Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My tentative optimism and concerns about TV Tropes' change in ownership

After having gotten a better idea about the change in ownership, I think Drew replacing Fast Eddie might be a good first step for TV Tropes.

However, I still have some concerns:

1. The tainted copyright question - In my previous posts, I have gone on at length about how, for the past 2, going on 3 years, Fast Eddie has been running a site with illegally tainted copyright, and I seriously call upon Drew to examine this issue and work with a copyright attorney to assess the legality of the current content base before doing anything major (he has already been contacted by myself and other interested parties and is aware of our concerns), as Fast Eddie left him with a massive legal problem that people whom I'm acquainted with could easily file DMCA's and lawsuits for, and if Drew does absolutely nothing to address this once and for all, I would consider that the height of foolishness at best and no better than the sins of Fast Eddie at worst.

2. The Kickstarter - TV Tropes is raising $50,000 dollars to totally revamp the site from the ground floor up, presumably with a massively revamped wiki engine.

That's all well and good, and if they finally take a shotgun to the head of Fast Eddie's bastardization of PmWiki and replace it with something that doesn't suck, that would be a massive improvement. However, I'm not very optimistic about why they need such an obscene amount of money.

For once, we at All The Tropes proved you could port TV Tropes to MediaWiki, and it cost us 0$ to do. A fair amount of time converting our initial data set and examining copyright law to be sure we were legally safe, but it cost us no money to do aside from any donations we handed Orain (and that was voluntary/optional), and our Wikia branch has all tech support and costs covered by Wikia. Personally, while I understand (though consider it a retarded pride in) the urge to not become like 'The Other Wiki", PmWiki and MediaWiki are not too dissimilar in many ways, include various parsing functions and ability to of the former to act like the latter, and I see no reason you need $50,000 dollars to do what we did for peanuts.

Also, even if they do make something radically different, the current version of PmWiki is going to be a nightmare to convert wholesale given how it mutated under Fast Eddie under the years, even though he's still in the background coding wise lending support in that role to the new ownership (though to my pleasure defanged of any other responsibilities).

Also, my concern about the Kickstarter is also legal: TV Tropes is still allegedly a non-profit, so long as more than half the money earned go back into keeping the site going, and if they are seriously about using this Kickstarter funding for revamping the site, I hope for some transparency regarding how the finances will be spent, if only so the new owner can avoid the shady reputation Fast Eddie built up for not disclosing such matters.

3. The guard needs changing - While I notice Drew has still settled in as owner and not much is changing while they determine the transition needs and requirements, I would do a purge of the current moderators, particularly all those who have proven as corrupt as Fast Eddie (especially Fighteer, whose ED page I have read and found disturbingly accurate, their typical hateful embellishment aside) and replace them with those truly appointed by community consensus. I would also throw out Fast Eddie's manic insistence on "no negativity", which was largely responsible for transforming the site from a somewhat legitimate place to discuss tropes and the works that use them into a pathetic hugbox of a fandom site where you can't say anything bad about something, even if it can be objectively proven, regardless of how salient or legitimate your criticism may be of a trope or work.

Further, I would also toss out many of the rules, such as the draconian "three strikes you're out" and have a more "assume good faith" policy, as being a dick to the noobs and banishing them forever after three mistakes, no matter how innocent, still strikes me as the height of being a poor way to encourage new contributors.

4. Least important, but still a good idea - Throw out the foolish censorship policies and the dependence on Google Ads. Both led to the further emasculation of what TV Tropes once was (an informal yet informative troping site) and turned it into a laughably transparent attempt to fuel Fast Eddie's greed, even if he had to purge anything Google and himself didn't like in the name of money and his own poorly explained personal morality, as I still see no objective reason why works like ''Sengoku Rance'' or ''Kodomo no Jikan'' are any less valid to trope than ''Macbeth'' or ''The Bible'', as despite the controversial subject matter, they are still works with tropes and they don't deserve to be banished from discussion just because an arbitrary censorship panel (who I have found contradictory and corrupt) is throwing it out on the grounds of it being "porn or pedoshit".

That was one of the two reasons my disgust for what TV Tropes became is now so strong that even the full reversal of this policy would disincline me from ever wanting to return to trope there, and the last two and a half or so years of this frankly senseless policy have done little to convince me of the wisdom of such policies.

11 comments:

  1. You think maybe when the guard has been changed, they'll be looking through the edit banned list for unjust bans?

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    1. As long as the corrupt moderators who inflicted those bans are around, it's unlikely.

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  2. Kay.

    Speaking of mods: SeptimusHeap was a mini-mod on the site for 3-4 years, and is now replacing Fighteer as the most active mod on the site. Do you think we should keep an eye on him?

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    1. Septimus is nowhere near as odious and abrasive as Fighteer, but he's definitely a TVT loyalist, despite all of it's flaws.

      He's actually one of the better mods, if only because he doesn't act like having a ban button makes him a god. (Hi Fighteer!)

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    2. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=13370249920A54060100&page=3

      SeptimusHeap sucking up to Fighteer saying that debate is illegal on TVTropes.

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    3. Actually, I kinda agree debates shouldn't be placed in the middle of actual trope articles, so I agree with the idea of having the debates stay on a subpage.

      I don't agree all debate should be silenced, but I do think it's wise not plop a debate on a trope right in the middle of the article if it would derail the rest of the article itself.

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    4. I actually have my own idea: Make the main article the analysis article and the analysis article the examples page.

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  3. As someone who's been on the site for as long as he has (not sure exacts, but roughly 3-4 years at most. I think I joined before the site went to complete shit). I welcome these new changes with open arms. Because from what I've seen, the site's almost nothing but a haven of pony spamming and forced positivity (even the "So Bad It's Horrible" pages have been forced into this trap). And the forums are toxic with its behavior. It's gotten to the point where I have majorly cut back on its usage due to the amount of issues.

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    1. Yeah, everyone who is THANKING Fast Eddie for all he has done is either an idiot who can't see the downsides or enjoys the hugbox and brony shrine TVT has become, and the forums are just an abyss I don't want to get into at all.

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    2. Good, because I'm sure you'd be repeating stuff I'd say if I said it.

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