Censorship and Chinese slash fans
Keywords:AO3, Fan community, Online platform, Uses and gratification theory
After the Archive of Our Own (AO3), which housed many Chinese fan works, was blocked in China in February 2020, Chinese slash fans had to decide what to do. Uses and gratification theory helps explain why Chinese slashers chose quite different paths after AO3 was blocked, with three main tendencies observed: creating culture islands on foreign platforms, creating in a foreign language, and staying on domestic platforms but self-censoring to stay within the rules. Each option provides a different balance of affordances, depending on what trade-offs readers and writers are willing to make.
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