An open letter to DeviantArt

Message to the DeviantArt staff: Stop removing or relocating everything due to copyright or other violations. Stop fighting with your users. Lead by example.

Cory Roberts
Jan 10 · 4 min read
Photo by Will Porada on Unsplash

Dear DeviantArt staff:

While many of you know me as “Samurai Cory”, I am Chester Roberts II, a comic/manga artist, graphic designer, and the owner of Rad Kitsune Studio. I am 29 years old and I am not a kid anymore. I do not live in my mother’s basement and my mom is 67 years old… and yes, I am an American citizen, a human being, and a former DeviantArt user.

Last year I wrote Alternatives to DeviantArt as many artists eventually grow out of DeviantArt for ArtStation and Behance for a lot of reasons and in December 2017 I wrote a bad online review of DeviantArt on Sitejabber. You know that my mom is very old as there is a possibility that she wants me to move out soon and she wanted a peaceful and voluntary retirement after the confrontation and reconciling with my family last summer after I got a notice from the behavioral health organization and care management facility — which I will not name them for privacy reasons — that they would shut down my previous video game community at the end of 2018 because they think that I used a lot of violence (summer 2015) and, around three years later (summer 2018), they had to come in about taking classes and finding jobs, both of which my dad refused. My dad wanted marriage, because if he wants his son (yours truly) to marry a Japanese national, he’ll have it!

What I want is to raise and change DeviantArt to be a friendlier community with the following:

  • Friendlier staff
  • A person (a DA staffer, or a new CEO) who cares about Wikipedia as I use Wikipedia every day
  • A help desk staffer who lives in the United States and not outside of the US due to the language barrier
  • A copyright etiquette manager who is friendly and needs to be easy on the copyright infringement cases
  • And other things (such as having art theft to be taken very seriously, converting staff to paid staff and non-volunteers, ban bad users who give DeviantArt users a bad name, etc.)

You remembered when David Karp stepped down from Tumblr at the end of 2017 as we used Tumblr as a DeviantArt alternative, right? Right. I will not be able to join or use DeviantArt anymore (or rather, not use DeviantArt frequently) because ArtStation and Behance have friendly communities rather than the whole cyberbully shindig. Stop saying “We’re still having trouble understanding your question” permanently and start rebuilding and restoring trust to your users including your former users. I used to have a DeviantArt account, but I don’t really feel the need to come there anymore, or, not very often. I suffered my own share of loss over the years. I lost my aunt in May 2018 to cancer, and you need to stop saying that I threatened a minor. That Tumblr blog “Artist Whatever” (I don’t want to reveal it, because I might get sued) that insults artists needs to be terminated by the Tumblr team following the porn ban as many social networking sites (such as Medium) does not allow any kind of harassment or hate speech, including death threats.

Cyberbullying is bad for the online community. We need to stop talking like Tadakatsu Honda from Sengoku Musou/Samurai Warriors series (below) or Ragna the Bloodedge from the BlazBlue franchise. Do we have to talk like these characters? No. Just no. We need to start working with everyone on the internet to make apology and reconciliation posts on Medium, because I use Medium for long posts, news, and development of the webcomics that I’m doing.

Tadakatsu Honda, voiced by Akio Ōtsuka (property of Koei Tecmo)

I need this message to drive this point across the internet rather than having people saying “I threatened someone online”, “I threatened a minor online”, or “talks like a goodie-goodie, little shit!”. Don’t you know that cyberbullying is way uncool? You can go to jail for that — and there’s a possibility that you can’t use Patreon or Ko-fi if you have an internet-related criminal record.

What if in our hope that the DeviantArt founder finally steps down from his position as CEO (in reality, he dislikes Wikipedia) and replaced with a friendlier one who cares about Wikipedia? What if the Bahamian nerfherder (will not reveal his handle or his name here for the sake of his privacy) gets replaced by an American who cares about Wikipedia as its help desk staffer and have the copyright etiquette manager replaced with a friendly one? You need to know all of that shindig. Stop saying “eat a d***!”, stop acting like the former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannapoulos or the US president Donald Trump, stop saying “We’re still having trouble understanding your question…” immedately, and can we at least agree, for the sake of the former DeviantArt users everywhere, that will you start getting your crap together? And, can we at least agree, for the sake of the former DeviantArt users everywhere, that there will be no more dissing your users?

Pikachu agrees

If you start apologizing and reconcile with the former DeviantArt users who moved to ArtStation and Behance, then I’m sure, that you will need to start listening to Eminem’s “Headlights”.


— Chester Roberts II

Rad Kitsune Studio

Cory Roberts

Written by

Manga artist and graphic designer of everything rad! • 1-rad kitsune of @RadKitsune • sneaker fan • hetero • he/him/his

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