The power of deviantART's online community is undeniable. With so many artists sharing so much information, the site is a great place to share your work and improve as an artist. But there are just as many ways to get lost in the huge volume of features found on the site, and unconscionable users prey on artists naïve to the Web's reach and power.
One sticking point for many users is copyright enforcement. Once you upload a picture to the site, it's easy for other users to copy the image to their own computers; then they can potentially use that image for any imaginable purpose, including commercial gain. You can resize your images to a lower quality or add watermarks making them less tempting for thieves, but doing so means viewers see fewer details in your work, too.
DeviantART relies on site members to report copyright infringement. The site's copyright policy gives examples of copyrighted works and tells members what steps to take if they believe someone else has used their artwork without permission.
As with all social networks, both online and off, deviantART sometimes receives negative attention for attracting people who use their anonymity to criticize others and their work. Given the immensity of this community, you'll have to expect that you'll encounter some less-savory types who feel the need to criticize your work in an unproductive manner. However, as the site's proponents like to say, the more positive feedback you offer to your fellow artists, the more you'll receive in return.
In spite of the possible challenges you may face in this sprawling online community, deviantART offers a multitude of features and tools useful to artists.
For more information on social networking and related topics, deviate to the next page.