AO3 got way bigger issues than the anti-fiction police

A thread from a co-founder of Dreamwidth goes over just how bad the Trust and Safety is at AO3.

I need to scream into the void because holy shit the number of times I have seen people scream about the fictional stuff on AO3 is more than I can count. Like none of them talk about the time volunteers were being emailed CSAM - and this was those people’s personal emails or ones they made for fandom not one set up for an organization.

If this is real, then it’s a big problem.

Foreign actors have been using CSAM as a weapon of attack for about two years now, using spambot accounts to share links to illegal websites on Mastodon, to Twitter, to other social media platforms.

Baraag had to suspend user sign-ups and begin mass filtering because of how bad the CSAM spammers are becoming.

Various platforms like Allthefallen were able to filter out most of the spam actors on both their booru, so to anyone with a brain, this is not a link between fantasy and real abuse, far from it, in fact.

We just need to do our part, practice good opsec, and report CSAM and other illegal activities to law enforcement.


Another reason why it’s so important to report CSAM if you encounter it - it can become a weapon for people to shut down speech they don’t like otherwise


I was always under the impression it was LEOs (FBI, etc.) doing that shit.

Until very recently, I would have thought this ridiculous. I was under the impression that real sharing of CSAM was in the dark web and limited to invited perverts only. Recently Deviant Art got hit. I still visit it as I also look for adult art as well as CGI non-adult art. They have a simple policy, no naked under 18 subjects at all. No photos, CGI or painted.

So, when my home page came up, I was surprised to find a naked young girl, about 11, in the listings. It was not lewd or lascivious in any way, but unexpected. I clicked over to the artist (or deviant as they are called) to find out this one was REALLY deviant. Some pictures were from naturist collections floating around the web. About as sexual as the photos of the indigenous people in tropical climates shown in National Geographic. Some were poses that were highly questionable and then I came across the shockers. Young girls and adult men in activities I had never seen in photos (or anywhere else) in my life. I was shocked and disbelieving of what was right in front of my eyes. It’s like the difference between having someone describe a punch in the nose and actually getting poked in the snoot. I couldn’t find the report button fast enough. I knew there was one available, I just had trouble figuring out where they hid it. To DA’s credit, the artist’s page was removed within minutes of my reporting 3 of the worst photos. I still have trouble believing it.

I also can’t figure out what the purpose of this criminal posting these. This is a fairly high-profile site with substantial traffic. Once the site admins report these photos to the authorities, they are likely to be traced back to the source. What did they hope to gain?

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Censorship? Get the site shut down? (Like when that Canadian org royally fucked up with iqdb.)

Well, I guess that answers the question I see when someone reports that they were sent CSAM. I know sites are going to have issues but damn.

The org commented on this. There’s a few volunteers in the comments talking about their experience with this shit. And the org didn’t even mirror this post to AO3’s news section on the front page. The only bit of it that you see is from the tweets section.