Beware of staff impersonations
At least a couple of times a year we get reports of someone impersonating deviantART staff.
Sometimes its a fake profile like !DeviantARTVersion7
; you can always tell real
staff members from the special symbol in front of their name ($) and actual volunteers by the symbol in front of their name (^).
Sometime we get people just claiming that they are "staff using an alternate account" to explain why their profile doesn't look like a staff account in any way. While some of us do maintain alternate accounts we don't parade around in them claiming to be staff while trying to get you to do something; that's why we have our actual staff accounts.
Lastly we have the people who try to pass themselves off as staff by rigging up fake email accounts or fake IM accounts.
Currently there is some troll running around on a fake Hotmail account pretending to be our beloved $ewm
- you can see the poor grammar and lack of research done by the troll by visiting $ewm
's journal here [link]
It's important to remember that deviantART staff will never contact you via email or IM program and there is no reason why we would be using @Hotmail or @Yahoo or @Gmail or @hellokitty to do it (while our current Support system does use email it's in response to you contacting us and not us contacting you first).
If you get a suspicious email "from staff" out of the blue don't be afraid to actually contact us and ask if it is real, and if it isn't we'll ask you to send us a copy so that we can file a fraud complaint with IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center).
We are aware that some of you are discovering Groups which seem to have purposes which seem pretty "iffy". Out of the several types the ones we're looking at more closely at the moment are the "vigilante" Groups and the way they tend to be used to form lynch mobs and encourage witch hunting type behavior, not to mention the fact that they tend to 'market' themselves as an "alternative" to the staff or otherwise being able to "address" one or more types of problems.
Rest assured that we, the actual staff, are aware of your concerns and the problems which are built into these types of Groups so keep your eye out for an official response from us in the near future.
Until then continue to let us know via our Support Center of any problems or harassment issues stemming from these Groups.
Some of you may be aware that I've been involved in many conversations over the last few weeks concerning the concerns of the community about "art theft" versus the staff concern with actual Claims of Copyright Infringement.
The issue is complex and certain to cause a lot of feedback and discussion so I'll leave that off for a later journal for when I have a bit more time to write it but I do want to address some concerns which have been voiced that I am difficult to approach on the subject.
I'd like to simply state, for now, that I am more than willing to engage anyone on the subject and take the time to fully explain anything which you do not understand, however I do want it understood that anyone who adopts an aggressive tone with me or who bases their half of the discussion on popular misconceptions, incorrect information or who insists on using the wrong terminology should expect me to immediately correct them.
I don't do this in order to "retaliate" or "talk down" to anyone, or for any other reason except for the simple reason that you and I both need to be discussing the same subject matter.
Like it or not, a concern about "tracing" is not the same as a concern about "copyright infringement" so we have to either discuss one or the other and if it is obvious that what you actually want to discuss with me is copyright infringement
them expect me to correct you as to which terminology you should actually be using.
A lot of the popular slang terms, like "art theft" simply do not mean the same thing as "copyright infringement" so forgive me if I correct you so that we are both talking about the same thing and using the correct terms for the discussion.
Part of my responsibilities here is to make certain that the community understands our policies and where they come from so expect me to correct you if you are working from a misunderstanding or popular misconception; it is not me arguing for the sake of argument it is me simply making certain that your half of the discussion and my half of the discussion are about the same thing.
If my information is mistaken or inaccurate then I will admit that and correct what I am saying so I will naturally expect you to do the same if your information is mistaken or inaccurate.
In any event I will address this whole matter at a later date but feel free to engage me on it through this journal since those discussions will help me ensure that any address I make at a later date addresses as many points properly as possible.