Alterna Comics posted their social media guidelines for freelancers and employees to their Twitter account and were immediately attacked for it.

The policy recommends their creators “not use block bots/blind blocking/block chains or any other of kind of program or practice that is used to block thousands of people, blindly en masse.”

But they also note that creators can block and mute individuals if they have an unpleasant experience on social media. They make it clear they are about selling comics to anyone.

“But due to the fact that you would be part of a creative team at Alterna and a ateam of retailers would need to be able to confidently sell your comics to as many people as possible, we have adopted a policy that discourages the use of anything that would directly affect our stance of full inclusion for readers and creators. We have readers of all walks of life and it is paramount to us, that we encourage, promote, and stand by our stance, that comics are for everyone.”

They also not that they will help their creators who might be having a poor experience in relation to their work or feel threatened.

They would specifically highlight the section where creators can block or mute individuals who are creating an unpleasant experience for them.

It wouldn’t take long for a number of people to begin condemning Alterna Comics for their stance, which came just a day after a number of comic book professionals pronounced comics are for everyone. Some people would even go so far as to say Alterna Comics’ social media policy could cause them actual harm. Others who have worked with Alterna in the past noted they would be severing ties.

But this was just the tip of the iceberg. YouTuber That Umbrella Guy documented the harassment of Alterna Comics as a number of known suspects like Kieran Shiach, Darryl Ayo, and Jennifer De Guzman began trying to paint the publisher as supporting a “hate movement.”

There were a number of folks that applauded Alterna’s social media policy.

What’s really interesting about the negative responses is that people seem to believe this social media policy is out of the ordinary. However, DC Comics issued extremely similar guidelines in an email to their freelancers back in February. In fact, DC Comics’ policy was much more thorough going so far as to “recommend that you avoid negative comments in this very public forum.” DC Comics evens recommends to their freelancers that they “refrain from engaging with individuals who may be speaking negatively about you, other talent, DC, our fans, and the comics industry as this is a no-win situation.”

But maybe the biggest piece about DC Comics’ social media policy is where it states, “Comments that may be considered defamatory, libelous, discriminatory, harassing, hateful, or that incite violence are unacceptable and may result in civil or criminal action. In addition, comments that may be considered insulting, cruel, rude, crass, and mean spirited are against company policy guidelines. We ask, and expect, that you will help to create an online environment that is inclusive, supportive and safe.”

That sounds extremely similar to Alterna’s newly released guidelines, but no one was throwing a fit when DC released their guidelines. In fact, a number of DC Comics and Vertigo Comics freelancers have repeatedly broken the DC Comics guidelines including Richard Pace, Zoe Quinn, Robbi Rodriguez, and Ramon Villalobos. However, DC Comics hasn’t taken any action whatsoever. So, their guidelines might be similar to Alterna’s but they sure don’t enforce them. It will be interesting to see if Alterna enforces these guidelines.

Lonestar creator Mike S. Miller would point out the hypocrisy.

What do you make of Alterna’s guidelines and the response a number of “professionals” had to it?

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About The Author

John F. Trent

John is the Editor here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.

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