Last week, I celebrated my 11 years on Reddit. (yay me) For those that are not active users, it’s called a “cakeday“. At that day, a little slice of pie appears next to your username in celebration. When you see that slice icon, users generally get a little more consideration on their post. So those posts score a little better than they normally would.
So I thought I’d make use of the opportunity and post the book on r/art. Maybe people would see it and enjoy the idea. I thought to add a link to the site, just for more info and yes, they would have the opportunity to buy it if they want.
So here were the steps:
- I posted naively the same way I posted other stuff before. I uploaded an image, put the name in the title and added “OC”, as to tag it as “original content”. I got an immediate removal of the post since it wasn’t made according to the rules. Apparently, there is a specific way to make the title. Ok, totally my bad. I read the rules and adjust the title.
- I post it with the correct title. But, as you might know, just the cover isn’t really that sexy and doesn’t explain the way it’s conceived. So I posted a reply to my own post. It told people what the idea was, that I don’t post as much, but since it’s my cakeday people would go a little easy on my… comment removed and immediate permanent ban. To explain: you can send a message to the person that posts it. Mostly it’s an automatic post but if you want you can message a moderator.
- So I messaged the moderators the following. (apologies for the typo)
Dear moderators. I´m genuinely trying to share my art with the world. It´s a very difficult medium to get people excited for. So I tried to give context. This unfortunately resulted in a permanent ban. I´m really just trying to share something. I´ve been on Reddit for 11 years today and rarely post something personal. I have made mistakes in posting but I´ve tried to rectify them as you perhaps can see. Please do not silence me the frist time I actually post something personal. I have no hopes this convinces you, but who knows....
- The moderator replies: I’d love to believe that, but there’s an awful lot of evidence that you’re just” trying to sell a book.” So he doesn’t know at all what the meaning of the book is. The online version doesn’t convey the message nearly clear enough as the actual book would do.
- So I try to explain:
You are correct, I do want people to experience my book and the only real way is for people to hold it in their hands. If I had the budget, I would just take it and put it in all libraries that have ever banned books and all universities that need a conversation starter about censorship. But I don't have the funds to do even a fraction of that. So I ask the absolute minimum in price on my site. On my last try I removed any reference whatsoever to a purchase, so people won't even know where to look. The medium is very difficult to make people interested. Just look at the picture. It is as close to the original book that I could get it. it really is worthless in terms of marketing. So it would probably be downvoted in an instance. So all this talk might not matter at all. But to be denied the opportunity to share it, to be honest, hurts a little. At the start of the submissions tonight, I didn't comply by the rules, but I'm trying to be part of the community. So please just give me the opportunity to be downvoted with a genuine post.
In the last post and comment I tried to make, I explicitly removed all reference to a purchase, a site or any indication that people can buy it.
- His reply:
The problem isn't the price. The problem is that you are engaging in art sales here, where we explicitly forbid sales of any kind. I'm not sure how we could be more clear about this. You ignored this, and worse, you seem to be arguing that we should make an exception for your special art. No. The rules apply to everyone, equally. If you're not willing to follow the house rules, you can't play in the house.
If you see anywhere, where I’m arguing that the rules of the subreddit change, let me know.
After this, he muted me from even replying, effectively cutting off my ways of arguing.
So this is the the takeaway from me: The r/art moderator taught me a few things:
- If you make 3 mistakes but work towards a correct post, that abides by the rules, it doesn’t matter. They don’t show any leniency, even if you follow the rules in the end.
- The fact that you have the intent to sell something at no profit at all, is enough to ban someone in participating in a community.
- So to this subreddit: all creative content that has the possibility to be sold is not allowed.
- If I was a little cynical (and I am) the message of this subreddit is: the time you put in creating your art is worthless: all artists should give away their art for free.
- So in effect, they proved my point. When someone in power does not like (or knows) your message, they will deprive you of the opportunity of sharing your art and won’t even talk about.
It really genuinely hurt me that the community that I’ve been a part of for so many years silenced my voice the one time I had something to share.