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Why did you delete it--what about it doesn't constitute anime?
The post was removed in accordance with /r/anime's rule about being "Anime Specific", which requires that a post be about something that fulfills several criteria: that the work in question was produced in Japan, aired in Japan, and intended for a Japanese audience. While Shelter was animated by an anime studio, it was produced by Americans (Mr. Robinson and his label). This rendered it seperate from co-productions (such as the upcoming Toonami/Production I.G. co-production of FLCL, where each side is an equally powerful creative force) and exactly like a traditional commissioned work, such as how Batman: the Animated Series was animated by Sunrise (more traditionally known for the Gundam and Code Geass series). A lot of people seem to think that we were judging it on some sort of qualitative scale. They hold the moniker "anime" up as if it imparts some sort of conotation of quality. We're not judging the quality of the short; we were simply saying "This belongs elsewhere", like if you posted about classical music in /r/gaming. That said, we are opening a discussion amongst the moderation team to better connect the rules with the users.
What happened after you deleted it?
It was, frankly, a fairly standard deletion until the mod's name was leaked. At that point, all hell broke loose. What's managable a little at a time becomes impossible when messages are coming in by the dozens every minute from twitter followers, elsewhere on reddit, etc. And, because it was the only name attached to the discussion, a significant amount of the blame and criticism was being put directly on one person's head. As the harassment started coming in harder, we made a decision that principle doesn't trump anyone's feeling of safety, and relented.
What does the whole incident say about the subreddit, anime and anime fans more generally?
Honestly, I don't think it really says anything about the community, either of anime fans or specifically of /r/anime. I've been running /r/anime as head mod since Reddit started doing "custom" subs, which would've been, I think, 2007 or 2008, and we've never had an issue like this, and frankly don't expect to have one again. 99.99% of my interaction with the community over the past near-decade has been positive. There are, have been, and forever will be malcontents in any community, but it's important to remember what a small part they are, no matter how loud. For every jerk anime fan I've ever met, there have been dozens of great ones. Reddit and the anime community are no different.
Secondly, a lot of the issue was from outside the community; people frustrated with what they saw as an attack on something they enjoyed who, in their frustration, lashed out. I think there was some productive conversation in that space that we missed out on. We have near-infinite opportunities to talk to our regulars, and obviously will be doing so over the next few weeks, but many of these people came to /r/anime, said their peace, and left. There's no chance for follow-up with them, like we have with our regulars. I honestly regret that.
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