SCANLATOR COMMUNITY SURVEY (All scanlators welcome!!)

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Hi! Camping the scanlation forums, the migration back begins.

Forums are very cool, thank you very much to the staff for tolerating all our "where comments" for almost two years. Thought I'd take advantage of having scanlation forums again to share something people might find interesting.

I'm currently conducting a very informal survey on other scanlators just for fun, if you have the time to fill it out or share it around that'd be great. I think it'd be cool for the community to learn about each other!

Info:
  • It takes 10-20 minutes to fill out
  • The survey is completely anonymous
  • Results will be shared here in early 2023


If you have any questions or feedback, let me know. Merry forums and a happy scanlation.

Survey link:
https://forms.gle/8tvWBRY6zMTaKKHT8

8m1hz4icva7a1.png

 
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Given that preview, the second question may be flawed or unclear.
71.5% of responses say there are some times when accepting money is ethical, but 76.3% of responses say they haven't made any money.
I wonder what number of responders accept money but still consider themselves as not having made any money ecause it all gets spent back on scanlation.
 
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71.5% of responses say there are some times when accepting money is ethical, but 76.3% of responses say they haven't made any money.
I don't particularly see an issue or contradiction with this. Not making any money off of a hobby yourself doesn't mean you condemn others for doing it.

I was more annoyed with the first question. There's a wide gap between "only ethical if X", "if Y" and "always". I could think of reasons X, Y, Z and so on why it could be ethical, but there's no way accepting money for anything is always ethical. The money itself could be, like, stolen for example.
 
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Given that preview, the second question may be flawed or unclear.
71.5% of responses say there are some times when accepting money is ethical, but 76.3% of responses say they haven't made any money.
I wonder what number of responders accept money but still consider themselves as not having made any money ecause it all gets spent back on scanlation.
Yeah, I realized a little too late that “made money off of” in the second question was unclear. I’ll definitely make a note of that for things to improve
 
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I hope it will be noticed that there is also a potential Spanish-speaking audience. I hope it shows in the graphs.

There is indeed a Spanish spike in “what language(s) do you scanlate to”? and around 1/6 of all the survey takers speak Spanish lmao

pkgqcu.jpeg


someone suggested translating the survey to reach more groups, will also be tucking that suggestion away for the future
 
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I don't particularly see an issue or contradiction with this. Not making any money off of a hobby yourself doesn't mean you condemn others for doing it.

I was more annoyed with the first question. There's a wide gap between "only ethical if X", "if Y" and "always". I could think of reasons X, Y, Z and so on why it could be ethical, but there's no way accepting money for anything is always ethical. The money itself could be, like, stolen for example.
Noted! Would you have preferred a space to write in your own answers, or a revamp of the question entirely?

In “testing”, someone mentioned they liked questions that forced you to “make a decision”, so I went with that and cut a lot of the ambiguous answers from that section. The aim of how the question is written right now is to try and make people fall to one side or the other while also acknowledging some common exceptions I’ve heard.

If it’s an issue of how it’s phrased or a lack of clarification I am also down for feedback!
 
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Noted! Would you have preferred a space to write in your own answers, or a revamp of the question entirely?
It's not a huge deal, part of it is just my formal logic/philosophy brain objecting even though I think I know what you were actually going for. Like, I assume by "ethical" you meant more like "not wrong" rather than "the morally correct choice everyone should do". I guess I would've preferred framing the question overall under something less prone to debate than ethics, maybe phrase things in more simple terms like "generally permissible" etc.
 
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I don't particularly see an issue or contradiction with this. Not making any money off of a hobby yourself doesn't mean you condemn others for doing it.
My issue with the questions is that the first question is purely moral while the second is ontological but skewed by morality. Someone can interpret a group that exclusively uses their revenue to steal early copies of WSJ to either be making money or not making money, rendering their response meaningless.
A more precise way to ask would be to have two questions:
  • "If you have accepted money from scanlation (including for raws, servers, etc), how much?"
  • "If you have accepted money from scanlation (not including for raws, servers, etc), how much?"
I guess I would've preferred framing the question overall under something less prone to debate than ethics, maybe phrase things in more simple terms like "generally permissible" etc.
Wording like that creates questions where the survey responder is encouraged to guess how other people feel. You're not tasked to guess the ages of the average scanny, so it also wouldn't make sense to ask for the general permissibility of a moral question. Perhaps:

"It is my opinion that accepting money for scanlation is..."
  • never acceptable
  • acceptable when not profiting
  • acceptable if you tell people you need money (lol)
  • always acceptable
 
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Wording like that creates questions where the survey responder is encouraged to guess how other people feel.
Obviously I didn't mean to imply that, I was thinking in terms of "In my opinion accepting money for scanlation is... generally permissible/acceptable in principle/usually fine/etc". The important part was to make the choice less absolutist and to move it away from being explicitly about "ethical" behavior, which I can hardly help but hear as if we're talking about moral imperatives.
 
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Very pleasantly surprised how in-depth that survey was. I was an active scanlator from 2008-2011 and again for a very short stint in 2022. It's definitely weird to see where the scanlation scene has gone. As an old head who watched my group leader PLEAD for donations so we could acquire raws and pay for server costs, it blows my minds that people are getting paid (some, fairly decent money) to produce scanlations. It's also interesting to see how in general, the "floor" for quality in scanlations seems to have gone up, but (imo) there are more low quality scans as "convenience" tools such as MTL and smart fill have become prevalent.

Also one very disheartening thing is seeing how aggregate sites are now much more rampant than ever. I remember back in the day when almost every scanlation group unified to put propaganda pages in our credits against reposting scans on sites like MangaRock MangaFox and other sites that used intrusive ads and profited off scanlation groups' work. The average reader just doesn't care where they get their stuff from as long as they get it now. I will say, in that regard it's nicer seeing some groups take it upon themselves to develop their own sites with readers to entice readers to read it on their servers and get ad revenue from their ads. Although the ads are still ass, at least they're using it for their own work, though I still agree with the answer I submitted that it's still morally wrong.
 
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Hi! dropping in to say please rest assured that this is still being worked on! I definitely underestimated the scope of creating the report, but it's coming along.

If you like and are familiar with quantitative data analysis/data presentation please send me a message here or through pm! We're lacking manpower on these two fronts right now and would appreciate a helping hand.
 
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