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Afternoon shadows, Monument Valley

Monday, February 27, 2017

You can never leave.


Do you have any idea how hard it is to get off certain social media websites? I thought Facebook was tough but DPReview, owned by Amazon, appears to take the cake. I have posted over three public and private requests to have my account deleted, still to no avail.

What is DPReview and why did I want to jump ship? Digital Photography Review is a place where photographers come to talk about digital photography and only digital photography. I tried to start a discourse about film once and I was quickly squashed. It is a place where gear heads meet to engage in endless photographic minutia and indulge in public wistfulness regarding new cameras that they mistakenly think will make them better photographers.

There are good photographers on the site and some not so good. At times I got valuable information on using my equipment and I used it as a forum to post and view my and others people's work. But I wasted too much time there.

And I ran into problems with the moderators, on at least three occasions. With their censorship. The first guy, Kerry Pierce, decided I had taken too long talking about a subject and closed me off a thread. The second two incidents were when I had photographs deleted for political content.

The first censored shot was a picture of Donald Trump in a Russian military uniform that I composed that ran afoul of the gendarmes. Can't find a copy but it seemed pretty innocuous to me.  It was pulled with a little written slap about not offending the right wingers on the site. The second shot was this one that I took at the Women's March with my cell phone.

Whether or not you agree with the sentiment of the shot, I thought it was interesting, both graphically and topically.

Many people do feel in agreement with the message and I am sure if it was more pro Trump it would have been clear sailing. Or a picture of someone's cute cat.

Anyway I have always had a problem with censorship. I grew up in an intellectual home with copies of Ramparts, Evergreen and Insect Fear on the coffee table. Never much liked being told how to think or speak and certainly have issues with authority.

I was suspended from the eighth grade for two weeks for the first underground comic I drew and published, it was called Duckfat. My mistake was having a professor unknowingly mimeo the thing on a school machine and he got in a little hot water. Sorry George!

Anyhow you are supposed to be able to private message the administrators and get deleted but you don't. I tried it three times. Mako told me he could ban me if I liked but that sounded rather punitive and in my mind I had done nothing wrong.


I tried the PM tack. Several times. Finally got this message.


Kind of strange that they basically ask you to break the rules and be an asshole if you want to split but hey. So I wrote my Dear John post, thanked everybody for a good time and than closed with something like "Adios Motherfuckers."

That post was deleted. It was at that point that Mako wrote me a note saying that the Admin message was a fraud. I have my doubts that it was really hacked, prefer to think some helpful admin actually knew the rules of the road. Because the truth is that my name is still on the site, not deleted as I had requested and was told would happen and will probably be there for eternity. Maybe it is bad for business for readers to see that people have left the site.

But at my age I am not going to put up with people telling me what to think, post or say, especially when it is non sexual or offensive political content. Find it strange when a public website tries to shield its readership from dissent. The freedom of association is important to me as is the freedom to dis associate. So in the spirit of photographic collegiality, DPReview, please go fuck yourselves.

1 comment:

Jon Harwood said...

Besides, obsessing about equipment is simply a way to become a zombie. Battling with the image making process is the only hope for improving as a photo-graph-er.