they’re backkkkk… who….. those people who just can’t stop themselves from telling everybody else what they should or should not say…
Melbourne street artist, Lushsux, has not only been told by a city council to remove a parody mural of Hillary Clinton but his Instagram account has been shutdown. Once again, the concern is that there remains a overt liberal bias in the sanctioning of comments or images on the Internet.
Lushsux had more than 100,000 Instagram followers who enjoy his paintings and images — work that extends almost two decades. He noted that “It’s fine to go on and do a mural on Trump, but when I go and do one on Hillary Clinton, my account is gone.”
This is similar to the Shameless China incident I wrote about earlier…
To recap that incident… Laura Lian wrote a blog called Shameless China, she attracted 220,000 fans on WeChat, and was able to support herself financially through ads. Until one day she criticized some men’s hairstyles and BAM! The ham-fisted censorship arm of China came crashing down upon her. Her blog was deleted and despite attempting to restart she has been unable to get her fans back.
I feel like what I said then applies here as well…
The reality is, there’s always going to be the threat of somebody acting stupidly… whether it’s Yahoo or the Chinese Political establishment… and destroying everything you’ve done. It’s a very real risk.
As an artist, a writer, I think you should prepare yourself for the very real possibility that you could lose everything you’ve done.
Substitute Yahoo! for Instagram…
I still think that. I think Lushsux’s case should provide all artists / writers / idea sharers with a warning… I think you need to prepare yourself to the possibility of losing the community you may have spent years fostering on social media services.
I lost mine, Lushsux lost his, Laura Lian lost hers.
You may very well be next.
What To Do
I’m not sure how you could prevent this from happening… I mean the most obvious option to prevent banning / deletion is to never say anything that anybody dislikes ever. But as an artist, I’m sure you know how filthy you’d feel doing something like that.
One real way could be to do your best to transfer your community to your own website before you get shadowbanned or your account gets deleted. But that would be difficult for a variety of reasons.
Another could be to collect contact information from the ‘ironwood’ of your community. If you were to get banned, you could simply send a group email to the people who care most… and well there you go, you just saved your most valuable members.
Ultimately, I don’t know what will work best and can only hope some media attention will get Lushsux all of his followers back.
(I’m going to end this article in the same way as my one on Shameless China…)
So… in the end…
I don’t see these arbitrary deletions of blogs becoming a rare occurrence… I feel we’ll only see more abuses, more occurrences, more people trying to destroy artist’s work.
Update (9/10/2016) – The Fickle Nature of twitter & crew
I thought I’d just highlight for you guys another story of social media’s arbitrary banning…
Over on LinkedIn a guy named Jim Weber wrote about how he was banned permanently from Twitter because he shared a few GIFs from the Olympics.
It all started when I saw a GIF of her sublime first pass on the floor routine two weeks ago on the front page of Reddit. Wanting to share what an awesome moment this was, I downloaded the GIF and uploaded it to Twitter with these four words: “Aly Raisman: She’s good.”
[To be fully transparent, I also tweeted GIFs of this awesome Japanese wrestler celebrating with her coach and this incredible Perfect 10 by a Chinese diver during the games.]
I had read that the IOC was banning the press from using GIFs but I didn’t see how that applied to me. Sure, I didn’t have the rights to any footage at the Olympics — just like countless blogs and users don’t have rights to the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and NCAA footage that they create GIFs out of and profit from every day.
The reality is, even if you’re sitting there thinking you follow the rules, you can easily lose all of your hardwork and the community you’ve built on social media with the arbitrary clickity clacks of a twitter employee’s keyboard. There is almost never any recourse, no ‘appeals’, no getting back what you’ve lost.