What is Respect?
Respect, in a nutshell, is "to show regard or consideration for." (per Dictionary.com)
You can show respect when arguing with or disagreeing with someone. It is simply giving another person consideration for their thoughts and opinions. While you may not always agree with everyone you meet, that doesn't mean you can simply trample over all of their thoughts and opinions without regard for their feelings, experiences, knowledge, etc. But it also doesn't mean you have to agree with them.
Take time out to BREATH before commenting on something. If it upsets you and you feel the need to curse at or belittle a person (or their work or rights), stop yourself and ask if you would feel okay if someone did the same to you. Chances are, if you wouldn't want to receive a comment or reply like that, you shouldn't leave it in the first place.
What is Tolerance?
Tolerance, in a nutshell, is "a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one's own." (per Dictionary.com)
Like respect, tolerance doesn't mean you AGREE with anyone, you simply allow that person to exist and be happy in the best way they know how (no matter how silly you think it is). You can be tolerant while educating on a topic, while disagreeing on a topic, and you can be tolerant even while arguing with someone. It really isn't that difficult.
But no one can tell you what you SHOULD or MUST tolerate in life. For example, you should never tolerate anyone bullying you or harassing you. You shouldn't tolerate people disrespecting you, and you most certainly should not tolerate people trying to harm you. But you should not disrespect those people or let your own wealth of tolerance dry up because of a few intolerant and disrespectful individuals. Just remember, like respect, if you wouldn't want it done or said to you, don't do it to other people.
Respect and Tolerance on deviantART
There are several different times on deviantART (and most any social site) where you will find intolerance and a lack of respect. Even the most respectful and tolerant of people have emotions and feelings who will break down be intolerant or disrespectful sometimes. We are all human. We are not perfect. But that should not stop you from TRYING to be tolerant and respectful at all times. And if you find yourself becoming intolerant or disrespectful, it is okay to apologize (an apology is not a sign of weakness, guilt, shame, etc).
Copyrights create a huge divide on nearly every part of the planet and on nearly every website. The bottom line is that each artist has the option to CHOOSE whether or not use the protections given to them when it comes to their art: its use, its distribution, its availability, etc. Copyright law, especially on US-based sites like deviantART, is something that simply must be tolerated. Why? Because it is the law in the USA, and when you use services rendered by providers working out of or off of US-based servers (or through US-based companies), you are bound by US law (even when you are in another country). So it comes down to respect: Respect the artist if they choose to use the protections given to them by US law. Respect them if they choose to not use those protections (as an example, follow their rules for they types of usage they do allow). Just because you don't like or agree with copyright protection or the choice of an artist to use or not use that protection doesn't mean you should be intolerant or disrespect the artists and their art.
A Copyright Briefing (New Updates 3/5/13)I am not a lawyer. I do not know everything there is to know about copyright law and cannot assist you with legal matters. I have studied copyright extensively and written many DMCA Takedown Requests for myself to successfully get the illegal use of my work stopped. This article is in no way comprehensive. It does not include 100% detail on copyright laws. If you want more information or just want to browse more of my writing on copyrights, please go here.
Copyright and "Theft"
Why sharing can be illegal.
There is quite a bit of confusion about copyright law, the DMCA, fair use, de minimus, etc. And rightly so. I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt when I come across what appears to be a "theft" issue. Even people in the United States, the home of the DMCA and one of the strongest supporters of
Fandoms and Fanart
You may run into this a lot... You find a fandom you don't like or a 'hater' of your fandom finds you. Yes, we all will enjoy different things - from soup to fabric patterns to, you guessed it, ART. And part of art and being respectful of artists and their work is understanding that just because YOU don't like a particular show or character does not make that show or character bad. It does not invalidate the artist or their art. And it most certainly doesn't open the floodgates for you to say and do whatever you want because YOU don't like it. You don't have to view it if you don't like it - tolerate it's existence and stay away from it. If you can't do that, at least give respect to the artist and don't flame them for enjoying something you don't enjoy. The same goes for art that you don't think is done "well" or art that is "good enough" to be on an art site. We are all at different places in our lives with different skill levels - respect those artists who are still learning (ALL OF US).
Bullies are everywhere whether you like it or not. Sometimes they are called "trolls" or are said to be "harassing" other people. Either way, bullying people into agreeing with you or changing your mind is not tolerant or respectful. Encouraging other people to do bad or illegal things simply because it is how you think and believe is not respectful. Blocking someone because their opinion is different from your own is also not respectful and shows a great deal of intolerance. And joining in and mobbing a person because you don't like how they do art, their fandom choice, the colors of their character, etc is not right and very disrespectful (and often simply hateful). Just don't do it.
There is no end to the types of disrespect or the available encounters that could produce disrespect or show intolerance on deviantART. Those are the top three I see on a regular basis here on deviantART and are usually "hot buttons" for many people (much like politics, religion and sexuality are considered 'sensitive' subjects that should be avoided in 'polite company'). Other times you may see, be a victim of, or find yourself engaged in respect and tolerance issues such as...
Style of art by an artist
Medium of art by an artist
Poorly written or just plain rude comments
Unfair or outright ugly critiques
Level of skill of an artist
Spelling or grammar of a user
Cussing, name-calling or defamation
Users mobbed for blocking or reporting spam
The list goes on and on unfortunately. And it will never stop growing so long as people choose themselves above everyone else. This is the real world - even online. You need to show and have respect and tolerance. NEED - not have, but need. It is needed for this site to continue to grow, needed for new artists to be able to spread their wings and try new things, needed for veteran artists to be able to network and grow businesses, and it is needed to be able to educate others and share your own thoughts, experiences and knowledge with the world. Without respect, no one will listen to you or take you seriously. If you don't care about that now, know that eventually you will - and you will have regrets later if you don't already have them now.