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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.


Add a Comment:
 
:iconwwwarea:
wwwarea Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014
Hmm.... I think I know a certain person who does this to people.
This journal needs to be spread.
Reply
:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
What about journal entries in which the person repeatedly lies about another person, Attributes to them words they never said, beliefs they do not hold? And I am not talking just one journal, but a more than a score of such.
Reply
: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....
Reply
: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.
Reply
: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.
Reply
: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]
Reply
: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.
Reply
: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.
Reply
:iconroasted-torkoals:
Roasted-Torkoals Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
:iconthisplz:
Reply
:iconblood-b0xer:
Blood-B0xer Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:thumbsup:
Reply
:iconxxnightangelsxx:
xXNightAngelsXx Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I joined dA 4 months ago. My Mom had been on this site for several years and she encouraged my sister to join so she could make some friends, as she is mostly house-bound. My sister has had a problem emulating different peoples styles or characters. She has been severely criticized for that, which I can understand to a degree. The abuse escalated to the point that my Mom got involved which just made things worse. There were death threats, a lot of stalking and harassment. Hate journals and parody art making fun of my sister. They made an ED Article. Posted a map showing where our house is when someone made the remark that if they knew where we lived they would put a bullet in her head. These people were banned permanently, but dA ended up letting them back on. So, they are all still here doing the same thing under different user names. My Mom was banned because she had sent numerous reports and probably hundreds of links about the abuse, but she was not allowed back on this site. A couple of days ago someone made an account called ~deathtoMary, which was done for the sole purpose of harassing my sister. She did a report and dA took it down. What I don't understand is why these people were allowed back on this site. Oh, by the way, my sister has fragile X syndrome and autism and has social problems and problems with letter composition. That's why my Mom got involved. One of the main people in this group of trolls has even posted many things about the author of this journal here and on other sites. Why can't something be done about these people? Obviously you do not support this kind of behavior, $realitysquared. Can you please explain to me how this continues. I'm afraid to send anything in as a report because I don't want to get banned, but I hate not being able to help my sister. she loves art and is so familiar with this site that she doesn't want to go anywhere else.
Reply
:iconenemom:
Enemom Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I'm so sorry.
Reply
:icongarsedj:
garsedj Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
you're here to draw, not to be trolled
don't think, block anyone that provokes you, especially if his profile involves trolling, butthurt and drama
Reply
:iconshanetherarechoa:
shanetherarechoa Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014  Student General Artist
That's a different story when you have a person that hates you for no reason and sends others to attack you and this person stalk your profile even though you blocked them and them get enjoyment out of their suffering from the attackers.

A simple block doesn't solve or end the issue.
Reply
:icongarsedj:
garsedj Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
simple : don't answer, block at first sight, call the helpdesk
They are trolls, they want a reaction ! don't give them what they want, report them and forget them :p
Reply
:iconshanetherarechoa:
shanetherarechoa Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014  Student General Artist
It's not that simple..
Reply
:icongarsedj:
garsedj Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
believe me, block everyone and don't ask questions
Reply
:iconviolent-rainbow:
Violent-Rainbow Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I notice you talk about screen shots quite a bit in this entry.... do you count screen shots of stolen artwork as cyberbullying, rudeness, reportable, etc? Sometimes I see people posting screen shots to warn people about art theft. Say if someone steals their art, and say they posted a screen shot taking out the name but showing the copied or stolen work versus the original... I'm not sure if they will get in trouble for this?
Reply
:iconprojectsonic:
projectsonic Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012   Writer
Any screens that get reported because "talking bad about me" will be wiped. Supporting stolen artwork or not. Also, as it stands things slandering the staff may be subject to this as well. Basically this isn't about cyberbullying at all as much as bowing down to the masses about "harassment."

Protip: If you post links from an outside image hosting place however, typically nothing will be done about it. Anyone who reports posting such to helpdesk will be typically told to block and hide as they do with most harassment and "cyberbullying" cases.
Reply
:iconviolent-rainbow:
Violent-Rainbow Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the reply, I understand what you are saying. :)
Reply
:iconshadowmaker-241:
ShadowMaker-241 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You're confusing Cyberbullying with general rudeness :/
Reply
:iconsvataben:
Svataben Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Are we seriously meant to watch every single journal by every single moderator in order to not break rules?

I only saw this because I was linked from the forums in some random discussion.
Reply
:iconnotepadgirl:
notepadgirl Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2012
I know, right? We don't get the official news, but we get the "interesting" articles, automatically. >=/
Reply
:iconmicrougly:
microUgly Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012
What's your opinion on Moderators deleting art and dishing out bans with very little justification?

I feel this is one of the worst forms of cyber-bullying. Moderators have too much power and they abuse that power to serve their own agenda.

There seems to be no repercussion to a moderator who simply behaves like a jerk, and bans and deletes work out of spite.

DA is not a community I'm proud to be a part of. Too much bullying from moderators.
Reply
:iconrabbit-england:
Rabbit-England Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
a person was banned for voicing an opinion What is this Soviet Russia!?
Reply
:iconhans-sachs:
hans-sachs Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012
freedom of speech is respected highly in most circles, however there are some restrictions, namely libel, slander, obscenity and incitement.

example: when your friend accuses someone (admin or not) publically to be a thief, it might overstep already the bounds.
Reply
:iconrabbit-england:
Rabbit-England Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Ah so because that person is an admin it oversteps the boundaries but now I refuse to say more considering I have many friends on DA and I will not get banned for something stupid
Reply
:iconhans-sachs:
hans-sachs Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012
no, not because this person is an admin, but because libel, slander, obscenity and incitement are not covered by the freedom of speech.
Reply
:iconrabbit-england:
Rabbit-England Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Once more I do have a well rounded case buti refuse to say more
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
We allow people to voice opinions all the time. It is currently popular to use the word "opinion" in an attempt to disguise personal attacks, insults and aggressive commentary but that is not a legitimate cover story and doesn't excuse certain types of behavior.

I'm not certain who you are referring to but if they think that their account was suspended or banned in error then they should contact deviantART customer service.
Reply
:iconbinarystep:
binarystep Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What I don't understand is why screenshots are "bad". I see people use them all the time to highlight art theft. Is that cyberbullying, reality^2?
Reply
:iconrabbit-england:
Rabbit-England Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
.....I don't want to say more because
1.I don't want to be banned
2.I really do not wish to fight with someone with the $ symbol infront of their name.
3.fighting is just petty
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Nobody gets banned just due to a civilized discussion.
Reply
:iconrabbit-england:
Rabbit-England Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
So I could have a discussion that is extremely civilized with you put my points out and you would not ban me
Reply
:iconsuccupirequeen:
SuccupireQueen Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012
:iconfreeinternetplz:
Reply
:iconcursedboy1120:
Cursedboy1120 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012
Now riddle me this, if you claim that cyber bulling will not be tolerated why are there so many people saying that the admins dont do anything about it. Let alone you take the time to make this statement. The hippocricy startles me.
Reply
:iconbi0terr0r:
BI0TERR0R Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
All I basically said was that I'm not giving DA an other penny until it straightens its shit up. How is that spam?
Reply
:icontrinity-raven:
Trinity-Raven Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, removing the negative comments on your journal. You're no better than the snots who think criticism is cyberbullying. No wonder a lot of users are a bunch of spineless crybabies. They see their beloved admin acting like a crybaby so they're going to act like a crybaby.

I love how you flagged them as spam instead of hiding them too. XD How sad.
Reply
:iconbi0terr0r:
BI0TERR0R Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It's overly hilarious that he flags them as spam, because isn't that considered misuse of the spam button?

Last time I checked difference of opinions weren't spam. It's a shame he won't get any sort of punishment for this. :c
Reply
:icontrinity-raven:
Trinity-Raven Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
He said they were accounts specifically used for 'trolling'.
Reply
:iconbi0terr0r:
BI0TERR0R Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Funny, I can't find the comment I remember leaving here. I believe it was between :iconscootawho: and :iconbouncytheempoleon:'s posts. Yet I'm not by any means a spammer. xD
Reply
:icontrinity-raven:
Trinity-Raven Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh but according to R^2 you just have to be associated with a 'trolling' account to be marked as 'spam' XD
Reply
:iconbi0terr0r:
BI0TERR0R Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Lmfao, also according to him shouldn't I be banned for being a 'trolling' account?
Reply
:icontrinity-raven:
Trinity-Raven Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol yeah.
Reply
:iconzaigou-kun:
Zaigou-kun Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012
Same here :lol:
Reply
:iconprojectsonic:
projectsonic Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012   Writer
Could've been that guy who literally was a spammer, except...

1. This had no answer: [link]
2. I would think they wouldn't be spaced like that, but eh. Maybe this guy was just taking his time. I know RS really did have a spammer on his profile. :shrug:
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Actually I didn't hide any comments on this journal and you really shouldn't make assumptions.

The "Spam" comments are associated with an account made specifically for trolling and when these types of accounts are banned all comments which they have made are tagged automatically as spam. It's standard procedure and done by another staff member besides myself.

You'll notice that there are plenty of other "negative" comments which are perfectly visible.
Reply
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