starlights(they/them)
persephone(she/her)
Time ago
naiad

I think I have some minors following me and just be careful on the internet guys. I made a lot of dumb internet mistakes as a teen and I have younger siblings that are approaching those years and it makes me worry for everyone who's around their ages.

It's easy to think you're mature for your age but just be a kid. Hold on to that for a while.

thoughts

just some tips from a veteran to ward off creeps, scammers, and other online hazards:

  1. don't doxx yourself. nobody needs to know your last name. or the names of friends, family members, your school, or workplace. those last two can ruin your life if you say or do the wrong thing.
  2. don't try to get into 18+ spaces. there's nothing mystical or badass about them. you can end up with a messed up or traumatic perception of things like sex, violence, drug use, etc. and if you get caught faking your age, it'll put you and others in legal trouble.
  3. don't take sexual photos, even if you don't send them. the laws around it are dodgy, and neither your phone nor the connection between 2 phones are totally safe. it's prime blackmail material and it's not worth it!
  4. don't post photos or videos of identifiable places where you live, especially if you go there often!
  5. your photos contain EXIF data. it's mostly harmless, but it can include personal and location data. there are apps that can scrub that information, but if that sounds like too much work, fiddle with your settings to see if you can turn those 2 things off.


starlights(they/them)
posted this
Time ago

starlights(they/them)
thoughts(he/him)
Time ago
my black cat hoozuki, taking a nap while hugging his legs. his visible eye is slightly open but does not show pupil.

shoutout to hoozuki for still napping like a possessed contortionist


starlights(they/them)
posted this
Time ago

Good faith disagreement with people you respect is a form of respect as it holds them accountable for their actions and words. Nobody is perfect, and idolizing can lead to an echo chamber that discourages critical thinking.


starlights(they/them)
naiad
Time ago
supermario

Sir, that's my emotional support obscure cartoon.


starlights(they/them)
posted this
Time ago

starlights(they/them)
chicory(she/her)
Time ago
coffee

when you find a fic that hits All your favorite tropes


starlights(they/them)
coffee
Time ago

starlights(they/them)
posted this
Time ago

oh cool we have polls now


starlights(they/them)
staff
Time ago

Community Update - Waterfall 1.0

staff

As promised - the next Community Update would be the release announcement.

WATERFALL 1.0

After more than a year in the works, it's finally time to deploy the Rewrite.

What's the Rewrite?

For those who haven't been here since the beginning and so are unaware, the Rewrite is a project I started late 2019. The site was getting bigger than I anticipated and a successful Kickstarter had just happened to make an app. Unfortunately, the code showed it - what had been slapped together as a proof of concept was now the foundations for what you're using right now, and it was getting increasingly difficult to add new features and adjust the existing ones. So, I pretty much decided to start from scratch, and rewrote the entire site. That's what's being deployed tomorrow.

Those who were here in the early days will remember how fast new features came - sometimes, I was able to deploy two or more major features a day. The rewrite means those days return, and I can make things happen much, much faster than over the last 9 months or so.

When?

See the post directly underneath this one for the formal downtime announcement!

There's no formal estimation given for how long it'll take, since that'll largely be determined by how many images are on the site, since that's where the bottleneck is in the dry runs. I've optimised it as much as I can, but it'll probably be at least 24 hours.

What'll happen during the downtime?

During the downtime, the site will be completely unavailable, save for a maintenance page. It'll have some basic status updates on there, but you're encouraged to come hang out in the Discord while it's going on! We'll play a few games together or something.

Almost all data on the site is being converted into a new format. The only things I can think of that "break" per se are blocklists, blog descriptions, and badges. Blocklists have been talked about enough so I won't reiterate on that. Blog descriptions are being changed - given the app will start development immediately, it felt reasonable to prep for those now. They're being changed to be shorter rather than full bios, so that when they show in the app, someone doesn't have to swipe two full screens down. This means they'll be cleared in the update, alongside your badge settings - this is because the internal structure of badges has changed, so you can pick them all again (you can change the order of them now!) Your blog and dashboard theme may also be reset for the same reasons, so all in all, nothing too destructive is happening.

What'll happen after the update?

I'll be on standby to fix any major bugs that crop up. Given every line of code has been rewritten, there'll likely be a few that I missed.

Minor bugs will be put on a list to be triaged, and they'll be fixed in patches over the coming days and weeks, along with adding the hold-backs.

Hold-backs in this case refers to new features that are mostly complete, but are being held back a bit to make bugfixing the major stuff a little easier. It also includes one or two things, such as the advanced page editor, that are finished but I've found major bugs (i.e. security issues) in that need fixing, but aren't major enough features that it's worth holding the update itself back for.

After that, the GitHub repo and Discord will be open again to accept new feature requests, and a staff post will be made with a poll on what you want to see first. There'll also be a Patron update that gives a post-mortem on the whole rewrite saga, so keep an eye out for that if you're supporting the site.

It's been a long time coming, but we're finally there, and here's the 24 hour warning I promised.

See you on the other side.


starlights(they/them)
posted this
Time ago

I'm not leaving.

I blame society for this mess tbh

It sucks that we live in a system that forces us to make money to survive. It brings out the worst in people.


starlights(they/them)
posted this
Time ago

starlights(they/them)
thellere(he/him)
Time ago
thellere

I started writing a long big thing where I respond to everything Professionally:tm: but I honestly just cannot be bothered because it's draining so I'm just gonna quickfire the points I remember coming up

I've almost certainly missed things because I've not seen all the posts but whatever, I can't imagine much has come up that wasn't in the ones I did see

The big one first, the accusations I did nothing when an example was linked of stuff that shouldn't be in the art system. First, she was dealt with, immediately. She was told to leave and cool her jets, then she didn't and was silenced for it. I dealt with her immediately. Just because I didn't make a whole song and dance about it for you to see doesn't mean I didn't, and I do not appreciate the assertion that I let her off because she's my friend. I'm harsher with her than I am with anyone else in the server in fact.

Second, using the art as examples in the first place. In poor taste, but she wanted examples to back her point up, since others were also using examples. As she explained to me this morning after she'd been silenced for a few hours, she wasn't even commenting on the quality, she was commenting on the fact that it objectively shouldn't have been in the art system. And you know what? She's correct! It wasn't a fully original piece and contained an unedited screenshot from a movie. Objectively, following the rules, that should not have been in the art system, and that's what she was trying to point out - it didn't come across that way because of language barriers. I'm not apologising for her, she can do that herself if she wants to.

Third, toxicity and aggression in the Discord. Here's the thing: Someone disagreeing with you doesn't make it a toxic environment. Attitudes do. To be blunt, the people making accusations that a certain individual is toxic in there have had the same accusation levelled at themselves by multiple people. It's two sides of the ring fighting each other and it's getting extremely annoying. I also don't appreciate multiple anonymous messages (that aren't really anonymous because they're to the staff blogs and I can see through the flag) saying someone is the reason the site and Discord will die, and how they're always coincidentally timed to be when the sender was disagreed with by the target. I also don't like people sending anons to others to stir shit up and then come off anon to send a good vibes ask, which I've also seen happening. Quit it, act like an adult. As another point on this, if your response to multiple people is to call them less than human for having an opinion you don't like or doing something you don't approve of, as someone did last night, that's not even up for debate, I don't want you anywhere near my site. Either leave, now, or never do that shit again.

Now onto art shit itself. The whole thing started because I wanted a discussion on how to deal with the problem. It was NOT a "I'm doing this" thing, and whoever presented it to people on the site as though I was is a liar. The discussion was "the algorithm has trouble with this stuff, how should I handle it?" and that's it. It grew from there. I don't care about whether art is "good enough" to be in the art theft system, I care about "how likely is this to result in false positives that get people's stuff converted into reblogs", because that makes the system appear broken. THAT is what the discussion was about.

For the "handpicked features" debate - that's old news, that's already happening. Like, I get it. It sucks to be told your stuff isn't good enough. MY stuff isn't good enough to be featured. But fact of the matter is, it's meant to be the site's best foot forward, and I have the data and actual testimonials from people saying they left because they thought what was in the featured box was the best the site had to offer and if they wanted what they considered quality art they'd be better off elsewhere. Likewise, a lot of (but not all) artists feel their own effort is cheapened to be put on the same pedestal as shitposts and memes, which, lets be honest, a lot of what's in the featured box is. To be blunt, the "everything gets featured" is a failed experiment. I'm wondering whether if it had been handpicked from the start this part of the conversation would have happened, or whether I'd get the same response if I'd said "the minimum qualification is now 40 notes" or some such. There's a reason Tumblr, Pillowfort, etc etc all put the best art in features, and that's because it objectively helps bring users in and keep them there.

Next, I'm going to address the "keep existing customers happy instead of getting new ones" point people keep bringing up - to use the analogy of a pub, that only really works when you have more than 6 regulars to begin with. If I get 30 average customers but there's a constant turnover, that's still better for the pub. 6 regulars don't pay the bills, but 30 people, even if they're different ones all the time, would. If big artists come and stay, they bring more people with them. This means more people, and thus more content on the site. And also, more regulars is the goal to begin with.

This is already longer than it needs to be and I'm tired so I'm just gonna post this and be done with it but either way

At the end of the day: the stuff proposed was HYPOTHETICAL, and to be blunt, I'm not building a site for you, I'm building a site for everyone. What's good for the site doesn't always align with what's good for a given individual. That does not mean I'm saying smaller artists don't matter, as some people are trying to say. My job is to make the site succeed.


starlights(they/them)
babushka
Time ago

on frustration with Waterfall development

babushka

1. Where does frustration with the site development come from?

Waterfall is a nice functional site with decent people on it, it has some neat features, doesn't lag terribly, and doesn't allow creeps on it. However, it's still underdeveloped, and you can't deny it. There's no fast reblog, the queue is set up for two days forward for no apparent reason, I can't write a text box, a message, or create a page without encountering some bugs. These issues are currently being worked on at a steady pace, and we have all agreed to wait until those are solved because we understand the struggles of one man behind this unexpectedly huge project. Most people I know aren't frustrated with how fast the site is developing. However, there is no set in stone date people can look forward to, and all the existing deadlines keep getting delayed, which create some frustration for some of us.

The frustration arises when people start talking about some new global features, or the overhaul of the old, already existing ones, and the way those discussions are being handled. As I see, people on the staff side experience concerns with the way some of the current systems work in the way that they're not very "beneficial for the site" in terms of newcomers, which is frustrating for staff, too. As someone who doesn't see the site from the inside, I often assume that the most trouble newcomers are having are the same troubles I am having, and a lot of them might disappear after the second update. However, the discussion of possible overhauls of big systems that people are currently allegedly misusing creates the illusion that those overhauls will happen and form a new direction for the site. Even if nothing is being implemented right now, people are starting to worry as if though the changes are already being implemented because they are being talked about.

They're mostly being talked about on discord, where it's easy to take stuff completely out of context since a lot of messages are happening at the same time, and the information is easily missed. This leads people to wrong conclusions from time to time and causes more frustration. Also, discord is not something everyone has, visits regularly, or even is aware of, because of multiple valid reasons, including mental health ones. So, some frustration from my side roots in me seeing staff blog say something like "I've talked to people on discord on it and they say it's fine so we will do it" while me not being aware the discussion even happened or that I could join it. I've only seen it happen once, however, so this is more of an exception, but I thought it still is worth mentioning.

In this part of the post, I've covered my perspective on where the frustration comes from. The second part of the post will be about how it is expressed and handled.


starlights(they/them)
babushka
Time ago
babushka

Y'all if you want some comfort in these uncertain times i'd like to help somehow but idk how because i can't handle most of stuff that is considered moral support

I can open moodboard requests and/or art requests if you'd like

starlights

what do you mean by mooboard?



starlights(they/them)
posted this
Time ago

having sad thoughts about gender and identity. may or may not elaborate later.


starlights(they/them)
posted this
Time ago

god i hate it when abusers or toxic people who are obviously in the wrong weaponize their marginalized status when they're being called out.

especially when they have a large following online, because then their fans will dismiss their victim's accusations unless the victim is from the same group as themselves. people like them make it so much harder for the people in their community who are struggling! it's such bullshit!

it reminds me of when popular middle class cishet white creators who make being an ally part of their Brand TM try to deflect critisism from marginalized fans/creators because they've already done "so much already" or they "have one black/gay/trans friend who said what they did/said was ok".

and then their fans are like "they can't be racist/homphobic/transphobic/sexist because they made this good thing/worked with this marginalized person"

no they're narcissists who don't really care about doing good, just being seen as good to boost their fragile ego

tldr: don't put people on pedestals. just because someone has the same politics as you does not mean they're a good person and if the mask drops people have every right to avoid them. judge people by their actions as well as their words


starlights(they/them)
posted this
Time ago

people who say they "miss the old internet" because the internet "sucks now", did not experience the old internet.

the old internet was so much worse. and some of the petty arguments yall claim would never happen then were definitely going on back then lmao

yes it is bad now, yes social media is a dumpster fire. yes the discourse is messy and stupid at times

but the fact that people are openly talking about how bad it used to be and are making an effort to improve things is a good thing


starlights(they/them)
posted this
Time ago

this year sucked shit. i will not miss it.


starlights(they/them)
posted this
Time ago

Someone: "But fiction doesn't effect reality!!"

Me: "Remembers how brunch liberals worship the show The West Wing and think it's how politcs works or should work irl"


starlights(they/them)
ak-illustrate
Time ago

Chimeran Legends - Gray Skies


starlights(they/them)
jasvinfellover(they/them)
Time ago

Colored headshot sketch commission for @silver of their lovely custom FE furry (also named) Silver!

ko-fi + commissions


starlights(they/them)
lynaiss(they/them)
Time ago

A small wolf study.


starlights(they/them)
posted this
Time ago

uh i can't upload images anymore?


starlights(they/them)
posted this
Time ago

I voted. :/


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