Possible Fanfiction.net Hoax?

February 27th, 2010 by Nile Flores Leave a reply »

I got an email in my Facebook inbox that right away I just had to click on. In fact, I was concerned because this means that in the past few days Fanfiction.net has been prey to a hacker sending out mails to various people. My thoughts were that this was a hoax and I hope the main administrators can do something about this, whether issue a response saying that this “James” person is indeed a mod at the site, or that he is not and a solution like fixing the problem that led to the site’s infiltration.

However, I could not let AngstGoddess003′s message go unheard and had to share it. Of course, this was done with her permission.

Hey, I am better known in the Twilight fandom as AngstGoddess003. Lately, all of us in the fandom have been receiving suspicious email replies and citations from someone named James at support@fanfiction.com. He is unable to prove the validity of his employment there, and often to replies to emails snarkily, and with some of the poorest English I have ever seen. He refers to sexual content as “smut” and his emails are usually so laughable that one wonders if he’s 12.

The IPs and email headers on these do not match up to previously received replies from fanfiction.com. Very suspicious stuff.

I’ve been investigating him, since people are giving out info to him through emails (sigh… I know.. not smart!), but you know how it goes when contacting FFn. All support emails go to him, which means he’s either a troll that’s hijacked the address, or is just a new, dumb ass employee. Either way, I’ve been in contact with former staffers who confirm that James’ emails are far from the protocol they’ve known. They personally believe him to be a troll, and can’t see FFNET allowing his behavior.

Sadly, emails sent to the other two addresses provided (reportabuse@fanfiction.com and categories@fanfiction.com) are going frustratingly unanswered. Of course, this is the FFn we all know and love.

BUT, no one can verify James’ place on the staff there, and if he is a fake, then he is somehow getting members’ personal contact information, which is quite worrying. And if he IS, in fact, a legitimate member of the FFNET staff, then I feel like we should have a superior or colleague to report his verbal abuse to, something he himself is completely unable or unwilling to provide to me.

The fact of the matter is, he is sending out hundreds of emails per day, and I can’t seem to officially confirm or debunk anything whatsoever. Hence, people are still talking to this man through support@fanfiction.com, and even possibly giving him information under the guise of keeping their stories live.

I want to get to the bottom of it, but am having some trouble reaching out to other fandoms to document their experiences with this person.

The first leg of my investigation can be found here: http://angstgoddess003.livejournal.com/26810.html

You can find me on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/AngstGoddess003

I know you post often at a very popular blog (Fan History), and was wondering if you’ve heard anything of this sort from other fandoms, or could offer me any advice or information about past activity from support@fanfiction.com.

For the last month or so, James has been answering all questions sent there. I actually, no lie, got a response the other day within five minutes of sending an email. Unheard of, yes? It is all very weird. I’m just hoping someone there can tell us something. Any info or advice you could offer would be truly invaluable. Perhaps if you even knew of a way that I could reach out to other fandoms on a broader basis than singular LJ comm posting, lol. That’d be awesome.

Thanks for your time. Sorry for bothering you!

Highest Regards,

What are your thoughts in this matter? Do you think it is a hoax?

  • Bry

    I've been MIA these past few months, and I come back to find out about all of this "James" crap.. Funny thing is, back in July I had emailed FF.net about a problem I was having. You will never guess who tried to "help" me. Yeah, it was James. He was so rude, I couldn't believe it. My problem was with the search, everytime someone tried to search one of my stories, it wouldn't show up. And because I already had some reviews he told me I should stop complaining because apparently the search was working! I told him he had no idea what he was talking about, since the few readers at the time were people I know in the fandom and I sent them the link! I'll have to go find my emails from him, there were quite a few, and goodness,he was such an a-hole!

  • cathygee

    Is something bad going on with FF.net? A website called Quality Healthcare keeps popping up when I try to get onto FF.net. There is no way to get rid of it. So frustrating. Have you had similar problems?

  • marla

    yes - i am still having that problem. it takes over the website and there is no getting out of it. have you found any solutions?

  • Lord Kelvin

    I doubt any legal content was affected in the first place. It's business as usual for the average reader or writer. When random fictions start disappearing, it will be a problem. So far, just gossip that grows on itself.

  • I've been on fanfiction.net for nearly 9 years now (and known about it since late 2000-early 2001) and I have not heard of this "James".

    (Is he local to the fandom, or what?)

    The real moderators did not send thousands of e-mails.

    And do not solicit someone who solicits you.

    I remember there have been all sorts of different changes for harrassment, for example the individual fandom communities and story-storers. (Circa 2007-08: looked at them for Bridge to Terabithia the film).

  • I have to agree with you. Mods usually do not. Spammers do and that would have been obvious.

    I am thinking this is just some funky harassment and possibly a bit of a hacking/ masking email address.

  • Well, it is running all over the Tweetosphere like a cold.

    I think it is masking as well.

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