deviantART is a lovely site, one of the best I've come across. However, like all good things, it has it's bad side. This guide teaches you how to deal with those really bad things, art thieves, trolls and scammers.
These people can be really distressing for an artist. They can find themselves in a situation which they don't know how to handle. Hopefully, this first part should guide you on how to deal with them.
~If someone steals your art
If you are informed or find out yourself that your artwork was stolen, go straight to the deviation and proceed with these three steps:
Step 1: Say something like 'This art is stolen, please delete it.' If, within a week, the art is gone, forget about it. If not, carry on to step two.
Step 2: Return to the deviation and tell them again 'This art has been stolen from me, delete it.'. Again, if the art is gone within a week, forget about it. If not-step three.
Step 3: Say on their profile 'I gave you two chances to delete the stolen art, you have not. Do it now, or I will report you for art theft.'
If then, the art is not deleted, report them. It's the only way to stop it.
Tips for handling them:
-Never accuse someone for art theft on someone else's behalf. Inform them of the art theft, but don't get involved yourself.
-Never gang up on an art thief. This is never the right option-it only leads to more trouble.
-Never be rude. Be as polite as you find possible. Don't fan the flames by trolling.
~If you are accused of art theft
If someone does happen to accuse you and you are innocent, you must prove your innocence. There are two scenarios for this:
If the artist accuses you, they've obviously found something uncomfortable with the similarity between your work and theirs. Try to convince them POLITELY that coincidences happen, great mind think alike, etc. If they are not convinced by this, then you must either change details of your artwork, or delete it altogether. Even though this is not preferable for you, you must do it to set a fellow Deviant's mind at ease.
If someone who is not the artist accuses you, then immediately visit the artist in question (if they specify who you have stolen from, if not, ask who they think you have stolen from) and ask them if they think the art work is similar in any way. If they think they aren't similar, tell the accuser. If the accuser does not believe you, ask the artist to kindly tell them. This should make them leave you be.
The best way to avoid accusations of art theft is to check out similar pieces of art using the search function first.
Tips for handling accusers:
-Be polite. Being nasty to your accuser is no way to work.
-Don't gang up on them. That's never the answer.
-If they advertise reporting you in a journal and you're innocent, screen shot it for your side of the story.
These kinds of piranhas feed off making people miserable. If you are ever attacked by a troll, it can hurt. Bad.
~How to deal with trolls
If someone says something nasty about your artwork, delete the comment from the deviation/your profile after taking a screenshot of it. DO NOT REPLY. That is what they want.
If they attack you again, do the same. Don't get angry. Stay calm, and don't take whatever they say to heart.
If they persistently attack you afterwards (which is very unlikely), reply to them saying you will report them if they continue to harass you. If they stop, forget it.
If they slash back at the threat, just report them. There's no way else to stop them.
Things to remember:
-Never take what they say to heart.
-Don't gang up on them, as always, this is not good.
-Never troll back. It just gives them more sick pleasure.
~Don't be a white knight
This is really unadvisable. You could just get in trouble yourself. If you do feel you absolutely have to help or else the world will end, just try to be ambiguous. Don't be on either the Troll's side or the artist's side, but just a neutral force who is preventing an arguement. But only if you must.
Some people are not trolls. They just want to give constructive criticism. Listen to advice you get.
Also, some people are very socially awkward, and sometimes find it difficult to get out their point. Be forgiving with them, and maybe help them become better at commenting.
Usually, a troll comment is sarcastic, harsh or just plain horrid. Don't let them get to you, though!
Ever had a favourite from someone who, when you've thanked them, has tried to sell you something or make you watch something? Those people are scammers.
~How to spot them
They usually fave your work on the newest page. If someone does that, be wary at least. When you get to their profile, check a number of things:
Icon-Usually a photo of a person (most likely female)
ID-Again, usually a photo of a person (most likely female)
Favourites-If they literally just faved your work, check to see if there's loads of new favourites in front of it.
If you spot most or all of these (especially the last one), leave the profile, delete the fave message. Never contact the deviant again.
~If someone tries to scam you
Usually, a scam message begins with a really flattering comment like 'I faved your work because I loved it' or 'Keep making more wonderful art'. Then, they'll advertise some sort of service or product for you to see/buy with a link and some really appealing adjectives. Don't fall for it. Leave them a message saying something like 'Don't fave my work again' or 'Don't try to scam me again'. They never reply, but it should get the message across that you don't want to be scammed.
Don't think that, after reading this, everyone on deviantART is horrid and nasty. They're not. Every day I meet lots of genuine, lovely people. Encountering the nasties is like meeting some sort of celebrity. It's rare that you will, but there is that slight chance. But that's why I've written this. So if you are unlucky enough to be the one in a million to encounter these people, you are prepared .