#04 Making fun is serious business
Today I woke up to a Linkedin email I received titled “A problem with your post”. According to it, they have found that my last article, “Gamifying your Discord NFT community” does not comply with their Professional Community Policies on spam and scams. They have removed it from the platform.
Wait, what? How can an article about gamification that I wrote with the utmost seriousness and professionalism be removed for scam? Oh, wait, would it be that the images I used showing a cartoon of an Indiana derriere running in front of a manure ball might have hurt someone’s sensibility? Or was it the pun-intended names our community came up with to name the famous character? We had a lot of fun in the process!
I took a look at Linkedin’s policy. If you ask me, I get pretty annoyed (not to use another word that comes to mind right now and might further offend some snowflake out there) when a platform removes part of your content for policy infringement without being more specific. It can help if you guide me a little bit more and don’t put it all on me, my time is valuable. So reading their policy, I see they ask you not to be hateful, to not harass or bully, to not promote violence, or to not post terrorist content. Wow, there are some weirdoes out there!
They ask you to follow the law, respect others’ rights, respect intellectual property… all very reasonable if you ask me.
Wait! There’s another one, “Do not share harmful or shocking material”. Oh my, might that be the issue? Did I shock a beautiful soul? Might a running double-cheeked bearded cartoon have offended someone?
They also state to be professional. Well, you see, I am being professional. My article, if you have read it, talks about the ideas my team and I are having to gamify our Discord community. I put a considerable amount of effort to share the ideas we come up with in our brainstorming sessions. I want to share and help others. It’s a real business case scenario we are dealing with here.
I can’t help it if the main theme of our NFT collection is a humorous collection of extremities (gosh, I’m running out of synonyms) which we consider hilarious.
Why should I be concerned? Can’t we get a laugh while we are serious?
Let me tell you an anecdote
When we started the Cool-Oh collection, our first post was a Cool-oh of Charles Chaplin along with one of his quotes: “Making fun is serious business”. And that’s how I titled this article because it’s so true and says so much.
Let me tell you a relevant anecdote I had a few years ago when my son was just two years old. My wife and I were traveling North of California for a couple of days after my startup had failed in the worst possible way (I got blackmailed by my team and decided to close the company.) I was broke, depressed, and destroyed. But I felt I owed my family some time to make it up for the two years I had been a workaholic. It felt somehow wrong because I couldn’t afford that trip and I thought I didn’t deserve it, but my family did. That trip was a disaster, the shitty van I bought from Larry Ellison’s pilot broke in the middle of nowhere. It was getting dark and while I was thinking about what to do, my son started crying. He needed a change of diapers. So while I sat down on the wheel looking at the map, my wife got in the back seat and began with the ritual. At some point, I looked back and saw this scene where my son was naked with his knees almost touching his face and my wife holding his legs with one hand and cleaning with the other. My son noticed I was looking, he turned his head, stared at me, and after a pause, he said: “Culo!!!” (obviously ass in English). Whoops, I said ass, sorry.
We all burst into laughter, a laugh I can still remember and doesn’t bring me anything more than joy. My son could barely talk, he was two. But he did know that word and he understood humor. A two-year-old human being.
And here we are, us professionals, in a professional network, talking business and professionalism, and we can’t get a laugh. Honestly, I want to cry.
Humor is one of the things that we humans do so well. It has the power of mitigating pain, connecting with others, and making us more humane. That day my pain was gone, if only for a few minutes.
What’s wrong with us?
I had an interesting read on the Financial Times titled “How the new puritans are killing comedy”. There’s a paragraph that I today understand better than yesterday:
“In the new climate of hyper-awareness, we’re becoming hyper-intolerant. Call it the new puritanism.”
“Is it that we no longer find taboo-breaking controversialism funny? Are we too woke to laugh? Or is it that we no longer trust ourselves to judge what’s funny anymore?”
So many people asking about how to foster a community: “community this, community that” and when someone gives new ideas, you focus on the provided caption, you sexualize it and you complain.
And I’m saying that someone complaint because after giving the email I got from Linkedin another look, I see on the footer the following phrase I had not paid attention to:
“This is a support email in response to a report submitted on LinkedIn.”
Oh. So you are supporting someone’s complaint. Someone who can’t get a laugh. Ok.
Well, you see, by further reading your Community Policies, I see this deep inside the text:
“(some adult content may be allowed if the intent is clearly educational, medical, scientific, or artistic, and it’s not gratuitously graphic).”
Hey, but Cool-Oh collection is art! Is a caboose adult content?! Not Cool-Oh, for Gods’ sake! Whose’s twisted mind has sexualized a well-intended cartoon making fun of something even two-year-olds can understand naturally? It’s in our nature! Like we say in Cool-oh, “The world is full of buns and everyone has one!”
Mama Carlos says
Whomever complaint, I’d love him or her to step up and have a conversation. Or maybe not, who knows, maybe it’s worthless and everything is lost in our boring and dull society. But remember, my post was 100% about a professional matter I wanted to discuss. I’ve edited the pictures in a way some will find satisfaction, but most will find sad. Here’s the edited article, I hope we can talk about communities and gamification.
I close this text with the FT question again, and I’d like to hear want your thoughts are:
Are we too woke to laugh? Or is it that we no longer trust ourselves to judge what’s funny anymore?”
In any case, we will continue with Cool-Oh, because the world needs a laugh.
**If you want to support the Cool-Oh NFT collection, you like humor and get annoyed by puritanism, please join our community, we welcome you!**