To people using fandomstats.org
Stats are fun! Please use responsibly.
This is your regular wrangler reminder to everyone to please add disclaimers on your stats meta that use AO3 because:
- AO3 does not represent all of fandom, or even most of English-speaking fandom.
- AO3 hosts more works than just fic. Please refer to “works” instead of “fics” to be accurate.
- AO3 numbers are subject to wrangling work speeds and necessary decisions, including metatagging. Numbers can change drastically when guidelines are changed or when technical issues force us to adjust organization. Works can be delayed being added to a filter if they use a non-canonical tag and we are short-staffed or that fandom is not currently staffed.
- These are just the tags people remember to tag with, so please use language like “tagged with TAGNAME”, not “contain CONCEPT”.
- Users decide ratings and categories for themselves, and they may have different ideas of what those mean. Not all “mature” works are the same, so again, “tagged with TAGNAME” instead of “are TAGNAME”.
- AO3 tags are wrangled specifically to help users find things, not to create accurate statistical data. For example, tags that contain two or more separate concepts that don’t modify each other will generally not be wrangled at all. The work still contains the concept; the tag is simply not wrangleable.
- Tagging is always, always in flux. Every tagging decision is made by a human being, and judgment is often involved, so what one person would connect, another might not. These individual decisions add up quickly for large tags, some on the order of several per day.
- There’s a bug that makes the top 10 filters sometimes inaccurate. Coders are working on it.
- There’s another bug that makes some works disappear from the filters on canonization, synning, or rename. Also working on it.
Just because the numbers are easy to pull doesn’t indicate that they’re accurate or they mean what we want them to mean. Even broadly general conclusions may be insupportable; please always disclaim.