MSTs, Protectors of the Plot continuum, and those that take after them by “following the leader”; a topic which is very sensitive flame-bait. Even more so when fanfics are the topic, which is the case here.
Was thinking about them and the moral questions that kept popping in.
First the most worrisome one, it is a very serious one.
I found this in TV tropes, it does not involve MSTs or PPC but it is a very real and possible scenario for the moral question.
Found via this link in the “N” section- tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php…
A Naruto Self-Insert Fic where a girl intentionally made her Self Insert a Mary Sue (She said so in the description.) who thought her two team members and her sensei loved her and was so confident they'd take a sword for her. Turns out, the two other members of the team absolutely hated her guts because she was so show-offy and smug. Then they tried to stop Hidan and Kakuzu, they literally didn't even try to save her as the others were trying to save their Sensei instead and literally threw her right in the way of Hidan's scythe and let him taste her blood so he wouldn't do that to them. Hidan then decided to break her legs and watch Kakuzu murder her sensei right in front of all three while the two members finally showed what they really thought of her and said "So you finally lose, miss perfect!'' and are then murdered. Hidan decides she wasn't worth his time and instead just stabs himself through the stomach so she'll bleed to death, rejected by her friends and for the first time in her life, tasting failure.
From Bad to Worse because she actually survived and the Raikage thought she was behind the Akatsuki invasion and the loss of Yugito, and she would have been executed by his hand if not for the fact that someone else spoke up and saved her...and she had told that one person to "fuck off" earlier in the fic because she hated him.
For the love of God post a link
I know the fic... unfortunately there's a meta tear jerker in there considering that the author had written the story (As well as many other extremely depressing fics!) but deleted them within about a year before vanishing off the internet, given that the author said she was really depressed and wrote the stories during a Creator Breakdown, chances are she might have actually committed suicide.
Felt great sadness reading it. And did not even know the story, writer, or anything.
Now onto the moral question, made of several smaller questions- what if one day the fanfic of a very depressed writer was MST'd, PPC'd, etc? What if it was done without the writer's permission? What if the writer found out and had a very reasonable reaction? What if the people who the writer is angry at refuse to show any ounce of basic compassion and sympathy? And what if that, in the worst case scenario, drives the writer over the edge and the writer committed suicide?
And in TV tropes, in the MST article, it was mentioned there's a code of honor for doing MSTs that can be condensed to-
1.Don't make a MST just to spite another writer, especially just because one doesn't like them personally
- I've seen this code of honor broken before, wouldn't be surprised if this is common.
2. Ask for permission from the original writer, if they say no, don't do it. If they do not respond, you could still do it, but tread carefully
- By the Mantle...Library of the Damned violates this big time. One member MST'd one of my old fanfics, long since deleted by myself, and I didn't know for years. They never asked for permission. That same person also PPC'd one of my fanfics without permission. This lead to a predictable case of “extreme rage and anger overrides sense of reason”. For the Naruto equivalent- the Eight Gates. Dragon Ball Z- Super Saiyan. And to be honest, MST'ers, PPC'ers, and others who do that with fanfics should expect anger and hate directed at them, they should be prepared for it.
3. Always remember to credit the original writer, even with fanfiction
- This code of honor seems to be followed quite well from what I have seen.
4. Don't hit below the belt with your humor.
- This has been violated too, by Library of the Damned. It was one of my rage triggers when they did so to my fanfic. I was so angry almost all reason was tossed out the window. Though it seems they're trying to steer away from that, but the amount of success I wouldn't know.
Another thing noticed was their apparent defensiveness. At Library of the Damned, I've noticed they'd get really defensive if they think they're being attacked or criticized in any way. And seem to deflect any and all criticism, possibly moral questions as well. Considering I tried to twice send a comment that was moderated, and it never showed up.
And MST'ing someone's fanfic or doing something similar like PPC can sadly cause them to give up. And its really no surprise if it is a mean spirited MST or PPC writing. There's one possible case in Library of the Damned. It really appeared to be a young writer and apparently the people there refused to show any basic compassion, sympathy, or pity. This drove the writer to apparently give up. Couldn't locate the profile or story anymore. Felt so bad for the writer, since it could have been a writer who was just testing the waters and got that in response.
I also went into Library of the Damned as Neji7Hyuga. I could never bring myself down to their level, and eventually stopped altogether after seeing them for who they really were.
Thus a simple question presents itself- why do MST'ers and PPC'ers and the like see the need to hide what they do from people? Why do they see the need to not tell the writers that they MST'd or PPC'd their fanfics? If they think it helps writers improve, would it be considered a good thing to tell the writers so they know what they are writing is bad? So they can improve?
As one Fanfiction.net writer has in their profile, something I really like- the phrase "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything" doesn't mean "if you don't have anything to say that doesn't hurt a persons feelings, don't say anything at all", it means "if you don't have anything polite to say, don't say anything at all". I agree so much, telling someone the honest truth is polite, tearing them down while doing so is not.
And if they throw a tantrum despite one being nice, maybe they simply aren't ready to be posting online. Understandable if they throw one due to someone being less than polite. Even more so for someone being completely rude.
MST'ing a published work is on more stable ground, since one has to pay money and if it sucks, then they have your money. Unlike a bad fanfic, which one can just stop reading at no cost. To use an example of a published work- if someone read Twilight and watched the movies, and hated them enough. And wanted to MST them, the Freedom of Speech allows them to do so. However, they can't go too far, can't hit below the belt or they could get sued for slander.