What is Spam? What is Harassment?

5 min read

Deviation Actions

elfgrove's avatar
I wasn't originally going to make a journal about this, and I will not be naming names or pointing anyone to the deviation in question because I am not very often in the practice of cornering people in their personal space to harass them nor sicking mobs on fellow deviants. Besides, the user's comments have been hidden for his protection, so there's nothing of interest to be read.
But I feel the need to rant.

I hate having to block people. My block list is very short, and in every case has been of people who would not leave me alone within my personal corner of DeviantArt.
That said, I just found it necessary to block a user.

It started with a small, relatively small-scale spam comment.
The person commented on one of my deviations with a one sentence demand that I (or someone else) tell them what something was and a link to someplace off site. A quick visit to their profile and Recent Activity dropdown revealed that the exact same comment had been made to at least two other DA accounts.

I went back to the comment, flagged it as spam, and replied to the user that I:
1) do not click on unsolicited and vaguely specified links,
2) could see that he had made the exact same comment to at least two other deviants,
3) did not appreciate having unrelated spam comments on my deviations, and
4) had flagged said comment as spam.

The user replied to me, in angry wording, that it was not spam because the link was not an attempt to send me a virus and tried to convince me again to go watch whatever this video they were linking was. At this point, he mentioned in passing that it was vaguely related to my deviation because the video was in some fashion about the same show that my fanart had been drawn for. It seems they had no relation beyond sharing the same fandom subject.

I informed the user that spam is any attempt "to send unsolicited electronic messages simultaneously to a number of addresses". Spam is frequently used to spread viruses, but it is far more often used as a tool to fish for information and/or advertise for something. I am appreciative of none of these uses.

FAQ #263: What is "spamming"?
"Spamming is the act of repeatedly making identical or near identical comments or the sending of a large quantity of notes with the obvious intent of indiscriminately spreading your message to as many users as possible without regard for whether they are interested in your message. This is typically used in an attempt to advertise or promote an agenda and is considered an abuse regardless of whether the commenting is hand-typed or pasted automatically."
FAQ #54: What is "flooding"?
FAQ #31: I am unable to post comments or send notes because the site informed me I was spamming. What is going on?

The user continued to write a long tirade of how dare I accuse them of spamming when they had only sent the message and link to a few people, and then threatened to report me for harassment.
Let me re-iterate, the entire conversation was occurring in a very off-topic fashion where a complete stranger was continually insisting I visit some video, and getting increasingly rude and argumentative with me for not visiting the video and not acquiescing in that he had posted what amounted to a spam comment. All on my deviation, in my personal space. Yet I was the one supposedly harassing him. It's laughable.

DA has very wide policies regarding how far someone can go before something is considered harassment, so I figured this comment thread was still a long way from it. I reiterated that his repeated posting of the same comment to multiple unrelated persons was spam and not appreciated. I also said that if I could hardly said to be harassing him since he was the one coming after me within my own DA space.

FAQ #238: How do I report people for abuse, harassment, or another issue I think is a problem?

He commented again, denying that he had spammed, continuing to insist I visit this video, and derailing to go on about another random stranger that receives more spam than I do and his personal disapproval of my attitude and how I run my DA space. He also insinuated that somehow I was still harassing him. Thus his ass is blocked.

When you continually argue with me in my personal space so that I cannot ignore you, you are the one harassing someone.
When you post repeated unsolicited and/or mass comments to anyone, you are spamming.
© 2011 - 2024 elfgrove
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RebelCoyote's avatar
Bravo *appreciative slow clap* Morons like that need to stay on their own side of the internet.