The Arthur fandom on ff.net has faced several problems recently, namely from a particular user. Now it’s time for us to take back our fandom, and we could really use all the help we can get.
So, ff.net has a support page here. It’s vague, but it has exactly what we need: reporting users for abuse. They need links and details, and I know all of us have plenty to say about our old friend Travis. I’m going to start getting a message together to include the following:
- His old script format stories
- His pieces with excessive grammar/spelling errors
- His MA-plus stories from lately
I also plan to discuss how we’ve convinced him to remove his pieces before, but over the last year, he’s gotten out of control. None of us can talk to him because he blocks them or won’t respond. Now that we’ve lost control of his inappropriate posts, it’s up to the admins to make sure his pieces are removed, though I’m hoping for an all-out ban.
I’d like you all to spread the word to see if we can finally make a difference this time. I’m aware that many of you have sent in reports before, but maybe if we make this a group effort and send them multiple emails over the next week, we can at least get a response.
Let’s be honest here: WordPress is a great solution for us, but we’ve all got unfinished business back on ff.net. It’s time that we get back to that unfinished business and take back what’s ours.
For outsiders who really need some insight into this situation, I wrote a little piece I’d like to include now:
While this children’s show might not seem like much for some people, those of us who write for the fandom found solace on ff.net. We could add to the series, specifically issues the show didn’t really cover (i.e. death of a loved one [not a pet], divorce, love, etc.) at age levels the kids weren’t seen at (i.e. teens, adults, and as babies for the older kids/parents). We could give obscure characters a spotlight (ex. Carl, Lydia Fox, etc.), and we could really explore our favorite characters like Fern, Sue Ellen, etc.
When I first got to this fandom, it was 2012 or so, and I just sort of picked up the fandom to have more people to play with. I immediately found an audience, a responsive audience, and I made fast friends with these people. They were awesome:D I’m even still friends with many of these people, especially DM#’s and TheUltimateCombo. I began posted my largest fanfic, Sophomore Sorrows, and I received raving reviews, tons of them. Even though I’m only halfway through with posting the piece, it still has more views and reviews than anything else I’ve ever done. People loved it, as well as my other pieces, and I found a real home there.
So there’s a particular user there, and while he’d been there before I arrived, he started posting more stuff. Let’s discuss him: Travis_currentyear_. This little pervert enjoys such lovely subjects as new schools, moving, natural disasters/apocalypse, religion, as well as circumcision, genitalia, and children touching themselves.
At first, I didn’t notice his stories. To me, he was just that repetitive guy with poor grammar/spelling whose stories needed work. His common themes were repeated in every piece, and people weren’t feeling it. I mean, how many times can Kate change preschools? And going to different types of preschools? And the other kids change schools too…? While that’s something that happens with kids, it gets old after a while. And natural disasters? They happen, but the show itself proves that writing about things you don’t know can turn into a disaster (check out their 2-part episode “Shelter From The Storm”).
But then I started digging. I found WTFFanfiction on Tumblr and recognized his style. As an English Major, we’re trained to pick up on things like that, and when I saw the one quote they had, I knew it was him. So I looked through his story list, and there is was: The kid was writing circumcision pieces.
Okay, so this is a common phenomenon on ff.net, some freakzoid posting the weirdest crap you’ve ever seen in your life. The Arthur fandom has a few incest fics and things like that, but those are one-hit-wonders from specific writers that posted and fled. Travis? He’s stuck around.
So Travis’s circumcision stories don’t seem to be going anywhere. His oldest pieces have been out for years with no one carrying that this is definitely MA material, and it’s a topic that continues to come up, as well as children discussing their genitalia and sexuality with each other. Some of these stories we were able to talk him out of posting, such as a sex experiment piece he did with 8-yr-old Arthur, Francine, and Brain. Sick stuff, right?
Well he stopped listening to us. He’s found this group of whackos who “appreciate” his work, and trolls have flocked to the fandom to match his works. They either copy his style or ideas or write their own troll stuff thanking Travis or whatever. I haven’t looked at these pieces, and neither has anyone else. As soon as Travis moved into his next fascination, bathhouses, people started to say “Yeah, no,” and fleeing.
Now, none of us are really left. No one wants to be seen around this guy, me included. I write seriously for the Arthur fandom, and I like toying with new ideas, including mature ideas when the time is right. But there’s a huge difference between writing a fic where someone comes of age and writing a fic where some kid is entering into mature discussions and sexual acts at ages that make entirely no sense. I just can’t be associated with stuff like that, and posting in that fandom right now is associating yourself with things that just shouldn’t exist.
So let’s dive into this a little and examine the situation:
Okay, so this fic looks innocent at first. Broken bones is something that happens to people, especially kids who are growing up and just want to have fun. TheUltimateCombo has dabbled with this before, and he took hits for doing it. People don’t want to watch their favorite characters get hurt. It’s an idea I want to toy with but I haven’t really touched for this very reason: If you don’t handle it properly, people could get really angry at you.
But that’s not what this fic seems to be about. Broken bones means casts, and casts mean difficult bathing, and we all know what that means: Let’s have Jane bathing Arthur and talking about his genitals.
So this is a good example of where Travis goes wrong, and why we put up with him for so long. His ideas have a good premise. In this case, it’s the childhood experience of breaking a bone. Common stuff. But children being bathed by their parents aren’t having these long, drawn-out conversations about their junk. Kids don’t care. They notice the differences when posed with nudity from the opposite sex, and young kids might even be a little obsessive about their own parts because they’re still learning, but this isn’t something that is really needed in a fic about someone breaking their arm.
This is what Travis does, and this is what has shown us that he obviously is a sick-minded individual that should probably be reported to his local law enforcement agency to make sure he’s not being inappropriate. He takes something innocent and twists it to fit his needs. In his case, we have to get things to his all-time favorite topic–genitalia.
It started so long ago. Here’s a piece with one of the show’s newest characters, Ladonna:
Again, we have an innocent topic of a kid trying something new. Kids all over the world try new things, and surfing is one of them. Cool, right? Let’s watch the little Cajun girl learn how to surf.
But no, we must discuss her being touched, because if he’s not talking about boys having penises and girls having vaginas, there’s touching involved, highly inappropriate touching. I mean, this is the stuff of nightmares, honestly, and this is what people tell their kids about so they can stop people like this.
I’m going to move on here because this is a topic I’m so sick of, but I want people to know about this guy. I want people to know why I’m here and why I’m flooding this new medium with my writing, but more importantly, why I left so much traffic and reviews for a medium I’ll have to fight to build.
Travis. I mean it’s really that simple. Because of his constant internet access and constant flow of terrible stories, he’s taken over the ff.net market, and now his trolls are there, so here I am. I have limited internet access, but I have plenty of stories to post here, half of which will never be posted on ff.net. As long as Travis is in that fandom, I want nothing to do with it, which is troubling. How many other people are making the same decision? Judging by the lack of contact I’ve had with some users, I’m guessing most of them.
So, who was in the fandom to begin with? Let’s discuss:
Most of the writers for the Arthur fandom are between the ages of 13 and 35, and most of them watched Arthur. Many are like me, people who grew up on the show and think of the Lakewood crew as our old friends. Some of these people come from other countries, but most are from the U.S.
But the age and location of the writers isn’t what I found so interesting about the fandom. You see, most of the people I encountered seem to have some form of autism, and they used the fandom to express their creativity and discuss their favorite show. Because ff.net has a private messaging system and a good review system, they could discuss things with people without fear.
Also, a lot of the people there are growing writers, people who are just starting to write creatively and/or want to hone their skills. This made the fandom a great place to be because you could help each other using constructive criticism, and people did that often. Almost every story would have reviews, and people would tell you what they liked about a piece, what they might change, etc.
Things are different now. What you’ll find are trolls with poor spelling/grammar with repetitive, offensive topics and reviews galore, mostly of the trolls supporting troll behavior and innocents trying to get them to stop. That’s what ff.net’s Arthur fandom became. It went from Eden to a post-apocalyptic world, and that’s why I’m here. I’ll make my own paradise, and even though it’s a lot of work, I’m looking forward to it.
So, that’s why I’m here, and that’s why I want some help getting some emails to the support people. I have so many unfinished pieces, as do many of my friends. While many of us have taken a break from writing lately, most of us were really just sitting on our pieces because of the fandom’s drama. Travis has kept us in fear for a while, but I think it’s time for that to stop. We deserve something better, and if we have to fight for it, so be it. 2016 is an election year. Why not elect to get rid of people who don’t deserve the right to post their stories if they’re going to hurt other people?