Bill Burns announced eFanzines.com has stopped hosting announcements about National Fantasy Fan Federation (N3F) publications since yesterday, after N3F President George Phillies sent an email to his list asking for recipients to promote the N3F on Parler and Gab.
Burns says his response to Phillies’ email (which File 770 also received) was that he found “it hard to believe that this was a serious request.” Burns wrote back: “George: I assume you’re not aware that Parler and Gab are the sites frequented by those who planned and executed the recent attempted insurrection at the Capitol, which resulted in five deaths” and included links to the Wikipedia articles about Parler and Gab which explain their popularity with “Donald Trump supporters, conservatives, conspiracy theorists, and right-wing extremists” “including neo-Nazis, white supremacists, white nationalists, and the alt-right…”
In a related exchange about the decision on a public Facebook group, Phillies justified his interest in making contacts through the two platforms:
Your assumption is simply wrong. I am entirely aware of the namecalling contests that have replaced political discourse in this country.
Whatever their political inclinations — I am mostly not interested in politics these days — these people who use each of the sites I listed are also science fiction fans. If they have been banned from other sites, well, that makes it difficult to reach them using those other sites, now doesn’t it? Curiously, while they are doing stfnal things, they are not doing political things.
Phillies today sent another email to his N3F list:
I will repeat my request for people interested in publicizing the N3F with short posts in places like twitter, parler, gab, etc. I have already heard complaints from people who think that Parler is full of neo-Nazis or Twitter is full of Communists. (Parler, by the way, is inoperative and empty.) That completely misses the point, namely both those places are also full of people who are primarily SF fans who could be lured into joining us.
Parler sued Amazon last week after the cloud services provider cut off service, and it has been working to get back online. The Guardian reported today “Parler website partially returns with support from Russian-owned technology firm”.
The network vanished from the internet after it was dropped by Amazon’s hosting arm and other partners over a lack of moderation after its users called for violence and posted videos glorifying the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January.
On Monday, Parler’s website was reachable again, though only with a message from its chief executive, John Matze, saying he was working to restore functionality.
The internet protocol (IP) address it used is owned by DDos-Guard, which is controlled by two Russian men and provides services including protection from distributed denial of service attacks, infrastructure expert Ronald Guilmette told Reuters.
DDoS-Guard’s other clients include the Russian ministry of defence, as well as media organisations in Moscow. Until recently, it offered 8kun – which was previously known as 8chan – protection from DDoS. Last week, DDoS-Guard became the latest company to cut ties with 8kun’s hosting company, VanwaTech, following inquiries from the Guardian.
Gab also has been offline at times over the past couple years, dropped by domestic hosts who cited that many accounts engage in the “perpetuation of hate, violence or discriminatory intolerance,” and then by hosts in Norway for unspecified reasons. It is now hosted by Epik, which the Wikipedia describes as “a domain registrar and web hosting company known for providing services to websites that host far-right, neo-Nazi, and other extremist content.”
The National Fantasy Fan Federation was founded in 1941 by Damon Knight with the support of Art Widner and Louis Russell Chauvenet. George Phillies has been President of the N3F since 2015, and has edited some of its publications. He won the N3F Franson Award for club service in 2015, and in 2019 won one of its speculative fiction awards, the Neffys, Best Novel, for Against Three Lands.
Bill Burns adds:
I stopped hosting the N3F fanzines a couple of years ago, when I realized that they couldn’t be bothered to update their own website and were using me as an unpaid webmaster instead. Since then I have been posting announcements whenever Phillies sent me a note that their site was updated, but he was only sending these intermittently, and has been badmouthing me not posting updates he didn’t send.
When I got the unwanted email that included his absurd request, I felt I had to respond, but this was not connected to the previous hosting situation.
Before this I would have kept posting the announcements, but Phillies, despite his protestations on Facebook, had not sent me an update since May 2020. If he had I would have posted them, but now I’m done with them altogether.
Update 01/19/2021: Corrected that it is the announcements which will no longer be hosted at eFanzines, because the hosting of copies of the zines had already ended some time ago for another reason.
After almost 40 years, I have ended my association with N3F – the world’s oldest national group of science fiction aficionados.
I discovered the group has decided to recruit membership from the ranks of Parler and Gab – both havens for extreme alt-right fanatics, including those who attacked and planned assassinations in Congress on Jan. 6.
The decision by N3F to recruit from these groups happened after Jan 6. This is appalling to me.
I do not want to be associated with any group that actively courts members from Parler or Gab.
On a more personal note, I will not be associated with any group that actively seeks to add to its ranks from any haven for neo-Nazis and anti-gay extremists who not only think my marriage should be dissolved, but see my husband’s and my very existence as an error that needs a final solution.
So, an almost 40-year association with N3F ends with this.
I am a tolerant person by nature. But I have zero tolerance for Nazis or any hate-enabling groups that give safe haven to those who promote genocide or violence against minorities.
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Speakman has just recently been given life membership in the N3F accompanied by high praise. Is there a communications failure here?