Almost 99.9999% of the comments I get on DA are very nice and complimentary. For this I am grateful and appreciative. I also appreciate the occasional criticism that suggests I try a different crop, color, or lens choice. Even after 35 years I feel it is vital to listen to all the input I get because there are occasional jewels of ideas that come from learned professionals and beginning amateurs alike. Sometimes I even like it more when someone who is new to photography makes suggestions because they aren't stifled by the "rules" we all learn when we start out.
Recently, I've had a few people say some interesting and absurd things. These comments are related to my having taken down my gallery of nudes. First of all, let me say, my motive for this action was simply time management. I run a business so I don't have time to respond to all the comments or even read them all.
The suggestion has been made that by me removing the nudes, by responding to horrid comments then hiding and blocking that user, and by not allowing comments in the first place
that means I am "chicken". That "if I can't stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen". That "people are welcome to their opinions".
As a professional photographer in Los Angeles, the suggestion that I can't take criticism is absurd to the extreme. One does not survive in one of the most competitive markets in the world by hiding from criticism or shrinking down when it comes like a hail storm. I choose my battles, see what merit is in engaging in dialog with whoever makes criticism, and decide if my return on investment is worthwhile.
Cyber bullying is becoming a MAJOR problem on the net and several states have now passed legislation making it a crime. I'm not going to go into specific cases but type in "Cyber bullying deaths" on Google and read what you get. Kids are taking their own lives because of the horrid things said about them on line. And our response should be, "Well, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen!" That might be the stupidest, most horrid, and terribly noncompassionate remark ever.
Someone once posted on an image I shot,"Your model should be taken out back and shot like the whore dog she is". I am VERY protective of my models and this is NOT OK behavior. This is NOT an "opinion". This is NOT a "criticism" or simply "their opinion".
I posted a journal (actually a few) about how outraged I was. Mostly people agreed
. but I also got this from one DA member "Taken out back and shot like the whore dog she is?" Really? Fuck that's an epic quote...
I'm gonna have to start using that!"
Or there is this "Commenting, then blocking is known as "Internet Cowardice"--of which you're a repeat offender. Which means you're pretty immature."
See the problem here? Not only DA, but the internet in general has a SERIOUS SERIOUS issue. People who say horrid, hateful, vitriolic things with no consequences are rife on this and other web sites. But thankfully, it is slowly changing.
Keep in mind, people, that if you say something horrid about a model and she takes her own life, you stand a chance of being dragged into court and doing time. And I sincerely hope you do.
To suggest that someone (ME) who blocks people for cyber bullying and making hideous comments is "wimpy", "can't stand the heat in the kitchen", or is "Immature" is like telling the world Hitler was just "voicing his opinion". The classic psychological tactic to reverse the tables in a situation like this is simply childish foot stomping from ill mannered infants. I've had 3 death threats here on DA
and the response is supposed to be,"Well, Michael, if ya can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen"?
So where do comments "cross the line"? Again, as I have said MANY times here on DA, on MY gallery, I will decide. MY gallery is not a democracy. Neither is my house, my property, or any comment of a horrid nature about my models. HERE, I am the boss and if you wanna test to see if I am a "coward", "wimp", or "immature"
. then cross the line. I value those who say, "Im not crazy about this color, crop, or that the background doesn't work". But negative comments about my models don't really work for me. Go somewhere else and get your jollies or do it on your own page.
I would be in favor of everyone on DA having to post their REAL names and where they live. It MIGHT help a tad. I hope so because as I see it, DA is having some growing pains. I also think DA and their staff are VERY VERY bright people and will get through whatever comes their way. It's a wonderful site and I've met a lot of cool people.
I'll be hanging around for a while!!
Time for a sunset beer!!