Link Roundup: May 2021

Pie That’ll Kill Ya: The Problem with Fandom Statistics | Franzeska Dickson (video, 5 min) – On the subject of fandoms, a lot of our intuition is informed by the AO3 community, which features a great deal of slash, and m/m slash in particular.  Franzeska argues that this is not representative of fanfiction in general.  AO3’s detailed tagging system for pairings tends to draw more people who are interested in m/m slash, go figure.

An “Ex-Detransitioner” Disavows the Anti-Trans Movement She Helped Spark | Slate – This article highlights stories from a few people who detransitioned but also reject the way that detransition narratives are used to attack trans people.  Detransitioners are a fairly small group with very complicated and personal journeys, and their stories get amplified and simplified in the name of attacking trans people.  I don’t want to amplify these narratives beyond reason, but I think it’s important to establish a route by which people can detransition without being transphobic–in the same way that we’ve established that individuals can stop identifying as bisexual without having to believe that everyone‘s bisexuality is just a phase.

Is it rude to be an atheist online? | Skepchick – Yes, the new atheist movement was notoriously rude and offensive, and I think there’s a reason for that.  It’s because at the beginning of new atheism, any expression of atheistic belief, even something as boring and unfunny as “people don’t come back from the dead”, would be seen as inherently rude.  If we’re inherently rude just for existing and not being silent, why the fuck should we value politeness?  Individual atheists were more or less rude based on their personal dispositions, but the larger social context forced us all to contend with a reality where politeness was a tool of the status quo.

We see things differently today of course.  These days we construct new rules of politeness, and fight over their proper scope and content.

Text Adventure Game Community In Chaos Over Moderators Reading Their Erotica | Vice – AI Dungeon is a text-based adventure game where responses are generated by GPT-2/GPT-3 (see more in an earlier link roundup).  A lot of people use this to generate sexual content–I guess I should have known.  There was a rollout of a content moderation algorithm that had users complaining.  Honestly I don’t understand why private role-playing sessions need to be moderated at all.

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