ArtStation Moderation Update
Lots of people are asking us about ArtStation moderation. Here is an overview.
Why are you taking art down?
- We support political discourse on ArtStation so long as it follows our policies even if we disagree with it.
- We take art down for the reasons specified in the policies. For more information, see our terms of service and content guidelines that are publicly available for all users.
- Our moderators only have the ability to take down a project or leave it up, not edit it granularly. So, if a project’s title or description violates the policies (such as, recently, “Kill Russians”), we remove the whole thing.
- Because of various laws in Europe, we only allow swastikas to be used in historical contexts. Many projects have swastikas painted in various non-historical contexts and we’re removing these. We may be able to refine these rules over time, but it’s a complicated set of laws that we need to better understand and, possibly accommodate by building new features into the site such as blocking certain content only in regions where it’s disallowed.
- There are many examples of Ukraine related work on ArtStation:
Why are comment sections being disabled?
- We disable comment sections on a page when the volume of hateful or abusive comments is too high for the ArtStation moderation team to keep up with and moderate individually. It’s a small team, and we can’t grow the team fast enough to manage a real-time Ukraine-Russia flame war. If we had a lot more moderators, we could do a better job of this.
- We just released a new feature enabling project authors to close comments on their own projects to further improve artist ability to moderate their own projects.
Does Epic support Ukraine?
- We have many team members in Ukraine and are doing everything we can to ensure their safety. Epic has assisted numerous employees and their family members in relocating to safe areas.
- ArtStation is part of Epic and is proud to have raised over $100M with the Fortnite community to support humanitarian relief for people affected by the war in Ukraine.
- We have distributed funds to Unicef, the World Food Program, the UN Refugee Agency, Unicef, Direct Relief and World Central Kitchen.
What about ArtStation-affiliated offices in Russia?
- ArtStation and Epic work with contractors in Russia. We aren’t firing any contractors. We had long discussions about the best way to draw a boundary between engaging and withdrawing. We firmly decided three things. First, to support humanitarian relief in Ukraine through Fortnite, which has raised over $100,000,000 so far. Second, to end commerce with Russia in Epic’s games. Third, to continue our development and contracting relationships with companies in Russia that are not under sanctions. We made this decision because the mutual reliance in those relationships – our reliance on them and their reliance on us – is long term in nature.
Who’s responsible for ArtStation’s moderation policies?
- The policies are made by a group of folks at ArtStation and Epic. No other companies or investors are involved in these moderation policies.
How does ArtStation make moderation decisions?
- All of our moderators take their jobs very seriously and do their best to follow the rules.
- Nationality isn’t a factor in anybody’s decision.
- Moderation decisions to remove Ukraine and Russia themed content are being escalated to folks in the US and Canada.
- All of our moderators are human and may individually come to different decisions on a given project when it’s borderline.
- Our rules and interpretation of the rules are evolving under fire as we learn from this experience, so you may find historical inconsistencies between moderation decisions made at different times.
What can I do when ArtStation makes a moderation mistake?
- If you feel a mistake has been made in a moderation decision, you can reach out to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will look into it. If we made a mistake, we will reinstate your work.
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