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TF2FandomIsProblematic

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An art Vade posted in response to requests from Vade's harassees to stop her attacks.

Started by Vade, TF2FandomIsProblematic[1] was the first of Vade's personal Tumblr domains, and one of the ones she's most infamous for, with only the FurryScumbags Tumblr being anywhere near as notorious. Fittingly enough, it was created as a fandom page for Team Fortress 2, a popular online first-person shooter widely-known for its humorous character design and ridiculous plot (which is exploited for humor reasons).[2]

Humble Beginnings

Vade - originally going under the handle Scoutgender - started the blog in early 2013, though Vade's constant attempts to erase history means that the first post that can be found dates back to March 27, 2014.[3] At the time, Vade declared that the blog was intended specifically as a critique of the TF2 fandom, and more specifically, problematic individuals within it, offering a warning system, of sorts, to potentially problematic individuals within the fandom itself. The blog specifically began mostly because of Aura, who was fond of call-out blogs and skilled at using many of the tactics Vade would eventually adopt (such as ducking behind her medical/psychological problems for protection from criticism).

It is worth noting, through all of this, that at no point did Vade ever really give a damn about Team Fortress 2. Vade acknowledgedly rarely played the game and indeed, was purportedly quite horrible at it. The setting was allegedly chosen mostly because it was what Vade's associates liked. Players of TF2, for instance, will note that between Vade's headcanons that directly go against the actual game itself, her claiming to abhor violence (in a game all about violence), and willingness to engage in identity politics over characters who flat out aren't what Vade thinks they are, Vade's general lack of understanding of the game's overal universe suggests that Vade only chose it because of the game's popularity and potential use for Aura's identity politics nonsense, which would become a hallmark of Vade's operations as well.

Whatever Vade's initial stated intent, however, the blog gained notoriety in a hurry when Vade, aided by Aura, began using it as an attack platform against people writing fanfiction or holding RPs involving the TF2 universe somehow, which offended Vade or her minions. Within literally a few days of launching TF2FandomIsProblematic, Vade had used the Blog as a launching point against one Erich McBrien, a Tumblr user with the misfortune of using languaged Vade found offensive.[4] In a lengthy archived post, Vade's minions repeatedly chastised him over using words like "dyke" in private conversations, when Vade and company couldn't even keep a coherent story straight as to why they were offended by it in the first place.[5]

Vade's initial skirmishes with Erich over the accusations of being offensive towards People of Color and Homosexuals were facetious, at best, but Vade managed to draw surprisingly large community support for these attacks and allegedly outing someone who had been an avowed bigot, despite the fact that Vade had essentially hunted for data to prove her argument. This caused a groundswell of support for TF2FandomIsProblematic from the Tumblr community, for predictable reasons. This led to a very ugly development in short order, as Vade quickly realized she could out someone for relatively minor offenses, claim they were bigoted/ableist/transphobic/et al, often for extremely spurious reasons,[6] and then rally her followers to the offense.

Suffice to say, this rapidly hit a point where Vade or her allies felt they were the sole guardians of what should and should not be allowed in the TF2 Fandom - which is especially ironic when one considers that Vade and company so rarely actually played it. Naturally, they did not care if there was actual offense or not when they launched into one of their attacks - Vade simply wanted to use that excuse to attack people she disliked.[7]

Tipping Point

Vade's ability to control her followers and launch them into full-blown assaults against things she disliked quickly grew into full-blown hubris. Vade herself frequently called herself the "God of the fandom," and this, equally-predictably, led to incidents that quickly eviscerated any goodwill Vade had obtained from the TF2 community in its initial stumblings. Whereas even during Vade's initial scuffles, she demanded evidence for those who went on the blacklist, as time went on and Vade's actions grew harder to defend, simply running afoul of her was enough to get someone labelled a threat by Vade and company, with predictable results. Vade's followers numbered in the hundreds, which gave Vade considerable force within the community. Such was Vade's reputation that Vade could win battles without even starting a proper harassment campaign; call-outs from Vade increasingly were met with surrender, just to keep her minions at bay.[8]

Facts have no place in TF2FandomIsProblematic. Vade erased her original post, but Aura, Vade's stooge, was nice enough to leave this post up through negligence.

It didn't end there, either. Not content to simply go after what Vade saw as threats, Vade would frequently espouse her own insane head-canon for the series - certain characters being Autistic, gay, etc - and then openly attack anyone who disagreed with her, even if Vade's personal fan-made canon was directly contradicted by the actual TF2 canon. The irony of the fact that Vade was willing to launch attacks over her ideas, when she had been willing to flat-out attack people for the same was, naturally, lost on Vade. Similarly, Vade would go after someone ad infinitum for tiny trespasses such as failing to post a "trigger" warning, or using a word wrong - before openly using other people's "triggers" in her harassment campaigns.

A well-known incident involved Vade and her minions insisting that any white Demoman Original Character (OC) for RPs in the TF2 universe was automatically "whitewashing" and "racist," despite the fact that said characters were openly shown - repeatedly - in promotional materials and indeed, in the various canon materials showed that, as the TF2 cast are mercenaries, there had been countless cast members of literally every nationality, race, and creed (such as in the Loose Canon art, to the left, which shows Abraham Lincoln as a Pyro, John Henry as a Heavy, and so on). This is actually one aspect of TF2FandomIsProblematic that genuinely got worse over time; Vade and her henchmen were very quick to say such things as "racism against whites doesn't exist," even in the face of evidence.[9]

Vade's totalitarianism and blatant hypocrisy only grew worse over time, and what had begun as a blog ostensibly started to warn others about problematic elements in the fandom had, within a month, completely shifted gears to become one of the largest sources of internet harassment on tumblr. Woe betide the hapless fool who "triggered" her, or used any language Vade found remotely objectionable, for Vade would declare them an enemy and send her minions to harass them relentlessly. Vade's behavior eventually got sufficiently polarizing that her inner circle - most notably Aura - began to quietly step away as Vade's presence grew increasingly visible and blastback began to look more and more inevitable. Vade's extremism pushed away many of her original followers, until the only ones left were the ones looking to enrich themselves via acting as Vade's personal cult.

The most infamous of Vade's incidents in this Blog, however, was still to come. In this unusual incident, Vade went on a now-notorious barrage of posts, centered around the Pyro, a Team Fortress 2 character.[10] A gas-mask wearing, mumbling pyromaniac, Pyro's entire bit in the TF2-iverse is that their race, gender, and even species are nebulous. That is, as we say, the joke.

Vade publicly went on-record that anyone who claimed that Pyro was anything other than transgender should be killed. Whilst Vade deleted all posts espousing this belief, the internet never forgets,[11] and you can find countless Tumblr posts responding to it[12] or reblogging it from Scoutgender's site. [13]

Vade's influence was terrifying on Tumblr once.

Whilst this was the start of Vade's gradual slide from power, it wasn't what truly forced it of the proverbial cliff. There eventually came an incident that would become so notorious that it would spell the end of both Vade's tenure as a mod on FurryScumbags and her updating of TF2FIP - The Tanukurin Incident. The blastback from this occurrence was so big, so blatant, and so absolutely unconscionable that it resulted in Vade shutting down her Scoutgender blog just to avoid her critics, as well as her expulsion from FurryScumbags. Many of Vade's harshest critics have done their part to ensure a chronicle of Vade's actions from the TF2FIP days have been saved for future generations.[14]

The group page for TF2FandomIsProblematic remains left behind, a tragic marker of Vade's hubris. An inconvenient-for-Vade side effect of this is that an aspect of Vade's she'd otherwise have been happy to delete - the blacklist - remains up and available for view.[15]

Humorous Post-Script

It's worth noting, for posterity, that TF2's developers would later create a cartoon joking that the cast had contracted Cancer. [16]

This same cartoon also showed that Scout was both cisgender and heterosexual.

References

  1. Archive of TF2FandomIsProblematic Tumblr
  2. Team Fortress 2 - Official Website
  3. TF2FandomIsProblematic - Earliest Possible Post
  4. TF2FandomIsProblematic Archive - March 28, 2014 Post
  5. TF2FandomIsProblematicArchive - Conversation between Vade and Erich McBrien
  6. TF2FandomIsProblematicArchive - Roe Accuses Moofrog of Ableism because of a Fanfiction
  7. TF2FandomIsProblematic - May 16, 2014 Post
  8. - CatBounty Reblogs - May 14, 2014 Posting
  9. - TF2FandomIsProblematic - April 12, 2014 Posting
  10. Team Fortress 2 - Meet the Pyro
  11. TF2FandomIsProblematic - April 9th, 2014 Post
  12. Wiggle Bwak Squish Strike - Scoutgender Response
  13. MooFrog - Arguments With Scoutgender Over TF2FandomIsProblematic
  14. Stuff n' Things - Ignore TF2FandomIsProblematic
  15. TF2FandomIsProblematic - Avoid List
  16. Team Fortress 2 - Expiration Date