Dear FF.net administration,
I would like to congratulate you on destroying what I figure is about a solid third of your reader base. Furthermore I would like to congratulate you on dusting off a set of rules that are quite literally a decade old. Bravo.
Now, all sarcasm aside. That was more than a dick move. Frankly if you were actually concerned about explicit content there were plenty of things you could have done. The first thing that comes to mind is adding an age setting to profiles, an MA rating for stories, and a legal disclaimer. To view the MA stories they'd have to have set an age in their profile and agreed to the legal disclaimer that yes there were of age and had no problems reading MA rated material. You know...this is the same sort of thing you might find on forums all over the web. In other words, it's not that hard to do.
Let's talk about consequences shall we? First, as I mentioned you've probably lost a good third of your reader base and disgusted three quarters of the remainder. Now, this probably wouldn't have been so severe if you hadn't upped and decided to start enforcing a set of rules that haven't been enforced for nigh on a decade. If you had to go through with this farce, a month of warning would have done wonders. Secondly, people are deeply upset, and more than a few of those people are authors who just had stories removed without warning. Those authors are no doubt wondering if it wouldn't be easier to leave FF.net and take there stories (and readers) elsewhere. In other words you'll probably lose at least ten percent of the readers that still remain after this farce; frankly I'll be amazed if you guys manage to hold onto more than 50% of your pre-farce readership. Third, there is a great deal of resentment in people because of this. Even if they don't leave this is going to color their perceptions of FF.net and any action/communication that comes from that body. It don't take a genius to see that this is a bad thing.
Now, I realize that FF.net has this policy on MA stories (regardless of how ludicrous it is to see it enforced after being ignored for so long)...but how do you define MA? Is it anything that makes somebody uncomfortable? Because let me tell you, I'm missing a lot of stories in my favorites and I know I didn't have that much smut. I do however greatly enjoy gender-bending stories because they both amuse me and it's interesting to see how various authors show how fictional society treats various heroes when their gender is different. However, gender-bending stories are one of those things that tend to make people upset and/or uncomfortable. So, even without explicit/transformation scenes a gender-bending story has a good chance of getting reported for something that isn't in it's content, and I know a large number of stories that got the ax that shouldn't have. Also of concern is same sex couples, regardless of explicit content. Are you going to ax them too? Just so you know, I'm pretty sure at least 60% of FF.net is filled with boy/boy couples. I find it really creepy that so many people are trying to make strong male protagonists gay, but whatever your cup of tea is. The point is however, it happens. A lot. So people are going to report this. A lot. What is your policy on this? We've heard nothing.
With deep and upset sincerity,
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