A few days ago fanfiction.net changed their settings options. This is the statement regarding this change on their main page:
New Anonymous Reviews Moderation Feature: Previously, users might have lost some valuable guest reviews by enabling the ‘Disable Anonymous Reviews’ feature. ‘Disable Anonymous Reviews’ settings is now a toggle for anonymous reviews moderation.
The way it works is if “Anonymous Reviews Moderation” is enabled, anonymous or guest comments will be in a moderation queue for 36 hours during which authors can remove or fast-approve the comment. If after 36 hours and no action is taken, the anonymous comments are slow-approved and enters the system.
We believe this new moderation feature gives authors the control they want without lossing potential comments. Please note anonymous comments can still be removed by authors after the the slow-approve 36 hour window.
At first this sounds like a reasonable thing and is cloaked in the pretense of giving you control, but in truth it opens the door for harassment and bullying because you have, basically, no way of refusing anonymous comments altogether. If the moderation option isn’t enabled, all comments are published immediately. If you enable moderation, you have 36 hours to approve or disapprove it - if you miss that time window, the comment is automatically published without your consent.
Yes, you can choose to delete the anon comment instead of publishing it. Yes, you can still delete it later, if you don’t want this to show. But that still means the author has to read the potentially harassing comment in order to delete it - and lets face it, we’ve all seen authors bullied over there. You have no longer ANY way of refusing anonymous comments altogether.
At the same time, I find it highly disconcerting that you still have no way of deleting *signed* comments. More and more I get the impression that ffn values the readers more than the authors. And that’s not right, in my opinion. The people who bring the actual content (and thus, the traffic that results in payment for their ads) deserve more consideration.
If you agree with how I feel about this new “feature” of ffn even the slightest bit, PLEASE reblog this. And PLEASE take a moment to send them an email saying loudly that you disagree with this. Threaten to never come back and tell all your friends. Threaten to pull your stories and go to other archives, like the Archive of Our Own, which not only cares for its users, but even fights for the legal rights of fandom and fandom authors. I don’t care what you say, as long as you tell them this is NOT the way to go.
The more voices they hear saying that this ISN’T what their authors want, the more likely it is they’ll listen. Please. Sending an email takes two minutes, maybe. Please take that time. And please spread the word not just when your smut is threatened.