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Tuesday, January 10, 2023 

Professional artist from Asia was unfairly banned from Reddit for supposedly using AI

Buzzfeed, an otherwise pretentious news site, has this story about an artist who was banned from Reddit's art section because the moderator wrongly accused him - and predetermined - that the illustrator used AI to develop some drawings. The way the reporter references the artist makes this very confusing, however, in a way that's now sadly becoming commonplace about leftists:
Minh Anh Nguyen Hoang, 30, is the lead artist at the three-year-old Kart Studio, which is based in Vietnam. Hoang, who creates art using the name Ben Moran, learned to draw properly in 2019, after finishing a degree in economics.

“Drawing was just my hobby when I was a child,” Moran said in conversation conducted via email because they felt less confident in their spoken English. “I started getting serious about painting when I realized I could be good at it. The artists that mainly inspire me are Ruan Jia, Huang Guangjian, and Piotr Jabłoński” — all contemporary fantasy illustrators.
When I checked the Deviant Art profile, I was hugely disappointed to see whoever this artist is was using absurd PC pronouns like "they/them" as though that solves anything. It makes no difference whether this is somebody wishing to remain anonymous; this makes it difficult to read and comprehend the article properly, and denies the individual in question an identity.

Beyond that, here's the main issue:
Moran is now at the center of a Reddit controversy, thanks to a piece they were commissioned to produce for $500 for the cover of one of fantasy fiction author Selkie Myth’s books. (Myth plans to use it for his forthcoming eleventh title, which he said is likely to be called Mandate of Heaven.) “I've ordered a lot of artwork with [Moran], because they are very, very good at what they do,” said Myth, who is 31 and lives in Nebraska. “They are an absolute steal for that quality and commercial use.” [...]

In late December, Moran, an infrequent Reddit user, decided they wanted to do some self-promotion. So they posted the close-to-final design of the piece, titled A muse in Warzone, to r/Art, a subreddit with 22 million members. They were quickly banned by the subreddit moderators on suspicion of using AI-generated art, which is against r/Art’s rules.

When Moran contacted the moderators to explain that they had not used AI, sending them a link to their portfolio, they were blown off. “I don’t believe you,” a mod wrote in a message Moran posted to Twitter. They went on to say that even if Moran had painted it, it’s “so obviously an AI-prompted design that it doesn’t matter.” The moderator signed off the message with, “Sorry, it’s the way of the world.” They then muted Moran, preventing them from making their case further.
Well it most certainly was offensive how the moderators at the Reddit section shunned whom I assume is a man, yet it proves no matter how "woke" one is, it will not shield them from creeps wanting to dictate everything solely to their liking.
A number of other subreddits covered the controversy, and users rallied around Moran. “The level of mod abuse is absolutely shocking,” one redditor wrote. “It's not just that the artist was wrongly banned. It's that when they appealed, the mod doubled down, called them a liar and insulted their art.” For a short time the mods of r/Art made the subreddit private, claiming they were being “brigaded,” or attacked by other subreddits.
I think the moderator should be removed from his/her job if that's how they're going to behave. But even then, it'd just be a drop in the bucket. I'd noticed in the comments section people talking about how the moderators at Reddit seem to be on a power trip, and with such cavalier personalities, that only makes them all the less suitable for the job they're in.

I hope the artist gets this all straightened out. That said, I'd also be a lot happier if he'd stop using that pronoun nonsense, because it does nothing to earn better admiration and reputation. The same goes for all these news sites playing along with the approach, at the expense of coherency.

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