We’re still working to get the rules in place for another great year of Yuletide.
This post is for discussing rules to deal with spin-offs, adaptations, reboots, sub-sections of fandoms that are or could be considered their own fandoms, and similar fandoms that are related to each other in complicated ways. These have been an issue in the past and we want to make sure we’re dealing with them in a way that is fair to everyone’s small fandoms, as well as being clear and easy to follow.Suggestions need to balance fairness and practicality.
Rules will be based on a combination of factors: whether they are fair; how they will affect matching; how easy they are to understand; how much work they create for tagmods; and how much work they create for mods :).
In particular, it is a very difficult for the mods to deal with prompts that bend or break the spirit of the rules - for example, asking for a character in an eligible fandom based on how they are characterised in a huge, ineligible fandom. It is a priority to avoid such situations as best we can.
Where possible, we want rules that can be applied in multiple cases, rather than separate rules for comics vs. games in a series, or adaptations vs. reboots, etc. This will keep things simple for the mod team and, importantly, the participants.
We really don't
want to go back to the 'franchise' rule whereby everything that is closely related to a far-too-popular franchise is banned (i.e. everything Star Trek, Doctor Who, Marvel, DC, etc.).
So instead we are looking at two possible ways of handling these linked fandoms:
- A simpler version of the character rules from last year. Any character tagged in over 750 works total on AO3 would be ineligible. However:
- For comic characters, the limit could be calculated by universe, e.g. Marvel 616; that is, Clint Barton is has 1214 works in Marvel 616, so he would not be eligible in any of the titles in this universe, like Secret Avengers; however, he would still eligible in Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
- Adaptations of fandoms would similarly be considered separate universes (for example: Sherlock Holmes in the Enola Holmes series; Merlin in Merlin of the Crystal Cave).
- Alternatively, we could use a stricter numerical cut-off, like 750 works, for fandoms within a linked group, then allow through any characters who appear in that fandom. If we go with this option and it is widely abused, the 2015 rules will be stricter.
Non-filterable Fandoms on FF.net
Some of these fandoms are not reliably separated out on fanfiction.net. Even when ff.net’s “world” filter (separating comics vs. movies, movie vs. videogame, etc) is available, it is not consistently applied. In these cases, we might have to just use AO3 numbers, adjusted to a lower cut-off point.
For example, for most fandoms the cut-off would generally be 1000. However, in these cases where stories exist on ff.net but the data about them is useless we’d use a cut-off of 750. If we were looking at a spin-off or a sub-fandom and applying the lower 750 rule, then the AO3-only total would be 500.
Fandoms nominated should not be too general, to ensure offers and matching work well. Some examples of fandoms that are too broad:
- Any fandom tag that includes "All Media Types" or "& Related Fandoms".
- Comic universes as a whole (e.g., Marvel 616).
- Comics crossover events, as these are very broad and difficult to handle. (e.g., Civil War or AvX – these had their own limited-run titles, but they pulled in characters from almost all concurrently running titles, and as such rely on knowledge of the associated canons).
We may require additional evidence if we cannot verify that characters have appeared in the fandom they were nominated in.
We have such an engaged community here, one that really cares about Yuletide. We know many of you will have opinions on these potential changes, and we want to hear them. So please comment on these rule options and keep the discussion constructive and positive.
The discussion will remain open until September.