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.