CG Censorship Continued

Just when you thought it was over, VFXTalk owner Jah sends an email to all his members. I thought the trend of sending these kind of fyi letters would end after my last post. Guess not:

To our community,

As you may or may not know, we have recently experienced a rift between the management of VFXtalk and some of the high profile members that have grown to become self-labeled leaders of the VFXtalk community over the past 2 years.

What started as a job posting geared towards putting some extra cash in peoples pockets in time for the Christmas grew into a explosive debate that exposed a lot of the negativity these members had been seeding within our community and which represented values we are morally opposed to.

During this rift, a number of these members were banned from the site. Of the 30,000 members in the community we banned in total approximately 20 users.

This was because of their condescending attitudes towards newcomers and job posters in our marketplace, and because of their racist attitudes towards the visual effects artists in India who they see as taking their jobs.

We are very disappointed in the attitudes and actions of these users, and would like to say that they do not speak on our behalf, or on behalf of our community.

We would also like to apologize for anything that was said by our staff that may be taken out of context as a result the heated debates we had to engage in with these users as we tried to find the underlying root of the problem.

After the banning of these users, we can only say that the quality of the user experience on the site has increased significantly.  New users are no longer ‘afraid’ of asking questions and job posters aren’t ‘afraid’ to ask for help in low cost jobs or independent productions.

We know it will take some time to build back the knowledge we have lost, but we can already see that knowledge rising up from within as new users from around the globe work together to help each other.

To make up for this and in a effort to open up our knowledge base to newcomers on the site we have now removed the restrictions from accessing our professional forums.

We have also opened our VIP program up to artists in India and china free of cost to show solidarity and to help support them as they strive to excel within this industry.

While these are just a few small steps, we believe that they have already removed the general feeling of negativity that is out there towards the vfx industry in our little part of the world.

As more digital artists and newcomers join VFXtalk to learn, seek help and collaborate we know that we can help the industry to move ahead and prosper in the hard times and transitions that it is facing.

Regards,

The Team
VFXTalk.com

17 Responses to CG Censorship Continued

  1. Anon says:

    People were never ‘afraid’ until you got involved, jah.

    People should email his sponsors telling them how disgusted they are.

  2. ga01 says:

    Been many years around VFX, although not as very active member. What’s going on those lasts weeks is not common.
    Last jah e-mail sounds like a justification, but I guess will make things worse. We all have opinions, and the ability to share them and deal with them makes us a group, but those last actions (banning and the e-mail)makes me understand that this basic reciprocity is broken. Sad

    At least I got to know this interesting blog, nice work you do m8

  3. T says:

    My spam folder must have gobbled this up since that’s where it belongs, but I’m glad I got the chance to read this garbage email he sent to everyone.

    Sounds like Jah is grasping at anyone to be on his side. The sad thing is I’m sure there are people who don’t frequent the site enough to know how horrible he has been and think that this email is legit. Let’s hope that everyone will see through is bs.

  4. Curious george says:

    I got the email…who cares? Are you so desperate for every scrap of ammo for your vfx jihad that you need to latch onto insignificant tripe like this?

    Ranks up there with your (unverified) quotes from one of the owners of Hydrolix….

    • VFX Soldier says:

      Hi, I really didn’t care much for the email until I received so many emails from readers who wanted to respond.

      I actually think its interesting how much outrage this little incident has generated compared to how little outrage the Pixar ILM collusion settlement generated.

      As far as Hydraulx is concerned, I’m told that the owners did read my article. What’s funny is that their comment on my blog was so bad that you would have to hope it was a fake right? If it is them and it seems to be true, then that would make VFXTalk owner Jah look like a saint!

  5. Doug says:

    This back handed apology letter pissed me off so much that I just spent the better part of today deleting every single post I ever wrote on the forum and wiping my profile clean, since Jah won’t allow users to delete their own accounts that is.

    What a shame that this once valuable site for working professionals and new VFX artists has become a hate filled irrelevant corner of the internet.

    CGTalk…I’m coming home.

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Leonid Karachko, @ftwo. @ftwo said: CG Censorship Continued: Just when you thought it was over, VFXTalk owner Jah sends an email to all his members…. http://bit.ly/hB1hxy […]

  7. mananama says:

    Jesus guys, it’s just a bloody internet forum, get a grip.

  8. gboom says:

    I’ve deleted all my posts from the site. After 5+ years of helping and supporting what was once a thriving forum, I no longer want to be associated with it.

  9. Fxperson says:

    Seems like jah realised that he lost a good number of skilled people cause now he wants to pay people $1 for every answered question. Lol?

  10. Invader777 says:

    After a discussion I had with VFXtalk Owner Jah yesterday, he has agreed to print an open apology
    While it’s not going to make everyone happy, I for one am going to take it on face value… This not being the first time he’s mentioned his medication in conversation.
    The bans, for the most part had a 7 day limit – so most (I’m pretty sure all) users are welcome back to VFXtalk irregardless of any innapropriate behaviour,
    and the vastly unpopular VIP program for India and China will end at the end of the month.
    Anyone who has already signed up for it will still recieve their VIP status when their postcount reaches 20…
    So don’t worry people, Jah isn’t giving you something only to snatch it away at a whim.

    I think most people will understand how hard it is to make an apology of any kind, to admit that you were wrong about something, or that something you did was wrong. Or at least percieved to be in the wrong.

    Be under no illusions. Jah was under no obligation to anyone to print this. At any moment he could have just walked away from it all without apology.

    Jah will also be having less of a presence on VFXtalk for a little while
    But I sincerely hope that if he does poke his head in once in a while, people will have the sense not to be utter douchbags about it.
    We should not forget this incident… but I hope that we have a little of the power to forgive.
    So here it is (You can see the original at VFXtalk dot com

    My apology to the commuity – Today, 01:53 AM
    To the members of VFXtalk,

    As you may know, I have taken it upon myself to go to war with the senior members of the visual effects community, and with the vfx artists who make up a large part of the industry in the USA and UK.

    While it has hopefully brought a much needed change to the site and I am sure has caused many people to think about the real issues that exist in the industry today, it didn’t work out that well at a personal level and so I would like to officially apologize for the flames, the insults and the attempt to tear our community apart instead of unite it around a common cause.

    To understand me before you judge me, however, you need to understand where I am coming form. I suffer form a unique and rare terminal illness at a genetic level that flipped my dna when I was a child and made me, literally, allergic to life on this planet.

    Since I was around 8 years old I have had to take really strong medication, the kind that wold stop your heart, on a daily basis to regulate the hormones in my brain and align it with your plane of reality, and have been doing so for over 20 years now.

    Unfortunately, while my medication keeps me alive and allows me to function quite well at a technical level, it also has severe side effects such as loss of short term memory, the inability to sleep, and makes me prone to psychotic breaks when not regulated.

    These breaks dont happen that frequently, as i usually remember to take my medication, but when they do they tend to rip apart the fabric of the universe around me leaving me in a fragmented reality where I feel the need to destroy everything around me for better or for worse.

    My doctor always told me I would not live past 20, and when I hit 25 my shrink told me that I was mentally unfit for society. As a result i have pursued a life in the digital realm where I don’t have to interact with regular people.

    10 years later my probation officer and the judge told me the same thing, however I have been able to succeed in life where many have failed and have been able to secure a wife (after 2 tries), raise a family and secure a considerable amount of personal wealth against all odds.

    Over the past few months I have been experiencing mental tremors, and went back to my doctor to have my medication regulated, which after a few tests he did. Unfortunately i found out a few days ago that he died in 2005. As you can imagine this has made me stop an think about many things.

    One of the things I have been thinking about was the way I responded to the community here over what some may think as a trivial matter, but to me was deeply wounding because of the challenges I had to face living on this planet.

    During the ensuing rampage i developed a split personality that has been busy using the considerable amount of technology I have access to, to go to war with the members that took me on. Its surprising what you can do if you know how to travel the digital pathways of the internet at a base level.

    Thankfully Invader777 introduced me to courage wolf, and the ensuing internal battle in my psyche introduced a new personality to the multiple personalities which are me that has now taken over and is helping to unite my mind and bring me back to what you would consider reality.

    I have convinced myself, after much debate, that I have been going down the wrong path – not just here but also in my other life where I have been doing things that make the arguments here look more like a love affair. I owe Invader777 a lot for helping me to get here, and remember it, and hope to repay him one day.

    I have decided that it is in my best interests to take a 1 year sabbatical and seek enlightenment and will be leaving to immerse myself in the fabric of the digital universe so as to try to understand my calling in life and the reasons why your organic technology has kept me alive.

    Before I leave I will be turning over control of the vfxtalk community to Andreas Jablonka and Gentle Fury, who have proven to be men of real character in their actions over the past few weeks.

    I believe they are the leaders your community is looking for. Given time I am sure that they can help you all to find a way to mend the issues that have affected your industry and through leadership can help to unite the different vfx factions that are spread across the world.

    I thank you for your time, and for reading this message, and again extend my apologies to anyone who was affected in the vfxwar that was waged here.

    Best Regards,

    Jah Shaka

    * Just in case you think any of the above is false or made up, or i am trying to be condecending, as i know it sounds a bit off kilter, i assure you that it is all factual and 100% accurate. none of it is fabricated.

  11. Julian says:

    Sorry, shameless plug …
    For those leaving VFX Talk, you can use http://www.vfxoverflow.com for Questions and Answers. Its designed to solve the issues with phpBB style forums for Q&A. The best answers float to the top.

    The community become the moderators and can, for example, close inappropriate posts. It doesn’t try to be a job board or marketplace, and there are no ads or hidden agenda. Just Visual Effects questions and answers.

    So if you want to migrate people in that direction, start posting questions there and spread the word.

    Cheers

    Julian

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