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Content Creators and Speech and Expression

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Deleted member 134556

Guest
I've browsed twitter a bit, and noticed a trend that bothers me. I see many artists, especially popular ones, express views on topics that can be divisive and sensitive, and they are more than sometimes met with angry replies from people saying "I came for the art, not to hear your political views" or when they make a tweet from some art they made that gets popular, and add a comment saying something along the lines of "Thanks for all the likes, also don't be an intolerant jerk, and also this group is valid", to where some people act disappointed, and offended even, as if the artist broke an unwritten rule.

It seems there is an issue with people believing that content creators, especially the more popular ones, aren't expected to express their views and beliefs like the rest of us. I want to hear your thoughts on this, from both content creators and followers of them.
 

Frank Gulotta

Send us your floppy
I've browsed twitter a bit
There's your problem! :D

...Seriously tho twitter is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to free expression
...OK really seriously tho. On one hand I find it dumb to complain about how an artist chooses to express his or herself, you can always just tune out or only watch him or her on proper artist pages/ignore the political messages/just ragequit unsubscribe. On the other hand I understand that flooding your artist feed with political opinions in an environment already saturated with that toxic matter can get frustrating. I draw, myself, and have tended to cut it out (and use annoying alts like this one for the political bullshit, at least I did while politics were allowed here). I'm proven right by reactions to anything political I do or say, like drawing a commission with a political symbol only to have it revealed to me that all cops are freemasons
 
B

Bababooey

Guest
Well in my opinion, artists should have a separate account for that sort of stuff.
They could link that account on their art account bio if people want to follow them there, and if some people don't, they don't have to see politics and the drama that comes from discussion of it.

Everyone would just be happier.
For potentional customers, speaking about politics/religion/distaste for someone else and bringing in drama is not a good look. Do they want to look professional or not? As an artist myself, I take the side of the followers. If I follow an artist and suddenly my feed is full of hot takes and bickering, I'm not gonna want to follow them anymore. That is not what I followed their account for and that's not something I have to subject myself to as a supposed fan.

It's not like I don't want them to be free to say what they want, but there's a better place for that. Their art account is not a good place.
 
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Frank Gulotta

Send us your floppy
Well in my opinion, artists should have a separate account for that sort of stuff.
They could link that account on their art account bio if people want to follow them there, and if some people don't, they don't have to see politics and the drama that comes from discussion of it.

Everyone would just be happier.
For potentional customers, speaking about politics and bringing in drama is not a good look. Do they want to look professional or not? As an artist myself, I take the side of the followers. If I follow an artist and suddenly my feed is full of hot takes and bickering, I'm not gonna want to follow them anymore. That is not what I followed their account for and that's not something I have to subject myself to as a supposed fan.
Interesting; Where do you draw the line? would you accept a commission that touches on political topics?
 

Yakamaru

Woof? Woof
Content creation, in this particular case artists, is a business, a profession. Any business should be kept separate from people's personal views otherwise you will end up driving customers away. It's bad for business the same way it's bad for business to discriminate on who they do business with. I've seen plenty of artists having ended up on the streets because they refuse business with anyone who don't hold the same set of beliefs that they have.

I am against forcing a business to do business with someone that they don't want to. If I ever come across an artist that refuse to do business with me for whatever reason I will simply respectfully thank them for their time and move on to find someone else who are willing. I do not have a right nor entitlement to an artist's business.

People are free to express themselves. But for the love of the gods, separate your professional and private lives.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
I don’t think it’s possible or realistic to expect artists to not somehow touch on sensitive issues. Even something like what you choose to draw or not to draw can cause a lot of friction and drama. It should also... not be expected of artists to not have strong feelings on issues that are important to them.

I don’t personally agree with posting things like “if you X, my art is not for you; fuck off and don’t follow me.” It’s fine to say that your art is... not aimed at pleasing a certain group, or that a certain group of fans don’t speak for them as a creator, if that makes sense, much like the creator of Pepe the Frog made very clear that he in no way approved of the way the character was being appropriated. (I don’t mean to get into the politics of the groups involved there, and please don’t take this as an excuse to do so, it’s just a very obvious and clear example of a creator saying “that was not my intended audience.”) I still understand the impulse to do so, and not wanting certain elements in “your space,” so to speak, it’s just not something I’d personally do. But if it makes you more comfortable as an artist, you also have a right to curate your own space. Being a successful artist doesn’t make you public property.

On the other hand, there’s a huge difference between making clear that these are your values and standing for those, and getting involved in drama, or witch hunts, or dunking on people, especially people who aren’t major public figures. And no, being furry famous doesn’t count.

Like... you would presumably not expect an artist to refrain from posting LGBTQ+ art during Pride month, or making a personal comic about their history with depression for Mental Health Awareness Day. So I think it’s important to consider where you consider the line to be between too political and artistic expression of self and ideals.

What I can’t abide is artists (or other people with significant followings) using their platforms to spread misinformation, marketing/promoting dangerous products, or disseminating harmful ideology. That does come with edge cases of “what one person considers dangerous/harmful others mightn’t,” as we’ve lately seen on the forum, but sometimes it’s pretty damn clear that something causes more harm than good by far (anti-vaxx, gay conversion camps, jade vaginal eggs, etc, again this is not an invitation to discuss the issues, just examples that came to mind as things that should be obviously harmful). You can be wrong, but a large platform comes with a responsibility to correct/retract statements you’ve made if/when you learn better.
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
Honestly, I don't care if someone wants to delve out of the norm or create a piece for a topic they feel passionate towards. If it's something I strongly disagree with, I have the ability to move on and stop supporting them if I really find it problematic.

Just because I disagree with someone doesn't mean I want to view them as some tool to pump out entertainment.

I personally would not see this as a business flaw either, depending on the situation of course. I'm not afraid to reject dirty money if I know where it came from.
 

Punji

Daedric Prince of Secrets
I personally am of the opinion that artists are not only their art.

But I'm not a furry for the politics and I didn't follow someone on Twitter to hear their political takes.

I think the two should be kept clean, so that anyone looking only for the artist's content can find it without digging through pages of crap, while still being able to talk to the artist about other parts of their lives and getting to know them as a person.
 

Ziggy Schlacht

Hasn't figured out this "straight" business
TBH, how much it bugs me is entirely dependent on what's the message, how is it presented, and why are they posting. Given that it's the furry community, I just expect LGBT stuff. It's certainly political, but at the same point it's "on brand" political and just goes with the territory. However, if it's something like "here's my hot take on recent military actions in the middle east" it annoys me more because it's well off topic. And they probably aren't informed enough to actually say anything meaningful anyhow.

That being said, presentation matters. I have immense issue with people who endlessly share "Friendly reminder that [insert incredibly simplified bad thing that's happening]" type memes - basically politics devoid of nuance and likely to prompt an argument, not a discussion. I have enough of that on FB.

Of course, those memes tend to be posted because people feel the need to comment but don't have any actual understanding themselves, so they share what looks good. Social media has somehow convinced everyone they have to have an opinion, even if they don't have understanding. Posting like that is an instant turn off.

Now, is it a good idea? I don't really think so. Unless you have a specific demographic and know that, and are intentionally cultivating it, you're just playing with fire. This day and age, so much as a typo or less than careful word choice seems to prompt people to assume the absolute worst - and sites like Twitter are just full of people looking for a reason to be pissed. No need to feed them. That and as was mentioned above, don't dilute your product with noise - someone following you on twitter probably wants your art, not your opinions on economic policy.

Edit: Or, to put it bluntly, I want to doomscroll my twitter to see fursuits, random porn and the occasional Borderlands Shift Key. That's it.
 

Attaman

"Welcome to FurAffinity Forums, gentlemen."
It seems there is an issue with people believing that content creators, especially the more popular ones, aren't expected to express their views and beliefs like the rest of us. I want to hear your thoughts on this, from both content creators and followers of them.
A tl;dr of my thoughts on this are:
1) Many times a content creator is intrinsically tied to the thing they're expressing their views / beliefs on and are told "Can you not?" over. "Why do you say Homophobes fuck off?" Because the artist is gay. Turns out they don't want followers / commissioners who think they are 'broken' and should / will suffer in Hell for eternity. Other potential examples could potentially ping the forum Politics rule, but long story short if somebody's the sort of person who goes on a spiel about why [demographic] is ruining [nation / hobby] and the artist in question is a member of that demographic then "But you're one of the good ones!" probably ain't going to make them go "Oh, my mistake. I have fifty secret slots open just for people like you." And people tend to have trouble grasping that. "But I have money and I like your art!"

The end of that could probably be wrapped up in how a lot of people increasingly feel cozy / friendly with content creators (Not just artists, but: Streamers, Youtubers, Podcasters, et al), and are flabbergasted when they either aren't given the expected faux-companionship or - alternatively - have it withdrawn after some line was crossed.

2) Also many times, usually the people telling the artists to stuff it are lacking in common sense and exemplify the "Free Speech lets you say what you speak freely, it doesn't protect you from the consequences of speaking freely" xkcd comic. "If you're racist I don't want you here." "Hey, I resemble that remark! Don't tell me to stuff it!" "Okay, I'll put you on a Block / Ignore instead. Thanks for admitting it." "shockedpikachu.jpg" Y'kinda lined up for the shot there.

At some point in the late 00's people just... kind of forgot the whole "Be careful what you post online" thing, and are then continuously surprised when somebody reacts to voluntarily given information. Or Googles the username / handle and is presented with things (not even necessarily bigotry related: "Hey, this user has funny posts! Let's see if Google has any recommend- oh, they use the same handle for their erotic self-insert MLP isekai blog. Whelp, I could have done without learning that fact in this context").

3) Precedent has left me kinda leery of this subject matter by default whenever and wherever it comes up since... well, see your own opening post
"Thanks for all the likes, also don't be an intolerant jerk, and also this group is valid", to where some people act disappointed, and offended even, as if the artist broke an unwritten rule.
There's a lot of examples of these sorts of threads (here, Twitter, et al) starting because somebody says something utterly milquetoast (ex: "Don't follow me if you post / circulate CP", "I don't do commissions for people who ship their OC with Hitler"). Because it's always some sort of out there shit like that, never something like "An... an artist was rude when they said they don't do Furry characters!" or "This artist got my character's pronoun wrong, cancel them!" When the drama crops up in the wild it's always some shit like "I have money and if I want to have my character drawn running a gas chamber, it's my right to demand you draw for me and only a fool would turn down easy work!"

Which I guess is another commonality with these sort of instances: They almost always involve somebody who has more $$$ than sense and seems to think everything can be fixed by adding an extra digit. Bonus points if the person also believes that the artist charges too much and they're doing them a favor by offering to pay them what the artist normally charges.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
Which I guess is another commonality with these sort of instances: They almost always involve somebody who has more $$$ than sense and seems to think everything can be fixed by adding an extra digit. Bonus points if the person also believes that the artist charges too much and they're doing them a favor by offering to pay them what the artist normally charges.
I don’t know; sometimes it seems to be less “more cash than sense” and more “lack of perspective on the price/value of art.”

“Hey, I was going to pay you $20 for a turnaround ref sheet; that’s good money you’re rejecting!”
 

Ziggy Schlacht

Hasn't figured out this "straight" business
As an evolution of my post, to anyone considering if they should post politics, here's a guideline:

1. Is this view unique, or are you parroting what everyone else is saying
- If yes - don't post, you're not adding to the conversation (here's a hint, if it's a picture with a single sentence, you're not adding)
2. Is there more to this view than 144 characters worth
- If no - is it a view or a slogan? Trick Question - it's a slogan, don't post
3. Am I posting this for likes or to actually explore the concept
- Chances are you just want likes, don't post.

If you make it through this (my Facebook indicates 9/10 times will dead end at the first post) and you understand the inherent risk, go for it.

Why a lot of people get pissed isn't so much the content or the politics, it's a failure to adhere to these guidelines. Failing the first one pisses people off because they've seen it already. They know. Shut up. The second is because it's argument bait, at best. More than likely it's a strawman. Or, at that short, if it's not a strawman, it's so vapid as to not be a statement. Shut up. The third - if you post politics and get upset if people comment, or don't engage if people comment, you're not promoting the conversation. You just want a pat on the back. So shut up.
 

Kellan Meig'h

Kilted Luthier
It would seem to me, that if you wanted to share/promote/sell your art & stories, it would be best to leave politics to another account not connected to your art sales.

And, as an artist, you better learn to grow a very thick skin. As a whole, artists and writers and to a lesser extent musicians are a very low hanging targets. By adding your political and social views to your artwork, you're just narrowing your viewing/listening/reading base.
 

Troj

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dino Therapist
People are entitled to their opinions, but they are not entitled to praise, agreement, or even, a platform.

I think it behooves artists to ask themselves which games are worth the candle, and which issues are potentially more important to them than perfect, undisturbed popularity, success, or ease of life. Once they've chosen those hills to fight on, they need to accept the reasonable and predictable consequences of either choosing to occupy those "hills" or choosing to forsake them.

From there, fans need to realize that artists are people, too, and don't just exist to gratify or reflect their fans. Artists, too, have feelings, thoughts, needs, and, yes, flaws and shortcomings. Some artists are assholes. Some are cool people. So it goes.
 

Satisfoxy

Member
I have furry tattoos and will always be a furry but sometimes the drama that happens is more cringe than the Office. Like some furries have a ego big enough to start an orbit with how highly they think of themselves & their time, others are so dumb its an miracle they can form sentences. "You drive a Volkswagen, you know who else rode in a Volkswagen? You must be a Nazi!" and finally you have furries so sensitive, its amazing they don't just spontaneously combust from the mere thought of someone having an opinion different than theirs. Furries tend to get bored often, I think the drama is just that, boredom that has no where to go.
 

Fallowfox

Are we moomin, or are we dancer?
Art is often political.

So the idea that any political expression in art is obnoxious is silly.
If you get upset that a cartoonist you follow is a feminist and that she sometimes comments on the issues that affect her, then it's time to stop and ask 'maybe my sensitivity is the problem, rather than this cartoonist,'.
 

Luteus

Carrot muncher
Because it's easier for people to complain about someone elses believes or opinions that are different than theirs, rather than trying to understand why or being unbiased. Too lazy, and maybe afraid of it.
 
X

Xitheon

Guest
As an evolution of my post, to anyone considering if they should post politics, here's a guideline:

1. Is this view unique, or are you parroting what everyone else is saying
- If yes - don't post, you're not adding to the conversation (here's a hint, if it's a picture with a single sentence, you're not adding)
2. Is there more to this view than 144 characters worth
- If no - is it a view or a slogan? Trick Question - it's a slogan, don't post
3. Am I posting this for likes or to actually explore the concept
- Chances are you just want likes, don't post.

If you make it through this (my Facebook indicates 9/10 times will dead end at the first post) and you understand the inherent risk, go for it.

Why a lot of people get pissed isn't so much the content or the politics, it's a failure to adhere to these guidelines. Failing the first one pisses people off because they've seen it already. They know. Shut up. The second is because it's argument bait, at best. More than likely it's a strawman. Or, at that short, if it's not a strawman, it's so vapid as to not be a statement. Shut up. The third - if you post politics and get upset if people comment, or don't engage if people comment, you're not promoting the conversation. You just want a pat on the back. So shut up.

He's "parroting"

Lol.
 

Bigjackaal48

Well-Known Member
There's your problem! :D

...Seriously tho twitter is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to free expression
...OK really seriously tho. On one hand I find it dumb to complain about how an artist chooses to express his or herself, you can always just tune out or only watch him or her on proper artist pages/ignore the political messages/just ragequit unsubscribe. On the other hand I understand that flooding your artist feed with political opinions in an environment already saturated with that toxic matter can get frustrating. I draw, myself, and have tended to cut it out (and use annoying alts like this one for the political bullshit, at least I did while politics were allowed here). I'm proven right by reactions to anything political I do or say, like drawing a commission with a political symbol only to have it revealed to me that all cops are freemasons

Not to mention many I've interacted with few times. Are always the stereotype of what being a leftist is, Like the many "ACAB & BLM" types that pick fights while having a black & white viewpoint. Not to mention it super off putting having there sexuality or disability pushed down your throat with no room for any counter arguments or you own views. Since many just assume you right wing troll.
 

Fallowfox

Are we moomin, or are we dancer?
Not to mention many I've interacted with few times. Are always the stereotype of what being a leftist is, Like the many "ACAB & BLM" types that pick fights while having a black & white viewpoint. Not to mention it super off putting having there sexuality or disability pushed down your throat with no room for any counter arguments or you own views. Since many just assume you right wing troll.

If complete strangers being open about having a disability is a trigger to you, then maybe the real issue is actually just that you're too sensitive.

Ask yourself why this makes you angry, and whether that's really a rational thing.
 

Bigjackaal48

Well-Known Member
If complete strangers being open about having a disability is a trigger to you, then maybe the real issue is actually just that you're too sensitive.
So you're saying that disabled people who are off put by "Depression memes" that are need to shut up & tough up?. How thick to you have to be to even think this, The last thing someone who just recovered from depression is people half joking after offing themselves or how nothing get better. Fuck off.
 
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