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The Curious Affair of the Sock Puppet
June 30, 2006 7:40 AM   Subscribe

Like many internet communities, the Harry Potter fan community is a close knit one and prone to outbursts of drama and strife. But what happens when a single member is pulling the strings? This long account is about msscribe who through sock puppetry, trolling, and some flat out lies polarized online Potter fans for the past four years.
posted by robocop is bleeding (88 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
these sock puppets....they vibrate?

seriously, I had no idea there fanfic factions
posted by cosmicbandito at 7:45 AM on June 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


I was just reading through this from your earlier MeTa link. The amount of work put into gaining popularity and support in a HP fanfic community is INSANE.
posted by graventy at 7:46 AM on June 30, 2006


I'm not a member of the HP fan community, but after some friends who are showed me this stuff, I was bowled over.

I remember from my WoD MUSH days almost a decade ago (Dark Metal, represent!) how easy it was to get addicted to the drama and the factional strife of an online community.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:49 AM on June 30, 2006


This is total lunacy.
posted by weinbot at 7:57 AM on June 30, 2006


Fandom is the new religion.
posted by tittergrrl at 8:00 AM on June 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Humorless, factional sexualization of teenage characters created by another author is the new literature.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:04 AM on June 30, 2006


I was on a WoD MUSH for a while myself, some years ago. There was drama, but most of it involved TinySex.
posted by Gator at 8:10 AM on June 30, 2006


I read the whole MssScribe thing yesterday after your MeTa link. It took a couple of hours, and most of the time I felt pretty depressed and angry at myself for reading something so ridiculous. In the end though, I found the account to be very life-affirming.
posted by Espy Gillespie at 8:11 AM on June 30, 2006


More importantly, Emma Watson is hot for being 16. High school girls, I keep getting older and they stay the same age -- har, har, har.
posted by geoff. at 8:11 AM on June 30, 2006


That link is blocked by my work's proxy server: "The category 'Lingerie and Swimsuit' is filtered."

Now I'm intrigued.
posted by Zozo at 8:17 AM on June 30, 2006


geoff's link, I mean, not the FPP's.

I have a friend who's pretty active in HP fandom, so I've been getting trickles of information about this, but I find it too foreign and strange and depressing to listen to or think about for long. To have that kind of time on your hands, you know? And then to do that with it.
posted by Zozo at 8:18 AM on June 30, 2006


My friend started a Harry Potter fan group in NYC and got an anonymous call telling her to stop what she was doing because 'you're taking away from the group!'. I wonder if this has any link...
posted by parmanparman at 8:19 AM on June 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


the HP fan community

Fantasy lit hash collision! My brain cannot help but see HP as invariably preceding Lovecraft.

To have that kind of time on your hands, you know? And then to do that with it.

I have a LOT of friends who are very concerned with the internal politics of their SGA-type groups. AFAICT, they spend more time politicking than hitting each other with foam.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:22 AM on June 30, 2006


good to see dhoyt is keeping himself busy.
posted by crunchland at 8:23 AM on June 30, 2006


I am not going (NG) to read that (RT) because life is too short (TS) and if I RT which I am NG to do I would sink to a level of caring (LC) below which I have never sunk, because life is TS. My LC doesn't mean I won't read metatalk though.
posted by bonaldi at 8:24 AM on June 30, 2006


In short: TLDR
posted by bonaldi at 8:24 AM on June 30, 2006


Ms. Scribe, meet Marissa Marchant, your doppelganger on music boards. Only MM seems a tad more prolific as a bad writer.
posted by klangklangston at 8:34 AM on June 30, 2006


Zozo : "Now I'm intrigued."

Sadly, the category does not apply to this link.

If one can be sad about not being able to lust after half-clothed underage girls.
posted by graventy at 8:35 AM on June 30, 2006


I'm two handshakes (or LJs) away from a bunch of the people involved in that, and I agree with graventy. The sheer amount of time involved boggles my mind. That they manage to give their favorite fictional characters' fictional relationships so much weight that they're sending real-world legal threats to each other is amazingly histrionic.

That being said, I read the bad-penny version on some LJ that I can't track down at the moment, and it killed a few hours the way only a real-life soap opera can.
posted by cobaltnine at 8:39 AM on June 30, 2006


Something just occurred to me: if they have the time to mount, maintain, and document these campaigns with such enthusiasm and committment, at least some of them must have the spare $5 to drag their drama to MeFi.

I've got a bad feeling about this.
posted by Zozo at 8:40 AM on June 30, 2006


"...someone with a great deal of artistic ability took Imogen's fluffy H/G icon -- a kind of pastel drawing of Ginny standing behind Harry with her hand on his shoulder and copied it with Ginny butt-fucking Harry with a strap-on, while he screamed in apparent pain with blood and shit spattering everywhere. Pretty impressive to be able to convey all that on a 100x100 icon, but not nice at all."

That just made all my skimming worth it. Now I want to see that icon.

People are fucking crazy.
posted by kyleg at 8:45 AM on June 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Ha ha... I shoulda logged out of my dad's computer last night...

This is totally weird shit...
posted by klangklangston at 8:46 AM on June 30, 2006


So far this makes an insane but somehow riveting story.

What's the meaning of the use of "ship"? It seems like a story line or maybe a universe in which a story line occurs? What's the derivation?
posted by OmieWise at 8:47 AM on June 30, 2006


OmieWise: It means 'relationship'. 'Shippers' mean people who obsess over having a particular two characters involved. Eg: "Harry/Hermione 'Shippers really hated book 6."
posted by cobaltnine at 8:51 AM on June 30, 2006


Man - it just goes to show that sometimes the smaller the stakes are, the more vicious the infighting gets.
posted by JB71 at 8:51 AM on June 30, 2006


Four words: Rangerphiles Against Gadget Erotica.
posted by hyperizer at 8:53 AM on June 30, 2006


Truly astonishing, the tempests-in-teapots the Internet makes possible, and then exposes to a wondering world.

I was reading this just yesterday, and although it doesn't involve fanfic, seems to be the same kind of incestuous microcosm clusterfuck at some level.
posted by adamrice at 8:54 AM on June 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


OmieWise, I think it's short for "relationship." So, for example, a Lupin/Snape shipper would insist on making Remus Lupin and Severus Snape a romantic couple in all of her stories and artwork. Don't take this as writ, though; it's just my analysis as yet another person on the distant fringes of online Potter fandom.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:57 AM on June 30, 2006


On lack of preview, I win!
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:58 AM on June 30, 2006


Sounds a lot like Wikipedia.
posted by bhouston at 8:58 AM on June 30, 2006


Holy fucking shit. I bookmarked this. So when I feel like things aren't going optimally in my life, I can remind myself that I'm not writing softcore porn with children's characters and then fighting with strangers about it.

Can you imagine how ashamed you'd feel if you did this? You'd go back and look at the page delineating the whole conflict, say "what exactly are we arguing about and how did I spend my time leading up to it to get to caring enough to get involved?"

Then your third eye would open and you'd have no choice but to go Walgreens, buy a shitload of Tylenol PMs and write a note to your mom apologizing and asking her to please take good care of Dumbledore the cat.

(if anyone involved in the Harry Potter fanfiction controversy is reading this, don't actually do that. Overdosing will wreck your organs, and that's selfish. Blow your brains out, but don't wreck your eyes and don't do it where you won't be discovered until you're putrid. K THX BYE.)
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:01 AM on June 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


OmieWise: i vaguely knew of "shipping" from x-file days, but its wiki article gave me a good entry point into all this HP craziness.
posted by cgs at 9:11 AM on June 30, 2006


Wikipedia article on "shipping" (fandom)
posted by beerbajay at 9:14 AM on June 30, 2006


Doh. Beaten handily by cgs.
posted by beerbajay at 9:14 AM on June 30, 2006


Oh and fuck the Rescue Rangers. Total bottom of the barrel, even for Disney. That and the fucking Goof Troop ruined many otherwise pleasant cartoon-watching afternoons.
posted by beerbajay at 9:18 AM on June 30, 2006


The amount of sheer vitriol that accompanies the shipping wars in that fandom is mind-boggling. And the depths to which this individual sunk simply to become BFFs with one of the most well-known people in fandom speaks to a level of narcissism that is probably only highlighted by this drama. I couldn't read it all -- my eyes started to glaze over -- but I remember a lot of this stuff as it hit Fandom_Wank and the fact that it all stemmed from one person... Wow. I actually think I'd respect her more if she were simply trolling. But doing it for the attention of a single person? That almost makes me sad. (Almost.)
posted by ryokoblue at 9:26 AM on June 30, 2006


"The category 'Lingerie and Swimsuit' is filtered."

I did not just imagine Dumbledore in a thong.
posted by hangashore at 9:35 AM on June 30, 2006


Just wait until I release my mathowie/jessamyn fanfic.
posted by geoff. at 10:14 AM on June 30, 2006


Whoah, Holy Shit. I read that link and then I fell down and hit my head and went into one of those shimmery sitcom style dreams.

In the dream I was having an email conversation with Osama. A passionate, heated back and fourth where I was making my strongest case that the complete annihilation of western civilization was a bad idea. In my last email to him I pointed out all the scientific advances, all the works of humanism, all the freethinkers who respected the right of all to self-determination, I acknowledged all the failings of the west as well, but in my moral calculus I triumphed. It was the best appeal to reason anyone had ever made, and I ended it thus:

So tell me Sheik, can you give me one reason to rebut the many that I offered that the west is utterly corrupt and must be destroyed and rebuilt under Sharia Law? I think not!
Hell, I'll sign up if you can.

his reply:

From: Osamayomama@gmail.com
Subject: re:re:re:re: All must bathe in rivers of blood...
Date: June 30, 2006 12:11:33 PM EDT
To: divinewino@gmail.com

http://www.journalfen.net/community/bad_penny/1074.html

Sorry, someone will be around to record your martyrdom video, wear something summery.
best,
OBL
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:22 AM on June 30, 2006 [4 favorites]


Excellent read, thanks.

(The sparklies always speak the truth.)
posted by Methylviolet at 10:22 AM on June 30, 2006


Thanks, for some reason I couldn't come up with relationship on my own even though it always referred to that. Weird.
posted by OmieWise at 10:45 AM on June 30, 2006



Fandom is the new religion.

No lie. There is basically no end to how deep some of these things go.
posted by nuclear_soup at 10:50 AM on June 30, 2006


"Then your third eye would open and you'd have no choice but to go Walgreens, buy a shitload of Tylenol PMs and write a note to your mom apologizing and asking her to please take good care of Dumbledore the cat."

BWaHAhahahahahahahahahahahaha!

(and of course, I don't really mean that someone should suicide over their obsession and the dawning realization of the teapot they've been storming, but still...that's some funny, bitchy writing, Mayor Curley.)
posted by I, Credulous at 11:06 AM on June 30, 2006


I was planning to break down and finally read a Harry Potter novel, but now I think I'll read this instead. Thanks!
posted by staggernation at 11:50 AM on June 30, 2006


geoff.: Just wait until I release my mathowie/jessamyn fanfic.

Speaking as a matteo/dios shipper, bor-ring.
posted by jtron at 11:54 AM on June 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Paris Paramus/amberglow for me, thank you. Put those together and sparks fly . . . sexy, hate sex sparks!

I couldn't actually get throught the first LJ entry. It was just too stupid.
posted by schroedinger at 12:01 PM on June 30, 2006


wow this is fantastic reading. i cannot believe how long it is. it's like seven or eight pages in and i'm ONLY at September 2003.
posted by poppo at 12:12 PM on June 30, 2006


I couldn't actually get throught the first LJ entry.

i would skip the LJ entries and just read the narrator. s/he quotes the most relevant stuff anyway.
posted by poppo at 12:13 PM on June 30, 2006


I'm sailing on the five fresh fish/konolia ship.
posted by eustacescrubb at 12:15 PM on June 30, 2006


I read this last week and then banged my head on the keyboard for a couple of hours. As someone else said, she could have written her own damn novel in the time it took her to create all that drama.
posted by sugarfish at 12:18 PM on June 30, 2006


Wow. I've had a dim awareness that there's a whole, weird universe called Fic out there, but...wow.
posted by everichon at 1:14 PM on June 30, 2006


This sort of stuff never used to happen with older pulp fiction books. You never see Lensman LJ fanfic communities that specialize in Worsel/Overlords of Delgon "shipping".

(No, I'm not going to google for it. I like my sanity.)
posted by unreason at 1:24 PM on June 30, 2006


I once Googled the email address of a prospective roommate and discovered this world, including the madness of Lumiere/Cogsworth fic.

To my eternal regret, we never actually got to interview her.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:36 PM on June 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


And speaking of fan-fiction, and of Rescue Rangers, may I kindly direct your attention to this post, featuring Of Mice and Mayhem, one of the best fanfictions I've ever read.
posted by DataPacRat at 1:44 PM on June 30, 2006



The folks who really trip me out are these people.

Well, them and this.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:50 PM on June 30, 2006 [2 favorites]


I joined a House community because I thought it would be about the show. Nope. It was about how House should love Cameron, Cuddy, or Wilson. or how he does. or how he did, but then moved on to the next one.

They would read this into every single thing that happened on the show. I got into a long fight with one of them about how they were missing things that were there in the actual art. But really I was just mad that they couldn't calm down and keep their silly ideas to themselves. I'm not proud of that, but I still think i had a point about missing the good things that are there.

Does this make anybody else feel like the people who, while they don't quite mind the gay rights movement, don't really like it either. It's a creepy feeling to be behind the curve and scream to the heavens that no, this offends you and it's disgusting and an affront.

twenty six and i consider myself a curmudgeon because i don't think Scooby and Shaggy should have anal sex. What is this world coming to. Get off my lawn.
posted by Brainy at 1:51 PM on June 30, 2006


From chapter 6:

To me, it was tedious beyond belief, but people seemed to enjoy it.

I actually do find this kind of interesting, in an internet-detective sort of way. Maybe trolling is the new detective fiction.
posted by whir at 1:53 PM on June 30, 2006


I'm actually glad such communities/obsessions exist, it makes life more pleasantly strange. That said, I don't think I want to participate--I just want to be able to hang out with my vanilla, NPR-listening friends at dinner and know that somewhere, someone is making the Rescue Rangers/Harry Potter/Dr. Who have narsty, narsty sex. Mmmm...pass the balsamic, will you?
posted by everichon at 2:15 PM on June 30, 2006


Now that I rethink this, though, there's a corollary to the internet/dog maxim: In real life, no one knows you're an Internet Weirdo.
posted by everichon at 2:16 PM on June 30, 2006


Unless, like, they do.
posted by everichon at 2:17 PM on June 30, 2006


Another Kaycee Nicole?
posted by Addlepated at 2:17 PM on June 30, 2006


"I'm actually glad such communities/obsessions exist, it makes life more pleasantly strange."

Exactly. The virtual communities we've created in the last couple decades - MUDS, fan communities, MMORPGs, MetaFilter - are something that has never existed or even been imagined before in human history. It's outrageous and uncharted. It is a new reality. As we see real economies pop up on virtual space, we are witnessing a new universe being born which exists in parallel with our physical world.

One of the traps the HP fic folks fell into was not separating the two. They forgot that it wasn't real. And in doing so they invited a virtual demon into their physical reality.
posted by Minglet at 2:32 PM on June 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


They won't be embarrassed about it later on. For most of the people involved it's an enjoyable hobby you can enjoy with your friends. I was involved with an on-line fan community fifteen years ago, and was involved with writing some (admittedly spoof) fan fiction, and I was telling my daughter about it yesterday with amusement and pride. Yeah, there were some serious goofballs around, but I run into them in other places too.

Sheesh, what people do freshman year of college is WAY more embarrassing than some of this fanfic stuff.
posted by Peach at 3:15 PM on June 30, 2006


Minglet: Exactly. The virtual communities we've created in the last couple decades - MUDS, fan communities, MMORPGs, MetaFilter - are something that has never existed or even been imagined before in human history. It's outrageous and uncharted. It is a new reality. As we see real economies pop up on virtual space, we are witnessing a new universe being born which exists in parallel with our physical world.

Um, what?

Certainly the interenet has made the creation of these communitites much easier, and dramatically increased the speed of information flow on these communities. But communitites of people who interact on a regular basis without meeting face to face are certainly nothing new. For example, there was Sophie Germain's collaboration with Carl Gaus (1804-1807), organized amateur radio networks (1920s-present), and virtual LTRs between telegraph operators (1860s-1920s). I think that many of the net utopians who want for the interenet to reinvent the wheel dramatically understimate the importance of postal systems.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:18 PM on June 30, 2006


"It is a new reality. As we see real economies pop up on virtual space, we are witnessing a new universe being born which exists in parallel with our physical world."

What the hell are you on about, highon?

On preview— What Kurt said.
posted by klangklangston at 3:23 PM on June 30, 2006


They won't be embarrassed about it later on. For most of the people involved it's an enjoyable hobby you can enjoy with your friends.

No, it's pornography in the true sense of the word in that it has No Socially Redeeming Value. I've seen "Facts of Life" fan fiction and laughed at it. I saw the aforemention James Heriott slash and grimaced in a "My First Goatse" fashion. But I still believed that the First Amendment protected those sickos.

But, MOTHERFUCKER! I googled this, and while I didn't follow the links, knowing that it's out there makes me wish that we had some Stalin-like figure who would airbrush the Internet and make it illegal to even insinuate that people wrote stories depicting Jack Aubrey and Steven Maturin fucking. Judging from the google descriptions, there are stories where someone humps Killick. Some diseased mind has imagined Jack Aubrey anally violating Preserved Killick and liked it enough to flesh it out and share it with other syphilitics (or whatever would cause you to do something that revolting).
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:37 PM on June 30, 2006


As long as we're all praying for death, check out some Nicktoon-themed 9/11 tribute fanfic.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:42 PM on June 30, 2006


I feel that way about peanut-butter and cucumber sandwiches, myself.
posted by Peach at 3:44 PM on June 30, 2006


"I think that many of the net utopians who want for the interenet to reinvent the wheel dramatically understimate the importance of postal systems."

If you don't think the Internet has reinvented the wheel, especially in terms of virtual communities, I'm certainly not going to try and talk you out of the little fantasy. Rock on you steam punker you.

Having Victorian aristocrats play MMOs via couriered letters or telegraph sounds like it would make a great novel. But, let's not forget, it never happened.
posted by Minglet at 3:47 PM on June 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Holy shit. This is too strange. This morning before work I bookmarked the msscribe saga so I could read it all when I got home and thought I'd pop into Metafilter before I settled in with an entire night's worth of sweet, sweet wank...and here it is! This thing has gotten huge.

(Admission: I lurk on the periphery of a few major LJ and Journalfen fandoms and saw a lot of msscribe's shit go down first-hand. For those of us hooked on wank, this is a big deal. I mean, it can't possibly compare to the hilarious lunacy of Crystal Wank, but very little can. This unfortunately is a bit more twisted and some perfectly lovely people got their feelings hurt. Also, if you think this is nuts, you ought to see the sort of batshitinsanity that went down in the Lord of the Rings fandom. Seriously.)
posted by LeeJay at 4:00 PM on June 30, 2006


Minglet: If you don't think the Internet has reinvented the wheel, especially in terms of virtual communities, I'm certainly not going to try and talk you out of the little fantasy. Rock on you steam punker you.

Perhaps it is a "fantasy." On the other hand, it is a "fantasy" that is supported by over 100 research articles published over the last two decades in my files. The idea net utopian idea that we can just discard everything we know about human interaction before 2000* just does not stand up to close scrutiny.

Instead, what you have is substantial evidence that traditional forms of power and privelege extend to the internet (Susan Herring is a good person to start with) and theories that most online social networks expand traditional f2f networks displacing media like telephone and letter writing (see Barry Wellman for that).

Having Victorian aristocrats play MMOs via couriered letters or telegraph sounds like it would make a great novel. But, let's not forget, it never happened.

Ahh, but you didn't say anything about MMOs. What you said was "virtual communities" (which in the online communities research generally means something like "community without propinquity.") And then you listed a bunch of claimed examples: MUDS, fan communities, MMORPGs and Metafilter.

Depending on how you slice it, all of the above have prior art in the Victorian age. Online multiplayer games were foreshadowed by correspondence games, and the early MUDs and MOOs took correspondence games as an inspiration. Fan clubs with open mailing lists certainly predate the internet. And much of the same kinds of discussion we see with metafilter can be seen in correspondence archives we have for notable historic figures.

If you want to say that MMORPGs with a 3d interface are a radically new invention, I'm not going to disagree, but then perhaps you should limit your claim to MMORPGs and not to the broader idea of "virtual communities."

* I'm being generous here. Most net utopians can't see past the great new "Web 2.0" site that went online last month.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:20 PM on June 30, 2006


I had another go, but I'm still not able to tease out what she actually did. From what I understand, this fanfic community is thick as very short planks: someone trolling as egregiously as that here would be outed in less time than it took MsScribe to make her sockpuppet icons.

Send jenleigh their way. I'd love to read Dundonian HP fiction. Oh wait, I wouldn't.
posted by bonaldi at 4:26 PM on June 30, 2006


My favorite bit (from chapter three): "In the excitement, Msscribe was friended by dozens more people. She was at well over a hundred now, with real people now definitely outnumbering her sockpuppets."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:40 PM on June 30, 2006


As an aside, I just wanted to point out this picture, in which the estimable Ms. Watson appears to be turning the fantasy world of many of her fans into a reality by snogging one of her girlfriends.
posted by scalefree at 5:37 PM on June 30, 2006


I had another go, but I'm still not able to tease out what she actually did. From what I understand, this fanfic community is thick as very short planks: someone trolling as egregiously as that here would be outed in less time than it took MsScribe to make her sockpuppet icons.

bonaldi, you have to understand that you aren't really dealing with one community, here, as in one site like Mefi. You are dealing with a ton of smaller communities dedicated to (sort of) the same theme. Smaller communities that are often openly hostile towards one another with the more active members tending to stick to one and not the other. msscribe was able to quietly build up a small number of sockpuppets at each site that acted as "fangirls" for her. There are a lot of silly fangirls (and boys!) in every fandom so a few squeeing posters in one or two communities going on about how much they liked msscribe's writing wasn't going to raise any eyebrows.

At the same time she was blogging away on her personal site with a lot of engaging stories and funny anecdotes and on-target fandom criticisms and the occasional dose of BNF asskissing. BNFs are Big Name Fans, fanfic authors who have developed a (relatively) large and devoted following of loyal readers. At the time msscribe started out, the biggest BNF was a woman who went by the name "Cassie Claire". She wrote some of the first really well-received Harry Potter fanfic and the very funny and linked-all-over Very Secret Diaries (which were linked here on Mefi as a matter of fact). msscribe sent just enough buttkissing to Cassie Claire and other BNFs to get her foot in the door.

Then she began posting anonymous criticisms and attacks to her own and others' journals - masquerading as loonies and fanfic haters and homophobes in order to rile the communities up. This didn't set off alarm bells at the time because, well, fandom attracts a LOT of loonies. In retrospect, yeah, it seems weird that a relatively unknown fanfic author was getting so much "hate mail" but it happens. And she made sure the attacks were spread around just enough to make it seem like everyone was getting it, not just her.

And it just kept on going. For years. But again, we aren't talking about one community where everyone is seeing the same things posted at the same time. You are dealing with one faction here and another faction there and one group of friends here and one group of friends there. And msscribe posting here and there among all of them as sockpuppets while still maintaining a very visible and believable presence as herself. Yes, she was involved in a lot of drama but spread out over the years it didn't seem like so much really, or at least nothing that all the other crazy fandom geeks didn't get up to themselves from time to time.

And you also have to understand that there were a LOT of trolls and stupid people coming in and out of the various communities. Trolling is just a part of fandom so when one obvious troll pops up it's likely that most people will just write it off as one of many different trolls and not automatically assume that there is one person behind it all. And msscribe was clever enough to involve herself in enough visible drama to ensure that most people would assume that there was no need for her to sockpuppet.

Again, in retrospect, all of the evidence piled up makes it seem like this should have been obvious to everyone involved but there were so many players involved over such a long period of time that it was pretty hard to see when one was in the thick of it. Although there were people who suspected her of sockpuppeting from way back. But some of those were her very own sockpuppets used to deflect blame and make it seem like a ridiculous idea.

So, bascially, a thousand and one words to say, "Meh. Hindsight is 20/20 and I need to get out more."
posted by LeeJay at 5:43 PM on June 30, 2006 [2 favorites]


This is why I can't be crazy. It's too much fucking work.
posted by FunkyHelix at 6:03 PM on June 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Evelyn Mulwray: She's my fangirl.
[Gittes slaps Evelyn]
Jake Gittes: I said I want the truth!
Evelyn Mulwray: She's my fangirl...
[slap]
Evelyn Mulwray: She's my sock puppet...
[slap]
Evelyn Mulwray: My fangirl, my soc kpuppet.
[More slaps]
Jake Gittes: I said I want the truth!
Evelyn Mulwray: She's my fangirl AND my sock puppet!

Forget it, Jake. It's Nerdtown.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:50 PM on June 30, 2006 [2 favorites]


Minglet : "The virtual communities we've created in the last couple decades - MUDS, fan communities, MMORPGs, MetaFilter - are something that has never existed or even been imagined before in human history. It's outrageous and uncharted. It is a new reality."

From your followup, it appears that your emphasis is that the following specific virtual communities or types of virtual communities that we've created: MUDS, fan communities, MMORPGs, and Metafilter, have never existed before.

Well, sure, MetaFilter never existed before Matt made it.
MUDS and MMORPGs have never existed before as well.
Fan communities...well, now you're being silly. Fan communities have existed for forever and a fucking day.

So, 3 out of 4.

But that's all a little pointless. After all, if I make a bulletin board where everyone's user name is "BobDorkaPusBoobly" followed by a number, well, I've just created a virtual community that has never existed and probably never imagined before in human history, but I would say that calling it "outrageous", "uncharted", or "a new reality" is overstepping by a huge amount.

If, however, your argument is that virtual communities themselves are something that has never existed before, and that MUDs, fan communities, MMORPGs, and MetaFilter are just examples of them, well, then the other commenters here are right in pointing out that similar but not identical virtual communities have existed before.

Now, what would make sense to say is that (as far as I know), the scale of interaction in virtual communities is something unprecedented historically. Sure, there have been music zines and chess-by-mail and ham operators and the like, but we're now looking at a time where it is far more common for people to be in virtual communities, to be in more virtual communities at once, etc.
posted by Bugbread at 7:06 PM on June 30, 2006


bugbread: Great post. Granted, "virtual community" has become something of a buzzphrase with a lack of a common definition, but most frequently the elements are:
1) a group of people who...
2) ...share norms and language...
3) ...engaged in a common practice...
4) ...where f2f interactions not the primary medium of communication.

Unless you create some media-specific definition of virtual community and run the risk of it becoming obsolete next month, you can't claim that the phenomenon only existed in the last 20 years.

If anything, the existence of these prior virtual communities with their own norms, jargon and discourse should reduce some of the panic surrounding things like chat abbreviations. After all, while jargon like "10-4," "stop" (used at the end of a sentence), "S.O.S." and "Mayday" made their way into mainstream language, they certainly have not caused the collapse of English literacy as we know it.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:26 PM on June 30, 2006


I love the fact that one of the minor players in this whole conflaguration was named "Hive Vagina" (on chapter eight or something). I don't love the fact that I read the whole thing. And it's a bit of a letdown that there's no brilliant flameout in finality ala dhoyt. It's amazing that she defends herself so well, in the face of indisputable evidence.
posted by Paris Hilton at 10:36 PM on June 30, 2006


Between reading this and the MetaWankWiki I’ve wasted entirely too much time today. Thanks for the link.
posted by Tenuki at 1:20 AM on July 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


Is 'fandom' perhaps the most embarrassing word ever? My tongue would blush if I were ever to say it aloud.
posted by Sparx at 1:33 AM on July 1, 2006


Fan and the whole fanfic thing is can wrap my brain around. I think it's kinda stupid, but to each his own.

But I didn't know there was fanfic fandom. So much time and energy expended on this...sheesh.
posted by Sassenach at 10:10 AM on July 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


Astro Zombie wins.

Y'know, as much time as I've spent in MOOs, and spent reading adn writing about virtual communities of this type, and as much as I'd like to be generous toward people who give themselves over so readily to their wildest imaginative impulses...

...despite all that, I can't help but think that people who write erotic Harry Potter fiction are plain 'ol fucked up. I mean, blah blah emotional escape valve, but at the very least Willow/Tara types (sorry Buffy nerdery here) are getting their kicks describing adults fucking one another. All of this melodrama, all this creative energy, would be so much more healthily pointed somewhere else, no?

(Though I've got to say: kudos to the narrator of the linked post for writing the single most effectively time-wasting bit of LiveJournal vomit I've ever seen - if we were as committed to democracy in the Middle East as that girl is to her pedophilia fanfic and associated support groups, we'd all be golfing at Pebble Beach Baghdad right now!)

Get off my lawn!
posted by waxbanks at 2:02 PM on July 1, 2006


waxbanks : "All of this melodrama, all this creative energy, would be so much more healthily pointed somewhere else, no?"

The only problem with that chain of argument is that, well, it could be used just as well in relation to all the time we spend here on MeFi.
posted by Bugbread at 8:39 PM on July 1, 2006


Enormous qualitative difference between the two! You're right in an abstract sense, but when was the last time you spent two months writing journal entries to your friends about a single commenter on MetaFilter? Along with the cheerful pedophilic fantasies aspect.

Actually if the answer isn't 'never' I don't think I want to know. :)
posted by waxbanks at 7:36 AM on July 2, 2006


So if I'm reading the story correctly, what we have here are crazy people who believe so strongly in the "correctness" of their pairings of fictional characters in fictional pornographic stories that they are willing to take their disputes into real life.

Fucking crazy.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:20 AM on July 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


who wants to bet that this Ms Scribe also wrote the exposé and is now jerking off reading about it on the blue?
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 1:06 AM on July 3, 2006


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