Yesterday, I logged into Fictionpress to find this listed on the main page:
June 4th 2012 — Notices:
- Please note we would like to clarify the content policy we have in place since 2002. FictionPress.com follows the Fiction Rating system ranging from Fiction K to Fiction M. Although Fiction Ratings goes up to Fiction MA, FictionPress.com since 2002 has not allowed Fiction MA rated content which can contain adult/explicit content on the site. FictionPress.com only accepts content in the Fiction K through Fiction M range. Fiction M can contain adult language, themes and suggestions. Detailed descriptions of physical interaction of sexual or violent nature is considered Fiction MA and has not been allowed on the site since 2002.
Now, this is interesting. I can only assume someone who saw the sexually explicit stories in Fictionpress’ Romance section decided to start asking questions. Either that or a concerned parent saw the graphically detailed stories in the Horror section. The odd thing is M Rated stories are not automatically included in searches and listings. You have to manually include them or look them up.
Many authors were counting on the ambiguity of the M Rating’s description to write mature scenes some would take offense to otherwise. There was no deliberate intent on the author’s part to deceive the reader with the rating. There’s also the fact some authors don’t know what would and wouldn’t be considered M or MA. Considering the nature of FP’s Romance and Horror sections, I’m going to petition the admins to allow an exception in the case of those two areas.
The admins are kidding themselves if they think suddenly wanting to enforce the ToU after being SILENT for most of the last 10 years will be very effective. They know all too well about Archive of our Own, which has been going well out of its way to do everything FP/FF.net does better. They stepped in after FP/FF.net’s admins abandoned the site a few years back and have demonstrated they do care about authors and their stories.
…All things considered, a mass-delete of offending stories isn’t out of the question. Although they never said they would do that they never said they wouldn’t. They seriously need to drop this “…will result in the immediate removal of your account” crap. If that’s the only thing they can do they haven’t learned anything in the last 10 years. I’ve been using both FP and FF.net for the last 10 years myself. Their whole lead from behind stratedgy is a failure, more so since they don’t answer emails from their membership. When people feel they’re being ignored they move on to something else.
Some of you may recall I’ve threatened to leave FP several times in the past and for a year, I boycotted FF.net. I’ve had a membership at Ao3 all this time but barely used it because I felt FP/FF.net was still worth something. If the admins do go this route I will have no choice but to move my stories to Ao3. ALL of them. I refuse to support a site that would do that to people. They should’ve enforced the rules from the beginning, not wait 10 years to enforce them.