banned in China, if this was intentional or not, it’s still incorrect. This means they didn’t look into the proper reasons why it was banned and how that could potentially be fixed or improved. Instead, they suggest (basically) censorship. And as you mentioned – the site doesn’t host anything on the site that is illegal in the US, which totally nullified her “claim” on why the site was banned in her country. How can we trust someone on the board that doesn’t properly look into such issues and either lies or spreads misinformation?

    Her saying that this site “need to protect our image and hold a better image to the public”, I don’t understand. Everyone I know who uses it has nothing but good things to say about it. After the freedom to create without having to worry about censorship and works being taken down due to constantly changing rules and making it more “family-friendly” like Tiffany wants to do.

    There is just a lot wrong with what’s going on here, and I don’t want this to turn into another LiveJournal or FF.net where I have to always watch my back. With someone like this, I would be very worried and feel uneasy. To me, I am not sure they understand the philosophy of this site and what it means to us as creators. What their country chooses to do, is not a reflection of this site or of anything “wrong” being done on it. Instead of trying to change and censor, and make it more “appropriate” in whatever way they feel it should be, they should be looking into the real reasons it was banned and not blame it on Ao3.

    As I said on twitter: This is supposed to be a place where people can feel safe posting their stories, and not be looked down on or discriminated against. And this candidate does not make me feel safe in any way. The more I think about it, I think I can sum it up to this. As creators, we have been run off, who knows how many sites, because they wanted to stop what we could post or censor us. So, I feel we have become very protective of the right to make the creations we want to make. I believe A03 has a great mission that allows us that freedom. Gives us a safe place where we don’t have to fight for that right. So, even if it’s an honest misunderstanding, when we feel thats threatened, given our past history, we will become protective of our “safe spaces”.

    Don’t let that happen again to us, as creators.

  164. Everything was perfect, I don’t understand why Tiffany is still stressing things that don’t exist and her suggestion for the AO3 censorship confuses me.

  165. I am very unhappy with the fact that Tiffany seems to be trying to implement something similar to the CCP’s content censorship on AO3. AO3 was created to be a safe space for writers, regardless of what fandom/kink/ship they are interested in. We have an incredible tagging and rating system already that works perfectly fine to filter out content that users may not be interested in seeing.
    I do not want to see her anywhere near the AO3 board, as I think everything that she’s pushing for goes against OTW values. (Frankly, I’m also concerned that she keeps equating fictional works with actual pedophilia and child pornography. It’s an insult to the real victims, and we do not need pearl-clutching, moral gatekeeping on this site!)

  166. I’ll joing everyone else: Tiffany should be removed as a candidate, since all their opinions seem to go directly against OTW’s entire goal.
    Calling for ‘boundaries of included works’, talling about ‘better public image’, calling fiction ‘pedophilic’, calling fiction ILLEGAL without any awerness just how many countries would view simply being gay/sex without marriage as exactly that.
    This is someone either wouefully unfit for a role who has no clue what they’re talking about or someone with a very clear agenda.

    In current push for sanitizing every website, AO3 is more irreplacable than ever and any threat of someone trying to bring cencorship to it should be treated seriously.

  167. “As I have mentioned before, AO3 is no longer accessible in my home country due to some incident related to a piece of pedophilic work that is posted at AO3.”

    Hi! I think it’s very important to add an editor’s note underneath this statement to clarify that it’s not true: according to US law there is no paedophilic content on Ao3 therefore this is a factually untrue statement and is misleading at the very least, and damaging at worst. I don’t think any candidate’s statements should be edited, but I do think where they contact incorrect information they should be clearly fact-checked. I know Sveritas corrects them once, but I think it’s extremely important to do so each time.

  168. everyone has talked about tiffany’s concerning & ultimately unclear vague & censorship-leading answers, which arent the right “””image””” for ao3, lol

    if this is about china banning ao3, scrubbing it of content may not even help. they banned winnie the pooh because political talk there is illegal, as is talking about human rights. if this is anything similar to fantis, the goalposts will Always be changing.

    i do not blame chinese people for its corrupt country, however, these types of rules arent going to fly on ao3, which has all of the features tiffany offered up for ideas (& more).

    how can we put someone on the board who clearly doesnt understand the site & its subcultures/dynamics? & fails to clarify when asked multiple times? reeks of corrupt politician

    and yet, michelle s

    i like michelle an awful lot. their answers were clear, well thought out, & concise
    please heavily consider voting for michelle, if you can

  169. I wish I could vote against Tiffany. She’s not knowledgeable in ao3 and trying to go against what’s been built for.
    I’m saying it twice but I wish I could vote against her.
    How did she get in the final round tho? Was she the only other applicant?
    Time to prepare myself for next year

  170. Just want to say, the true reason AO3 was banned in China is triggered by an idol called XIAO Zhan, his crazy solo stans and professional staff from his company reported AO3 for being obscene and pornographic to censor bodies, they were hoping to attack and slander CP fans. Its nothing to do with paedophile-related works.

    I respect Tiffany’s courage and believe her good intention, I am also very happy to see that non-English candidates be presented, but sorry as a frequent user who with a deep love of this online home, I am sorry I won’t vote for T.G this time. her proposal is a little bit naive, the censoring bodies just do what they want and they won’t pay any extra attention to the small change in TOS.

  171. If we give Tiffany the benefit of the doubt, I understand her concern about AO3 being banned in some places, and wanting the people there to be able to freely access it. However, the source of that problem is not AO3, but the governments who ban it. Also, the reasons they give (such as “pedophilic” content) is often an excuse for banning works that contain any sexual content, or LGBT+ content, etc. I think these proposed ideas would only serve to harm OTW & AO3 at the benefit of no one.
    Also, I’m concerned with her focus on the “image” of AO3/OTW–this seems like it prioritizes outsiders over the actual dedicated userbase and community. Along with that, her answers show a lack of experience and qualification for a position such as this.

  172. Actually I was literally HORRIFIED by what Tiffany G said of updating the ToS on specific content so as to build a “better public image” of AO3. The reason why AO3 was banned in mainland China was not the so-called pedophilia content, but the one-size-fits-all policy which encourages citizens to report and empower relevant department to block the reported content without any reasonable explanations. More important, it’s quite injustice and impolite to change the terms or even undermine the principle of AO3 just for one country, regardless the interests of users from all around the world.

    AO3 has alrealy established a consummate system which allows user to select and avoid specific content in an efficient way. As a mainland Chinese user of AO3, I fully understand how many difficulties a mandarin writer must come through to cope with the strict censorship on Chinese website. AO3 was the last piece of pure land to us and I love her deep in my heart. Do not INTRODUCE censorship to her.

  173. Reading through these interviews, Tiffany G has me worried. They were vague and contradictory in their answers. They fail to comprehend that websites tend to follow the laws they are based in, in Ao3 and OTW’s case, the United States. They insist they want to do something about certain content, but as someone whose been in fandom for about 15 years, it’s always a slippery slope.

    Something benign in their home country could be considered ‘offensive’ and ‘problematic’ in another and by their own logic, it should be banned, which is against the very foundation of OTW and Ao3. A legal team is in place to prevent this very issue.

    The language they used sounds just like the people who purged FF.net, LJ and Tumblr. Those were changed to look better ‘for the public’ and look what happened. Ao3 wasn’t meant for the mainstream public. It was made by fans, for fans. It’s in the name. Archive Of Our Own. For someone whose supposedly knowledgeable of Ao3 as a website, to me, it seems they’re pretty eager to ignore the things that’s inconvenient to them to push what they want.

  174. I personally find what Tiffany G said very disturbing and uncomfortable, she clearly knows very little about the current tagging and rating system of Ao3 that’s already a big no for me to vote her. The position she’s trying to put Ao3 on is apparently against what OTW stands for. I can’t imagine what she would do if she was in charge.

  175. What I find very telling is that when asked how they would communicate board decisions they did not personally agree with, Melanie simply stated that she would communicate on behalf of the board and that this would not be a problem, but Tiffany pointed out her experience with debate. Either Tiffany did not understand the question (which implies either a lack of attentiveness or unfamiliarity with what a board even is, both of which are concerning), or else she is expressly intending to publicly subvert the the OTWs goals and decisions (which is tremendously concerning).
    I’m not too worried, those no way someone like this is actually going to be elected by the kind of people who understand and care about the AO3’s mission and goals to donate. But the fact she was allowed to run in the first place is concerning

    1. MICHELLE, not Melanie. I’m still drinking my coffee here. Sorry Michelle, I’m sure you’d be a fine addition to the board, even if I can’t remember your name for eight seconds.

  176. “Tiffany G: As I have mentioned before, AO3 is no longer accessible in my home country due to some incident related to a piece of pedophilic work that is posted at AO3.”
    the implication of its all about “pedophile” is a blant and biased lie. read about it here: https://fanlore.org/wiki/Blocking_of_AO3_in_China
    this person does not get my vote.

  177. I assume Tiffany G’s home country is China, and I happen to be Chinese. AO3 is indeed blocked in China, which makes it difficult for me and many other Chinese to log on to AO3, while others may never be able to log on again. But I have to say that Tiffany G’s idea that “As long as AO3 is reformed and vetted to meet her home country standards, it can be unsealed” is naive to the point of stupidity. There is no precedent for unblocking sites that were previously banned. And China’s censorship standards are always vague. In the harshest cases, it even bans extramarital affairs and homosexuality, and it also denies the existence of transgender people. I suspect that more than half of AO3’s articles may not meet her so-called censorship standards. Even if Tiffany G does all this and meets Chinese requirements perfectly, it doesn’t mean AO3 will be unblocked in China, it just means that AO3 will become like any other boring website. It means that those of us who have had enough of censorship in China can not find a safe enough place even though we escape the Chinese internet and into a non-chinese jurisdiction.

  178. As a user from China, I witnessed how and why ao3 get banned. And Tiffany is completely lying on why ao3 is banned in China.
    It’s not because of one “pedophilic” work! Basically any works contains erotic content are not allowed in China. The gov would ban ao3 website once they notice. In a long time, Chinese user just kept low profile. The situation changed when a certain infamous anti-ship group made massive complaints of ao3 to the gov just because they don’t want to see the work they don’t like.
    The way Tiffany twisted the fact is really concerning me.

  179. ayooo tiffany wtf??? no no no, get her out from this site. like i understand she wants to improve it by better tagging system (as i understood?) but it seems she would like to change ao3 into censorship & anti-ship favourable place, like it was with ff.net and tumbler

  180. If AO3 is banned in Tiffany’s country than perhaps she isn’t a good candidate to be involved in the org. Especially since she seems to harbor conservative views that wants to censor works. She claims it’s just underage for now, but we all know once you start censoring, it’s easy for that to snowball. Maybe FFnet is more her speed.

  181. We can’t have nice things because of people like Tiffany. Obviouly she is not fit for the position and does not understand the importance of freedom AO3 gives to all of us.

  182. Pro-censorship people have no place on AO3, it’s against what the archive stands for. Very concerned right now :///

  183. What Tiffany G did was basically using the fact that AO3 is banned in their country to “prove” that AO3 needs an “improvement”. They did not realize that the ban is itself a violation of the liberty of speech and press, and should not be used as a “natural fact”. Also, if Tiffany is from China as I do, I need to point out that China did not ban AO3 because of child porn. Chinese government banned AO3 simply because it can not control the content on it, the same reason it banned google, twitter, instagram, facebook, youtube, tumblr, pinterest, and news website such as BBC, CNN, NYT etc etc. There’s no way for AO3 to be “improved” so that it could regain the approvement of Chinese government.

  184. It seems that Tiffany G does not even know how this website work. AO3 already has a effective rating and tagging system to classify those work, as many has said here. We don’t need a censorship here. No one is willing to pay for the censorship. And as I know, almost every country can gain access to ao3 . China could gain access on it, before some stupid fans of a Chinese actor, similar to Tiffany G said the fiction ruining his reputation and report messively to Chinese government.

    If anything written in fiction is the same in real world, that means no murder, no war stories can be written too. How about we just writing religious stories every day? But as I recall, some religious stories are violent and involved sex too.

    To conclude, I strongly oppose this Tiffany G to involve in any administration in ao3.

  185. Deeply concerned about Tiffany’s answers and how the wording is super vague, despite being asked to clarify. Ao3 shouldn’t be concerned with what “third parties” think, it’s created to protect the authors and their right to post whatever *fiction* they want.

    Deeply concerned that they don’t distinguish between actual child pornography and fiction as well. If we want to be legal about it, then explicit fiction containing underaged characters is *not* child pornography, since the “victim”.. doesn’t exist. Should’ve been made clear from the initial research and talks they claim to have had, alas personal judgement cannot and should not be ignored whatsoever.

  186. I’m glad so many people above me have already expressed criticism of Tiffany’s answers here. The best possible interpretation is that she is incredibly inexperienced with AO3 and fandom in general, horrible at phrasing things and explaining herself (possibly only in English), and thus not a good candidate for the board even if she has good intentions. I am inclined to try to believe the best of people, as a general rule, so I hope this is the case.

    However, I am worried that the reality is something much more sinister: her statements (the use of the terms “pedophilic content” and “illegal content” and the repeated use of the disrespectful-to-CSAM-survivors term “child porn(ography)” to refer to FICTION that IS legal where AO3 is based; saying that there is “a boundary to everything” on maximum inclusiveness of content; the focus on public image) are very similar to the language and rhetoric used by fandom “antis”, who want to completely censor any fictional content they see as inappropriate. I worry that instead of simply being unhelpful in a position on the board due to her lack of knowledge, experience, and skills in expressing herself, Tiffany would actively work to change AO3’s policies so that content currently tagged with the “Underage” warning would be banned from the site.

    The fact that this goes against AO3’s current policies in a very substantial way should be enough. However, in case anyone reading this comment hasn’t thought through /why/ AO3’s policies are this way: banning content currently tagged with “Underage” would be harmful in three ways (plus potentially others as well).

    – One, CSA (child sexual abuse) victims/survivors who process their trauma through creating and sharing fiction relating to their experiences will no longer have a place to do so. Fiction is a very common way to process trauma. This will hurt many CSA victims/survivors.
    – Two, anyone else who enjoys harmless, properly tagged FICTION about imaginary CSA, imaginary consensual sex between seventeen-year-old characters, or anything in between will have that enjoyment taken away, when they weren’t hurting anyone.
    – Three, many people will continue to post that content despite it being banned. However, it will not have warnings on it. People, including CSA victims/survivors, will come across fictional underage when they do not want to do so, and many of them will have adverse reactions to this.

    I am unfortunately not eligible to vote in this election. I can only hope that those who are will choose wisely.

    1. Her use of “child porn” and other outdated terms is most likely due to the fact that she’s not familiar with the progressive language about these matters in the west. My guess is that she doesn’t even know that the pedophilia rhetoric is often used in homophobic attacks. She’s oblivious that these terms are offensive because in her home country (I’m assuming China), such sensitive topics aren’t handled with as much care. She’s also oblivious to the fact that while some contents on ao3 are illegal in her country, they are legal under US local laws, and is unaware that she’s being disrespectful for making these serious accusations.
      I’d also like to add that “a boundary to everything” is a classic argument used by pro censorship Chinese when speaking against freedom of speech and creation.
      Overall she’s just extremely self centred about her own opinions and values, and didn’t do much research into a job that requires a lot of unspoken background cultural and social experience.

  187. I genuinely do not understand how Tiffany G can run for the Board. The purpose of OTW, its legally binding nonprofit mission, is to protect fanworks /no matter what/. No matter how distasteful. No matter if they give “a bad public image”.

    Tiffany says AO3 is banned in her country. While that is indeed unfortunate, the solution CANNOT be to censor AO3, create moral panic, and sanitize everything for the whims of 1 country’s government out of the the almost 200 nations in this world.

    Tiffany G.’s platform would destroy everything that the OTW has worked to achieve since 2007. I will not cast my vote for her, and I will be agitating for change in Board candidate requirements. Someone who does not agree with the OTW’s core principles and mission should be disqualified.

  188. As someone who has been writing in Chinese for years, Tiffany raises a lot of red flags to me. She seems to fully embraced the idea of “censorship” of her “home country” and have all these ideas of changing “public image” and “social responsibility”. No, please keep those things within that GFW. Chinese fanfictions are already dying and being heavily damaged by censorship, and people with mentality like Tiffany are unacceptable here.

  189. I’m not really for AO3 censorship but the thing is these work should at least have the tag “Extremely Underage” or “Pedophilia” in them so I can avoid them.

    I’m worried that censoring/banning them will result them just being posted without the warnings.

    As CSA survivor I just close my eyes but are you all even aware of all those works featuring, and depicting fantasies about infant, toddler and pre-teens with adults? Is that normal?

    1. Your reaction to the existence of these works is understandable and common. I would like to express sympathy for the experiences you have gone through. I wish you peace and healing. However, I don’t think whether underage fiction is “normal” is relevant: it is legal where AO3 is based, it is not harming any real children, and it is required to use the “Underage” warning, which is the strictest form of requirement AO3 uses apart from a complete ban (like how it bans commercial links).

      Writing underage fiction and sharing it in appropriate spaces with appropriate warnings may deviate from the norm in our society, but I don’t believe that matters: what matters is whether it harms real people, and it does not. In fact, it provides safe enjoyment to many people, and a safe way to process CSA trauma to many others. Many actions deviate from the norm in our society without being harmful.

      You can use the “exclude” section of the filters to avoid these works completely. If any work contains underage sex and is not marked with that warning, you can and should report it (if you feel comfortable doing so, of course).

      I agree that banning works like those would result in them being posted without warnings, leading to people like you coming across them when you don’t want to, which is why I am so concerned about Tiffany’s answers in this chat. I hope that she will not be elected, both for the sake of people who want to avoid content and for the sake of people who want to post content.

  190. OOOF I think poor Tiffany put her feet in her mouth there. She seems to be coming in with a few misconceptions about AO3 and is learning through this election process about why they might be wrong, which is NOT the greatest time and way (for her and us) for that to happen.

    She started from “we need to update TOS to ban pedophilia” then learned “oh actually we already do, then this needs to be stated clearly” to “oh actually it already is, then we need tags people can use to filter this” and her next step is probably going to be “oh actually those also already exist.”

    She has stated multiple times that she had difficulty understanding the training material for tag wrangling, and found understanding AO3 properly difficult, maybe due to a language or culture barrier. (She came in thinking it was just for porn, was said or implied?)

    So to me the actual issue she has, as far as I can see, is not “we need content restriction” it is “we need to make the way tag works and how to use them more clear and user-friendly to new users, as well as a better more accessible way for these users to learn what AO3 is and how to use it in general”. None of this is what she has decided to say, probably because she did not seem to understand herself that THIS was the issue, and not the TOS or the tags themselves.

    And these are all problems that HAVE been raised clearly by other candidates in this election. So I don’t blame Tiffany necessarily for this, but yikes on bikes this should not have happened during election process.

  191. To me, it seems Tiffany never understand the tag system, or doesn’t even understand how the site works. She just want this site to be yet another site controlled by an theoretical systems, which is for sure paternalistic. Please be alarmed.

  192. Please don’t vote for Tiffany G. DON’T! Trust me, I know how it feel when you are reading or writing under so called “censorship”. It will turn your work into links, links and links, meaning, when you read, you should first click links that take you to different websites before you finally find the full text. Or you should convert the word document into images, rotate them and mirror them, and then you get the chance to post your work without being blocked. And all is because they are being seen as not that “appropriate”.

    Here are my questions to Tiffany. Who are you to point fingers? Who are you to define what is appropriate or inappropriate when the author already used Ao3’s tagging system? Your ideas go right against the value of AO3.

    By the way, although I am complaining a lot about the censorship in my homeland, I know it takes a hell of lot of time for it to a better place, to be more creator-friendly. I’m still looking forwards to what is ahead. That’s why me and my friends are still there reading and writing fanfictions.

  193. Putting in my two-cents:

    Tiffany’s comments do not sit well with me. I’ve been in fandom spaces since middle school (nearly 15 years now). I’ve seen the rise and fall of ff.net, LJ, Tumblr, Wattpad, and DA, respectively. AO3 is still standing /because/ of the way tags are handled, as well as a rating system that even a 3rd grader could understand. Tiffany G’s pro-cencorship comments only relay just how biased, uneducated, and unwilling to listen the people she’s “fighting for” are. It’s concerning, manipulative, jarring, and downright SCARY that she even be CONSIDERED for election to the Board.

    I would actively encourage people to vote AGAINST her, and choose literally anyone else.

  194. Really not enjoying Tiffany’s responses. Ao3 was built because of its need to be a place where there wasn’t any dictatorship over what could/couldn’t be posted and you’re telling me, someone that’s for it is running? I’m appalled.
    Literally go to any other fanfic site if you want barriers. This is ridiculous.

  195. I truly believe that Tiffany is suffering from some sort of Stockholm syndrome with authoritarian censorship. In case you don’t know she is the reason why AO3 is banned in China. I am a Chinese AO3 user that’s been around since AO3 was founded. What she claims to stand for is a disgrace to Chinese creators and Asian fandom lovers. Also please stop saying stuff like you are representing Asian people, if you are going along that vein it is more like bringing shame onto us. I am deeply disappointed at the fact that she, a Chinese creator who is the victim of Chinese government censorship, becomes the enabler of such violence. Also just a little more Chinese common knowledge: her personal history is full of red flags, pun intended. Her profile shows that she has been involved in student council, neighborhood committee, and now a government job in IT security – which is known for aiding mass surveillance, concentration camps, mass censorship that killed off creative possibilities for Chinese people. All these fields tend to attract power hungry people whose authoritarian desires align with that of the CCP government. So yeah I am VERY VERY PISSED OFF.

  196. I saw some bad rumours are going along on Chinese social media about this Tiffany G. Anyway obviously she’s trying to put censorship on AO3 just like other fan fiction sites in China. Now some of Chinese fanfic writers are very concerned about what Tiffany will do to them if she gets elected.
    Seriously AO3 is the last place for Chinese writers to write fanfic freely, I wouldn’t miss out on the donate period if I could know it earlier. So please anyone who is able to do that, don’t vote for Tiffany G.

  197. At this point in time when authors and artists are being removed from zines, blacklisted, and losing commissions because of crusading individuals who think their content is not “acceptable” to the public at large it’s beyond the pale for a candidate for a public ARCHIVE (not a book store, not a social media presence or brand, not something that needs to be advertised or given a prettier public face) to intimate that they want such “adult” things hidden away and stigmatizes even more.

    Furthermore, we are dealing with a massive wave of “groomer” rhetoric in which any queer content that might even potentially be in the accessible public is “pedophilic” and predatory; this is a very poor choice of words that at best demonstrates a lack of awareness about current issues in both fandom and queer culture at large (a vital issue for one of the largest extant depositories of queer writing), and at worst is a procession of increasingly alarming dog whistles this community thankfully seems to recognize.

    I am thankful to all the volunteers that work hard to provide us these services, Tiffany included, but they are not in my opinion at all suitable for this position.

  198. Tiffany G is not fit to be a candidate to support the OTW or AO3. We need to address genuine concerns about the archive, not pander to nationalists who want to “purify” the Archive and erase things to suite the whims of a political party and their supporters.

  199. Genuinely – HOW is Tiffany even on the ballot???!!!!!

    I’m seeing now that I’ve taken for granted that there existed some measure of filtration by the existing leadership which would keep these sorts of people from getting within reach of any position of control within the Archive. The fact that Tiffany is on the ballot appears to suggest that there is none, and that’s a truly alarming concept.

    If enough antis applied for ballot spots in one year, could they guarantee that someone of their value set would get in simply from stacking the ballot with censorship-sympathetic candidates? That this is even happening is freaking me out. Whatever let this be possible, that a pro-censorship candidate could even end up on the ballot, can we fix that please?

  200. I finally got up the courage to post my highly problematic comics to AO3 because I couldn’t think of another site with such an extensive tagging system that could sufficiently warn people about its contents and avoid the outrage mobs that would ensue if I put it on Twitter, and come to find out somebody is trying to get on the board to make it better conform to the homophobic and censor-happy standards of a country I don’t even live in.

    I don’t like this one bit. I can’t afford to donate to AO3 so I can’t vote on this, but I’ve been using the site for years. Please, anybody that can vote, vote for Michelle. Anybody who’s worked retail is braver than any US Marine.

  201. Freedom of expression—no censorship—is so incredibly important on Ao3, it’s the cornerstone of why the site was founded to begin with: Because a “problematic” ‘ship from the Supernatural fandom wasn’t allowed on Fanfiction . Net.

    Please, please, don’t allow those early to mid 2000’s days of Fanfiction . Net censoring, the LJ strikethroughs, and so on, to be repeated. Ao3 intentionally exists as a safe space online to keep everyone’s freedom of expression going. Let’s keep it that way. With the exception of a few, our excellent tagging system and our equally responsible writers and readers continue to ensure any potentially upsetting content is warned for. Certainly, there is always room to improve tagging, or other things, which can be a community dialogue to have on another day. Please, don’t let purity culture win.

  202. As a Chinese reader, as well as a fanart writer, I have seen how censorship ruined fandom platforms on the mainland, and how writers struggle in such a suffocating environment.
    I just want to say, if we take one step back, the compromise will lead to more severe fallbacks in the future, and finally, there will be no more inclusive or even creativity.
    Please cherish what you already have. Please DO NOT let anything that happens here happen again to AO3.

  203. I am very disappointed in the fact that Tiffany G was allowed to get this far in the process despite having opinions which are the polar opposites of what the archive stands for. We have the most extensive and all-encompassing tagging system within all of the publicly available internet (to my knowledge). There isn’t much more that could be done to improve it – in fact, I believe most potential additions would only serve to confuse new and sporadic users.

    I have also seen a lot of people express their concern, considering there’s 5 candidates for 3 spots (if i recall correctly) (again! How was Tiffany G allowed to get this far?). I’m dearly hoping the voters will do the right thing and avoid voting for Tiffany G. The proposed changes (the ones which aren’t already implemented, honestly, THE TAG SYSTEM IS BRILLIANT) would lead to the one event we all hoped to avoid – another purge of a fan-archive on a level we haven’t seen before.

  204. I would like to stress that there are countless other platforms that forgoes the right of the authors, which is the right to pursue their creativity without constraint as long as their pursuit causes no harm to others. This is AO3’s greatest strength, being one of the few that represent the wish of the authors. We have no need to bend our knees and do the same as other platforms.

    If a country or a society thought we are just site to host illegal contents, the one in the wrong is that country and society, not AO3. Their ignorance is not our fault. Their exclusion of our site is because they are not mature enough to embrace our way.

    It may sound arrogant for me to say this but we, as a library that offers no censorship, should not try to impress the public. Being one of the few that allows free creativity, we are the vantage point of the world. It’s the world that will come to us, not the other way around.

  205. Coming back here to add one more thing. Despite her attempts to walk back her initial comments on “pedophilic” content, it is still glaringly obvious that Tiffany is in favor of changing the TOS to limit “objectionable” works—IMO, the very moment Tiffany started talking about pedophilia/cp/etc, she should have been removed from consideration. Allowing an ostensibly pro-censorship candidate to remain on the ballot sets an extremely dangerous precedent. In making it clear that such candidates are welcome to run for the board, the OTW has created an open invitation for antis/fandom police/whatever you would like to call them and other such bad-faith actors to infiltrate the site. And, trust me, those sorts are *numerous;* I do not put it past them to have gained inspiration to do exactly what Tiffany is doing now. Although I do believe that antis enjoy complaining more than they are actually willing to take action, it’s still entirely possible that enough of them will see a candidate like Tiffany on the ballot and decide that they will donate after all in the event an another such candidate comes into play, which could prove disastrous for AO3. I am sure that the OTW is not ignorant of the social media backlash that occurs during donation drives, the harassment campaigns creators face, or the general presence of antis across all fandoms. It is vital that we look out for each other and protect our right to create. I urge the OTW to take all the steps they can when vetting volunteers and board candidates to prevent something like this from happening in the future.

  206. I am extremely concerned over Tiffany’s ideas about changing the TOS to make things more “friendly” because that goes directly against the main directive of the OTW, specifically archiveofourown: to archive all and any ds fiction, no matter how good, bad, or questionable it is. What Tiffany is saying is inherently against the entire point of the archive, and as a avid fan fiction reader it genuinely scares me because while censorship of stories may start small, history has shown that it is always abused by bad actors to censor things they don’t like, such as LGBTQIA+ relationships.

    Furthermore, this is a the fact Tiffany has said in a previous interview that she has been reading fanfiction for 10 years but she calls herself a fandom newbie when talking about tag wrangling is odd, but I see now she may be referring to tag wrangling itself instead of just tags (on the other other hand though, you’d assume you’d pick a few things up about tags after 10 years reading on the platform). This could have reasonable explanations though, but it is still an odd point that should be pointed out.

    Her aim to change the TOS however has no explanation.

  207. as someone who can’t vote for this, i want to say the overall reaction to tiffany is extremely heartening. someone who knows so little about how ao3 works, from not even knowing fic lingo to explicitly advocating to change the site’s purpose as an archive to better serve a public image, should not have even been allowed to run at all. i’m very disappointed in the otw for not recognizing these explicit red flags and still allowing her to run, but the backlash is helping to calm my now extremely high anxiety.

    i am a survivor of sexual trauma, entirely based online. noncon fic helps me apply some of that mental anguish to a physical canvas – what tiffany wants directly leads to a loss of that.

    don’t let another strikethrough happen. to those who voted against her: thank you. keep fighting the good fight. we can defeat this beast together.

  208. Tiffany’s points didn’t sit quite right with me from the get-go but I can still understand and empathize them, however the thing that got my alarm bells ringing was how she flat out lied about the reason why the site was banned in her home country and completely twist it into an issue regarding pedophilia. Why use this topic of all things in that conjured lie? I’m assuming she might have done so to strengthen her valid concerns about problematic content but…. lying isn’t the best way to go about this

  209. First and foremost, if I wasn’t stuck dealing with some major changes in the circumstances in my life, I would have been able to have the time and money to chip in. With that being said, this is the only site that accepts my fics without deleting them or my account. I’ve been able to get away with some explicit content on Wattpad, but not anywhere near the level that I can here. The last thing I need is someone coming in and making AO3 another ffn. I have a series that I worked hard on for a number of years on this site, and I don’t want someone else’s moral policing to ban it. I’m sure that there are tons of other writers in the same position. In short, if I had the ability to donate, I’d vote against Tiffany G.

  210. as someone who is a survivor or child sexual assault/abuse by someone who was also a minor, i think tiffany has a very horrifying pro-censorship agenda that is going to be the downfall of this beautiful, inclusive site if she is allowed onto the board. i do not view the FICTIONAL and NOT REAL works on here depicting 2 minors or a minor and an adult as pedophilic or promoting cp at all. it is a safe space for survivors like myself to process their trauma in their own ways and have the freedom of expression that isn’t allowed on other sites. i haven’t been here for long and i can’t vote on this election but i won’t be able to support a site that has someone on the board who is not only hyper focused on the public image of a place like ao3 but is also willing to censor peoples’ freedom to accommodate what they think is ok to write or enjoy. it is so easy and helpful on this site to tune out things you aren’t comfortable and that is enough. the downfall of other safe spaces for creators should not be brought to ao3! please don’t vote for tiffany!!!

  211. Very concerned that Tiffany is still being allowed to run at all, considering she clearly intends to challenge one of the founding principles of Ao3 – to be as inclusive as possible. The only content that is barred on the archive is that which violets the content policy (chiefly harassment), yet she fully intends to champion censorship. Censorship is a downward spiral, it may begin with banning peadophillic content with the justification of maintaining image in her home country, but as every culture has its own set of a moral and beliefs, how is it possible to draw a line? Many country do not approve of LGBTQIA+ material, so would the next step be to ban that too?

    The main reason I stopped using other platforms and started using Ao3 was the intricate tagging system, the ability to have total control over what I do, or don’t, read. With tools such as excluding tags, as a writer I am able to write taboo content, correctly tag it, and know that those who would be upset by it have the ability to shield the self from it. Tiffany has referred to herself as a content tagging newbie, but plans to change the system to suit her personal beliefs, rather than representing the writers and readers as a whole.

    Tiffany’s aim of censoring content would likely cause a significant loss in use of these site – as we have seen before! After FanFiction.net banned NC-17 through multiple purges, many people switched sites. Think also of the tumblr porn pan, which led to a 151 million monthly page view drop, and was criticised for unfairly targeting LGBTQIA+ material. Which loops us back to the point of: the subjective censorship which Tiffany advocates, does nothing but stifle creativity, isolate people, kill of platforms, and makes the internet world less tolerant to those with different views.

    Whilst I am ineligible to vote, I hope that anyone who can, votes against her. And finally, I wish that in future, the candidates are more thoroughly vetted to ensure they align with the companies visions prior to an election.

  212. I don’t feel confident in Tiffany’s knowledge and understanding of AO3. Her answers confuse me. Im not sure she should be considered for any positions related to AO3. I hope no one similar makes it this far in the process again.

  213. I am very concerned with Tiffany’s comments here. The basis of AO3 is that it is an *archive* first and foremost. Proposing a ban on certain content is something that would never pass for an archive in real life and goes completely in opposition of what AO3 and the OTW is based upon.

    Additionally, Tiffany seems to sidestep any clarification questions regarding her views on what needs to change. She first brings up banning CP/CSA/pedophilic content and then backtracks immediately to say that she meant “improved tagging” for content. When asked for clarification she repeated the same info and did not elaborate or explain what she meant. We’re fans not politicians, and her hasty backtracking and sidestepping of every question on her views is concerning at the very least. If she feels like she can’t give a straight answer about her views to us then it’s clear she knows she hold the unpopular view with her pro-censorship attitude.

    Michelle gave clear answers to every question and shows clear ideas to improve the OTW. Tiffany side steps all questions on her views and, from what little she says, wants to change the very basis that all of the OTW was built on.

    The fact that Tiffany, with views so clearly antithetical to what the OTW and AO3 stands for, was able to even make it this far is more than concerning.

  214. I deeply regret not being able to afford to donate this year so I could vote for other candidates and not Tiffany. AO3 is one of fandom’s LAST bastions of creative expression. It is controlled by no corporate interests, unlike other fandom platforms. Its function as an archive is CRUCIAL to fandom culture. Its value information-wise cannot be overstated. It cannot EVER fall to any kind of censorship, or else ALL content is at risk.

    “If you accept – and I do – that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don’t say or like or want said. The Law is a huge blunt weapon that does not and will not make distinctions between what you find acceptable and what you don’t. This is how the Law is made. People making art find out where the limits of free expression are by going beyond them and getting into trouble. […] The Law is a blunt instrument. It’s not a scalpel. It’s a club. If there is something you consider indefensible, and there is something you consider defensible, and the same laws can take them both out, you are going to find yourself defending the indefensible.” –Neil Gaiman

  215. Please, if our comments mean ANYTHING to you, do not put Tiffany in. I will literally donate NOW if it means to vote against her. Censorship is not the AO3 way, nor has it ever been.

    I have been writing on this website since 2017, I do not want to have to try and move somewhere else, but should this motion come to reality, I will be sad to go.

  216. Tiffany’s comments about censoring content on AO3 is very alarming. AO3 is purely an archive, not a social media site; therefore, its “public image” doesn’t matter because it was made for fans to express themselves freely. If she is elected and her puritanical ideas are implemented, I foresee AO3 falling into ruin much like fanfiction/.net. As a writer and a reader, I am scared. AO3 should not implement such a foundational change just to fit her country’s specific censorship laws. She should focus on fixing the root of her problem, not an archive that got caught up in the crossfire.

    On a side note, it’s heartwarming to see so many users of AO3 join together to fight against Tiffany’s pro-censorship views. Many people, including myself, are regretful that we didn’t donate enough to vote. To everyone who can vote: PLEASE research all of the candidates and their views before you vote!!

  217. We CANNOT allow this person on the board. She clearly has no idea what ao3 is about. I’ve only just started posting my own fics, but it’s the best website for fanfic there is. I hate the idea of moving them all to another site, losing the comments and whatnot. These last few years have already been a dumpster fire, don’t take this away too.

  218. Tiffany seems to have both inexperience not only with using the site, and with a board based site where there is responsibility put upon the users to report content that violates Terms of Service; but working collaboratively within the A03. For someone looking to be the head of a site, they should have made an effort to connect with their fellow volunteers before the elections to expand their understanding of each role within the community and those involved in keeping the site running.

    I do agree that I have issues with some of the content posted on the site, I’m uncomfortable with real person fiction but I avoid it on the site using the tools the site has provided me to do so. Tiffany should use the tools that is provided to her to avoid the content that she deems makes our site impalpable to the public.

  219. I am absolutely horrified by the censorship that Tiffany G is presenting as the future of this website. This goes against everything AO3 has stood for. I do vow to donate more funds in the future to keep people like Tiffany G out of power.

  220. I believe that Tiffany g d violate the basic core of this website. Why is her even allowed to run in?

  221. I think it would be a disaster if Tiffany were to attend the board team. Her idea and purpose are dangerous, it will completely destroy this great and free website. I have experienced too much in some similar situations. I do not want that tragedy to appear again. Please do not vote for her.

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