Dear friends and fellow sufferers,
as you can see from my status update, 26 of my creations were deleted yesterday by DeviantArt-Staff. In a first emotional onslaught, of course, one feel treated unfairly. I've been following this topic since November 2017, when attacks against artists, especially by self-proclaimed moral spokespersons, or purity league, have increased.
The problem is very complex and I would like to take a closer look at it from my point of view and try to remain objective. I would also like to summarize here my thoughts on this subject, as I have expressed them in comments on similar cases in other journals.
Although I am not a lawyer, I have a lot to do with legal interpretations and judicature's in my RL profession and therefore have a somewhat deeper insight into legal matters.1. Legal point of view
The first question that arises here is, can dA treat members the way they currently do?
From a legal point of view, the answer is simple: Yes, they can. They have launched TOS and all users of the platform have to comply with it. DA is also authorized to change the TOS at any time. It also stipulates that they may delete images at any time. The platform belongs to WIX and they can legally do what they want with it.
Excerpt from the current dA-TOS as far as my pictures are concerned:
"With blurring, cropping, or the addition of some form of censoring block,
it should be noted that should those self-censoring efforts be considered
inadequate, the material can still be subject to removal.
Submitted materials which are judged to be in violation of the restrictions
outlined below will be removed without prior warning. Users found submitting
such content may have their account subjected to disciplinary action or
account termination without warning. Sexual Intercourse
Subjects should not shown or described in explicit detail as engaging in
sexual intercourse. This includes depictions of sexual penetration, oral to
genital contact, genital to anal contact, and oral to anal contact as well as
other similar positions or interactions. Vaginal, Penile, or Anal Penetration
This includes depictions of any object being inserted into the vagina,
penis, or anus."
At the moment, a form of anti-sexuality is emerging again, as it has existed in the past, all over the world. Moral apostles then feel called to denounce here artists who have devoted themselves to erotic art. We are currently experiencing a kind of development in France, where attacks against homosexuals have intensified.
WIX tries to follow the general trend of anti-sexuality and acts accordingly.
As already mentioned, I have had 26 pictures deleted, which I have all checked and strictly speaking all pictures are from the legal point of view border crossers to TOS misdemeanors regarding their definition to "pornographic content".
DeviantArt has developed their own definition of the term "pornographic content" here, as it is explained elsewhere and is different from my understanding of it. They have defined it and we have to stick to it when we use their platform. What's bad is that the TOS can be changed at any time and it has also been changed, so I have 26 works affected that were OK at the time but no longer fit with the changed TOS.
Of course there is always the comparison with others that there are still much more pornographic works than mine. But here I can only say that they probably still fly below the radar and will be affected at some point. 2. Moral point of view
The 2nd question that arises here is the moral one.
I would like to show you a picture of an artist and friend which says much more than 1000 words can do. I don't want to mention this friend by name, but many of you know who it is. I just don't want him to be more of a target than he already is. I'm sure he understands that I didn't make a link to this picture, but downloaded it and uploaded it again.
I don't think one need to say much more about this picture.
As an artist, I would have expected dA-staff to show a little more understanding and tolerance for my works of art and at least give me the opportunity to make a change within a reasonable time. The bad thing is that with the deletion of my works also your valuable comments get lost and above all related stories are destroyed.
What I haven't quite understood yet is what DeviantArt wants to achieve with this approach. When it comes to bringing as many users as possible onto the platform and thereby increasing the value of the platform, artists who have dedicated themselves to the erotic arts would be most welcome. Especially since it is exactly these artists who generate the actual traffic on the platform.
Please don't get me wrong. I am already of the opinion that it is necessary to have a TOS and to check the compliance. But in case of misconduct you should at least contact the artists. But tacitly suspending artists, banning them and deleting their works, especially where the majority of these artists are paying members, has nothing to do with esteem any more.
With this approach Deviant manages to get more and more artists to switch to other platforms and Deviant Art can no longer do justice to the name "Deviant" because only Vanilla art is shown.
Where this can lead when works of art are censored has often been experienced in the history ... (book burns etc. )3. My consequences
What am I going to do now?
I will definitely stay here as long as I can, because I don't want to lose contact with my joys and fans. I will continue to work as before. I will continue to offer more and more of my works as PDF on my own server in the future, so that at least the stories in their entirety will continue to be available to you.
With scenes, which, if they are represented as such, would clearly mean an offense against the TOS, I will avoid as before by a skillful Point of View that from the scene unambiguously can be concluded on the action and gives the viewer the possibility to let his personal imagination work. Often I would like to represent the scene nevertheless in such a way and there I will attach an appropriate reference that there is a "hotter" scene on other sites. I won't use blurring and stickers because it doesn't really help and in my opinion it destroys the pictures.
Of the 26 pictures I will appeal to some, because according to TOS "Vaginal, Penile, or Anal Penetration" means: "This includes depictions of any object being inserted into the vagina, penis, or anus.".
They speak about "INSERTED" ... which means that a Magic Wand, which is located at the mons, is not "INSERTED" and thus, according to the definition of dA-TOS, does not correspond to a violation. 4. What should dA do?
Here my thoughts, what dA should do, so that again a peaceful coexistence between erotic and non-erotic contents is possible and artists feel understood.
Better communication between dA-Staff and artist. This also requires a little more understanding.
A real separation between PG and adult content, where there is a certain basic check for members to see if they are allowed to see adult content.
Different TOS in relation to pornographic content between PG and adult content
A general revision of the TOS
to prevent mobbing carried out by many trolls against us erotic artists
Consequences of multiple incorrect reporting
Appreciation in general and especially by longstanding and paying artists
... and I am pretty sure, there is something more ...
So my dear ones,
now I've been writing a little bit in an unusual way, but it was important for me to record it.