Where does ONTD come from?
ONTD is a moderated, member-run LiveJournal account with the motto: “The celebrities are disposable. The gossip is priceless.” Users of ONTD write posts about celebrities, which the moderators then decide whether to approve or not. While the community has a code of conduct, it nonetheless encourages users to “go all out” on the celebrities they post about.
The name Oh No They Didn’t comes from an expression of outrage or incredulity stereotypically said by black women.
ONTD started as a small community in 2004 by three black teenagers named Erin Lang, Bri Draffen, and Breniecia Reuben. The teens wanted a safe, community-oriented place to discuss celebrity gossip with other black teenagers. By 2007, Oprah Winfrey’s magazine O named ONTD as one of “Oprah’s Favorite Things” that year.
Lang maintains that current moderators Brenden Delzer and Elizabeth Carter took over the community and claimed ownership of it, pushing it away from a community for young black voices towards a celebrity gossip site.
Despite the change of ownership, the community continued to grow in popularity, being voted best gossip blog in 2008 and breaking 100,00 members in 2010. It frequently averaged over 300,000 page views a day. It was so popular that it reached 16,200,500 comments in 2009, a previously unknown limit for Livejournal.
The community is very active, with many posts being made and commented on daily. There are nearly 50,000 registered users and over 350,000 entries. Although it’s popular, some consider ONTD’s users too harsh and critical, and while the site has broken celebrity news, it has also spread a few hoaxes.
Who uses ONTD?
Regulars of the ONTD community are referred to as ONTDers. Followers of particular celebrities on the site are often called stans (e.g., “Britney Spears stans,” “Rihanna stans”), a slang term for a “fan” alluding to rapper Eminem’s 2000 song, “Stan.” Occasionally, reading ONTD is referred to as ONTDing.
“i see that ontd has started hating on CRJ. right on schedule. im sorry you people dont have joy and light in your lives”
@wesetcontrols Twitter (April 24, 2017)
“Thirsty ontders should be hooked up to a saline IV so they don't get dehydrated in a Ryan Phillipe post.”
evett Livejournal (June 18, 2014)
“On summary judgment, it held that the Section 512(c) safe harbor shielded LiveJournal from liability because, although moderators screened all ONTD posts, the posts were made at the direction of the user.”
Armen N. Nercessian and Guinevere Jobson, “"Oh No They Didn't!" – Ninth Circuit Throws DMCA Safe Harbors For Moderated Content Into Disarray,” Mondaq (April 24, 2017)