I really don't think this deserves to be on the 'Popular' page. I mean, the person submitting this didn't take the image. Anyone could quickly caption it with an online image software. There's even a 'roflbot' watermark in the lower right corner, so that shows that they couldn't even use a proper software and choose a unique font. There's so much unappreciated talent out there and frankly, this is 'stealing' a spot on the front page, where something with actual EFFORT in it could have been placed. This is just my opinion, I don't mean to offend anyone with it.
While I do completely agree with you on a big majority of your point, I don't actually think the author knew that he/she'd be on the front page. It isn't THEIR fault per se, not that I think you accused them of that, but this is only a matter of poor moderation. Nonetheless, I still don't know why the moderator even thought to put this on the front.
That'll be for the DA mods to determine. As far as I'm concerned, they won't go into enough trouble determining whether or not this was stolen. The mod who passed this on to the front page obviously looked past all of that. I'm not complaining, though. The mods do a relatively good job, and it IS their site, after all. It can get annoying seeing nude girl photography labeled as "art", though. I'm okay with a nude or two, but when it's completely unoriginal and the same pose over and over, I begin to think the mod title is now just a way to get fame instead of make the site a fun, new place. I'm done ranting to you! xD My point was in the first sentence; as far as them seeing that this isn't an original picture: it appears on the front page and looks as if she made it. That's enough for them.
Oh? I can't exactly debate it out because I've only been on DA for like 4 years. BUT I CAN SAY THIS: Going to the moon and taking this picture was very possible. :3 I could of sworn that there was someone selected for putting art on the frontlines. Lemme find the link of the retired mod. [link]
In it he says this: "It's been a great year serving as a dA Community Volunteer and I have been able to feature so many wonderful pieces as Daily Deviations." My intuition could be horrifically wrong, but if I may say so myself, that does appear to say that mods do, in fact, have a say as to what gets through to the featured.
The daily deviations are another thing, those are the images at the bottom of the front page where the best art gets featured. This, however, did not appear at the bottom, it appeared at the centre by all other popular images that have a lot of views and comments.