OTW Fannews: Fandom risks

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  • A variety of articles derived from an Anhui TV segment reported that 20 women writing slash fiction were arrested in China as part of an effort to "create a healthy cyberspace." As The Diplomat pointed out though, the purge was very narrowly targeted. "Indeed, if the various crackdowns in the past were actually aimed at porn, it’s hard to understand how some of the largest porn sites have somehow slipped through the cracks. If you want to read reports from Amnesty International or the New York Times in China, you are bang out of luck unless you have a VPN. Still, the glorious proletariat can look at Porn.com until they’re blue in the face."
  • Anuradha Lingappa wrote in the Whitman College Pioneer about sexual assaults in Harry Potter fandom. "The recent accusations mirror an incident a couple years ago when an Internet-famous musician who wrote songs about similarly 'nerdy' topics was arrested on several counts of child pornography. He pled guilty to soliciting sexually explicit content from underage fans. He moved in the same circles as some of the men who are currently accused, even accompanying their bands on tour. The response to his arrest was disappointing. No one wanted to talk about it. If there had been serious discussion about preventing sexual violence within fandoms, maybe things wouldn’t have gotten so far."
  • Author N.K. Jemisin discussed confirmation bias. "Confirmation bias doesn’t cause the phenomenon of Mysteriously Whitewashed Medieval Europe. (Or Peculiarly Denuded of Women Europe, or Puzzlingly Focused On The Nobility Europe, or any of the other bizarre things we tend to see in medieval Europe-flavored fantasy.) Confirmation bias causes the freakouts that occur whenever somebody points out these phenomena, and names them as inaccuracies. Like the 'go kill yourself' messages Medieval PoC has gotten for simply pointing out that people of color could easily have been present in a game set in central Bohemia."

What examples of fandom risks have you seen? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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At present there doesn't seem to be a specific campaign organized for them that we know of. Our Legal Committee said that while they "suspect it would be prohibitively difficult to get any sort of material support into China, as general support for free speech in this context, this poster might be interested in following or donating to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF)."

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