How to deal with unwanted contact on DA

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Astralseed's avatar

Community Engagement Week

As part of Community Engagement Week I'm here to discuss how to deal with unwanted contact on DA.  
It's unfortunate but true, trolls and bullies do happen on DA, just as they do any other part of the internet as well.  As nice as it would be if we could magically make them disappear from the site, there are other things we can do to help prevent or minimize unwanted contact with these types of people.  Today I hope to share some tips and options that may help you have a more peaceful DA experience, hopefully free or mostly free of unwanted contact.  

What should you do if you receive comments or notes from a user you'd rather not receive them from? 

Sometimes it happens and we run into people we'd rather have nothing to do with.  The best way to avoid these people is by not interacting with them at all to begin with.  So what do we do if they initiate contact with us?  The short answer is to ignore the interaction and hide their comment(s) and block them if you deem it to be necessary.  

I'd like to expand on that answer a bit though because it's important to understand the bigger picture too in many of these cases.  


Trolls thrive on getting a reaction out of people.  If you find yourself the victim of a troll it's likely that you have posted something that attracted them to you to begin with, in which case it's very important not to react to them.  If you find that you are often the victim of trolling it is a good idea to reevaluate the things you are posting, as well as checking how you are reacting to others.  
If you find yourself to often be defensive and upset in your responses to others, this may be the reason you are struggling with trolls.  These types of reactions are exactly what they are looking for and as long as you continue feeding them, they will keep returning for more. 

So how do we stop this?  We stop responding to comments or notes which upset us and make us lash out or be otherwise defensive.  Harder said than done, but if you don't feel that you have the willpower to stop responding to such comments, utilizing the block tool will prevent you from being able to reply.  I'll discuss how to use the block tool a bit later in this article, but the main thing to take away from this is to ignore trolls and avoid behaving in ways that will continue attracting them.  

Users you simply don't wish to interact with

It's okay to not want contact with certain users even if they haven't attacked you or otherwise been rude towards you.  Everyone has the right to block users they don't want as part of their their DA experience.  

Unlike Trolls these are pretty easy to deal with.  Simply not engaging usually does the trick, however if you feel that it's not enough you can always just block the users so they can not interact with you.  

Worthwhile and Relevant information from DAs Help Center:
Social Conflicts and Self Moderation
What are your policies on resolving social conflict?

Block tool

Blocking users on DA is quick and simple.  Users may utilize this tool for any reason they deem fit and there is no right or wrong way to go about using it so please respect others right to use this tool too.  
You don't have to agree with the reasons others may use to block someone, but please be respectful that it's their choice to use this tool if they want, regardless of your approval of their reasons.  

If you wish to block a user you can do so by accessing your general settings.  On the left hand side click on "General" and then scroll down a bit until you find the Blocked Users area.  
You can enter up to 500 usernames to be blocked in the box and then just click on the Save button.  
Voila, you've successfully blocked a user.  

Blocked users will no longer be able to view your page or contact you on site.  Likewise, you will not be able to view their page or contact them either.  

If for any reason you wish to unblock a user, you can simply remove their name from the Blocked Users list and hit the save button again.  A small caution though, DAs system makes you wait 48 hours after unblocking a user before you may block them again.  If you do not feel confident that the user wont cause problems for you, it's best to leave them blocked.  

If you happen to be a chats user, it is worth knowing that DAs block tool will not work in the chats.  If you need to block someone from your chat exprience on DA, I recommend installing SuperdAmn and using it's Ignore function

Hiding unwanted comments

You can easily hide any unwanted comments on your page or deviations by clicking on the little pencil icon in the top right corner of the comment.  Clicking on it will give you the option to hide the comment or mark it as spam.  If it's not spam but you wish to hide it you can simply use the hide comment feature.    

Block Evaders

Sometimes it happens that a user you've blocked will use an alternate account in order to continue the unwanted contact.  If this happens to you follow the steps above again.  You can also report the user for evading a block.  

Reporting Harassment

When all else fails and you are still struggling with a user you can report them to staff.  You should try avoiding reporting someone for abuse if they aren't actually abusing you though.  

I know this seems pretty straight forward and for many this doesn't need to be said, however I have seen more than my fair share of people claim abuse/harassment/being bullied when it simply wasn't the case.  Below I will go over some of the things which do not constitute abuse but often are mistaken for it. 


It's human nature to disagree sometimes.  There's nothing wrong with it and the internet probably lets many people feel more comfortable with being open about their disagreement. Just because someone does not share the same opinion as you does not mean they are being abusive towards you.  Please take a moment and ask yourself if they are actually attacking you or if they simply don't share your views.  

Vulgar language

Not everyone is comfortable with the use of vulgar language and some words can even be very upsetting for some to hear.  However, just as with disagreements, we need to ask ourselves if the person is attacking us directly or are they simply using words which make us uncomfortable?  

In these situations it's best not to engage further and simply let the conversation die out if you don't wish to hear others opinions or don't like the way they speak.  Again, use the block tool and/or hide comments as you see fit.  

When all else has failed, report the user for abuse

If all else has failed and you've used the methods above and are still having problems with an abusive user you can report them to the Help Desk.  Please read through DAs article on reporting abuse fully before sending in a ticket.  
How do I report abuse?

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UV-blue's avatar
Thanks for the great tips. From now on I will change a little :3
Astralseed's avatar
AgnosticDragon's avatar
Block evasion sounds relatively straight forward but I do not think it is. What concerns me is timing. I have an openly disclosed alt account, :iconlittleyellowllama: Suppose I have the following encounter with another user who also has an openly disclosed account. I will call them Username1 and Username2

1. I give a llama badge to Username1 on this account.
2. A few weeks later, I give a llama badge to Username2
3. Two hours later Username1 publicly states on my profile :iconagnosticdragon: that I am violating DeviantArt rules by giving out so many llamas.
4. Five minutes later, Username2 blocks :iconlittleyellowllama: but not this account, while Username1 blocks this account but not :iconlittleyellowllama:
5. Ten minutes after that, I reply to a comment by Username1 on :iconlittleyellowllama: on a completely different topic.
6. 30 minutes later, Username2 comments on the profile of this account that he has finally figured out that :iconlittleyellowllama: is my account, which I already state plainly in the DeviantID of both accounts and in the signature line of :iconlittleyellowllama: He publicly states that he plans to report me for block evasion.
7. Three days later, Username1 blocks :iconlittleyellowllama: and Username2 blocks :iconagnosticdragon:
8. Two weeks later, Username1 reports me for block evasion.

I have a feeling DeviantArt staff may deal with situations like this from time to time.

Astralseed's avatar
I imagine that can happen, a lot of people have alternate accounts but I don't assume this is the norm by any means and I'd think that Staff would look things over carefully before deciding how to handle the situation too.  
AgnosticDragon's avatar
I think my example above may be too contrived. I have identified at least two users who are blocking me that I do not have any idea who they are. They both blocked this account. Neither of them block my alt account, :iconlittleyellowllama:, which anyone who has been paying attention would know is me. I have no idea how many others there are. How am I supposed to deal with this? Since this is the account people block, I think I am all set commenting through this account, but I guess to be sure, before I interact with anyone on :iconlittleyellowllama: I need to first check if that person has blocked this account.
Orphisterical's avatar
Thanks you so much! <3
Astralseed's avatar
Koushoku-jin's avatar
:iconsaluteplz:   Well written~ Opting now for reference in my Favs :heart:
TylerFreeFlight's avatar
A very concise and helpful article. Nicely written.
Astralseed's avatar
TylerFreeFlight's avatar
NO... Thank you for being such a helpful and intelligent person.
I know it takes time to make such an article and you did a wonderful
Exillior's avatar
This is an excellent resource. But unfortunately one cannot block staff members. I have nothing but respect for most, but some have truly crossed the line towards me many times. And you can neither report them nor block them.
Astralseed's avatar
I always thought that you can block staff, but I guess it doesn't really make sense to be able to do that.  
I'm sorry to hear you've had problems with staff that would warrant blocking them :( that seems incredibly unpleasant.  Have you ever thought about going over their head and complaining to their supervisor?  
Exillior's avatar
You can't block staff, no. 

To be honest the most unpleasant ones are gone. There were two of them. One actively made things very difficult for me and tbh even a block might not have been enough. At the time I didn't think to go higher because... they were the boss of their department and I hadn't felt comfortable going even further. 
LibraryDragon8's avatar
Thank you! Great ideas and help.
Astralseed's avatar
skysoul25's avatar
perfect tips, dear! Keep up the excellent work.
Astralseed's avatar
skysoul25's avatar
TheStig28's avatar
Thank you so much for this! If you don't mind, I might send the link over to the users who've come to me with pedophile issues. There are really some amazing tips up there!
Astralseed's avatar
Yes, please feel free to share this with others.  
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