Tag Archives: fandom

Captain Marvel’s Retro Site and Nostalgia vs the Era of Big Data

The retro site for Captain Marvel is a fun throwback. Yes, the graphics, features, and mismatched fonts were that bad back in the 90s; but, before Big Data and troll culture, sites had more accountability, and, in turn, value.

A lot of early Internet access was at libraries, often having to leave a driver’s license at the librarian’s desk and sign in and out on a time sheet. Home access was mostly through logging into service providers, with an account name and a password, which was connected to a credit card for billing and email was attached to it, as Gmail didn’t yet exist. Forum owners could and did contact the internet service providers of trolls and providers could and did suspend or terminate the accounts of trolls. Most of the time, it was an easy fix of talking to a parent and locking out an errant child’s login account for a week or so.

In the earlier days of social media, there were more mods and sites were more accountable and transparent. FB used to require proof of adult identity to go with each user account. Contacting customer service reps was done on a first name basis. dA would suspend or terminate every single alt account of rule breakers, including new alt accounts made to try to circumvent bans while the other accounts were suspended. Now, users openly boast of having dozens and it is near impossible to get even one of them banned, even for criminally violent explicit content. In product lifecycles, sites get greedy, cutting mod staff and allowing troublemakers in, just for more page views, ad clicks, data, and money. And, they go downhill.

These changes also impacted GW, which started in the late 90s. GW used to have a lot more mods. They would email me back every time, in a timely manner, they would step in when people made up scenes to derail threads, and they would stop fights in their tracks (and even delete all the posts related to them) so that things didn’t get out of control. Users knew arguing there was a waste of time because the posts would just be deleted. Things changed when SGU went off the air. Without rules or moderation, fans are left with only calling people out on making up scenes, misquoting, bigotry, etc., which wastes a lot of time. GW Twitter is better than GW itself for fandom happenings.

Younger people who haven’t experienced the bygone higher levels of customer service also know when their time is being wasted and are uninstalling FB’s app, choosing to visit sites which actually provide value and enrich their lives, and are reading more and listening to podcasts about research and business trends. Subscribing to their feeds is of much more value than social media.

Better graphics do not mean providing value. It would be great if content providers realized that, instead of looking at customers as brainless and manipulable numbers in piles of Big Data, and got back to accountability and value.

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Artists, think twice about sharing clear PNG images without watermarks

Posting images to dA and other sites as clear PNG files without backgrounds and no watermark over them makes your work even more prone to art theft than those without backgrounds.

Here is an example of what I mean by a clear background, this example being of stock images meant to be shared stating “Free for commercial use, No attribution required”: https://pixabay.com/en/water-splash-png-2748640/

Yes, art theft is still happening at the SGC site, which is against the site’s rules 3A and 3B and artists can and should report them. When it is my artwork, I report the thieves to both the SGC site (through Topfan’s management which made the site software) and also Apple’s legal department, which hosts the SGC app, if the thief will not take it down. Apple has a history of both supporting artists and outstanding customer service. The original artist has to do the reporting, as the artists are the ones who can vouch for if permission was given or not.

Unless you intend for your work to be stock, protect it with backgrounds and watermarks.

*Update: I removed the original example links from this post, in case they give other people ideas about trying to take that other artist’s work of her original character. The artist lives in a geoblocked country. Clear PNG files are just too easy to drag and drop. Also, I hope SGC staff will delete the stolen art. The past few months, the mods have been much faster at it and it will hopefully be gone.

Iratus Bugs as Pets

Sometimes, the subject of Iratus bugs as companion animals, informally referred to as “pets,” comes up in the fandom. Would it it ethical to bring Iratus bugs home?

For Wraith? Most likely. Todd being able to approach a Queen to be healed from “Infection” and masked warriors walking among the bugs outdoors on the Wraith planet in “38 Minutes” suggests a mutual free association. Todd was probably free to enter a nest cave and approach, as Bug Shep was able to do with his pheromones in “Conversion.” Iratus bugs may also have telepathy, as Wraith got that ability from somewhere, and may be able to communicate with Wraith on some level. There is a shared understanding, by pheromones and/or telepathy. Wraith hives are also like caves, giving Iratus bugs plenty of room to move and feel at home. When the hives are grounded, the bugs may even be able to come and go as they please. Additionally, Wraith honor their Iratus bug heritage with sculptures and icons.

For humans? Unless in a rescue/rehab situation, most likely not. For starters, any human incorrectly labeling other species as “unintelligent” and treating them as property/objects, not as individuals, does not deserve said companionship (and should not be writing scifi content either). The bugs would be caged, as prisoners, not as companions, and would be given the Harambe treatment the moment they escaped. Cats and dogs in shelters need of rescue, love, and care; Iratus bugs would just need humans to leave them alone.

Iratus bugs are free-born beings and they belong with their colonies or whoever they choose, if that might include Wraith associations.

Alt-Right Xenophobia on GW Extends to Slavic People

One of the users there notorious for posting sexist and anti-LGBTQ+ drivel, as well as wishing war and death upon the Wraith, says “Chinese and Russians have philosophies completely incompatible with those of the Occidentals.”

“Occidentals”? Who even says that in this century? πŸ˜› This is a dog whistle word for alt-righters and Google results show alt-right links. This site keeps getting worse. White xenophobes claiming incompatibility with Asian culture is no surprise, but the Orient-Occident binary, a false binary created to justify colonialism and imperialism, is something Gaters need to be aware of as well. Looking on maps of what this even consists of, different sites list different European nations as East or West and not all agree on who is grouped where. Most list Russia and some list Poland. But, Slavic nations are among those divided in the false binary. The false binary is throwback to the WW2 era, when white racists also outgrouped Irish and Italian immigrants.

The binary and the incompatibility are, of course, uneducated lies. Fusion philosophy exists and has always existed, such as Christianity being a mash-up of Judaism, Greek philosophy, and other European pagan traditions, especially the Christmas and Easter pop culture symbols. Transcendentalism, as a philosophy, was inspired by Indian Asian philosophy and Greek philosophy, which in itself had also been influenced by trade with the Middle East and Far East and vice-versa with Greek culture impacting others in turn. The cross-cultural impacts are all around.

There are a lot of Gaters of Slavic heritage, especially Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish. The Russian language SGA and Wraith-specific sites are among the best for photo references. So often, I find a thumbnail of an old photo, use Google to find better versions with more resolution, and the Russian sites have always been there. Geoblocking does not give fans in these countries anywhere near enough recognition, and, without these sites, a lot of Stargate history would have been lost to the sands of time. So, I say it here that I am thankful. And, Stargate comics? Two Polish Wraith artists have rocked that, pumping out a page a week, each artist doing her own story, sketching, inking, and coloring and have given us complete comics, for free and for the love of it. The comics are respectful to the New Lanteans and the Wraith, aim for canon accuracy, and have better likenesses than the licensed tie-in ones for sale. The comics are read and understood by people around the world.

Meanwhile, the xenophobic people have contributed nothing to the fandom and have nothing to show for themselves. But, they sure do kill threads and ruin forums. The thread this dog whistle post was in started out about living among others with differences in a Star Trek way.

Down with walls, barriers, false binaries, and hate. We are all Gaters, no matter our heritages. We understand the Stargate shows, one another, and we are compatible. There is a saying that art speaks 1,000 languages and it is true, as we all view art from SGA on our screens and create and share fanworks of our own. Art inspires art and we all build one another up.

The Wraith are human hybrid characters with fusion Ancient in their Wraith language and writing and their worshippers are also a fusion culture too. And, Spike rocked Earth clothes, games, and music.

I am thankful that there are people all around the world who love the Wraith and who want to see nonviolence– for all Earthlings and all intergalactic beings– and see more likenesses than differences.

Dear Stargate SJWs

Some of you openly state you are Social Justice Warriors, LGBTQ+ allies, and Stargate fans. Some of you even have managerial and consulting titles.

*So, why then is GW filled with alt-righters who post misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, racist stuff, people are bullied off, and nothing happens? This one page* alone is anti-woman, anti-gender and sexual minorities, anti-Native American 2 Spirits, and says someone without arms is not equal, a slap in the face to veterans who have lost limbs defending the freedoms of the very alt-righters who say all of these people are not equal to them as cis-hetero-able-white males.

*So, why then is the SGC site filled with posts othering the various races such as the Nox and the Wraith as “creatures” and misgendering them as “it” because their hair textures and skin colors are different? No other scifi franchise does this to their own characters and the posts read as if they came from racist encyclopedias from the 1940s about people of color. This xenophobic content aids alt-righters by normalizing the othering, outgrouping, and objectifying those who look different from a majority.

*Ditto for the Fandy books on the misgendering and othering of the various Stargate races.

What happened to this fandom?! It really took a turn for the worse since the last US election and Brexit, that’s for sure. The old Stargate fansite was not like this and the old Legacy books were not like this.

Ignoring the xenophobia in the Stargate fandom while re-tweeting several dozen US Democrat Party posts against 45 in an echo chamber account isn’t going to make a difference, not for the world or for Stargate. Standing up for others and cleaning up these sites and tie-ins will.

I am an artist and use my talents and voice to speak up against bigotry.

As you call yourselves SJWs, use your voices to stop bullying and hatespeech in all its forms in the Stargate fandom. Isn’t that the least a warrior should do!?

β€œThe only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”― Edmund Burke

β€œInjustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” ― Martin Luther King Jr

(*Someone tried to delete this link citation off of another website, so here it is captured on an Israeli archive, among other archives. Never post bigoted things on the interwebs, even if there are no mods around. It is not so easy to erase.)

Viewing the Stargate Fan Panel Project from Afar

An interesting thing about being a Wraith fan, viewing forums from afar after having given up on rife bigotry and incorrect content in them, is the space to just sit back and observe behavior with the long-range scanners.

A number of folks are suddenly making an effort to post at GW and SGC. Could it have something to do with the current SGC fan panel project? πŸ˜‰ (Although, I doubt these quick posts on these forums come close to qualifying, certainly not the off-topic ones.) πŸ˜›

I am not entering and hope to see good people chosen for the winners. An independent business, managed by a woman and featuring a man and woman in the promo video, is running the contest, so sexism should hopefully not be a barrier. Flights, accommodations, and per diem for the trip are provided and subtitles are allowed in the entries, so classicism, hearing ableism, and linguistic parochialism should hopefully not be barriers.

It would be nice to see a Wraith cosplayer win a slot, as those facial prosthetics are difficult work of superfans! And, Wraith fans are all dedicated superfans in my book.

Games with Upvote and Downvote Buttons

It seems there are at least 3 games with upvote and downvote buttons being played by a few forum members on the SGC site, 2 of them stalkerish.

1) downvoting every single post a stalked target makes

2) upvoting every single post in a thread except for the one the stalked target makes, to single them out

3) upvoting requests for account deletions

The first is semi-anonymous, depending on if there are multiple votes. If only one vote is on the post, the downvoter can be caught in the Activity section, in the Notifications tab. Upvotes and downvotes all show up as “likes” but when a post only has a -1 score, it is easy to see who is doing it. I’ve seen someone publicly calling the repeat downvoters out by name and that can work to stop it by social pressure (as clicking the buttons doesn’t violate any rules), but, then, I have seen method #2:

The second is more difficult to catch, because the singled out stalked target with a zero score would have to PM others on the thread with +1 scores to ask them who is upvoting them, relying on if others would want to look it up or disclose that info. Even then, there is no direct proof, just the word of others, and carries less social stigma than method #1. The stalker seems to even bookmark the threads and come back to keep upvoting incoming posts over the following days as they come in, so I doubt it is a mere blocking or visibility issue. Some people have too much time on their hands.

Third, there are also people who upvote requests from members for account deletions. I like to optimistically think most of these are just people not paying attention and clicking opening thread posts to get 5 points. After all, a spammer once posted random alphabet letters to “ascend” and got about a dozen likes each. One edgelord, however, after being publicly called out, publicly stated his action was intentionally done, to signal he would be glad the poster might be leaving.

I am sure this is a not just a Stargate fandom problem, because these same people probably also do this on every social media site they visit. It’s just that the Stargate pond is smaller and these games are more visible when there are only +1 and -1 scores on each post. Such attempts on larger sites, when the reacts number into double and triple digits, are less noticeable.

The games says more about the stalkers than the people being stalked. If these people care about Stargate, they should rethink how noticeable this is and how they are representing the fandom.

*PS: If viewers see these patterns happening, they can tip the scale for good by upvoting the singled-out gaters. I think one gains 5 points for each upvote.