March 3, 2017

Inciting online hate, real food for thought.

Long post non-art related. Feel free to skip it if you only like to see art.

I love painting, it brings me joy. It makes me happy, and I want to share the joy with others, and hopefully inspire them to find joy in creating as well.
I made the 29 faces challenge for that reason. To celebrate one extra day in the month, and make more art.

For years it has been a wonderful source of visual  and  active joy for me, and for many.
I opened a couple of other networks to share with more people and the FB group was opened. I have never pushed anyone to join, everyone has been there for their own decision, free to participate or not. As a growing  active group of over 700 members of many different places, cultures and beliefs, rules have to be created  to maintain a harmonious mood.

The rules post since 2014:
WELCOME to 29faces! PLEASE READ ALL: No animal faces, just human or "humanoid" (fantasy etc) Play with all your supplies, Dare to do something new, Learn something about yourself after a crazy month making faces, Make new artsy friends
Group Guidelines: Be courteous! :)
* No politics "political figure" art or unrelated topics or images please.
* Post ONLY faces. * NO shops, "like my page" "support my cause" "giveaways" allowed. That belongs in your own wall :)
* Fa
ce has to be main subject, not one tiny spot in the distance. No Nudes.
* Keep comments and critiques ResPeCtuFuL & fRiEnDLy
* Friendly chit-chat portrait/ART related, welcome!

Is it a place for political debate? No. It is a group to make, practice and create a face in different mediums.
Is it a place for members to discuss world social problems? No, it is a place to create art, based on the human face.
Is it a place for poems? for  expression of world  conflicts? international affairs? No, it is a just a simple group, a particle of the immense internet ocean, dedicated to faces.

An art group, out of millions of other groups, dedicated for people to feel joy while creating A FACE. A safe-heaven away from politics and social problems. A space to create without the current or past international chaos that are posted and bombarding us in every news media network.
On occasion I get the random person making a politician face and I privately and respectfully  let them know about no political art, because the heated comments start, and there is always someone that has a different political opinion. One image can turn into 15 fighting comments. It has happened. I do not want to be hosting that.  Aaaaand... this group is not for  opinions about political or world events, we established that, right?  Those posts/comments have no room in this art group.

Nothing will change your political opinions, and you will not change anything by posting in this particular group for faces. But arguments can start fast and frankly, I do not like playing police and have to chase people or stop fights for an unrelated off-topic post. If anyone reading this has experience or a better idea of how to keep over 700 hundred people happily creating, without having rules, please let me know. I am open to hear those of you that have tried successfully. I am serious.

When [*edited name] started to create  her map faces art with quotes that were getting closer and closer to the no-no area, aka "off topic, social situations/political issues" I privately, friendly and respectfully reminded her of the etiquette rules. I had already had a couple other people posting stuff like that and when reminded, they said "OK", and moved on.

I thought  she could see that she was breaking the rules. I thought she could understand it, and see that keeping peace in a fast-moving group is my main goal.
What I never imagined is that she would go make her disagreement expressed inside the group and also a public post about it, and creating a hateful, hurtful, insulting climate towards me in her blog.

People that I don't even know posted for me to go to hell...?
She allowed people to believe that I shut her up, that I antagonized any and all of her political, artistic and world-problems opinions.... when in reality all I did was try to keep the peace and positive feel in MY little internet art space.
She allowed very rude posts against me,  and my art challenge, giving people the wrong impression about me and not even trying to be neutral.
She posted that she will not participate in the challenge again. Well dear, it has never been an obligation!  Everyone has always been free to participate or not, I have never forced a single person to join or to stay. All are welcome regardless of their level of experience, age or background. This challenge is just an opportunity to create, have fun and meet other artistic minds.

People I have "known" for years in the blogs, did not even give me the benefit of the doubt.
The same people that are so rudely speaking about me behind my back in her blog, are talking about the rights of speech, but would not even stop to think what I said, how I said it, and why I said it.
I was accused of taking people's right of speech?? I was painted as a bad guy as if I had done something horrid. Like if never in the history of online groups has ever been rules of etiquette, mostly all being about no political or religious postings...
Only ONE person understood my situation and stood by me, (I am deeply thankful) and two more came to ask me neutrally about this "issue" which I had no idea there was an issue until they  mentioned it, and that's when I decided to delete some images, to avoid more misunderstandings, and off-topic comments, since obviously, this was not a private conversation anymore, but a public accusation, without me even knowing. I was still not aware of her public blog post.

Last night I was going to go one by one to thank all the blogs for participating. What I found in her blog shocked me, and made me cry. She has no clue what I have to do in order to keep a nice positive joyful atmosphere in this busy challenge.
She doesn't know me, my life, my personal struggles, my opinions or my beliefs, and yet, she let everyone that read her rant to run over me, my character and my art activity.

She, [*edited name], allowed and mix, jumbled up together all the subjects including the current administration of the US, the past Germanic reactions in WW2 era, the environment of some places and international refugees terrible situation, weirdly associated that with me, me!? and this little art challenge, which is not political arena or about social events, at all.

Proves more than enough the need for that particular rule, because this is exactly the thing I try to avoid. That's the main reason why those matters are not allowed in the art challenge. I hope you all can see that. I hope she can see it too. Her post just made people hate a good and respectful person. Her art will not save anyone, and yet, she hurt one person deeply... directly. All she did was creating hostility with people feeling the right to insult me and my character, calling me "blind' and "censoring art" and provoking some total stranger to even send me to hell... without ever even having meeting me.

She made this all about her and her rights of freedom. There are plenty of other outlets for her to post about political/social and international issues. Places that might have better access to the right people that could possibly do something about what she is talking about.  The FB group is not the place and this was not the way to do it. Has never been for a reason. What she did not stop to think, was about the right of others to maintain order and a positive place.
I am not the enemy, I have no political power, and according to her, I do not have the right to create simple rules of etiquette in my own online space, out of the whole huge Internet world, without her running to post erroneous information to people that did not even hear the whole story.

I never said I was devoid of emotion with regards to world problems, but these rules were placed so that there would be less enemies created within the group. If you are upset by my rules, then leave.  As easy as a click, no need to make drama or to flame anyone!
I did not create the guidelines with malice but rather with the hope of having a neutral space in which people could get along.

A simple "please don't break the rules of this group" private comment from me, turned into a public  "I'm gonna break them and make people hate you" kind of attitude from her.

You tell me, is this fair? Is this the grown up way to deal with things? Bunching up and team-flaming an unaware person? What if it was you? What if you were accused, judged and condemned without you even knowing?
What if someone runs this ugly tractor of horrible negative comments about you, about your group, and behind your back?  Just think. That's the real food for thought.

For those that jumped into that wagon without blinking: You went from feeling social-world-injustice-defenders to online-bullies. I saw your names, and I read your words.
I hope you have time to blink now and remember that every story has two sides.

All of this reaction makes me reconsider some things and some people. And believe me, I had a higher, different concept about them.

I will leave it at that, because I am very hurt with that ugly clump of negativity, and I'd rather focus on the positive I can give to others, and to my part of this planet.

* This post is edited because I truly want to separate myself from that action  and go back to my happy self, even if some people think running over someone online and allowing hurtful posts is a normal thing that they have no control about. We always have the controls provided by the websites to keep peace, they are call "edit" "delete" and "thinking".


  1. I have never participated in 29 Faces but this whole thing makes me very sad. It is a reflection of the our society right now. Anger, hate and ugliness bubble just beneath the surface waiting to be ignited, often by nothing.
    There is no doubt you have worked hard to create and maintain your site. Let us hope we all return to our own sensible and sensitive selves and rise above hatred and ugliness. Our art groups, the camradarie they create, are too valuable to lose.
    And there always need to be rules. We need to play nice in this "sandbox".

    1. Exactly, often by nothing. I just saw a person posting about this in FB too, adding to the insults of misinformed people.
      Not only is it hurtful, it is also against the law.

  2. One hundred percent with you, Martha.

    1. And I am infinitely thank for for it ♥ It means a lot to me!

  3. You are a treasure ~ filled with love ~ rise above this 'mean person' ~ lovely portrait creation you have done ~ thanks,

    Happy Weekend to you ~ ^_^

  4. The painting you posted above is lovely. I very much enjoy 29 faces. Thank you for hosting it.

  5. Very sorry to hear all this, there are 2 sides to every story it just goes to show.

  6. I think so many people are using political situations to further their own ambition at the moment...getting their 15 minutes of fame by jumping up and down, waving banners in the name of "whatever". I don't know when "revolution" became romanticised, but it is bloody and dirty, and a vision of what "no rules" actually means.
    Your Art challenge is loving and caring oasis, and a soft target for "point scorers".
    Please don't be sad. Be strengthened that you showed someone for who they really are XXX

  7. Be you Martha! We love you! Forget about the other people! I know it's hard, but they are showing their true colours! We know you are a wonderful, caring, loving person! Big Hugs!

  8. Martha you do and will have the support of so many people who love you. You do not stand alone and I know the integrity you have in everything you do. You honor the greater good. Thank you


I ♥ all your comments! ~
. .Keep your paintbrush wet!