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Problem with Wattpad



TW: Scene from a Harry Styles Fanfiction, Dark.


"Stop!" I pleaded weakly.

I felt his chest vibrate as he chuckled. His plump lips came down to my ear once again.

"I don't think so, baby. We are gonna have some fun."

I shivered at his words as he dipped his head, nudging mine to the side before I felt his lips press to the skin of my neck. He released one of my arms, so he could hold the back of my head, preventing me from escaping.

"I can tell you're going to be a challenge," He murmured against my neck, "I like that."




Wattpad has been known to be the center of the most problematic stories. It is a platform with no censorship, and anyone can write whatever comes to their mind, no matter how problematic the plotline may be. The book mentioned above is one of the most famous Harry Styles fanfictions that was first posted on the website onedirectionfanfiction.com until it went down and due to its very high demand, it was then posted on Wattpad and currently has more than 10 Million reads.


One might think that the scene above is where the woman is being taken against her will, but it is actually a 'romantic' scene for the readers as the guy who is holding the girl hostage is Harry Styles, which is extremely problematic and promoting the culture of men not being able to take no as a no.


There are several other books on Wattpad that have very problematic plotlines. Like Mistress, where the male lead would be cheating on his wife with a babysitter or someone at his office. Other books involve a female character falling for a male teacher and then exchanging various sexual favors in exchange for grades etc.

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While Wattpad is undoubtedly the largest story-sharing online platform, it has issues that must be addressed. One issue associated with the online platform is that younger users can read whatever they like without realizing the negative consequences that might affect their development over the years. When teenagers are exposed to such content online, some of them tend to believe that what they are reading is, in fact, the truth, and this is how society truly functions. This leads to unrealistic expectations of themselves and skews their perception of the world around them. Apart from this, Wattpad is often known to bring about another set of problems, such as addiction and a lack of time management. This may lead to users…

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The significant demographic of Wattpad is teenagers; for teenagers, male or female, to read something like that is not ok. Not only does this scene romanticize assault, it also gives guys a sense that girls like this, which later could cause them to do terrible things.

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I also noticed these unproblematic lines in Wattpad books as a child, writers would stray away from the concept of consent just to make their content different and popular. However, what this does is ends up blurring the lines of consent and that is so problematic because mostly teens and young adults are reading these books and fanfictions and they will adopt these ideas of consent. Apart from that most Wattpad books would also normalize emotionally and physically abusive behavior of male characters. The man would usually shout at the woman, or even sometimes hit her 'accidentally' and she would end up forgiving him and taking him back. These unhealthy and weird standards of relationships are normalized by the app…

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Mahnoor Mannan
Mahnoor Mannan
Dec 10, 2022

Adding further into the discussion, I feel like Wattpad has entirely changed the game for the book industry. The rise of "booktok", and the trend of promoting books via pointing out the tropes that they use (how often do we see tiktoks or tweets promoting a book by claiming it has an enemies to lovers story?) means that there is an increase in the amount of books that utilize these tropes, solely because they can be promoted in this way. Ultimately, for a large chunk of our generation, social media is our main way of finding out about books. And so, we see authors write their books around certain tropes as opposed to allowing the trope to take place around…


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Iman Ahmad
Iman Ahmad
Dec 09, 2022

Wanting to add onto Maheens point, I actually started reading fan-fiction REALLY young and it's honestly worrying how many tropes romanticizing abuse and torture have become normalized. There's SOO many one direction fanfictions where the main plotline is that the main girl has an alcoholic mother and one direction "kidnaps" her or "buys her" (yes this is real). Besides that, I think its also concerning that a lot of problematic fanfiction is picked up by production companies because you're only broadcasting these messages more. For instance, the "After" Series written by Anna Todd is a fanfiction based off of Harry Styles and is about Hardin (the bad boy) and Tessa (the good girl) and their relationship. However, throughout all the…

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