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Screenshot of homepage on April 2, 2009
Screenshot of homepage on April 2, 2009
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Fanfiction archive
Registration Optional
Owner Xing Li
Created by Xing Li
Launched October 15, 1998
Current status Live

FanFiction.Net (often abbreviated as FF.Net or FFN) is an automated fan fiction archive site. It was founded on October 15, 1998[1] by Los Angeles computer programmer Xing Li, who also runs the site. The first fics to be posted were a few stories about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As of 2009, FanFiction.Net is the largest and most popular fan fiction website in the world. It has nearly 2.2 million users and hosts stories in over 30 languages.[2]

The site is split into nine main categories: Anime/Manga, Books, Cartoons, Miscellaneous, Games, Comics, Movies, Plays/Musicals, and TV Shows. As of March 27, 2009, a new feature was added to the site - the Crossover categories. Users who complete the free registration process can submit their fan fiction, maintain a user profile, review other stories, contact each other via email or private messages, and maintain a list of favorite stories and authors. There are also centralized communities and forums.



The site was created in late 1998 by student Xing Li as a repository for fan-created stories that revolved around characters from popular literature, television, comics, or real-world celebrities. Unlike other fan fiction sites, FanFiction.Net allowed stories about any characters rather than revolve around a specific set of characters, such as those from Naruto, Harry Potter or Kingdom Hearts. Registration was open to all people who claimed to be over 18, and by 2002 over 118,000 people were registered. (The age limit has since been moved down to 13.) At that time, one-third of the registrants self-identified as 18 or younger, and 80% were female.

Site structure

Writers may upload their stories to the site and assign them a category and rating (such as K, K+, T, and M). The ratings are no longer done on the MPAA system and a list of explanations for the rating system currently employed is available from the drop-down rating menu in each of the individual archives on the site.[3] The MA (18+) rating is not permitted on this site.

There is no screening or editorial board, but readers are able to leave reviews of the stories.[4] While reviews can be left by those without accounts, it is an option for all writers on the site to not allow "unsigned reviews," meaning reviews made by those who are not signed into an account.

In October 2008, the site underwent a major redesign of their admin/user area. Changes to how users check hits and reviews, post chapters, etc. were made. User opinions on the changes have been split.

Popular sections

As of March 9, 2010, the top 26 fandoms on the site (that is, the fandoms with the most stories submitted) are:[5]

1. Harry Potter (446,461)
2. Naruto (228,354)
3. Twilight (136,076)
4. Inuyasha (92,183)
5. Yu-Gi-Oh (50,875)
6. Kingdom Hearts (50,800)
7. Lord of the Rings (42,972)
8. Gundam Wing/AC (40,285)
9. Bleach (38,097)
10. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (38,085)
11. Supernatural (TV Series) (33,645)
12. Digimon (33,038)
13. Dragon Ball Z (31,812)
14. Sailor Moon (31,605)
15. Fullmetal Alchemist (30,490)
16. Final Fantasy VII (30,320)
17. Pokémon (29,938)
18. Teen Titans (25,476)
19. CSI (24,484)
20. Star Wars (23,675)
21. Card Captor Sakura (23,483)
22. Yu Yu Hakusho (22,738)
23. Avatar: the Last Airbender (22,454)
24. Stargate: SG-1 (22,385)
25. Wrestling (21,297)
26. Death Note (21,247)

Harry Potter has easily been the most popular section of the site since around 2003.

Disallowed fanfiction and bans

Trademark issues

FanFiction.Net instituted several policy changes as it grew in size and popularity. These policies frequently led to the deletion of fan fiction that was based on the copyrighted works of certain published authors or contained specifically-targeted content.

Since the site's founding, several professional authors and producers have asked that stories based on their copyrighted or trademarked works be removed, including Anne Rice, P. N. Elrod, Archie Comics, Dennis L. McKiernan, Irene Radford, J.R. Ward, Laurell K. Hamilton, Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, Raymond Feist, Robin Hobb, Robin McKinley, and Terry Goodkind.[citation needed]

In addition, stories based on real-life celebrities were disallowed around 2003.

NC-17 ratings

On September 12, 2002, FanFiction.Net banned material that was rated NC-17. Stories categorized as NC-17, or advertised as potentially such, were removed. Since then, the site has relied on its users to report stories that are inappropriately rated.

Prior to the new policy, the site would use a pop-up to prompt readers to say whether they were over 17 or not.

While some protested the NC-17 ban and others edited their work to be suitable for an M rating, most simply moved their work to personal sites, fan fiction mailing lists, online blogs, archives which allowed or specifically catered to writers and readers of adult fan fiction material, or journals (particularly LiveJournals). Some NC-17 material was moved to, a similar site which was created to serve the adults who write R and NC-17 rated fan fiction, and many fandom-specific sites accepting all ratings emerged. The NC-17 ban also prompted many authors to abandon the site completely for other sites that allowed such stories.

Despite this ban, a large amount of fan fiction with pornographic content can still be found, particularly in the M rating. Anyone can report this material, even if they do not have an account on the site. However many users complain that stories they have reported for pedophilic pairings, obscene summaries, and explicit sexual content remain fully accessible to minors on the site, and messages to the site's support email receive no response.

Story titles and summaries must be rated K.


In 2005, banned songfics from being posted, due to potential legal action from copyright holders of lyrics. Public domain lyrics, such as those to "Amazing Grace," or lyrics written by the author of the fan fiction are not directly addressed.

Despite this, as of October 25, 2009, there are currently 63,900+ stories containing the word "song" in either title or summary. An additional 45,500+ can be found by searching the word "songfic." While some of these fics contain parodies of songs, many contain the original, unedited lyrics to songs, and have not been addressed with regard to possible copyright/rule violations.

Since the search function of does not search for words of three letters or less, or quotes, the words "song fic" and "song-fic" are not searched for accurately.


Until April 21, 2002, in addition to fiction stories based on existing characters, the site had a section devoted to lists, generally humor-related, along the lines of "20 Ways to Dump Your Girlfriend," or "50 Ways to Annoy Your Teachers." This section was deleted, but there are still a number of lists in existence throughout the site.

FictionPress has a sister site,, which contains over 1,000,000 original stories, poems, and plays. The site has a similar format and similar rules to


At first,'s server was accessible mainly only in the west and worked poorly, if at all, in other parts of the world. In late 2006, announcements were made of special web links designed for Europe and Asia. These were supposed to give other areas of the world a significant boost in server speed on the website.

In 2007, all three web links were combined under one worldwide link. In an announcement on the home page, it was stated that the site would go global that year.

Prior to the reorganizations of 2002, FanFiction.Net contained approximately 20% of English-language fanfiction.[6]

This site has a range of many genres in both poetry and prose, from action to spiritual. It also has over half a million writers/readers, and is home to over 900,000 original works.

According to Hitwise, as of August 2007 FanFiction.Net comprised 34.7% of all traffic directed to sites in the Entertainment, Books and Writing category. For the week ending August 25, 2007, the site was ranked 159 out of over 1 million websites in terms of hits.[7]


Quality control is one of the many issues associated with the archive. Stories can be posted regardless of editing or proofreading, and the quality of the work is dependent entirely upon the individual writer.

There was also criticism towards the management of reviews; for awhile, there was no way to delete or hide spam or "flames" from logged-in users, nor was there any type of moderation for reviews. However, on November 28, 2007, FanFiction.Net introduced the ability to report offensive reviews to the administrators of the site. Proponents of flaming being banned entirely, however, criticize the system, describing it as "hollow and of no use at all to anyone." The site's creators stated that everyone has the right to say what they want in a review and review a story as they see fit. They also went on to state that banning some flamers would be violating individual rights.[8]

Spam and flaming can be prevented through use of the block feature which prevents private messages and signed-reviews and use of personal forums from registered users. An option to disable anonymous reviews exists as well. Recently, a new feature was added which enabled the user to toggle profanity in reviews and forums on and off. This was intended to be implemented for stories as well for the lower ratings but, due to reactions from users, the attempt was abandoned.[citation needed]

Some users have spammed the site by posting "stories" with only spam content in it, resulting in angry reviewers. However, the site is effectively useless for many spammers, as all hyperlinks, mentions of other websites in address form, and pictorial content are immediately filtered out of a story file upon upload to the site's servers, leaving using awkward descriptions of URL's stretched out phonetically to describe what to type in the address bar the only possible way to "link" to an outside site.


  1. ^ History of Fan Fiction
  2. ^ [1] - Fanfiction Search Engine, click the Language (all) drop down menu to see the languages
  3. ^ Fiction Ratings
  4. ^ Buechner, Maryanne Murray (March 4, 2002), "Pop Fiction", Time Magazine,,9171,1001950,00.html, retrieved 2008-01-07 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Statistics
  7. ^ Tancer, Bill (August 30, 2007), "Life after Potter, Bonanza, and Gunsmoke", Time Magazine,,8599,1657764,00.html, retrieved 2008-01-07 
  8. ^ FanFiction.Net - Unleash Your Imagination

External links

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