Lacking Rule Enforcement and the Problems It Creates
Stored in the depth of Ffnet are many a fanfic that are breaking the rules in the guidelines. Some fanfics that violate the guidelines have things that can be easily fixed to bring the fanfic into compliance, but those fanfics that have sexual content, real people, or script/keyboard entries need a complete rewrite to be made compliance. Of those three categories of rule breaking fanfics that need a complete rewrite, fanfics with sexual content and real people are the ones that could end up causing legal problems. However, as you look at Ffnet, you find tons of rule breaking fics and authors who don't give a care because they see everyone else breaking the rules.
The number of rule breaking fanfics are the result of hardly no rule enforcement. However, since rule enforcement only happens after an abuse report is submitted to the admins, the lack of enforcement can be understood. The rise of the critic groups who leave messages on rule breaking fics on Fanfiction can also be blamed on the number of rule breaking fanfics on the website. Reporting a fic for rule breaking doesn't solve many problems because some categories of rule breaking fics have way too many rule breaking fics to get them all deleted at once.
Among the people who post rule breaking fics, there are three types that I have found. One type is those who post rule breaking fics knowing full well it is against the rules but expect that their readers will not report it. The second type is those who don't understand the rules. The third type is those who are following other rule breakers and ignoring the rules because everyone else is doing it. The first two types are not as problematic as long as they don't make a big fuss about their fics being deleted by the admins. The second type needs to be gently told about the rules and consequences of their actions. However, the third type is the most annoying of all these people who post rule breaking fics.
The people who post rule breaking stories because they see other people doing it shows how the lack of rule enforcement causes problems. For example, if person A sees person B's real person fic and decides to post real person fic, then the number of rule breaking fics increases by one. However in most case, person A would not be the only person to be encouraged to post real person fics because of person B's fic. This problem of one rule breaking fic encouraging several others to post rule breaking fics starts a cycle that really can't be broken very easily.
Another question these type people who post real breaking fic is do these people know how to read? I wonder if not reading and understanding the guidelines is either being lazy or complete ignorance that consequences do happen. As I said in my introduction, I have to wonder how well these people can write if they don't read the guidelines. Maybe the people who break the rules have the same traits that writers of bad fics do. Or maybe these people who post rule breaking fics are just plain lazy and just want to write.