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September 23, 2010
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It’s All in the Details
It was about a year ago that I posted a news article which attempted to clarify why and how official policy and community viewpoint can differ so greatly in regards to what can be considered to be obscene or pornographic and I even spoke about it a bit in my journal.

Much of what was written in that previous article holds true today so I will only briefly outline the basics of what was written there in this article and I would urge any who haven’t yet read it to do so.

Recently there has been a lot of dissatisfaction being voiced concerning types of content which is allowed in the deviantART galleries and almost an equal amount of misinformation and other incorrect assumptions about what is allowed and what gets removed.

Much of the discontent in this area stems from the differences between official definitions and policy and the individual viewpoints held by members of the community.

In the past we, the staff, have tried to address these differences by amending the FAQ with clearer language, posting journals and news articles trying to explain this nuance or that definition but regardless of those efforts there continue to be misinterpretations and misunderstandings so in this particular news article instead of trying to explain the various policies and procedures I’ll attempt to explain the reasoning and viewpoint which exists behind those policies and procedures.


Provoking a Response
In the 1971 case of Cohen v. California, United states Supreme Court Justice Marshall Harlan II summarized exactly how subjective “artistic merit” can be when he stated, “one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric” and that statement remains true to this day.

Art is intended to be evocative, and given that works of art so often succeed in evoking such diverse and passionate responses it is not surprising at all that artistic expression is often the target of so many censorship efforts. Post-modern art, for example, derives its value from defying past standards and expanding the traditional boundaries of art, often by deliberately attempting to shock and offend the audience.

Even here at deviantART, a community founded on the concept of being a gathering place for all sorts of creative persons and artistic visions, there is a certain level of censorship. deviantART does restrict the submission of certain types of content – some for critical legal reasons and some for what could be called completely arbitrary reasons which we have made because of our concerns about the health and direction of the community.

Because the concept of being a community which is intended to welcome all sorts of creative endeavors while at the same time denying access to certain content and themes are so at odds with each other we make every attempt to keep our restrictions to the barest minimum. If it appears at times that we appear to make exceptions for certain types of works it is because we are trying to find more reasons to keep a work than to remove a work; a fact which results in probably too many of you in the community assuming in error that our staff is poorly trained, biased, or lazy.

We make every attempt to allow works which are evocative and this sometimes means that a work will be erotic and sexual enough, or political enough, or religious enough, to offend someone with more delicate sensibilities. This is the main reason our mature content tagging system exists and why we’ve made improvements to it over the years to help artists warn their audience that a certain work might be offensive to them.


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The type of content which generates the most concern and the most complaints tends to be photographic nude works which are considered inartistic by the people doing the complaining, some even going as far as to quote the three standards for determining obscenity set by the United States Supreme Court in 1973, one of which states that an obscene work “taken as whole, lacks serious literary, political, or scientific value” as justification for asking for the removal of the deviations they find offensive.

Unfortunately the determination of “serious literary, political, or scientific value” is not as clear cut and easy as one could assume. As I’ve stated elsewhere, “artistic value” and “obscenity” varies greatly depending on your cultural and family upbringing as well as your personal viewpoints. The question of whose standards to use is difficult at best which is why official policy on the matter is written to address quantitative facts about a work rather than the qualities of the work.

There was a case which demonstrates exactly how hazy the term “value” can be when applied to art which I’d like to relate to the readers here for greater clarity.

In 1969, United States Customs agents in Baltimore Maryland seized ten paintings and drawings which had been shipped in from Europe for an exhibition in the United States. The works were a portion of a larger collection of erotic artworks which had been previously shown and displayed in museums in Scandinavia. Among the ten works seized were works by Hans Bellmer, George Grosz, Karel Appel, Melle, Cesare Peverelli, and five other works by artists whose identities were unknown.

The Customs agents seized the works under the authority of a federal law which prohibited the importation of obscene materials The ten works seized included themes which were explicit in their showing of male and female sex organs, sometimes in conjunction or approaching conjunction and the agents judged that the various themes were sexual and obscene enough to stop their entry into the United States.

The issue involving these works eventually received a legal ruling, and although the case was decided before Miller v. California (the ruling which determined the obscenity standards still used today) the court applied a similar three-part standard to determine whether or not the works were to be ruled as obscene. Despite the clearly sexual content of the works, both the trial court and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the works all had artistic value and therefore did not meet the third legal criterion of obscenity.

Now I mention this particular case not because we use it to justify keeping certain works but because it demonstrates how individual judgments concerning “values” can reach completely different conclusions and it is because of  these differences in personal judgment that deviantART policies rely more upon empirical observations about a work rather than personal opinions concerning artistic value and intent – by relying more upon the former we are able to ensure greater consistency in the actions taken, or not taken, by our staff.

While members of our community are certainly free to call something obscene because, “I know it when I see it” (Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, 1964), our staff tries to avoid involving such personal and ultimately subjective observations in our policy decisions, even though they may completely agree with you on a personal level.

When you think about it in a broader sense when we talk about “artistic value” we must also consider that not all artistic works are intended to be aesthetic or even fully interpretable which in turn can spark an entirely different conversation about exactly what “art” is supposed to be in the first place – who gets to make that decision?
Add a Comment:
 
:iconkuwaizair:
Kuwaizair Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011
but "trolling" drawings is wrong. a baby chopped up can send a message. if I made fun of how Fella looks, then I am a bad person?
Reply
:iconaffinityimage:
affinityimage Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2011
Okay I get the rule and I get the objections to the rule, I was reported on an Image and it was deleted by me as a way to avoid the wrong type of attention as an artist. It was clearly not porn.

However as I browsed around and this thread was one, I can not help but think, that members who browse around flagging art, images, or what ever are missing the point, the sites administration seems to be on the job, it may take time but they are doing thier job, they have opened a place for you to report an image, if its a bad thing it will be removed, if its not leave it a lone. Grow up!

This has been argued over and over through out history, to the point where works of art have been damaged, try any Greek Roman statues as an example of what this can do.

I would think everyone would be more interested in the copyright violations, than this. Stealing an image knowingly or not is an issue that costs the artists.

“What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed?” - Michelangelo

This is not a pornographic website; My work is not, the images contained within the pages of my parts of this site have been created with the sole intention of portraying the nude body as art if the artist so chooses. Meaning me..

There is an unbelievably wide spectrum between beautiful expressions of the nude human form and the portrayal of explicit sexual acts. Those that have not been exposed to different levels of nude art, will often find they cannot discern between them, the result is the categorization of all nudity as indelicate and exploitative.

Exhibiting the nude figure as 'art' is oddly regarded as vulgar and distasteful in many modern cultures/societies. This is a rather peculiar development, considering that since human history began, the beauty of the nude form - has been a source of inspiration for many renowned artists of all genres!

Forcibly suppressing access to nudity can never achieve anything, except to stunt minds and prevent us from learning crucial lessons about art, taste and personal perception. Differentiating between levels of erotica, art nude, and pornography is a important part of artistic culture that should be learnt, not swept under the carpet and ignored.

Those narrow-minded enough to believe that nudity in its purest form should be hidden; often do not possess the capabilities to discern between artistic expression and crass exploitation, nor do they understand the innocent eyes through which we see. We are not born with a irrational fear of the nude body, it is something that has been wrongfully ingrained into us by society: Objections to our own skin is ridiculously irrational, body shame is not natural - nudity is. (Muse, was quoted in this she is a Model, Artist and friend).


Chas
Reply
:icontrelore:
TreLore Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2010
To me in a truly free country nothing should be censored. Art is meant to free the soul, body mind and spirit from restriction. true art is an expression of how the artist feels or see the world. When censorship is allowed it restricts freedom of thought and expression. Like you have said one man vugarity is another mans lyric. Until we get past such limited thinking, we will always have people who think something that is beautiful is obsene.
Reply
:icontmpst24myst:
tmpst24myst Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010  Student Writer
In the report I made, I'm glad I noted the artistic value - it simply surprised me to find such a provocative deviation on deviantart. In my inquiry, I wanted resolution as to how and when and why?
The response was neither clear or defined; just a statement indicating that it was reviewed and was found to not meet the removal requirements.

In short, thank you for posting and re-posting clarification on this matter. The piece I flagged, has incredible artistic value, and it's this article that explains the, 'how, when and why?' I had initially been questioning. While I still have some reservations on said piece, they are my own. I wouldn't want anyone telling me how to title any of my work, nor would I want the content flagged without probable cause. In your previous news reports and now this one, along with your journals on this topic, I've come to appreciate the evolution of art on this site. I would also like to say that if it weren't for your publications on this matter, I would still be looking for the, 'how, when and why?'
Thank you and I hope that others can get the same clarification as I, through your publications.
-dae.
Reply
:iconfeltrim:
feltrim Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
ok so lets get this straight, not masturbation, no toys, obviously no peni to vagina, what a about a heel of a stilleto entering the vag, how about tongue to vag?
i reported these, tongue to vag, no response, Shoe to vag, marked as invalid?
how is that not a violation? actually of all the reports i have made i have recieved 1 response. Go dA,
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
No response means that the report hasn't been reviewed.

Marked invalid most likely means that the image didn't actually depict what you thought it did.
Reply
:iconfeltrim:
feltrim Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
oh and i just checked the tongue vag is still there, as i'm not a flametard, admin peeps can note me, and i will send the links!
Reply
:iconmikeengelen:
mikeengelen Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010
I don't know... But being honest, as an artist you need to have a very broad vision of things. It can be very very frustationg and very contradictory things.

Artistic passion means also experimenting. Sometimes you have to break your own rules, going beyond what you know in order to acheive something new, even if you're scared of what could possibly come from you.

But it's a need, a human need to do so. And at one point or another, the sexual thematic, that part in your brain will demand it's artistic share, it needs to be at least expressed There're a lot of different viewpoints yes, and that's why we don't get in a common agreement, but beyond that, I think that not expressing ourselves, and being as truthful as foregoing with our artistic needs, is more harming than self-censoring.

Silence is more harmful, I guess. Sometimes you dare to express, sometimes you don't, but being honest, The feel of going forwad and being truth, leaves me with an overall better feel.
Reply
:iconhurricanrana:
Hurricanrana Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010
The way I see it, an erect penis or a strap-on have all the ability to be artistic and to invoke a non-sexual or thought provoking response.
Reply
:icontaorio:
taorio Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2010
Ref: your tag line....

If you stuffed part of a great white shark up your butt that would work all by itself, and you'd probly be a lot more comfortable.:)
Reply
:iconbeaunestor:
BeauNestor Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2010  Professional Photographer
Thank you for your learned and considered approach.
I feel that artists should not ask what is art, pornography or obscenity, but simply express and produce. Let others define as they will - because they will anyway.

There are times when I wish to shock, although I doubt that any extreme, including obscenity, is really able to shock anymore - thanks to the internet.

We will argue as artists, you will moderate as operators - this is the way of the world.
Thank you
Beau
Reply
:iconlost-angle:
lost-angle Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
This has been featured in #dA-Dictionary's Dictionary Entries.
Reply
:iconpersonaofadeviant:
PersonaOfADeviant Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2010  Professional Artist
I think you have a perfect explanation, and you do a fine job of moderation.

I prefer to relate the clamor for more restrictions to the same uproar that brought about the "Reign of Terror" in the French revolution. Indeed, it was the Committee for Public Safety (under the guidance of Maximilien Robespierre) that unfairly tried and executed thousands, shedding more French blood than either World War. To often are the masses so eager to put "safety" and "censorship" above what's really important: our individual freedoms like art and life. Art is an expression of life, and the bottomline is that no matter how you look at it, sex and reproduction is the very act of creating life. Naturally, we are going to express that, probably a lot.
Reply
:iconsubhankar-biswas:
subhankar-biswas Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010  Professional General Artist
very much agree with your comparison to the french revolution! :thumbsup:

my view is to allow artists to express all they like, but responsibly: [link]
Reply
:iconjakezdaniel:
JakezDaniel Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2010   Photographer
Maybe there could be a new photography category, something like "human anatomy"?
This way we wouldn't be sometime disturb about seeing own portraits between wide open ...legs when browsing the portrait gallery.

After this, yes, better less limits than too many :thumbsup:
Reply
:iconsubhankar-biswas:
subhankar-biswas Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010  Professional General Artist
very true. it is very offensive to see your work sandwiched between close-ups of leaking vaginas.

i've suggested something similar to your idea here: [link]
Reply
:iconjakezdaniel:
JakezDaniel Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010   Photographer
:thumbsup:
Reply
:iconyamiko-michi:
yamiko-michi Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
as long as artists use the mature tag as they are supposed to, I do not see why anyone is still complaining. as soon as you click the "see it anyway" or whatever button you know your gonna see something that might offend you.
Reply
:iconablondmoment:
aBlondMoment Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2010   Writer
Absolutely. These things actually extends to not just regular art, but Literature as well. Helping to head the one and only fast growing Clean-Literature-Galleries Only group on dA we are even now continuing to develop on what we truly accepts in promotion of clean literature and discerning the perceptions around the gray areas of both profanity as well as mature sexuality.
Reply
:iconpluto-from-below:
Pluto-from-Below Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Being offended is indeed an opinion.

I do wonder how this empirical data is found and implemented? Can this be found somewhere?
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Most of the standards and procedures used in the training of our staff can be found generalized in the FAQ.

They are not actually published anywhere for public consumption.
Reply
:iconensomniac:
Ensomniac Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2010
I think the majority of users appreciate the work you do, and the time it consumes. Your approach to the issues is insightful, well researched and fair.
Reply
:iconthe-suns-moon:
the-suns-moon Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2010  Student General Artist
too bad most people don't read/understand the rules so they go "Baww" when they're enforced :roll:
Reply
:iconmidsea:
Midsea Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I'm sorry but with the knowledge that 11 and 13 year olds are on here ( you let them on here) and when groups like these
[link]
[link]
exist here mature filter or not I can't help but question dA.

Come on there are even groups and artist that openly say it's porn!
[link]
Yes this one has nothing in their gallery but look at the favs!
Also what artists wants their art that they have worked for hours/ days on up beside quick shot of a pussy, boob or a dick?
Surely the admins know things like this are nothing be degrading to the subject male or female and (when it's posted up here especially at the amount and rate it is) it's degrading to the whole of dA!

If you guys are going to let stuff like this on can you make a more specific mature content because meaningful pictures with some tasteful nude and violence I'd like to see but this stuff I don't.
Reply
:iconiiixii:
IIIXII Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2010
Never in my life have I heard so much conversation in one place about

    vaginas, labias, spreading, porn and penises

    Seriously ... :|

I said it once I'll say it again ...

The word ... " art does 2 things to me.
    1. It inspires me.
    2. It scares the hell out of me.
Reply
:iconyankeedog:
yankeedog Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2010  Professional General Artist
Art like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I don't like to judge because I've had some my art censored. Some guy in Japan who didn't like my illustrations of US Air Force Nose Art from WWII and the Korean War went through my whole gallery and reported every illustration that showed bare breasts. In the meantime, his "artwork" depicted dog penises and testicles, extreme violence, blood and gore. In my opinion violence, blood and gore are far more offensive than a woman's breast. Just an opinion. :-)
-YD
-YD
Reply
:iconceruleanvii:
ceruleanvii Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
you need to have a separate site, or somehow split up DA so people can only see those type of images if they want to. No, don't tell me to turn on the "mature" filter. I paint lots of nudes myself, and if a bit of anything questionable if showing, I'll "Mature" it. I have no problem with artistic nudes. The stuff people are complaining about are NOT artistic nudes. The debate can go on and on as to whether or not it's "art" but I don't really care about that. I would like to be able to look at the "today" section, or the front page of DA, at work or when my children are around without having to worry about the countless lame dick and labia shots.

And I'd really like to see the reputation of DA improved. I like the community, I love posting my artwork here and talking with other artists, but the porn is an embarrasment and keeps me from recommending this site to other artists or sending people here to look at my work. There, I've said it. It's porn.
Reply
:iconjaime9526:
jaime9526 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Y'know I think i said the same stuff years ago, so it goes without saying I agree with you :)

DA is not what it used to be. Thw orld is not what it used to be. ANd the sense of entitlement in some people these days...sheesh :)
Reply
:iconsubhankar-biswas:
subhankar-biswas Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010  Professional General Artist
my sentiments, exactly. it's come to a point that i find it embarrassing to say i'm a member of dA! nasty, when you consider how many people i encouraged to join for the sheer inspiration/enthusiasm this community provides!
Reply
:iconwesleyda:
WesleyDA Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I hate it when the 13 year olds start shouting"OMG gross p0rn" every time they see a vagina. Thanks for continuing to try and educate the community. People should really learn to self-censor and stop complaining whenever they see something they don't like. Nothing is forcing you to be here looking at it.

In other words, don't try and remove the deviation, just remove yourself. If you don't even want to 'accidentally' find something that might offend you, change your settings so you don't see mature content. The option is there for a reason.
Reply
:iconfurrtwo:
Furrtwo Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
That was offensive to most thirteen year olds. Oh, wait. My age group is a bunch of idiots. Sorry, I forgot.
Reply
:iconsubhankar-biswas:
subhankar-biswas Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010  Professional General Artist
:lol: i hereby officially change my recorded age to 13 so that i can be part of the 'idiot brigade' rather than be clumped together with the person who made that very 'mature' comment!
Reply
:iconfurrtwo:
Furrtwo Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
And now I'm upset that dA hasn't made a "comment faving" feature yet. Thank you so much for this.
Reply
:iconsubhankar-biswas:
subhankar-biswas Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2010  Professional General Artist
sounds like a good idea!

...and you're welcome.
Reply
:icongwendolyn12:
Gwendolyn12 Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
ILU. ;3;
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:iconfurrtwo:
Furrtwo Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
YAY. <3
Reply
:icongwendolyn12:
Gwendolyn12 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
:XD:
Reply
:iconhybridinsurgency:
hybridinsurgency Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
lol! You are my hero of the day!
Reply
:iconfurrtwo:
Furrtwo Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
*smiles* Awesome.
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:iconkyros-xiii:
Kyros-XIII Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2010
Well, my main problem is with this is that the lines between what is pr0n and art are so blurred no-one knows what is and what is not. While I applaud your efforts at ATTEMPTING to clarify this issue, I feel personally that you have failed. In fact, what I got out of this article is, "Art is subjective, deal with it." This is not a clarification of the policy. We DO NOT have a problem with the rules, we have a problem with the staff not adhering to these rules, either by bending them or allowing them to be broken completely. While I don't report things that "aren't art" or whatever BS that is, I will report things that are against dA policy. That would be underage porn, explicit pornography, etc.

In regards to "Oh it's a mythical creature, therefore it is A-OK!" even though it could be like 1,002 years old, it still has the physical appearance of an underaged human. The message you send by allowing that says that one could attach wings to anything that resembles underage nudity or porn and then it will instantly be okay because, they're "cherubim" or "angels".

People are just frustrated because they report an image with penetration and their report comes back invalid because it's "artistic" or "evocative". Okay, great, it's art, but it's still against policy.

Also, I think dA should be more stringent on what they allow as "artistic nude". While close-ups can be artistic at times, the "mobile phone shot" of a girl standing in front of a mirror with her panties off and the subtitle or "artist's" comment "come and get some" does not qualify as something that should be allowed on dA, as evidently the purpose of the image is just to either show off their bits and/or arouse the viewer. Images that are hinged entirely around someone's naughty parts should either not be allowed or reevaluated, as the point of the photo doesn't seem to really be about conveying emotion such much as showing off.

"But wait, arousal is an emotion!!!111oneoneone" you might say. Yes, but arousal is one of the crudest of emotions, and as dA wants to maintain the reputation of a sophisticated art site, I think that the emotion of arousal should be minimised, with an image with arousal as a secondary emotion, instead of the entire point of the work to evoke arousal. I am 98.7% sure that the admins don't want dA to be viewed as a porn site, so therefore, they should regulate what is allowed and what isn't with a stricter policy.

Also, there is the issue of consistency. While one piece of art may be removed by the admins for one thing, that means that all other pieces of art with that violation should be treated likewise. It seems that the admins are being subjective when it comes to evaluating whether a deviation is against policy, and that is neither consistent nor does it send the right message. It doesn't matter if the admin is or is not personally offended by the work, it matters whether it is against dA policy or not. All the people who work in violation reports should have a CONSISTENT criterion for determining whether an image stays or goes. Which should be the policy. And if the policy does not address a general issue (crotch shots, for example), then perhaps it should be revised so it can properly address it.

Please listen to and consider my opinion. I personally feel there would be more satisfaction if the admins actually enforced the policy one hundred percent.
Reply
:iconsubhankar-biswas:
subhankar-biswas Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010  Professional General Artist
bravo! :thumbsup:

"arousal is an emotion". indeed. but i come to dA for arousal of more subtle senses (as i'm guessing most artists do). if i wanted THAT kind, i'd go to a porn site.
Reply
:iconkyros-xiii:
Kyros-XIII Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2010
Thanks ^_^

Exactly! Even if porn is an art form, it's still against the rules!
Reply
:iconfireflyexposed:
FireFlyExposed Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
tee hee ... !!!111oneoneone ... epic
You worded your views very well I must say, very valid points :D
:iconclapplz:
Reply
:iconkyros-xiii:
Kyros-XIII Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2010
^-^

Thanks yew ^^

And thank YOU, Charles Foster Kane.

Lol, I love your icon.
Reply
:iconelianthos80:
elianthos80 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2010
I love you. :clap:
Reply
:iconkyros-xiii:
Kyros-XIII Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2010
N'awwww thanks :aww:
Reply
:icone-will:
e-will Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
This is a tough one indeed.

I think part of the problem might be the media where people see the sexual imagery. 5 meters wide print on the wall of Louvre or a 600x500 JPEG in deviantArt? People will definitely put more thought on pieces that are put on display more or less in the "proper" way. I dont know the encyclopedia definition of art but i've been taught that anything that any artist declares as an artwork can be a piece of art.

I also like the policy about finding more reasons to keep a piece here than finding reasons to remove it.

Btw you talk about legal problems and i can see with tracert that your servers are in the U.S. have you thought about moving them to a country with more freedom concerning the content of the site?
Reply
:iconoceanatendofthelane:
OceanAtEndofTheLane Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2010
I don't think a huge portion of the community is dissatisfied, I think a small portion of the community is LOUD. :giggle: Some of the arguments I've seen posted on the recent news articles are driving me nuts. I don't understand how we can scream about wanting artistic freedoms but then deem ourselves appropriate to decide what is and what is not art or process for someone else.

I don't understand why people expect you to have a hard and fast rule on anything. There is ALWAYS going to be an exception when it comes to art. And as soon as that policy ends up applied to that exception everyone screams about censorship. Why do people not understand that in order to enjoy our artistic freedom and post what we love we may have to put up with a little of what we don't love?

I use the example of the "up close nudes" that many complain about. Majority of these people first of all have no experience in artistic nude other than to view it, and occasionally you will have someone in the field who doesn't like it. I find most photographers/models in the field however tolerate it and aren't bothered by it for the most part because if there was a hard and fast rule about quality or close ups etc they wouldn't be allowed to explore their own technique or post their close ups. They also understand that people are learning, trying new things, perhaps AN for the first time. For me I know having a shot of your crotch in the AN world can be easier because your face is (hopefully) not attached to it. So it's somewhat anonymous. It can be a good way to explore AN without people knowing who you are. If it's your first time in the world of AN your image can often be poor quality. Especially if you don't want to invest too much in case you don't like the field.

Ultimately, I tolerate these images for these reasons, for the fact that many can be artistic (it's not my job to determine what is art and what is not, or defame someone's learning process), and because I want other AN artists to have the basic freedoms in their field I have. I appreciate the community frustrations but why then do we not scream about poor quality drawings? photomanips? etc. There's going to be low quality shot out art in every single gallery. The nice thing about the MC stuff is that we have a filter!!

The one thing I will say is that I get just as annoyed as everyone else when a super up close shot has a description like "come here boys" or something else. People who glance at my comments seem to think I'm the huge supporter of porn. Um, nope. I find those images just as disturbing as anyone else. I just recognize that there would be no way to remove them without trampling on the freedoms of others so I tolerate them.

I do find there seems to be an inconsistency between what is removed and what isn't. I once reported an image that had been reported 15 times for having semen in the photo and it wasn't removed. When I reported it I pointed out exactly where and then it was removed. :shrug: Of course everyone will always be upset too when they have a piece removed and they seem something else allowed to stay. I don't envy you or your jobs. You're trying to moderate millions of images and everyone wants to scream at you.

In the end, we're all artists here. Why the hell are we being so black and white? it seems so contradictory to everything taught in art schools, hell, in high school art. It seems contradictory to common sense! People just make up their mind "I don't like this so it must be wrong!" and they grasp at straws to try and prove it wrong.

It's a very difficult subject to talk about too. Everyone takes things personally and makes accusations. In my own comments I linked to a newsletter of mine that was full of thumbnails of artistic close up nude shots. I can't thumb them in a comment so I link them to a newsletter where they're all in one place. Relevant to the conversations at hand, but I am "looking for attention" (as if I have any trouble finding it :lol:) I linked to your journal article too, encouraging others to go view it and post on it. Oohh suddenly I'm spamming even though the link is directly related to everyone's complaints and the exact place they should go if they want to do something about it! I'm also brown nosing- I guess some of these users weren't around when I screamed at you for a few good days in comments about the aging up process when it was first really spoken about. Made an ass of myself there and thought I'd made up my mind about hating you foreverrrrrrz ;)

Honestly, I don't know how you log on here everyday and deal with the drama and bullshit. What the heck keeps you motivated? I insert myself into a thread of comments and deal with them for about a week and I find it totally taxing. I don't expect to change minds but it would be wonderful if people acted like artists and thought outside the box about a scenario. I think I need to learn to just ignore stuff I disagree with on DA so I don't have to feel so stressed about it... but it's hard to do because I'm a passionate person and I've been here 7 years and have always been really involved so I'm a passionate member. PASSION MAKES PEOPLE CRAZY.

/endrant
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:iconthunderstorm996:
thunderstorm996 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2010  Hobbyist Artist
i'm quite glad about this post, it's one of those things that (in my interpretation of it) is saying 'before reporting something as being porn, think about it for a bit'

kinda along the lines of impulse buying, you go into a store, see something that you don't need and buy it anyway, rather than thinking about it, and making a decision as to weather or not it is actually needed.

i get the feeling the 'impulse reporting' happens quite often around here, causing said group to complain that a submission wasn't deleted, because their 5 second judgment is the greatest thing since sliced bread.


the rule I've been following along with the current DA rules is that, if you feel something I've submitted is violating the policy, tell me! i really don't want to be banned, but i also don't want to feel that i have to make my art seem like the world is the happiest, purist, no evil exists place on earth, all the time. some of the stuff I've submitted probably pushes the rules just slightly (and i know that now i'm gonna have a whole flock of people yelling at me for said submissions) but right before i submitted them i sat down for quite some time (even so far as giving a day or two of thought) as to if it is within policy and that i can submit it, or if it's better left on my hard drive.

it's also why i'm glad i have the mature content warning on some as protection for myself. i'm sure that there are groups of people that neglect it and get mad when their art is deleted, and groups that are underage getting by with a false age that they've given, and are appalled by what they see (when they really should be able to since they're underage...shame!!)





that's just my view point on all of it. not trying to take a side here (but i know someone's gonna say i am though -_-)
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:iconnightdoodles:
Nightdoodles Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah well, what I find ironic the most is how on one side art is untouchable subjective and undefinable, and at the same time there's seems to be some kind of manual with precise instructions on what's art and what's porn in DA.

"Labia spread without showing vaginal cavity - Art"
"Finger pulling left side of labia only -Art"
"Vaginal fluids not dripping fluently - Art"
"Underage showing panties - Porn"
"Penis erected at an angle of less than 45 degrees - Art"
"Naked underage with a pair of wings attached - Art"
"Naked underage without a pair of wings attached - Porn"
"Less than three fingers inserted in vagina - Art"
"Vaginal monochrome - Art"

Besides I don't know but there's something in this "EVERYTHING is art" philosophy that bothers me, its like art itself loses its meaning.
I feel that if everything is art, then nothing is. :paranoid:
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