UPDATES FROM $realitysquared : Harassment Issues; Drawing the Line
I'd like to start by explaining that here at deviantART we do take issues of stalking, harassment and abuse very seriously.
However, having stated that I also need to point out that not everything which is reported to staff as "harassment" is actually considered severe enough for us to do something about it.
In previous years staff would respond to all sorts of complaints concerning harassment, insults, and other abuses regardless of the severity; however as the site grew larger and the community more diverse this became counter-productive and time consuming as the issues which were reported to us gradually became more and more minor and in some cases downright ridiculously petty.
At this point in deviantART history, early in 2006, we introduced the tools for hiding comments and blocking other users from interacting on your personal account pages. It was also at this time that the staff ceased to respond to complaints which fell below a certain level of severity.
On average we receive between one hundred (100) and two hundred fifty (250) harassment reports daily and while many of them are valid there is always a dozen or more which revolve around some sort of minor disagreement, rudeness, or personal drama which is too minor for the staff to take the time to intervene.
Essentially as far as harassment issues are concerned we review everything on a case-by-case basis and due to that fact I won't attempt to post examples here as a guideline but I will attempt to explain what sort of issues should be reported and which ones you should probably attempt to handle on your own using the tools that we've provided for you.
The first point which needs to be made is that when you file a Harassment report with the +help you are essentially appealing to the staff to issue a ban or suspension to someone due to their behavior. That is the bottom line; we won't become involved in the situation with verbal warnings and we won't take up one side of the argument or the other and debate on your behalf.
With upwards of two hundred reports a day the reviewing staff simply does not have time to play advocate for those two hundred debates or take up one side or the other of those two hundred arguments; the staff will simply assess as to whether or not the behavior we see in those situations requires a warning in the form of a temporary suspension or if someone needs to be completely removed from the community with a ban.
Contrary to what the rumor mill may tell you, the staff does not issue bans or suspensions lightly and we issue very, very few on a daily basis and mainly for only the most severe of situations.
There are three main situations which are always considered severe;
You should always report someone who threatens you, or who makes an unwanted sexual advance or comment towards you; these are issues where the behavior needs to be halted immediately.
You should always report anyone who launches a campaign of spamming you or flooding you with abusive comments on your account page or deviations; this is another behavior which receives little to no tolerance.
You should always report someone if you have Blocked them but they have made continued efforts to keep contacting you on site by following your activity in a stalker-like fashion or using different accounts to bypass being blocked.
Beyond these examples I would ask that before reporting someone for something you consider to be abusive you take the time to consider this;
If deviantART were a vast brick-and-mortar art gallery in the real world and this situation were occurring there, instead of on a website, would the behavior cause the person to be thrown out on the street and barred entry again? Or would the security guard look at you as if you were over-reacting?
If the answer is that the person wouldn't be thrown out then you should simply try not interacting with that person; stop replying, add them to your Block List, Hide their comment and ignore them.
If you think they would be thrown out or asked to leave or you aren't certain then file a ticket with the +help , remember to clearly explain the situation briefly, provide links to the comments you want to point out and wait for an administrator to look over the situation and give you their response.
FAQ #96: Can I block people from my profile page?
FAQ #160: Can I remove or delete comments on my userpage, journal or deviations?