No, really. Yeah, it's a great place to kill time, as long as you ignore anything beginning with "This troper", the fanfiction categories, etc. But the forums? Well, as TwinGuinep in the comments of one This Troper video put it, "TVTropes has shown that they're quite accepting of pedos, stalkers and racists as long as they say their bullshit in a polite manner."
This is actually true. On TV Tropes, they have a rule: "Don't be a dick." They have no rules saying "Don't be a pedophile," or "Don't be a white supremacist." So if any troper makes a post on the forums defending pedophile animes, or talking about how immigrating is destroying white culture, and you call them out on it, YOU'RE the bad guy.
For proof, check out:
http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3436999: No less than THREE threads on Something Awful dedicated to finding the terrible things on the site.
http://www.youtube.com/user/CrazyGoggs: A Youtube channel, dedicated to reading the worst of Troper Tales (starting before it got nuked, in part due to the work of the above threads).
I'm not expecting you guys to give up your Wiki Walks because of me. I just noticed a lot of links to the site on this blog, and I thought I should do my part to warn you about the site's seamy underbelly.
I'm not really sure how to respond to this, but I guess I should.
(1) I guess it's not a bad thing to point out that TV Tropes is not a Safe Space. I've dealt with that here and there, including here. But, yes, it's not a Safe Space. It's a space that is pretty openly not self-policing, which means that there are some really incredibly good members who fight the good fight and there are some bad members who leave their mess everywhere and there is a lot of in-between. So I guess that bears repeating, thank you.
(2) However. There is a big difference between X site has some dreadful people and X site systemically encourages dreadful people. For instance, years ago I actually read through all the Something Awful Hentai reviews in an attempt to work them into a paper for a college class I sadly ended up dropping. I recall that the Hentai reviews were hugely popular on the Something Awful site. I wouldn't say that all of the SAers wanted Hentai reviews because they got an illicit thrill reading about the Hentai that the reviewer(s) chose to review, but I'll bet at least a few of them did and I'll bet a few of them posted comments that were not appropriate on the topic. I'm guessing. Does that make SA a horrible place or does it mean that it has some horrible people on it? It probably depends on one's perspective.
(3) Having said that, quite a few of those links are exceedingly problematic and say more about the topic starter than TV Tropes. Quite a few of the arguments presented "against" TV Tropes are the bog-standard insults of people online, e.g., that people who are online are unattractive, lack social skills, never leave the house, and therefore should be mocked. I'm not on board with that, and anyone reading this can consider this post a retroactive TRIGGER WARNING: BODY POLICING for at least a couple of those links.
Nor am I on board with judging quite a few of those quotes as anything problematic at all! For instance, I sympathize with the TV Troper who mentioned struggling with a reactionary "hit back" reflex when people, including small children, strike zem. That quote does not make TV Tropes a bad place nor zem a bad person, and actually says more about the Something Awfuler that felt that was damning evidence for their thread.
Anyway, those are my two cents. I agree that TV Tropes is not actively a Safe Space, certainly no more than Something Awful.
TRIGGER WARNINGS: RACISM, MISOGYNY, STALKING, RAPE, PEDOPHILIA, GURO, PROBABLY OTHER HORRORS
Well, you responded to me, so I guess I should return the favor.
"(1) I guess it's not a bad thing to point out that TV Tropes is not a Safe Space. I've dealt with that here and there, including here. But, yes, it's not a Safe Space. It's a space that is pretty openly not self-policing, which means that there are some really incredibly good members who fight the good fight and there are some bad members who leave their mess everywhere and there is a lot of in-between. So I guess that bears repeating, thank you."
Sorry for missing it. But why aren't the bad members, some of whom advocate (child) rape, banned? Doesn't that deserve policing, self or otherwise?
"(2) However. There is a big difference between X site has some dreadful people and X site systemically encourages dreadful people. For instance, years ago I actually read through all the Something Awful Hentai reviews in an attempt to work them into a paper for a college class I sadly ended up dropping. I recall that the Hentai reviews were hugely popular on the Something Awful site. I wouldn't say that all of the SAers wanted Hentai reviews because they got an illicit thrill reading about the Hentai that the reviewer(s) chose to review, but I'll bet at least a few of them did and I'll bet a few of them posted comments that were not appropriate on the topic. I'm guessing. Does that make SA a horrible place or does it mean that it has some horrible people on it? It probably depends on one's perspective."
And that's one of the fundamental differences between SA and TV Tropes. On SA, when horrible people post horrible things, they get called out and banned. And on TV Tropes, as I mentioned earlier, when horrible people post horrible things, anyone who calls them out gets banned.
"(3) Having said that, quite a few of those links are exceedingly problematic and say more about the topic starter than TV Tropes. Quite a few of the arguments presented "against" TV Tropes are the bog-standard insults of people online, e.g., that people who are online are unattractive, lack social skills, never leave the house, and therefore should be mocked."
Well, I can't defend that, but that's just the SA thread. Try the This Troper videos, which are just people reading things tropers have posted. An example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecS77xIWoNQ
The first entry is a self-proclaimed "misogynist sadist" talking about the pleasure he (I'm assuming it's a he) gets when he sees women hurt. If this isn't deserving of condemnation (and yes, mockery), what is?
"I'm not on board with that, and anyone reading this can consider this post a retroactive TRIGGER WARNING: BODY POLICING for at least a couple of those links."
I'll edit it in.
"Nor am I on board with judging quite a few of those quotes as anything problematic at all! For instance, I sympathize with the TV Troper who mentioned struggling with a reactionary "hit back" reflex when people, including small children, strike zem. That quote does not make TV Tropes a bad place nor zem a bad person, and actually says more about the Something Awfuler that felt that was damning evidence for their thread."
There's one hell of a difference between "a reactionary 'hit back' reflex when people, including small children, strike [you]" and a reflex to CHOKESLAM A TODDLER. If a small child hit me, I too would have to suppress an urge to hit back. If a toddler hit me, I doubt I'd even feel much pain or the urge to retaliate. I certainly would not feel the same urge as the troper, which is apparently to take a two-year old and GRAB HIR BY THE NECK, LIFT HIR UP, AND SLAM HIR TO THE FLOOR. I'm sorry, but that quote does make that troper a bad person, and it says a lot about TV Tropes that nobody called said troper out on it.
"Anyway, those are my two cents. I agree that TV Tropes is not actively a Safe Space, certainly no more than Something Awful."
Again, Something Awful bans horrible people and deletes horrible things. TV Tropes bans people who call out horrible people and horrible things, and allows them to continue being horrible until external pressure fores the admins to ban or delete them.
Exhibit A: The "Stalker With a Crush" troper tales page. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsLewMsZlLU ) It features tropers talking about the various people they've stalked, which is both extremely disturbing and probably illegal. (The stalking, not the page.) The video was uploaded on March 9, 2011, meaning the page was created then at the latest. Troper Tales was deleted August 14, 2011.
That page was left alone for FIVE MONTHS, maximum. Nobody in the administration looked at it and thought it should be deleted.
Exhibit B: Shichibukai. He once posted this:
"The question comes up regularly over here: 'Is Eastern Europe ready for immigration yet?' It is demanded of every country in Europe and America that it literally change its complexion, that they bring in tens of millions of third world immigrants.
This question is never asked of Japan or Taiwan or South Korea, but it is demanded of equally crowded European countries like the Netherlands and Belgium.
No one mentions the reason because we all know it: Europe and America are a majority white.
It is an automatic demand made on ONLY white countries. Massive third world immigration and assimilation is a demand made on ALL white countries.
The cry is 'Asia for the Asians, Africa for the Africans, and white countries for EVERYBODY!'
Answer honestly, people: do you agree or disagree with the principle of retaining White majorities in Europe, North America, and Australasia? If so, would you support measures to block immigration and curb non-White demographics if the White majority risked becoming a minority? Do you agree or disagree with any race having the right to retain a majority in its homeland?"
Everything above that line was a quote from a white supremacist website, and he is on record as having posting similar racist sentiments as early ago as July. He was not banned until October.
EXHIBITS C AND D: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KodomoNoJikan and http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/UnitedStatesAngelsCorps
Exhibit C is, to quote the OP of the third SA thread, "an anime about a pedophile who teaches school for a bunch of ten year olds. There is fan service, AKA inappropriate panty shots and little girls repeatedly asking to have sex." Someone thought this pedophile wank material deserved a page on TV Tropes, and no mods have a problem with it.
Exhibit D is a webcomic focused around a group of women who get tortured and murdered over and over. It is designed to be masturbated to. The SA thread again:
"Yup, this comic where a teenage girl gets shot over and over in the breasts and the camera lingers on the urine running out of the cameltoe in her skintight leotard as she dies sure deserves to be on our wiki!
What's that? You want to say something negatiive about it? GET OUT, TROLL.
The only tropes under the "Your Mileage May Vary" tab are someone describing MISOGYNIST MURDER PORN as having 'rounded characters' and 'tear jerker' moments. The gallery on the guy's website is just women getting raped and murdered, usually at the same time, and not one single word of the TV tropes entry says anything bad about this goddamn piece of human filth who drew this. When someone on the discussion page asked why they had a page for fucking MURDER PORN, someone else said that 'it's art, and it's not for everyone.' Looking at the page history one person added in that it was offensive and that if you got off to women being shot in the head while having sex you were gross, and it was removed for being flame bait."
To hell with No Such Thing as Notability, these works should not have pages.
Call me judgmental, but I think allowing the horrors on that site to fester and not removing them until external pressure forces you to is a Very Bad Thing.
(EDIT: Crap, I can't edit in the trigger warnings. Getting an account so this doesn't happen again. My sincerest apologies to anyone who was triggered by this post.)
I'm really not sure why you are asking all this on my site and not, say, the TV Tropes site. I don't own the site, I just link to the trope pages as needed. However, to answer:
Probably because "banning" on the site would be functionally meaningless, based on what little I know of the mechanics of the site. They don't even have classic accounts; they have a "cookie-me-up" system that lets you register a name and not much more. They don't even register an email address, so banning someone repeatedly would do nothing more than take up dozens/hundreds/thousands of names until they got tired of "re-registering", which takes less than 30 seconds to do. Many places choose not to ban trolls because they believe that doing so is enough of a response to encourage them to continue; I do not have enough insight into TV Tropes' administration decisions to guess if that's the case here, but considering it's a Wiki site, it wouldn't surprise me since that seems pretty standard for Wikis.
I've never seen this happen, and the Something Awful threads you point to -- what I read of the opening posts, anyway -- don't link to this happening. On the threads I've been in, which is largely limited to the ginormous FATAL thread, people have been exceedingly quick to call out racism, sexism, etc. so it would seem that one's experience varies across the site. Again, Not A Safe Place, but that's a far jump to "actually a horrible place".
Here is the actual quote:
The "chokeslam" reads like sarcasm/exaggeration to me. If it doesn't to you, well, that's what the Your Mileage May Vary page is for. As for what you, personally, would or wouldn't feel the urge to do in reaction to being struck, well, that's why being hit is apparently not a *trigger* for you. It would not surprise me even in the least for someone with a trigger against being hit to feel an urge to strike out reflexively at a child. I'm not going to judge someone for having that urge, especially when they've very clearly stated that acting on the urge is something inappropriate that they are actively fighting against.
I want to reiterate that: I am not okay with calling anyone a bad person based solely on the basis of this quote. If you think that makes me a bad person, so be it, but that is my opinion.
So a site with thousands (if not millions at this point) pages at this point, which can be created and edited by anyone in the world with a single push of a button, and which is (as far as I know) administered entirely by an unpaid volunteer staff in their free time took five months to notice an objectionable thread and deleted it? That... actually seems like a pretty good reaction time to me.
Oh... so they do ban people after all. But it takes them... four months to do so? Again, it's a really big site. I'm not seeing this as a damning thing, I'm sorry.
Re: Porn in its various shapes and forms, I've generally found that porn in general is too complicated for me to express an opinion on right now. I'm sorry, but I'll have to leave it at that.
You're entitled to your opinion, and as I said in my post I appreciate the reiteration that TV Tropes is Not A Safe Space.
Having said that, I have no interest whatsoever in judging another site for their moderation policy or lack thereof. If you look hard enough, there is/are rape apologetics and victim blaming in the comments on THIS site and I've not banned anyone yet. I suppose it'd be easy for someone on Something Awful to make a thread about how Dreadfully Awful my site is because I didn't ban someone who posts on a rape apologetics board, but to post such a thread would fail to take into account WHY I don't ban jerks willy-nilly. (I have my reasons, but to post them would take more time than I have at the moment.)
In reply to this post by Brahman
So the first thing I see here is:
Well, I can't defend that, but that's just the SA thread.
Again, Something Awful bans horrible people and deletes horrible things.
There's something interesting about that. Something Awful, the place you describe as indefensible, is being defended by you as not allowing horrible things. I guess something can be indefensibly hurtful, hostile, wrong and triggering without being horrible.
Where exactly is the line drawn? When does the indefensible become the horrible?
That's my first thought, you've definitely come out with repeated defenses of those who would refuse to ban the indefensible. That shows a healthy separation between how you feel about content (it's indefensible) and how you feel about a willingness to host that content (you repeatedly defend it and hold it up as an example of doing things right, or at least better.)
You understand, recognize, and champion the idea that it might be defensible to host content that it is indefensible to say.
Then elsewhere you condemn hosting the horrible as being horrible.
Where does the changeover happen?
I'm following deconstructions of three book series right now. One of them involves the emotional manipulation of a depressed girl by a sadistic 104 year old man. Another describes the destruction of the universe as we know it by a sadistic mass murder who kidnaps children, then tortures murders, and tortures some more the adults. Twilight and Left Behind hare both deeply disturbing things in which we are meant to side with abusers and murderers.
I have previously read The Turner Diaries, it is a novel by a white supremacist that has been described as the bible of the Neo-Nazi movement in my country. It involves the extermination of all non-white people, grotesque racism, and giant helpings of murder.
In my house, somewhere, there is a book of Nazi propaganda, the most important thing in the book (and the reason I wish I could find it right now) is the introduction, in which it describes why one would want to study Nazi propaganda. There is a place for the preservation and publication of things which are evil. There is cause to study and understand it.
Having firsthand accounts from stalkers, for example, ought to be an invaluable resource for those studying such things. Hosting them isn't a problem. Taking them down when people didn't like them even though your usual standard is to leave them up is a problem. Inconsistency is a problem. If one isn't going to edit, one shouldn't edit. Period. This has been discussed elsewhere. If you say you won't edit you shouldn't, if you say you will you should, to do anything else is to fail in your role.
(At first I thought they they had failed in this regard, but I see that they got rid of Troper Tales entirely, so they have been consistent. Once upon a time the accepted such things, now they don't, no evidence of selective editing in the middle.)
Even more so when it comes to whether or not works should have pages, of course they should have pages. It doesn't matter how horrible they are, you don't remove something from your encyclopedia because you don't like it. Amoung many, many other things, that's how we constantly end up with people saying, "X wasn't so bad," when it was grotesque. If you sanitize things you erase the truth.
And all of this is before we get to the question of kink. People don't get to choose their kink. (If anyone knows differently, please speak up because there's some things about myself I'd like to change.) Kinks aren't a problem. Even the ones that make me want to vomit and leave me wishing brain bleach was an actual thing. Even ones that years later still give me unpleasant feeling in spite of only encountering the briefest mention of them one time. Kinks are not bad.
If someone is attracted to children that's not good, it's extremely unfortunate, but unless they act on it they're not evil. Thinking about this disgusts me, but the fact is that there's no reason that they don't deserve something to get off to as much as anyone else. If someone isn't hurting anyone, then by all means let them masturbate to whatever the fuck they want. I don't want to know about it, I'd rather not accidentally bump into it on TVTropes, but it is simply not the case that their masturbatory material should be disappeared because we don't approve of it.
If it is hurting someone (as in the case of actual child pornography) that's another matter entirely, but cartoons and comics generally are not.
Someone who is attracted to children but never does anything remotely inappropriate with a child is not someone we should be punishing for their attraction to children. Erasing them and their fiction from a site attempting to catalog the entirety of the human condition as told through our fiction would be punishment. The term is "damnatio memoriae". In this case it would be both dishonest and unfair.
As for rape, the same thing applies really. Some people fantasize about being raped, some fantasize about doing the raping. As long as it stays fantasy, there's nothing wrong with that. People don't control what gets them off.
It's taken me a long time to reach the point where I can say this, there was a time when my visceral reaction to some of the things you're talking about would have caused me to agree with you. I don't want that stuff on my internet. But it isn't my internet.
It isn't my internet and the point of TV Tropes is not to create a place where only things I like show up. TV Tropes is there to document everything. Everything. Everything includes a lot of stuff I don't like. I would have been disappointed if I'd found that the Turner Diaries, the worst thing I've ever read, didn't have a page there. (I just checked and it does, where it is pleasantly and correctly described as "a hate-filled and mean-spirited Author Tract".)
So yeah, they ought to have a lot of stuff you or I find objectionable. They ought to have everything you or I find objectionable. If it exists in the realm of storytelling, it ought to have a page.
+1 to everything Chris said. Also:
Beyond the obvious historical value, there's also Bile Fascination and Snark Bait.
(Both of which are the reason I know as much as I do about FATAL, of all things.)
In reply to this post by AnaMardoll
I felt that you wouldn't link to them if you knew the site had articles on pedophile anime and torture porn without condemning them, and banned all forms of criticism and negativity. Also, better people than me have tried to fix the site, and failed. Case in point.
This was formerly the case, but now it's one account per IP. TV Tropes has banned racists like Shichibukai and pedophiles like Chagen46 before, why can't they keep it up? They haven't tried to come back.
Not banned, perhaps, but thumped. Here's at least one example. This post was also thumped. There's probably more.
I didn't know the FATAL thread was like that. I just wish they were willing to apply that attitude to the racist and sexist tropers.
You have a point there. I actually missed the bit where it was a trigger... that explains a lot.
Again, this is five months minimum. And even if no mods ran across it, why did none of the tropers object? None of them thought, "Hey, this is sick and wrong. Maybe it might be an invaluable resource, but our site's not for that, it's for playing with fiction."
Again, this was due to external pressure. Even ignoring this, there are tropers who deserve to be banned but aren't:
Does he get banned for advocating eugenics? No.
And there's a "holler" system for alerting the mods. Tropers should be willing to use it.
Do other commentators call these rape apologists and victim blamers out? If so, do you delete their comments because NO NEGATIVITY EVER GUYS?
If you allow non-jerks to tell jerks "your opinions on [X] are bad, and you should feel bad", then that puts you miles ahead of Fast Eddie.
Poor word choice on my part. Perhaps a better way of saying it would be, "Well, if you don't approve of that, try This Troper."
Then why isn't Kodomo no Jikan condemned for portraying pedophilia as acceptable and harmless? Or, to put it another way, why isn't The Turner Diaries simply described as being "not for everyone", like other works promoting pedophilia and rape?
In retrospect, you're right. I shouldn't be condemning the site for allowing these pages. But I will condemn them for denying criticism of them. I accept that there are people who are sexually aroused by children, murder, and mutilation, but I will not accept that I can't criticize it.
There are YMMV pages for all of these. Why can't we just put something like:
As you said, "If you sanitize things you erase the truth." That applies to works some might find disturbing, and it applies to criticism of them.
But since you're no doubt sick of tearing apart my half-assed arguments, I'll just summarize my main points in a clear and concise format (credit goes to Anne Beeche):
I feel TV Tropes is a horrible place because:
1. TV Tropes is governed on three principles: "No Such Thing as Notability" (everything deserves an article), "No Negativity" (no criticizing anything ever), and "Don’t Be a Dick" (no calling out racists and pedophiles.)
2. As a result of "No Such Thing As Notability", a lolicon hentai is considered just as worthy of documentation as Lolita. This wouldn’t be a problem, but…
3. As a result of "No Negativity", the lolicon hentai cannot be given the criticism it needs as a work fundamentally disturbed in its values. (Can we agree that sexualizing children is wrong? I hope so.)
4. "No Negativity" and "Don't Be a Dick" also allow people with seriously disturbed views on morals and humanity to voice their opinions largely unchecked.
5. Despite heaps of criticism from outside sources, the administration refuses to change.
If the admins were willing to:
A. Change "No Negativity" to "No Excessive Negativity, But Criticism is Fine"
B. Change "Don't Be a Dick" to "Don't Be a Dick, But Calling Out Racists, Pedophiles And Other Unsavory Folks Isn't Being a Dick"
C. Put "some people think these works are disgusting, others don't, YMMV" on KnJ/USAC/etc.'s pages
I would no longer consider TV Tropes a horrible place.
And IMO, if lurking the site, watching This Troper, reading the SA threads, and this blog haven't convinced you that, at the very least:
then I doubt anything I could say will.
tl;dr: You've made some good points, but I still hate the site, and you guys still love it, so let's just agree to disagree. At least I've actually learned how to bring up good points rather than just going
TV Tropes is, as Chris has noted, an attempt at an encyclopedic work. I support their decision to not pass judgment on Tropes/Works pages as any attempt to do so would immediately spiral into fan-fights back and forth (one of your SA links even points this out, so...yeah). If you have a problem with non-critical articles on Things That Exist, you have a problem with pretty much every Wiki on the Internet.
I think encyclopedic repositories have immense value to society. I also expect people who read up the Trope/Work pages to be able to make up their own mind from the "factual" articles without needing an editorial slant to hold their hand. I appreciate the attempt at a neutral tone, whether the topic is Twilight or Left Behind or F.A.T.A.L. or Lolicons.
Probably for the same reason that YOU didn't feel the need to report the SA threads to the SA moderators and instead decided to ignore all the Fail: No one is obligated to spend their life fighting Obvious Trolls. (hey, look! It's a post I've already linked to in this thread!) I'm frankly not pleased at all that you've decided to just outright ignore Chris' points by saying, essentially, 'my bad on the word choice' and then just breezed on without addressing the substance of his post. Let me elucidate: YOU brought in links to this forum to SA threads where the following occurs:
1. Pictures (apparently of TV Tropers) are posted (apparently without their permission) apparently in order to mock their bodies and their clothing choices. This is Body Shaming.
2. A TV Troper with an apparent trigger against violence and an apparent sense of humor about it is condemned out of context as a violent child abuser. This is Trigger Shaming.
3. Erotic fiction is posted (apparently without the author's permission) apparently in order to mock the author's sexual fantasies and/or unpolished writing style. This is Kink Shaming.
4. A TV Troper is discussed in highly inappropriate ableist terms for having a non-standard fan reaction ("soulbonding") to fictional works. This is Ableist Shaming.
5. A remark is made about a certain mainstream religion in ableist terms. This is Religious Shaming.
Do I need to continue? YOU posted these links on MY site, and I am leaving it up because -- like TV Tropes -- I value open dialogue, even if it's dialogue that I find disgusting and disturbing. Yet according to the logic that you are applying to TV Tropes (but not to Something Awful!), I am a really truly bad person for not insta-banning you and the fact that I've left this material up in this space, and indeed the fact that I didn't respond 'claws out' after your first post, indicates that, I dunno, I agree with or approve of all this shaming. So, thanks for handing me that little moral dilemma: delete your post and stifle discussion on the board or leave it up for the next SA thread to call me out for being ableist what with me not deleting that post and all. *sigh*
For what it's worth, I find TV Tropes in my experience to be a much safer space than anything you have linked to on Something Awful in this thread. Your mileage may, of course, vary. However, I have no interest in continuing this bizarre conversation on why Bob The Barbarian or Dave The Dog or anyone else I've never even heard of wasn't banned by people I don't know on a time-table that someone else would better approve of. It's becoming quite surreal in this thread.
In reply to this post by Brahman
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