When authors no longer want to be associated with their AO3 fanworks, or when they want to delete their account but not their works, they can choose to orphan them. At that point, the author is listed as orphan_account. Following up on fleetwood-mouse’s question (and some helpful responses from other readers), I decided to take a closer look at the orphaned works on AO3.
HOW MANY ORPHANED WORKS ARE THERE ON AO3?
As of September 1, 2014, there are 8083 orphaned works on AO3 — that’s less than 1% of the total works on AO3 (0.64% of the approximately 1.27M works).
WHICH FANDOMS HAVE THE MOST ORPHANED WORKS?
The top 10 fandoms with the most orphaned works are among the most popular on AO3:
However, if we add in the number of un-orphaned works, we can see that some of these fandoms are disproportionately orphaning works:
Homestuck, One Direction, and The Hobbit have especially high rates of orphaning works (2.2%, 2.1%, and 1.4% respectively). But keep in mind that in some cases, a single prolific author (or a few) choosing to orphan all their fic could be responsible for a large proportion of these works.
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