Controversial Fandom Opinion but I do not like the "dead dove: do not eat" tag.

Not, like. For what it means. I don't like it because it's cutsey and vague in a way that makes it completely useless to anyone not already in on its joke.

It is, like. The Platonic example of a bad tag.

@alis As much as I love Arrested Development, I haven't seen this tag yet and I think this would be funny only exactly one time.

@MK It's generally used to denote extreme gore, sexual violence, and other hardcore (usually non-consensual) kink. So... not knowing what it means tends not to be "funny", no.

@alis well that's unsettling. Was hoping it'd be something to emphasize the original punchline: "Not sure what I expected"

TIL :(

@MK Well, yeah. That's *is* the "joke"; the idea is that basically a "don't say I didn't warn you if you eat (read) this" tag.

But the problem is that, a) for those of us who don't watch obscure American sitcoms the "joke" is completely incomprehensible, and b) more and more it's used shorthand, without the more specific tags it's supposed to emphasize. So it loses all context twice over.

@alis @MK I was able to pick up what it meant from context, but that may be because I read a lot of super fucked up shit on purpose, so I didn't have to have the experience of being horrified/triggered to realize that this tag signified a hot mess.

It's kind of the equivalent of that old fandom staple, "don't like, don't read," (which is itself pointless bc it doesn't deter people who read shit to get mad on purpose) but anyone who uses the tag INSTEAD of proper warnings is a dickhead.

@alis i think it’s fine in the context of meaning ‘exactly what it means on the tin’ (aka, following the actual warning) bc then its just like, emphasis

But when people tag dead dove a warning in and of itself, it’s always a mess bc as far as i can tell no one agrees on what does and does not count as dead dove

@alis also i saw “[prompt involving noncon]. No dead dove please!’ The other day and I just....

What are they even asking for there????

@Satsuma @alis Lol, that's vague as fucckkkk.

The whole point of tagging is to warn people about specific kinks/events, trying to boil it down to one "bad no like" tag is regressive and counterproductive. It's ultimately useless as anything other than an in-joke.

@lindentreeisle @alis yeah i mean, if you put ‘no dead dove’ on some super fluffy prompt i’ll be like, okay, i’m judging you for your vagueness & the implicit shaming of just going ‘none of that bad shit pls’

But if you’re explicitly prompting non-con then like, bruh what do you even MEAN

@Satsuma I even have a problem with the first part, because it's not... *at all* obvious (particularly to a non-American and/or ESL-speaker) that that's what it means.

It would be like me tagging things, like IDK. "Straight to the Pool Room" and assuming everyone on the planet knew what the Darmok.

@alis yeah my point was ‘its mostly fine if you dont get it in that context because the important thing (the actual warnings) have already been stated’

It’s still confusing and dependent on understanding a specific cultural reference, for sure

@Satsuma But how do you *know* it's mostly fine, is my problem? Unless you already have the context of what it is.

Like, *we* know it's fine, because we know. But for someone who's coming across it for the first time, it's just... this big scary black void of "???". Which would seem to kind of... completely defeat the purpose that the tag itself is trying to communicate (i.e that things have been clearly labelled).

@alis i mean, i skip over tags that look like they’re jokes/references all the time? I def encountered dead dove a few times before i first saw the meme & it wasn’t a huge problem

@Satsuma Same, but it's mostly the hypocrisy element that bothers me in this specific case I think?

Like, having a tag that's literally supposed to be "I tagged this clearly so don't complain if you don't like it" and then... making that a vague, specific in-joke just feels... a wee bit on-the-nose, y'know?

@alis @Satsuma Re: the contradiction of the tag's meaning v usage

That's....actually a super good point.

@alis Agree. I should not have to google a CW to know what it is warning me about (which I had to do in this case)

@Canageek @alis I also had to look it up, and in the tumblr post cited as proposing it the person says:
"The “Dead Dove: Do Not Eat” tag would essentially be a “what it says on the tin” metatag"

@alis "exactly what it says on the tin" is a more useful phrase I used to see that I believe means the same thing, I think people should go back to that -🌌


This is a good one and I've seen people use both to really drive the point home.

Considering how many folks using AO3 don't know about Fanlore and can't enter search terms to get the results they want and so decide to go ask about it in unrelated places... 🙄

I kind of hope it dies out.

@alis I mean. I don't know of anyone who would use that tag ALONE. They would also tag the thing that is triggering and/or potentially distasteful.

Fandom is *full* of niche terms that not everyone is "in" on. Shipping, for example. If I told my dad "I ship these two characters" he would think I was talking about putting them on a boat.

@alis When I first came across this term, I had just gotten back into fandom. While I figured out pretty quickly what the intent behind it was, I didn't actually find out what it meant until about a year later. Up until then, I thought it was some fanfic specific thing I just wasn't getting.
I don't see it being used quite as much, so maybe it's fading out. Or it could just be that certain fandom/pairings use it more than others?

@Kitcatwoman Yeah IME there generally needs to be, like, a critical mass of darkfic (generally of a cohesive type to boot, e.g. HTP) for it to gain traction in a particular corner of fandom?

@alis i'm suddenly glad that the times i've been tempted to use it, i've gone with the "exactly what it says on the tin" joke instead (which also more obviously goes after, y'know, the other tags with the important information in it)

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