Defeating Social Media Algorithms in the Name of Social Justice

I recently watched a video on TikTok from user mikaila simone; the video is a spoken word poem about the trauma black Americans face thanks to institutional racism, and how that trauma continues even after their deaths. It’s an incredibly affecting video, and I opened the comments, hoping to see how others were reacting to simone’s video. What I found, to my deep confusion, were supportive comments absolutely laden with emojis, and a series of completely incomprehensible comments, from multiple users, in all caps. One comment read “A WHILE AGO I WAS LIKE OH YEAH YEAH OH YEAH NO NO REASON WHY NOT I JUST DON’T WANT TO ME GO TO SLEEP AND THEN GO EAT AND THEN GO TO SLEEP AND THEN GO.” These aren’t even song lyrics; these words are, quite literally, gibberish.


And they’re helping advance social justice.

I Took 3 Sewing Patterns and Made the Perfect Overalls

I’ve been sewing for just over 3 years now, but I haven’t done a lot of sewing-based blogging. I guess even though I’ve undeniably gained some skills, I do feel a little self-conscious about talking about my sewing in a space where people who are Even Better at sewing will find it and make fun of all my mistakes. Not that that’s a thing that happens, but….Nonetheless, I’m so pleased by this Frankenpattern of a pair of overalls that I couldn’t resist sharing a little bit about it, and how I made it.

Watching The Sentinel: Part One

I decided to watch an often-forgotten 90’s police procedural because at one time, it had a massive, offbeat legion of slash fans. Here are my thoughts on the first five episodes.

Unnecessary Reboots: You’ve Got Mail

Welcome to Unnecessary Reboots, a series in which I write a plot synopsis for a 2020 reboot of a film that doesn’t need one, because I’m a bad person.

Rebooting You’ve Got Mail, a quintessentially 1998 film, may seem insane, until you consider that it’s actually based on a Hungarian play from 1937, and also, that there’s no such thing as sanity or common decency here.

Copyright and Fanfiction

The latest fanfiction community scandal seemed to start with an app called Pocket Archive Library. Twitter and Tumblr users started sharing screenshots of the app a few weeks ago, claiming that it illegally copied fanfiction from AO3, and that it was tricking users into paying for fanfiction. It was later clarified that the app is simply a skin for the AO3 website–it doesn’t “steal” fanfiction per se, it’s just a very specialized browser for the site. but Pocket Archive Library does show ads, and ask users to tip the app maker or to subscribe to pro features, with the money going back to the app maker. There’s also a group called Woodsign j.d.o.o. that has produced a slew of fandom-specific fanfiction apps, that do seem to be copying and redistributing fanfiction from Archive of Our Own, and charge for access to these works.

The primary concern with these apps is copyright. Aside from the ethically-dubious act of monetizing something that’s actually available for free, fanwork creators don’t want their work being distributed without their permission, or for others to make money off of something they made. While a number of users on social media have made various legal claims, some of them less than accurate, the concern boils down to the fact that fans believe they own their fanfiction in some way. It’s not necessarily a controversial idea, or a new one, but it is one that has evolved over time, and isn’t black and white. So let’s talk about fanfiction and copyright.


The End of 8tracks

8tracks is set to suspend its services permanently by the end of the day.. Neither the end-all nor the be-all of music streaming services, many people likely never used it, and I wonder how much it will actually be missed. But it was my favorite music streaming platform.