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sanking
27-Aug-2016, 11:13
There is a section in the LFPF called On Photography, dedicated to the of aesthetics, philosophy, history, photographers and photographs. At one time people could discuss in this section political and social issues as they impact photography, or as these issues guide and inform the work of many photographers. And that is as it should be, in my opinion. How, for example, can we discuss the photography of Strand, or Sebastian Salgado, without taking into account their views on politics and environmental management of the planet.

My recollection is that these discussions were very interesting and spirited. People would sometimes go over the line and become abusive and/or rude, at which point the moderators stepped in and deleted the abusive thread, and if it was repeated, banned the offender. However, the threads themselves were not closed or deleted.

Unfortunately, when discussions about politics itself were banned, and rightly so in my opinion, the ban was also carried over to any discussions about photography that involved social and political issues. That was, in my opinion, a bridge much too far, and it has lead to the unfortunate situation the forum now finds itself in.

My suggestion to the moderators would be this, continue to ban discussions about politics itself, but allow those discussions in the area "On Photography" as they relate to aesthetics, philosophy and history of photograph, and the work of individual photograhers. Otherwise, you might as well eliminate the section "On Photography" because some things simply can not be discussed with the kind of restrictions that are now imposed on the members of the forum.

Sandy

Peter Lewin
27-Aug-2016, 12:04
I'm glad Sandy started this thread, because it raises an issue I was thinking about earlier today. I was on a mini-vacation for 3 days, and thus missed the storm which apparently arose over Richardman's portraits of transgendered individuals. I thought immediately of the "This Place" exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum last May , which showed the work of 12 photographer's working in the Israeli/Palestinian West Bank. Under the rules of avoiding that which might trigger a political debate, a discussion of the exhibit would now be taboo on our site, even though some of the photographers, such as Steven Shore, are known for their large format work. At an earlier time, the work of Sally Mann (with whom I took a workshop, specifically because of her facility with 8x10 cameras) and certainly Jock Sturges (again, 8x10 work) would be disqualified (both were accused of pornography). Going back even further, Bruce Davidson's 8x10-based "East 100th Street" might have been questionable because it's sub-texts were the civil rights and inequality issues faced by the residents of East Harlem. And going back further, much of the work of the f64 Group was intentionally political, viewing the world through a Socialist prism. Many projects by well-known large format photographers would run afoul of the rule banning work that is likely to trigger political debate, because much of photography is political in nature. Yes, I agree that we want the forum to be about photography, not politics, but at the same time we must recognize that much of photography is grounded in political views (bad pun, anyone?).

rdenney
27-Aug-2016, 12:09
Sandy, you bring up good points and we are in the middle of a big review of things right now.

Rick "more to come" Denney

Jac@stafford.net
27-Aug-2016, 12:10
Oh, no!

154361

Here it comes!

Peter De Smidt
27-Aug-2016, 12:23
On a related note, at least some people who are serious about education don't think that being exposed to positions that you disagree with is being harmed: http://www.npr.org/2016/08/26/491531869/university-of-chicago-tells-freshmen-it-does-not-support-trigger-warnings?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20160827

Two23
27-Aug-2016, 12:37
Sandy, you bring up good points and we are in the middle of a big review of things right now.

Rick "more to come" Denney


My biggest concern would be LF forums being used as a platform for "activists" pushing for this or that. Second concern would be posts whose ultimate intention is to divide us or disrespect people with a differing POV. Finally, we're an international forum. I'm sure that the non-U.S. members here are bored with myopic posters that can't see beyond U.S. borders. (I would not be interested in a photography forum that often got sidetracked on the politics of Uruguay.) OTOH, I think everyone here enjoys a discussion about a good Petzval or a story about about E.O. Hoppe's wonderful shots using a LF camera in Germany in the 1930s (many of those photos appeared to be political in nature--the "triumph" of National Socialism.)


Kent in SD

Greg Davis
27-Aug-2016, 12:39
Peter, I hadn't seen that, but I'm glad you posted a link to it. As I teach at different universities I have seen a trend of "safe spaces", and I believe they are antithetical to the entire purpose of free speech and higher education.

faberryman
27-Aug-2016, 12:42
Are there really that many large format photographers that are "activists" that it could realistically become a problem?

docw
27-Aug-2016, 12:43
Sandy, I think many people have been thinking the same way. Ansel Adams was not "just" a landscape photographer. He used his photography in a consciously political way to influence opinion on the subject conservation. Presumably we are allowed to discuss that there!

Kirk Gittings
27-Aug-2016, 12:51
There is a section in the LFPF called On Photography, dedicated to the of aesthetics, philosophy, history, photographers and photographs. At one time people could discuss in this section political and social issues as they impact photography, or as these issues guide and inform the work of many photographers. And that is as it should be, in my opinion. How, for example, can we discuss the photography of Strand, or Sebastian Salgado, without taking into account their views on politics and environmental management of the planet.

My recollection is that these discussions were very interesting and spirited. People would sometimes go over the line and become abusive and/or rude, at which point the moderators stepped in and deleted the abusive thread, and if it was repeated, banned the offender. However, the threads themselves were not closed or deleted.

Unfortunately, when discussions about politics itself were banned, and rightly so in my opinion, the ban was also carried over to any discussions about photography that involved social and political issues. That was, in my opinion, a bridge much too far, and it has lead to the unfortunate situation the forum now finds itself in.

My suggestion to the moderators would be this, continue to ban discussions about politics itself, but allow those discussions in the area "On Photography" as they relate to aesthetics, philosophy and history of photograph, and the work of individual photograhers. Otherwise, you might as well eliminate the section "On Photography" because some things simply can not be discussed with the kind of restrictions that are now imposed on the members of the forum.

Sandy

I agree with you Sandy though I still don't think it would work. See this. I think we are past the tipping point with rudeness.
http://time.com/4457110/internet-trolls/

Peter De Smidt
27-Aug-2016, 13:03
Squash the rudeness. I do it in my classes when needed, and we talk about the most controversial issues I can find. This whole kerfuffle would make a great case study.

Kirk Gittings
27-Aug-2016, 13:19
Anonymity and/or lack of face to face contact is the problem IMHO. People say things online that they would never say to a person's face.

Vaughn
27-Aug-2016, 13:26
Squash the rudeness. I do it in my classes when needed, and we talk about the most controversial issues I can find. This whole kerfuffle would make a great case study.

Trigger warnings have nothing to do with "controversial issues", and I am surprised anyone teaching at a university would not be a little more up on the subject.

If you were teaching 20th Century film, and had a couple Iraq veterans in the class who have PTSD -- and you, without warning, showed scenes from Apocalypse Now, how would you respond to them getting upset? Tell them to man-up and deal with it? Are you willing to be with them the next 12 nights when they are afraid to go to sleep because the nightmares will be waiting for them? That is what trigger warnings are all about.

Or rape victims, suffering their own form of PTSD having to watch a film (or required to read a book) showing a rape scene not that dissimilar to what they experienced in real life.

Students not wanting to hear opposite views is an entirely different situation...and you are correct about that They need both sides.

bob carnie
27-Aug-2016, 13:44
Anonymity and/or lack of face to face contact is the problem IMHO. People say things online that they would never say to a person's face.

I think this was proven over the last few days, I am still wondering why the person who pm'd another here and insulted him is still an active member here. I think there should be some consequences for this kind of action.

Randy Moe
27-Aug-2016, 13:51
2 times I have self censored myself in THIS thread.

Oren Grad
27-Aug-2016, 13:57
Oh, no!

154361

Here it comes!

What comes is a brief post from me reiterating that we are listening and discussing.

More from us to follow.

Peter De Smidt
27-Aug-2016, 13:58
Yes, I've dealt with students who have ptsd. Thank you for your concern. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/05/14/columbia-students-claim-greek-mythology-needs-a-trigger-warning/

Jac@stafford.net
27-Aug-2016, 14:00
Anonymity and/or lack of face to face contact is the problem IMHO. People say things online that they would never say to a person's face.

During the early years, just before the so-called Web matured, many of us considered our anonymity as valuable because it obviated the prejudice others might feel about our appearance, gender, nationality, religion. Well, those days are gone, evaporated, forgotten. During that same brief era we were trading knowledge with the philosophy of "Share what you know" and yes, it was largely about technical issues, just as most of this site lives on with discussions of technical topics.

We have passed through that bubble. This site lives on, moves forward with its policy and moderators. Striking a balance is too daunting for me to judge, and I sense that even our more generous participants would find it the same. It is easier to raise issues than answer them.

So, I look towards a real photo oriented, political site and hope this site persists with the intelligent moderation, the backstory, the moderators discussions in the background.

We (rather, I) must find that alternative site. One certainty is that it will never replace largeformatphotograpy.info which is about info.

Jody_S
27-Aug-2016, 14:20
This might be trite or cliche, but good art challenges the viewer. If any photography that challenges the viewer is banned from LFPF for fear a discussion might arise, we're left with pictures that might be technically perfect and amazing and beautiful to look at, but that have no soul.

This is 2016. We cannot let trolls disrupt conversation on interesting topics. If we do, we let the trolls win. We must remember that trolls are no longer the stereotypical mom's-basement-dwelling posting-in-their-underpants juveniles. Trolls are now professional disruptors, often trained and paid to stifle points of view that they or their paymasters do not want to see discussed. Trolling is now a billion-dollar industry, and sweatshops with trolls-for-hire are available for all political views, commercial ventures, and religious ideologies. If we allow ourselves to be silenced in the face of this onslaught, we lose our humanity. We cede the public square to those who have the muscle to push us out.

I had high hopes for LFPF because here was a good assembly of experienced, mature photographers with differing styles, methods, agendas, projects, who came here because they didn't want to go to commercial sites. It would be a shame, IMHO, if LFPF gave up because the odd troll throws a grenade into a thread. There are not so many users here that we can't tell who is a troll and who wants to discuss images and photography.

Jac@stafford.net
27-Aug-2016, 14:28
[...] We cannot let trolls disrupt conversation on interesting topics.

Personally, I find no such trolls regarding the thread in question. There is (or are) a couple posts with provocative ideas, but not trolls in the real sense. Trolls cast with no regard to specifics, but only innuendo.
.

Vaughn
27-Aug-2016, 14:29
Yes, I've dealt with students who have ptsd. Thank you for your concern. The administrators at the University of Chicago must not know what they're talking about.

Good to hear.

The concepts are new and are undergoing growth and changes -- the Dean of Students taking those concepts out of context and lumping them in with students demonstrating against speakers they do not agree with does not help. Helps with getting conservative donors, perhaps.

I have dealt with university Deans/administrators -- not necessarily the brightest bulbs outside of their educational specialties...and many times are majors power trippers. Lots of good ones out there, of course...somewhere.

PS -- Oren, thanks to you and our other moderators for giving the (original) topic much consideration. How about "Time outs" for topics that go political? Close them for a couple days, and re-open them after folks have cooled down.

jp
27-Aug-2016, 14:57
I think much of social Internet trolling has traditionally been people at home either/or drunk or stir-crazy. I went stir crazy a couple years ago when I had a remote office at home instead of face-to-face work with peers. If trolling is dealt with swiftly and meaningfully it would not be much of a problem. (I am aware that professional trolls frequent news sites including local news for politically divisive purposes) I'm enjoying socializing here without the doom and gloom that is Internet political news and opinion at the moment. Yet I do have some portrait shoot ideas that would addess political issues and would expect to be able to post them here. Perhaps polite political discussion is OK if it first involves a photograph, which would get people shooting more. I think shooting (and corresponding sharing) is what can grow the forum and make it richer.

Oren Grad
27-Aug-2016, 15:01
PS -- Oren, thanks to you and our other moderators for giving the (original) topic much consideration. How about "Time outs" for topics that go political? Close them for a couple days, and re-open them after folks have cooled down.

Thanks, Vaughn. Suggestion appreciated, we are indeed considering such things.

D-tach
27-Aug-2016, 15:32
This might be trite or cliche, but good art challenges the viewer. If any photography that challenges the viewer is banned from LFPF for fear a discussion might arise, we're left with pictures that might be technically perfect and amazing and beautiful to look at, but that have no soul.

This is 2016. We cannot let trolls disrupt conversation on interesting topics. If we do, we let the trolls win. We must remember that trolls are no longer the stereotypical mom's-basement-dwelling posting-in-their-underpants juveniles. Trolls are now professional disruptors, often trained and paid to stifle points of view that they or their paymasters do not want to see discussed. Trolling is now a billion-dollar industry, and sweatshops with trolls-for-hire are available for all political views, commercial ventures, and religious ideologies. If we allow ourselves to be silenced in the face of this onslaught, we lose our humanity. We cede the public square to those who have the muscle to push us out.

I had high hopes for LFPF because here was a good assembly of experienced, mature photographers with differing styles, methods, agendas, projects, who came here because they didn't want to go to commercial sites. It would be a shame, IMHO, if LFPF gave up because the odd troll throws a grenade into a thread. There are not so many users here that we can't tell who is a troll and who wants to discuss images and photography.

Well said - let's not let it become too sterile... It's a great forum!

Two23
27-Aug-2016, 15:58
PS -- Oren, thanks to you and our other moderators for giving the (original) topic much consideration. How about "Time outs" for topics that go political? Close them for a couple days, and re-open them after folks have cooled down.


I like that idea. It frustrates me to come upon an otherwise interesting thread a day or so later that took a swerve, after it has been closed. Many basically good threads end up being closed. As for moderators, I think a possible question they could ask themselves is, "Would an LFPF member from Bulgeria or China be interested in a thread containing topics based entirely on U.S. controversies?" I think our regulars here are pretty well educated and OK, but being a public forum we are open to attack. Look at what eventually happened to the old AOL photo forums. The only other photo forum I'm active on is Fred Miranda, but most of what drama there is there is of the usual petty personality conflicts between photographers, and the kerfluffles are mostly about whether the 200-500mm zoom is better than the 300m f4 DO. Anything approaching politically themed bickering/proselytizing is rare and very quickly shut down. Regulars don't even bother with it.

Another thought--maybe some categories (such as "On Photography") could have a little more lee way than others?


Kent in SD

rdenney
27-Aug-2016, 16:58
This might be trite or cliche, but good art challenges the viewer. If any photography that challenges the viewer is banned from LFPF for fear a discussion might arise, we're left with pictures that might be technically perfect and amazing and beautiful to look at, but that have no soul.

This is 2016. We cannot let trolls disrupt conversation on interesting topics. If we do, we let the trolls win. We must remember that trolls are no longer the stereotypical mom's-basement-dwelling posting-in-their-underpants juveniles. Trolls are now professional disruptors, often trained and paid to stifle points of view that they or their paymasters do not want to see discussed. Trolling is now a billion-dollar industry, and sweatshops with trolls-for-hire are available for all political views, commercial ventures, and religious ideologies. If we allow ourselves to be silenced in the face of this onslaught, we lose our humanity. We cede the public square to those who have the muscle to push us out.

I had high hopes for LFPF because here was a good assembly of experienced, mature photographers with differing styles, methods, agendas, projects, who came here because they didn't want to go to commercial sites. It would be a shame, IMHO, if LFPF gave up because the odd troll throws a grenade into a thread. There are not so many users here that we can't tell who is a troll and who wants to discuss images and photography.

You are right, Jody.

Please note, however, that we have never yet prevented anyone from posting photos, unless they were of a type that could cause the forum to be labeled in such a way as to prevent it from being viewable by our members at their workplaces, and so on. Pornography is the most obvious example of that, but we can all think of other examples. Truth to tell, I don't recall any time when we had photos like that we had to delete. The biggest controversy we've had concerning actual photographs was whether 6x17 was or was not large format. :)

Rick "who has not yet seen a professional troll on this forum, but who has seen quite a few professional spammers, and recommends the same treatment for both" Denney

Jim Jones
27-Aug-2016, 16:58
The historical relationship between photography and political actions is too important to ignore. Consider William Henry Jackson, Louis Hine, and Ansel Adams. Surely we can write about them without rancor. Even controversial photographs and information that illuminates them can contribute to the collective wisdom for which this site should be admired. Of course they will offend some. We can't please all of the people all of the time. However, there is no need to rant about today's moral or political controversies here. Nor should we tolerate personal attacks. Personal opinions unsupported by actual experience or respected references are also suspect. Threads which become too agitated should be closed, although not deleted until the furor they arouse is over. It is frustrating to read pages of comment on a subject that we can no longer access to see just what all the fuss is about.

Wayne
27-Aug-2016, 19:28
This message has been deleted by Pere Casals.
---------------------------


Lol. This place is such a hoot. :rolleyes: Don't worry, your secret is somewhat safe with me. :)

Wayne
27-Aug-2016, 19:37
Anyway in the interest of saying something marginally meaningful or useful, I read everything that was locked/deleted recently and still don't know what the fuss was about. The photos didn't bother me, the text didn't bother me, Kent's comments didn't seem that awful to me, and by far the worst comments of all came from management who seem intent on controlling something that isn't really a problem for most and can't really be controlled anyway. Even Kent's "dang it" thread was locked at first. Such fuss about so little!

rdenney
27-Aug-2016, 20:26
Wayne, there was a lot more fuss than you realize happening behind the scenes, and often something pretty small is a trigger for a much bigger set of considerations. We know we would not handle it again as we did. We also know that this gives us a chance to review the larger issues that Sandy and others are bringing up, and we are talking it through.

But you have to understand that between three moderators and QT, all of whom are fitting our correspondence to each other amongst many other duties, it takes a bit of time to really talk through things so that we can avoid any unintended consequences of a change in direction. We've already tried the quick response.

Rick "patience, please" Denney

neil poulsen
27-Aug-2016, 20:44
As a (former) moderator with the longest tenure, except for Tuan Luong, let me offer some history.

The days in which discussions involving politics and religion were allowed on the Forum predated the addition of the Lounge. As Sandi aludes, there are times when these discussions relate to large format photography. For example, whether or not one can photograph in National Parks easily becomes a political topic; yet, it's one in which many LF photographers have a stake.

But after the Lounge Forum was added, discussions involving politics and religion became so incendiary inside the Lounge (talk about mayhem!), that the moderators voted to prohibit any discussion of these topics on the LF Forum. As a result of the current guidelines, the politics of photographing in the National Parks is off limits. Of course, the irony in this, is that the Lounge has little do with the primary purpose of the Forum, which is large format photography. (I've suggested that this is the tail wagging the dog.)

In my view, a resolution to this problem pivots on whether or not a discussion involving politics or religion occurs inside or outside the Lounge. Clearly, history has shown that, given the wide range of non-LF topics that can occur inside the Lounge, discussion of politics and religion needs to be prohibited.

However, outside the Lounge, such discussions usually went off-topic (non- LF) well before they reached the combustion point and could be, and often were, deleted on that basis. So, outside the Lounge, there is a control that exists within the guidelines to help prevent discussions involving religion and politics (for example) from reaching destructive levels. To put this another way, any discussion involving religion or politics that occurs outside the Lounge would have to relate to LF photography.

In a previous thread, Kirk Gittings offered valid logic that forum administrators have the right to censor topics of conversation. But, it’s always been my belief, that a good forum should be an example of free-speech. Administrators have the right to censor, but does this make for the best forum?

Not in my view.

Consequently, I believe that excluding photography related discussions of religion and politics in the (non-Lounge) LF Forums is not in the best interest, nor in the best tradition, of the LF Forum. So, I’ve often suggested to other moderators that we should jettison the Lounge. But in fact, the Lounge has become a well-established, and appreciated forum on the LF site. In retrospect, I think that we can continue to prohibit topics involving religion and politics inside the Lounge, yet still engage in productive and fruitful discussions of politics and religion that relate to LF photography in the regular LF forums.

Darin Boville
28-Aug-2016, 03:41
Outstanding forumulation, Neil. That looks about perfect (not to mention nice and simple).

If I might make a small addition (or rather subtraction) I would rephrase your guideline simply as "members are permitted to engage in productive and fruitful discussions of politics and religion that relate to LF photography." No need to bring up the Lounge since non-LF politics/religion is not permitted anywhere (including the Lounge) and LF-related would be permitted everywhere, including the Lounge, if for some reason a member preferred to post there.

Same simple rule everywhere. Nice.

--Darin

rdenney
28-Aug-2016, 05:39
The concern, of course, is that one man's productive and fruitful is another man's flame war. Someone has to make that determination, and whatever we do has to navigate that balance.

Rick "moving in the direction of fewer prescriptions with more discretion" Denney

Jody_S
28-Aug-2016, 06:12
My apologies for ignoring comments, I've been having 'puter troubles and got signed out of everywhere.

1) I am not saying, implying, insinuating that members of LFPF are professional trolls.

2) The general issue with the paid professional trolls and discussions of politics and religion, here or elsewhere, is: "If you build it, they will come." In '16, if you have a discussion about a hot topic, whether religious, political, or critical of a large commercial interest or the wrong billionaire, paid trolls will show up and do their thing. However, the nature of LFPF would make their efforts rather comical.

3) The more serious issue is that as with any other human endeavor, knowledge grows, methods spread. Anyone who spends any amount of time on the W3 has seen trolls in action and understands how to disrupt a conversation if they really want to. Not everyone has it in them, of course, but trolling is so widespread and mundane now that we sometimes mimic trolling without even realizing it, when we're angry or otherwise engaged in a discussion. This often leads to accusations of being a troll when one is a longstanding member of a community, but has become too emotionally engaged in a thread. Obviously, this makes community moderation more of an art form than a simple matter of enforcing rules.

Wayne
28-Aug-2016, 06:24
Wayne, there was a lot more fuss than you realize happening behind the scenes, and often something pretty small is a trigger for a much bigger set of considerations. We know we would not handle it again as we did. We also know that this gives us a chance to review the larger issues that Sandy and others are bringing up, and we are talking it through.

But you have to understand that between three moderators and QT, all of whom are fitting our correspondence to each other amongst many other duties, it takes a bit of time to really talk through things so that we can avoid any unintended consequences of a change in direction. We've already tried the quick response.

Rick "patience, please" Denney


I'm troubled by the notion that behind the scenes whining and whiners ("fuss... happening behind the scenes"...) are influencing the administration/administrators of the board while public comments about the same are consistently suppressed, deleted and locked.

I guess I'm a simpleton, and I while I'm a frequent visitor I read a minority of the threads so I may miss a lot. But I only see the need to bring out the brass knuckles when people are making overt personal attacks and overtly political statements. The latter inevitably but convenientlly always deteriorates into the former and can be determined in that way. The rest is a big messy gray area that only gets messier when the gray lines are heavily policed because few agree where those lines are.

Randy Moe
28-Aug-2016, 06:27
Here. Hear. Wayne. :)


I'm troubled by the notion that behind the scenes whining and whiners ("fuss... happening behind the scenes"...) are influencing the administration/administrators of the board while public comments about the same are consistently suppressed, deleted and locked.

I guess I'm a simpleton, and I while I'm a frequent visitor I read a minority of the threads so I may miss a lot. But I only see the need to bring out the brass knuckles when people are making overt personal attacks and overtly political statements. The latter inevitably but convenientlly always deteriorates into the former and can be determined in that way. The rest is a big messy gray area that only gets messier when the gray lines are heavily policed because few agree where those lines are.

Two23
28-Aug-2016, 07:00
Consequently, I believe that excluding photography related discussions of religion and politics in the (non-Lounge) LF Forums is not in the best interest, nor in the best tradition, of the LF Forum. So, I’ve often suggested to other moderators that we should jettison the Lounge. But in fact, the Lounge has become a well-established, and appreciated forum on the LF site. In retrospect, I think that we can continue to prohibit topics involving religion and politics inside the Lounge, yet still engage in productive and fruitful discussions of politics and religion that relate to LF photography in the regular LF forums.



The lounge is a great place to post a photography related link, such as the WW2 film rolls, which aren't really LF. Some of the more eclectic and interesting stuff shows up in the Lounge. It's become an "institution," and I think it should remain. As for "politics & religion," I think that's too narrow. I think in our context "religion" is more than ones' traditional religious faith. I'm more inclined to interpret it here as a more aggressive proselytizing of something. Examples that come to mind are the 911 "Truthers," abortion-topic people (both sides,) climate change*, and other special interests that have a cult like following. These are much more troublesome than any religion seem to be.

My favorite example, LOL!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p80hXaM4QgU

Kent in SD

*After visiting Glacier(less) National Park this month,
I do have an opinion on the topic. I'm not one of the
"deniers." However, posting to the LF forum that in 50
years there'll be no farming in the Midwest is just pure
hysteria. For some, "climate change" has become a
sort of religion.

Wayne
28-Aug-2016, 07:09
These are much more troublesome than any religion seem to be.

.

Then why you do keep bringing them up?

Jody_S
28-Aug-2016, 08:20
I think in our context "religion" is more than ones' traditional religious faith. I'm more inclined to interpret it here as a more aggressive proselytizing of something.
(...)
However, posting to the LF forum that in 50
years there'll be no farming in the Midwest is just pure
hysteria. For some, "climate change" has become a
sort of religion.

I apologize if my comment came over as proselytizing. Sometimes, trying to be concise, I leave my words open to many interpretations. What I meant is that large scale, geologically rapid change is apparently upon us. Our photographs of ordinary subjects do have a political implication, they will be part of the record of how life used to be, before the great change (with the added benefit of being perhaps more permanent than the digital snapshots that comprise 99.9% of the record). Others will photograph the transition, like Dorothea Lange did with her migrant camp photographs in the transition from homesteading and sharecropping agriculture to industrialized farming. At the time, we could not fully understand the implications of what was going on, we could only see people suffering and others becoming rich, while the Midwest dried up and blew away.

My comment that most of us would not be alive to see the end is simply a disclaimer to those who believe global warming isn't happening. None of us will live long enough to say "I told you so!" Periods of transition invite discord, conspiracy theories, political pandering and gaslighting, revolutions, and generally both the best and the worst of humanity come to the front. The old Chinese curse of "may you live in interesting times" comes to mind. I feel an obligation, as a photographer, to be involved in documenting it all, but I'm not a climate scientist to make predictions of specific changes. However, this does make my landscape photography political, in intent even if that's not what immediately comes to mind upon viewing, today. I am documenting the world as I see it so my grandchildren will have a record of how things used to be. Perhaps it will be not much different for them and they will not find my photographs interesting. That would be great.

Peter Lewin
28-Aug-2016, 09:01
The last posts, from Jody and Two23, are an example of where we, the members of the Forum, have a responsibility to self-censor (not the two posts I mention, but the issue they raise). Let's assume that someone makes a project out of climate change, taking a series of photographs that they believe illustrate climate impacts, and posts the series on the forum. It is perfectly possible to critique the photographs regardless of whether we believe climate change is real or not. One can comment on whether the images are technically well done, and whether or not they support the photographer's intent. At the same time, we can avoid posting our thoughts on whether climate change is real or not, and certainly avoid subjective phrasing such as implying that a belief in climate change is a religion or a form of hysteria (or conversely that anyone who doesn't believe in climate change is blind or dumb). It goes back to my comment in a much earlier post that much of photography is political, and we shouldn't forbid the images because we can't control our own responses to the images.

jnanian
28-Aug-2016, 09:18
if the hot button topics that are political or religious or whatever, are a necessity for this site
maybe the site-architects+moderators can make a totally unmoderated "soapbox"
and all the grief and BS that follows those types of threads around like the plague
will be isolated into 1 place, and not pollute the rest of the forum. and the moderators won't have any moderating to do there.
and if threads go south in the main forum because of political/religious thread-drift the whole thread can be moved to the soapbox.

rdenney
28-Aug-2016, 11:27
That was the original idea behind the lounge. It was not pretty.

Rick "most experiments have been tried, and maybe there is no solution" Denney

Kirk Gittings
28-Aug-2016, 11:43
That was the original idea behind the lounge. It was not pretty.

Rick "most experiments have been tried, and maybe there is no solution" Denney

Trying to relegate P&R to the lounge became simply a fertile source of infection that spilled vitriol-infecting the entire forum.

I kind of like the time out idea. Not perfect but nothing is.

BrianShaw
28-Aug-2016, 11:55
Another forum in which I participate has a totally unmoderated place for P, R, and anything else. Unfortunately they find it necessary to moderate the unmoderated forum. It's bad news for the community - a few bad apples...

I once was awarded a timeout for unbecoming behavior. Can't remember if it was here or elsewhere. That was rather effective and I quickly learned that repeat performances would yield being disinvited to the party.

I heartily encourage both techniques, as apprpriate.

scheinfluger_77
28-Aug-2016, 11:59
On a related note, at least some people who are serious about education don't think that being exposed to positions that you disagree with is being harmed: http://www.npr.org/2016/08/26/491531869/university-of-chicago-tells-freshmen-it-does-not-support-trigger-warnings?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20160827

Bravo for the University of Chicago! Academic freedom does not mean preferring one set of ideals over others who don't align with you. It's a fine distinction between the freedom to discuss uncomfortable topics but without rancor towards the other side, I applaud them from attempting to maintain this distinction.

Jim Jones
28-Aug-2016, 12:06
if the hot button topics that are political or religious or whatever, are a necessity for this site
maybe the site-architects+moderators can make a totally unmoderated "soapbox"
and all the grief and BS that follows those types of threads around like the plague
will be isolated into 1 place, and not pollute the rest of the forum. and the moderators won't have any moderating to do there.
and if threads go south in the main forum because of political/religious thread-drift the whole thread can be moved to the soapbox.

That may attract the riffraff that would quickly overwhelm the site's ability to handle the traffic. Occasionally I cannot access this site, which may well be to instances of too much activity. We have too valuable a site to the LF community to let this happen.

Pere Casals
28-Aug-2016, 12:27
Today vast majority of LF works are not related to politics: Portrait, Landscape, Objects, Abstract... but little photojournalism in LF format.

Today LF is much more related to art than to social debate.

But great LF photographs involved politics, "Migrant Mother" was made 4x5. Also a lot of photojournalism was made with 4x5 LF Graflex cameras...

My view is that a section "Photography & Politics" can exist here. Problems will arise for sure... a minority of posters that are not "tolerant and polite" will complicate things to moderators.

So one possibility is in that secction OP can describe subjects and even tell their "life history" (like in the Richard's case) in the very first post of the thread, but since then only posts commenting on photography will be allowed, and discussing on politics it would be not allowed at all, in case of posters defending political ideas they can be pointed to discuss it with PM and posts deleted.

I guess posters would be warned that in this section maximum respect to moderators is required in order to facilitate such a difficult job.

This is an additional work load to moderators: it can be assumed or not..

IMHO, if this complicates the life to moderators too much then we can live without politics and without the debate about what it's politics or not. Moderators say if something is politics or not an the rest have to respect it.

Corran
28-Aug-2016, 12:51
I have nothing to add right now but thank you mods for considering the issues at hand and at least being open to possible change. I say that as one who is sometimes involved in photographing politically-charged topics/events, including with LF on occasion, so I have some interest in how this plays out.

jnanian
28-Aug-2016, 14:09
That may attract the riffraff that would quickly overwhelm the site's ability to handle the traffic. Occasionally I cannot access this site, which may well be to instances of too much activity. We have too valuable a site to the LF community to let this happen.


maybe ... but i don't know.
it wouldnt' be any different or more people than currently come here
and currently talk politics &c and get threads closed down, cause trouble &c
or people who interject political commentary into threads that have no
political component, or in the case of this week, the thread that caused the trouble
would have just been moved to the soapbox and live there...
apug has a "soapbox area" like i described
it isn't filled with rif raf or overloading the site with traffic
and it is barely used.

BrianShaw
28-Aug-2016, 14:19
Funny you should write that, John. On the other site I frequent, which has a no- holds barred (unless things get too out of hand) there are often less than 10 threads per year. Only one this year got moderated so far. They even have a subforum that permits foul language and personal attacks, which is even less used. I have no idea how many per year atAPUGs Soapbox or how many end up getting moderated.

Mark Sawyer
28-Aug-2016, 14:39
But great LF photographs involved politics, "Migrant Mother" was made 4x5...

Well, along with Dorothea Lange, could we also posthumously ban Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz, and F. Holland Day?

Jody_S
28-Aug-2016, 16:09
Today LF is much more related to art than to social debate.



This is a contradiction in terms. Art is social commentary. I'm sure the members with Arts degrees will question my formulation, but the idea of separating art from social issues is far more problematic IMHO than anything else discussed here.

For those who see this forum as primarily a technical repository of information regarding Large Format (I am kinda in this camp): LF is a dead art, there has been no new knowledge in many years (I know some will disagree). We are collectively the guardians of an obsolete craft, in the words archived on this forum but more importantly in the collective memory of the members. Our photographs serve as proof of our status as guardians. They are our signpost, for all the world to see, that we really are the masters of this craft. I know that sounds pretentious, I'm not willing to risk talking in circles here.

Would you trust a mechanic if you drove up to the garage and there wasn't a single car in the yard or up on a lift? Especially if it was your prize '54 Chevy something-or-other that required a real gearhead, not some kid with a community college degree in automotive electronics? The fact that we are photographers (first and foremost, for most?), with a high degree of both technical competence and artistic vision when taken as a community, is what people see when they come here and start browsing, and consider joining the community because they want what we collectively have. Besides, this is the primary means, IMHO, of retaining members and keeping them excited about coming here and participating. Restricting us to posting fluff images and banning any project we're working on that has meaning to us is like that garage banning all classic muscle cars from their yard in favor of 1990s Oldsmobiles.

I also want to state that I am emphatically against a lounge or unmoderated soapbox free-for-all discussion area. That would be completely counterproductive to the purpose of the forum, it would only serve to foster animosity between members and attract trolls. What I am arguing against is censorship of artists posting their art in the form that they envision it and want it seen. I am fine with aggressive moderation to stop such threads turning into pie-fights. We don't need to debate the finer points of Climate Change on this forum, or anything else unrelated to photography. But I want the freedom to post photographs and explain what they are or what I was trying to make them. And I want to see more work like Richard's. I look to such projects for inspiration. I avoid technical discussions on Dallmeyer 3Bs and collodion because I don't want to feed my GAS or get distracted from what I'm trying to accomplish by trying to take on yet another technical hurdle. I know the info is there should I ever need it.

jnanian
28-Aug-2016, 16:21
Funny you should write that, John. On the other site I frequent, which has a no- holds barred (unless things get too out of hand) there are often less than 10 threads per year. Only one this year got moderated so far. They even have a subforum that permits foul language and personal attacks, which is even less used. I have no idea how many per year atAPUGs Soapbox or how many end up getting moderated.

i haven't been in the soapbox in a while, brian, but the last time i was it was a handful of threads and most were dead/not posted to in months, i don't think any get moderated.
there aren't a lot of threads on 'pug that pose troublesome commentary, it seems people are a bit more polite there, and there are fewer people
posturing/causing trouble/complaining/being trolls/beligerant &c and when they get moderated or their digital gear question threads get shut down
they don't start threads complaining and have others pile on suggesting they were being "abused" by the website staff.
maybe i am wrong, but i haven't seen posts like that... people usually realize they posted stuff that was off topic, shrug their shoulders and move on,
and not take it as an abusive personal attack. i could be wrong though, i don't know ..

Sal Santamaura
28-Aug-2016, 17:00
...I have no idea how many per year atAPUGs Soapbox or how many end up getting moderated.


i haven't been in the soapbox in a while, brian, but the last time i was it was a handful of threads and most were dead/not posted to in months, i don't think any get moderated...Sean (site owner) converted APUG's Soap Box from an area only accessible to paying subscribers into a "social group" several months ago. As a non-subscriber, I took advantage of that opportunity to see what had been going on in the place since it was started in June 2011.

As of this moment, there are a grand total of 57 members, including Sean and two moderators who do keep an eye on things. Since inception, 198 threads have been started. Total APUG membership is 79,462.


...there aren't a lot of threads on 'pug that pose troublesome commentary, it seems people are a bit more polite there, and there are fewer people
posturing/causing trouble/complaining/being trolls/beligerant &c and when they get moderated or their digital gear question threads get shut down
they don't start threads complaining and have others pile on suggesting they were being "abused" by the website staff.
maybe i am wrong, but i haven't seen posts like that...I observed what was going on in the few active Soap Box threads for a while, thinking I'd remain silent and simply find out about what other members were thinking on controversial topics. After some weeks, I decided to begin participating in one thread. Its title is "Donald Trump." Anyone who'd like to get a feel for my style of posting in that situation can search here for threads from 2008, before political discussion was banned. At the time, Sandy King posted that he appreciated my inputs and perspective on the then-current electoral situation. In the APUG thread, I attempt to inject similar calm discussion and factual refutation of what I consider deceptive inputs by others.

Even when shown to be (or potentially be) wrong, those with viewpoints different than mine have remained polite and civil. I've not reviewed all 198 threads in the category, but haven't encountered any flame wars yet.

With respect to APUG's lack of "moderation bitch fests," I get the sense that Sean, who earns his livelihood from the site, is not reticent to 'disappear' anyone who doesn't respond appropriately when given guidance. Both posters (paying subscribers or not) and threads have vanished when problem children made a fuss.

sanking
28-Aug-2016, 17:17
Just to clarify, I am in no way suggesting that the Lounge, or any other area of the forum, be open to purely political discussions about elections. I am merely suggesting that the discussions in the "On Photography" area of the forum be open to include any discussion (social, religious, political, spiritual, psychological, etc.), so long is it is relevant to what is being discussed, whether that be the work of a photographer, the history of photography, an aesthetic issue, etc. Members whose work may have social, political or religious meaning who may want to discuss this with others could post in this section.

This action would remove from the moderators the burden of having to make calls about what is or is not off topic, or forbidden by rules. So their main job at this point would be merely to make sure that the discussions are civil, and that should be a fairly simply task. Those who are abusive of others would have their messages deleted, and if they continue to do so, could be banned from the forum. I think that would make the job of moderation somewhat more black and white, though for sure no change is going to make everything better for everyone forever.

Sandy

diversey
28-Aug-2016, 17:21
Photographs related politics and social issues should be allowed to post and discuss, which is one of photographer's duties. I wish to see more LF photos with stories behind as what Richardman did. Would Richardman return this forum?

Richard Wasserman
28-Aug-2016, 17:31
Just to clarify, I am in no way suggesting that the Lounge, or any other area of the forum, be open to purely political discussions about elections. I am merely suggesting that the discussions in the "On Photography" area of the forum be open to include any discussion (social, religious, political, spiritual, psychological, etc.), so long is it is relevant to what is being discussed, whether that me the work of a photographer, the history of photography, an aesthetic issue, etc. Members whose work may have social, political or religious meaning who may want to discuss this with others could post in this section.

This action would remove from the moderators the burden of having to make calls about what is or is not off topic, or forbidden by rules. So their main job at this point would be merely to make sure that the discussions are civil, and that should be a fairly simply task. Those who are abusive of others would have their messages deleted, and if they continue to do so, could be banned from the forum. I think that would make the job of moderation somewhat more black and white, though for sure no change is going to make everything better for everyone forever.

Sandy

My LF photography almost always has a political component, although I am interested not so much in political parties, but in governance itself and how it works out for the general population—it gets complicated. I would wholeheartedly welcome a vehicle for discussing these issues, however, I can't imagine a way for that to happen without things quickly devolving and being a major mess. Maybe I'm underestimating the Forum?

sanking
28-Aug-2016, 17:37
And yet something else to consider. Photography played a major role in the creation of the National Parks System.

https://eastman.org/photography-national-parks

Q. T. Luong, who founded this forum, is known for being the first person to photograph in all of the parks in the national systems, and his work was featured in 2009 by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan as one of the few living characters in the film, "The National Parks: America's Best Idea".

Q. T. would not have had that opportunity but for the efforts of earlier photographers, and those who worked in the political world to preserve wilderness areas for the benefit of future generations. And no one could question but that this endeavor was highly political in nature.

Sandy

Jim Jones
28-Aug-2016, 17:45
I regularly visit APUG for some interesting threads, but come here for extensive and reliable information in an uncluttered forum. Lets keep it that way.

Pere Casals
28-Aug-2016, 17:53
This is a contradiction in terms. Art is social commentary. I'm sure the members with Arts degrees will question my formulation, but the idea of separating art from social issues is far more problematic IMHO than anything else discussed here.

For those who see this forum as primarily a technical repository of information regarding Large Format (I am kinda in this camp): LF is a dead art, there has been no new knowledge in many years (I know some will disagree). We are collectively the guardians of an obsolete craft, in the words archived on this forum but more importantly in the collective memory of the members. Our photographs serve as proof of our status as guardians. They are our signpost, for all the world to see, that we really are the masters of this craft. I know that sounds pretentious, I'm not willing to risk talking in circles here.

Would you trust a mechanic if you drove up to the garage and there wasn't a single car in the yard or up on a lift? Especially if it was your prize '54 Chevy something-or-other that required a real gearhead, not some kid with a community college degree in automotive electronics? The fact that we are photographers (first and foremost, for most?), with a high degree of both technical competence and artistic vision when taken as a community, is what people see when they come here and start browsing, and consider joining the community because they want what we collectively have. Besides, this is the primary means, IMHO, of retaining members and keeping them excited about coming here and participating. Restricting us to posting fluff images and banning any project we're working on that has meaning to us is like that garage banning all classic muscle cars from their yard in favor of 1990s Oldsmobiles.

I also want to state that I am emphatically against a lounge or unmoderated soapbox free-for-all discussion area. That would be completely counterproductive to the purpose of the forum, it would only serve to foster animosity between members and attract trolls. What I am arguing against is censorship of artists posting their art in the form that they envision it and want it seen. I am fine with aggressive moderation to stop such threads turning into pie-fights. We don't need to debate the finer points of Climate Change on this forum, or anything else unrelated to photography. But I want the freedom to post photographs and explain what they are or what I was trying to make them. And I want to see more work like Richard's. I look to such projects for inspiration. I avoid technical discussions on Dallmeyer 3Bs and collodion because I don't want to feed my GAS or get distracted from what I'm trying to accomplish by trying to take on yet another technical hurdle. I know the info is there should I ever need it.

I understand what you say... I think just the same. Perhaps I've not expressed well what I wanted to say...

By looking LF photographs posted here and web sites of photographers that are posting here it can be concluded that most works are politically neutral, regarding hot political concerns.

I've not seen much LF works about black unarmed people shot by police, about drug use, about street guns, about death penalty, about islamic terrorism, about Guantanamo prison...

The single "political" work was that from Richard, and I can well state that in my country nobody would consider it a political work, but social portrait. So in some way it was fresh air.

The question is if there is a way that social portrait or other mild concerns do not end in riots that make moderators become crazy...




LF is a dead art, there has been no new knowledge in many years


A bit... so let's change that !!!! :)



Well, along with Dorothea Lange, could we also posthumously ban Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz, and F. Holland Day?

The Steerage ... yeah :)

Sally Mann...

Sal Santamaura
28-Aug-2016, 17:56
Just to clarify, I am in no way suggesting that the Lounge, or any other area of the forum, be open to purely political discussions about elections. I am merely suggesting that the discussions in the "On Photography" area of the forum be open to include any discussion (social, religious, political, spiritual, psychological, etc.), so long is it is relevant to what is being discussed...How would that work for a thread like the one that included Bryan's Trump event images? In three posts or less, with restraints removed, discussion would be purely political. :)


...This action would remove from the moderators the burden of having to make calls about what is or is not off topic, or forbidden by rules. So their main job at this point would be merely to make sure that the discussions are civil, and that should be a fairly simply task...In the example I provided, purely political discussion would be on topic and allowed. That is indeed a way to remove moderator burden. I'd hope, but based on past experience here, am not optimistic, that keeping things civil wouldn't be an even bigger burden than the one eliminated.

sanking
28-Aug-2016, 17:56
My LF photography almost always has a political component, although I am interested not so much in political parties, but in governance itself and how it works out for the general population—it gets complicated. I would wholeheartedly welcome a vehicle for discussing these issues, however, I can't imagine a way for that to happen without things quickly devolving and being a major mess. Maybe I'm underestimating the Forum?


Perhaps you are right. But if you are, I would fall back to what I wrote earlier, and that if we are not going to allow discussion of sensitive issues in an area called "On Photography" that includes such topics as aesthetics, history, photographers and photographs, then the forum might as well go ahead and just eliminate that section. Because these topics simply can not be discussed factually without taking into consideration context.


Sandy

Kirk Gittings
28-Aug-2016, 17:58
LF is a dead art, there has been no new knowledge in many years (I know some will disagree).

LF technique may be dead (I think static is a better term, but actually I am doing some new things with it that I have never heard of before). But art is what you do with technique and art is never dead.

Pere Casals
28-Aug-2016, 18:00
Photographs related politics and social issues should be allowed to post and discuss, which is one of photographer's duties. I wish to see more LF photos with stories behind as what Richardman did. Would Richardman return this forum?

It would be great if he returns, but with the premise that one must respect moderators. If one do not like the rules of a site (most of us.... we are guests...) then one can complain in a constructive way. Assembling riots aganist moderation is no way.

Pere Casals
28-Aug-2016, 18:08
I think static is a better term

Yes... but consider that hybrid process brings new tools, and internet opens new broadcasting channels...

There is much less LF practice... that's true... but perhaps something is to happen and still nobody can see it.

RSalles
28-Aug-2016, 18:17
My 2 cents:
If a photography has a political content it's up to the author of the post to show or not to show, as long as it has an impossibility to negate its photographic value.
If a photographic image makes sense, shows strength, stands by itself, even if it's moved out of the context - political, sociological, emotional, whatever - IMHO it would have the right to be showed by the author. What if, in the cinema work, theater, painting, sculpture, someone decides to ban any work which has a political sense, or illustrates a citizen's right? It would be absurd.
I find immensely important to have Photography as a documentary tool. Giving sometimes the voice to the un-heard, telling us a story, in a sense where we 're able to know the stories in a global or national meaning, but not the stories which are just at the next street corner, the small village, the restrict group.
Yesterday a forum member has posted a note about the work of a wet plate set of photos taken at the Hudson Valley showing the farmers. A terrific work! Deserves one million times more be viewed then those fences in 4x5 I posted months ago! :)

Renato

BrianShaw
28-Aug-2016, 18:41
It would be great if he returns, but with the premise that one must respect moderators. If one do not like the rules of a site (most of us.... we are guests...) then one can complain in a constructive way. Assembling riots aganist moderation is no way.

It seems as though that line has already been crossed and bridges burned. I, personally, had no opinion on the matter until it started hitting the fan. Then it became clear who the trolls really are. This forum will be just as good without some of them than it is with them. Maybe the site he promised to start will be a viable option for anyone who is malcontent.

Jody_S
28-Aug-2016, 19:59
LF technique may be dead (I think static is a better term, but actually I am doing some new things with it that I have never heard of before). But art is what you do with technique and art is never dead.

I knew someone would take umbrage at that... I am working on a new (far as a google search can tell) alternative process myself. But it isn't 100% dependent on LF, I could start with digital and print a negative.

Part of the appeal of LF, for myself anyway, is using antique gear and traditional methods. Everything there is to know about these was known when LF was the default for commercial photography. Of course I hope that artists are continually creating fresh and re-imagining the old into something new.

Pere Casals
29-Aug-2016, 05:51
It seems as though that line has already been crossed and bridges burned. I, personally, had no opinion on the matter until it started hitting the fan. Then it became clear who the trolls really are. This forum will be just as good without some of them than it is with them. Maybe the site he promised to start will be a viable option for anyone who is malcontent.

It would be good for LF if a new site operates... but then he will see what is to moderate on politics... well, if all posters are of the same "sect" then it can work... but then it will come somebody with Trump vs Clinton debate or if guns or marihuana have to be allowed, or what is racism or not...

It is very nice to discuss on how a political message is implemented inside a photograph, problem arises when the political message is discussed in a non political forum.


I reiterate that first is to respect moderators and to understand that they have the job to keep the thing working smoothly, and that sometimes all of we have to sacrifice something to contribute to it.

Somebody that does not show that respect he cannot be welcomed, not only here, everywhere...

Ken Lee
29-Aug-2016, 07:12
LF technique may be dead (I think static is a better term, but actually I am doing some new things with it that I have never heard of before). But art is what you do with technique and art is never dead.

+ + !

Pfsor
29-Aug-2016, 07:21
I reiterate that first is to respect moderators and to understand that they have the job to keep the thing working smoothly, and that sometimes all of we have to sacrifice something to contribute to it.


I like brown noses - purely from the photographic point of view, of course. They make focusing so much easier, don't you agree? But sometimes too much is just too much - it then exposes the secondary more than the primary. Your point of view can vary, of course.

Kirk Gittings
29-Aug-2016, 07:45
I like brown noses - purely from the photographic point of view, of course. They make focusing so much easier, don't you agree? But sometimes too much is just too much - it then exposes the secondary more than the primary. Your point of view can vary, of course.

Personal attacks are not welcome here.

Oren Grad
29-Aug-2016, 07:48
We're going to leave Pfsor's post up as a reminder to participants in this otherwise excellent thread (thank you!) about what we are dealing with, and what kind of material is being removed in the cascades of deletions that sometimes occur when a situation boils over.

BrianShaw
29-Aug-2016, 07:53
I like noses of all colors!

Pere Casals
29-Aug-2016, 09:25
I like brown noses - purely from the photographic point of view, of course. They make focusing so much easier, don't you agree? But sometimes too much is just too much - it then exposes the secondary more than the primary. Your point of view can vary, of course.

:) today I've learnt a new expression !!!! funny, really! English is my 3rd language... thanks !

But it's not what you guess at all, from my past in the military I appreciate discipline and collective effort. There I had my nose broken 3 times while training, finally requiring septorhinoplasty surgery.

Anyway you can get that being funny in East St. Louis (IL) :) not with me...

Pfsor
29-Aug-2016, 09:38
Little did I know, there was something wrong with the nose. Nevertheless that surgery was necessary seems to indicate too much of the collective effort perhaps?
I agree, fun is necessary in the life!:)

bob carnie
29-Aug-2016, 09:48
Is a time out something like being voted off the island ?, I have always felt that when people go wacky here , and enough people agree this person should be voted off the forum for a period of time.

Maybe a thread area called Forum Survival. Where we get to nominate the person or persons.

I will start it off, I nominate Drew.

Pere Casals
29-Aug-2016, 09:57
Little did I know, there was something wrong with the nose. Nevertheless that surgery was necessary seems to indicate too much of the collective effort perhaps?
I agree, fun is necessary in the life!:)

No... I was the boxing subchampion of my company, this provocated two fractures in four months. The third was while a night jumping to sea, a comrade fell on me because weather, hitting my troubled nose :) with his knee. A wounded nose in salt water it's not very confortable while snorkeling... and you can also attract sharks :)

Pfsor
29-Aug-2016, 10:08
A wounded nose in salt water it's not very confortable while snorkeling... and you can also attract sharks :)

For sure, such a nose can attract a lot of troubles. :)

BrianShaw
29-Aug-2016, 11:00
That nose of yours really knows trouble! Hope it has completed its chromatic transformation from brown to red to blak-and-blue to whatever your final dermal pigmentation may be!

rdenney
29-Aug-2016, 11:41
Is a time out something like being voted off the island ?, I have always felt that when people go wacky here , and enough people agree this person should be voted off the forum for a period of time.

Maybe a thread area called Forum Survival. Where we get to nominate the person or persons.

I will start it off, I nominate Drew.

We have to distinguish between those who really tear a forum apart from those who are best addressed with a thicker skin.

Because, at the end of the day, we are all annoying at times. Voting people off the island is the one sure way to institutionalize the dominant paradigm, which is the opposite of what I'm hearing people say.

Rick "moderators are required to transcend feelings all the time" Denney

Pere Casals
29-Aug-2016, 12:12
That nose of yours really knows trouble! Hope it has completed its chromatic transformation from brown to red to blak-and-blue to whatever your final dermal pigmentation may be!

The septorhinoplasty worked very well... now I smel fixer with all its plenitude !

Oren Grad
29-Aug-2016, 17:14
I'd like to bring this discussion back to where Sandy started it and Peter followed up. Beyond observing the descriptive fact that photographer X was motivated by political or advocacy considerations in creating body of work Y, how do you envision such a discussion proceeding? I'd like to get more insight into what sorts of things you think it's possible to discuss in connection with these bodies of work, that won't turn into debates about the underlying social/political issues with the photographic connection being simply a convenient jumping-off point.

What is interesting to you, and what specifically would you like to talk about here, in connection with such bodies of work?

BrianShaw
29-Aug-2016, 17:22
I'm interested in virtually any topic a member wants to present, but really more concerned about the discontent that seems to build in subsequent discussion. While I find some topics pleasing and others repugnant, I'll look at almost anything provided it's done intelligently and artistically.

One approach: artist starts thread with images and accompanying artist statement, explanatory text, etc and thread is locked from further discussion. Moderators do their thing if content violate rules of forum or common decency. The rest of us view and either admire or despise... Privately.

Sal Santamaura
29-Aug-2016, 17:41
...One approach: artist starts thread with images and accompanying artist statement, explanatory text, etc and thread is locked from further discussion. Moderators do their thing if content violate rules of forum or common decency. The rest of us view and either admire or despise... Privately.In other words, a platform to present political positions without any possibility of disagreement or refutation. Free political advertising. Sounds great to me!

BrianShaw
29-Aug-2016, 17:46
Unfortunately that could be the result Sal. But the alternative isn't pretty either, as we've been seeing.

Feel free to present an alternative... Like nothing but pics of rocks, trees, fully clothed people, and abandon buildings. :)

Thinking about two threads that blew up in a way that shouldn't have happened, Corran's rally pics and Man's portraits... It was the follow up chatter that went political and not the artists presentation.

Two23
29-Aug-2016, 17:53
I'd like to bring this discussion back to where Sandy started it and Peter followed up. Beyond observing the descriptive fact that photographer X was motivated by political or advocacy considerations in creating body of work Y, how do you envision such a discussion proceeding? I'd like to get more insight into what sorts of things you think it's possible to discuss in connection with these bodies of work, that won't turn into debates about the underlying social/political issues with the photographic connection being simply a convenient jumping-off point.

What is interesting to you, and what specifically would you like to talk about here, in connection with such bodies of work?


Most photography LF'rs do doesn't really have much to do with politics etc., some might have elements of it. An example. Earlier this month I was up taking photos of glaciers in Glacier NP and Alberta, retracing a trip I took 16 years ago also during August. I made a point to match up the photos I took this year with the ones I took decade & half ago. The differences are cut & dried and irrefutable. If I were to construct a post showing these "before and after shots" with no comment, I don't think that would be at all political. I'd only be presenting unretouched photos (and dates) and the viewer could interpret them as they wanted. Let's say I went a step further and said the photos were evidence that either ambient air temperatures have been warmer since I last visited or the melting point of ice is now lower, again I don't think that would be overtly political. Again, it's a fact--ice has a well established melting point. Now, let's say in my post I claim that the photos are proof that the earth has rapidly gotten very hot ("very hot" not quantified) and we're all going to die if we vote for phony politician #1 instead of phony politician #2, you're a moron and we are all GOING TO DIE! At that point I am only dividing & inflaming people, causing people to line up on one side or the other, and engaging not so much in photography as political advocacy. And that last scenario is destructive, does not advance our photography, and will wreck our valuable resource like cancer.

Not to pick on climate change--I could just as easily post my photos of endless freight trains of containers from China, addicts/winos on the street, people holding signs at various rallies, etc. Again, I think at this particular time people are highly stressed, frustrated, and tension is running high in most of the Western world for a number of reasons. Our love of photography can bring us together!


Kent in SD

Sal Santamaura
29-Aug-2016, 17:57
Unfortunately that could be the result...Could be? :)


...Feel free to present an alternative...Tuan and the moderators will present what they come up with when they come up with it. In the meantime, were it my decision to make rather than theirs, here's what I'd propose:


Status quo rules
Much less delay before deleting posts/threads that violate the rules
Immediate deletion of public bitch fests about moderation (disguised as "Feedback") and banning of those who engage in them more than once.

Did you expect anything more tolerant from me? :D

BrianShaw
29-Aug-2016, 18:01
Now your talking. How about adding to that list: ban the "sneaky trolls" who we all know who they are. :) which may actually be not a separate item but already covered by your #3!

Oren Grad
29-Aug-2016, 18:18
Peter offered an example well-chosen to probe this issue:


I thought immediately of the "This Place" exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum last May , which showed the work of 12 photographer's working in the Israeli/Palestinian West Bank. Under the rules of avoiding that which might trigger a political debate, a discussion of the exhibit would now be taboo on our site, even though some of the photographers, such as Steven Shore, are known for their large format work.

I'm familiar with this exhibition. Peter, or anybody else, what kinds of questions or topics related to this body of work, or others like it, would you like to discuss here?

Randy Moe
29-Aug-2016, 18:20
Backstage evidence.

Carry on.

BrianShaw
29-Aug-2016, 18:24
I wouldn't want to see that topic here. Guaranteed to be devisive and result in a fist fight... No matter how cooperative the shooters were. That's a topic I'm rather familiar with, especially related to the amount of emotion it generates.

Jody_S
29-Aug-2016, 19:12
I'd like to bring this discussion back to where Sandy started it and Peter followed up. Beyond observing the descriptive fact that photographer X was motivated by political or advocacy considerations in creating body of work Y, how do you envision such a discussion proceeding? I'd like to get more insight into what sorts of things you think it's possible to discuss in connection with these bodies of work, that won't turn into debates about the underlying social/political issues with the photographic connection being simply a convenient jumping-off point.

What is interesting to you, and what specifically would you like to talk about here, in connection with such bodies of work?

There is no need for discussion, unless the OP asks for opinions, commentary, or critique. Same as with choice of medium, lens, digital vs. wet printing, and any of the other myriad choices we make that others do not dump on just for the sake of starting an argument. If Jim Galli likes making sf images of kitchen faucets on whole plate with P&S lenses, how rude would it be if I came along and told him he really should be concentrating on razor-sharp images of stuffed birds in lifelike poses, because no true artist makes images of kitchen faucets? (not picking on Jim, just a recent example)

If someone does ask for opinions, we could state if the artist has succeeded with his stated objective, or offer suggestions to try. But not critique the artist's vision or goals or condemn the inferred political or social ideology that motivated the project. I do believe we should be free to give some sort of personal history of what led us to embark on a project, without writing an essay or an artist's manifesto with each post, and always being respectful of the fact that there are many different political, religious, sexual orientations, races and creeds, reading our words.

ie: "I am moved by the plight of the homeless in American cities, I want to bring attention to their out-of-sight lives" is OK, versus: "I think it's terrible how 'X' politician or political Party has destroyed these people's lives with x or y policy so I thought I should bring attention to that" which would not be OK.

Oren Grad
29-Aug-2016, 19:26
There is no need for discussion, unless the OP asks for opinions, commentary, or critique....

Thanks for your comment.

I think there are at least two different things on the table: discussing the work that members share here in the image-sharing subforums, and discussing bodies of exhibited and/or published work by other photographers in "On Photography".

Peter Lewin
29-Aug-2016, 19:35
Peter offered an example well-chosen to probe this issue: ["This Place," 12 Photographers working in Israel and the West Bank]
I'm familiar with this exhibition. Peter, or anybody else, what kinds of questions or topics related to this body of work, or others like it, would you like to discuss here?

Oren: I would have been interested in opinions about the work as photography. Some specific examples: Thomas Struth had a very large image of an office building facade at sunset, which I found boring, and would have passed by in a matter of seconds had I not read the caption which indicated it was the building on a square where an assassination had taken place. From that caption I realized that this was "Kikar Rabin" (Rabin Square) where Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated by an Israeli extremist specifically because of his efforts to make peace with the Palestinians. But photographically I thought the image failed to make any kind of point. I would have been interested in other's views, because perhaps there was another way of looking at the image in terms of geometry, or colors, or lighting, which I simply missed. Josef Koudelka had a series of B&W panoramics of the land near the separation wall which I found mildly interesting because I enjoy panoramic photography, but fairly boring as pictures of industrial wasteland. I would have been interested in knowing if anyone else found the images of interest, especially if you did not know what the separation wall is. My overall opinion was that there was a lot of mediocre imagery which was only meaningful if placed in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As such, I would say that those images failed, because they had little aesthetic interest as photographs. In contrast, Frederic Brenner had a series of family portraits which I found fascinating, and I thought stood alone without explanation, because one could intuit a lot from the clothing and furnishings of each family (in the same way that I thought Richardman's portraits could be critiqued as portraits, independent of the accompanying stories, although I think the stories were important but could be read without the overlay of personal opinions). So I would have enjoyed other's take on the exhibit in that sense: could the images stand alone, or could any series of images stand alone, for someone not invested in one side or the other of the politics.

By way of disclaimer, I do have opinions about the politics involved, have visited Israel a number of times, and have friends who live there now. But I could certainly discuss my response to the work of any of the 12 photographers in the show without the need to argue any political position. Similarly, I would like to think that we Forum members could discuss almost any photographs as images without including our biases regarding any political background.

Jody_S
29-Aug-2016, 19:41
discussing bodies of exhibited and/or published work by other photographers in "On Photography".

I personally go by the motto that I won't write anything about anyone on the Internet that I wouldn't say to their face. I don't believe artists should try to tear each other down, especially those who have gained a measure of success and recognition. I'm actually rather troubled by the rapidly negative turn any discussion here takes whenever there is talk of certain commercially-successful LF photographers (I won't name any). It makes us look petty. Not the same thing as saying that an image or project just doesn't work for me, or critiquing the images. This isn't a double-standard with how we treat fellow members of LFPF; a published work is open to critique and commentary by virtue of it's being published, much like public figures are open targets for free speech.

I should be able to comment on the meaning of a work, for example Salgado's series, without crossing any lines that other members might see as personal attacks. I should even be able to comment on a work like Serrano's Piss Christ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piss_Christ), for example stating that the artist says he did not intend to denounce religion with the work, without personally offending other LFPF members. They can be offended by the work itself, but my commentary shouldn't be such that it offends them. If I cannot frame and word my commentary without (ahem) pissing people off, then I should refrain from commenting, or I should come back and clarify my words or apologize to defuse any perceived slight rather than doubling down and starting yet another pie fight.

I do believe the bottom line is that we need to treat our fellow members with respect. I can disagree with someone and yet respect them as a person.

sanking
29-Aug-2016, 19:54
I'd like to bring this discussion back to where Sandy started it and Peter followed up. Beyond observing the descriptive fact that photographer X was motivated by political or advocacy considerations in creating body of work Y, how do you envision such a discussion proceeding? I'd like to get more insight into what sorts of things you think it's possible to discuss in connection with these bodies of work, that won't turn into debates about the underlying social/political issues with the photographic connection being simply a convenient jumping-off point.

What is interesting to you, and what specifically would you like to talk about here, in connection with such bodies of work?

I mentioned Strand and Salgado because both are photographers whose work certainly involves a form of advocacy, in the case of Strand for social reform, in the case of Salgado for social documentary. I don't have a magical formula that would prevent discussion of these photographers turning into a personal soap box for someone, but I do know that there should be some space to discuss their motives and intention. I personally stay away from any discussions of this type now because quite frankly I don't know exactly what might be considered off-topic to one of the moderators and I don't care to spend time writing something that may be deleted. My opinion is that it would be much better to just allow open discussion that involves anything that might be relevant to photography, which should make the work of the moderators much easier. So the issue now becomes, is the discussion civil, or not, which is pretty easy to discern. If someone is rude or abusive, delete their messages, and if it happens again and again, ban them.

So in short what I am suggesting is simply, be more flexible in terms of what people can discuss, but be brutal in enforcing civil behavior.

Sandy

Peter De Smidt
29-Aug-2016, 20:25
<snip> So the issue now becomes, is the discussion civil, or not, which is pretty easy to discern. If someone is rude or abusive, delete their messages, and if it happens again and again, ban them.

So in short what I am suggesting is simply, be more flexible in terms of what people can discuss, but be brutal in enforcing civil behavior.

Sandy

Yes!

Jody_S
29-Aug-2016, 21:35
Yes!

If it were that simple, this forum wouldn't have a long history of pie-fights.

Two23
29-Aug-2016, 21:39
ie: "I am moved by the plight of the homeless in American cities, I want to bring attention to their out-of-sight lives" is OK, versus: "I think it's terrible how 'X' politician or political Party has destroyed these people's lives with x or y policy so I thought I should bring attention to that" which would not be OK.


I think any caring human being feels at least some empathy for those on the street. I worked for awhile as a therapist in two institutions for the seriously mentally ill (one a VA hospital,) and have several seriously mentally ill relatives who have from time to time teetered on the edge of being on the street. That said I avoid taking photos of these folks, and feel a twinge of irritation when I see their photos posted on forums. I sometimes ask the photographer if the subject gave them an OK; rarely did they ask. I sometimes point out the photographer got something of value, but did he give anything in return? If not, wasn't it just exploitation? My personal objection to most of these photos has nothing whatsoever to do with politics, but rather, morals. Claiming, "I took the photos to bring awareness...." doesn't cut it. Are the individuals you photo'd personally now better off in some way? Please understand, certainly not picking on Jody--I understand he was speaking rhetorically, or even have anyone specific in mind. Just pointing out there can be deeper "issues" with a set of photos than the usual politics BS. I was reading an interesting interview with war photographer Don McCullin in Hotshoe that delved into this sort of thing. He was asking himself if he had the right to photo people experiencing tremendous suffering and getting paid for it. This is an example of an interesting philosophical discussion that transcends politics.


Kent in SD

Peter De Smidt
29-Aug-2016, 21:39
But what Sandy is suggesting is not what was done in the past.

Jody_S
29-Aug-2016, 21:46
I think any caring human being feels at least some empathy for those on the street. I worked for awhile as a therapist in two institutions for the seriously mentally ill (one a VA hospital,) and have several seriously mentally ill relatives who have from time to time teetered on the edge of being on the street. That said I avoid taking photos of these folks, and feel a twinge of irritation when I see their photos posted on forums. I sometimes ask the photographer if the subject gave them an OK; rarely did they ask. I sometimes point out the photographer got something of value, but did he give anything in return? If not, wasn't it just exploitation? My personal objection to most of these photos has nothing whatsoever to do with politics, but rather, morals. Claiming, "I took the photos to bring awareness...." doesn't cut it. Are the individuals you photo'd personally now better off in some way? Please understand, certainly not picking on Jody--I understand he was speaking rhetorically, or even have anyone specific in mind. Just pointing out there can be deeper "issues" with a set of photos than the usual politics BS. I was reading an interesting interview with war photographer Don McCullin in Hotshoe that delved into this sort of thing. He was asking himself if he had the right to photo people experiencing tremendous suffering and getting paid for it. This is an example of an interesting philosophical discussion that transcends politics.


Kent in SD

That is a very real concern, and has been since the invention of photography, but your comment perfectly illustrates, I think, the sort of critique that would not be OK if someone posted a personal project photographing the homeless. Because 1) you're questioning the OP's morals and devaluing his work, and 2) you're provoking a fight.

However, I do think this would be perfectly OK in the On Photography forum, in a discussion about a published work, or even a general discussion on ethics and photography.

Doug Howk
30-Aug-2016, 03:29
At best, it would be inconvenient to create a photo-essay on this forum given the nature of the software and its interface. Seems more appropriate to publish in a personal website or blog, then provide a link in the "On Photography" section. Could even include a "teaser" image along with some text explaining what you're doing and what you hope to get out of a discussion.

Pere Casals
30-Aug-2016, 04:35
.IMHO:
.
.
.
I'd like to point that an explicit political agenda is way more fair than a hidden one in a photographic work. Transparency is fair.


IMHO the original political agenda vs its graphic implementation it's a matter related to photography and it should be allowed, while discussing about the ideas inside it is not photography, and that cannot be allowed here.


IMHO that this is the concept that has to inspire the rules.









So, what personally I'd like is something like this:



There is an special section "Photography and politics" ("P&P") with special rules.

A moderator may move any thread to that section in order to handle it with those special rules, even in the case the OP original intention was not about politics but happened discussion took that path.

Moving any thread to "Photography & Politics" section is a moderator's prerogative, just a moderating tool, it would be done without notice and any complain would be communicated to moderator exclusively by PM.




The special rules I'd like:



"P&P" rules will be stated very clear to posters.

Only in the very "first post" of the thread, OP can exlpain the political motivation and agenda of his work, this will be encouraged in order any reader can know that fact: Transparency. Long descriptions, "Life histories", etc can be indexed in that 1st post, if it appears in the following posts moderator would move that text to the first post indexing it to another post that have an image.

It that explanation OP is required to speak in terms of personal opinion. So he can say "becasue I think that rights of transgender people must be improved" but he cannot say "becasue I it is clear that rights transgender people must be improved". (The first is justified because explains motivation for the work, the second is proselitism for a good or not cause, we are not to judge it).

In the Section description a disclaimer will reiterate how the site it is not commited at all with texts from posters.

Since second post of the thread political discussion won't be allowed at all. In case a riot starts moderator will delete all content he thinks it has political discussion. Any following post must speak on photographic concerns. If some posters do not follow rules moderator can close the thread, if OP do not follow the rules thread will be deleted.

Any complains from moderation in a specific "P&P" thread will be adressed to moderators with PM, discussing moderation of a particular "P&P" in "Feedback" will not be allowed at all, while "P&P" rules can be discussed in Feedback but without mentioning any specific "P&P" thread, if a poster want to speak to a moderator about a specific "P&P" thread it will be done with a PM to moderator.

The least personal attack in P&P section will be considered a major issue.

As LF "Political photography" may have low activity perhaps LF and smaller formats can share the secction.





My personal view:


"Political photography" has low LF activity but it can be very, very interesting and it should be allowed

Moderators need to have great power from rules to deal with that mission without becoming crazy, we posters must understand it and if we disagree we must complain in a constructive way, using PM to complain about moderation in a particular thread and Feedback to improve rules, allways in a polite and constructive way. Not following that guide it cannot be tolerated at all.

In politics first is transparency, so if OP has a motivation better to know it and make it clear. And we are not to opine about it.

Beyond 1st post of a P&P thread discussion about political ideas should not be allowed, and the moderator has allways the final word about what is or not politics, any complain by PM.

Of course advocating for racism, etc it cannot be allowed, so moderators will also have it's own criterion about what they tolerate or not here, for the moment I would not make rules for what it is tolerated or not,and moderators should filter it. Also complains about it... by PM only.

djdister
30-Aug-2016, 05:07
At best, it would be inconvenient to create a photo-essay on this forum given the nature of the software and its interface. Seems more appropriate to publish in a personal website or blog, then provide a link in the "On Photography" section. Could even include a "teaser" image along with some text explaining what you're doing and what you hope to get out of a discussion.

Agreed. I had suggested to Richardman that a blog would be a better approach for some of his photo essays, especially in light of the fact that you can create a blog at no cost and either allow or disallow comments to your blog posts.

rdenney
30-Aug-2016, 07:47
That is a very real concern, and has been since the invention of photography, but your comment perfectly illustrates, I think, the sort of critique that would not be OK if someone posted a personal project photographing the homeless. Because 1) you're questioning the OP's morals and devaluing his work, and 2) you're provoking a fight.

However, I do think this would be perfectly OK in the On Photography forum, in a discussion about a published work, or even a general discussion on ethics and photography.

Here's a key issue: What it takes to moderate it. The notion that we draw the line at the point where it becomes a personal attack is very difficult to discern. For one thing, everybody has a different view of what constitutes a personal attack, and no matter where we draw the line, we end up with drawn-out discussions of what we did. Which consumes more moderator time. Some people are downright brittle, and others have thick skins and dish out statements that assume others have skin as thick as theirs.

More moderators isn't the solution. If moderators work capriciously, which is the accusation here, more moderators will just increase the flavors of capriciousness. If moderators work to consensus, time must be provided for them to do so, and that usually means we have to close a thread while we discuss it, lest it blow up to the point where we can't keep up with it. More moderators would take more time and effort to work to consensus.

This forum has not grown, and it has the same number of moderators it had when I joined it. Yet the moderating duties (beyond helping people with their technical issues in accessing the forum, which takes a lot of time, too, or blasting spammers, which always carries with it the satisfaction of clarity) are taking more time than they used to. This may be due in part to a difference in how we've been enforcing them (and that has been the main focus of our discussions), but it may also be due to more members wanting to advocate for their personal viewpoints. But this is true: Nobody has enjoyed being a moderator, and all moderators who retired from moderating were relieved to do so. I just recently came off a sabbatical from moderating and so my own burnout has been reset a bit. But we've been called every name in the book, and that gets tiresome. On most forums, those who call the moderators names are instantly banned without discussion, but we feel as though we are a part of the community and feel as though we have to be able to take it.

To those who think the line between "soap box" and "artistic statement" is easy and obvious, we recommend putting yourselves in the shoes of a moderator, and think through a range of possible forum posts and what you would do about them. Even posts in this thread, mostly written with the purest of intentions, are offensive to some, because they will be offended that anyone disagrees with them on any topic they think is important.

I don't think we are interested in providing a play-pen--that experiment has been tried already. Which means we want one set of guidelines and enforcement practices that can be applied across the forum.

I use "we", but the truth is that "we" are still discussing it. We don't all live in the same place, and we have other duties during the day, so the emails back and forth between the three of us take a while.

Rick "still deliberating" Denney

sanking
30-Aug-2016, 08:20
If it were that simple, this forum wouldn't have a long history of pie-fights.

But history shows that the pie-fights often involved issues that most of us would consider highly germane to the core of large format photography: pros and cons of different developers and systems of development, contact printing versus enlargement, silver print versus digital inkjet, whether diffraction matters, drum scanners versus flatbeds, etc.

What history suggests is that the problem is usually not the issue itself, but bad behavior on the part of a few who are abusive, rude and selfish. I worked for 35 years in academia, almost a decade of that time as chair of a very large (45+ faculty and staff). No matter what the rule the drama in the department was nearly always caused by a few bad players, we called them Dr. PITA, or Dr. Pain in the Ass. The only way to deal with Dr. Pita was to give him/her everything s/he wanted (not possible because that would make everyone else mad), or somehow find a way to marginalize the person (demote, remove from the department, terminate, etc.).

Sandy

Kirk Gittings
30-Aug-2016, 08:22
Here's a key issue: What it takes to moderate it. The notion that we draw the line at the point where it becomes a personal attack is very difficult to discern. For one thing, everybody has a different view of what constitutes a personal attack, and no matter where we draw the line, we end up with drawn-out discussions of what we did. Which consumes more moderator time. Some people are downright brittle, and others have thick skins and dish out statements that assume others have skin as thick as theirs.

More moderators isn't the solution. If moderators work capriciously, which is the accusation here, more moderators will just increase the flavors of capriciousness. If moderators work to consensus, time must be provided for them to do so, and that usually means we have to close a thread while we discuss it, lest it blow up to the point where we can't keep up with it. More moderators would take more time and effort to work to consensus.

This forum has not grown, and it has the same number of moderators it had when I joined it. Yet the moderating duties (beyond helping people with their technical issues in accessing the forum, which takes a lot of time, too, or blasting spammers, which always carries with it the satisfaction of clarity) are taking more time than they used to. This may be due in part to a difference in how we've been enforcing them (and that has been the main focus of our discussions), but it may also be due to more members wanting to advocate for their personal viewpoints. But this is true: Nobody has enjoyed being a moderator, and all moderators who retired from moderating were relieved to do so. I just recently came off a sabbatical from moderating and so my own burnout has been reset a bit. But we've been called every name in the book, and that gets tiresome. On most forums, those who call the moderators names are instantly banned without discussion, but we feel as though we are a part of the community and feel as though we have to be able to take it.

To those who think the line between "soap box" and "artistic statement" is easy and obvious, we recommend putting yourselves in the shoes of a moderator, and think through a range of possible forum posts and what you would do about them. Even posts in this thread, mostly written with the purest of intentions, are offensive to some, because they will be offended that anyone disagrees with them on any topic they think is important.

I don't think we are interested in providing a play-pen--that experiment has been tried already. Which means we want one set of guidelines and enforcement practices that can be applied across the forum.

I use "we", but the truth is that "we" are still discussing it. We don't all live in the same place, and we have other duties during the day, so the emails back and forth between the three of us take a while.

Rick "still deliberating" Denney

exactamundo.

Jody_S
30-Aug-2016, 08:23
The issue of what constitutes a perceived attack, intentional or not, obviously transcends the issue of politics. We (mostly) have no problems refraining from hijacking someone's thread by saying "Anyone who uses a Ries tripod is stupid, everyone knows Thallhammer is superior!" But throw in any subject that is currently in the news, suddenly everyone wants the opportunity to state their views. And in a polarized political climate, stating an opposite view is often taken as an attack.

That's why I proposed the perhaps unenforceable distinction above between stating one's personal motivation and advocacy for a particular cause. Such as "I am troubled by the plight of Trans people in today's society so i started this project" vs "I am working to counter the dehumanization of Trans people by X group of people." Any statement of artistic intent or personal motivation must be respectful of the differing opinions of members of the forum, whether on politics or any other issue on which people hold strong opinions.

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

Kirk Gittings
30-Aug-2016, 08:24
But history shows that the pie-fights often involved issues that most of us would consider highly germane to the core of large format photography: pros and cons of different developers and systems of development, contact printing versus enlargement, silver print versus digital inkjet, whether diffraction matters, drum scanners versus flatbeds, etc.

What history suggests is that the problem is usually not the issue itself, but bad behavior on the part of a few who are abusive, rude and selfish. I worked for 35 years in academia, almost a decade of that time as chair of a very large (45+ faculty and staff). No matter what the rule the drama in the department was nearly always caused by a few bad players, we called them Dr. PITA, or Dr. Pain in the Ass. The only way to deal with Dr. Pita was to give him/her everything s/he wanted (not possible because that would make everyone else mad), or somehow find a way to marginalize the person (demote, remove from the department, terminate, etc.).

Sandy

Exactly. Like academia, moderation is more like babysitting a few spoiled children contaminating the playroom for everyone rather than dealing with a group of reasonable adults who just got their feathers a bit ruffled. And no matter how you moderate they still piss and moan.

Jody_S
30-Aug-2016, 08:30
But history shows that the pie-fights often involved issues that most of us would consider highly germane to the core of large format photography: pros and cons of different developers and systems of development, contact printing versus enlargement, silver print versus digital inkjet, whether diffraction matters, drum scanners versus flatbeds, etc.

What history suggests is that the problem is usually not the issue itself, but bad behavior on the part of a few who are abusive, rude and selfish. I worked for 35 years in academia, almost a decade of that time as chair of a very large (45+ faculty and staff). No matter what the rule the drama in the department was nearly always caused by a few bad players, we called them Dr. PITA, or Dr. Pain in the Ass. The only way to deal with Dr. Pita was to give him/her everything s/he wanted (not possible because that would make everyone else mad), or somehow find a way to marginalize the person (demote, remove from the department, terminate, etc.).

Sandy
Every time I come here, I'm reminded of the British tv series Grumpy Old Men. It was just a half hour of various celebrities whining about everything that is wrong with the world. I used to laugh at it until my wife told me I'm one of them (minus the celebrity).

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

Sal Santamaura
30-Aug-2016, 09:08
...This forum has not grown, and it has the same number of moderators it had when I joined it. Yet the moderating duties (beyond helping people with their technical issues in accessing the forum, which takes a lot of time, too, or blasting spammers, which always carries with it the satisfaction of clarity) are taking more time than they used to...The forum might not have grown in terms of membership, but it's grown in that additional 'features' have been added. Ability to attach images. The For Sale / Want to Buy categories. They probably account for lot of moderator effort that wasn't necessary before.


...On most forums, those who call the moderators names are instantly banned without discussion, but we feel as though we are a part of the community and feel as though we have to be able to take it...While laudable, that attitude seems as though it might promote burnout. Volunteers like you guys don't grow on trees. Perhaps it's time to start treating those who call moderators names the way "most forums" do.


...Rick "still deliberating" DenneyKeep deliberating as long as you like / need to. Status quo is fine as far as I'm concerned. :)

cowanw
30-Aug-2016, 09:26
If one applies a root cause analysis to the current kerfuffle: identifying the root causes of faults, the removal of which from the sequence would prevent the final undesirable event.
Then the root causes here might be seen as Kirk's post, Richard's reply or Owen's response. If none of those are considered inviolate, then one could look at how a change might have a happier outcome.
This might offer another possible and specific way to look around the corner

neil poulsen
30-Aug-2016, 11:33
The concern, of course, is that one man's productive and fruitful is another man's flame war. Someone has to make that determination, and whatever we do has to navigate that balance.

Rick "moving in the direction of fewer prescriptions with more discretion" Denney

I think that people know the difference; at least, moderators sure know the difference.

There's another guideline that applies, which relates to forum decorum, and this can also be applied to avoid destructive discussions in the LF forums.

Kirk Gittings
30-Aug-2016, 11:52
If one applies a root cause analysis to the current kerfuffle: identifying the root causes of faults, the removal of which from the sequence would prevent the final undesirable event.
Then the root causes here might be seen as Kirk's post, Richard's reply or Owen's response. If none of those are considered inviolate, then one could look at how a change might have a happier outcome.
This might offer another possible and specific way to look around the corner

That is what the moderators have been trying to do for years. It makes no one happy because "violators" see it differently which leads to endless conversations..............

Peter Lewin
30-Aug-2016, 11:53
Forgetting about philosophy for a moment, couldn't we reduce the workload of the moderators by increasing our own use of the "notify moderator" symbol at the lower left of each post? Instead of forcing the moderators to review each thread (and I assume each post), couldn't the rule be that the moderators only become involved when someone notifies them of an issue? Previous posts have differentiated between thick-skinned members, and those who are more easily offended. So presumably the thick-skinned would simply let some of the "debates" run their course, and a more sensitive member could notify the moderators when either he or she felt personally attacked, or when anyone judged that things had reached the level of a "flame war?"

BrianShaw
30-Aug-2016, 11:54
That is what the moderators have been trying to do for years. It makes no one happy because "violators" see it differently which leads to endless conversations..............

I was just typing something very similar, but in reply to Neil Poulsen's post.

rdenney
30-Aug-2016, 12:09
Peter, that's mostly what we do.

Rick "not thinking of a thread action unprecipitated by complaints for a while now" Denney

Jody_S
30-Aug-2016, 13:25
Peter, that's mostly what we do.

Rick "not thinking of a thread action unprecipitated by complaints for a while now" Denney
Funny. I was thinking perhaps the solution was to restrict members to one complaint per calendar month, and no more than 3 per year.... I doubt the software has the ability though.

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

Randy Moe
30-Aug-2016, 14:16
Funny. I was thinking perhaps the solution was to restrict members to one complaint per calendar month, and no more than 3 per year.... I doubt the software has the ability though.

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

So would your suggestion count as a complaint. Baseball rules?

Just kidding. :)

Jody_S
30-Aug-2016, 18:28
So would your suggestion count as a complaint. Baseball rules?

Just kidding. :)

LOL sure. In 15 years of daily reading of a variety of online forums, including dedicated to politics, I don't think I've ever 'reported' another user to the mods of any forum. I have enough fingers to count all of the interactions I've had with mods by email or pm in those 15 years (and no, I'm not a 32-fingered monster. Ogres have the same number of fingers as everyone else). If I say something boneheaded and offend someone, usually when I think I'm being funny, I've usually apologized to whoever it was before mods have a chance to get involved.

koraks
31-Aug-2016, 02:02
Forgetting about philosophy for a moment, couldn't we reduce the workload of the moderators by increasing our own use of the "notify moderator" symbol at the lower left of each post? Instead of forcing the moderators to review each thread (and I assume each post), couldn't the rule be that the moderators only become involved when someone notifies them of an issue? Previous posts have differentiated between thick-skinned members, and those who are more easily offended. So presumably the thick-skinned would simply let some of the "debates" run their course, and a more sensitive member could notify the moderators when either he or she felt personally attacked, or when anyone judged that things had reached the level of a "flame war?"
I think it's always a good idea to use the notify option if you believe something should be looked at by a moderator. I know I do this from time to time, and I have seen evidence of others doing so as well, particularly in the case of spammers, but possibly also in other situations. The option is there and it is being used. However, there are a few issues: firstly, it doesn't necessarily reduce the workload for moderators, as it will remain necessary to 'patrol' the forum to catch the things getting out of hand that are for some reason not reported. Secondly, many people feel uncomfortable using the 'report' function as they perceive it to be childishly 'telling on people' - and sometimes it is. I have experienced this myself as a moderator elsewhere, where some notifications were really with the best intentions, while others were just another way for people to manipulate whatever skirmish they were involved in themselves. This brings me to the third issue: these notifications bring a workload of their own, as they necessitate looking into. It does work as an early warning system to spot things you'd otherwise miss as a moderator, but I don't think it necessarily reduces the workload, plus it requires commitment of the entire community for it to work really well.

Having looked at what has been going on the past week or so, I wonder if we're trying a solve a big problem with all this. I'm all for free speech, and I also very much believe in improving things that are good but not yet perfect. However, I think in the end it always boils down to having a clear set of rules that leave as little room as possible for debate and a couple of moderators with a functioning brain and some sense of empathy (and we're blessed with the ones we have here!). No set of rules can suit everyone's tastes and even the kindest, most empathetic moderator needs to put their foot down from time to time and have a sufficiently thick skin to deal with the whining that may follow.

Concerning the latter, I want to emphasize what I have said before in the other thread I made a few months ago: it really helps as a moderator to actually give feedback to users involved in moderating action. In the end, it tends to save time as the odds are smaller that something small turns into drama and it makes the whole process a lot more pleasant for all involved. I've experienced this first hand and based on that experience, I simply don't understand the blunt way in which some moderators do their (volunteering) work. There's a big difference between moderating, administrating and policing and too few seem to understand this. Again, this is not a disqualification of the moderators on this forum - the way in which they are involved in this debate and contribute to it constructively says enough.

jnanian
31-Aug-2016, 03:46
i don't really think the alert the modertators button is most of the problem
i think it is the people insulting the moderators and refusing
to allow them to moderate/edit/cemsure (them) ... and it
being a capitol offense, starting threads to complain &c if they are moderated.
im sure on other (free) forums they don't have such a democracy
the sites just make rules, the members follow them or leave
(on their own) or/asked to leave if they can't follow the rules.

koraks
31-Aug-2016, 04:07
im sure on other (free) forums they don't have such a democracy
the sites just make rules, the members follow them or leave
(on their own) or/asked to leave if they can't follow the rules.
It really varies. Some places are more sensitive to the arguments from their user base than others.
Also, 'the site' doesn't make anything. People make rules. In this case, moderators make and modify the rules. They are at the same time part of the community, so to some extent, it's always a democratic endeavor. It's pretty difficult and very frustrating having to moderate a forum on the basis of rules that many people don't subscribe to, which is a good case for being sensitive to some extent to what lives among the user base. A tail can wag a dog only for some time before the dog decides to sever it and simply wander off. Nobody's benefited by that.

Oren Grad
31-Aug-2016, 06:59
Another thanks for the continuing flow of thoughtful comments.

As we know you know, whatever we do, somebody is going to be unhappy. But we continue to seek a workable balance that leaves ample space for lively, enjoyable discussion of LF-related topics without frying the moderators.

We're still in active discussion and hope to have something more to say before too much longer.

jnanian
31-Aug-2016, 06:59
'the site' doesn't make anything. People make rules.

i was refering the the site management ( moderators and owner ) .
when we register here we sign on to this idea that there are rules / guidelines
and most of them were not created by debate/poll or consensus of the membership.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/faq.php?faq=vb_faq#faq_gen_rules_faq_item

Mark Sawyer
31-Aug-2016, 10:45
Another thanks for the continuing flow of thoughtful comments...

One more comment, about another large format photographer whose work would have likely had him banned if he talked about his work's content:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2016/08/photography-and-politics-0

I'd offer that Gordon Parks' record of the Civil Rights movement is not too dissimilar from the work that recently caused Richardman to leave. Sometimes photographic content begs more discussion than exposure methods and what gear was used...

Gordon Parks:

Pere Casals
31-Aug-2016, 14:00
One more comment, about another large format photographer whose work would have likely had him banned if he talked about his work's content:

Gordon Parks:

IMHO it is not the same posting a photographic work on politics than discussing on politics.

The ideal situation would be that when somebody posts a photographic work on politics the following discussion is about photography and not about politics. It would be discussed the graphic implementation of the ideas, or the art or the technique... but not the ideas itself.

The concept is clear, but some people like posting politics in a place that has to be just neutral, this is what it cannot be tolerated at all. Then allowing photography with political content it is only viable if moderators have powerful prerogatives to manage it.

Allowing "Photography & Politics" it is in exchange of respecting moderators, with direct action aganist who don't shows that respect.

koraks
31-Aug-2016, 14:17
i was refering the the site management ( moderators and owner ) .

sure, but my point is, they are not static, disjunct or abstract: they are an integral part of the community. Moderators are sometimes talked about as if they were some higher power or somehow set apart from the community. I think that's a misconception.

jnanian
31-Aug-2016, 15:37
sure, but my point is, they are not static, disjunct or abstract: they are an integral part of the community. Moderators are sometimes talked about as if they were some higher power or somehow set apart from the community. I think that's a misconception.

yup

Ralph Barker
31-Aug-2016, 15:56
One more comment, about another large format photographer whose work would have likely had him banned if he talked about his work's content:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2016/08/photography-and-politics-0

I'd offer that Gordon Parks' record of the Civil Rights movement is not too dissimilar from the work that recently caused Richardman to leave. Sometimes photographic content begs more discussion than exposure methods and what gear was used...

Gordon Parks:

I dare say that Gordon Parks was one of those handful of photographers who most would have preferred that he stopped aging at around 60, so he could live and work forever. If he were still alive, he would be welcome to post his civil rights work, if presented in the manner thoughtfully described earlier in this thread.

Mark Sawyer
31-Aug-2016, 17:09
...If he were still alive, he would be welcome to post his civil rights work, if presented in the manner thoughtfully described earlier in this thread.

Meaning he could discuss f/stops and developers, but could give no context about the subject he was photographing?

rdenney
31-Aug-2016, 19:38
Meaning he could discuss f/stops and developers, but could give no context about the subject he was photographing?

Mark, is that what was thoughfully described earlier in this thread?

Rick "if so, not seeing it" Denney

knjkrock
31-Aug-2016, 22:03
Photograph of church allowed. We even have a thread on that.

Photograph of church with comment such as "I am posting this cathedral photo to raise awareness of the loss of religious freedom............." crosses the line.

It seems very simple. For the few years I have been around I think has worked very well. The forum has remained dynamic enough to catch my attention for several years without all the mixup politics and religion would bring. I really don't come here looking for someone's photographs with an agenda.

How about if a member has a topic that might be worthwhile for discussion but could be considered a violation the idea for the thread submitted to a moderator prior to posting.

Forgive my fear of change

Knj

Mark Sawyer
31-Aug-2016, 22:18
I dare say that Gordon Parks was one of those handful of photographers who most would have preferred that he stopped aging at around 60, so he could live and work forever. If he were still alive, he would be welcome to post his civil rights work, if presented in the manner thoughtfully described earlier in this thread.


Mark, is that what was thoughfully described earlier in this thread?

Rick "if so, not seeing it" Denney

Perhaps one of you could be a little more specific about which one of the 130+ earlier responses in this thread you are referring to?

Randy Moe
1-Sep-2016, 02:52
Is it possible to write without political position or point of view? Are we reaching for an impossible ideal?

Today I carefully read the entire text/content of 3 mailed Costco flyers I got this week. It all seemed apolitical fluff as one would expect from a retail operation that has 1/3 of the total USA population as paid subscription members. One flyer as usual, rather bulky with do good stories. Nothing overtly mentioned the upcoming USA election, yet it was clear from 3 stories Costco was supporting one side. Subtle brainwashing by book reviews and notable feature articles about a certain family.

Can anyone tell from my little tale, which side?

Do some here already know my politics?

I am a long time Costco member. Will I remain?

Pere Casals
1-Sep-2016, 02:54
Meaning he could discuss f/stops and developers, but could give no context about the subject he was photographing?
.
.
.

I'd allow to post a work about civil rights vs segregation.

>> In post #1 descriptions and transparent political agenda allowed

>> Since post #2 only photography allowed: f/stops, developer, Tri-X dramatism, and the like

>> If a "segregation vs civil rights" riot arised, then moderator warns, deteles what he wants and any complain from posters via PM: no public debate about moderation in particular political thread.

>> If Riot continues: thread closed.

>> If OP in the riot: thread deleted.


You cannot complicate life to moderators, if heated topics allowed then moderators need to show more power. Quite straight: lack of respect to moderators = direct action.

rdenney
1-Sep-2016, 05:37
Perhaps one of you could be a little more specific about which one of the 130+ earlier responses in this thread you are referring to?

I asked you first. I don't think any of the thoughtful posts earlier in the thread were advocating for allowing only a discussion of f/stops and developers. It seems to me those thoughtful posts were advocating for being allowed to post context, but perhaps draw the line at overt advocacy, or at the point where decorum breaks down.

Rick "exaggeration won't help" Denney

goamules
1-Sep-2016, 05:56
How about a simple solution, that doesn't involve a page of rules? And doesn't require months of commentary and hundreds of posts about the subject?

1. Have a Politics and Photography section. Allows people to ignore that section if they want.

2. Continue the rule of no politics in other threads and sections. Allows people that don't want to read about agendas to not be swamped with them. See rule no. 1.

3. Set up group moderation. This is the important one. The moderators complain about their high position and heavy workload. Simple - make moderation a democracy. If 3 or more members (any of us) click a "delete thread" or "delete post" button, it disappears. Allows a "reasonable jury" to remove problems, but not just one person to edit the world. The catch is I don't know how this software would allow that.

Two23
1-Sep-2016, 06:07
Today I carefully read the entire text/content of 3 mailed Costco flyers I got this week. It all seemed apolitical fluff as one would expect from a retail operation that has 1/3 of the total USA population as paid subscription members. One flyer as usual, rather bulky with do good stories. Nothing overtly mentioned the upcoming USA election, yet it was clear from 3 stories Costco was supporting one side. Subtle brainwashing by book reviews and notable feature articles about a certain family.

Can anyone tell from my little tale, which side?........

I am a long time Costco member. Will I remain?


Companies like Costco etc. would be absolutely stupid to get involved with politics. They are guaranteed to piss off about 40% of their customers. Look at what happened to Target's sales this year. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/05/18/target-first-quarter-earnings/84530886/
I myself will not buy any Apple products now. Commercial for profit companies, especially retailers, are wise to steer clear of the deep sewer that politics has become lately. Here's an interesting story about Facebook on National Public Radio earlier this week. I think it well illustrates the depth of the polarization. I think LFP forums would also be wise to avoid it. Nothing positive is likely to come from it.


http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2016/08/30/politics-facebook


Kent in SD

BrianShaw
1-Sep-2016, 06:13
.
.
.

I'd allow to post a work about civil rights vs segregation.

>> In post #1 descriptions and transparent political agenda allowed

>> Since post #2 only photography allowed: f/stops, developer, Tri-X dramatism, and the like

>> If a "segregation vs civil rights" riot arised, then moderator warns, deteles what he wants and any complain from posters via PM: no public debate about moderation in particular political thread.

>> If Riot continues: thread closed.

>> If OP in the riot: thread deleted.


You cannot complicate life to moderators, if heated topics allowed then moderators need to show more power. Quite straight: lack of respect to moderators = direct action.

... and ...

"If ... moderator warns, deletes what he wants and..." then offending parties get a 7-day timeout.

"If Riot continues: thread closed." or if there is "public debate about moderation in particular political thread" then offending parties get a 30-day timeout.

jnanian
1-Sep-2016, 06:22
brian you forgot

" if rioters send offensive emails and pm's to moderator staff about their decisions,
the offending parties get 30 day time out, and if it happens 2nd time a 60 day time out, and a 3rd time, banishment to the the LFPInfo factory to make dark slides."

cowanw
1-Sep-2016, 06:24
sure, but my point is, they are not static, disjunct or abstract: they are an integral part of the community. Moderators are sometimes talked about as if they were some higher power or somehow set apart from the community. I think that's a misconception.

This addresses my post about root causes. If one of the root causes of the current problem is an issue with moderation in response to a few problematic posts, then perhaps a modification of the moderation response is in order. That may go a long way to returning things to normal

baro-nite
1-Sep-2016, 06:29
Is it possible to write without political position or point of view? Are we reaching for an impossible ideal?

Yes, and yes. I can't conceive of a set of guidelines that will do substantially better than the current ones, at keeping moderator workload reasonable while keeping discussion civil and on-topic. If a work has an obvious component of advocacy, it should be possible to discuss how well the work serves that purpose, photographically, without debating the merits of the position the work presumably advocates. That discussion must be civil and on-topic is sufficient, and about all we can do. That such discussion will stray out of bounds is inevitable, hence the moderators will always have their work cut out.

Obviously I haven't thought about this nearly as deeply as the moderators, but here's a thought: don't delete posts. If a thread needs to be closed (after appropriate warnings), then close it, but leave the offending posts up for all to see. This would be easier for the mods and would allow all of us to form our own opinions.

goamules
1-Sep-2016, 06:39
Wait - is anyone going to comment on my simple plan? Or is the point of all this to just argue? Each side has a....er....side. Neither will convince the other. Why argue about personal belief systems?

My plan is simple, and equalizes moderation to everyone. Don't like democracy or 3 people that can delete? Change it to 8. The forum software won't handle it? Start every thread in the new Politics and Photography section with a Poll. Two choices: A) keep this thread, B) delete this thread. After 1 week, the moderators check the poll and take action. No reading required.

What's so hard about that?

goamules
1-Sep-2016, 06:41
If you don't like being moderated by a single person, then let it by by group consensus. What is fairer than that? Unless....of course...people with political agendas want their thoughts to remain up....no matter what. That couldn't be.

rdenney
1-Sep-2016, 07:01
One of the things we have heard is the need to allow marginal voices. I'm opposed to any group moderation that would enforce the dominant paradigm, or make it possible for three active people to control what remains. If three moderators attract this sort of abuse, what about three secret naysayers?

Rick "an open politics subforum has already been tried" Denney

jnanian
1-Sep-2016, 07:32
i originally had a long blathering suggestion
but realized that it would probably take too much
effort and stress on the part of the people behind the red
curtain ...

and garrett's suggestion
seems more reasonable
then $$ spent and more
tme spent monitoring ...

bob carnie
1-Sep-2016, 07:37
Plus 1

Kind of like what I was trying to say about voting off the island, this makes sense to me.


After 10 plus years here I think I can figure out when someones being an ass and derailing a thread.



Wait - is anyone going to comment on my simple plan? Or is the point of all this to just argue? Each side has a....er....side. Neither will convince the other. Why argue about personal belief systems?

My plan is simple, and equalizes moderation to everyone. Don't like democracy or 3 people that can delete? Change it to 8. The forum software won't handle it? Start every thread in the new Politics and Photography section with a Poll. Two choices: A) keep this thread, B) delete this thread. After 1 week, the moderators check the poll and take action. No reading required.

What's so hard about that?

Randy Moe
1-Sep-2016, 07:45
I think we have a bit of this.

Your Poll on every new Photo/Politic thread is a very good idea, it also show how folks vote.

Kinda like a show of hands.

Good one!



If you don't like being moderated by a single person, then let it by by group consensus. What is fairer than that? Unless....of course...people with political agendas want their thoughts to remain up....no matter what. That couldn't be.

goamules
1-Sep-2016, 07:55
Thanks. I thought it would be a good idea. Moderation by all. It would fix a lot of problems with what people see is too much control by some. Of course, a control freak would not want it, saying something like "we can't trust the people to do that..." Oh....it's already been said.

But even if the Poll system isn't implemented, at least having a sand box for politics could be fine. Just keep them out of every thread. That does what Bob says, creates drama anywhere a person with an agenda wants. The thread that started all this was a photographer trying to give support to a certain group. I could start a thread showing another group. Those threads should not be "voted off the island." But something that seems intentionally adversarial should be.

BrianShaw
1-Sep-2016, 08:00
If you don't like being moderated by a single person, then let it by by group consensus. What is fairer than that? Unless....of course...people with political agendas want their thoughts to remain up....no matter what. That couldn't be.

I'm okay with your idea... so long as the vote is a valid representation of the membership and a statistically significant sample size.

Edit: which is just another way of saying what was just said in post 146 or 147 by The "Rick Denny" Moderator.

goamules
1-Sep-2016, 08:11
And like I said, if 3 people is too few to vote, make it 8, or 25. I like the idea of more, then after a set period (imagine a Colosseum of Romans giving thumbs up/down), it's gone, or stays forever.

rdenney
1-Sep-2016, 08:12
After 10 plus years here I think I can figure out when someones being an ass and derailing a thread.

Bob, the mods have been here a long time, too, and we can sure see that. But if we all agreed about what constituted "derailing a thread", we wouldn't be having these massive feedback conversations.

One person's derail is another person's useful and relevant change of direction. We've always said that the OP doesn't own a thread, and sometimes they do change direction. If the OP can dictate the direction to all future posts in a thread, then we have a series of blogs, not a discussion forum.

The original purpose of the lounge was to provide people a place to vent their spleens about politics or whatever, with the result that it became immediately out of control. That's what led to the prohibition on politics.

The question is: Are there some topics so volatile that they constitute prima facie evidence of a breakdown of decorum? At the time, it became clear that partisan politics and religion were two such. I do not think that standards of discourse are any better now, and I also think that political polarization has gotten worse. Thus, there is no interest in trying that experiment again among the current moderators, or indeed among (at least) most past moderators.

I am personally opposed to trying to create group moderation (even assuming the software supports it), where three people can go through and force the deletion of anything they happen not to agree with. I'd rather have a benevolent dictatorship, no matter who is the dictator, than an unaccountable oligarchy.

That does not mean we are not considering how we might open up discussions to find a balance that accommodates the thoughtful suggestions we have received.

Rick "not interested in mob rule, either" Denney

knjkrock
1-Sep-2016, 08:13
"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep asking what's for dinner" I have seen this attributed to Ben Franklin.

goamules
1-Sep-2016, 08:18
...
I am personally opposed to trying to create group moderation (even assuming the software supports it), where three people can go through and force the deletion of anything they happen not to agree with. I'd rather have a benevolent dictatorship, no matter who is the dictator, than an unaccountable oligarchy....

Rick "not interested in mob rule, either" Denney

Good way to use rhetoric to try to sway towards your argument! Are you a politician? Again - I'm not saying 3 people, it could be a poll of unlimited number. Again - your assumption is that somehow a moderator is smarter or fairer than the group. I don't agree. Are you saying:

"Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few."
George Bernard Shaw

Try it, what do the moderators have to lose? Oh yeah....control.

Ralph Barker
1-Sep-2016, 08:18
Wait - is anyone going to comment on my simple plan? Or is the point of all this to just argue? Each side has a....er....side. Neither will convince the other. Why argue about personal belief systems?

My plan is simple, and equalizes moderation to everyone. Don't like democracy or 3 people that can delete? Change it to 8. The forum software won't handle it? Start every thread in the new Politics and Photography section with a Poll. Two choices: A) keep this thread, B) delete this thread. After 1 week, the moderators check the poll and take action. No reading required.

What's so hard about that?

Interesting concept. The software doesn't provide a means of enforcing the poll inclusion, however, so there is no way to deal with those who either don't read the rules, or choose to ignore them. Nor is there a way to ensure that those voting in a poll is a representative cross-section of the membership. So, I think it would end up being a thread-by-thread "moberation" sort of situation, with minority voices being silenced.

As mentioned before, we experimented with allowing political discussions in The Lounge a few years back. It was a complete disaster, resulting in the "no politics or religion anywhere" rule.

The core issue, it seems, is allowing discussion of the photographic issues while avoiding the blatant advocacy (one side or the other) of the underlying socio-political issue being depicted in the photographs.

rdenney
1-Sep-2016, 08:33
And like I said, if 3 people is too few to vote, make it 8, or 25. I like the idea of more, then after a set period (imagine a Colosseum of Romans giving thumbs up/down), it's gone, or stays forever.

Garrett, it seems to me that if the number is too small, it's an unaccountable oligarchy. If it's too large, it won't accomplish anything and the pie-fights will run unchecked. The notion that a group of large-format photographers, whose hobby is all about personal expression and working alone, can agree as a group is unevidenced, it seems to me.

The thumbs-up, thumbs-down reference to Romans is not all all endearing this idea to me, at least.

Brian, a statistically valid sample would be defined how? There are some people on this forum whom nobody would grant such authority, even as a vote in a crowd. That bears no resemblance to what I said in 147. Yes, three is too few, but if you have enough to prevent a secret cabal, then you require too many to be effective.

I'm reminded of Agent K (yes, I get all my philosophy from movies, preferably comedies): "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet."

We all want vibrant and open discussion, balanced by mutual respect and self-control. I do not see that the Roman Colosseum model promotes those desirable goals in any way. I see the needle swinging wildly between extremes with such a plan. I also do not see that it will relieve the moderators of any duties at all, and it will spill over into the rest of the forum, as it did before.

I still need to counsel patience. We are converging on a plan, but we are still working through a couple of details. I think what we are converging on will accommodate the issues being raised, but, of course, there has been such a breadth of suggestions that there is no common solution to all of them. But the mods must first agree to something, and then we need QT's blessing. I've been in four different cities in the last two weeks and this is a busy time for me. The other mods are the same, and so it is with QT. If we all lived in the same city and could have a meeting, we could have done this quickly, but we don't.

Rick "seriously considering suggestions, but not necessarily agreeing with them" Denney

rdenney
1-Sep-2016, 08:37
Try it, what do the moderators have to lose? Oh yeah....control.

No, we have the forum to lose. Control? You can have it.

Rick "who hasn't met a moderator yet who enjoys what it entails, versus just participating in the forum" Denney

BrianShaw
1-Sep-2016, 08:38
Rick... Power Analysis is the standard tool that is used:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistical_power

http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/seminars/Intro_power/

Peter Mounier
1-Sep-2016, 08:38
The moderators have a tough job. This is a good discussion, but I'll be surprised if a solution can be found that everyone will agree with. I have a suggestion that is mostly in jest, but there may be a scintilla of merit to it. All of this reminds me of Jane Curtain and Dan Akroyd on SNL's Weekend Update. Perhaps with political topics we can take a cue from their thoughtful "Point/Counterpoint" discussions and start each reply post with "Jane, you ignorant slut!", or "Dan, you pompous ass!". Additionally, there could be a "hall of shame" forum where they could be relegated to if arguments turn nasty. If the thread is relegated to the Hall of shame, you would have to sign in and watch a short video of crying babies and pouting children before you're allowed to post a new reply. The video gets longer with each reply. If you sit through such a video in order to reply, your reply would still have to begin with "Jane, you ignorant slut!", or "Dan, you pompous ass!". Between each post would be a laugh track.

rdenney
1-Sep-2016, 08:52
Rick... Power Analysis is the standard tool that is used:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistical_power

http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/seminars/Intro_power/

Power analysis is how you evaluate the power of a statistical test in avoiding Type 1 and Type 2 errors, given a sample size. It is not a statistical test in an of itself, and we'd still need a way to measure effects. We'd have three effects: Approval, Disapproval, and no response. We'd have to conduct some kind of test on those effects before we'd be able to determine (using power analysis) whether we had enough sample size to determine whether we had significance.

To be honest, I'm not seeing how this makes the forum any easier to run. :)

Rick "who hasn't thought about power analysis in about 35 years" Denney

neil poulsen
1-Sep-2016, 09:43
Power analysis is how you evaluate the power of a statistical test in avoiding Type 1 and Type 2 errors, given a sample size. It is not a statistical test in an of itself, and we'd still need a way to measure effects. We'd have three effects: Approval, Disapproval, and no response. We'd have to conduct some kind of test on those effects before we'd be able to determine (using power analysis) whether we had enough sample size to determine whether we had significance.

To be honest, I'm not seeing how this makes the forum any easier to run. :)

Rick "who hasn't thought about power analysis in about 35 years" Denney

Type I error is controlled by the design. Power analysis addresses only Type II error through sample size selection :).

rdenney
1-Sep-2016, 10:05
Type I error is controlled by the design. Power analysis addresses only Type II error through sample size selection :).


AAAARGGGHHHHH!!!!!

Rick "still has nightmares about mathematical statistics" Denney

BrianShaw
1-Sep-2016, 10:12
Type I error is controlled by the design. Power analysis addresses only Type II error through sample size selection :).

Thank you Neil. I had to step away from the forum to do real work at my real job.

I'm still having nightmares too, BTW.

goamules
1-Sep-2016, 10:37
Rick "much ado about nothing," I moderate several forums. Concurrently, in parallel. But I don't exercise extreme control. It's kind of like how cops are motivated by different things, to serve and protect, or to control.

I stepped into this long, ongoing, paralysis by analysis thread and offered a quick solution. This forum wrings it's hands for YEARS over simple decisions. Then they justify them with hundreds of pages of posts. Then they enact them with paragraphs of bullet rules and instructions. I'm a systems engineer and project manager and designer. I don't go for all that.

Rather than having YOU, the Moderators, decide it's not good, why not ask the community? I know people that can't let go when I see them.

goamules
1-Sep-2016, 10:41
Frankly, the rule against bringing up politics or religion is one I have totally backed. Most good forums, jobs, and clubs follow that rule. I just thought I would offer a solution that fixes most of the problems all at once, and is easy. But I'd personally prefer things stay the way they are. Just being accommodating. But majority rule is what should be considered sometimes.

rdenney
1-Sep-2016, 11:13
Garrett, we are are not paralyzed by analysis. We're just slow.

I'm also a systems engineer, and I therefore appreciate the notion of identifying needs before requirements. That's what we are doing. How do people use the forum? How does their use meet their needs? What is our mission? What can we sustain in the long term with a limited staff of volunteer admins and moderators, and no income? We keep those things firmly in mind when contemplating any change in the design of the forum, and we make sure any design change fulfills a requirement that has emerged from that understanding of needs. Lots of folks have offered solutions in this thread, and part of what we are doing is considering which of those fulfill the requirements that are related to those needs, with use cases defined both for users and for users in a moderating role. Not all of those solutions fit, of course. We take these solutions and work them back to their underlying principles, determine whether those principles are consistent with needs, and then decide what aspects we want to adopt into our thinking.

Your solution is, it seems to me, based on a different set of needs that we've been hearing. The initial accusation was that we were squelching voices that were outside the mainstream, or that had intentions beyond simple technical details. These are often minority points of view. Majorities can be capricious, and often are, when they express their views in real time. We are trying to move away from capriciousness, both in fact and in perception, and so majority rule runs the risk of fulfilling some requirements while preventing the fulfillment of others.

Our deliberations over the last couple of days have been a lot more focused than has this thread, and people are interpreting the time we've taken as having lost focus or in need of even more wide-ranging suggestions of solutions. That isn't the case--I think we have distilled the principles and we are just finishing up wording. We are being careful, of course, and that care has always been a hallmark of moderating staffs past and present. And, like Brian, we still have, you know, jobs.

And, because you have backed the current guidelines (as have many, many others), we are moving incrementally, as we always do.

Rick "opposed to capricious moderating" Denney

jnanian
1-Sep-2016, 12:43
after IDK 4 hours of careful consideration, i retract my backing the poll idea garrett had and fully endorse peter's suggestion
hall of shame, crying babies pouting children and if i could suggest, maybe a clip of gallagher with a sledge hammer and a mime.


The moderators have a tough job. This is a good discussion, but I'll be surprised if a solution can be found that everyone will agree with. I have a suggestion that is mostly in jest, but there may be a scintilla of merit to it. All of this reminds me of Jane Curtain and Dan Akroyd on SNL's Weekend Update. Perhaps with political topics we can take a cue from their thoughtful "Point/Counterpoint" discussions and start each reply post with "Jane, you ignorant slut!", or "Dan, you pompous ass!". Additionally, there could be a "hall of shame" forum where they could be relegated to if arguments turn nasty. If the thread is relegated to the Hall of shame, you would have to sign in and watch a short video of crying babies and pouting children before you're allowed to post a new reply. The video gets longer with each reply. If you sit through such a video in order to reply, your reply would still have to begin with "Jane, you ignorant slut!", or "Dan, you pompous ass!". Between each post would be a laugh track.

the laugh track is perfect too, kind of like the restaurant in san diego that has actors reading their snarky negative "yelp reviews" to broadcast them in an endless loop in the bathroom.

Pere Casals
1-Sep-2016, 14:19
Frankly, the rule against bringing up politics or religion is one I have totally backed. Most good forums, jobs, and clubs follow that rule. I just thought I would offer a solution that fixes most of the problems all at once, and is easy. But I'd personally prefer things stay the way they are. Just being accommodating. But majority rule is what should be considered sometimes.

Well, IMHO it has to be discerned what is discussing about "politics/religion" from what is to discussing about "photography that talks about politics/religion". First is talking about politics/religion second is talking about photography.

To me it's a very clear concept.

What it's also clear to me is that allowing "photography on politics" can create time consuming problems to moderators. So if this is allowed it has to be in exchange of respecting moderators, and enforcing harder rules, at least in that section.

Jody_S
2-Sep-2016, 06:31
...Perhaps with political topics we can take a cue from their thoughtful "Point/Counterpoint" discussions and start each reply post with "Jane, you ignorant slut!", or "Dan, you pompous ass!". Additionally, there could be a "hall of shame" forum where they could be relegated to if arguments turn nasty. If the thread is relegated to the Hall of shame, you would have to sign in and watch a short video of crying babies and pouting children before you're allowed to post a new reply. The video gets longer with each reply. If you sit through such a video in order to reply, your reply would still have to begin with "Jane, you ignorant slut!", or "Dan, you pompous ass!". Between each post would be a laugh track.

Perfect!

Jody_S
2-Sep-2016, 06:40
Statistically, the average person has 1 testicle. That fact doesn't tell you much about the distribution of testicles in the general population. Similarly, I don't think an anonymous poll will tell you all that much about the merits of any given LFPF thread. A majority may be perfectly fine with a discussion, but a small-yet-vocal minority objects to a thread because it doesn't follow their personal views on the topic, not because it's in any way offensive.

BrianShaw
2-Sep-2016, 07:18
Citation please! Ha ha ha.

Ralph Barker
2-Sep-2016, 07:53
Citation please! Ha ha ha.

The trick is that the "statistically average person" includes women.

BrianShaw
2-Sep-2016, 07:55
Oh. It's still early out here. I missed that subtlety. How embarrassing.

So can we please have this thread deleted, or must I live the rest of my miserable life with my noggin hung in shame?

P.s. Cancel earlier request. I get it now. No proof necessary.

Jody_S
2-Sep-2016, 09:24
Oh. It's still early out here. I missed that subtlety. How embarrassing.

So can we please have this thread deleted, or must I live the rest of my miserable life with my noggin hung in shame?

P.s. Cancel earlier request. I get it now. No proof necessary.
You put me on the spot there. Google wasn't immediately forthcoming with links.

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

Ralph Barker
2-Sep-2016, 14:43
Oh. It's still early out here. I missed that subtlety. How embarrassing.

So can we please have this thread deleted, or must I live the rest of my miserable life with my noggin hung in shame?

P.s. Cancel earlier request. I get it now. No proof necessary.

Even if we delete the thread, Brian, it will live forever in the Web archives (or, at least until the next comet strikes). Sorry. ;)

Sent from my smoke-signal fire using BlanketTalk

Jac@stafford.net
2-Sep-2016, 15:05
Even if we delete the thread, Brian, it will live forever in the Web archives (or, at least until the next comet strikes). Sorry. ;)

And there in the subtext is the way to immortalize a photo! Place your worst, most cliche photo on some popular web site and it will live on forever!
.

Greg Davis
3-Sep-2016, 18:23
I think that anytime someone trolls in a thread the software should replace all their posts with this video

https://youtu.be/FXPKJUE86d0

Vaughn
3-Sep-2016, 20:31
I would voluntarily leave before having to watch that again!

Sal Santamaura
3-Sep-2016, 20:56
I think that anytime someone trolls in a thread the software should replace all their posts with this video...That's a bit harsh for first-time trolling. However, it's entirely appropriate for "bitch about the moderators" posts. :)

rdenney
19-Sep-2016, 05:24
Based in part on comments in this thread, we have revised the guidelines a bit and our approach to moderation a bit more. Please see the announcement in the news section (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?133446-New-Guidelines-Posted), and please read the revised Usage Guidelines.

Rick "respectfully submitted" Denney