Your recent reblog made me realise how mistreated artists are. I've seen many people simply reposting arts and not complying with the wishes of the artist. Far too many people just find a pretty picture on the Internet and either illegally use it or claim as their own. As an artist myself, I know how much effort goes into each piece. Especially digital art because I've seen many people saying that it's not real art. Far too many people don't care and they won't stop reposting no matter what.
Firstly, I want to thank you for messaging me because I actually feel really strongly about this topic and I have a lot to say about it so.
I’m going to sound old and crotchety when I say this (and I’m 28, which I know for a fact IS old and crotchety to some of ya’ll), but when I read about how badly the internet has damaged the music industry, the anime industry, the publishing industry or the movie industry, it always makes me think about fandom. Internet and social media have done us dirty too in a lot of ways.
The same exact arguments for why the movie, anime and other industries are struggling so much at present can be made for fandom creators. Too many advances and changes in too short a period of time. The fandom landscape changed so much in so few years that we are still dealing with the fallout.
Fanzines, as just ONE example, date back to the 30s, but they are something of a rarity now in their original form and one big reason for that is the internet’s impact on the availability of content. The internet has encouraged the consumer culture we’ve developed, where it’s easy to right click and save a picture and save a fic as a pdf to your kindle without ever acknowledging the creators.
I’ve been lurking around internet forums since 2004/2005, though I first got involved properly in fandom in 2007 and I want to make it very clear that reposting and the general mistreatment of content creators is not new. When I first skirted on the edges of the Naruto fandom, reposts of fanart to catchy tunes on YT was a very big part of the fandom community in ways the Vine repost culture kind of is now.
And obviously in retrospect, I personally didn’t know a thing about reposting at the time. I wasn’t the one uploading them, so I don’t even know if the artists gave permission (though…I doubt it).
But reposters often claim one of three of the above as a reason that they should not be judged for their actions when the reality is that they didn’t know and should learn better.
The judgement for reposting doesn’t come from a place of being angry at ignorance. It’s from the unwillingness to learn. From deliberation and the actions of individuals refusing to not only read disclaimers but to ask questions of those who would be only too happy to answer their questions.
And I’ll be honest, it’s CRUCIAL that fandoms (not only Mysme) learn better.
It’s crucial that we as a generation move on from this.
I’ve been on tumblr specifically since 2011 and I’ve watched so many fandoms come and go. A significant weight for a fandom’s lifespan rests on the shoulders of content creators and when those same content creators are disrespected in a multitude of different ways, exactly why should we (I am including myself, by the way, as a writer) stick around?
If the fanbase reposts art often enough without credits, questions commission prices all while begging for free art etc etc, doesn’t it make sense to leave?
This is a problem that goes beyond Mysme Fandom. It stretches as far as Pixiv, where Japanese speaking artists place English disclaimers for Western fans asking that they do not steal, having had their galleries picked clean.
I’m not going into the BS writers face because that’s a whole other topic tbh
Content creators work for free and are usually not professionals. All they ask is respect. It is an enormous disrespect to take something of theirs and claim it as your own. Reposters lose the right to victimhood when they are inherently in the wrong. A lot of times I see people confronting reposters and it makes me uncomfortable, since the reposter flips the blame on the artist so quickly that it verges on gaslighting, which is-by the way- an abuse tactic.
Time for a game of reposter bingo:
“It’s online, it’s your fault!”
“I just wanted to have fun!”
“I just wanted to give X artist exposure!”
I think every fandom forgets that its content creators are fans too. They create from a place of love, but they share because they want their work to be seen and they are not in the least bit obligated to do so.
Sourcing that art properly is an obligation though and it is not difficult.
I will also argue that it is our obligation to educate reposting etiquette in the same manner that we do tag etiquette. There is something very wrong with the shape of a fandom where every artist I know has had their work stolen at least once and has to literally beg and plead in the face of people who -by and large- ignore them. I want to say that it should go unsaid that stealing art is wrong and people should not NEED to be taught otherwise, but it is becoming so ingrained in fandom dna that at this point it feels I’m being condescending by saying otherwise.
Here are some sourcing tools:
These do not count as sources:
-CREDIT TO THE ARTIST
It’s important that we move past this and get our collective shit together, because this is not only a fandom exclusive problem, but it is for damn sure one that arrived with social media and it’s impacted everyone in a lot of unforeseen, harmful ways.