PDA

View Full Version : Forum moderation; I am disturbed by the recent events...



Michael Mutmansky
25-Aug-2016, 12:01
I have been having this feeling that the forum moderation has been much more aggressive over the past few years (seemingly since Kirk left, but that may be coincidental), and in a few cases recently have felt compelled to START a post to discuss what I consider an erosion of the fabric of the forum in a manner that is detrimental. Not that I said START, because in those cases, I decided that there wasn't enough of a complaint with the particular issue to kick up a bunch of dust over, so I deleted the posts and let the issue go. In some cases, the same issue was raised by others in a somewhat concurrent manner anyway.

However, I am deeply disturbed by the last few days and the moderation that occurred with Richard's initial photo series and now the threads that were created in response to the moderation.

First, I see the moderation taking a dangerous direction in that it is now possible for a person or persons to attack a thread that happens to have images or perspectives that they do not personally like and get it closed. The moderation ostensibly is intended to be even and fair, enforce the taboo topics list, and ensure that ad hominem attacks aren't happening. However, moderation should not be used in a manner that enables plays into the agenda a forum member in any beneficial manner, and most especially any of the moderators own opinions or personal beliefs.

However, it feels like this may be exactly what happened in the initial thread. Specifically, the images and stories in the thread was attacked with an agenda by a few posters and the agenda was to make the discussion political and get it closed down. The moderators played into that perfectly and dutifully closed the thread from posting; penalizing Richard and effectively rewarding the poor behavior of the others.

What is the purpose of photography? In the case of Richard's work, he has a clear intent to reveal people to others, and he does this in part through images, and in part by telling us some of their story. To force Richard to change this simply because some people find the lives of the people in his images distasteful is in my opinion the epitome of poor moderation. Especially since the posts that Richard made initially were not political and did not push any agenda other than helping us understand another human being who may have a very different set of life circumstances than our own.

Shame on the moderators in such a softball circumstance. This was a very transparent attack, and easily resolved issue initially, and I think you blew it. Now, you are doubling down on the poor performance.

In addition, the post ex facto removal of the posts that caused the closing of the first thread intentionally obfuscates the issue and makes it impossible for the populace of the forum to understand what actually happened unless you saw them before they were removed (which I happened to, due to timing). That strikes me as disingenuous and also a very poor decision because it may make it easier for you to defend the moderation that was done, but not what should have been done.

You have penalized the wrong person with the moderation you have done, and silenced a member who was contributing to the site in a meaningful manner. You did this under the pretense of avoiding one of the taboo topics, but what you did effectively functioned as a Pinkerton for a particular agenda, and was not done in the true spirit of keeping the forum fair, civil, and on the topic of LPF.

Do you care to discuss this, or will this thread be closed and this post deleted in a similar manner?

RHITMrB
25-Aug-2016, 12:06
Do you care to discuss this, or will this thread be closed and this post deleted in a similar manner?

I think you answered your own question:


Now, you are doubling down on the poor performance.

Michael Mutmansky
25-Aug-2016, 12:11
Well, if that is the case, they should hear about it from people like me (who are not the ones who generally complain about these things, even though I have been concerned recently).

This it the purpose of the original post. I believe the moderators need to understand how they erred and without the feedback they won't. Even with it, they may not, but it won't be for lack of feedback.


---Michael

RHITMrB
25-Aug-2016, 12:13
Well, if that is the case, they should hear about it from people like me (who are not the ones who generally complain about these things, even though I have been concerned recently).

This it the purpose of the original post. I believe the moderators need to understand how they erred and without the feedback they won't. Even with it, they may not, but it won't be for lack of feedback.


---Michael

I agree, but I don't think any of the people complaining about the handling of this situation, myself included, are part of any crowd of usual complainers, so I'm not optimistic.

Michael Mutmansky
25-Aug-2016, 12:15
Unfortunately, I think you are right.

I guess my time has come to consider other places for photography discussion that isn't focused on equipment.

bob carnie
25-Aug-2016, 12:17
Well, if that is the case, they should hear about it from people like me (who are not the ones who generally complain about these things, even though I have been concerned recently).

This it the purpose of the original post. I believe the moderators need to understand how they erred and without the feedback they won't. Even with it, they may not, but it won't be for lack of feedback.


---Michael

I too agree with Michael , I was following Richards thread with interest and it amazed me that it was so effectively closed.

Oren Grad
25-Aug-2016, 12:24
In addition, the post ex facto removal of the posts that caused the closing of the first thread intentionally obfuscates the issue and makes it impossible for the populace of the forum to understand what actually happened unless you saw them before they were removed (which I happened to, due to timing). That strikes me as disingenuous and also a very poor decision because it may make it easier for you to defend the moderation that was done, but not what should have been done.

For the record, and so that it does not distract: another member made posts in Richard's thread with critical remarks in response to what he perceived as Richard's agenda; Richard responded with remarks elaborating his own thoughts and criticizing the other member's perspective. The content and tone of the exchange, over several posts, were such that it could readily be construed as a skirmish in what some call a "culture war". The remarks by one or the other or both could readily be seen as offensive, depending on one's point of view.

This exchange was one of the factors that entered into our decision about what to do with the thread. It has since been deleted in order not to serve as a further provocation, but we have no intent to hide the fact that it was there, or what its character was.

RHITMrB
25-Aug-2016, 12:28
Another case of the unintended effects of a moderator action differing from the intent.

Michael Graves
25-Aug-2016, 12:30
Until now, I've tried to stay out of this one, because I didn't want to take sides. However, I'm actually going to side with the moderators on this. Yes, Richard's original concept may have been purely artistic. His defense that the accompanying text was necessary for the full impact, however, was not something I agreed with. Whether it was from the subjects or not, the comments took on a political tone regarding a subject that is very divisive to society in general. Why would anyone expect it to not be divisive on a web forum. Had Richard been willing to post just the photographs, and let them speak for themselves, that would have been one thing. I could not have supported the moderators taking down the thread under those circumstances. But I was happy when they took it down, considering the way it was evolving.

stawastawa
25-Aug-2016, 12:31
not having seen what took place I can not say much.

But I offer a suggestion: Would locking the topic but leaving it accessible for viewing have been an option?

Oren Grad
25-Aug-2016, 12:31
I need to attend to some work responsibilities just now, but will follow up shortly with a few additional comments.

RHITMrB
25-Aug-2016, 12:34
Whether it was from the subjects or not, the comments took on a political tone regarding a subject that is very divisive to society in general. Why would anyone expect it to not be divisive on a web forum.

Because people's life stories, nay, their very existence, aren't a divisive topic in much of the Western world. The US is an exception. Indeed, the thread managed to survive for an entire three months without incident.

Pere Casals
25-Aug-2016, 12:34
I too agree with Michael , I was following Richards thread with interest and it amazed me that it was so effectively closed.

I also liked the life stories there, to me it was interesting, even they are out of the scope of LF craft, and to me it would be better placed in the Lounge.

But, IMHO if a bitter discussion arises the involved posters must go the PM way, as a polite way to not disturb others.

If involved posters are not able to do that the thread must be closed, IMHO, just when moderator think that enough is enough.

RHITMrB
25-Aug-2016, 12:35
not having seen what took place I can not say much.

But I offer a suggestion: Would locking the topic but leaving it accessible for viewing have been an option?

This is what happened. The issue (for me) is the moderators' insistence that the photographs are only acceptable if not accompanied by the life stories of the subjects.

Pali K
25-Aug-2016, 12:46
Everyone makes mistakes and nothing is ever perfect. I think someone said this already but I strongly believe that no one is being evil here. This whole thing has blown up into a complex matter and I am not sure if there is a easy way out.

My request is simply that the mods will explore a solution to give Richard his voice (Photos + Text) back because many of us find it very appropriate for this community.

I'll shut up now.

Pali

Pere Casals
25-Aug-2016, 12:46
Because people's life stories, nay, their very existence, aren't a divisive topic in much of the Western world. The US is an exception. Indeed, the thread managed to survive for an entire three months without incident.

For shure... here in catalonia/spain this is not a divisive topic at all. Still we had a divisive topic about if "unconventional" couples can adopt or not children.

The question is if a LF forum has to avoid or not divisive topics...

My view it is that there is a Lounge where same community can debate everything with total freedom and IMHO it is better to remove "divisive topics" from the LF craft core section when controversy arises.

Posters have to be polite enough to go PM before assembling a riot in public... if not... thread closed !!!

Scott Davis
25-Aug-2016, 12:48
not having seen what took place I can not say much.

But I offer a suggestion: Would locking the topic but leaving it accessible for viewing have been an option?

Knowing some of the strong, opinionated personalities that visit this site, there would have been someone sooner or later who would have started a new thread about the offensiveness and kicked up the dust all over again. I don't agree with deleting images or threads as a general principle (I adamantly oppose censorship) but I can see it from the moderator's perspective that discretion is sometimes the better part of valor.

bob carnie
25-Aug-2016, 12:48
This is what happened. The issue (for me) is the moderators' insistence that the photographs are only acceptable if not accompanied by the life stories of the subjects.

This is where I am strongly in favour of the words accompaning the photographs.

It is common practice for a working photographic artist to provided context to photographs if it is to be considered for a gallery show. Yes the photographs do stand by themselves and I think the words also
added to Richards message.

We have seen this thread go for three months as many point out.

OMG I can think of hundreds of conversations on other threads that never closed them down, just ask Drew.

Darin Boville
25-Aug-2016, 12:49
My request is simply that the mods will explore a solution to give Richard his voice (Photos + Text) back because many of us find it very appropriate for this community.

Pali

That goal seems to grow more and more distant--it appears Richard has been banned by the moderators from posting here.

Seem Orwellian to me.

--Darin

bob carnie
25-Aug-2016, 12:50
btw where is Drew , he certainly can save the day.

Corran
25-Aug-2016, 12:56
My view it is that there is a Lounge where same community can debate everything with total freedom and IMHO it is better to remove "divisive topics" from the LF craft core section when controversy arises.

Again, this is NOT allowed. No political discourse is allowed anywhere on this site.

RHITMrB
25-Aug-2016, 12:57
That goal seems to grow more and more distant--it appears Richard has been banned by the moderators from posting here.

Seem Orwellian to me.

--Darin

Wow. So much for reasonable compromise.

bloodhoundbob
25-Aug-2016, 13:00
What a bad precedent to set. Just takes one member with an axe to grind or with a personal agenda to make a knowlingly controversial remark, and the thread gets shut down. I am still waiting for Mr Barker to issue an apology for his ill-advised analogy. I note that the member who made a homophobic slur to another has not been banned. Unbelievable.

Michael Mutmansky
25-Aug-2016, 13:16
For the record, and so that it does not distract: another member made posts in Richard's thread with critical remarks in response to what he perceived as Richard's agenda; Richard responded with remarks elaborating his own thoughts and criticizing the other member's perspective. The content and tone of the exchange, over several posts, were such that it could readily be construed as a skirmish in what some call a "culture war". The remarks by one or the other or both could readily be seen as offensive, depending on one's point of view.

This exchange was one of the factors that entered into our decision about what to do with the thread. It has since been deleted in order not to serve as a further provocation, but we have no intent to hide the fact that it was there, or what its character was.


Right. As I saw it, that is exactly what happened.

However, what you did with the moderation (and the subsequent double-down) effectively punishes Richard, not the trolls who turned it into a taboo topic that you felt the need to moderate.

If you can't see that you just acted as a Pinkerton to the trolls agenda then you need to step back and reevaluate your position.

What you should have done is deleted the off-topic political/social debate and banned the trolls from posting to the thread. But you didn't. You decided to penalize Richard from posting his images with contextual text any further and effectively did nothing about the trolls, because they are free to continue trolling on any other topic or issue that they may choose.

An internet troll is someone who desires to create a disruption. Having their posts deleted is no penalty to them; it is in part a confirmation that they are succeeding. The moderators need to figure out a better way to handle trolling to penalize the trollers, not the parties whom are drawn into a debate with them because I feel that anyone who is attacked by a troll should be permitted to defend themselves. When a troll strikes, especially on a topic like personal work (which is the case with Richrard's images and the thread), a poster should be allowed to defend himself but not have it result in the removal of his ability to continue posting the original work content, presuming that the work itself was not a trolling attempt (which it was not).

Do you see where your moderation failure occured?


---Michael

diversey
25-Aug-2016, 13:33
+1!
Very constructive writing. I completely agreed with Michael. David

Ralph Barker
25-Aug-2016, 13:47
What a bad precedent to set. Just takes one member with an axe to grind or with a personal agenda to make a knowlingly controversial remark, and the thread gets shut down. I am still waiting for Mr Barker to issue an apology for his ill-advised analogy. I note that the member who made a homophobic slur to another has not been banned. Unbelievable.

I should issue an apology for Richardman misreading my comment, and then casting it in a manner that was untrue? I don't think so. Either Richardman and others have a reading comprehension problem, or it was convenient to misconstrue the comment to fit their own purposes.

Although the First Amendment is not in force on this forum (it can't be, since we restrict topic matter to LF photography in most areas), Those who found my comment offensive, don't understand how the First Amendment works. All speech is protected under the First Amendment, not just the speech that is comfortable, trendy or politically correct in the minds of some of the people. The concept is that if all speech isn't protected, none can be.

There is a long-standing rule against making posts that are likely to invite others to reply in a manner that is inconsistent with the rules here. It's called "baiting". Our conclusion was that the quotes from the subjects in the portrait series, irrespective of the value of the work in the larger context, did just that, a fact that was borne out by responses that were inconsistent with the guidelines.

Even though the First Amendment is not in operation here, we do try to be even-handed. Thus, if we gave an exemption to quotes from transgender people, we would be obliged to make a similar exemptions to any others that might come along, however offensive they might be to most. Since this is a large format photography forum, not an arena for discussing sociopolitical issues, we chose not to go down that path.

Disciplinary actions taken by the moderators are done in private, as is appropriate. Banning isn't always the action taken, but even that isn't outwardly apparent.

Midoski
25-Aug-2016, 13:53
I'm a long time lurker and sometimes contributor and if someone doing work as good as Richard cant post photos along with simple and interesting context because it might be "political", then I think that speaks volumes about the immaturity of the moderation staff's actions.

I'll likely be punished for this statement since the word "libel" keeps getting thrown around unfairly, but simply put: it's the moderator's jobs to figure out what kind of discussion they want to encourage or discourage and how lines are drawn.

Everyone criticizing yesterday's actions share what I think is a common thread: this whole incident would have been a simple manner of asking a specific poster or two to take their comments somewhere else as they weren't contributing to the spirit of Richard's thread. It isn't a hard line to define nor is it actually difficult to manage if you act maturely and exercise even a basic understanding of how to conduct a respectful conversation on a topic. An inability to draw a line such as this speaks volumes about the moderation's inability to handle anything but the simplest photo discussion, and seeing as a forum is as only as good as it's moderators: this forum has shown it cannot handle even the mildest of interesting topics.

This is my perspective as a general outsider, someone who doesn't have a deep connection to this place. I wont be speaking fondly of this place or encouraging people to post their work here. I realize how my writing comes off and that Oren will likely have a stern response and delete my post or something because that seems to be acceptable mod behavior, but I'm willing to stake my account on something I feel is as important as Richard's ability to post simple context with his great work.

Please look deep within yourselves, moderation team, and realize that keeping conversations respectful in the face of topics that *some* people find difficult (transgender/gender-fluidity) is a much more venerable position to take than just blackballing all work surrounding a topic, and actively discourages this place from growing and encouraging EXCELLENT contributors such as Richard from having a presence here.

RHITMrB
25-Aug-2016, 13:54
I should issue an apology for Richardman misreading my comment, and then casting it in a manner that was untrue? I don't think so. Either Richardman and others have a reading comprehension problem, or it was convenient to misconstrue the comment to fit their own purposes.

Although the First Amendment is not in force on this forum (it can't be, since we restrict topic matter to LF photography in most areas), Those who found my comment offensive, don't understand how the First Amendment works. All speech is protected under the First Amendment, not just the speech that is comfortable, trendy or politically correct in the minds of some of the people. The concept is that if all speech isn't protected, none can be.

There is a long-standing rule against making posts that are likely to invite others to reply in a manner that is inconsistent with the rules here. It's called "baiting". Our conclusion was that the quotes from the subjects in the portrait series, irrespective of the value of the work in the larger context, did just that, a fact that was borne out by responses that were inconsistent with the guidelines.

Even though the First Amendment is not in operation here, we do try to be even-handed. Thus, if we gave an exemption to quotes from transgender people, we would be obliged to make a similar exemptions to any others that might come along, however offensive they might be to most. Since this is a large format photography forum, not an arena for discussing sociopolitical issues, we chose not to go down that path.

Disciplinary actions taken by the moderators are done in private, as is appropriate. Banning isn't always the action taken, but even that isn't outwardly apparent.

The First Amendment protects your right to say such a thing, as well as my right to criticize your shortsightedness both in saying it and in refusing to acknowledge any possible interpetation other than your own.

edit: I'm still shocked that you seem to think that allowing transgender people's stories to be told means that you will then be obliged to give voice to Nazis. It's so absurd as to be unbelievable as an explanation for your reasons for closing the thread.

Corran
25-Aug-2016, 13:56
From what groups are quotes permitted? Everyone is part of some group - white, black, gay, straight, etc.

Honestly I am with you - I think the quote was misconstrued somewhat. However, I do believe images and quotes/stories from, for instance, the KKK could make for a good photo project (it's been done (http://www.slate.com/blogs/behold/2013/08/13/anthony_s_karen_a_photojournalist_s_unrestricted_access_to_the_ku_klux_klan.html)) and should be allowed. For instance, on this forum, there has been images and quotes from various groups, including Richard's other projects. They just weren't a group in the news as being oppressed. In the pursuit of fairness, any group should be allowed to tell their life story, even if they are Nazis or something.

My personal opinion is that stories that do not present a political viewpoint are not politics. If that were the case, okay. If they just describe their life, how is that political? Any quote from an African-American is therefore political because of current discussions in the news about BLM?

RHITMrB
25-Aug-2016, 13:57
I understand perfectly that the moderators believe the life stories of transgender people are too controversial to be posted in this forum. Disgusting.

Peter De Smidt
25-Aug-2016, 13:58
Or it was an unfortunate way to express yourself, a way that you should've realized would be throwing fuel on the fire. Your post was inadvertently "baiting".

BrianShaw
25-Aug-2016, 13:59
Wow; just wow.

BrianShaw
25-Aug-2016, 14:03
Maybe we all should give this topic a break and go back to an old favorite: what color, really, is an 18% gray card, and is it really middle gray that meters are calibrated.

Midoski
25-Aug-2016, 14:09
Doubling down on diplomatic discussion about the semantics of what is and is not permitted in rigid terms distracts from the simple fact:

We need more people like Richardman and their work. It really is great stuff and so are the words that come with it. What kind of statement are you making as a moderation team by not addressing this fact? Go somewhere else with your interesting work?

RHITMrB
25-Aug-2016, 14:13
Doubling down on diplomatic discussion about the semantics of what is and is not permitted in rigid terms distracts from the simple fact:

We need more people like Richardman and their work. It really is great stuff and so are the words that come with it. What kind of statement are you making as a moderation team by not addressing this fact? Go somewhere else with your interesting work?

It's already been clearly stated that this is a gear forum, not a photographic practice forum - so yes, any work that might prompt discussion should be posted elsewhere. That's why I won't be sharing my work here anymore.

8thsamurai
25-Aug-2016, 14:15
I should issue an apology for Richardman misreading my comment, and then casting it in a manner that was untrue? I don't think so. Either Richardman and others have a reading comprehension problem, or it was convenient to misconstrue the comment to fit their own purposes.

Although the First Amendment is not in force on this forum (it can't be, since we restrict topic matter to LF photography in most areas), Those who found my comment offensive, don't understand how the First Amendment works. All speech is protected under the First Amendment, not just the speech that is comfortable, trendy or politically correct in the minds of some of the people. The concept is that if all speech isn't protected, none can be.

There is a long-standing rule against making posts that are likely to invite others to reply in a manner that is inconsistent with the rules here. It's called "baiting". Our conclusion was that the quotes from the subjects in the portrait series, irrespective of the value of the work in the larger context, did just that, a fact that was borne out by responses that were inconsistent with the guidelines.

Even though the First Amendment is not in operation here, we do try to be even-handed. Thus, if we gave an exemption to quotes from transgender people, we would be obliged to make a similar exemptions to any others that might come along, however offensive they might be to most. Since this is a large format photography forum, not an arena for discussing sociopolitical issues, we chose not to go down that path.

Disciplinary actions taken by the moderators are done in private, as is appropriate. Banning isn't always the action taken, but even that isn't outwardly apparent.

Frankly you are the one who doesn't seem to know how the 1st amendment works, you can say whatever you want to in this country but that doesn't mean people can't be offended when you say offensive things. Feel free to think that people who find your comments distasteful are being "trendy" or "politically correct" the fact of the matter is that you are being called out for your words and actions, get used to it since you don't seem to understand why people would find that offensive. Being "evenhanded" is a poor excuse for poor moderation.

Michael Mutmansky
25-Aug-2016, 14:19
I think I figured out where the problem is folks...

Apparently, LF photography is only supposed to be used for things that are non-controversial, like landscape images or still life setups that only contain fruits, flowers and one or two holding vessles, like a vase and a bowl.

The moderators have no stomach for any topic that may be considered controversial by any other portion of the LF population. They said as much in the previous moderation thread:


" The thread was on watch from the start; based on experience we figured a high likelihood that it would go south. When it did, we were faced with a delete-vs-close judgment call. My judgment was that the thread would be a source of recurrent trouble. That's a debatable call. But following up on the point I made to Bryan, if the topic is so inflammatory and so sensitive that a thread closure, well-judged or not, is taken as presumptive evidence of bigotry and elicits a torrent of nasty ad hominem attacks, we might indeed be well advised to steer clear of it."


http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?132969-LFPF-censorship-and-moderation&p=1347297&viewfull=1#post1347297

You are 'watching' threads in this manner??? Are you watching the members the same way, becasue if you are, I'm sure you can determine who are the most responsible for the problems in the forum and address THEM first, not the content of threads that are not being posted by a provocateur.


Look, we managed to survive the Frank Petronio incidents (possibly the biggest troller this forum has ever seen), and I feel the forum can survive with a little bit of controversy now and again, but it cannot survive if it is turned into the Milquetoast Large Format Photography Forum.

Thoughts for consideration, as I'm just about to tap out on the MLFPF.


---Michael

IanG
25-Aug-2016, 14:41
The moderation here has been very odd and quirky for years, good and ver poor with no names mentioned. It's all over the place and needs better direction

In contrast APUG a much larger Forum has good moderation and a very large cross Forum membership with this site. This is the only Forum where I've asked more than once who moderates the Moderators.

I'm sure that modrerators have made very minor changes that are irrelevant but cause them a greatly increased work load, to no ones benefit, sales & wanted section.

Moderators need to remember that we the members as LF photographers are what the site's about. I stand with those being censored.

Ian

Midoski
25-Aug-2016, 14:54
I've just been told that Richard is banned for this thread: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?132992-Proposal-for-a-New-Forum-Site

Banning him seems like a pretty nasty way to handle the present conflict as moderators have stated that this forum is not the place for his work. If such lines are going to be drawn in the sand, will you also ban discussion about where we CAN post interesting work? :(

Oren Grad
25-Aug-2016, 15:20
Moderation has indeed gotten somewhat tighter on controversial topics, and based on this latest experience, it may well become tighter still. Those who want to engage with photo essays expressing clear agendas on controversial social, cultural or political issues will indeed need to find them in other venues. Our priorities are elsewhere. We will not allow this Forum to be destroyed by culture wars; we will defend this as a place where one can escape politicization, where people of radically different backgrounds and political and social views can share a common interest without coming to blows. We make no claim that what we do here is the sum total of what large format photography can be, nor that it is superior to other ways of engaging with the art and craft. But by the same token, we emphatically reject the notion that photography or art must be driven by a social or political agenda in order to have value.

The advice that we should moderate threads on sensitive topics differently is no help. We cannot win, no matter what we do. The response to our actions on Richard's thread is telling. As we have acknowledged, the approach initially taken was debatable. We continued to debate it, and might have revised it in ways that some may have found more congenial. But the message from the Feedback thread was clear: make the slightest mis-step in the eyes of those with a passionately-held point of view, and our reward will be a torrent of vicious, and as I've said elsewhere, frankly libelous abuse - baseless accusations of bigotry, arising from twisted, tendentious misreadings of what we had actually said and done and wild speculation about what our motives must be, imputing the least-charitable, most pejorative possible interpretation. We were baited with loaded questions intended to elicit self-damning responses, pressed repeatedly with insinuations of guilt-by-unintended-consequence, guilt-by-insufficient-sensitivity, guilt-by-aiding-and-abetting-evil. Everything we said by way of explanation was ignored or twisted to use against us.

Enough. Life is way too short. We are not Pinkertons for the critical poster in Richard's thread, but nor will we serve as Pinkertons for Richard or anybody else. Within this Forum, we will waste the minimum possible amount of energy in the fruitless task of trying to referee culture wars in a way that will be perceived as fair. We will steer away from trouble as we judge necessary, mindful of our fallibility and aware that we will inevitably make mistakes, but without apology for what we are trying to accomplish.

Based on the exchange to date, I do not expect anybody's mind to be changed by this. But we have always tried to be clear and candid about where we stand, and given the issues raised it is especially important on this occasion.

With that said, further attacks on the moderators with respect to any of these issues will be deemed malicious and will be dealt with through deletions and banning, as we judge necessary.

Jac@stafford.net
25-Aug-2016, 15:22
There is a subtext to this thread: who, if anyone, can moderate the moderators? Who police the police?

:) No persons, of course. We are not involved in a national policy. Any of us can move out.

Pax,
Jacques

Pere Casals
25-Aug-2016, 15:24
I've just been told that Richard is banned for this thread: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?132992-Proposal-for-a-New-Forum-Site

Banning him seems like a pretty nasty way to handle the present conflict as moderators have stated that this forum is not the place for his work. If such lines are going to be drawn in the sand, will you also ban discussion about where we CAN post interesting work? :(


At the end his work and the life history of subjects it is still posted and available. No censorship was applied to the work.

At the end thread was closed because bitter political discussion arised in it. And, to me, this cannot be tolerated, IMHO if a political issue arises it must be done with PM, to not pollute the forum. If posters fail to do that then moderator has to close the thread, because he has not the time to moderate political discussions or even searching who is guilty or not.

We all have to behave like gents or moderator has to stop the game.

Richard's fault it's not accepting the moderator's decission. A moderator is the referee. If you play any sport you have to accept referee decissions even when those are wrong, if not you are out.

Michael Mutmansky
25-Aug-2016, 15:30
You're threatening to ban me for questioning your decision?


Wow...



I don't think I need a ban. I'm on my way out the door.

If you don't get that someone like me, who typically avoids posting on ALL controversial topics (it's simply better for my blood pressure), has been on the forum since 2001, and typically only posts when I have something constructive to contribute on a topic felt compelled to speak up, then I believe you will never grok the significance of the bellwether precedent you have set.


Good luck with the forum,


---Michael

Corran
25-Aug-2016, 15:36
Those who want to engage with photo essays expressing clear agendas on controversial social, cultural or political issues will indeed need to find them in other venues.

Just to be clear, are you saying that politically-charged images are no longer allowed? (Photo essay to me means both photos and any attached words.)

rdenney
25-Aug-2016, 15:38
Just to be clear, are you saying that politically-charged images are no longer allowed? (Photo essay to me means both photos and any attached words.)

No.

Corran
25-Aug-2016, 15:40
No.

Not to belabor things, I am just looking for clarity. Are you saying no in response to my question, or no, they are not allowed?

Oren Grad
25-Aug-2016, 15:44
You're threatening to ban me for questioning your decision?

No, Michael, and everybody else. We have provided ample opportunity for everyone to present and discuss extremely critical views.

But we are under no obligation to allow continued hammering on the same arguments to the point where it interferes with our ability to run the Forum and live our lives. The moderators' decisions are final, as is stated in our guidelines and as is necessary for any Forum is to survive. If you cannot accept that, then yes, you should leave.

rdenney
25-Aug-2016, 15:45
Not to belabor things, I am just looking for clarity. Are you saying no in response to my question, or no, they are not allowed?

We never had a problem with the photos--they are still posted. The text started us down a road that we stopped.

Rick "that's all" Denney

Corran
25-Aug-2016, 15:50
We never had a problem with the photos--they are still posted. The text started us down a road that we stopped.

Rick "that's all" Denney

Right, I understand that. I was asking because Oren's post seemed to point towards a potential change in policy, tightening the restrictions to photos as well, but perhaps I was misunderstanding.

Pere Casals
25-Aug-2016, 15:56
As a learner I am, I find very nice that when you ask here for technical help you get unique answers from very proficient people that never shows up in the stupid riots.

Oren Grad
25-Aug-2016, 16:22
Right, I understand that. I was asking because Oren's post seemed to point towards a potential change in policy, tightening the restrictions to photos as well, but perhaps I was misunderstanding.

Bryan, we are happy to work with those who understand and accept what we are trying to accomplish here, to find ways to enable rather than block sharing of work. Please feel free to ask if you think there might be an issue, and we will do our best to understand any concerns and try to find a way to make it work.

Pere Casals
25-Aug-2016, 16:23
I notice that most of the so-called "complainers" (including myself) are more concerned with photographic practice than with gear or technical questions, which is an interesting dichotomy. That said, I'm glad that this place exists for the technical questions I do have and that it's well-indexed by Google - one needn't be a member to benefit from the technical information contained herein.

As a learner still I'm vey focussed in materials and methods, on some topics google it is not enough, here for example I found critical help http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?132280-Adox-CMS-20-Slides-what-bleaching-chem .

I'm also very interested in photographic practice... and I like a lot works I've seen here, including the Richard's one.

What I'm not interested at all it is about your country politics about homosexuality and transgender, here I mean. In my country this is way solved...

Well, I'm interested in it because I desire your society advances in this concern, and also with street guns... but I find stupid this is debated here.

And perhaps it can be debated to some extend, I guess... while it does not provocate a riot. Want a riot? just use PM...

I'm a strong supporter of transgender people full civil rights, but here we are on LF photography, and if a riot is here moderator has to solve it, and we must accept those decissions, even in the case we don't agree. Of course we can complain, please in a constructive way...

rdenney
19-Sep-2016, 05:17
A final word: We have posted in the news section (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?133446-New-Guidelines-Posted) a statement about revised guidelines which have address some of the comments received in this thread. If you have comments on those changes, please make them in that thread for now.