But here’s the question that can help you. Why did they fail? Examine the beast known as ‘cancel culture.’
In a sane world nobody would care about a pack of flailing mental cases on social media, but it has two venomous fangs it can punch into your life.
One, the woke mob can remove your job. And two, the woke mob can remove your friends.
Broadly speaking, of course. But especially in the furry community, ringleaders can end somebody’s social existence almost on a whim. Those subsisting on that plain of eggshells may recognize tweets to this effect:
“HEY Ya’ll, I’m disappointed, bunch of you still following _______ , that’s shady af, don’t think we weren’t gonna see! Better fix that.”
Career assassination is extensively documented in the entertainment industry, but even a normal job can panic and erase your income when the poisonous tweets begin darting in.
We’ll touch on surviving Fang One at the end of this article. Let’s talk about Fang Two- social connections.
While ‘furry twitter’ plays the cool game known as ‘circular firing squad,’ a funny thing happened after Bone & I found ourselves cast into the wasteland. We kept creating cool stuff, having fun, reasonable people joined us, and now we have a bulletproof oasis. It’s great! A group of buds that has fun chatting and enjoying what they like together, making friends in a place where Fang Two can’t bite.
But here’s the problem- We’re growing. As soon as the clout-cannibals realize there’s something of value over here, they’ll endeavor to infiltrate it and make our community more like the hellhole they hail from. So to keep things nice, we’ve dug into our foundation. Below are the eight planks we’ve pulled up. They’ve been keeping the Vivid communities on the rails, and any oasis looking for structure is welcome to try them on for size.
THE EIGHT PLANKS FOR VIVID COMMUNITIES:
Plank 1: No Offense Hijacking
“That’s offensive to _____!” If that blank isn’t filled with “me,” then cut the crap.
If something gets under your skin, speak up and own it, that’s fine. But don’t throw some absent group under the bus in an effort to disguise a complaint as selfless heroism.
Plank 2: No Mandatory Opinions
Checking a box on the opinion-multiple-choice sheet doesn’t make a person good or bad. Actions define a person, not the stuff rattling around in their head.
Disagree with someone, and you just can’t let it stand? Time to learn the art of conversation. Take it to private messages if it’s getting too heated. And at the end of the day? Everybody doesn’t have to like everybody else, and that is absolutely okay. Block, or relax, or both.
Plank 3: No Fringe Cringe
Don’t run around trying to recruit people into your political group or religious sect or favorite kink. It’s not the same as making conversation, and it gets old fast.
This is where disagreement is needed. If someone is obsessing about political stuff or other weirdness, let them know when it’s wearing thin. If they won’t take the hint, they’re violating plank 4.
Plank 4: Don’t Be Annoying
Listen, if you have bad moderators, none of this matters anyways. The spirit of the law is what counts, and boy, this is a big one. A determined lone farter is all it takes to spoil the whole party.
Read “How to Win Friends and Stay In the Chatroom,” by Dean Koontz.
Plank 5: No Protecting Monsters
If someone abuses kids or animals, pick up the phone. The zoosadism chat leaks revealed this stuff deeply infests the furry lifestyle culture. We aim to ensure it never gets a foothold in our stomping grounds.
Contact law enforcement, and be sure to save your report number so you can alert the mods in private.
Plank 6: No Clout Callouts
Sometimes a screen-shot can be used to demonstrate a point or refresh a memory. That’s different from the game known as ‘screen-shot-grabass’. If a person isn’t hurting anyone, let them be. Don’t try to assassinate their reputation with a vindictive collage of trivia and snipped conversations.
Learn to attract attention based on your positive qualities, rather than playing Highlander with your peers. When noncriminal behavior needs a public spotlight, alert the mods, and they can keep the focus on the behavior itself rather than the identity of the person.
Plank 7: No Guilt By Association
‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’ is not a sound basis for dreams of totalitarian social control. People are responsible for their own actions, not for the actions of others. Period.
If you hate a bad person, congratulations, here’s your award. It’s not a license to pester everyone that person has ever had lunch with. Believe it or not, there can be good reasons to act as a good influence on bad people, or even follow them on Twitter for laughs.
Plank 8: Deplatforming / Demonetizing
Slow-motion murder attempts are grounds for immediate and permanent removal. If you think preventing other people from being able to work and eat and care for their loved ones makes you a great moral icon, well, you can be a righteous prick somewhere else.
Take a long hard look in the mirror.
The last plank segues nicely into the dangling question. The Vivid community framework knocked Fang Two right out of cancel culture’s mouth, but what about Fang One? Why didn’t we get fired from our jobs? Well. We’re not going to fire ourselves! There are advantages to building everything from scratch- our own original content, our own independent publishing company, our own online events (Couchcon), our own IRL meetups… The cancel attempts helped harden our infrastructure, so there’s that.
Not everyone can build an impenetrable industrial fortress, so we’d advise folks to be careful online, and try to keep your work identity insulated from cancel-prone territory. But speaking of cancel-prone and industry, we have some ideas about the entertainment industry at large. Especially in light of the Whisper Network scandals, it might be a good time to clarify just how we intend to move forward here at Vivid- stay tuned.