Finally, some news that is not related to the site acting wonky but rather to inform you that the Mods have listened to concerns from the membership and decided to add a couple of fic warnings that, effective immediately, will be mandatory on new content published on the site.
These warnings are as follows:
- Depictions of Bigotry: contains characters making prejudicial statements and/or offensive slurs regarding race, gender, ability, orientation, religion, or class, including incidentally. (Not to be confused with authors making such remarks.) Authors are asked to use their discretion here as to what qualifies as bigotry, as a full explanation on where we're drawing lines could quickly become a six-page essay. If you have any questions on a specific fic, you can contact the mods— we are happy to consult. Please be aware that if you do not use the warning and it comes to Mod attention, we reserve the right to reach out and address the situation.
- Incest: contains depictions of a romantic and/or sexual relationship between family members, whether related by blood or marriage. If the latter, situations in which the characters in question were raised as and/or regarded each other as family prior to their romantic and/or sexual involvement.
Now, on the Depictions of Bigotry, we spent a lot of time (really, a LOT of time) trying to come up with the appropriate definition only to realize, well, there isn’t one. We’re a fandom for an old show, and as such, problematic themes, characterizations, ideas, and beliefs were depicted and/or supported in the source material. The same can be said for a good amount of fic, where social and cultural norms of the day it was written have since been identified and recognized as Not Cool. Speaking personally, I’ve had several people let me know of things I wrote in old fics that I would never write today and intend to address when I edit those works.
Point is, it's now 2023, and we are so proud to have cultivated a wonderfully diverse community that we have been told, numerous times, helps individuals in otherwise targeted communities feel heard and (hopefully) safe. The addition of this warning is a continued part of that outreach, as well as in line with our goal of empowering readers so they may confidently and safely engage with content published here.
That said, we also hope the membership understands that we do not have the resources to retroactively review all the fics published on this site to see what stories qualify for our new warnings, or ANY of the warnings that have been added since we launched in 2006, of which there are many. If you are already aware of such fics, we encourage you to let us know so we can reach out to the authors or apply the warning ourselves, if necessary. If in the future you encounter an older fic that isn’t tagged, again, let us know and we will handle it.
Just to reiterate to all EF authors, use your own discretion and reach out to us with questions. We understand that this is a very daunting, nebulous tag, which is why it took us so long to decide how to approach it, but we do think it’s essential to continue supporting the health and safety of community members. As always, if you include any warning in a fic that you would like to explain, you are encouraged to elaborate in the story notes. And rest assured, unless authors refuse to use the warnings or act with malicious intent, no one will be in trouble for neglecting to add a warning. The most you can expect from us is a private message requesting that the warning be added if we think it is warranted.
Likewise, under no circumstance should a member reach out to an author directly and confront them about depictions of bigotry (or any other warning) in their work. If there’s an issue or concern, let the Mod team know. That’s one of the things we’re here for.
I’m sure this is going to open the floor to a lot of questions, but we truly are going to rely heavily on the definition we drafted for this tag. Really, just use your best judgment, and if you aren’t sure, ask.
You can find all information regarding rating, category, genre, and warning definitions here.
--Holly and the Mods on July 26, 2023 04:14am 7 Comments