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Discussion: How to feel about old shame?

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rf Freckle panic.pngIt has been about three weeks since the biggest Fur Affinity controversy of recent years happened. For those unaware, every single piece of art that was ever uploaded there has been archived, and preserved. Now you can see all the galleries that has been wiped from Fur Affinity, presumably forever, in just a few clicks.

In other words, what is put on the Internet, stays there forever, as the great Anonymous warned us.

That made me think: how should we feel about embarrassing old art and dirty laundry? For the longest time in history, artists could hide their more controversial and poor quality drawings form the public, put them in a safe, or throw into the fire. That time is apparently gone forever. Since there is nothing we can do about it, should we change the way we feel? I think this is a worthy subject to talk about. What do you think?

Mister Twister's note: I am not putting the link in question in the description, but if anyone asks, I could post it in the comment section.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

So, anyway, I'm nervous about this story.

Okay, for the record, I'm not sure how big a "controversy" this is; I got nothing on Vivisector, and they once turned a completely unrelated thread about a man screwing a dog and posting videos online into yet another "complaining about FurAffinity" thread, so if they don't care after three weeks, that's saying something. Also, Google is getting me nothing much; of course, my weak Google-fu is one of my shames.

Secondly, "discussion" on the Internet serves one purpose; for people to stick around and give a website more page-views and therefore ad revenue and therefore money. Since Flayrah is a non-profit that doesn't run on page-views, there other than bragging rights (and we don't have a lot of that), I think I'll passively discourage "discussion" articles. I mean, if you want to discuss, discuss, we still have comments even if we don't, strictly speaking, need them; but if you've got something to say, say it in the article next time, and if a discussion happens, it happens.

Of course, if a "discussion" article is contributed, I'll send it through; this is just me saying pretty please.

Also, sorry, but I may have just preempted the discussion that we're supposed to be having about old shame, which I don't really think I have anything to say about.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

You had a lot to say, and you said it.

EDIT: this didn't appear for some reason and I thought it didn't go through. I guess this comment is delete-worthy.

Well, I'll be...

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

You are a man of many words, very much unlike me. Thanks for being here, you keep the place alive.

Well, I'll be...

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I actually am not opposed to open format discussing, as long as there is background of the issue being presented and that it could be relevant to the fandom. I mean, if no one else puts a more detail and closed ended article and this topic was never brought up to start with, I think that would be far worse.

Especially since the main content providers may be pressed for time and it'd open people to talking about things that are relevant and topical.

Discussion on Pokemon VS Digimon, and other such silly questions are kind of not 'newsworthy', even if of interest to the fandom. It's a judgement call, and certainly there have been worse articles in the past...

Remember, GreenReaper's article on Affordable Health Care Act?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)

To me the biggest controversy FurAffinity has ever had will be, and probably (and hopefully) always will be the note leak. It's one thing to bring back what was once in public view, and thus public memory. It's a whole other to expose things that were never meant for public consumption to begin with.

I think it's going to be a theme in the coming years. Gone are the days when an artist can pretend that they were always a gift to their form. That they were always as talented as they are now. That's the thing with a publisher studio. Sure they reject you, but in a way they were protecting you from having your work reach an audience before it was really ready. Now that those safety nets are disappearing you have to be the judge on whether your own work is ready for public consumption. And only the most introspective of people are going to know that accurately. Even they will get it wrong once in awhile.

So, you'll have to embrace your growing moments, and not fear the mistakes the past you made. Instead recognize them, and use it to inspire your fans, and your enemies, that anyone can become better. As long as they don't allow themselves to be beaten by their failures.

It is sort of like the Google controversy and the "Right to be Forgotten". The thing is, who has the right to be forgotten and at one point do they no longer have that right? To me what should be demanded, more than being forgotten, it for the right to be forgiven. If society will not forgive a man who declared bankruptcy a decade ago, then it is not the man's problem, nor Google's problem for linking to a decade old article, it is the reader basing their judgement off of outdated information and being unable to determine that information is outdated. The problem is with being unable to forgive the mistakes of the past.

The same goes for if someone is criticizing an artist's current talents through the lens of their decade's old works.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

By the way... the "biggest controversy on FA in years" just got eclipsed by FA's acquisition by IMVU. Oh internet. You can't keep them coming can you?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I'm chuckling at that myself, and it only took a mere few hours for that 1st line to be rendered untrue.

"Biggest controversy on FA in years"? Not any more it isn't! Holy crap....

Your rating: None Average: 1 (3 votes)

Yeah, do we have anyone working on this as a story?

I can't tonight, but I can have it up early tomorrow if anyone submits something.

(And now we're having an impromptu editorial meeting.)

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

IMVU confirmed they will take questions from me... I did an article on them with comments from the CEO back in january. It was about their appearance at Fur Con.

That was before the Furaffinity sale was announced, but apparently around when they bought the site. They must have been testing the waters about response.

They also agreed to pass on questions to Dragoneer. Can I pass on any questions from anyone?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

It seems like the biggest concern right now is artist rights, and impact on community:

1) Will still retain the rights to their works and won't have it being used by IMVU without their consent? Will they be able to have those in writing of how the extent which IMVU will use the user's content and what is the line they cannot cross in regards to using it?

2) What improvements are planned? And in making improvements will they be able to maintain the feeling that the site is a furry community rather than a corporate run entity?

As far as questions for Dragoneer. I have none at this time.

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Cool, passed those on :)

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I'm working on a piece on this for Flayrah, a fairly straight one concentrating on the statements and responses from others/in forums/etc. Just woke up, so I'm a bit out of it, but catching up fast!

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)

Oh, thank goodness. I actually didn't want to do it.

I don't know why I got so sensitive about offending FA all the sudden (because its so in character for me to not want to offend anyone and also, even if it was, that ship has long sailed for Flayrah), but I did.

Also, are you doing a "top stories for 2014" piece, because if you're busy, I could do that, though I have no idea how I'd find out what the most read stories are.

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Why worry? They're owned by IMVU now - though it seems Arcturus has something to say about that

I set contributors to show 2014 story contributions temporarily (Rod's stories are included in the figure). As for our busiest pages, I've sent you a link. I usually go through Google Analytics results. If you have a Google or Gmail account and want access, let me know what it is.

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Check your gmail to compare notes. I shared a long Q&A that's going to IMVU and Dragoneer.

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Oh that is juicy! Damn this being a weekday morning. This seems to open so many questions that Dragoneer seemed to be avoiding. I can't really see this going well though. As someone pointed out, most companies are very puritanical and I can't see them tolerating all of the artwork on FA for too long.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

"three weeks since the biggest FurAffinity controversy of recent years happened."

I can't recall anything big offhand and there's nothing in your link that happened three weeks ago...?

Starting a discussion is one thing but this seems far more suited to a forum than here. And it doesn't actually answer questions or frame the discussion in any context.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I think he was talking about essentially all of FA's files on a Tor hidden network site.

I've added a link to discussion of this as the article is not particularly comprehensible without it.

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The same thing goes for writers, actors, and musicians. A lot of creators don't like to be reminded of their early works. "Oh, god, I was so YOUNG when I did that!" How many animators and cartoonists -- Bob Clampett, Walt Disney, Milton Caniff -- have had their high-school work unearthed and put on the Internet? Practically all of the music of Paul Dukas ("The Sorcerer's Apprentice") is lost today because he feared that he would be embarrassed by it as he grew more skilled, and he refused to let it be published. Rex Stout, author of the Nero Wolfe mysteries during his retirement, for decades would not tell what he had written during his youth because he considered it so bad. (A 1914 pulp magazine thriller by him, "Under the Andes", was later rediscovered; yeah, it's pretty bad.) Robert A. Heinlein's first 1930s s-f novel, which he had thought all the manuscripts of had been destroyed, was published after his death. Most amateurs used to be protected from their adolescent first efforts by their inability to have them professionally published; today, with online websites and blogs, that is no longer true.

Right here on Flayrah, I wrote a review of Sofawolf Press' "Hot Dish" vol. 1 that got over 100 comments, and caused me to change my opinion of furry authors' pseudonyms. https://www.flayrah.com/4671/review-hot-dish-vol-1-edited-alopex

Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I often find my old stuff terrible (although some I still think is amazing) but I never understood the mindset of getting rid of it. I would never delete my old art and writing because I put time and effort into it and even if it's bad I still care about it.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

Some of the submissions I removed from my account include photos showing the RL me, which I later decided were a mistake to post and I really didn't want discovered on the very small chance someone I know outside the fandom wanders in or somehow does a search. And then other things felt like filler and/or didn't feel like they belonged on a furry account. I learned that not everything you create is worthy of being shared, so I became a little more discerning in what I posted - which these days is very little but that's another story.

On the surface I agree with you that I hate the idea of stuff disappearing but on the other paw... the sheer volume that is on FA means there has gotta be a line somewhere and yes there are some things that really really aren't worth archiving.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Thanks for providing your take. I was afraid this submission was a total mistake, with all the big shots here belittling it and whatnot.

Well, I'll be...

Your rating: None Average: 1.3 (3 votes)

Don't take it personally; it may not have been the bestest story ever, but it, ironically, shouldn't become old shame for you down the road either.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I have no real problem with negative replies, having been a regular poster on 4chuns for many years.

And no, it wasn't me who downvoted all your posts.

Well, I'll be...

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

I'm looking into whoever did, although it's not the first thing on my list.

I will remove votes when it is clear to me that they were made without sufficient time to consider the content of the comment, so it's just a waste of time for people to, say, up-vote or down-vote one person's comments. If anything, it's counterproductive, as other members tend to up-vote to compensate, and those votes are likely to stand after an adjustment.

Your rating: None

I haven't even been active enough to anger anyone recently; so I'm assuming it's a grudge, mostly because that's the most flattering option to my ego.

Maybe my old shame is a bit more proactive than most?

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (4 votes)

I find this extremely interesting, and a little alarming, for a number of reasons - but I'll just stick with one. Furries who have had an extreme change of heart on their contributions to the community - either those who feel their current careers may be harmed if their past in the fandom were revealed or those who just are done with the fandom. There's art from one furry artist who I would love to see again, he did one of my initial badges after entering the fandom and which I love dearly - Stickdevil. He left the fandom for whatever reason, took down all his art (DA, FA, etc), and requested Wikifur not publish anything about him. For someone like him how are we supposed to take this? What if making his art available and somehow that online stuff gets connected to the very real person who has moved on and causes him real harm? Another I might point out is the comic Deo created by the artist Grimal - at some point the comic just completely disappeared from what I can tell, the furry is still in the fandom but for whatever reason he took down the art. I don't know why but is it my call to make it available again even though it's not likely to harm him?

It's a tough call in terms of archivists but since the art is owned by these people I think you really have to side with their decision no matter how much it pains you to let go of creations you admire.

For writers a story may be revised multiple times before a "final" version is left alone and then later deleted... if there are multiple versions of the same story out there are all saved?

Oh and yes, I would be interested in the link. I respect their reasons for taking art down but I really hate the idea of things I admire disappearing forever. And there are a few stories and pieces of art I vaguely remember but cannot find in my favorites anymore and suspect they were purged at some point.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

I am currently editing a reprint anthology, that FurPlanet Productions will publish for Anthrocon 2015 in July. I found one story online on a 1997 post that I liked. When I e-mailed the author to ask if we could buy the reprint rights, he said that he had forgotten all about it long ago. He was embarrassed to have such an early example of his writing resurrected today -- but he has taken the $50, and you'll see it in July. I think that everybody will still enjoy reading this "forgotten" story. Yes, there are still gems to be found on "embarrassing" old posts.

At the same time, some early work is truly amateurish and embarrassing today, and I can appreciate the creators wanting to remove all traces of it from the Internet.

Fred Patten

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About the author

Mister Twister (Andrew V.)read storiescontact (login required)

    a stew-dent and Homo Somewhat Sapiens from US of A (east coast), interested in music (listening, collecting and preserving), drawing, 2d animation and i dunno what else.

    Bio - graphy... that "graph" of my "bio"...... what?