Guilty Until Proven Innocent on deviantART

The feeling around deviantART these days is rather ominous. Certain actions by average deviants have taken place and been met with an odd array of administrative action while similar action by the staff is summarily ignored.

Take, for example, my friend deviot. He wrote a journal entry, which still stands though faintly modified, and was banned because of it.

Why was he banned? Because he quoted what an administrator said in his very own comment.

Deviant: $Josh (#170506120)
Date: Sep 13, 2005, 1:01:11 PM

Like my lust for hot boys. I understand. :nod:

You’re gay for deviantART!

All deviot did was quote a portion of that comment in an attempt to question an administrator’s actions. Not to point out anything regarding sexual orientation, or possible pedophilia (as he was accused of by the administration), but to simply state that maybe this particular administrator was allowing his feelings to get in the way of good judgment.

Surprised by the ban, deviot submitted an inquiry to the Help Desk. He received a response from realitysquared. This is an excerpt from a lengthy conversation that took place in a Help Desk thread between the two.

… I’d like to speak to you about your most recent
journal entry

You need to remove the line “$josh, i think maybe your “LUST FOR HOT BOYS” is getting in the way of good logic… “

It’s considered a violation of the etiquette policy and if it’s still there after your current ban you will be at a very real risk of being banned immediately again until you do remove it. I sincerely hope you’ll be cooperative on this.


Daniel (realitysquared)
Director of Policy Enforcement,
Community Development Division,
deviantART Inc.

Deviant: !deviot (#173357831)
Date: Sep 23, 2005, 12:26:34 AM

Yes, I see the kid is banned and I mentioned that in my note to your Help Desk assuming and hoping it would factor in your decision to weigh heavier on him than me… but, whatever. Regardless, thanks for lightening up and thanks for shortening the ban.

As for my ‘attitude’ lately – I think you can agree that my attitude has been ‘in check’ (with the exception of this incident). I’m capable of worse commentary, – I think we all are – but I refrain so that I can continue here on the website (in the community) without being ‘indefinitely’ banned. You should also keep in mind that the ‘undesirable track’ and ‘very poor history’ you refer to is directly
related to a close friend (we both know) of mine and his untimely dismissal from something he deeply cherished and was very very proud of. My record until this has been quite spotless and upstanding. Take a look for yourself – I haven’t been the most active deviant, but I have been here awhile and I have maintained a positive presence until of late.

In response to your request of me to edit my journal – let me ask you a question, would you consider it an etiquette violation if I took out the “FOR HOT BOYS” portion of the line you want entirely deleted? In other words, if I refer to someone’s lust blinding them to good logic… well, does that fail to fall within your parameters called an etiquette policy? It is not someone’s sexuality I’ve made mention of, but is an emotion. People make mention of each other and their motions all the time on deviantart. Personally, I truly don’t feel it fails and I bet you don’t either, but as staff, I suspect you’re trying to push past a level of tolerance and acceptance to make a point. Remember, that somewhat infringes on my freedom as a member here and you can’t tell me there’s not worse going on in other areas of the website that could be made an example of…

To wrap this up a bit –

You’ve been around awhile, I’m aware of that fact. I see that you are very well spoken (in your writing from what I can tell) and that leads me to believe that you’re also well thought out. I think you know who I am and what the motivation is behind my negativity. That said, I sincerely implore of you not to begin censoring things like what you see in my current journal. I do think it would set a bad precedent for the site.

Regards,

Rich C. (deviot)

Deviant: $realitysquared (#173383454)
Date: Sep 23, 2005, 2:12:27 AM

I would prefer to see the entire “Lust For Hot Boys” commentary be
removed- to even leave the “Lust” in the sentence could be viewed as a
clandestine jab at $josh

It is overall a better situation to leave it out entirely- you can
still clearly make your point without attempting to twist a joking
statement into a personal jab and at it’s most basic level that’s what
it is.

I deal with journals every week in which the writer has very
specifically attacked, insulted, demeaned, or accused another user by
name. In order to keep the peace we issue a standard ban until the
journal is removed or editted appropriately.

The last thing I want to do is force people to change or remove their
journals but some things cross the line and a standard of behavior
needs to be kept.


Daniel (realitysquared)
Director of Policy Enforcement,
Community Development Division,
deviantART Inc.

Deviant: !deviot (#173536466)
Date: Sep 23, 2005, 11:39:58 AM

Thing is here, I haven’t ‘attacked, insulted, demeaned, or accused
anyone.’ It wasn’t my intent. My intent was to use his own jest in an
example of his common tendency to just fly off the handle with his
comments. He’s a very emotionally charged guy – I’m sure you know
that.

My determination was/is in trying to dismiss, what I think, is his
flawed logic in most of his comments. So, by using his own words, I
flipped the emotional aspect of lust – to try and dismiss his
journaling and his commentary tactics where he often attempts to
dismiss others. Me including the ‘hot boys’ portion was just an
attention getter – not an attack. The fact that he is a
self-proclaimed gay is NOT in my agenda[period]

DeviantART is and has been a very practical community and most
certainly not a utopia. People around here (including a lot of staff)
twist and turn things to suit what fits them best at the time of their
commentary. I’m following that suit.

So, imho, you would have to ban a whole lot of people on deviantART to
make your ban on me a consistent one. No?

BTW, I do appreciate the dialog we have going here. It serves to
clarify things and I’m a staunch supporter of clarification. Thank
you.

Regards,

Rich C. (deviot)

Deviant: $realitysquared (#173615869)
Date: Sep 23, 2005, 8:03:58 PM
Regardless of the way you might have intended it the line needs to go.


Daniel (realitysquared)
Director of Policy Enforcement,
Community Development Division,
deviantART Inc.

An administrator of deviantART has interpreted a quoted commented to mean something entirely different than it was intended and based on that decided to indefinitely ban a member of the site.

Banned because of a hunch.

Let us not kid ourselves. We know the real reason behind the ban. It was the fact that my friend has been rather outspoken about this issues surrounding my involuntary termination. Not that the administration would ever admit to that though.

It appears that clandestine attacks by members of the site against the administration are disallowed. All the while, the administration is allowed to openly attack its very own members.

Take, for instance, this journal by josh. It is a blatant, not clandestine, attack against me yet josh was not banned.

He faced no administrative action whatsoever. In fact, nothing was done about that journal entry at all. Not a soul on staff spoke to him about that until I mentioned it to lolly. Fact is that his journal, which is nothing but a full-frontal assault on another deviant, is allowed to remain while another journal can not contain a quote from an administrator.

Why the double-standard? Does this even make any sense whatsoever?

It does not end there. A member of the site, in a response to a comment made by bookdiva, told her that she should slash her own wrists. When she queried the administration about that comment being a violation they summarily dismissed it. No action was taken; the deviant was allowed to continue his interactivity without any warnings whatsoever.

deviot, the ever strong fighter, determined not to let this end, continued his conversation with realitysquared in the Help Desk thread.

Deviant: $realitysquared (#174108496)
Date: Sep 25, 2005, 9:43:47 AM

I’ll just end this conversation by reminding you that you can end your
ban immediately by simply eliminating the line in question.

If your intention truely is to simply point out your belief that $josh
is ‘an emotionally charged guy’ who ‘flys off the handle with his
comments’ then simply take out the disputed line and replace it with
those far clearer quotes- there will be no chance of confusing them as
an insult.

Once you’ve done that your current ban will come to an end.

Daniel (realitysquared)
Director of Policy Enforcement,
Community Development Division,
deviantART Inc.

Deviant: !deviot (#174260162)
Date: Sep 25, 2005, 11:30:24 PM

You’re telling me that I can’t quote someone, but I *can* use my own
words to twist someone’s commentary? I truly don’t understand. You
accuse me of something ‘clandestine’ that doesn’t even vaguely exist
and deem it a policy violation. In the same breath you then tell me
that ‘an emotionally charged guy’ who ‘flys off the handle with his
comments’ is an ‘allowable expression which avoids taking it to a
personal level with insults.’ Do these words sound familiar? I’m
having a difficult time following your logic Daniel.

I implore you to reconsider. Please, keep things fair.

Does this make sense to anyone? It did not end there. There was more.

Deviant: $realitysquared (#174417172)
Date: Sep 26, 2005, 10:02:57 AM

It is not about an isolated quote- it is about how the quote is being used.

The fact that you are fighting so hard to keep that particular quote
leads me to believe that you are using it exactly as I thought you
were using it.

I can see that this conversation has pretty much run it’s course. If
you decide to cooperate please let me know at that time so you can be
unbanned.


Daniel (realitysquared)
Director of Policy Enforcement,
Community Development Division,
deviantART Inc.

Deviant: !deviot (#174462340)
Date: Sep 26, 2005, 1:05:46 PM

Daniel, you owe me an explanation of what it means when you say,
“leads me to believe that you are using it exactly as I thought you
were using it.” What are you implying?

This boils down to *your* interpretation of josh‘s comment to mean
pedophilia and homosexuality. Not mine. Don’t confuse the two and
don’t make accusations like this against me. This is unfair and untrue
In fact, this is turning more into an attack against me.

Again, I implore you to make the right choice. Allow the quote and
remove the ban.

No matter what good logic, or reasoning, is passed along to realitysquared, he always says that the journal entry must be edited. That his hunch is stronger than reality. Ironic, no?

The odd thing about this entire case is that there has, or maybe had, been a longstanding internal policy that journals are off-limits with regards to moderation. The administration took many steps to allow deviants to express themselves in their journals without fear of reprisal.

It would seem that we have seen the end of that era.

I queried realitysquared via email about this whole debacle and received the following response:

I would hope very much that you would realize the difference between offering a personal interpretation of a situation and someone else who takes a ill-advised but playful comment and uses it in such a manner to suggest pedophilia with a homosexual twist.

There is nothing wrong with Josh’s journal just as there will be nothing wrong with deviot’s journal once the phrase in question is removed.

You and I have seen a large enough share of people trying to jab, insult and provoke other users in a manner to avoid punishment to know deviot’s comment for what it is- or have you forgotten the case involving starlitsuicide already?

The requirement I gave him still stands-

He readily admits to the double-standard. Furthermore, it is disconcerting of him to mention starlitsuicide as that whole issue was completely different. Her actions were, without a doubt, shameful and attacking. Daniel conveniently decides to compare the two situations as if they are remotely similar when they could not be farther apart.

So here we are. deviot remains banned. Many people on the site are confused about the double-standards; why is it okay for the administration to violate policy without repercussions similar to that of the average deviant?

Something has to change otherwise deviantART will continue down the slippery slope that it has been riding for the past few months …

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One thought on “Guilty Until Proven Innocent on deviantART

  1. I have only been wtih DA since March 04 .. and not being there long I already saw how it was OK for admin’s to do pretty much all they want to do.

    They would believe what they want to believe. Many of my friends on DA have been die hard DA members. Now with so much going on, people getting banned at drop of a hat, people’s works be deleted. It’s just nuts. Yet so much is allowed.

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