if you weren’t aware… much like turkey’s erdogan… the political establishment of china has a pretty thin skin…
At the peak of her WeChat blogging career, Laura Lian was earning about $7,000 a month. Writing satirical articles for more than 220,000 fans, she won backing from an investor and quit her public-relations job.
Then it all came tumbling down. Internet authorities shut down her blog, called Shameless China, with no warning. It happened just after she posted an article mocking Chinese men’s hairstyles, including former President Jiang Zemin’s slick-backed coiffure.
“It didn’t dawn on me how serious the situation was,” Lian said. “I didn’t realize I was never getting back this account and all my followers.”
People, internet users, are pretty fickle. Once they’re gone… they’re gone.
I actually had a similar experience.
Awhile ago, Tumblr deleted one of my blogs. I lost 5000+ followers and literally years of hard work overnight.
Tumblr didn’t even notify me that they had deleted the blog. They didn’t even tell me they felt I violated their terms. They never pointed out which posts they felt didn’t follow their terms. They just arbitrarily deleted it, never contacting me.
And since then… I have never been able to get followers on ANY of my tumblrs. All of my followers just… floated away on the winds of the internet never to return.
(For more on Yahoo’s current business bullsquirt see here and here)
“Getting all my fans back is turning out to be much harder than I imagined,” Lian said
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.
For the photographers out there, you know you already face this threat. The very real possibility of your hard drive failing can mean years of your work is just… gone. That risk drives me nuts on a daily basis, leading me to use two different backup methods for my photographs and two other complimentary services (making a total of 4 kinds of backups).
So… in the end…
We can backup our work in various ways… but how do you back up your followers? Your users? Your fans?
I’m honestly not sure… but I think we should all start thinking about it.
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.
Maybe if we start thinking it through now, we can help prevent people from losing their livelihoods and hard work to other people’s ignorance.
Just a thought.
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.