Kirsten Wright 2019 Q&A: Group 2

Is there anything about the AO3’s Terms of Service or how they’re currently applied that you think should be modified?

Not at this point in time.

What are your thoughts on AO3’s policy to allow any and all fannish content including RPF and fanworks featuring abusive or otherwise dark themes?

I fully support all content currently on AO3, including works with dark themes. First of all, it would be incredibly limiting. Several genres, such as horror or drama, would cease to exist if dark or controversial themes were eradicated. Secondly, dark themes have always been in art and literature, and allow both creators and consumers to explore and learn.

I also think it’s important to note that AO3 has an international userbase, and some topics that are unacceptable in one country are much less taboo in another. For example, AO3 has recently received an influx of Chinese users because of bans of queer fiction on Chinese platforms. I think it’s incredibly important that AO3 remain a welcoming place for writers, artists and other creators to explore all sorts of topics, including dark ones.

On a personal level, I am an RPF fan, and it would be incredibly hypocritical for me to advocate for it to be removed from the archive.

What are your thoughts on internet censorship and freedom of expression? Does the OTW have a role to play in that ongoing conversation? If yes, what role?

I think the best role for the OTW to play is the one it is already playing: providing a space online for fans to explore and create without fear that their work will be exploited or controlled by those outside of fandom.

There have been a few pressing issues, specifically the translation of the archive, and the incorporation of fanart as a category, that keep coming up during elections but are never given a concrete timeframe to be held accountable to. What will you do specifically to provide transparency to users waiting for these issues?

The OTW’s biggest struggle is figuring out how to get everything done. Because we have an all-volunteer staff, and because there are issues that pop up out of anyone’s control, it can be hard to establish a timeline.

As for transparency, I really can’t think of a better system then the one currently in place: all current projects are publicly viewable on Github, which is linked at the bottom of every page on AO3.

Edited July 13 to adjust the first sentence of the second answer for greater clarity, at the candidate’s request.