FANDOM (Full name FANDOM powered by Wikia), formerly known as Wikia and Wikicities, is a wiki hosting service that was launched on October 18, 2004. The site is free of charge, but is for-profit and mainly derives that from advertising and selling content. FANDOM communities consist of online encyclopedias, each one specializing in a particular subject or theme, most of the popular fiction franchises of books, films, games, and other media. The main purpose of articles in a FANDOM community is to cover information and discussion on a particular topic in a much greater and more overall detail level than can be found on Wikipedia articles.
Why Their Business Is Rotten Now
- Before being rebranded as FANDOM (as they're known as Wikia back in the day), the site was far more focused on fan-made communities, with its homepage being far easier to navigate. By logging into the FANDOM homepage, however, you will be assaulted with an array of random posts covering various pop-culture news. Even if you use the search function in the "Discover Wikis" section, you'll still be greeted with various blogs, and the search results for wikis are crammed away pathetically in the corner, almost as if the site had forgotten what it's supposed to be.
- Speaking of blogs, the majority of them are literally BuzzFeed level clickbait garbage. With some more focused on left-wing ideologies than creating content that fans want to read, from blogs complaining how "Soul Caliber VI's" female characters are "a letdown," to blogs defending Battlefield V's historically wrong choice to add women in the frontlines, and to blogs claiming that Yaoi and Yuri are harmful to the LGBT community. These blogs eventually became less common after numerous creative staff members were laid off.
- Sometimes, these blogs could also be inappropriate. One example is one that had a censored out swear word that was made to promote the horror movie "Happy Death Day 2 U". It appears on the very top of the Featured Pages section on any Wiki you go on. The title had to be changed on some Wikis to a less inappropriate title.
- The auto-playing "Featured Videos" are just as bad at times, containing multiple inaccuracies and normally only feature a summarized version of the page. A good example is on Castlevania Wiki's Alucard page. The video uses footage of Alucard from "Hellsing" (Anyone who watched the OVA will know that the "Hellsing" Alucard is Vlad Dracula himself). The ones on RWBY Wiki was so bad that they have to add disclaimers on the pages. The fact that these autoplay videos were added without wiki users' agreement didn't help either. Not to mention they also hog the CPU and RAM for older computers. Thankfully the videos start as muted.
- Like many other pro-SJW websites, FANDOM will try and insert politics at any given opportunity. For example, on Piper's page on Nukapedia ("Fallout" Wiki), FANDOM inserted an introduction video of her that includes a reference to "fake news" and an allusion to President Trump. It annoyed the admins of Nukapedia as they format pages to educate readers about Fallout and editorializing is simply out of place.
- Fandom runs on a heavily modified version of MediaWiki, which was rendered obsolete years ago. This editing system, despite being easier to use, is much more restricted in terms of function.
- The source editor is also very buggy and slow whenever a certain Wiki the person is editing from has a lot of traffic on it. If so, bound for it to lock up and display a 502 error when trying to access it, or if trying to apply changes, displays an error in a foreign language and refuse to save it.
- Thanks to the great number of advertisements and multiple features that often cannot be turned off that hogs CPU and RAM, it is very unfriendly to older computers. Before the rebrand, it was more accessible for unregistered users, but now it's almost impossible to browse without getting infested with ads unless an adblocker is used.
- Some seem to believe that FANDOM has been manipulating Google search results as it's hard to find any criticism directed to it with Google.
- FANDOM recently has become more and more pro-Political Correctness and censorship. A good example is when they marked the term "SJW" as spam and prevented any edits containing the words from being submitted and pages containing the words from being edited until any mentions of "SJW"'s are removed. Needless to say, users were quick to come up with alternatives.
- Another example was when they shut down Trollpasta Wiki for no apparent reason in mid-2018 (Trollpastas are parodies of Creepypastas, in which they are deliberately poorly written to mock the stereotypical bad Creepypasta stories tropes like their clichés, bad grammar, and dumb characters). The excuse they've given was that "communities which consist only of offensive material and personal attacks will be closed," which is a false claim as Trollpasta Wiki was never designed to offend. Also, the wiki purged thousands of pages that contained offensive terms (such as the N-word back) from 2015 to 2016 after being warned that VSTF (Volunteer Spam Task Force) has been pushing to shut it down.
- In 2019, FANDOM shut down Uncyclopedia, one of their most popular wikis which had been active since 2005, due to unacceptable content.
- Speaking of SOAP, they take anything like some random, unknown person's complaints very seriously, in Q3 2018 they even suggested to close down wikis for "Pushing GamerGate thoughts." (However, the user who wanted to close wikis for being pro-GG was banned from another wiki for posting actual bestiality porn)
- Another aspect is that FANDOM is seemingly allergic to negative content or any type of criticism (positive or not), even fact-based ones as if the site cares so much about its precious ad revenue. Because of this policy, FANDOM staff closed down the popular Crappy Games Wiki, Awful Movies Wiki and then, almost all of the Reception Wikis.
- Referring to the last pointer, FANDOM staff, does not work coherently, leading to discrepancies and disappointment. For example, Crappy Games Wiki had been reviewed mere days before its closure, obviously by another staff member, who deemed it didn't warrant closure.
- Hacking, terrible vandalism often happens due to low security features.
- Staff rarely listen to feedback and other people's criticism. Despite backlash within VisualEditor, auto-playing videos, and rebranding the entire website to fandom.com, they still do not listen to their users and instead actually argue back at them saying that "it will benefit everyone." They also state they try to reduce the memory and CPU required to access FANDOM, but cramming more ads (especially video ads) and auto-playing videos does not solve this problem.
- Many users such as StonkEthan, Itookandeadlycow, are completely trolls who keep vandalizing many pages and spamming comments attacking others everywhere.
- They used to have a skin named Monaco that was quite beloved by the userbase, which was replaced with one called Oasis that decreased space for actual content in favor of space for ads.
- Wikis that used to be good have nowadays poor and sloppy editing on their pages (terrible grammar, not using characters like commas or periods, relying on transcripts, etc.), that contrasts with older and better-edited pages, caused by lazy editors and so-called "volunteers". And the admins do little-to-nothing to fix them.
- Hypocritical advertising. FANDOM claims to offer a friendly and welcoming environment for everyone. Yet, the staff can abruptly close even very old and very frequented wikis without warning, changing their Wiki Software to a new and unfinished version, and not caring about any lost content related problem the users they should care about may experience. They are often using a sort of courteously intolerant behavior when their decisions are questioned, often using the same copypasted reply in their messages. Community Central, the core of the service, is full of users biased in favor of FANDOM, whose comments are left untouched.
- FANDOM also claims that adding video to Wiki pages will help decrease the number of overall ads, which should be "a better experience." However, you may get stuck watching a whole minute worth of ad before the featured video plays without an adblocker.
- In April 2019, FANDOM has stated they want to focus more on "Family-Friendly" content by locking the editing on the LyricWiki and shutting down the Wikia version on Uncyclopedia just because they aren't "Family-Friendly" enough. However, despite their claims, Wikis that focus on M rated Video Games or R/NC-17 rated movies get to stay on the site, which aren't even "Family-Friendly", making them hypocritical.
- They recently claimed that they are constantly refining their policy, which is a way to give them the right to close wikis even if they don't have anything labeled as unallowed by their written ToU.
- FANDOM has a record of closing wikis even if at least a member of the staff already went to the wiki, therefore checking it and already acknowledging the purpose of the wiki. It usually happens after a wiki was given into adoption or if a staff member blocked some troll or vandal on a wiki.
- It is fairly easy to get globally blocked over mostly simple actions, such as mentioning the term "SJW."
- When asking a staff member why a certain user has been globally blocked, they refuse to give any information as to why.
- If a user gets unfairly blocked on a wiki by a corrupt admin, they usually side with the corrupt admin without a second thought.
- During March of 2020, they forced anyone who made a new wiki to use an "upgraded" version of their wiki software called "Unified Community Platform" or "UCP" for short. This new version is completely unfinished and broken, and now, there's no way to create a non broken wiki unless you adopt an inactive one.
- In regards to the new version of the Wiki Software, it’s a good idea on paper as it fixes many of the problems FANDOM has had in the past like the outdated version of MediaWiki, but the whole thing just makes it look more like a social media page rather than a Wiki and with the bugs that haven’t been fixed after it began to be rolled out, it’s unknown why they decided to do this at all.
- Recently, FANDOM has been switching already existing wikis to this new software. This has infuriated many users of the website.
- There is a high amount of abusive admins, such as Checker_Fred and Bigteddy.
- On mobile, the website sometimes redirects to spam websites.
- As mentioned above, it's a bit easier to use and understand than MediaWiki.
- There are still quite a few well-designed wikis on the site. Examples being the WWTBAM wiki and the Silvagunner wiki.
- The clickbait blogs when viewing wikis can be easily removed through an adblocker or editing your global CSS on Community Central.
- The videos are now disabled, albeit only for logged-in users.
- We still get a lot of great wikis such as The Disney Wiki, Looney Tunes Wiki, Sonic News Network Just Dance Wiki, and The Who Wants to Be a Millionaire wiki.
- Some bad wikis from that said website did also improve, most notably Scary Logos Wiki.
- The Unified Community Platform now has a comment system that can be enabled by admins of the wiki.