Ok everyone, this is something I need to get off my chest and explain and try and beg the staff to make a clearer set of rules. Because banning things that aren't mentioned and not telling people what they CAN do instead of freakishly vague rules of what one CAN'T do is just about as bad as the US government right now. Let me explain and then offer some suggestions for what to do about this.
First, lets go over their 'official' word on the subject found here: [link]
The first part is just explaining what is going on:"There has been a small number of lottery-type opportunities opening up as groups recently and also on user accounts. These games of chance have attracted attention within the community because they offer a gambling type venture where deviants may win additional prizes, or receive their points back with an additional increase, should they be the lucky deviant to be selected."
This makes it seem like only ones where they give points to get points or prizes is the problem but it's not quite clear at all. Some deviants have expressed concerns over these groups, not knowing whether or not these lotteries are legitimate, or even allowed within our community. We are aware that there are some concerns over the legalities of such lotteries, and would obviously not wish for any deviants to put themselves in a potential situation which may result in legal intervention. Before starting any lottery activity, deviants should consider obtaining legal advice in their local territory. Criminal prosecutions can occur.
Ok so we're going to shut down artist only ways of freely giving out art, helping others win some PM, ways for groups to raise points to get super group with a way to give back to those who donated and a little fun over a few 'squeaky wheels' who whined? Really? Since when does minority get to rule everyone else? If they don't want the lotteries they should just simply NOT PARTICIPATE THEMSELVES. Not whine and complain like liberals and shove what they think is right or wrong down others throats by getting the mods involved.
As to the legality part of it, as far as I know in the US there's casinos in pretty much every state. People should know the laws of their area and they should be responsible for their actions but not as far as banning them. Everyone should have a chance to have something called 'free will' which the US and apparently Deviant art themselves are starting to forget. People make something called CHOICES and if they choose to enter a drawing or something and they get scammed, shame on them for getting fooled. It was a risk they took and they took knowingly. The ones that had taken advantage of people should be the ones in trouble, not everyone else who isn't."We've gave this a lot of thought in terms of the community's interests, and considered the possible outcomes. In order to protect our community from any potential harm, we've decided to close any lotteries or points banking systems which give concerns, and will encourage any group founders or individuals involved in the administration of such accounts to return back to the original donator any points that were solicited for such purposes. "
Once again this SOUNDS like it's only point for point raffles that are a problem. So then why were some people banned for holding a give away where you favorited the journal and you got a free drawing? That has nothing to do with points AND that is not anywhere listed in this 'official word' journal. "Our principal concerns are to avoid the exploitation of members of deviantART, prevent unfair treatment of deviants who are solicited to participate and avoid the appearance of impropriety from offers which are wide open to abuse. We encourage gift giving. We encourage trading points for art or art services. We encourage the solicitation of points as donations. Games of chance, however, solicit with a promise of potential reward and we have no adequate means to confirm that the "game" is conducted fairly or within the requirements of applicable law."
Once again this goes back to people have a mind, a free choice and should be treated as such. People need to take responsibility for THEIR actions, not throw a fit, whine complain and get everyone else banned because they were upset or got ripped off. THEY made the CHOICE to enter, no one forced them to so why is it suddenly a few people COULD have been ripped off so lets ban everything and make unclear rules and ban lots of people over it?
This is so vague it bans contests. Contests are people entering/doing something for the chance to win points and other prizes with no guarantee they won't get ripped off or the contest canceled half way into everything.
Also everyone knows people are 10x's more likely to donate or help out of they get something out of it. That's why company's offer '10% off sales', 'buy one get one free!' and other such deals. People are more likely to buy if they get something out of it like savings, something free, a bonus gift etc. Deviant art dose that all the time just like every other business out there. So now its not ok for Deviants to do the same to get people to donate to charities, to help give others membership, give away free art, get rid of original art or anything of that nature? "I hope this provides clarity on the matter, thank you for all your concerns. "
No offense by my grandma's half blind vision from cataracts is clearer than that whole article. It's just added more confusion to everything.
Here are suggestions for the staff to help with this:
1. PLEASE write a journal putting what IS allowed so people will stop getting confused. Clearly state what isn't allowed one item at a time with explanations. If people know what they can do it will help.
2. Get your definitions straight. Lottery and raffle are both ways of getting money to give prizes, raffles include tickets, not just random chance. Raffles aren't mentioned at all in this and they need to be oked or not. People hold raffles all the time to support charities, schools and fundraisers all the time in the US, why is it not ok to help a group go super group, people get membership or win some art from artist who don't offer commissions or have prices too high for others to afford?
And for give aways, it has nothing to DO with raffle/lottery or other wise. The definition of GIVE AWAY is Something given away at no charge, especially a premium."
That is in no way a lottery or raffle. If people say "I'm in!" and that's what gets their names in or gives a favorite in exchange for winning a drawing then what is the harm in that? Why are we banning that and not the people who actually HAVE ripped some one off and banning things on the 'just in case' of the matters?
3. Un-bann those who didn't see the rules or who weren't breaking them. Your article was so unclear it bans contests pretty much by it's goofy definitions and poor wording. Anyone who was banned over this matter needs to be re-evaluated immediately and have their account restored AND given a fair chance to have the rules explained to them, to speak for themselves etc.
4. Recognize people have free will and stop catering to the whiny minority. What are they really going to do outside of whine and complain and leave the site? If 10% of something was bad, why make 90% of people who follow the rules, want to host things to give away their wealth and be a blessing to others or give away art that most people couldn't afford, suffer because of that? People CHOOSE to enter, people CHOOSE to host. Deviant art should not be getting in the way or taking away people's free choice, ability to choose and take risks or impend something that is used very often for good as in the case of raising money for a charity.
These things would help a lot. People are so very confused as to what is and what isn't allowed. Personally I think lotteries where you put in one point to hope to win them all is wrong. But raffles to help a cause like giving away PM, raising funds for a charity, helping a group reach super, being a Christmas raffle give away, people giving away free art is perfectly acceptable and should be allowed. Half the fun of dA is getting free art, is having PM is being able to give things away. Banning everything deemed 'similar' to lotteries is wrong because they're nothing alike and now the people are subject to bad definitions and the fear of banning over every little thing.
I hope this brings some better clarity and some useable suggestions to the staff. I may be a little hot but I am quite upset over a few of the banning, the un-clarity of these new rules and the lack of response for clarity by the staff members who posted or was supposed to be responding to the 'official word' on the mater. People deserve the right to know what IS and IS NOT allowed and it should be re-clarified thoroughly before bannings take place left and right.