Can we get this as a sticky somewhere?

Ive been seeing lately a return of the negative comments and if we as a community want to move forward with E.E and beyond we should make this more aware when dealing with people who dont want to understand certain Etiquette when posting.


Can you give some recent examples?

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I dont see why not but you should probably read what Maximus has to say first before asking that question. There really shouldnt have to be examples, then rather a guideline of what should be considered acceptable when voting or commenting.

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As it happens, I did read what Maximus said before replying.

My personal take is “if it ain’t bust, don’t fix it”.

If you can demonstrate that we have a problem, I’m sure the moderators and admins here will discuss appropriate solutions.

On this site, you can flag inappropriate posts if you’d prefer not to comment in public.


I’ve been a member of many communities. This is one of the best behaved ones. Exemplary, really.

I read the post you linked. That was written over a decade before the existence of this site, detailing a problem that does not exist on this site. This strikes me as a solution in search of a problem.


And we already have a sticky about the etiquette that pretty much covers everything needed:


Noting on the side (I haven’t seen the comments being talked about here yet either, but, y’know, taking the concern seriously anyway because, heck, even if it isn’t much of a problem right now, it might become one at some point, and it’s always good to be prepared for negative eventualities): Keep also in mind that criticism is incredibly valuable for artists and crafters of all types. While we do obviously not want to discourage authors from uploading content here, and speaking up in defense of one another if we see people being needlessly harrassed and demotivated hereabouts is always a laudable and much-appreciated gesture of concern and solidarity, we also all benefit if people here feel safe enough to point out potential areas for improvement.

Maybe there’s a bit of a balance to be struck there - welcoming acceptance and encouragement of newbies, including of “subpar” work (people gotta start somewhere, after all - and this ain’t paid work; the authors are doing this for fun and being generous in sharing the results of their invested time at all, we just don’t owe one another jack squat), the freedom to safely bring things up that aren’t good so that they can be improved (this is actually a friendly or at least beneficial gesture! People who take time out of their life to help you improve are friends, not enemies!).

If people are delivering poor-quality critical feedback, IMO the best educational measures are bolstering the authors who are on the receiving end (in recognizing that even destructive critics are “voting with their (life-)wallets”, so to speak, expressing that the content is evidently worth time of their life, being as they are expending lifetime to leave a comment at all - they could’ve been doing something else with that time), as well as giving the critics feedback on how to improve the quality of their feedback so that it becomes more likely to yield positive results, encouraging the author to continue producing improved content as opposed to giving up in a huff. Witnessing unhelpful commenting habits is an opportunity to demonstrate, by one’s own example, how to give constructive criticism, too.

Giving good critical feedback is a skill that takes practice, and not everyone comes from environments in which they have been taught to start practicing it at young ages already - and the degree of peaceful conduct we foster here isn’t really the norm in most other places, so I wouldn’t begrudge anybody for not being automatically attuned to it from the first moment they step a foot into the place. But pretty much all even remotely reasonable people who operate under a “People should put effort into producing the best content that they can, and should alert one another to flaws”-maxim find the argument that they, too, should put effort into optimizing the feedback that they give to others for best results, to be sound. There are plenty of articles on the topic to be found on the internet, if the occasion to link to something comes up. I think the fabled 5-1 ratio is always a good standard to strive towards, personally. Not sure what I think about sandwiching. Feels a bit underhanded, sometimes.

If somebody is harrassing people or posting insults or threats on the site, they’re clearly in violation of the Code of Conduct, and the matter should go to the moderators immediately - preferably with a support-wave for the target, but without a “How dare you!”-pitchforkmob going after the perpetrator. But on an informal “opinion versus opinion”-level, where somebody’s just leaving an ordinary “I didn’t like this content” comment and people who see it wonder whether and how they should react to that (experiencing a rather well-intentioned “Somebody is attacking muh pepul! I must defend!”-impulse, in that), I think deliberately encouraging constructive criticism would actually work out best for everybody involved in the long run. Authors who develop a thick skin by taking on a positive, even grateful view of critics and criticism are less at risk of being damaged if a shitstorm hits (becoming less inclined to view criticism and complaints as personal attacks, as well as becoming less inclined to try to “fight back” in the same manner, escalating conflicts), and critics who learn to deliver useful and inoffensive critical feedback come to find that they tend to actually get heard when they speak up, wherefore they don’t fall into the unpleasant position of being somebody who can see problems, has ideas for how they could be fixed, but nobody listens when they speak up. That makes for a much less frustrating life, all in all.

TL;DR - Criticism actually kind of rocks, and embracing it rather than shying away from it is incredibly beneficial for crafters, most especially ones that are as “out in the open” as those who put their work up online. There have been and are far too many artists struggling to cope mentally and emotionally with internet hatred, relying on the support of their unfalteringly positive fandom to keep them stable, then betimes crashing dramatically if that support is for some reason withdrawn. Getting artists hooked on positive feedback and only positive feedback seems like it can even turn out to be rather dangerous for the artist - creating something of a dependency on a volunteer militia continuously defending a hole in the castle wall, as opposed to patching up the hole in the castle wall. “Fans vs Haters”-warfare In Defense Of The Artist™ does not strike me as a good idea, in general.

So, given the choice, I think I’d personally vote for having more criticism hereabouts, not less, if carefully fostered with a loving attitude behind it to get to reap the benefits of the glorious double-boosting Artist+Critic-Symbiosis that leaves everybody involved standing taller, confident in our ability to improve ourselves and our environment, trusting that we are surrounded by people who would support us in becoming the best version of ourselves we can be, being able to see and acknowledge our flaws as well as those of others without losing sight of our strengths and potential - as well as knowing with certainty that our wellbeing cannot be taken away by anyone’s unkind words. I think that’d probably make for the highest level of psychological safety for authors we could get hereabouts - most beautifully, including the authors of critical feedback comments, who are actively engaging community members, too.

Teaching authors to reject critical commenters as being haters who are misconducting themselves in voicing their opinions at all sets them up for entitled embitterment, and that’s the exact wrong attitude with which to respond if they want to receive criticism in a more respectful and appreciative form in the future. Plus, you get the nasty “How dare you not treat me as a living god! I am an author! A higher form of being! Bow before me, peon!”-attitude fairly easily, going down that road, and then instead of entitled commenters trashtalking authors, you get entitled authors trashtalking commenters, and it’s just the same problem all over again, with nothing having been fixed for real. There’s something to be said for striving for mercy more than for justice when maladaptive perfectionism rears it’s head - in others as well as in oneself.

My two euros (because length) on the topic. :slight_smile: When in doubt of how to react, love yo critics, simple as that. It’s something to keep in mind when feeling the “An evildoer! Must defend! GRAWR!”-impulse, maybe. The positive perspective on criticism in general might make it easier to give easy-to-receive-well improvement feedback to critics, at least. It’s always easier to treat someone as a friend and ally if you can sincerely view them as one.