Okay, calm down people.
I didn’t hear it from anybody. There’s no official word. HOWEVER, I’ve seen the signs and the signs aren’t good.
All Hints of Moderation Have Ceased
There used to be a pretty rigorous team of moderators who ran the site but it’s noted (and not just by me) that for a while they haven’t seemed as responsive if they’ve been responsive at all.
Fics that would have been pulled in a heartbeat stay up. Spam bots do seem to have taken over PMs.
Their Authentication Server’s Been Wonky
The authentication server has sometimes been entirely non-functional for users. In my case, fanfiction has kept me logged in for an eeriely long time, far longer than it ever used to.
Their Email Server’s Been Black Listed
Their email server has been black listed by a prominent email provider (i.e. mine). I’m not talking sent to junk, I’m talking it will not send to the inbox as in it has been straight up black listed. Their solution to this is to tell me, the user, to white list their email rather than improve their reputation.
This is a terrible solution and a sign that things are not good.
Rather Than Pay for More Servers They Use Cloud Flare
It’s probably been noticed by everyone that they’re employing DDOS protection via cloudflare. Well, that’s nice and all, except that it’s slow, clunky, and annoying. It’s not a good user experience and the more expensive but good option would be to up the number of servers they have or use a more seamless DDOS protection solution.
This is a sign they’re not willing to spend the money for the good stuff.
The Proliferation of Ads
Fanfiction is now riddled with ads when not using ad block. It’s ads every few paragraphs, completely breaking up a story. It’s utterl illegible. To me this reeks of trying to wring out every last cent out of viewership without putting in effort of attracting people.
They know people are leaving so they’ve stopped trying at all.
They Didn’t Renew Their Cert
Now, this I heard from somebody else but this IS THE SIGN. They didn’t renew the cert for their website. Now, it expires in several years, but when it does you will no longer be able to traverse safely to the site and it may not even exist.
What Does All This Mean?
Is fanfiction going down today or tomorrow?
But it means that if the email server fails… they might not fix it. If the authentication server fails… they might not fix it. If one of their databases fails and they have no backup… those fics might be gone.
It means that access could be lost, certainly for me as an author, with no warning and I may not get it back.