So…this has been an interesting past couple of days here on the forums.
These responses and this bickering combined with previous experiences are enough evidence that I can conclude that we as a community have a problem.
I honestly see that the primary problem is that this community needs to work on what it means to “give criticism.”
Let me explain.
I’m pretty sure we’re all aware of the incident where a certain user (no need to mention his name) abused a new feature not even 24 hours after it was released, causing it to be removed.
Was it wrong for him to do that? Yes.
Was it despicable? Absolutely.
But did he have to receive a canceling worthy of rivaling Twitter? Some of you might say yes, but the reality is that he really did not deserve such a brutal beating that you guys gave him. People have gotten away with much worse and have received not even half of the treatment you guys delivered.
Why do I say this? Because now it sets up our image as the community who cancels anybody who breaks the rules, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
Is that true of us? I certainly hope not, but it can definitely turn out that way if we don’t change our attitudes.
If I’m being honest, I saw very similar attitudes being exhibited in a recent apology post as I did when the earlier-mentioned user was being harshly treated. That concerns me greatly, because now the questions arise: who’s next on the “cancellation hitlist”? How bad do they need to screw up to be the next victim?
I don’t want that mindset to be floating around our community, even if it’s not visible for most people.
This is not my “100% guaranteed to work” solution, but here is my two-part solution that has the potential to be successful:
- Give grace because nobody is perfect.
- Give criticism that would help somebody become a better creator and/or encourage the platform’s growth.
Explanation of the first point:
None of us are perfect. Some of us can screw up time after time after time again even when our mistake has been mentioned several times. I‘ll say it straight: I’m absolutely guilty of this, no doubt.
In this day and age, it takes some serious guts to admit when you’re wrong, especially when your mistake has been called out several times.
So when somebody publicly apologizes for doing something stupid, do whatever you need to in order to keep from saying “I told you so,” accept their apology, and then leave it alone. Their actions will speak loud enough and will show whether their apology was genuine or not. They always do.
On the other hand, if somebody is doing something stupid regardless of whether they previously apologized or not, call them out in PRIVATE, meaning gather a group of people that you trust not to make matters worse or take it the wrong way and talk to the person in private. Make sure you have the right attitude in doing so as well. You shouldn’t be wanting to humiliate them for their mistakes, but instead you should be concerned for their well-being and what consequences their stupid decisions may lead to. This way, problems are resolved with less drama, gossip, and damage to people’s reputations.
If in the instance that you’ve talked to the person in private and they still haven’t stopped doing stupid stuff, take it to a higher authority that can address the problem. In this instance, that would be the dev team, cami and/or Dom. Hopefully there isn’t any of these instances that occur, but just in case, don’t ever try to take control of it yourself as it can easily spiral way out of your control.
Explanation of the second point:
Most of us seem to each have our own opinion on what it means to “give criticism.” While that isn’t necessarily a bad thing in itself, a clash between these various ideas can lead to a huge mess when criticism is being given.
Therefore, if you wish to give criticism, always give criticism that would benefit a person as a creator and/or encourage the growth of the platform. This should ensure that you almost always have the right mindset in being a critic.
What do I mean by this?
We have a Critique Me category here on the forums. Ironically enough, I was the first person to make a post asking for criticism back when the category was first introduced.
I made the post looking for criticism that would allow me to become a better creator. What I received was exactly what I was asking for: some form of criticism that would better me as a creator, and I was thankful for that.
While some may ask for criticism concerning their content, there’s also criticism concerning issues with the app and its community. This form of criticism is not bad at all; it is actually beneficial, but only when it is truly criticism and not some form of mudslinging.
I see many issues raised like users liking videos without watching the whole thing, or an issue with people complaining about things, etc, etc. These issues are true criticism, as they directly or indirectly help people become better creators and/or encourage the platform to grow.
- People are liking bytes without watching entire video
- One person likes a racist, homophobic, or otherwise harmful post because they didn’t watch entire video
- Other people see this and that person’s reputation becomes soiled
- A soiled reputation makes it harder to have an audience who will watch your content
- Therefore somebody makes a forum post about alerting community of this issue and warning people of it
- People heed advice of post, no more potentially soiled reputations, and they can focus on becoming better creators which in turn allows the platform to grow
That’s how the cycle works. That’s why this kind of criticism is healthy.
So if you want to state an issue or critique, first ask yourself: “Will this help people become better creators and/or allow the platform to grow?” In addition, make sure you have the right attitude when doing it. As previously stated, you shouldn’t be wanting to humiliate others but to be helping them.
Heck, if we asked ourselves this question with EVERY post or reply we made that concerned byte and its creators, this community could really be a much nicer and more encouraging community than it currently is. We could truly change this community for the better. We could return to the days of people calling this the most encouraging and best community out there, because unfortunately, we’re not deserving of that title anymore. But we don’t have to stay that way.
We can change for the better if we change our attitudes towards each other and towards criticism.
Now, what I’ve just stated is what I truly believe will allow us to become better and will allow the platform to grow to its true potential much faster. But we can’t reach that point unless we choose to make that change or if we already have this mindset, to encourage others to adopt this mindset of being more gracious and better critics as well.
If you want to see change, then you have to be the change.
Let me know what you guys think, whether you agree or disagree and why.
Also, please don’t make a mod have to close this post because you guys decided to start a fight. Seriously, keep it civil here.