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Several years ago I was aware of a number of users who had folders in their favorites marked according to the rule the submissions violated. They would have a folder titled "stolen," another folder titled "porn," and so on. DeviantArt not surprisingly concluded that these users were engaged in harassment. Basically, if you find content that violates DeviantArt rules, you are supposed to report it, not make a public scene about it. It has been too long for me to remember who, but at least three users were banned over this in 2011. The reason I am bringing this up is because I came across a user who seems to have done the same thing but inadvertently. I am not going to name this user publicly, but this user has a favorites folder titled "screenshots," and the description states that the items are movie, video game, and television screenshots. Here is DeviantArt's copyright policy:…

Some Cautions

  • In most cases it does not matter how much of the material you have used, whether it's a single frame, a few moments of audio, a short clip of video or any other sampling it's still considered to be protected by copyright and you still require the owner's permission for use.
  • It doesn't matter how you obtained the material, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
  • It doesn't matter whether or not you've credited the proper owner, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
  • It doesn't matter if you are not selling it or making a profit, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
  • It doesn't matter if you can find other people using things without permission, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
  • It doesn't matter if you've edited it a little bit or made a few alterations, if it's recognizable it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
  • Read licenses carefully to understand the type of permission they provide. For example, there are many versions of the Creative Commons - each giving different permissions.
Based on my reading of this, it is my understanding that everything in this folder could be in violation of DeviantArt rules, though it could get tricky because DeviantArt generally does not accept third party complaints, so one would have to track down the original sources. This could be difficult when proper credit is not given. Based on my examination of the user whose favorites folder this is, I do not believe this person is deliberately using his favorites as a callout.
I did a Google search of my username. The results are in my scrapbook:  Agnosticdragon Google Search 051517 by agnosticdragon Notice that there are a lot of references to the game Dragon's Dogma. This is not intentional. Since I am not familiar with this game, I have no idea what to make of this. A lot of users have usernames that are clearly and intentionally inspired by art, movies, television shows, games, and so on. But mine was inadvertent. I am open to changing my username but I am by no means decided. As a premium member until next spring, I could do so at any time, with the caveat that I would never be able to change back to this one. Changed usernames automatically redirect, so you would not have any issues finding me.

Oh, and for anybody wondering, I have never used the name agnosticdragon or anything similar on any other site. There are a scattering of accounts with that username on other sites that are not mine. I was frankteller and the abandoned accounts… and I cannot restore the DeviantArt account and I have no plans to revive the other two. I have no reason to think anybody is trying to impersonate me nor would I impersonate anybody else. Anyway, let me know what you think and in particular if you think I ought to change my username.
Has anyone else been having this problem? I have made a number of comments in the forums, and last night I posted… to the suggestions forum. However, when I look at my own home page I see this:  screen shot DA forum error 051017 by agnosticdragon Note where it says "There are no threads yet!" under forum. I decided to check my activity,… and notice this:  screen shot DA forum comments error 051017 by agnosticdragon Note where it says under forum comments, none. Have any of you been having similar issues? I filed a bug report with DeviantArt and hopefully they will be able to figure it out. For what it is worth, I am using Google Chrome on a MacBook Pro. I am a beta tester. I am not sure if this is a beta issue.
I am currently watching 2093 users. That number is growing daily. When I deactivated :devfranteller: I was watching more than 4000 users. I was at the same time watching more than 2500 users on FurAffinity and more than 900 users on Weasyl. Those three lists had a lot of overlap, so I was not watching over 7000 distinct artists. But I was watching more than I could keep up with.

I was on my old account here from November 2010 through July 2016. I have been on this account for just under five months. Part of the reason I have watched so many users so quickly is that I recognized a number of people I watched previously, but a lot of the users I now watch are people I did not watch previously. At some point I may go through my old account, which I can still access, and check for other users I previously watched and am still interested in, but that would exacerbate the problem that I am watching so many users I can barely keep up with submission and journal notifications. By the time I deactivated my old account, I was long past being able to keep up. I had submission notifications getting automatically deleted because they were more than six months old. I do not want this account to get to that point. There are a lot of good artists on here, and I have a broad range of interests. But I need to think about how many artists I can really follow, as opposed to just getting buried in notifications.
My general view is that people should want and expect feedback on their art and writings posted here. It is bad enough when somebody posts general artwork, photos, or stories with comments closed. But I find it especially off putting when it involves ideological content. You are effectively saying to people, here is my opinion, and I do not value yours. I will not add such items to my favorites, even if I agree with the point being made. The point of ideological art, essays, etc. is to have a discussion about the issues, not to have your say and cut off discussion. Also, I encourage people to engage with those they disagree with. Do not block people merely because they disagree with you. That is not to say that you should take whatever comes. It makes sense to block people who insult you or lie about you, but not merely people whose viewpoints offend you. I might make an exception if the viewpoint is personally threatening.
Last year, the Republicans refused to hold a hearing on the appointment of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, while the Democrats objected. Today, Republicans did away with the filibuster to push through their preferred candidate, Neil Gorsuch. This is how politics works in the United States. Both parties are engaged in pure strategy. There are no underlying principles. At least this is not generally how the judges work. A judge hands down an opinion on the extent of the President's power. Another President of the other party takes power. The ruling stands, as the partisan advantage shifts. This is how it ought to be. I do not know what I think of the filibuster, but we ought to adopt one rule and stick with it. No more of this, "I am in power now, so I am going to change the rules".
I am glad the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act went nowhere. The Affordable Care Act has its flaws, but it makes it possible for a lot of people to get health insurance who could not do so otherwise. The Republicans seem to be so focused on choice that they do not care that they would be destroying the individual insurance market so that people would not be forced to buy insurance. Oh, and they wanted to kick a bunch of people off Medicaid because they don't like poor people I guess. Fortunately, the Republicans could not agree on how to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, so it lives on.
OMG RUDE PPL by NOKAPIplz Feel free to speak your mind, but not here.
Utilitarianism is a philosophy that says we should do what maximizes pleasure and minimizes suffering. This might sound reasonable at first until one thinks through all the implications. David Pearce is a utilitarian who has thought through the consequences and reached some astounding conclusions. In 2009, he wrote an article titled Reprogramming Predators. He points out (rightly) that predators cause their prey to suffer a lot. He makes some gratuitous comparisons to Nazis and serial killers. I find the comparisons rather inapt. The Nazis killed for ideological reasons. Serial killers kill for fun. Predators kill to survive. He ends by discussing whether we should kill off all the predators or try to reprogram them not to kill for food. Do you want to protect animals? Fine, but don't try to create some fantasy world in the process. Here is the essay:…
I am frankteller I created an account on this site in November 2010. I created the account for reasons that were frankly selfish. I think a lot of you know exactly what I am talking about. If you do, please do not say anything publicly. The account was fairly popular. I had more than 90,000 pageviews and more than 100 watchers. I had a daily deviation on the submission titled "tolerance", which I have re-uploaded here along with several other submissions from that page. There were I think 24 submissions in all. Some of them were essays that no longer reflect my views. Some were current events pieces that could be considered dated. Feel free to ask me about any of the essays I published on here. It is not the essays I am worried about. Most of the people I know in real life are already familiar with my political views in greater detail than I have posted here.

Some of my content was more problematic. I don't want to go into too much detail here. Note me if you are interested.

I was watching over 4000 users. I had over 8000 favorites. Some of the users I watched were people I probably should not have associated with, and some of my favorites were items I am ashamed to admit to liking.

Something happened in June 2016 that led me to suspect that all of this was about to come out. Again, I don't want to go into too much detail. I decided to deactivate frankteller I did not expect to come back. It was five months after I deactivated that I finally decided to come back for a fresh start. DeviantArt wipes your account clean a month after you deactivate, and you cannot restore the account. I knew this at this time. I was too scared to come back.

I no longer know who those watchers were. I will be reaching out to those of my old watchers whom I can identify. If you think you know some users who were watching me, direct them here.
I support the judge's ruling. In short, a federal judge in New York ruled that the portion of Donald Trump's order relating to the deportation of refugees violates due process. It does not sound like the ruling addressed the 90 day ban on residents of seven countries entering the United States. This order is blatantly discriminatory on grounds of national origin and appears to be targeted at Muslims, though non-Muslim residents of these countries are also banned from entering the United States.…
The Electoral College is about to select, for United States President, Donald Trump, who lost the popular vote by more than two million votes. This is not the first time this has happened. Just 16 years ago, George Walker Bush was elected President despite losing the popular vote. It has happened three other times, all in the 19th century. The electoral college is a holdover from the 18th century. The Founding Fathers empowered state legislatures to choose both United States Senators and members of the Electoral College.

In 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment established popular election for United States Senators. However, the Senate remains undemocratic insofar as there are two Senators per state regardless of population. This will not change any time soon because it is the one provision of the United States Constitution permanently shielded from amendment, so the Constitution would have to be repealed to change the structure of the Senate.

The Electoral College consists of one member per member of Congress, except that Washington, DC, which is not a state and thus has no Congressional representation, has three votes. This is also undemocratic, because it weights the electoral college in favor of states with a smaller population. California has nearly 40 million residents and 55 electoral votes. That comes out to more than 700,000 residents per electoral vote. Wyoming, with just under 600,000 residents, has three electoral votes. That comes out to fewer than 200,000 residents per electoral vote. Furthermore, because most states have adopted a winner take all approach, Presidential candidates do not campaign in states that are not expected to be close, and voters in these states have little chance of affecting the overall outcome. It is time to do away with the electoral college. Unfortunately, this will be very difficult because it takes 2/3 of each house of Congress and 3/4 of the states to amend the constitution, unless a constitutional convention is called, which would substitute for the Congressional vote. One reform strategy is to tie the Electoral College to the popular vote on a state by state basis. However, because Republicans have seen the electoral college as to their partisan advantage, this is not happening in enough states to actually affect the outcome of an election.