With friends and fans like these...

So the Internet is a wild place when it comes to copyright violations. Anything that can be copied, is copied. Authorship is devalued on a regular basis. In short, nobody cares WHO created something. They only care about WHAT the creation is and how much value it brings them. This said value is often momentary -- a joke or a meme that you LOL at before scrolling on to the next thing on your timeline.

This behaviour is what emboldens people who steal content and build mini-traffic empires on top of stolen content. They know people don't care WHO created that artwork, WHO wrote that joke, WHO made that great thing that went "viral" and blew everyone's minds. They know that all you would take note of is the content itself. So they declare themselves "curators" and go about shamelessly stealing stuff.

These guys are assholes. You know it. I know it. There is nothing to debate there. It's just that none of us are sure how exactly to effectively fight them. Especially when a platform like Facebook seems to little or nothing to help creators file Copyright violation complaints.

I want to talk instead, about you -- the person who occasionally sees a creator complain about how his/her work has been stolen by an anonymous Facebook page. Or even when a creator complains about being victimised by intolerant people on account of his or her work having "hurt religious sentiments".

I will tell you what I, as a creator, would like to see you do. I would like you to get at least as angry as I am. Maybe a little less angry as I am. But definitely close.

I would love it if you -- someone who values what I build -- felt as indignant as I do when my work is stolen or suppressed. I love to see angry readers / fans fight for the creators they love. In case you didn't know, it gives creators the greatest of satisfactions.

But there is also the other kind of supporter -- the one whose running retort to all tragedies is a very 1990s "kuchh nahi ho sakta". You tell this person you are hurt and he says "suck it up - this is the internet" or "no point complaining about it - there is nothing to be done" or "you can't win these fights - just learn to live with it".

I am sorry, but if you are such a person, you are a prick. What you consider pragmatic advice is just pure unadulterated discouragement. If this is all you can tell your favourite creator whose work has been stolen or censored, then your favourite creator can do without you. You are no help at all.

One can buckle up and prepare to fight enemies. But what does one do with friends like you?

There are creators who share their work generously on the internet for free consumption by anyone who might come across it. Through years of hard work, they build an audience base. These are people who are connected to the creator for no other reason than that they appreciate in their work and are invested in their growth. All that creators get out of it is connections -- human beings that they know are looking forward to their next piece of work; human beings who they can rely on. I cannot overestimate how important fans/followers are to an independent creator.

Know that your favourite creators count on your support. If you love someone's work, don't be a bystander. When there is a fight, jump right in!