Fanhackers launched a week ago with a policy on not quoting or linking to fannish meta without permission. Following thoughtful discussion in various public and private places, like here, we’re proposing to change that policy to something in this vein:

Quoting and linking to fannish meta without asking permission of the author is absolutely okay. We want to make sure that fannish meta gets as much of a place on here as other kinds of meta, and that means making it easier for people to quote. We leave it to individual posters to judge whether they believe the author of the fannish meta they’re quoting wouldn’t mind having outside attention drawn to their fannish space.

If someone’s fannish meta is quoted or linked to on Fanhackers and they’re uncomfortable with that, they can contact us with a link to said meta in said fannish space. Then we send them a message through there for verification, and after we’ve received a reply to that, we turn the Fanhackers posts in question private and invisible to all. We also alert the person who made those posts, in case they want to contact the meta’s author themselves and see if they can work something out. If we never hear back from the meta’s author that they’re okay with the Fanhackers posts staying up after all, the posts stay private forever.

Does this sound like a reasonable middle ground? 

It’s an imperfect compromise. For instance, just making Fanhackers posts on the WordPress and Tumblr mirrors private may not erase all mention of the meta, since people may have repeated the info elsewhere in ways we can’t control (like through reblogs). And giving authors of fannish meta the option to take it down while denying said option to authors of other meta still means setting fannish meta apart in some way. However, this compromise may be a useful way for this space to make sure fannish meta is represented while also recognizing that meta published in different contexts can have different intended audiences.

If you have any suggestions for making this policy better, or any arguments against it that you think we may not have considered yet, please reply to this post in the next three days, by 11pm UTC on Tuesday (convert times here). We’ll take another hard look at the arguments after that and make a decision.

Tuesday is very soon, but we want to settle this quickly and not get bogged down in endless discussions on the relative importance of one pro to another con. If we do adopt the proposed new policy and it has unexpected and/or serious negative effects, we’re always open to reconsidering. Fanhackers is a very experimental thing. Everyone should feel free to propose improvements and have those suggestions dealt with fast, so we can see if they work and chuck them if they don’t. What do you think?

[ADMIN] Input wanted: proposed changes to Fanhackers’ policy on quoting fannish meta
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