Group distinctions & community standards for larger groups
On platforms like these, groups are an essential way to share art and discover artists you didn't yet follow. Not only is it important for artists to be active and post a lot, they also need to make sure to submit their works to the bigger groups that said art can fit into. Platforms usually evolve one of three ways:
Groups are kind of irrelevant and pushed aside (DeviantArt)Groups became central to exposure but are mismanaged (Pillowfort)No groups lmao (FurAffinity)
To remedy this, I'd like to propose the following:
- When searching for a group, the largest groups appear first, instead of the newest. This is to discourage (but not completely shut down) the creation of 20 different groups that all appeal to the same audience and do the same thing, and help regroup people in larger groups.
I'd also like to propose the following:
- Community standards that group moderators must abide by when running a group meant to act as a primary hub for a particular subject. In other words, think of platforms such as Reddit. You wouldn't run r/Pokemon the same way you would run r/MyPokemonFanClub. The owner of r/Pokemon can't just throw someone off the platform because 10 years ago he called him a doodoo head and the grudge stuck.
Theses community standards essentially act as a barrier against power trips, unfair moderators, and groups vanishing because of inactive or banned moderators. They would, roughly, deal in the following subjects:
- A group owner or moderator for a primary hub group (i.e. "Pokemon" "Furry" "Sonic the Hedgehog" etc.) cannot ban members without due reason. This due reason can be a group rule being broken, any amount of various types of harassment, stalking, toxic behavior etc., and even off-site behavior for extreme cases (someone being a known pedophile, abuser, rapist, that kind of stuff). Bans are expected to be documented as best as possible in case of an appeal.
- A banned member can appeal their ban for review by InkBlot staff.
- Some kind of system to transfer group ownership in the event of a group owner going inactive or being banned, so the group isn't lost.
None of this concerns people who are running small groups for themselves or their friends, or groups built around themselves. This is only for big groups that are trying to be the "main" hub of a particular subject on the site.
TL;DR: group searching needs to prioritize primary hubs/big groups, and moderators and owners of those big groups need to be accountable for how they run them.