Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Censorship as a Marketing Tool

I've been surprised how much fuss there has been lately on Etsy about censorship. I have no problem with someone not wanting to see certain things. That's fine by me.

I really didn't need to see that poor dead bat in that Twinkle Twinkle... piece, but if someone wants to use dead animals, bones or recycled fur or leather in their work, I have no problem with them doing so. I don't feel the need to be their jury. My wanting to cry when I saw it was my problem.

My husband MJ does pin-up art as well as many different types of illustrations and I realize this is something that can upset some people. I think his work is beautiful and others might be offended. I understand .

I wonder if it would be a good idea if we did have filters so we could screen out things we don't want to see. Deviant art has a system of filters that are simple to use and I use them myself when I want to bypass something.The on-line community is so huge and diverse that finding something you don't like is pretty much guaranteed. I don't think getting hundreds of thousands of users to agree on a set of rules is the only thing we need. Search tools that work and can be set to filter out the things we want to see or avoid are really needed.

The idea that sellers are trying to get things banned so that they will have a better chance at selling their work was brought up in one of the censorship threads I was reading. It's an interesting idea and I see it as a definite possibility. The worst problems I've had with someone objecting to my work was a doll/plush maker. I just decided to take it as a compliment and move on.

It's sad if fear of competition plays a part in another seller trying to get certain art banned. So many people on Etsy are new to selling and to the Internet and trying new things is scary. I used to hide my dolls in a closet. It's taken me several years to be able to be proud of my work and be able to accept all of the comments, good or bad, that have come my way. So I understand fear, but I don't understand attacking others to overcome your fear.

I hope that Etsy makes the "not" function more obvious for inexperienced Internet users if they don't set up filters. The idea of a new member e-mail packet with helpful hints that is automatically sent when a person joins Etsy might also help inexperienced people. But I guess in the end, time and experience will hopefully help people develop the confidence a person has to have to be successful.

1 comment:

Tara Fortin said...

I saw that little bat and I feel just like you did. It was sad, but its not my choice to decide if its art. I can decide if its GOOD art or not though. :-P

Your so reasonable in your post about this, and thats great, but people who want more censorship aren't reasonable, and don't look at things like an adult. Thanks for posting your thoughts on this!