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Social media is human farming

Recently I realized how genius the invention of social media is, it is probably one of the biggest cons to ever exist.

Let me make an analogy:

Imagine you go into a store that sells nothing, but over time the customers bring products into the store, that are then owned by the store and the customer then buys the products made from other customers, but does not pay the maker of the products for it, but the store owner and the customers are also owned by the store and the store can also sell the customers to other stores as he wants, additionally he can make up the rules what the customers are allowed to produce, bring in and buy or take out, sometimes the customers can even be made to maintain the store as well for free, or even pay the store for its great "service" it delivers, for just being there.

Such a store is totally insane and nobody would go into that, but that is pretty much what social media on the internet is and people love it.

I never undestood why people worship the owners of certain platforms on the internet so much. They justify it by that the platform is offering a "free service" to them and that the platform needs so much maintenance and admins etc, but in reality there is not so much efford and cost involved for the platform owner once the initial setup has been done. A well setup platform is almost maintenance free and even the maintenance can be outsourced to the customers, so they work for free to help maintain the platform. Sometimes the platform even manages to collect donations for that, so the cusomter pays the platform, for the right that the customers can work for it.

The real costs are processing power and traffic volume, but this is in the fraction of cents per customer. You also need a competent sysadmin, since mistakes in that area can destroy the whole platform at once. But once that hurdle is made and the customers are so many that the costs rise significantly, you have lots of opportunities to capitalize on them. My point is just that what the platforms offer is much less than most people imagine, some companies manage millions of customers through a handful of employees and the more competent the employees are, the more can be automated to be done by computers.

The genius behind that is hardly imagineable. It is like a farm where once you have trapped the farm animals/humans, you practically own them and everything they produce, so you can sell their products as you want and even the farm animals itself. Of course you cannot directly own human slaves, but you can sell those humans as customers in form of advertising or their data which then can be used to manipulate them into making them buy more of what they themselves have produced anyway.

Of course not all social media is like that, social media itself just means that the users can interact and contribute, but in the long run this gives power to the platform itself, which in almost all cases will be abused, to create human farms of various degrees of severity. Some human farms are almost not exploiting their farm animals and are satisfied with having the maintenance paid and sell clicks or ads, but some other farms try to capitalize on everything and even try to invent terms of service where everything the farm animal has created on the farm is owned by the farm.

Sometimes I feel like an idiot doing actual work to create content myself, when I see that other people are just running platforms and receive much more fame and money even though they are doing nothing, except farming other people for their content. Sure the initial step is pretty hard to create a good system and to trap people in it, but once that is achieved you receive constant income, since farm animals once trapped, hardly ever leave, because of some form of Stockholm Syndrome.

There also exist ineffective farms which hardly bring profit or operate at a loss constantly, but the incompetent operators are happy with their privileged status on the platform itself, like being an admin or so. Their main goal is to extort power over other people, regardless of the initial intention of the platform. It is similar to the charity organisations that at first do real charity, but in the long run all donations are "lost" in the "management" process aka corruption. The same seems to apply to internet organizations like social media platforms, that once they are up and running they stop to do any real work and stop producing anything and just take in the profits that others generate for them for free.

So if you really want to become successful, you cannot do real work yourself, since you cannot do more than you can do yourself, but have to make others do the work for you. Once you accumulate the work of others, you become more famous than you could be with your own work and then you will be worshipped even more by the farm animals which in turn makes you gain more farm animals that produce more for you, which then will repeat the cycle. Well this sounds easy in theory, but the problem in reality is, once you become a human farmer instead of a human slave worker, you enter a whole other area of the game, where you then compete with other human farmers and this competition is hard, since most farmland is already owned by someone who will not give it away.

However I don't really recommend becoming a human farmer, since exploiting others is immoral and additionally I think it creates products of inferior quality, since most people you can trap into such systems are incompetent to begin with and of not much use when it comes to producing quality and also a human farm limits of what can be done, especially in art it is important to have freedom of expression which is necessary to create quality art.

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Opengameart gives bad customer service

Well quitting Opengameart turned out to be much more complicated than I thought. I hardly ever experienced so much back-stabbing and dishonest behavior. Initially I wanted to go through all lies and correct them, but I thought I keep it short instead, since the fact, that they constantly have to censor me should be proof enough, that their version does not hold water and I don't really care about that drama, I just wanted to leave, but they would not let me.

Sure I wanted to create trouble by editing my contributions to leave a message, but they are my contributions, I can edit them how I want, an admin can delete them and ban me for it, if he wants, but what I did not expect was, that my account was banned and my changes were reverted, so now my account was stolen from me and made to look like I appreciate to release those things there under my name, which I did not want. So I requested that my account AND contributions to be deleted, the admin instantly deleted my account, but nothing else and that started the whole drama.

I mean almost anywhere you can request your account and stuff to be deleted. Even if a website or service does not officially provide such an option, if you contact the support they almost always comply with your requests without much trouble. On other websites or services you can also just go and delete your posts, scramble your data, do whatever and nobody cares, some even offer it in their support as instructions to scramble your data, before deleting your account, since after you delete it, you will no longer be able to change that. So I thought since Opengameart does not offer a method of account deletion, I just render my contributions useless, by uploading a dummy file. I did not want to delete it, since some people may come towards it through links or search results, so they could still find it and download it on my website or on another website I still am at.

My plan was to harm the platform, but not the users. If you want to harm an internet platform, you remove your content or better render the data useless, that is what hurts them the most, since they profit from your work, you basically work for them for free and it is legal, since it is your account and your content, that you own. But what they did now was to ban me and edit my stuff back using my account and preventing me from deleting my stuff, which is probably illegal on multiple levels.

If they would have wanted to steal my content, but ban me from the platform, the most elegant solution would have been to ban me, delete all my contributions and have someone else upload them again, this would even have been legal due to the nature of open source, they would have "only" violated their own websites rules and blamed themselves as wanting to be thieves. So of course they did not do that.

The reason I did not instantly delete everything was that I spend huge amounts of time creating it and submitting it, creating screenshots, descriptions etc and I of course wanted people to use it, thats the whole purpose. But now where I experienced how ruthless and ignorant the operators of Opengameart are regarding their own supposed cause, I just thought, just erase everything, I don't want to have anything to do with it anymore. I mean it is sad for all my wasted efford and of the people who will not find it anymore, but if they do not care at all about their supposed cause and only trying to manipulate me I cannot support that at all.

You have to consider I was literally banned for "Not correcting my behavior after I was punished multiple times". Imagine you communicate with a group and at some point they say "Oh you cannot say that, thats negative and as punishment we will ban you for 2 weeks". After you are unbanned you question the person and argue that "negative" is totally subjective and for that you are punished again with 2 weeks ban. After the other ban you get banned again for supposedly saying something wrong and threatened to be banned permanently. Those people must be totally batshit insane. They are basically running a business and I'm one of their biggest contributors and I work for free and they get most of the profit, but they do not care what I do for them at all, all they care about is to constantly try to manipulate me to what I am allowed to say and what not. All they seem to care about to have their own little politically correct cult, where nobody is allowed to criticize anyone or say anything negative and what is negative is defined by the mighty admin and if you question him you get banned.

In the real world at least almost no reputable company behaves like that. Let me find a nice metaphor, imagine someone runs a business and you are a good customer and some day the store owner starts commanding you around and trys to tell you how you have to behave and if you do not behave like he wants, you cannot buy from him and then he bans you in hope you correct your behavior how he wants it and then is pissed of after you are pissed off for being banned. Of course that rarely happens, there is a saying that the customer is always king, of course he is, because the customer brings the profit and it would be stupid to piss him off, since he brings all the profit. Well now they pissed me off and some others also already left, like the site creator himself who left many years ago.

There is a scenario however where I could imagine their behavior would make sense and that is if their supposed cause is not their real cause, in short this is usually called a hypocrite. I at least really believed into open source game development for a while, but now I realize that they do not seem to care at all and those platforms primary customers are mobile game developers who want to make as much money as possible with using free content so they need to put in as little work as possible, but mobile game development is kind of diametrically opposed to open source game development, at least it should be seen as that.

Now they have to censor me so I cannot tell them the truth and eventually piss off their two other customer groups which are at first mobile game developers and at second a small group that only cares about political correctness and not about really contributing good content and advancing open source game development. Well at least I hope I can quit that chapter now, I just feel shit now for having fallen for that cult and all that harassment I had to endure from their cult members and that only because I wanted to give stuff away for free and make people happy.

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Quitting Opengameart

I decided to quit Opengameart, it was a hard decision, but finally I was fed up with it.

This is also kind of a little follow up to my blog post "The benefits of quitting social media" where I explain the many downsides to social media and since I want to practice what I preach, I decided to quit that social media platform as well.

The main reason for my decision probably is that I was already banned 3 times there and now some admin threatened to ban me permanently and before that happens I decided to leave by myself instead. I'm tired of being censored and harassed, even though I contribute so much stuff for free. The fact that I'm one of the biggest contributors to open source game art and gaming does not seem to matter at all to them, which makes them kinda hypocritical, as they are supposedly for promoting open source games, but in reality they are just sabotaging it through their incompetence and inaction. I also think it is kind of a failed concept, as I explained in this blog post "Why most open source game art is useless". To my research the open source content is probably mostly used for proprietary mobile games, as this is an easy way to make money. I started looking into it as some guy explained to me how he makes six figures income per year, with producing cheap mobile games, full of microtransactions. Sure this is allowed with open source content, but I would reconsider what I'm doing when I try to promote open source gaming, but end up doing the opposite. However the main problem is probably not the abuse of open source content, but the nonexistentness of the open source game development community which I wrote about in my blog post "My experiences with the nonexistent open source game development community" But I don't want to get into more detail about the problems of the open source scenes here, as those are very complex and I don't really have a solution for all, I just try to solve things step by step.

So back to Opengameart:

Initially I got onto the platform to get useful game art, meet other developers for collaboration and for promoting my projects, but somehow it turned out, that the content is mostly useless, other developers don't exist and promotion there has basically no effect.

It seems they don't want me on there anway, so I will make everyone happy by leaving it behind.

I did not really know how to leave, as there is no option to delete your account or content. I could just get myself banned and leave everything as it is, but that would annoy me, to be locked out of my own account and not able to edit my own stuff or interact with anyone, which would mean, they banned me, but stole my content from me. On the other hand, if I just request for deletion of everything it will make the users unhappy, since they just want the free stuff and in the end it is kind of pointless anyway to delete open source content, since anyone could just host it again and therefore also steal it from me. Yes I'm aware that open source content cannot really be stolen, it is meant metaphorically and strictly legally speaking, at least in germany you are always the copyright holder and cannot be separated from your work or your rights on your work, open sourcing it, is just a promise to not make use of your copyright. To make it short, I at least want the right to distribute my own content. Finally I thought the best solution is to just make an archive out of all content I ever released on Opengameart and offer that for download, so whether my content gets deleted it will still be accessible and if it stays online, it will be much easier to just download the archive and get everything at once, plus it will be easier to use, as everything is already unpacked, sorted and updated.

So here is the download link to it:

https://duion.com/files/archive/Opengameart-Duion-Archive.zip

 

Update:
Seems some admin discovered this article and instantly banned me on their website for it.
Initially I did not want to have drama on my website, but as they censor my complaints and keep messing with me, I have to write it down here, it gives me at least a little feeling of justice.

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