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June 20, 2012
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Cyberbullying and Your Deviations

Journal Entry: Wed Jun 20, 2012, 2:42 PM


The term "cyberbullying" was first coined and defined by Canadian educator and anti-bullying activist Bill Belsey, as "the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others."

While the actions which make up cyberbullying can vary depending on who you are talking with or what website you are on at the time, as far as we here at deviantART are concerned the act of cyberbullying involves a range of behavior from hostile and aggressive communications, to threats, sexual remarks, hate speech, ganging up on victims by making them the subject of ridicule or humiliation.

The practice of cyberbullying is also not limited to children, when perpetrated by adults toward adults these same behaviors are sometimes referred to as cyberstalking or cyberharassment but regardless of what name you attach to it, cyberbullying has grown into an increasing problem since the behavior was first identified and sadly we have observed that the deviantART community has begun to be used as a platform for these undesired behaviors.

While the type of abusive behaviors which make up the majority of cyberbullying cases have always been prohibited by the deviantART terms of service as well as the deviantART etiquette policy what we have seen over the last couple of years are attempts at what could be called "cyberbullying-by-proxy".

What we call cyberbullying-by-proxy is a situation where rather than directly confront a victim, a bully instead uses a deviation, journal, Group or blog in an attempt to publicly humiliate their intended target or to otherwise direct negative attention towards their victim with the intention of causing other people to do their bullying and tormenting for them.

Deviations which are used in cyberbully-by-proxy attempts typically target their victims in one of several ways, the primary manner involving the taking and publishing of screenshots. These screenshots can display private notes, deviations, or public commentary such as comments or journals and often contain demeaning statements in the descriptions, mocking annotations directly on the screenshot or sometimes both. Many of these screenshots are the result of deliberate efforts of the bully to "bait" an overreaction or dramatic (and therefore amusing) response from their intended target just for the purpose of taking the screenshot for later public humiliation; in some cases even going to far as to screenshot and make efforts to mock those who block them before the baiting gets the desired response.

Regardless of how the screenshot has been obtained, edited or otherwise treated the obvious purpose of the deviation is to mock, taunt, insult or humiliate the victim publicly and this purpose is often enhanced by sharing the deviation through Groups, blogs or journals specifically designed for this purpose.

Previously, in an effort to be as accommodating as possible, we attempted to work with the community in regards to screenshot style submissions for a long time, knowing that while they could show some genuinely funny situations these types of deviations could be used to promote the humiliation and harassment of other members. In our efforts to find a middle ground we did allow screenshots for a time to be submitted providing that they were publicly censored however this simply bred an environment where the censored information was provided in private to anyone who asked and this did little to deter what is actually a problem.

As over time these types of submissions have become more and more focused on the harassment and mocking of other individuals, both here on deviantART as well as on other websites, we have been forced to review our previous lenient approach to how we handle them and as a result of that review we will no longer be tolerating the submission these types of screenshot deviations.

Because of this change we urge all members who may have these submissions in their deviantART gallery to remove them voluntarily rather than to have them removed by our staff and have that removal associated with your profile records.

While our current focus at addressing cyberbullying is currently directed at deviations we are not ignoring journals, blogs, or Groups which may be designed for the same purpose. Currently we will be evaluating these on a case-by-case basis as we continue to review and assess our current policies towards bullying and harassment.


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:iconmidnight21:
midnight21 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
what if you're going through years of narcissistic abuse with an ex friend, had your friend use you countless times to obtain a character of yours in her ownership and claim it as a  "co owned" character when YOU created it, then you were stalked, harassed, talked bad about in journals, and bullied for the next several years to come. you've had it with her manipulative lies and control over you so you use a pic you created of the character your ex friend steal from you to tell your side of the story. you try to be civilized as possible and yet you're angry. and hurt. you try to make sense out of this but it's up to others to believe you or not. you also wish to use this particular deviation as a testimony to help others survive narcissistic abuse. what about that? I brought this up to the staff earlier but they did nothing because my ex friend made them believe that I "gave" the character to her when I had strictly forbidden it....
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:iconmidnight21:
midnight21 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i'm sorry if i'm not making sense but i hope you understand what i'm saying anyway... and there's more to it than the character issue. she is mentally abusive, controlling, and a manipulative liar. she is hell bent on having everything her way and refuses to let go of anything when she doesn't have her way. she'll find ways to manipulate you, cause drama for you and ruin your reputation and your friendships. she has a long history of this kind of behavior and she supports it by claiming she has asperger's syndrome. i just...don't know what to make of this situation anymore and no matter how much i try to ignore her like most people would tell me, the problem never really goes away.
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:iconmondo-oowada-fan-666:
Mondo-Oowada-Fan-666 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
The real problem is people giving death threats to deviants and characters that are not real, I've seen many deviants and some of them are not even bullying and some give death threats over saying this art sucks.
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:iconlittlekirara:
LittleKirara Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What if you have a screenshot uploaded to your scraps of say something innocent like someone Kirbian? Are those still tolerated or should they be removed as well?

Also are we allowed to link to screenshots in our journals still?
Reply
:iconl33tn3rdz:
l33tn3rdz Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Would this be considered Cyber-Bullying? [link] , [link]
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:iconmishihime:
mishihime Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
There are whole clubs dedicated to retarded arguments shown via screencap. I just don't get why people are so anxious to show off such juvenile fighting. I think if you suspended more of these groups, then this kind of submission would be less popular.
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:icondarkestlinkeai:
DarkestLinkEAI Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012
I don't see the problem with screencaps...they are nearly always made in an attempt to call out bullying and bring a bully/bullies to light....getting rid of them is only going to clear the path for the real cyberbullies and trolls.
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:iconroasted-torkoals:
Roasted-Torkoals Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
:iconthisplz:
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:iconblood-b0xer:
Blood-B0xer Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:thumbsup:
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