FanFiction.Net Purges All Forums

3 min read

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FanFiction.Net purged all forums on 25th November, 2010.

Any unpinned forum threads that nobody posted in for at least 6 months have been deleted. The filter was moving up by forum creation date.

Despite the front page announcement made on the same day being: "To reduce clutter in many of the larger forums, we will begin to clear out forum threads with last posting date of older than 6 months. Pinned threads are excluded from the periodic purge." FanFiction.Net (FFN) decimated all forums with the last posting date over six months ago.

The result is that all historic value is lost: any useful guides, fun conversations and fandom information are lost. For example, The Domain, one of the biggest forums with 523,000 posts now has 260,000. Writers Anonymous, one of the most useful forums for new members seeking improvement also got halved.

A forum regular described this as: "It's basically the same as someone coming into my home and taking away everything that is dear for me because they're too old."

The process was automated, and it happened while America was sleeping (FFN is registered in America). Over a few hours from 7 AM GMT till 2 PM GMT forums made in 2005 and 2006 were purged, leaving their subscribers hanging. In fact, nobody will find out what happened till they wake up.

Why FFN decided to cull forums instead of poking trollfics is beyond me. If you want to save resources, reduce the amount of useless data your servers, pay more attention to plagiarists, real-person fics and other things that can get you sued. What did forums have to go first is beyond me. Most importantly, why did they have to go overnight? Forum administrators and fans could have archived and moved the important memories elsewhere. I suppose, this is the price you pay for trusting a website too much.

Sure, I understand the financial crisis has hit fan fiction and its advertising revenue. I also understand that they'd rather do something evil, but fast, than enter 'long and boring' dialogue with members. Most importantly, the filter FFN used for forums was clever enough to counter 'bumping' old threads. And such purges are going to be periodic.

It's a sad week for a fan fiction writer. Fan History, the biggest wiki about fandom closed to editors two days ago, and now this.
© 2010 - 2021 lordkelvinffn
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The-SHM-loves-Asimov's avatar
Agh... Why didn't FFN admins discuss this with writers first? This is outrageous! It's unacceptable!!
And what's stopping a forum from flagging all of its threads? The purge is absolutely useless in that regard.

Lord Kelvin, estimating, how many entire forums do you think have been wiped out?
lordkelvinffn's avatar
All active forums with some history have been halved, and the site has over 16.000 empty general forums now. General forums are only one of the top-level categories, though. The real number should be bigger, considering they deleted 60% of all posts ever made. What makes me sad is that all initial reactions to how forums and fandom communities grew were deleted. So much for a hands-on resource.

"what's stopping a forum from flagging all of its threads?"

The purge wasn't that simple. They've enacted a limit of ten threads you can flag.
CrossoverGenius's avatar
That's pretty much not cool...
Aethrega's avatar
I've been wondering about's assorted problems ever since I started digging around on TV tropes about fanfics. There is something fishy about how they don't clean up horrible badfics and other dumb stuff (my favorite zinger: crossovers.... THAT AREN'T IN THE CROSSOVER SECTION) but have purged the forums.
IzEllie's avatar
i guess i can understand why they did this but it still seems a bit extreme, especially the rule on only having 10pinned topics from now on, thats quite irritating
theselect1nat0r's avatar
Whoever implemented that policy needs to fucking die in a fire. I'm fucking serious. How any sane person could even THINK of doing that without even fucking asking first is complete bullshit. I can only hope that either this bullshit policy makes FFNet crash and fuck itself up, or they get so inaundated with complaints that they restore the site. This is utter insanity.
kasami76's avatar
We were doing so good too. LFE ♥

I feel for the RP forums though, having lost all their old RPs :\
FEGirl18's avatar
One thing that they should get rid of is the damn problem of not being able to get on the site!!!
PurplePhoneixStar's avatar
Dude, there is better things they could purge like Real person fiction or trollfics
dwr3v's avatar
The hell FFN?
PikaYoshiGirl's avatar
Wow, that really sucks. I used to love looking at all the old threads I made on the LFE.
You'd think FFN would waste time doing something more productive.
I am so lucky that people decided to post on my forum then! It would have been deleted...
soaringdragon43's avatar
That stinks. D:

I mean, I can understand them trying to save space and hopefully improve the site's performance, but yeah - why don't they get rid of the terrible fics first? DX
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