Orwellian Editor

From Tv Tropes

Rewrites every story, every poem that ever was
Eliminates incompetence, and those who break the laws
-- Megadeath, "Hook in Mouth"


Some people out there seem to think that out of sight really is out of mind. The extremist cousin of the Ninja Editor, this is the type of person that goes to great lengths to remove all evidence of a particular online activity in the hopes that the Internet will forget about it if it's no longer available. If someone criticizes their work, they respond by just simply replacing or flat out deleting it wholesale. If a forum allows editing posts, they'll gladly blank it out. If not, they'll demand the administrators cover up this embarassment.

Of course, once they delete every trace of their embarassment they can get in reach of, they will then proceed to deny its existence. They never wrote that incendiary racist propaganda thinly disguised as a Death Note fanfic where Light kills off the entire African continent. What the hell are you talking about? That picture of young Kairi getting raped by the Kraken from Pirates of the Caribbean, with ample gore? Never heard of it. That post where they said Hitler was right? A forgery by the other members of the forum to ruin their good name.

People don't just try to hide their actions, either. Just as frequent are the cases where a Message Board administrator attempts this on other people. For example, let's say a political debate ends up with the administrator's side flat out losing. This admin could choose to then delete the entire thread, every reference to the thread they can find, ban all the most vocal users that won the debate, and constantly police the rest of the members to ensure they never, ever talk about it again. This is an excellent way to drive away forum users. No one wants some Small Name, Big Ego type with an agenda policing their every word.

Either way, whether or not the person that partakes in this behavior is actually hiding something truly damaging is irrelevant (in fact, most of these deletions themselves weigh a lot worse on them than whatever was posted in the first place). What matters is that they think that all they have to do in order to mask something on the Internet is to Delete Friggin' Everything.

The name refers specifically to the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, where one major aspect of the society was a total willingness to rewrite the past.

And remember: we have always been at war with Eastasia.


[edit] Examples:

  • Tim Buckley of Ctrl+Alt+Del is well known for the iron grip he has on his forums. Anyone who mentions one of his past embarrassments (and there are many) will have their thread deleted and then be banned, often along with anyone else who posted in that thread. Naturally, he denies all of this. Granted, the forums are under pretty much constant trolling and spam from Fan Haters, but this goes much too far.
    • In addition, after his comic was mocked by Zero Punctuation, the entire comic discussion area was made viewable only to board members. Fandom Wank was not pleased.
  • David Gonterman has sort of a four year rule going... everything he posts or creates will be purged from his sites within four years of its creation (if not four months or occasionally four days). He will then actively deny ever creating said work, leading to amusing situations when he rewrites something but claims it as a completely original idea. This seems to be fading fairly recently, with his pending rewrite of Blood and Metalbeing advertised as actually stemming from an earlier work.
  • An unfortunately way too common occurrence in the Furry Fandom; it's precisely one-half of the reason why so many good furry artists have vanished from existence (the other half being an Unpleasable Fanbase of porn-obsessed maniacs). One of the most infamous is a "video game artist" by name of Garyu/Testament/A.A.R Rodig (whichever name he's using, at the moment); a chronic user of this trope, if he ever reposts his stuff, it's usually in an increasingly censored capacity and becomes increasingly more hostile towards suspected "art thieves" and other insults (usually against the policies of whichever website he's posting on).
  • Jimmy Wales, head of Wikipedia has done this on at least one occasion, using the Oversight function to permanently delete a previous message posted by him regarding his birth date when he began to claim that it was actually a different date.
  • Creationist, evangelist, and convicted fraudster Kent Hovind is famous for this. As he is now serving time in a federal penitentiary (and will be until 2017) his son has stepped up and continued the family tradition.
  • Fox News' Bill O'Reilly has done this, most notably when the transcript of one of his interviews with Wesley Clark was altered to conceal several mistakes O'Reilly made regarding the Malm├ędy Massacre in which he claimed that American soldiers were the perpetrators of the massacre when they were, in fact, its victims.
  • The RPG Codex, one of the bigger criticizers of Oblivion, can not be mentioned on the official Elder Scrolls forums, the auto censor treats it as a swear word.
    • Relating to below, that forum does the same to 4Ch...(muffled)
  • Speaking of 4ch..., the admin uses the censorship option to lampoon this trope. Most editors realize after a few posts what's been censored and continue to mock this trope, the censorship, the admin that censored it and so on. The entire site was made to facilitate these, as most posts permanently disappear from history in a matter of hours, thus (generally) protecting the (again generally) anonymous editors of any future repercursions. In fact, one of the Memetic Mutations around there is "Pics or it didn't happen". The generally translates into "if the Orwellian Editor was too slick, and you didn't think of getting evidence, he wins."
  • Evil Avatar used to censor references to Kotaku after a feud, and likely other sites.
  • Both L. Ron Hubbard and the Cult of Scientology he founded have a long history of doing this, both about Hubbard's hypocritical personal history and the Cult's murderous activities.
  • Fast Eddie of TVTropes; runs a dictatorial hold over the forums and pages alike, constantly banning people left, right and centre, deleting forum threads where people disagree with him, changing/locking tropes at his whim, and so on. No one disagrees with this renaming. This trope has always been named this way. Hey, why do you think this site exists?


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