13 July 2012

The Buzzing of Flies

It really hadn't been a great few days prior to the 10th of July, but on that day, an amazing thing happened that normally I wouldn't be proud of in the slightest. There's no real pride in getting negative attention, despite what Oscar Wilde might have said about saying anything. However, when said negative attention comes from people whose ire and scorn is the direct result of being caught in their own stupid, moronic lie, the feeling I get may not exactly be pride, but I don't feel the slightest bit of guilt, not in the slightest.

I don't want to repeat what I wrote in my DeviantART Journal, so here's a summation with an addendum chronicling the subsequent events:

* A user posts ZIP files full of celebrity photos they found in Google image search to their gallery, offering them up as stock images for people to use however they see fit despite them not being her own work in the first place.

* I call her out on it in a comment on one of her photos.

* She says that her father is a professional photographer who took many of the photos that she posted, and therefore has permission.

* Some quick searching shows that the photos belong to several photographers, many working for different websites, the most prominent one being StarTraks.

* I proceed to ask her a simple line of questions about her father's "body of work," such as if he has his own personal online gallery or portfolio?

* She says she doesn't understand the question.

* I rephrase the question: Why would a professional photographer need his daughter's DeviantART page to post his work instead of his own website?

* She repeats that he's taken "many" of the photos she's posted.

* I ask which ones are his.

* She doesn't answer and blocks me from leaving further comments on her page.

* She writes a pleading journal, blaming me for getting an old account of hers banned (a power that, sadly, I don't actually have, and I only left one comment on that page a full day before it was banned), and calling on her friends to get me banned by...

Before we get to the quote, it's probably best to give a little context, just so you can fully grasp the sheer ineptitude. It's entirely within her power to file a formal complaint against me with DeviantART's administration for harassment. Whether or not it would be acted upon is entirely up to their discretion, and most likely nothing would be done given that she's already blocked me from her page, but the point is that there exists a legitimate and specialized avenue available to her for reporting me. Despite that, however, she thinks the only way to get me banned is:

"Entrá alguna deviantion (sic) de esos usuarios y dale click a "Report Deviation (right)" que está abajo de las estadísticas de esa deviantion (back to sic). De esa manera los pueden bannear."

Which translates to:

"Enter any deviation of those users and click "Report Deviation" which is below the deviation's statistics. We can ban them in this way."

So, rather than using the Help menu in DeviantART's support page to file a complaint she is technically well within her rights to file, she's telling as many people as she can to go to the drawings, paintings, and photographs in my gallery and report them for violations of DeviantART's Terms of Service.

Report them for what, exactly? I don't know, and it turns out neither does she. In fact, one of her watchers asked her what to file the report under (permission issues, explicit content, malware, to name a few). This question has received no answer. As to why she's given no answer, I can only hazard the guess that she has absolutely no idea how the site works and doesn't want to expose her ignorance.

This is ignorant for three important reasons:

1) It assumes that DeviantART's moderators do not actually read violation reports against uploads or at least check the work of art in question to make sure the report is legitimate. After all, not every report is for something offensive or harmful; being in the wrong category is one of the options, that just gets something moved to another category suggested by the one who files the report.

2) It essentially takes me out of the equation and tries to turn focus onto something completely unrelated in the hope of achieving the same result. In other words, I said something that offended someone, so they're taking offense and expressing displeasure at a drawing I made long before any of this happened, and is therefore irrelevant to the situation. Even her straw man is a lie.

3) It assumes that this "false witness/faux straw man" tactic will work despite her putting this plan

in writing

in a journal

on a public website

viewable by anyone

including but not limited to, the moderators and system administrators who will have to make a decision as to the legitimacy of the claims before taking any action.

Of course, there is the distinct possibility that the moderators will, as history has sometimes shown, jump the gun and go along with this crackpot scheme, hence my writing a journal on my page keeping everyone appraised of the situation so there's no surprise if my gallery should disappear. It's been two days, and the result of all this has thus far been:

A little, tiny spike in my pageviews that lasted all of around 24 hours (for my main page, strangely enough; I haven't seen any similar spikes for the stuff in my gallery).

A pair of apologists offering feeble excuses for why they have a right to post other people's work (with fair civility, I'll grant them).

A death threat (this makes two for me, pardon my yawn).

And a comment from someone calling me a gringo (a word I heard once living in New Mexico for 17 years).

I've filed a report against the one who wrote the journal (the one who lied about her father's profession, then lied to get everyone else to lie for her) for ban evasion, not harassment, and if she's reading this by chance, here's a message for you:

Pase lo que pase, yo gano, y no eres un artista. Lidiar con eso. 

Good night, and good luck.
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