they are genuinely intent on using their platform to help people in any way they can

Fanfic and Constructive Criticism

some (dare i say ‘a lot of’?) criticism on fanfic comes from a well-meaning place. as much as we authors want to throw down and cast aspersions at anyone who dares criticize our work or our friends work, this is still true. a lot of people leaving this feedback think they are being helpful. 

i know this because no less than three (3) dear, dear friends of mine (some of them authors themselves) have privately balked at the fandom norm of ‘do not leave negative feedback of any kind.’ 

good questions people ask: don’t authors want to grow? don’t they want to know what’s working for their readers and what isn’t? weren’t we all taught to give and receive constructive criticism in our writing courses? when i’m rec-ing or leaving reviews of fic, i want to maintain my own integrity so shouldn’t i be honest about what i did and did not like?

i don’t think these are unreasonable questions. they make a lot of sense, especially in the context of our schooling and the capitalist market through which most of our art is mediated. 


fanfic exists outside of that context and that’s beautiful! 

fanfic authors aren’t trying to get a good grade; they aren’t even necessarily trying to become the best writers. most are just trying to create content that they and their friends and fellow fans can enjoy. do not assume that all authors want constructive criticism. some folks are just not here for that. 

additionally, you did not pay for the content, so no author owes you a better story. nobody is wasting money on fic they don’t like and if you’re wasting time then that’s your own fault (i highly recommend the back button- it saves hours and hours and hours- days, even). 

because we are not paid for our work or graded on our work, we have very few external incentives to post. a hostile environment with lots of unsolicited, negative feedback further reduces those incentives.

that said, a lot of authors do want concrit. we want to become better writers. we want more people to enjoy our work. we want to better communicate the stories we are trying to tell. but that does not mean we want you to leave us negative ao3 comments or tumblr asks/messages. for most of us, those things hurt. 

ex of a well-meaning comment breaking me: someone once bookmarked one of my earliest fics (back in the hockey fandom), with the note ‘would be one of the best kid!fic i’ve ever read if it didn’t have so many typos. author needs a (better?) beta.’ i cried for two hours. two hours!  

i tried to contact the person, but their ao3 profile wasn’t linked to any other social media platform. i was a newbie. i had no friends. i had no beta. and i had no way of acting on that feedback. i’m sure the person was trying to be helpful, but shit. that stung.  

concrit is mostly easily received and used privately, in the context of relationship. better from a trusted friend or acquaintance (whose intentions you know to be good) than from a stranger. better in a private conversation, than in public view. (think about it like this, if you’re like most of us, you’d rather your friend tell you that you have lettuce in your teeth than a stranger and you’d rather they whisper it to you than shout it out in front of a group of people.)

the best way to have your concrit heard by an author is to befriend them. you might even offer to beta for them. the likelihood that kind of offer would be turned down is relatively low- most authors i know are always looking for more eyes to go over something before it’s posted! 

one of my former betas used to do this- contact her favorite authors that had extensive editing errors and offer to help beta! she! is! a! hero! if you want to be helpful, offer to actually help!

tldr; some good, well-meaning people do not understand why they shouldn’t leave ‘helpful’ feedback on fanfic. so, giving those folks the benefit of the doubt, here’s why: most fanfic authors do not want unsolicited, negative feedback. such feedback hurts. if you genuinely want to help fanfic authors become better, do not leave your ‘helpful’ feedback in the form of ao3 comments or anon messages. instead, befriend these authors and offer to help them beta.  

randomproxy  asked:

I realize this is a personal question from a rando stranger, but: do you mind explaining a little about what made you pull back from being a 4ch raider/participating in lulz culture? a friend of mine works for twitter's abuse dept and she is really struggling how to figure out the best ways to fight online trolling - any anecdote would be useful? (i recognize this is a big ask - feel free to ignore this if it's too much/private to talk about)

No it’s fine to talk about! I prefer to be open about my abhorrent behavior in the mid/late aughts since it was pretty impactful on both people I hurt and my own way of dealing with that kind of culture.

Trolling online these days is so much more organized, methodical, and scientific than it was back then. Social media was still a new concept, and websites had a lot more focus on niche audiences. Peoples’ online presences were scattered across several websites– their art would be on DeviantART, their private musings would be on their Xanga, their most social activity would be a forum attached to an anime fansite, and their different interests would be spread across several messageboards, LJ communites, Yahoo/MSN groups, etc.

Site names have changed and this isn’t 100% untrue now, but for the most part, segmented online presences are a dying breed. Most people share ALL of their work and thoughts on tumblr/instagram/twitter/reddit, all with one account, all very easy to learn about somebody. Things like DA still exist but are tertiary and not a primary method of interacting online. Reverse image searching, google maps, facebook, and people-finding tools also make hunting down someone to harass or impersonate them a lot easier.

I start by saying this because it’s important to observe the evolution of trolling, both in methods and intent. The internet is a completely different animal– before, to use an unsettling analogy, it was almost more about the hunt, now it’s about the kill.

Nothing in particular made me leave the subculture overnight. There was no conscious revelation that I could share in the hopes that others have it. I began roleplaying in World of Warcraft in 2009, and if I had to offer a turning point, that would be it. I went from being an angry little internet elemental to somebody meaningfully involved in a creative community that needed to work together to make each other happy instead of constantly trying to one-up one another. I played a character that was friendly, charismatic, and loved to help people. Between having to be in this constant mindset for roleplay’s sake and just in general getting to know people, I developed empathy for my fellow internet inhabitants.

As time went on it helped me explore more facets of myself, namely my very closeted queerness. RP communities are an extremely mixed bag and I encountered a lot of people openly sharing points of view I’d never considered about the world, eloquent people using a written platform where they can say everything they want to say in one place and consider it as long as they need before putting it out there.

I didn’t leave behind cruel behavior because I was stricken by shame. I just lost interest in it because I found more positive outlets, and listened to people with opinions counter to ones I’d held.

But how does this tie in to preventing abuse? I’m not sure that it does. Obviously there are plenty of cruel, manipulative, dreadful people in RP and other creative communities that have no intention of working as a team or considering others’ viewpoints, so it’s obviously not a result of the environment. But I think the empathy is an important factor– people behave as they do online because anonymity dampens empathy. Even if someone’s Twitter handle is their real name and their icon is their real face, their feelings are ultimately just a bunch of words on a screen, a person that in no way impacts your life. You don’t have to be privy to the devastation on their face as you tell them they’re broken and deserve to die. Bullying is a senseless but perpetual aspect of human nature and the emotional disconnect makes it worse.

Unfortunately empathy is not something Twitter, or any website, is capable of instilling in its users. That is something that needs to be addressed offline. People need to be made more acutely aware of their monkeyspheres, and be asked difficult questions like, “Why do you perceive X as unworthy of compassion? Who are they hurting? What is your goal? Why do you think that needs to be a goal?”

And you can’t ask these questions online. You can’t make somebody uncomfortable with their worldview if they can hit backspace at any time and ignore it. But maybe asking the right questions often enough will eventually force them to think about it whether they want to or not.

Regardless, most people who bully do so because they have a perception of what’s “right”. This isn’t always a deep social issue such as racism; sometimes it can be something as simple as not liking how they spend their time, or the way they dress. One of my lowest moments in my teens was against a fanartist who traced various artwork to instead be their OC and a canon character. That’s it. That was their crime. But I was determined to make them stop doing it by any means necessary, and this meant impersonating them on /b/, alerting them to their existence. They figured out pretty quickly that it was me impersonating but they had already fixated on their artwork and I received no backlash, and they continued to hound them across various accounts. For what it’s worth, I did reach out a couple years back to apologize– but the damage remains.

Take that mindset and apply it to anything, from the notion that the bully has been denied something and is lashing out against a perceived cause, to a genuinely devoted moral crusade. The belief that they are “doing the right thing” (teaching a lesson, attacking somebody “bad”, thickening someone’s skin) is a unifying factor. Nobody sits there chuckling about how evil they’re being– they’re thinking, “this will show them”, and they get a rush out of having some control over this perceived slight.

What can websites do? They can take a more active role in moderating their community. They can ban hateful accounts and personally reach out to victims.

What can victims do? It fucking sucks, but don’t engage. I see a lot of debate on this but standing up to bullies online is a lot different than in real life. With a lot of media being based on “sharing”, retaliation opens up the potential for a wider audience of scum and they absolutely thrive on distress and watching people spend their time acknowledging them. You are not showing that bullying won’t be tolerated by refuting their words, you’re just giving them more shit to screenshot into their group chats before they roll in and call you more slurs that you publicize for them yourself by engaging. I say this from the perspective of someone who did that. A blocked/deleted insult is no fun. An insult with a “get a load of this guy cam” reaction image followed by several reblogs of people insulting the anon or saying how unacceptable this is is successful.

What can trolls do? Find a better outlet, you guys. Honestly. It’s a rush to feel like you have some kind of control and power over people by drawing reactions out of them but making people happy feels even better. Cruelty impresses only people that will have no qualms hurting you too.

Okay, in an attempt to be helpful and not just a grumpy old man about this:

To people complaining nobody reads their lore  (and who are genuinely sad/wondering why)

Like any other creative content, getting any kind of fan base takes patience, practice, and time. Nothing will magically be handed to you. Throwing stuff out into the abyss and hoping someone sees it and responds is well and good, but if you’re really looking for readers, you have to specifically make the effort to get that attention and keep it. You’ve got to make content that works on the platform you’re using. Content that’s interesting. You’ve got to make it often enough that people have something to read now, and are always looking forward to what’s coming next. There’s a lot of factors to consider. Here are just a few things you need to keep in mind: 

1) People want quality writing. You need to keep practicing so your lore is actually good. Developed, intentional, polished. The more you do it the better you get. Not making content isn’t going to get you anywhere. Having a huge pile of lore with barely any notes is still going to benefit you more than not writing anything because at the end of it you’re a better writer. People want good quality content. There’s no getting around this, you’ve got to put in the practice. 

2) You need to know your platform. Putting lore on tumblr is probably going to be more popular if you write short snippets and vignettes. Small stuff that doesn’t always need a “read more.” Think about the worldbuilding posts that get notes here: Someone writes a couple paragraphs that start with an interesting idea and explore that idea, and keep it brief. Start with that format. If you see a popular post, look at what makes it good and try doing that. Images also help; drawings, graphics, edits, photos. That’s just what tumblr is made to share. Use that to your advantage.

(If you’re wanting some attention on FR, it might be less straightforward because FR isn’t designed to count your popularity by a simple number count. The site is designed for you to build up your lair mostly for your own benefit. You will have to put effort into writing in the creative forums and writing interesting bios. Dragon bios should be brief, good for short stories, summaries, or brief info dumps, while the forums are great for posting longer stuff, content that is updated daily/weekly, etc.)

3) Make content that is interesting. They will not care enough to comment on lore that has nothing interesting about it. You can’t always just write for yourself if you really want attention for your work. Think of what makes each character interesting and write about that. Play it up. All those other uninteresting lore details are boring until people are actually attached to your characters. Write humor, too. People get attached to what makes them laugh. They will relate to and remember a character who makes them laugh. Humor draws people in quickly. It’s one of many strategies to get people interested fast. But it’s not the only way. Get creative.

4) Be the attention you want to receive. Do you complain that nobody reads your lore, but you don’t read anyone else’s? Do you participate at all in the community you want to succeed in? Read other people’s lore and reblog things you like, comment your thoughts, and share feedback and critique. Commission artists to illustrate your characters, especially if you don’t draw yourself. Commission other writers write about your characters. Send hatchling letters. All of this boosts your own popularity while also helping others.

5) Be part of the community outside of your creative work. Make friends, chat with people, maintain a nice presence around the site and on the tumblr community. Be yourself, but remember your general personality will effect who wants to read your work. 

People who are “popular” are inherently good at these things, often from practicing in the past, or they naturally are outgoing and social and they just enjoy it. But they are always putting in this effort. Always. You can develop your skills in gathering a fan base just like any other skill. Keep it up, it takes time, it can be hard work, but there is a lot of success to be had. Remember, there are always people out there who want more fun lore and interesting characters to read about! Your audience is waiting for you!

anonymous asked:

Please do a fred weasley imagine!! And could she possibly be a hufflepuff who is really quiet but fred is in love with her but she is oblivious? Thank you!

Finally!! I am still quite sick and I spent the past few days sleeping, drinking tea and laying down - so sorry for the wait and I really hope this is not too bad! x Enjoy reading!

Fred had seen this young lady quite frequently these past few weeks, yet every time he wondered who she was: A Hufflepuff, that’s all he knew at the moment, but it was undeniable to him that there was something mesmerizing, something unique about her that he was absolutley keen to find out more about. It was dinner time in the Great Hall and his eyes wandered around the room, stopping every time they met her, and slowly, Fred began thinking it was time for an approach. What was remarkable was that he hadn’t really noticed her before; but one day, when he needed solitude and concentration to finish a book he had started, he had decided to go to the Great Hall, and that’s where she often sat. He assumed she was a rather quiet person, but still, he felt the need to talk to her; her beauty was almost tempting to Fred, or, to boil it down: she was interesting to him in every way.

George was still occupied with dinner, whereas Fred was just sitting by his side, an empty plate in front of him. “What’re you thinking about, mate?” George asked, whereupon his brother gave him a glimpse to make sure he was still eating. “Not much, just nonsense. When’s Quidditch practice again?” – “This Wednesday. Told you already, but anyway, I reckon we should make sure we’re not going to get detention, Angelina would kill us” – “Right, right. Won’t guarantee anything, though” Fred smirked at his brother who was finally taking another bite of his meal. “Mind if I leave the table already?” he suddenly asked, looking quite startled at himself for having asked the question. “Am I your mother? To be honest, I don’t really care, just be back soon enough so we can finish that assignment, right?” George replied and chuckled a moment later. Fred did not know why he had asked his brother like that, but he assumed it was his intuition that had told him to get up – after all, he was heading to the Hufflepuff table with a slightly reddish nose.

The reason for his sudden decision was the girl sitting alone at the table for a moment; she seemed to be reading while some other Hufflepuffs were finishing their meals, and Fred considered it the perfect chance to approach her. He walked up to her, feeling rather confident, and coughed softly. “Hey there” he said, “Mind if I take a seat?” The girl looked up, seemingly surprised to hear someone speaking to her, especially when she saw that it was a Weasley. And yet, she shook her head and smiled, putting a strand of hair behind her ear – Fred looked into her eyes; she had a very interesting gaze that was almost alluring to him. “Why would you come here, though?” she asked. Fred could hear a little witty doubt in her voice, which caused him to smirk. “I don’t know, I’m just looking for company before I go back to the Common Room” – “Nice choice… You think I’m going to be good company? Well…” she replied, sounding as if she meant it, but she didn’t want to show any insecurity from the start, and gave him a quick laugh to play it off. “I’m pretty sure you are” Fred said, his eyes wandering to the table’s surface, “And I see you’re doing homework?” – “Not exactly. Some Hufflepuffs have decided to sell butter beer and food at this week’s Quidditch game, and I still need to organize how exactly we’re going to manage taking care of so many students; plus, we have to make sure there are no First Years staggering around the pitch because of certain purchases from our stand” – “I’m very supportive of this concept, I have to say. I might even know some charms that could help you out in terms taming the little ones” Her eyes met his, whereupon she blushed slightly, but she once again smiled to hide it. “Which means?” – “Well, there are some that could give them a bit of a lesson. Or, you could just slip some of our Nosebleed Nougat into their butter beer, this would certainly help!” – “Yes, I’ve heard of that. Thanks for the advice, I guess I can consider this problem solved, then” she smirked while closing her notes. To Fred, she always seemed kind of witty, but he still couldn’t figure out what she was trying to say, and thus he was more eager than ever to find out. Weak rays of sunshine from the warm sunset were making their way through the cloudy sky displayed on the Great Hall’s ceiling, and Fred liked the way they slightly highlighted her face all of a sudden – his glimpse rested on her for quite a while, whereupon she seemed rather uncomfortable, causing Fred to speak again. “Well, I am called “the brain” after all, so no need to thank me. I’m pretty sure I’ll see you at the game, and I’m also quite certain I will have a good butter beer afterwards” he said, “But what’s your name? Just so I can address you properly, then” He found out that her name was (Y/N), and Fred was delighted to see that she had opened up to him a bit more, and yet, he could still not tell exactly how she felt about him - at least he had something he’d be occupied with for while, because he was still absolutely sure that he felt a sort of connection between him and (Y/N).

“Good game, you lot” Angelina panted, high-fiving all members of the team. She, along with the entire house of Gryffindor, seemed absolutely content over the win they had just scored, and hearing the students cheer from the platforms around the pitch made everyone feel more glorious than ever. Fred joined the claps from his fellow team members, but before going to the cabin to take a shower, he and two others made their way to a little stand located in the midst of the Hufflepuff platform – it seemed to be quite a good business, and Fred had been determined all week to go there, hoping to see (Y/N) again. When he made his way up the stairs, he already saw her serving people; his steps got a little faster when her glimpse caught his. “Oi” he said when he finally reached the stand, “So how’s the big business going?” – “Hey, Fred. Quite good, people love this sort of thing as it seems. Some might have overstepped their boundaries already” – She was referring to some fellow Hufflepuffs chanting comical hymns in the lower section of the platform – “But it’s all been okay. As long as I’m not the one who has take care of them afterwards, I’m fine. Good game, by the way! Congratulations!” Fred smiled at her compliment; he felt rather charming in his Quidditch gear, with stains of dirt tracing his face, and leaned on to the wooden counter of the stand. “Really good to hear that, (Y/N). Yes, some people… should’ve used some Nosebleed Nougat… well, but thank you very much! Listen, we’re having a bit of an After Quidditch fiesta in our Common Room later. Any chance you want to come?” he said. (Y/N) looked rather startled, if not even irritated, for a moment; Fred could literally see how she was focusing again after a split second, and their eyes met. “Um, yeah, of course! Thanks, Fred. But can I just- come in?” – “No, I’ll wait for you in front of the Fat Lady, right? Let’s say in about an hour?” – “Yes, sure. Sounds good. Thank you” she said before waving at him while he made his way down the stairs again.

Fred had put on a fresh sweater of his and was now waiting in front of the Fat Lady, just as he had promised to (Y/N) before. She was not exactly on time, but she justified her late arrival with her poor sense of orientation, and Fred was highly amused over the fact that she hadn’t really been to the Gryffindor common room yet. Before they went in Fred noticed that she looked rather uncertain once again, but before he could ask, she had already spoken. “Just one dumb question, Fred, before we go in. Why exactly… did you… ask me to come here?” she asked, the tone of the voice reflecting utter shyness, and blushed. Fred, on the other hand, frowned for a moment. “Oh, isn’t that quite obvious?” he smirked, “Let’s just put it like this: I wouldn’t have asked you if I didn’t find you any likable. You could say this is more… dating-wise.” – “Dating-wise?” – “Yes, I just wanted to ask you out, that’s it. And you’re really nice to talk to, so I figured I’d just take the chance” – “So you’re saying this is a date?” – “Perhaps… well, not really since we’re in a room filled with dozens of people that’re bonkers, but still, I think you get the intention behind it” She looked startled, if not even bewildered for a moment, but when she finally started smiling brightly at Fred, he felt as if he had broken the thickest layer of ice. “Seriously? That’s great- I mean, I never really expected that to happen” she said, seeming genuinely surprised about someone showing that much interest; it was quite strange to Fred how she hadn’t noticed his liking for her, but he deeply appreciated her reaction anyway. “Blimey, I’ve tried making it clear, actually… I might need to work on my flirting, then” – “No, I guess I was just being really oblivious. Merlin’s beard, this is pathetic. All this time I thought you only wanted someone to talk to, but I was just so uncertain I simply excluded the thought of anything… bigger” she chuckled at herself while blushing slightly. “This is amazing, Fred. But you certainly have something to tease me with now, I can’t believe I had no clue, I mean, I did like you from the start, but I seriously didn’t-” – “Don’t worry, child. This is probably the most innocent thing I’ve seen in a while” he smirked before asking her to enter the common room with him.

Fred and (Y/N) had spent a good amount of time together now, with (Y/N) opening up to him up until the point where they laughed so hard their voices went silent. They were overall hilarious with each other, and Fred was stunned by how she was so extraordinarily beautiful to him. As people around them still cheered and danced, they made their way to a corner that was a bit more quiet. Fred couldn’t help but ogle (Y/N) slightly when she stood in front of him, and when their eyes met, she smirked. “What’re you staring at, Fred?” she asked. Fred shrugged, and before he could answer, (Y/N) had already put her lips onto his. The kiss was, no doubt, very good, and to Fred’s pleasure, it was remarkably long as well; he sighed softly when (Y/N) let go of him again. “Just to make things clear, Fred” she smiled.

JK Rowling and the Bad Results of Good Intentions

(Queer white woman from America writing here, ftr.  I think I stayed in my lane throughout, but please drop me an ask if I fucked up somewhere.)

So let’s start here before I get the ‘stop hurting JK’ brigade on me: I genuinely think that JK Rowling had good intentions when she wrote her new supplements about the wizarding world in the Americas.  I’m willing to bet she even did a bit of homework, reading up on things.  I think she genuinely feels like she tried, hell, I think she did try.

I love Jo with every bit of my black little heart, and I’m sure she means well. But that is not good enough – that is never good enough.  

She clearly, obviously, explicitly failed.

When you’re a wee little thing with 12 followers on twitter, you need to be a regular amount of careful because you may hurt a few people if you’re not. When you have a platform as broad and far-reaching as JKR’s you have to be extraordinarily careful, because you have the capacity to hurt a LOT of people.   Millions of people.  Instantly, simultaneously, you can accidentally step on millions of toes, break millions of teacups, leave marks on millions of spirits.  

Sometimes an attempt to increase diversity, to reach out to people, can be more damaging than doing nothing.  Nothing, a complete and utter lack of representation, at least that is the status quo. People know how to handle not being represented. It’s a microaggression that can be managed. But unfortunately the failure state of trying is going to be active injury to those exposed to your attempt at diversity.  And if you’re going to try, you have to be extraordinarily aware of that fact.

I’m starting to think that failure in these circumstances is inevitable. When your universe is an international juggernaut, it is somewhat impossible to be educated and aware enough to sensitively write about folks on the other end of your oppression axis.  I think some folks who write The 100 are learning that particular lesson in a nasty way right now. (Are there wlw/queer women on the writing staff of The 100?  I’m willing to bet no.)

That leaves folks like JK – who are more keenly aware of these sorts of things now than they were when they started their process/series/etc – in a rough spot.  How do you expand your universe – one you now understand as unnecessarily white, unnecessarily straight, unnecessarily male, unnecessarily able-bodied – without being an ass?

And I think the answer is: you are going to have to let other people in.

TL;DR for the rest of this: JKR, please bring more authors to the table and create a properly expanded universe if you’re serious about better diversity.

Keep reading

On Socialization & Why terfs are wrong

One of the things that people often do when they are young and in the process of discovering their individual creeds is grasp onto ideas that they do not fully understand.

I make a lot of noise about some of these things, because even though I did the same damn thing, I went on to learn better and if I am lucky to gain a bit of wisdom along the way.

An example of this is the way I laugh when I see people talk about gender being a social construct but how sex is not a social construct.  I laugh because when someone does that, it serves as a tacit admission that they do not understand what social constructions are, and instead have been socialized to think they are something that they are not and so feel justified in making that statement.

Exciting, huh?  When you have the knowledge, it changes the way you perceive things – within the arguments that go on about how sex is a social construct (and, make no mistake, it is a social construct and those saying otherwise are wrong) there are a lot of things that happen that make perfect sense when the people doing those arguments do not understand what social constructs are.

That those arguing sex is a social construct are right doesn’t change that they are doing so without understanding what a social construct is – they are doing it because they accepted the socialization that it is such.

This is really only a shade better than those arguing it isn’t – in the end, the problem is not understanding what a social construct is.

For the meat and potatoes, you have to go below the fold for now…

Keep reading

I want to take a few minutes to talk about someone named Nicole Arbour.

About two years ago, Nicole was dating the guitarist of my favourite band at the time - Marianas Trench. I was pretty involved in the fanbase and naturally, being pretty much solely made up of young teenage girls, the fans (including myself) started to be curious about this woman. This wasn’t as creepy as it sounds since she was semi “famous” already - by that I mean she had a couple hundred (thousand?) twitter followers and a few videos up on youtube. I believe she was popular at that point for being a cheerleader/model or something. So I and many other fans followed her on twitter and some of us would tweet her regularly to which she usually responded.

At this point, the fanbase generally loved her. She was pretty, active on social media, and pretty nice. During the time she was dating Matt (the guitarist) and gained an influx of popularity from his fans (as I’m sure she was aware) she started up a “campaign” that she called #GOTEAM. It was drawn from her experience in cheerleading and the idea was to spread positivity. She also wanted to encourage people to stop sitting around feeling sorry for themselves and improve their own lives. She started making youtube videos on “how to deal with bullies” and “how to love your body image.” Sounds great, right? So a lot of us got behind this and supported it online, and it genuinely seemed to be having a positive impact on some scale.

Here’s when everything started to go downhill. Nicole started to notice that a number of the young fans following her were struggling with issues like depression, anxiety, and self-harm because they would send her tweets about their struggles hoping for advice or just wanting to vent, I don’t know. But she started to adapt and spread the mentality that any problem you have can be fixed simply by being positive and working for it, which as we know just doesn’t make sense when you’re talking about mental illness. She then made a video titled “Why self harm is stupid.” This video essentially mocked people who dealt with self harm and BLAMED them for their problems along with people with eating disorders and people in abusive relationships. All with the mentality of ‘if it’s hurting you, just stop!” It didn’t help that she regularly used the slurs “b*tch” and “sl*t” but that’s a whole other issue. At this point I still believed she had good intent, but was just going about everything completely the wrong way. SO myself and others went to twitter to try and let her know that what she was saying was very offensive and she had no idea what she was talking about.

At first she would engage in conversation (still claiming she was right), but eventually Nicole started to block anyone on twitter that even mildly disagreed with her. This went on for months, with most of the fans turning against her because she was generally an ignorant piece of trash. Nicole eventually responded by claiming she was being attacked and bullied (excuse me?) and released a video explaining that this whole time she was orchestrating a social experiment to turn people against her so they would cyberbully her (what?). The whole thing was honestly so ridiculous and by this time 90% of the people who followed her because of Matt decided she was fake, rude, and ignorant and abandoned her for the most part. Sometime after this, Nicole and Matt broke up and I pretty much forgot about her. Oh yeah, and during this time she also released a really terrible song called “Bang Bang.”

And then here we are in 2015 where her name pops up on my Twitter feed - I don’t know the specifics of this argument because it involves people on YouTube that I didn’t know, but she was clearly causing problems and getting backlash from some prominent YouTubers which was funny to me since she had been the cause of so much grief two years ago and was apparently still going strong. Being curious, I looked her up and discovered that she was now dating a popular Youtube coincidentally also named Matt and had continued to make videos for the past 2 years such as once I noticed called “Dear SL*TS.” I didn’t watch it because I knew it would be terrible.

A few weeks later she pops up again, this time on my Facebook feed with a video titled “Dear Instagram Models.” I all but groaned but the video seemed to be getting a lot of attention so I decided to watch it. I couldn’t even get through half of the video. It was just horribly offensive and very typical of Nicole. Here is a criticism of her video by albinwonderland that I thought was very good.

And then AGAIN, today Nicole pops up on Facebook, this time with a video titled “Dear Fat People” and I just couldn’t ignore her anymore. I got through about a minute of the video before I had to stop. I can’t even put into words how harmful this video is - another thin, conventionally attractive rich white woman shitting on fat people and thinking she’s somehow revolutionary. I just couldn’t stomach it anymore. This woman is so unbelievably toxic and it sickens me that she actually has her own fanbase and a large enough platform to spew this shit and have it go viral. Over 80,000 YouTube subscribers and over 38,000 Twitter followers. I don’t even know what the point of this post was other than to spread the word NOT TO SUPPORT THIS WOMAN. Nicole Arbour is no longer preaching to a few of her boyfriend’s fans but to thousands and thousands of people and she is causing so much damage. I am so sad and angry that it has come to this. PLEASE DO NOT SUPPORT NICOLE ARBOUR.

Publish Your Stuff Interview: Bryant Loney on Being a Young Writer

Bryant Loney is an 18-year-old growing up in the U.S. Heartland. You can follow him on Twitter (@BALoney) and visit his website at Loney, Bryant. You can find his book, To Hear The Ocean Sigh, on Amazon.
You can also check out his novella, Exodus in Confluence, as well.

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