Regarding Recent Developments on Fanfiction & FictionPress

I am concerned by two recent developments on this site, 'FictionPress', and, it's sister site 'Fanfiction':

(I) The unannounced, obligatory, ban on email notifications for Private Messages & Review-Responses.

(II) The new way in which advertisements are displayed.

For the first point, I can think of no logical explanation other than laziness, or incompetence. As far as I understand – and I don't understand very much due to Fanfiction's opacity on the matter – the measure was introduced to reduce spam. To my knowledge, no reasoning has been provided proving the measure's effectiveness, and, it seems blindingly obvious that the measure won't do anything at all to combat spam, all it will do is prevent users from being notified when they have received a message – spam or not. The main issue with this 'feature' – aside from it not actually working – is that it inefficient; for the vast majority of users – those who aren't at the very top, drowning in spam – it causes far more trouble than it is worth, because it means that, in order to see if you have received a message, you now have to log in to the webpage and manually check. I find this highly objectionable, because as well as not appearing to work – and not making sense – it was large, disruptive, change imposed upon us users of this site with no warning or debate. This is the sort of thing that one might expect of a vast supranational cooperation, but, not of a friendly non-profit.

There's a relatively easy solution: Simply make it a toggleable option.

I can't see why this wasn't done in the first place – unless there is a sinister, tyrannical desire to impose uniformity on all of us. If there is such a desire, it ought to be resisted, by employees of the company, and by all self-respecting persons.

I am being slightly frivolous here; there is only so much one can say about a measure that is not morally grievous; but is extremely irritating and illogical – and authoritarian in its imposition.

The second point is much more concerning. Adverts on Fanfiction and FictionPress – in case you did not know (perhaps you had 'Ad-Blocker' turned on) – now display all over the story you are trying to read, so that the authors' work, which he or she might have spent untold hours labouring over, now resembles a page from a seedy pornography website. It seems to me that the disgrace of such an idea is self-evident. What a callous way to treat your employers – after all, it is the labouring writers who keep this site afloat. If Fanfiction and FictionPress need more money, they ought to ask for it in donations. For reference, Archive of Our Own regularly receives around $100,000 per year when they do a donation drive, which, I would suppose, is enough. Or, if they cannot, or do not, receive enough through donations – and they can prove that they don't, by releasing the relevant financial documents for us to have a look at – then they ought to enter a dialogue with users as to how best they can increase revenue, or, they can reduce costs based on what the community thinks ought to be prioritised.

The only other option is to impose things on the community that the community does not like. And, if you do that enough, it's only a matter of time before you no longer have a community.

In the meantime – before this issue is properly and democratically addressed – I support any and all migrations, by any and all writers to Archive of Our Own – which, despite, not having a PM feature – is transparent and honest.

If you are going to stay here, get an Ad-blocker.

Fraternally,

Gabriel.