Important note: This tool is no longer supported. I apologise for any inconvenience. This page will remain as a placeholder in case it starts working again in the future.

Fetlife Export Tool

This page contains important information. Please read all of it before using the tool. If you've already read it, proceed to the export page(dead link).

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me by email at sebastian.naugahyde@gmail.com or message me on Twitter: @AgeVitam.

If you are a Fetlife employee or representative, please feel free to contact me with any concerns you have about the tool. Though I disagree with how your company has handled many issues in the past, I want to work with you to help your users (such as most of my friends) use your site or leave it on their own terms.

Contents:

About this tool
What the tool does
How is this different from Maymay's "Trojan horse" exporter?
How to use the tool

About this tool

This is not just a mirror of Maymay's Fetlife Exporter. The tool on this site is based around the same open source script, but there are a few important differences. I made this tool with two goals in mind: first, I want to stop using Fetlife, which means I want my friends to stop using Fetlife. Second, I want to force Fetlife to end their policy of obfuscating their security problems. This tool will help accomplish the first goal by helping people get around one of the main obstacles to leaving Fetlife: the desire not to lose their data (for help with another major obstacle, wanting to keep up with events, try my Fetlife to iCal Exporter(dead link)). And it will help accomplish the second goal by A: drawing attention to the security problems that Fetlife is trying to hide and B: attempting to address all of the concerns, no matter how ridiculous, that Fetlife raised in their FUD campaign against Maymay's exporter.

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What the Fetlife Export Tool does

The Fetlife Export Tool makes a copy of your Fetlife data and allows you to save an archive on your computer and/or access it from the tool's website. Of course, you can also delete your data from the website at any time. The tool exports a copy of your profile page, every piece of writing you've published, every photo you've uploaded, every group post you've made, every wall-to-wall you've participated in, every status update, and every conversation in your inbox. It also exports everything you've commented on.

What the Fetlife Export Tool does not do

The Fetlife Export Tool does not expose exported data to search engine indexing any more than Fetlife does. The tool politely asks robots not to look at any content, just like Fetlife does.
The Fetlife Export Tool does not violate copyright or any other intellectual property law. The tool allows you to export data that you own and data owned by others that falls under fair use because it forms the context for your data when your data serves a primarily critical function (i.e. comments on a photo), is publicly available for free, and has in almost all cases no market value.
The Fetlife Export Tool does not always work perfectly. When I used it for my large, active-since-2008 account, some of my data wasn't exported. If you have a lot of data and you're tech savvy, you might get better results by running the open source script from your own computer. The exporter usually handles smaller accounts without any problems, and even for large accounts it does an okay job.

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How is this tool different from Maymay's "Trojan horse" exporter?

First of all, calling Maymay's exporter a Trojan horse, as Fetlife did, is absolutely ridiculous. A Trojan horse is something that tricks you into letting it do some nefarious thing surreptitiously. You may disagree with what Maymay's tool does, but you can't honestly deny that it does what it says it does. That said, there are a few important differences between my tool and Maymay's:

1. I do not want to destroy the BDSM community. Not that this should matter at all. Much of Fetlife's FUD campaign against Maymay's exporter involved ad hominem attacks exploiting Maymay's anti-BDSM politics. I am, for what it's worth, a member in good standing of the BDSM community. I used to cofacilitate TES TNG, I've volunteered and taught classes, once I even gave a keynote speech at a BDSM convention.
2. My tool politely asks robots not to look past the splash page. Importantly, this means that search engines won't index your exported data. This is the same level of security that Fetlife uses. I have no desire to "out" anyone.

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How to use the Fetlife Export Tool

The Fetlife Export Tool is very easy to use. Just follow these steps:

1. Temporarily change your Fetlife password. Though I promise I have no desire to steal your password (why would I care?) , you have no reason to trust me. So start by navigating to your fetlife settings, clicking on the "change password" tab, and changing your password.
2. Open up the export tool.(dead link)
3. Make a note of the date. If you experience an error while the exporter is running, in some cases the tool will still finish making your archive. In this case, you'll need to know the date you exported it in order to access it or delete it. The same goes if you choose not to delete your archive after the exporter finishes normally.
4. Type in your username and (new) password under "Fetlife connection details." Then click "submit."
5. Wait. Exporting your account can take a long time, especially if you have a large account, and there's no visual progress indicator. It took about 10 minutes to export mine.
6. Save your archive. Once your export is complete, the tool will offer you a .zip archive of the data it has exported. You can also choose to delete your export from my webpage after downloading the .zip (or you can leave it there for later, but note that anyone who knows your username and the date you exported your account can access your data, including your private messages, if you don't delete it).
7. Change your Fetlife password again. This is a good opportunity to make a totally new password—it's good security practice to change your passwords often.
8. Visit your archive at any time. If you choose not to delete your archive, you can visit it by going to http://export.vitamage.net/username-yyyy-mm-dd/fetlife/, where "username" is your username and "yyyy-mm-dd" is the date on which you exported your archive.
9. Delete your archive at any time. You can then delete your archive at any time by visiting export.vitamage.net/delete.php(dead link) and entering your credentials. Remember to set up a temporary password as described in steps 1 and 7.

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