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The Supernatural.Tv Forums Staff
, Is there anybody else having problems??
Member No.: 9,658
Joined: 16-September 06
I started hearing rumblings of problems on ff.net. I did a little googling and found this:
|The RedBotton Issue and what it means for FFNet|
As some may have noticed there has recently been a mass reporting of stories on FFNet that are being made by a person known as RedBootton. The administration of the site have been made aware of a disturbing revelation about this account.
RedBootton is actually a program that was designed by Lord Kelvin and is used by various members of Literate Union. Redbootton appears to be capable of accessing Ffnet and searching stories or summaries for either key words or patterns of grammar and then creating a list of the stories that are “in violation of ToS” it then mass reports these stories until the stories are either removed by the author or mods. The members of LU don't even scan over the list before executing the report portion of the program.
The list itself is generated in a matter of minutes.
The idea is to go through each fandom systematically and clean house until Lord Kelvin can finish the touches on the site wide program. After each fandom is cleaned it will then be used to scan all new stories being posted.
This is a serious violation of the ToS on FFNet
4. General Use of the Website
FanFiction.Net hereby grants you permission to access and use the Website as set forth in these Terms of Service, provided that:
A. You agree not to distribute in any medium any part of the Website, including but not limited to User Submissions (defined below), without FanFiction.Net's prior written authorization.
B. You agree not to alter or modify any part of the Website.
C. You agree not to access User Submissions (defined below) or FanFiction.Net Content through any technology or means other than the Website itself.
E. You agree not to use or launch any automated system, including without limitation, "robots," "spiders," or "offline readers," that accesses the Website in a manner that sends more request messages to the FanFiction.Net servers in a given period of time than a human can reasonably produce in the same period by using a conventional on-line web browser. Notwithstanding the foregoing, FanFiction.Net grants the operators of public search engines permission to use spiders to copy materials from the site for the sole purpose of and solely to the extent necessary for creating publicly available searchable indices of the materials, but not caches or archives of such materials. FanFiction.Net reserves the right to revoke these exceptions either generally or in specific cases. You agree not to collect or harvest any personally identifiable information, including account names, from the Website, nor to use the communication systems provided by the Website (e.g. comments, email) for any commercial solicitation purposes. You agree not to solicit, for commercial purposes, any users of the Website with respect to their User Submissions.
What is disturbing about this issue is that many false positives are given, and stories that are not in violation are being reported. The administration of FFNET have been made aware of this issue, but even after repeated e-mails they seem to be either indifferent or actually support the use of this program by Literate Union.
What follows is what is known about RedBootton and how this one simple program could easily impact the site and why every one should be angry that the administration as remained silent about this issue.
1.RedBootton(RB) is a program that accesses and systematically searches for and reports stories that it flags as in violation of ToS.
2.This program is not perfect and has had false hits, resulting in stories with the inclusion of a header formatted in the following manner as being reported for script format even when the rest of the story is in actual story paragraph form.
3.LU no long reads or even checks over the stories that are flagged by RB before hitting the report function.
4.An advanced form of the program that is available to trusted members that includes a search function for typo's and grammar. This could result in a 10,000+ word stories that may have a few typo's or stories that have characters that may have dialog that is grammatically incorrect as being reported.
5.There is a beta version that will have the ability to search for MA stories. This search function is based upon the flagging of certain words within the text. A story that may have a rooster referred to as a cock or a cat being called a pussy could easily be flagged and reported as MA.
6.A Beta version of the advanced program will have the capability to “clean house” site wide, including scanning any stories as they are being posted.
For those who think that is fiction I give you links to the Literate Union Forum.
In this thread is where Lord Kelvin talks about and includes links to where this program can be downloaded for general use. At one point LK even states "Specific words/phrases are rated MA automatically because they are only present in stories with paraphilia."
In this thread there is more talk about both RB and how to use it.
Over the past week multiple emails were sent to the admin and mods of FFNet with no answer. Although it is possible that with a site as large as FFNet that they have yet to find time to address this issue, I find myself leaning more to the belief that they just don't care. Since the site seems unwilling or unable to handle this issue there is only one solution.
That is to leave FFNet. Writers should remove their stories and find alternative sites for posting them. Readers to stop visiting. Perhaps then and only then will this issue be seen as important by the owner.
FF.net really needs to do something about this. Yes, people shouldn't post fics that violate the terms of service, but innocent authors whose fics don't violate the ToS could get caught up in this and get banned and that's not right.