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Submitted on
July 27


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White Knights and Why They're Harmful

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 2:34 PM
This is quite a huge/concerning topic, and I know that not all deviants share the same point of view, and I respect that. I'm sure that there are many other journals touching upon this subject, but because I personally have had very bad experiences with it, I want to inform my watchers about it myself! Hope it helps some.


White Knighting

So, for the past year or so I've noticed that some people saying that they specifically dislike  a lot of "popular" dA artists due to the overprotective behavior of their watchers.

I personally find it very sad that people are turned off by my artwork simply because they associate my username with "[my] white knights".

There's no way I can possibly control what my fanbase does or says, and this can lead to some very awkward situations and conflicts on my end.

Don't get me wrong...I love each and every one of my watchers, in fact without you guys my artistic life would be incredibly more lackluster. I'm sure many other people feel this way too. But there is no denying that some watchers can take things too far when it comes to "defending" their favorite artists against thieves, trolls, and tracers.

I've seen some very nasty things said to others due to alleged tracing/stealing/trolling. Name-calling, offensive/vulgar slang, and even death threats are tossed around like it's nothing...and that just isn't right.

Is art theft bad? Yes, of course it is.
Trust me, It sucks having your artwork stolen all the time, not to mention it is copyright infringement.
Having your work traced?
Even though it's acceptable by dA standards, I personally find it very distasteful to use someone else's art to selfishly pursue your own gain.
And trolling?
Definitely annoying, but let's face it, anyone who trolls usually has some sort of superiority/insecurity issues anyways, so not much to get upset over.

But guess what?
The only person who should be seriously dealing with these situations are the artists themselves -- there is no need to lash out at thieves/trolls/tracers on behalf of the artist that you idolize.

 In fact, trying to take on the role of a "savior"usually only makes the situation worse.

When a bunch of "rabid fans" mindlessly defend their idol without a second thought, not only does it makes the white knights look foolish, but also the original artist themselves. In fact, this is a surefire way to damage your favorite artists' reputations. And I'm sure that's the LAST thing you'd want to do, if you truly care about the artist!

 Now, when passerbys see the artists' name come up, they'll think "Oh, so-and-so, isn't that the guy with the crazy, bloodthirsty fans? Yeahh, I'm staying away from them."
It makes others afraid of interacting with the original artist out of fear that they'll be somehow attacked by the white knights.

"You are who you surround yourself with", as they say.

Also, by trying to take a situation into your OWN hands instead of simply letting the original artist know privately, you are disrespecting the original artist by not letting them have a say in the matter and trying to act on their behalf. Artists can handle themselves; they don't need their own personal armies to come to their rescue over small things! :nod:

You are not doing anyone a favor by acting hatefully!


Also, please don't get "white knighting" confused with those who calmly correct misinformed statements about an artist, or those who warn an art thief that it is against dA's rules to repost artwork without the original artist's permission.

For example, this is not white-knighting:
Person: "Omg liek I heard Billy is such a terrible person, they turned down some guy's commission cuz they thought the character wuz ugly!!!1 wow what a self centered asshole!"

One of Billy's watchers, in reply to Person: "Hey there! Actually, Billy did not accept that person's commission because the character they wanted drawn had a lot of neon colors in it. Billy speicfically wrote in their Terms of Service that they do not accept neon characters, that's all!"

But this IS white knighting:

Person: "Omg liek I heard Billy is such a terrible person, they turned down some guy's commission cuz they thought the character wuz ugly!!!1 wow what a self centered asshole!"


See how foolish the BOTH of those people look now? Don't put yourself on the same level of the hater. ;)


If you are ever feeling harassed or bullied by a "white knight", I would recommend ignoring and  blocking the user, and maybe even report them depending on how serious it gets.
I have had to report several malicious users on my page in the past, and have had positive experiences with the staff in dealing with them.
Cyberbullying is not tolerated as lightly as it was a couple of years ago.

Depending on your level of comfort/familiarity with the original artist, you could let them know about the harassment as well.
Perhaps they can speak privately to the white knight and ask them kindly to stop.

Also, if your artwork is ever directly stolen, there is a VERY easy way to get it removed.
Simply file a DMCA complaint to dA.
If you can prove it's your original work, the staff will have the theft's taken down within a couple of days.It also often results in the thief being banned from dA, which is a bonus!
No army of white knights necessary :)

And just remember:

"Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding."

- Mahatma Gandhi

la-chess: la-white-knight la-chess: la-white-knight la-chess: la-white-knight 

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CrypticMachine Featured By Owner Edited Aug 20, 2014  Student General Artist
I agree white knights are harmful.I mean what do people get out defending someone on the Internet?It's so stupid I can't stand white knights.I once wrote a crit..I am not gonna name any names but the artist overreacted to it.. She acted like she wasn't upset but she clearly was..Her girlfriend white knighted against me over a simple suggestion..

No matter what I did I couldn't get through to them so I just gave up.They clearly couldn't take criticism.I wish she had that listed on her front page or somewhere then I wouldn't have gave her one..All I recommended was for her to study anatomy..She didn't have to flip out and say I was rude for giving suggestions.That's no reason to get bent out of shape.People have to realize that they can't please everyone.I have no respect for artists like that.

She could have just said that she didn't want it rather then going over the top like that.I wanted to help and I love giving suggestions for an artist to improve..There isn't many I've seen who can take criticism very well at all.I don't know how anyone can improve if they hide their art behind a bunch of lies and think it's perfect when it's far from it.

 If they don't judge it themselves, just shy away from criticism and thinking that it's perfect then they will never get better..That is very damaging for an artist's growth.The sad part was that the artist I am talking about was selling their work..That was very concerning and since I been watching her for awhile I had to say something..Her art wasn't improving anymore...I was just worried I really wanted to see her improve.Like they say you gotta know the rules before you break them..When it comes to learning basics I mean.. No one can simplify things right without knowing how it works.

I don't give much criticism nowadays because I am afraid the artist might flip out if they don't say they take criticism or not..This is just one of the stupidest things to white knight over..I will never understand that.They may think they're defending the artist but they don't realize how foolish they're being.. An artist who wants to sell their work and wants to be a professional but can't take criticism does not have my respect..It would be different if it was just a hobby.Just my two cents.
BluSilvrPaladin Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Good to know I'm not a white knight, and the term is just thrown at me when people don't like me backing up my friends' points of view. Thanks for this.
IluvWinxandRandyCunn Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That example actually made what was a so-called white knight apparently not one.
ryan1147 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I agree White Knights and White Knightery are the best and I will straight up murder anyone who says any different with a flaming metaphorical sword of some sort.
FluffyFluffBear Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I didnt know what a white knight was on DA so this is good to know for the future 
Thank you witchpaws~ <3
Aniusia483 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
To me, the worst white knights are those who attack anyone who 'dares' to write an honest (and acceptable in terms of language - not everyone is a native, right?) comment which is not ass-licking... And which doesn't ignore the artist's official 'don't mention anything about this or that aspect/topic'. They behave like if they had full rights to speak and attack on behalf of the addressee:/
As for art theft, I don't mind black knights if nothing else works to prevent the thief from stealing arts(but I'd prefer they just notified me my artwork was stolen and mass-reported the user for constant stealing). In other cases, I wouldn't appreciate having these white knights doing nasty attacks behind my back. I know how much I hate mass attacks myself and how much it upsets me I can't even have a word to the artist or a whole army mass-harass me for that... Even worse if the artist joins the war instead of cooling it down:/ - seems it's mosty typical for furries and children or infantile adults as far as I noticed...
Pencil-Stencil Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
in other words, you don't want to be defended by a rude child who takes things personally and doesn't know how to politely correspond with someone they don't agree with, because their idiocy reflects on you :)
witchpaws Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014   Digital Artist
Most people do not want a few crazies (children OR adults) trying to act on behalf of them in an abusive manner. :) Artists can handle themselves.
Pencil-Stencil Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
of course, but you can mostly experience this from children/teens on internet.
witchpaws Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014   Digital Artist
I suppose that's why dA has an age requirement of at least 13 years and older :P
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