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December 2012
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The Golden Rule of ethics for artists on Facebook

Facebook is one of those marketing areas that is new enough to have vague “rules of conduct.
Most of us grew up with the Golden Rule of conduct, “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.”
And in its learning and growing pains, Facebook is now pro-active in giving us the tools in dealing with lewd, malicious or hateful intent and posts on Facebook. We can report, block, unfriend or otherwise eliminate the offending party.

For artists, photographers and musicians, there is another arena of behavior, along with the Golden Rule, which, although not written in stone, should be observed. It is assumed that if you opt to friend or like an artist or his page, it is because you like that artist or his work. To friend or like an artist with hopes of piggy backing off his possible success is unethical. There are plenty of sites on Facebook that are expressly there to encourage artists to interact with advice, tips and ideas without going through your artist friends pages and hoping to score a commission from their friends.

Observing the following “Code of Conduct” will insure that the respect that you show an artist will be reciprocated. Feel free to add more!

1. Do not post photos of your work on another artist’s page without permission. Private message or email him first. This applies to those 1:00 am posts with photos that will stay up for hours on another artist’s site until discovered.

2. Do not comment/post on another artist’s work and then add links to your work.

3. Do not try to get around #2 by commenting on how you “do it” (work in a articular medium, apply shadows, whatever, etc) in the hopes of having viewers click on your site through your avatar.

4. Do not try to make the artist’s friends “your” friends for the express purpose of showing them your work (in hopes of luring them away or getting a commission.)

5. Never contact another artist’s friends or friends of friends with promises of “doing it better” or “cheaper.”

If you have done any of the 5 “Don’ts” above, either intentionally or unintentionally, start living the “Golden Rules of Facebook for Artists” and keep your friends for a long time!

By respecting your artist friends and their hard work, you are also respecting yourself and what you have put into your art and your livelihood.

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