Today I became aware of a disturbing site. (It exploded in a couple of fan communities a few months ago but I had no clue.) I wanted to post about it to make people more aware of what's going on and what can happen with your profile information on any site. This site claims to be "documenting" the history of fandom, but it's really a "wiki" whose majority of pages are generated by bots grabbing people's profiles off of Fanfiction.net and fannish LiveJournal profiles, etc. But it's only the site owner's way of making money because there are Google ads and all the hits just generate more revenue for them and give the site more hits. (My AdBlock prevented me from realizing there are ads. *facepalm* I haven't been back since.) Don't go there unless you absolutely have to. That's why I'm not linking to it. They only want more attention and like wank because it directs people to the site. It's sick. However, since it's good to be informed, this post explains more about it, and has more links, which then lead you to 5 other links, and so on. But please don't go to the site itself unless you absolutely have to. (It only appears to pull Fanfiction.net profiles of people who've posted fanfic, for example, so my profile wasn't special enough to get pulled. Yet.) This site in question is run by someone who seems to have very liberal ideas regarding fannish profiles/identities and real life (RL). Their position seems to be that just because you use the internet, you should expect all your info to be shared with everyone else, and any information you've put in any profile deserves to be taken and combined on a special profile page on their site that you did not sign up for and did not choose to be on. That's not how the internet works. (You can Google yourself, but even Google doesn't make a special profile page for you combining all the hits it got on you.) The site has outed at least a couple of fans and connected their fannish names with their RL names without their permission, and when people tried to change their fan "wiki" profile on her site, the site owner kept reversing all the changes. As this article points out, linking fannish identities to people's RL names without permission is bad and uncool. It links to another article which shares a short experience of what happened when a fanfic writer got outed at her workplace. Fun. I actually fear stuff like that happening sometimes, so, yeah. I realize not everyone has exactly the same feelings on internet aliases and privacy as I do, but keep in mind just because one person might be okay with having their fannish identity linked with their RL name doesn't mean everyone else is too. In the Rules of the JC, it says, "11. You are not allowed to post another user's visual or auditory information (e.g. image, voice, etc.) or any other personal information on the JC without that user's express consent." Not that we have a problem with this, because we're awesome, but I just wanted to remind everyone to please continue to refer to other Fanforce and JC users with an alias unless you have their express permission to use someone's real name. And of course, ask before using any personal information at all. Again, there's not a problem with us here, but reminders are always good. Finding this site and everything about it has scared me and I wanted to make sure others were aware of it too.