Photograph this! July 9, 2007 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Fine, already. Here's a MeTa thread for all the derailing going on here.
posted by pineapple to Etiquette/Policy at 10:55 AM (219 comments total)

I'll say that I haven't really seen this AskMe thread as a shining example of consistency when it comes to what's considered derail and what's not (it seems like some of the "you need to get over it because [reason X, Y, Z]" comments were allowed to remain, while others were deleted... and then some comments in response to those comments were deleted but others not, and so on).

And there are huge swathes of comment that could definitely be considered chat/discussion, which are just barely germane to the question, and those are left in? This could just be me not understanding policy; mods, do you only address that which has been specifically flagged?

(In the interest of disclosure and perceived self-interest, one of my own comments was deleted a few minutes ago, but it was a direct response to a previous comment which was eventually deleted, so continuity would have demanded it disappear anyway, lest it just hang there not making sense.)

But, since I'm already here and already complaining:

On this particular thread: to those people who were really hateful to the poster early on, and then Jessamyn deleted the comments, and then you came back to the thread later and posted with a different tune as if it never happened? Y'all are tacky.

And, has MetaFilter always been a place where "[drive by response] -- sorry if this was already said, I didn't have time to read all the comments" is acceptable? Or, if it's not acceptable, what's the appropriate flag?
posted by pineapple at 10:57 AM on July 9, 2007


Isn't this about 2 days late? The thread is already over.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:07 AM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I rarely wish for this, but this is a thread I wish we could have closed after the OP had her final say-so. I'm sorry you got caught in the middle of me (and possibly cortex) trying to moderate that thread. In response to your questions.

- drive-by answers are generally okay even though I see them as not very community minded. They're rare and there's nothing specifically prohibiting them. If the fact that you didn't read the thread means that you offer a comment that was specifically unwanted [i.e. "please no more museum suggestions, I said no museums"] then it might be flagged and removed. Otherwise generally it won't be.
- I generally work from what's been flagged and try to see if there are other non-flagged comments nearby that there is a problem with. Sometimes I can read the whole thread, sometimes not.
- If the thread has a specific "please take derails to metatalk" request in it and people continue to post off-topic comments arguing with each other or calling the OP or the other commenters names, then we'll usually be more firm in pointing people towards MeTa, but before that point less so.

As a personal aside, that thread did not go well. The question the OP was asking "Is there a polite way to do this" seemed to actually, after her follow-ups, be more of a "Pushy photogs suck, AMIRITE?" question which is what, I think, got a lot of people going, in both directions. Also add in the "You're not funny looking. Why do you think you're funny looking. You're pretty!" angle which always bodes poorly for the continued health of a thread and you had a perfect storm which is unusual for a thread that wasn't about declawing or circumcision.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:15 AM on July 9, 2007


I haven't really been tending it, so this is a more general response to your questions/points, pineapple, but, well:

Man, that thread is just a monster. Highly personalized, emotionally-hooking question and attendant responses in kind. It kind of creates the worst sort of situation as moderation decisions go. Things sort of need to reach a threshold for deletion, and the more complicated a thread is (esp. by the interweaving of good answers/discussion with not-so-good emotional sparring and arguing and chatgasm) the harder it can be to figure out where to draw the lines. Not everything that could in theory be deleted will get deleted, and still some folks will reasonably think that not everything that got deleted deserved it.

In general: the bigger the thread, the harder it is to kill every response to a deleted comment, and in many cases that response will be mixed within a single comment with some more direct contribution to the question asked.

We don't only respond to things that have been flagged, but we do only respond to things that we see, and that comes down to stuff we happen to read of our own accord of things that get brought to our attention via flags, email, and metatalk discussions. Jess reads a lot more of AskMe than I do on an average day, I think, but even she doesn't read everything or go back to a thread every thirty minutes to see what's new. So flagging is a good idea, when in doubt. Don't go crazy and flag twenty comments in the same thread, please, but if something strikes you as problematic you can just flag it without worrying too much about it.

Drive-by responses kind of suck in my opinion, but "you have to read the whole thread" is not something that's ever been enforced in general. If a comment is noise, flag it as noise; beyond that, it's hard to nail down what is and is not deletable.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:16 AM on July 9, 2007


I don't quite understand the photo-aversion that I've been seeing all over the place lately. It's a web site, we're supposed to look weird. People would be disappointed if we don't.
posted by jonmc at 11:20 AM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


That thread stole my sole.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:44 AM on July 9, 2007


[INSERT QUOTE FROM ALIENS ABOUT NUKING IT FROM ORBIT]

[NOT ALIENIST]
posted by blue_beetle at 11:49 AM on July 9, 2007


[NOT ALIENIST]

Well, that book was overrated anyway.
posted by jonmc at 11:54 AM on July 9, 2007


I don't quite understand the photo-aversion that I've been seeing all over the place lately. It's a web site, we're supposed to look weird. People would be disappointed if we don't.

Because, of course, everything is always about you.
posted by loquacious at 11:56 AM on July 9, 2007


Ha. Just making an observation, loq.
posted by jonmc at 12:00 PM on July 9, 2007


That thread was useless without pictures.

Did someone say that yet? I wanted to say that.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:03 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


ThePinkSuperhero writes "The thread is already over"

363 days to go.

loquacious writes "everything is always about you."

Of course, it's _jonmc_.
posted by Mitheral at 12:10 PM on July 9, 2007


If "I didn't read the previous comments, but here's my answer anyway" isn't frowned upon, it should be. If you didn't read the whole thread, for god's sake, don't point it out.
posted by donajo at 12:27 PM on July 9, 2007


I am frowning so hard right now my face hurts. Take THAT!!!
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:42 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


That thread was useless without pictures.

Agreed.
posted by myeviltwin at 12:46 PM on July 9, 2007


That thread stole my sole.

It stole my trout.
posted by modernnomad at 12:48 PM on July 9, 2007


There's not much the OP can do besides avoid those sorts of parties. Kind of a sad situation, but the ubiquity of cameras and Internet access make her photo on the Internet a practical certainty over time.

The number of people who have the "take pictures yourself" solution is kind of surprising. So much for "Do unto others".
posted by ODiV at 1:11 PM on July 9, 2007


If "I didn't read the previous comments, but here's my answer anyway" isn't frowned upon, it should be.

That's true, but I find all the people who don't even finish reading the question before answering far more annoying. I can't even count how many questions I've seen that say things like "I've already tried this, that, and another thing" only for someone to post "why don't you try this, that, and another thing, works wonders for me" a few hours later. Compared to that, at least someone who posts without reading the thread still runs a good chance of having a useful answer.
posted by cmonkey at 1:51 PM on July 9, 2007


I find all the people who don't even finish reading the question before answering far more annoying.

I did that once. It was stupid and the only time I've been tempted to post one of those same-minute corrective follow-ups. Instead I flagged it.

It'd be neat if the flagging system indicated when somebody had flagged his own comment. Presumably that's a good indication that it ought to be deleted. But it's probably too rare to be worth the bother.
posted by cribcage at 2:19 PM on July 9, 2007


That thread stole my sole.

It stole my trout.


still got mine.
posted by quonsar at 2:32 PM on July 9, 2007


If "I didn't read the previous comments, but here's my answer anyway" isn't frowned upon, it should be. If you didn't read the whole thread, for god's sake, don't point it out.

Oh, it's frowned upon. I frown all over upon it. But in that way it's like a lot of other things that aren't really against the rules and, in their continued manifestation, are just kind of a part of the mefi zeitgeist. Frownable doesn't necessarily mean actionable.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:45 PM on July 9, 2007


It'd be neat if the flagging system indicated when somebody had flagged his own comment. Presumably that's a good indication that it ought to be deleted. But it's probably too rare to be worth the bother.

It's funny—every once in a while something will be flagged but seem completely inoffensive at a glance, and I'll check back at the flagging queue and see that the usernames match. It's not super common, but I'd say it does happen regularly. Folks are always welcome to fire off an email if they think that flagging won't be totally clear, of course.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:46 PM on July 9, 2007


jessamyn writes "As a personal aside, that thread did not go well. The question the OP was asking 'Is there a polite way to do this' seemed to actually, after her follow-ups, be more of a 'Pushy photogs suck, AMIRITE?' question which is what, I think, got a lot of people going, in both directions."

Agreed. This was more of a push survey than an AskMe question. I started responding, and then I realized that the question itself wasn't a question. By all rights the thread should just be deleted. It's chatfilter. The damning evidence is the answers marked 'correct' are basically just agreeing with the poster's take on things. This would be a good thread for an 'AffirmationFilter' section if we had one, but a pointless AskMe question.
posted by mullingitover at 3:45 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Agreed, mullingitover. Reading the "best answers" led me to the same conclusions. The OP just wanted affirmation. Disappointing, but it was worded poorly from the get-go.
posted by yeti at 3:53 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think it's sometimes unfair to use best answers as evidence of the asker's hidden agenda, especially if the conversation has gotten contentious or really off track. Because at that point, marking best answers can be a way to respond to accusations without sounding overly defensive, or to get the responders back to addressing the questioner's concerns rather than pursuing side arguments. The highlighted text becomes a bit of a trail marker, basically.
posted by occhiblu at 3:54 PM on July 9, 2007


cortex, jessamyn: thanks for the responses. I know this place is nuts most of the time, and it really does help to understand the whys and hows when things are nuttiest.

In a case where someone does the "Oh tra la la, too busy to actually take the time to read the other responses like everyone else, but here are my pearls of brilliance, sorry if they're dupes," I'm not likely to ever flag it. It doesn't qualify under the available flags, and that I personally find it to be a mite snowflake-assholish isn't worth moderation time. I just wanted to know if there was a firm policy.

"Isn't this about 2 days late? The thread is already over" What, did you think the thread just stopped existing after your last comment?
posted by pineapple at 4:22 PM on July 9, 2007


The question the OP was asking "Is there a polite way to do this" seemed to actually, after her follow-ups, be more of a "Pushy photogs suck, AMIRITE?" question which is what, I think, got a lot of people going, in both directions.

I can't help but wonder if that was a direct reaction to some of the "You suck for wanting to avoid this situation; your question is bad and you should feel bad" comments.
posted by Many bubbles at 4:23 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the first few responses were along the lines of "Wow, you're a freak aren't you!" so it doesn't surprise me if the OP got a bit defensive.
posted by vacapinta at 4:32 PM on July 9, 2007


I had to stop posting in that thread because I saw myself going overboard with the "don't attack people over a picture" aspect and I could see I wasn't helping the poster.

I just don't see how something so minor could cause someone to want to attack me and/or destroy my camera.(coming from someone who has been accosted while out taking pictures by someone I never had in my frame)
posted by PugAchev at 4:43 PM on July 9, 2007


I just don't see how something so minor...

What's minor to you should be minor to everybody, eh? "So I ran over your dog! It's only a fucking dog, get over it. I hate dogs."
posted by languagehat at 5:06 PM on July 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


I started responding, and then I realized that the question itself wasn't a question.

I know the poster well, and the question is 100% sincere - and a completely understandable expression of her disappointment in how willing people are to be rude in this way.

The question the OP was asking "Is there a polite way to do this" seemed to actually, after her follow-ups, be more of a "Pushy photogs suck, AMIRITE?" question

To add to Many bubbles and vacapinta: People said ridiculous, idiotic things to her in that thread, am I'm just judging by what remains. I suspect most people would experience quite a bit of frustration in a similar spot.

To you people who are crying "AffirmationFilter," I submit: If commenters had confined themselves to answering the question instead of blathering about what beauty is, how to change your appearance, and how silly it is to make a fuss, maybe the whole THREAD would have been useful to the poster, rather than just the few comments she marked as best answers.
posted by caitlinb at 5:15 PM on July 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


That was probably the most exasperating bunch of answers I've ever seen on AskMe. Before several prunings, that is. Even now it's annoying as shit.

Q: How can I get people to stop taking my picture?

A: You shouldn't get them to stop taking your picture - you're pretty!
posted by iconomy at 5:27 PM on July 9, 2007 [5 favorites]


Ha! Indeed.
posted by occhiblu at 5:29 PM on July 9, 2007


I don't particularly care to have my picture taken, but I really don't care to have my picture taken without my consent, and I really, really don't care to have my picture taken by somebody I have specifically requested not take my picture. It is rude, dismissive, intrusive, and presumptuous. You know what else I really, really don't care for? When people presume to tell me how I should feel about having my picture taken. That is likewise rude, dismissive, intrusive, and presumptuous.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:32 PM on July 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


And please - I already know damn well that I'm pretty!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:33 PM on July 9, 2007


caitlinb writes "To you people who are crying 'AffirmationFilter,' I submit: If commenters had confined themselves to answering the question instead of blathering about what beauty is, how to change your appearance, and how silly it is to make a fuss, maybe the whole THREAD would have been useful to the poster, rather than just the few comments she marked as best answers."

The question was, when trimmed down to conciseness: "How do I politely stop people from taking my picture?"

The answer is obvious enough that it's hard to see this as anything other than a rhetorical question. This hypothesis is confirmed by the 'best answers,' which are not even answering the question. Majick's 'best answer' to the problem of how to politely deal with unwanted photography encourages "anything from a firm preventative grasp on the lens of the offending device all the way to destruction of the camera" (!). Vacapinta's 'best answer' does not contain an answer. Ethereal Bligh's 'best answer' is the only one which actually does describe how to politely deal with unwanted photography.
"I would say with simple but obvious heartfelt sincerity, “It makes me very, very uncomfortable to have my picture taken. Please don't take my picture.”
If you really needed the internet to give you this answer, how did you ever figure out how to use the internet?
posted by mullingitover at 5:40 PM on July 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


I know the poster well, and the question is 100% sincere - and a completely understandable expression of her disappointment in how willing people are to be rude in this way.

Sorry, I should have been more charitable, certainly, but these threads are headed for certain doom when the OP starts arguing with the people giving answers, even if they're giving sort of half-assed not-super-helpful answers. It's clear she's frustrated, but she also sets up a lot of premises which support her conclusion and people do the typical thing of trying to examine them. So for iconomy's example, I read.

Q: How can I get people to stop taking my picture? I'm not attractive and I don't like having my picture taken.
A: You're attractive, maybe you shouldn't mind having your picture taken.

Agreed, it's annoying, but is it a deleteable non-answer? I already went back and forth with several people over email who were dismayed that I had removed their flip "you're being oversensitive" answers. And it seemed like answers that were some variant on "You can't both go out and be sociable and expect that people will not take your picture. The thing you want does not exist." seemed like answers to me if they weren't insulting.

In summary, I have no idea how to reasonably deal with threads like this except to try to tightly moderate them and hope their popularity wanes quickly.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:48 PM on July 9, 2007


"Encourages?"

Did you actually consider reading what I wrote? It seems most of those who've hurled that accusation at me failed to actually read the answer I gave, and instead got hung up on the fact that one time, once, a guy who was essentially bullying me with his camera over the course of an hour or so got shut down.

Anyone who follows my suggestion as written -- not as you imagine it's written, but the actual words that I put there -- will find that they are able to avoid being photographed in accordance with their desires plus find themselves given explicit permission not to be pushed around by the rare psycho with a recording device.

A bunch of people reacted negatively to the very idea that once I busted someone's camera for behaving psychopathically. Some of those people were pushy photographer types. Not one of them, even those with low reading comprehension, fit the category of someone who'd need to be manhandled to get them out of my face.

Perhaps my advice would have been more palatable if I didn't include the entire spectrum of response from polite, to firm, to avoidance, to defending yourself from people who use a camera as an excuse to push people around. The extreme case is just that, extreme. And in my opinion, calls for (and did call for) an extreme response.

Unfortunately, folks got the impression that just because they themselves are pushy photographers or assholes, that they're lumped in with "[people] categorically unable to respect the boundaries of others". And reacted to defend themselves against a phantom accusation. Guilt complex? Fuck if I know.

In any case, if you were to actually read the words I wrote, read them in sequential order, and try to comprehend them I hope you'd retract your use of the word "encourages."
posted by majick at 6:06 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


A bunch of people reacted negatively to the very idea that once I busted someone's camera for behaving psychopathically.

Maybe. I think it's more likely that people reacted negatively to the notion that, in a thread where a woman asked for polite ways to decline come-ons, you replied, "This one time, a guy stalked me and I HAD TO KILL HIM."

To put it another way: Is it possible that your camera-shattering response might have been appropriate to your unique circumstance, but that the anecdote was nonetheless ill-considered in the context of that thread?
posted by cribcage at 6:16 PM on July 9, 2007


I read Majick's comment in its entirety and I didn't believe he was advocating violence. Far from it. It was clearly intended as a last resort, with people who wouldn't take no for an answer.

If a woman repeatedly said "no" to a man in any other context and he refused to respect her wishes, I think most mefites would tell her to do whatever it took to get away from him, including resorting to violence if that's what it took.
posted by misha at 6:18 PM on July 9, 2007


I think the rape discussion is two doors down.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:20 PM on July 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Is it possible that your camera-shattering response might have been appropriate to your unique circumstance, but that the anecdote was nonetheless ill-considered in the context of that thread?"

I don't know. Let's stop skimming, read and find out, shall we?

"Perhaps my advice would have been more palatable if I didn't include the entire spectrum of response from polite, to firm, to avoidance, to defending yourself from people who use a camera as an excuse to push people around."
posted by majick at 6:21 PM on July 9, 2007


If a woman repeatedly said "no" to a man in any other context and he refused to respect her wishes, I think most mefites would tell her to do whatever it took to get away from him, including resorting to violence if that's what it took.

No, in fact, we had that thread, and the "OMG why are you people advocating violence!??!?!" responses were more or less the same as in this thread. People seemed to take the worst behavior they could possible imagine themselves engaging in, assumed that no other human being would ever cross that line, and so derided any of us who had experienced behavior on the other side of that line as delusional and rude.
posted by occhiblu at 6:22 PM on July 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Taking someone's camera from them by force and destroying it is a crime (several, really), and if you do this you should go to jail (and probably will).

It's also an breathtakingly dumb way to deal with people. Remember: the camera does not actually steal your soul.
posted by mullingitover at 6:39 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Let's stop skimming, read and find out, shall we?

Sure, except you omitted the relevant part:

The extreme case is just that, extreme. And in my opinion, calls for (and did call for) an extreme response.

I agree. But this question wasn't about "the extreme case." The OP asked about polite tactics for parties. In fact, she specified "some kind of badge or symbol...or, alternately, some verbal formula." The question clearly and explicitly wasn't about "the rare psycho with a recording device"; so all I'm saying is, it would have been simple to avoid that particular trainwreck by leaving your "I'm so tough, I once broke a dude's camera" anecdote at home.
posted by cribcage at 6:42 PM on July 9, 2007


Taking someone's camera from them by force and destroying it is a crime (several, really), and if you do this you should go to jail (and probably will).

Tell that to Sonny Corleone.
posted by jonmc at 6:53 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm growing weary of people playing the willful ignorance card, and no doubt my protestations are getting exhausting to read. Therefore I'll make my final comment about this matter and leave it alone.

"Taking someone's camera from them by force and destroying it is ... [a] breathtakingly dumb way to deal with people."

This is absolutely and without debate true! With the exception of a certain rare type of individual -- "[people] categorically unable to respect the boundaries of others" -- who is, in essence, unable to comprehend any other protest of their behavior. In that case and that case only, it is necessary.

It is an extreme case, I admit, and the common case should not be treated as though it were extreme. Even the fairly uncommon case (a mere pushy photographer, say, or even a dick like bonaldi who thinks looking at a thing and recording a thing are equivalent, but who clearly understands that his behavior has acceptable bounds) shouldn't be handled extremely.

The case where busting up an inanimate object is useful and necessary is the case where a person is using it as a reason to exceed acceptable bounds and as an excuse merely to sadistically fuck with someone. Your right to be a bully ends when you point your bullying at me, and I will enforce the limitation of that right with the least disruptive and most effective solution at hand, immediately and without regret.

I'm sorry this is difficult for some people to understand, but to those people who don't I suggest re-reading occhiblu's answer very, very closely. It's completely correct, and I think explains the over-reaction to my words.

I'll stop troubling everyone with my clarifications and corrections now. Thanks for paying attention this long.
posted by majick at 6:57 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


majick writes "The case where busting up an inanimate object is useful and necessary is the case where a person is using it as a reason to exceed acceptable bounds and as an excuse merely to sadistically fuck with someone."

It's only useful and necessary in cases where you feel that going to jail is an acceptable price to pay for indulging your violent impulses. If you can't handle annoyances without resorting to violence, you shouldn't be in public in the first place.
posted by mullingitover at 7:19 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


From zadcat's final follow-up, it's clear that she doesn't want an actual answer:
"...I don't want to enter into complicated discussions of my motives or the would-be photographer's motives. I would like the preference to be as simple and unremarkable as preferring coffee to tea."
And I'd like a million dollars, but you don't see me starting some trainwreck of a thread on AskMe about how it sucks that I'm poor.
posted by myeviltwin at 7:24 PM on July 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


If a woman repeatedly said "no" to a man in any other context and he refused to respect her wishes, I think most mefites would tell her to do whatever it took to get away from him, including resorting to violence if that's what it took.

This is just stupid. Women say 'no' to men all the time and their wishes are not respected. This is because women, on the whole, are just women and not anything to write home about. It's absolutely ridiculous that (1) you believe the gender of the OP matters at all in this case (2) you recommend violence in a case where it's so clearly not warranted (3) you really expect people to fetch and heel for you just because you asked nicely. Not only is your moral equivalence of rape and taking a photo extremely disgusting but it really demonstrates the utter lack of nuance people like you have about these situations. The world is not your oyster and, yes, sometimes you will feel uncomfortable. Deal with it.

I do regret participating in that thread though. I didn't help the asker at all (though it's somewhat unclear whether the asker was really looking for help) and my answers will almost certainly just be dismissed as so much noise. The best solution to such bad questions on the green is silence. The people who ask such questions are just not interested in changing or reconsidering their initial beliefs.
posted by nixerman at 7:34 PM on July 9, 2007


It is an extreme case, I admit, and the common case should not be treated as though it were extreme. Even the fairly uncommon case (a mere pushy photographer, say, or even a dick like bonaldi who thinks looking at a thing and recording a thing are equivalent, but who clearly understands that his behavior has acceptable bounds) shouldn't be handled extremely.

You can continue to talk your way around your recourse to violence, Mr Internet Hardman, but it still boils down to special pleading about the invasion of yr "boundaries". If he was being simply using the camera as a sadistic weapon as you make out, then it clearly had fuck-all to do with photography, and your response wasn't just "unpalatable" it was utterly irrelevant to the thread.

In the situation you so vaguely describe, smashing up the camera was not on the spectrum of potential responses to unwanted photography. It was even only arguably on the spectrum of responses to sociopathic bullyboy behaviours.

As for recording being like looking -- it is, in the party-level contexts we were talking about. I'm not arguing in defence of covert photography, or things like CCTV.

From the thread:
This is just COMPLETELY untrue. Kids in school should have their pics on the internet? What about a doctor's office? Haven't you ever heard of confidentiality? What if someone is in a witness protection program? You have a right to your privacy.

This is, like a lot of the things in that thread, confusing the taking of a picture with its later use. It's not illegal to take a picture of someone in the street. It is, in some jurisdictions, to then use that picture in an advertisement. Your privacy rights relate to the use of the picture, not to the act of it being taken.
posted by bonaldi at 7:42 PM on July 9, 2007


I can't believe what a trainwreck that thread turned into, and this one's even worse.

I also can't believe the continued nitpickery and wilfull misreading of majick's comment(s).

And comments like this: you really expect people to fetch and heel for you just because you asked nicely...Jesus fucking christ. The OP not only wasn't asking people to do something for her, she was asking that they take the path of least resistance: to not do something (i.e. take her picture). I hope I'm never at a party with any of you "aw, just lighten up!" folk. Why is your flickr set so much more important than conceding to the request of an actual human being?

The world is not your oyster and, yes, sometimes you will feel uncomfortable be asked to respect someone's wishes. Deal with it.
posted by rtha at 7:42 PM on July 9, 2007


I'm one of the drive-by commenters in the photo thread (maybe the only one, I never did read all the comments, heh).

I thought I had a possibly unique suggestion, but I didn't have time to confirm that it was, in fact, unique, therefore the disclaimer.

Personally, if I'm the asker, I'd rather see 10 similar answers from people who didn't read all the comments; that helps me confirm that it's probably the right answer, especially if the question is less open-ended than this one was.
posted by desjardins at 7:45 PM on July 9, 2007


So, I just had my comment immediately deleted, addressing the issue of whether it's reasonable to expect to be able to be in public, and never have your picture taken. Whatever.

Meanwhile I have been continually amazed that the "break the fucking camera" advice stayed for a long time, and I think some of that is still there. How does that answer the question of how to "politely" not have one's picture taken?

Also, I know we can't post an AskMe for advice on how to break the law, but does this mean we can give advice to break the law, as long as it's not asked?
posted by The Deej at 7:51 PM on July 9, 2007


jessamyn's advice: 1. the "suck it up" approach was helpful...

The OPs response after a few other answers, including one of mine:
Maybe "Fuck off" was invented for occasions like this, if "Suck it up!" is the general response.

I posted another answer down the thread, then gave up on it, as the OPs responses seemed to indicate she wasn't interested in introspection or seeing things from a different angle, she just wanted people to stop taking her picture, which is understandable, but rarely are questions as simple as we want them to be.

One of her "best answer" selections is telling (even though she later said she would never cause a scene):

I deal with that in the same way I deal with any other malevolent stalking in my daily life: react with menacing and overwhelming hostility. When someone has decided that clear statements do not establish a boundary, I take it upon myself to enforce the boundary. This has involved anything from a firm preventative grasp on the lens of the offending device all the way to destruction of the camera.

There is a certain sort of person in the world who is categorically unable to respect the boundaries of others. Such people must be dealt with directly and harshly. It's not always necessary to make a scene, but it's necessary to leave a strong and lasting impression on anyone who would force themselves upon you. Do not place yourself in the position of being victim of such people. Place yourself in the position of being disciplinarian of such people.
posted by majick


Advice to be destructive, and break the law. Which of course STILL will not prevent people from taking her picture if they want to, which was the point of my deleted comment.

I naturally give people the benefit of the doubt, and believe that, given the information and the choice, most people will aim high, choose the high road, try to better themselves, rise above the fray, and reach for the greater good. I guess sometimes I am wrong.
posted by The Deej at 8:11 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is, like a lot of the things in that thread, confusing the taking of a picture with its later use. It's not illegal to take a picture of someone in the street. It is, in some jurisdictions, to then use that picture in an advertisement. Your privacy rights relate to the use of the picture, not to the act of it being taken.

Okay. Listen carefully. If someone takes your picture at a party, you don't know what they're planning to do with it. A likely scenario is that they're going to post it on the internet. They may not mean any harm by this, but as soon as it's on the internet, nobody has any control over what happens to it. What the original photographer does with it is not the end of what happens to it.

I'm not talking about commercial use here.

I'm talking about 4chan.

Do you want to be the next cock mongler or centipedes-in-my-vagina woman? Even if you wouldn't mind that, not everybody really wants that to happen to them. Or there's always this. (So if you're attractive, you have more to worry about, despite all these people saying, "Oh, but you're pretty, so you shouldn't mind".)
posted by Many bubbles at 8:15 PM on July 9, 2007


And please - I already know damn well that I'm pretty!

"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me."
posted by ericb at 8:17 PM on July 9, 2007


Okay. Listen carefully. If someone takes your picture at a party, you don't know what they're planning to do with it. A likely scenario is that they're going to post it on the internet. They may not mean any harm by this, but as soon as it's on the internet, nobody has any control over what happens to it. What the original photographer does with it is not the end of what happens to it.

Yep. One of the things that I'll freely admit I am a cock about is when people words things strangely. I mock them for it in answers and I snark at things Like Using Title Caps Wrongly.

My take on that thread just started off with me being pissed at the way the question had been worded, which seemed to be a dig at photographers and picture taking, when it was actually asking "how do I stop my picture being put on the internet?" -- the OP said as much later on.

If they'd asked that, the thread would have been a) entirely supportive of the asker and b) a smooth-running unwrecked train. Instead we got what we got. Instead of just saying "you mean how do you keep it off the internet, don't you?" I snarked and talked to the literal question.

I agree totally with what you say about the net, but that's not what the OP asked.
posted by bonaldi at 8:23 PM on July 9, 2007


Then let me add something. The kind of person who would take someone's picture after being asked not to, is not the kind of person who I would trust not to put it on the internet afterwards, just because they were asked not to. They--you, since you're taking this personally, have already shown that you don't respect people's wishes or boundaries.

So it really all comes to the same thing. The way to stop your picture from being put on the internet is to cut it off at the source and not let it be taken by a non-trustworthy person in the first place.
posted by Many bubbles at 8:30 PM on July 9, 2007


In summary, I have no idea how to reasonably deal with threads like this except to try to tightly moderate them and hope their popularity wanes quickly.

I think you did a great job, jessamyn. In these situations it's important to reign in the answers no matter how outlandish the question or even if the question is asked in bad faith. What we definitely don't want (and I think everybody agrees with this) is to develop a hostile, drive-by culture in the green to the point where people are afraid to ask questions for fear of ridicule. The green is only valuable so long as it's a really welcoming place, where complete strangers can come together to help each other out.
posted by nixerman at 8:30 PM on July 9, 2007


Then let me add something. The kind of person who would take someone's picture after being asked not to, is not the kind of person who I would trust not to put it on the internet afterwards, just because they were asked not to. They--you, since you're taking this personally, have already shown that you don't respect people's wishes or boundaries.

See, I actually think that's completely wrong. I'm the sort of person who thinks it's OK to take pictures of people candidly, or after they've said "ooh no, don't take a picture of me", and I know plenty of others who are too. But none of us are the sort to put it on the internet without permission.

One of the things I talked about in the thread was how difficult it can be to get across that you genuinely don't want a photograph of you made, and why it seems weird to lots of folks. Saying "I don't want my picture on the internet" has none of that baggage, and I guess most people would be cool with it.

And if they weren't, then you could talk about escalating shit, and this time you've got lots of laws on your side.
posted by bonaldi at 8:38 PM on July 9, 2007


I'm the sort of person who thinks it's OK to take pictures of people candidly, or after they've said "ooh no, don't take a picture of me", and I know plenty of others who are too.

I'm the sort of person who wants you all to mind your own fucking business.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:44 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


You think it's ok to take pictures of people after they've asked you not to? For fuck's sake, why?
posted by rtha at 8:47 PM on July 9, 2007


So what if you are? Do you think everyone you meet somehow, magically, knows that? Or has any reason to believe you if you state it explicitly? Maybe you're picturing the following thought process:

1)This guy's trying to take my picture even after I asked him not to.
2)But clearly, if I ask him not to do this other, related thing, he will comply. Other people's wishes are important to him and he respects the privacy of others.
3)Oh, he's saying he won't put it on the internet. I have every reason to believe this. He definitely won't forget and put it there anyway, with the others, because I just know (somehow) that this is very important to him--he's not just saying he won't do it so I'll shut up about it. He's definitely not some asshole who's only doing this to get a reaction and knows he can get a further reaction by doing this other thing, and is lying about it now, either.

Right.
posted by Many bubbles at 8:54 PM on July 9, 2007


Did you read the original thread? I think it's very, very rarely OK to take pictures of people who genuinely don't want them taken (although I've sent out photographers to doorstep people for the paper, so you know I've got some dirty grey old morals here).

But I also think that very often people who say they don't want their picture taken don't mean what they say. They can mean "I don't want a shit picture taken" or "yes, take my picture, but I'll protest about it first so as not to seem vain" or "I don't want my picture on the internet" or "you're a dick" or any one of a number of things.

And I've taken some great pictures of people who said "don't take my picture", including one that the subject now thinks is the best shot of them ever.
posted by bonaldi at 8:56 PM on July 9, 2007


So what if you are? Do you think everyone you meet somehow, magically, knows that? Or has any reason to believe you if you state it explicitly? Maybe you're picturing the following thought process:
Fuck, I'm posting too much on this thread now. Must drop it. But, no, I wasn't picturing that. I'm kinda saying that if your goal is to keep your picture off the internet, then meandering about it by asking the much more baggage-laden request to not have your picture taken is counter-productive.

It's like saying "I don't feel like a drink" when you mean "I'm not drinking, I've got the car". The latter gets you an orange juice. The former gets you a whole load of "oooh, go on, have a wee one".
posted by bonaldi at 9:03 PM on July 9, 2007


I'm the sort of person who thinks it's OK to take pictures of people candidly, or after they've said "ooh no, don't take a picture of me", and I know plenty of others who are too.

Then you wouldn't mind handing over your memory card after taking said picture, right?
posted by desjardins at 9:04 PM on July 9, 2007


I think it's very, very rarely OK to take pictures of people who genuinely don't want them taken
But I also think that very often people who say they don't want their picture taken don't mean what they say.

And you think you can always tell when someone genuinely doesn't want their picture taken. How, exactly? I mean, if saying it isn't enough, what is? What's the secret code? Oh, wait--I see you indicated in the other thread that you would stop if it looked like someone would make a scene about it or get violent. That's nice.

Just because someone doesn't want to make a fuss doesn't mean they're secretly okay with it.

You didn't really answer rtha's question.
posted by Many bubbles at 9:10 PM on July 9, 2007


And I've taken some great pictures of people who said "don't take my picture", including one that the subject now thinks is the best shot of them ever.

Oh, and I think it's awesome how your response there consists of, "Yeah, but I think you'll be okay with it afterwards, because I'm just that great and it just might be the best picture EVER". I gotta remember that one.
posted by Many bubbles at 9:16 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think it's generally best to take people at their word.

"No means no," and all that...
posted by desjardins at 9:16 PM on July 9, 2007


nixerman,

I want to respond to your comments in the green thread. Legally there's no question that you are right. The photographer can take whatever photos he has opportunity for. Fine. But can you really not see why someone would get upset over it? Perhaps some will see your request as ridiculous and ignore it but the fact that some act that way doesn't mean the best response is to completely roll over. Taking a photograph is a social interaction and the OP is asking advice on how to handle this interaction more to her liking. Pretty standard for AskMe.

A loose analogy is someone who walks along side a stranger and says some hurtful things while keeping pace with them. Now I don't know all the harassment laws but I assume that this is legal or at least hard to prosecute if the instigator only does it for a couple of minutes. That obnoxious behavior may be legal in a public space but it's not unreasonable to say you don't like it and want a better way to respond.

I agree with you that we all have to deal with feeling uncomfortable some of the time. The world doesn't cater to anyone. Still, we can also acknowledge that an ugly dynamic can build up between photographer and subject. When the subject is feeling vulnerable, and some people always feel vulnerable when they are photographed, the collection and exposure of that vulnerability exacerbates the situation. Cycle this once or twice and it is simple bullying. Sure, I don't recommend attacking a photographer but in certain contexts I understand it and it isn't some unprovoked attack out of nowhere. I also don't think putting your palm under a lens and pushing up when someone gets in your face after you've told them no pictures, is out of bounds either. I suspect you and a lot of the other critics are either imagining these responses occurring in milder contexts or you're unable sympathize with some people's unease at being photographed or both.

Finally, as an aside, I want to mention that I hate all advice which takes the form of 'Grow up', 'Deal', 'Be confident', and 'Get over it'. Has advice along those lines ever helped anyone? They all seem to me similar to such paradoxical commands as 'Be spontaneous' and 'Have fun'. All of the advisories are telling people to consciously make a change that happens organically, without plan or program, in the background.
posted by BigSky at 9:20 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


You think it's ok to take pictures of people after they've asked you not to? For fuck's sake, why?

Personally I take pictures even when people demur because I like having pictures of people at parties. Most people are total dorks and hilarious to watch so such pictures are always a source of enjoyment. People plead and beg me not to take pictures or order me to destroy such pictures all the time but I just feel like the world can't have too many pictures of drunk, happy people trying to dance and failing miserably. But then I am the sort that never puts pictures on the net because it's tacky and voyeuristic. My pictures are reserved for private emails and put in service only to brighten some poor sob's day with the occassional caption like 'well at least you're not this guy.' But I suppose if somebody is so insecure and overwhelmingly concerned about their image and what other people think of them then even this sort of private humor is intolerable. But who cares? All sorts of people have hang-ups about all sorts of things and we'd never have any fun if we couldn't move past such things. Embarrassing pictures are a goodness and if you haven't realized this yet then, well, hopefully you will soon. I don't know, maybe I'm just really missing something, but I think there is something so little and highschool about not wanting to be caught on camera in the not-optimal light.

But this isn't about feelings or anything so subjective. It's simply the case that somebody taking your photo is probably not harming you in any way. They are doing so because they're human and humans like pictures and memories and posing and making funny faces. So getting bent out of shape over the whole 'ordeal' just seems so rude and childish.
posted by nixerman at 9:21 PM on July 9, 2007


So getting bent out of shape over the whole 'ordeal' just seems so rude and childish.

Whereas ignoring someone's wishes in favor of your own selfish desires seems so mature.
posted by desjardins at 9:28 PM on July 9, 2007


I don't know, maybe I'm just really missing something, but I think there is something so little and highschool about not wanting to be caught on camera in the not-optimal light. caring about your reputation.

Fixed.
posted by Many bubbles at 9:31 PM on July 9, 2007


Actually I think this brings up a wider issue than just photography. There's a group of people saying "respect my wishes, even if they seem weird or unreasonable or uptight," and another group that says "loosen up and get over it."

I'm curious if this is a gendered debate here, because I find it's most often women who are told they're "overreacting" to things, but I suppose that's another thread.
posted by desjardins at 9:31 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Embarrassing pictures are a goodness and if you haven't realized this yet then, well, hopefully you will soon. I don't know, maybe I'm just really missing something,

Yeah, like a sense of basic decency, politeness, and respect. And maybe a soul - try putting the camera down.
posted by rtha at 9:31 PM on July 9, 2007



A loose analogy is someone who walks along side a stranger and says some hurtful things while keeping pace with them.


BigSky, this is the thing: people taking photographs are not taking pictures because they want you hurt you, or demean your, or insult you in any way. So no, this analogy doesn't apply. (And if it was the case that some twit really was trying to hurt you, emotionally or physically, then by all means defend yourself and go to town and break their nose -- it's actually quite easy to break somebody's nose and nobody ever misinterprets such a response.) We are talking about a very special kind of interaction, the case where for various reasons (usually involving music and alcohol and revealing clothing) total strangers might go too far and be too 'familiar' with one another. I just don't think this is a bad thing. Yes, I can understand quite well why people might feel uncomfortable or repulsed or even angry in such scenarios. There is a kind of anger that always arises when people don't behave the way we think they should or things don't work out the way we want them to or we fear people are going places we don't want to go. But in the absence of real harm and hardship such anger is essentially childish. And perhaps such feelings are a kind of price to be paid to allow for everybody, on the whole, to have a good time and meet new people. The whole question will never be settled in any satisfactory, mathematical manner but, personally, I just feel when you're in a public place then, yes, everything or everyone will not be to your liking and the appropriate response is to grin and bear it and try to have a good time.
posted by nixerman at 9:35 PM on July 9, 2007


Yeah, like a sense of basic decency, politeness, and respect. And maybe a soul - try putting the camera down.

rtha, it's obvious you are an idiot. I'm not one for such ad hominem insults but I just wanted to point this out to draw a kind of boundary on the debate. If you really feel taking somebody's photograph against their will reveals a lack of a soul then it's obvious that you are totally lacking in any kind of perspective or adult understanding of the world. There are, suffice to say, far worse things that happen between people then unwanted, embarrassing pictures. If you can take a moment to grasp this then perhaps, just maybe you can see why people might not buy into the whole 'I said I didn't want any pictures of me!' thinking. Again the case is not that you have no rights at all in such public places but simply that there is a tension here between what you want and what actually happens and such a tension may actually be a good thing.
posted by nixerman at 9:41 PM on July 9, 2007


That was a weird and interesting and surprising thread. I never realized there were so many people who would consider it an imposition on them to be asked by the subject not to photograph them.

If I'm shooting photos and a person says they don't want their photo taken, I usually just put the camera away entirely, because I don't want them to feel nervous and guarded about any possibility I might do it anyway. Sometimes when people have said specifically that it's because they think they always look bad in photos, I've offered to shoot a portrait and let them decide if we delete it from memory afterwards, and many people are happy to do this, because they really do want a nice photo of themselves.

But it's usually easy to tell if someone is just plain uncomfortable and unhappy with the whole concept. Why would I want to make them miserable? Why would anybody?
posted by taz at 9:45 PM on July 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Whereas ignoring someone's wishes in favor of your own selfish desires seems so mature.

Well, this is the point. How might you settle such a debate? Perhaps take a vote? I think you will find most people find taking pictures at parties to be perfectly socially acceptable and this is why, you know, it's such a common occurrence. When there is such a conflict between competing desires it's perfectly reasonable to appeal to social mores. You need to find another society where taking pictures at parties is taboo or something. In general if social mores are just totally out of whack with what you believe then , sorry, don't be social. I hate to appeal to Aristotle here because he's a traitor and sell-out but yes, there is something to be said for the common wisdom in such cases.
posted by nixerman at 9:47 PM on July 9, 2007


I take pictures even when people demur because I like having pictures of people at parties. ... People plead and beg me not to take pictures... But who cares? ... Embarrassing pictures are a goodness and if you haven't realized this yet then, well, hopefully you will soon.

You're apparently kind of an asshole, and hopefully you'll grow out of that "My priorities are straight and if yours were too, they'd match mine" attitude. Yes, it's admittedly "high school" to fret about the way you appear on film to the degree being discussed here; but part of being an adult is learning to respect other people's dumb little quirks. Respect is an important concept to civilized folk, and it's conspicuously absent from your comments on this subject.

A loose analogy is someone who walks along side a stranger and says some hurtful things while keeping pace with them. ... That obnoxious behavior may be legal in a public space but it's not unreasonable to say you don't like it and want a better way to respond.

Sure. And in that hypothetical, I don't have any problem with punching the dude in the mouth. But the OP asked for polite ways to discourage inconsiderate friends, not when and whether violence was a justifiable defense against the intentional infliction of harm.
posted by cribcage at 9:48 PM on July 9, 2007


But in the absence of real harm and hardship such anger is essentially childish.

Why can you not imagine that the person whose request you've violated (by taking their picture after they've asked you not to) are actually experiencing real harm? That they feel hurt and disrespected? Why do you feel you can discount what their experience might be just because you don't share it?

If you really feel taking somebody's photograph against their will reveals a lack of a soul

If someone asks me politely to not take their picture, and I do so anyway, maybe it doesn't make me soulless, but it does make me an asshole. And please don't start with the "there're so many worse things in the world waaaah!" - no shit. But I still think it expresses a remarkable lack of respect and sympathy to ignore such an incredibly minor request - I mean, is it really so much trouble for you to not take someone's picture? Is your need to have "embarrassing" pictures of someone - pictures that you can email around to your friends and be all LOLwhatadoofus! - so much more important than just being nice? Why, after you've said that, should anyone assume your motives are benign and non-harmful?
posted by rtha at 9:56 PM on July 9, 2007


But it's usually easy to tell if someone is just plain uncomfortable and unhappy with the whole concept. Why would I want to make them miserable? Why would anybody?

Because a lot of photographers think they're the heirs of Doisneau, but really they're the heirs of goddamn Weegee.
posted by vacapinta at 9:59 PM on July 9, 2007


. Respect is an important concept to civilized folk, and it's conspicuously absent from your comments on this subject.

Alright I'll stop commenting here since I don't want to be confused with jonmc but let's be clear here: there are three kinds of respect. One involves respecting people's stupid little quirks and another one involves respecting the common wisdom, that is, what is widely considered to be socially acceptable in various situations. Though there is an inherent tension between both kinds of respect, in a democracy both are regarded as legitmate. Does a person have the right to object to having their photo at a party? Yes, of course, people can object to most anything. But does another person have the right to take their photo anyways with the understanding that they are in what is essentially a public place? Yes. It is absolutely unreasonable for you enter a public place and require people to respect your every little wish. Unless a person is harming you then there is no reasonable basis to object to their behavior or respond violently. If you feel otherwise then again, sorry, you should do as Orthodox Jews and the Amish do and retreat from public society to create your own little space where everything is just right.
posted by nixerman at 10:00 PM on July 9, 2007


It is absolutely unreasonable for you enter a public place and require people to respect your every little wish.

Of course its reasonable if the wish is reasonable. The entire subject is called "etiquette."
posted by vacapinta at 10:03 PM on July 9, 2007


...people taking photographs are not taking pictures because they want you hurt you, or demean your, or insult you in any way.

Apparently you are, though, because you're going to put a caption on it and send it to all your friends.
posted by ottereroticist at 10:09 PM on July 9, 2007


But does another person have the right to take their photo anyways with the understanding that they are in what is essentially a public place?

"At a party" does not automatically equal "public place". Do keep that in mind.

One involves respecting people's stupid little quirks...

Please do stop posting, as you only seem to be digging yourself in deeper and deeper.
posted by rtha at 10:13 PM on July 9, 2007


nixerman, look up Body Dysmorphic Disorder sometime. People with BDD can be very traumatized by having their picture taken against their wishes. It's an agonizing experience.

As far as the general taking of photographs goes, if you run across any more people with "stupid little quirks" who don't want their photo taken, try not taking their photo. You don't have to agree with their request and you don't even have to understand it, but you could try respecting it. There are plenty of other drunken goofballs who are dying to have you capture their embarrassing goodness on film, I'm sure.
posted by iconomy at 10:14 PM on July 9, 2007


Where I come from, the social norm of picture-taking is trumped by the social norm of not doing things to people that they have explicitly and repeatedly asked you not to do, aka the "don't be an asshole" rule.

Please tell me you're coming to the MeFi anniversary this weekend, nixerman. People in Portland show friendliness by blowing an air horn in each others' faces. I hope you'll enjoy the experience as much as I do.

And if you don't, well, hopefully you will soon.
posted by ottereroticist at 10:20 PM on July 9, 2007 [6 favorites]


Unless a person is harming you then there is no reasonable basis to object to their behavior

I disagree with this. Telling racist or sexist stories/jokes, making unwanted comments about another person's body, making fun of how someone looks, putting down their faith or country of origin are all obvious examples of personal expression that are considered unacceptable in most circles, yet they aren't technically harmful.

But let's scale down and consider, oh, people who don't eat meat. In western society, there are still more people who eat meat than there are who don't. Yet few people today plan a dinner party or restaurant venue without inquiring if there are any vegans/vegetarians in the group. Because why bother to do something socially if one or more of the group involved is going to feel uncomfortable and left out? If two out of 10 people you invite to your bbq don't eat meat, are you going to refuse to whip up a few vegetable dishes because eating meat won't harm them, and if they don't want to eat meat they should probably just stay home? Probably not. Because you have respect for their wishes, and you'd like to enjoy their company and make them feel as comfortable and welcome as possible.
posted by taz at 10:29 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


If you feel otherwise then again, sorry, you should do as Orthodox Jews and the Amish do and retreat from public society to create your own little space where everything is just right.

So people who don't want to put up with your right to be obnoxiously, deliberately disrespectful of simple boundaries that impact you in no way should have to hide themselves away and avoid being sociable because your definition of a good time involves manufactured "tension?"

Everything or everyone will not be to your liking and the appropriate response is to grin and bear it and try to have a good time.

Why does that not also apply to your impulse to deliberately push people's buttons?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:34 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately this is turning into a bit of a pile on.

nixerman, every analogy taken far enough breaks down and becomes a disanalogy. I wasn't intending to equate the two, but rather to show an example of someone behaving within their legal rights where many might be tempted to break the law and attack the person. Just saying that taking pictures is legal is fine as far as it goes but it doesn't go far enough. I want to be clear that when some people suggested violence in the original thread they probably weren't thinking of chasing down someone who took a snapshot. Photographs can play on sensitivities and when a photographer works that dynamic it's a pretty aggressive act, emotionally if not physically. majick's comment in the original thread seemed to be portraying such a situation.

One last point, we all would like to put our unflattering moments behind us. Obviously that's not possible, they linger in the memory of others. When they are put in our face over and over again it's hostile and reductive. This goes to the heart of why many of us like the expression 'capturing the soul'.

I know a lot of this depends on tone and I'm wary of being too judgmental here. That all said, when you or anyone else looks to photograph reluctant subjects and then enjoys sharing the more unflattering pictures, it makes me think that at least part of your motive is 'holding over' on people. Unless you hang out with a real extroverted bunch I would expect it to make people more uptight and reserved around you.
posted by BigSky at 11:09 PM on July 9, 2007


This is a ridiculous argument, considering how rarely this problem ever even occurs (nixerman aside). Most photographers I know are very good with people, and they don't do things to intentionally antagonize them. Most people don't mind being photographed, and some even like to be photographed. A photographer is generally going to assume you don't mind having your picture taken unless you indicate otherwise, and if you do, the vast majority of photographers will drop it quietly.

Seriously, how many photographers chase their subjects around taking pictures of them? (obviously, aside from paparazzi) Is this a widespread problem for average people that I just wasn't aware of?
posted by mullingitover at 11:17 PM on July 9, 2007


Holy crap, what a thread. It was chatty, but fine - interesting to see so many people who don't like to get photographed. Then nixerman just knocked it out of the ballpark for compassion and empathy with his "if you don't want photos, stay at home" crap. (I'm being sarcastic, obviously).

Telling someone to get over themselves in this situation is pretty freakin' rude. I don't usually comment on other people's posts to call them out for being rude, but if I could have flagged it as 'rude, beside the point and assoholic' I would have. Indeed, pushing people's buttons is just silly and sad. And the Aristotle as traitor and sell-out comment is just...bizarre.

man, nixerman, if I come across you at a part I'll be sure to get a bunch of my friends to grab their cameras and all take your picture constantly, no matter if you demurly beg us to stop or not. Flashy flash flash - heck, it's only an 'embarassing drunken picture', right?
posted by rmm at 11:18 PM on July 9, 2007


You know, all along I 've been thinking that majick's response was extreme, but I'm ready to smash nixerman's camera now just on general principles.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:21 PM on July 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


My long answer in that thread was badly written, but I wish that people had paid more attention to it. I tried to create a framework that was a fair analysis of the competing interests. And there are competing interests and there's not one simple answer, contrary to either the hard-core pro or anti arguments.

Furthermore, even if we were to disregard, as nixerman wrongly does, that there are in fact some legally and socially recognized rights exclusive to the subject of a photograph and not just the photographer, there's still the socially recognized etiquette of deferring to an unusually preference when someone feels strongly hurt by other people not doing so. What's at stake for nixerman in taking the photo is far less important to him than what's at stake for zadcat. Politeess and being a nice person requires that one takes this strongly into account.

As my long answer discussed, in the situation of a smallish party, I think that the interests of both parties, as average people, are roughly equal, assuming the photographer is taking the photos only for his own personal enjoyment. If he makes them public or, certainly, shares them with friends with mocking comments, then he's tilting the interests in favor of the subject quite a bit. But even when that's not the case, if someone isn't the "average person" and feels very hurt in some way by having their photograph taken without their permission, then, again, the interests tilt strongly in favor of the subject.

Basically, you really need to be in a truly public place with lots of people before a photographer can feel that his interest in photographing people outweighs their rights to privacy and to control the use of their image, even when they strongly object. Except, of course, that he still doesn't have the right to use the photograph commercially without permission if it features the subject. (As opposed to, say, a crowd scene. And your law will vary by jurisdiction.)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:25 PM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


jessamyn, I'm very sorry I started a thread that became a train wreck and caused you extra work. It was not my intention. I'd been at a party and had been startled at the offense and aggression that bubbled up there when I asked not to be photographed, so perhaps I should've expected as much when I asked about it here.

I'm a photographer myself and I have strong feelings about photographing people and being photographed, but I didn't quite expect the free-for-all. Once again, sorry about that.
posted by zadcat at 12:38 AM on July 10, 2007


zadcat writes "I'm a photographer myself and I have strong feelings about photographing people and being photographed, but I didn't quite expect the free-for-all. Once again, sorry about that."

Do you mind? We're trying to have a flameout here ;)

*sheepishly puts away pitchfork, torch*
posted by mullingitover at 2:08 AM on July 10, 2007



Taking someone's camera from them by force and destroying it is a crime (several, really), and if you do this you should go to jail (and probably will).

It's also an breathtakingly dumb way to deal with people. Remember: the camera does not actually steal your soul.


Now imagine that you put the picture on Facebook and my old stalking ex-husband sees it, knows where I live now, and decides that he and Mr. .22 are going to pay me a visit. And I don't have the right to stop you, even up to and including breaking your camera? Bullshit.
posted by watsondog at 3:45 AM on July 10, 2007


Now imagine that you put the picture on Facebook and my old stalking ex-husband sees it, knows where I live now, and decides that he and Mr. .22 are going to pay me a visit. And I don't have the right to stop you, even up to and including breaking your camera? Bullshit.
Well, do you think that obtusely saying you don't want your picture taken -- even going so far as to smash up the guy's camera -- is a better way of handling the situation than telling the photog you have a homicidal stalker ex-husband? Or even just allude to the consequences?

And you think you can always tell when someone genuinely doesn't want their picture taken. How, exactly? I mean, if saying it isn't enough, what is? What's the secret code?

Oh, and I think it's awesome how your response there consists of, "Yeah, but I think you'll be okay with it afterwards, because I'm just that great and it just might be the best picture EVER". I gotta remember that one.

"No means no," and all that...

What sort of world is it you guys live in where you can only take people at the literal meaning of their words, and not use any forms of social judgement or interpretation? Is persuasion -- which is, after all, the art of turning what you suspect is a soft 'no' into a 'yes' -- a total sin in this place?

Photography isn't rape. No means no in that situation, but it's become a phrase precisely because it's so unusual. In a deleted bit of the other thread, someone said "you should always take a no, in any context, to be a no". Which seems ridiculous.
"HMPH"
"Is anything wrong?"
"NO. I am FINE."
"oh, in that case I'm off to the pub".

I'd love to sell you guys a car. It's a fine runner, one lady owner, never needs serviced.
posted by bonaldi at 5:24 AM on July 10, 2007


You're being willfully obtuse, bonaldi. When there is a good chance you'll offend someone by assuming they mean "yes" when they say "no", then you err on the side of caution and assume they mean "no". All your rationalizations for assuming "yes" are self-serving. If someone really means "yes", they'll find a way to make that clear to you.

In your example, you should take the person's assertion that he/she is "fine" at face-value. Not because it is likely to be true, but because someone that signals one thing to you and says another is being childish and passive/aggressive. If they actually want to tell you that they're upset, they should be forthright about it rather than putting you in the position of guessing what they really want and "forcing" them to tell you what's wrong. People who say "no" when they really mean "yes" are almost without fail people who want their cakes and to eat them, too. They want the consequences of a "yes" without the responsibility of having said "yes". It's childish of them and it's very presumptuous of people like you to assume a "yes" when, in reality, the "no" actually means a "no". Yes, the AskMe thread is self-selecting for people who really, really don't want their photos taken. But I feel quite sure that, given that thread and given what you've said here and there, it is the case that you've taken photos of people that truly don't want photos taken of themselves. That's your fault for not listening to them. It's not their fault that some other people say one thing and mean another and it's not their fault that you've used that as an excuse to always assume that people say one thing and mean another.

I am not a person who really cares one way or another whether my photo is taken. And I do think that photographers have some rights to take photos of people in public. But your comments here have really bothered me. It quite frankly amazes me that you are so brazen as to claim that pretty much everyone who says they don't want their photo taken actually want their photo taken, despite all the contrary evidence in these threads. Your arguments are self-serving. So are nixerman's. Yours are superficially a bit nicer in that your claim is that people actually want their photo taken while nixerman's claim is that, screw 'em, it doesn't matter what they want. But both attitudes are, at their core, anti-social.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:42 AM on July 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


People should be lots of things, EB, but they aren't. So you have to learn how to interpret them and cope.

I am talking more of a game than I play here, I think. In actuality, I think I've only crossed the line with picture-taking once -- and she ended up as my girlfriend, who won't let me forget it :) I'm not a great photographer, and one of the many reasons why is because I'm actually too timid when it comes to it -- lots of the type of thing I take would be better had I been more brazen, or more in-yer-face.

Here I'm not really talking about what I do, more about the principle. There's more than likely a danger I'm over-egging it from the comfort of a chair, but I do think the basic point holds -- there are lots of times when "no" can mean "OK" when it comes to having your picture taken, so it's often going to be a socially murky area. If you're one of the ones who desperately doesn't want an image made of you, it's probably going to be better to avoid that whole murky area entirely and provide other reasons. Like "I don't want my picture on the internet", which is very common and completely socially acceptable.

These two threads have already shown that there are people who will think a request for "take no photos of me!" is odd or unusual. Perhaps they shouldn't, but they do. So the pragmatist's answer to the original question would be "give a different reason" -- and it was. Except the OP didn't want that. They wanted to say "no photographs" and have it accepted like it was a request for tea instead of coffee. So now we're all fighting.
posted by bonaldi at 5:56 AM on July 10, 2007


So now we're all fighting.
posted by bonaldi


No we are NOT, bonaldi, you pus-eating maggot!
posted by The Deej at 6:14 AM on July 10, 2007


MetaFilter: badly written, but I wish that people had paid more attention to it
posted by gleuschk at 6:20 AM on July 10, 2007


That was probably the most exasperating bunch of answers I've ever seen on AskMe. Before several prunings, that is. Even now it's annoying as shit.

Q: How can I get people to stop taking my picture?

A: You shouldn't get them to stop taking your picture - you're pretty!
posted by iconomy at 5:27 PM on July 9


God yes. It was unbelievably fucking frustrating just trying to read the first twenty responses because most of them were so god-awful.

"You are an oil painting!" Good lord, what a bunch of dumb bullshit that was. Some people don't like their picture taken by a bunch of flickr-happy, MySpace-worshipping, "my-entire-social-life-should-be-on-the-web" monomaniacs.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:22 AM on July 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


How can I get people to stop taking my picture?

Well, you really can't; all you can do is ask them not to, or break their camera.

But how can I get people to stop taking my picture?

Well, you can't force people to do anything, but you can try some things that might help.

But how can I get people to stop taking my picture?

Well, unfortunately, when in public, people might take your picture. It's legal, but that doesn't mean they should be dicks about it.

But, why male models?
posted by The Deej at 6:31 AM on July 10, 2007


Well, do you think that obtusely saying you don't want your picture taken -- even going so far as to smash up the guy's camera -- is a better way of handling the situation than telling the photog you have a homicidal stalker ex-husband? Or even just allude to the consequences?

So now it falls upon me to tell every random stranger at a party with a camera that I have a homicidal stalker ex-husband? Words fail me.
posted by needled at 6:41 AM on July 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


Hey, uh, needled, did you mean to tell us all you have a homocidal ex-husband?
posted by The Deej at 6:47 AM on July 10, 2007


My pictures are reserved for private emails ...

Allow me to point out that there is no such thing. You could ask your recipient not to forward it to anyone, or to delete it after reading, but what if said recipient is a jerk and refuses? What if he finds the photo so howlingly funny that he puts it up on Flickr?

You don't seem to have thought this out very well.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:50 AM on July 10, 2007


So now it falls upon me to tell every random stranger at a party with a camera that I have a homicidal stalker ex-husband? Words fail me.

Well, you're going to have to speak to them all anyway, right? Since picture taking at parties isn't generally frowned upon. And if you just obliquely say you don't want your picture taken, you're leaving yourself open to all the sorts of objections that the OP got in the other thread, because to some people it's a bit weird.

If you're more specific -- and it doesn't have to be much more specific, you're going to avoid those problems and be more likely to get what you want. So you're faced with changing the behaviour of a great swathe of people, or slightly modifying your own. Tough choice, I know.
posted by bonaldi at 7:31 AM on July 10, 2007


As I write that, though, it occurs to me that perhaps the internet is changing the use of photography so much that it is time for that sort of wholesale behavioural change. It used to be OK to drink and drive, but when the roads started seriously filling up, we changed society so it wasn't.
posted by bonaldi at 7:39 AM on July 10, 2007


Bonaldi and nixerman are perfect examples of why my boyfriend and I hate wedding receptions.
posted by emmastory at 8:02 AM on July 10, 2007


Taking someone's camera from them by force and destroying it is a crime (several, really), and if you do this you should go to jail (and probably will).

And probably won't. I'd put money on the police telling you to handle it civilly ("Buh-buh-buh-but he broke my caaaaamera!"), which you won't, like most people who take a relatively minor ding like that. I get a reputation as "that guy who'll break your camera", and all is right with the world.

Realistically, I'm not going to break your camera. I'm going to ask to borrow it to take a picture of you ("Hey, fair's fair!"), remove the memory card and flush it down the toilet. There won't be any other witnesses, but the word will pass around.

If you can't handle annoyances without resorting to violence, you shouldn't be in public in the first place.

If you aren't willing to stand the very real and very likely repercussions of being rude to the wrong person, neither should you. Budge in front of the wrong person in a line, and you should accept the possibility that you will be dragged into traffic by the collar, for example.

And, y'know, sometimes that's just.
posted by solid-one-love at 9:26 AM on July 10, 2007


If you aren't willing to stand the very real and very likely repercussions of being rude to the wrong person, neither should you. Budge in front of the wrong person in a line, and you should accept the possibility that you will be dragged into traffic by the collar, for example.

Absolutely true. As should you, when you're taking on huge guys carrying heavy clubs of metal and glass. I've seen some of our photographers get into rucks with people who didn't want their picture taken, and it's not pretty.
posted by bonaldi at 9:36 AM on July 10, 2007


Yeah - they really showed that uptight bitch Lady Di, amirite?!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:41 AM on July 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hoo hoo, only took three days for her to show up. Yeh, it was incredible that, the way everyone went mad about how photographers had chased her to get photographs they didn't want taken. And she certainly never arranged photocalls either. It's totally the same as folk at parties that,

I think paper circulation used to, what was it?, almost double when she was on the cover.
posted by bonaldi at 9:44 AM on July 10, 2007


Figured she'd essentially Godwin the thread. My real point though (and I did have one) is that you've already kind of moved the discussion outside of the original context, which was harrassment of private individuals by aquaintenances or non-professional strangers at social events. You're talking about professional photographers trying to get the story. The two subjects are more dissimilar than they seem.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:52 AM on July 10, 2007


Yeh, I'm all over the fucking shop on this one, I admit. It's the curse of Recent Activity.

I think in replying to solid-one-love I was just trying to point out that when you step into the realm of violence, there's nothing to stop the other person also doing that. You could end up taking on a pro photographer unwittingly at the party, and there's a chance he'd be happy to sock you right back (some of these guys are genuine sociopaths, but I didn't say that).
posted by bonaldi at 9:56 AM on July 10, 2007


when you step into the realm of violence, there's nothing to stop the other person also doing that

I agree 100%.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:59 AM on July 10, 2007


Ethereal Bligh: In your example, you should take the person's assertion that he/she is "fine" at face-value. Not because it is likely to be true, but because someone that signals one thing to you and says another is being childish and passive/aggressive. If they actually want to tell you that they're upset, they should be forthright about it rather than putting you in the position of guessing what they really want and "forcing" them to tell you what's wrong.

Ahhhhahahahahahahah. . . hahahahah. . . hahahah. . . hah . . . . hah. . . wait . . . were you serious? EB, I pretty much agree with you and not bonaldi or nixerman (come on, what do you think I am?) but you can't possibly actually mean this in the face of bonaldi's example. If that happened you would seriously take your SO at his/her word and be off to the pub? Have you ever been in a relationship? Did it last more than ten seconds? If so, how? Passive-aggressive behavior is a fact of human discourse. I think bonaldi is cherry-picking by using it as a counter to the "no-means-no" argument, but there is no question at all that for any reasonable person "no", in that context, does not mean "no". Not if you want to preserve domestic tranquility, anyway.

This has nothing to do with photography. Sic transit the gray.
posted by The Bellman at 9:59 AM on July 10, 2007


That can be resolved by "social cues trumps language." But if the person is a stranger, where the social cues may be confused, or the situation is unfamiliar - stick with language.
posted by vacapinta at 10:06 AM on July 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


I actually read all the comments (my eyes are red now) AND this thread, and I think the most practical advice boiled down to:

1) Very firmly ask the photographer not to take your picture.
2) Take pictures yourself to stay out of the other photographer's venue.
3) If you get pinned, ask why it is so important for the photographer that you be photographed, and explain your objection specifically ("I do not want my pictures on the internet because ___")
4) Exit the situation entirely at this point if none of your entreaties have helped.
OR
Be prepared to face the consequences, including legal repercussions, if you decide to take more aggressive actions, i.e. taking memory card or worse.

I have never been involved in violence myself, and in any case it really is irrelevant which position I would take here--Those are the answers to the question.
posted by misha at 10:53 AM on July 10, 2007


“Did it last more than ten seconds? If so, how?”

I don't get seriously involved with whiny, passive/aggressive people who say "nothing's wrong, I'm fine" when they mean "I'm upset, I want to talk about it".

Maybe you should try dating/marrying adults.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:06 AM on July 10, 2007


solid-one-love writes "And probably won't. I'd put money on the police telling you to handle it civilly ('Buh-buh-buh-but he broke my caaaaamera!'), which you won't, like most people who take a relatively minor ding like that. I get a reputation as 'that guy who'll break your camera', and all is right with the world."

Depending on the camera, you could find yourself owing someone thousands of dollars. Please do this sometime, tough guy. Post on mefi to let us know how your court case went.
posted by mullingitover at 11:12 AM on July 10, 2007


Please do this sometime, tough guy. Post on mefi to let us know how your court case went

Hey, shit-for-brains. Maybe you wanna read the immediately following paragraph. You know, the one that begins "Realistically, I'm not going to break your camera." But that'd prevent you from taking what I wrote out of context and being an asshole.

Actually, I'm pretty sure that even that wouldn't prvent you from being an asshole.

In any case, I am not going to admit, here, to having willfully broken one more more expensive cameras.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:22 AM on July 10, 2007


Maybe you should try dating/marrying adults.

Maybe I should. When I divorce my wife and my teenage children say "nothing's wrong, we're fine", what do you suggest I do?
posted by The Bellman at 11:53 AM on July 10, 2007


If that happened you would seriously take your SO at his/her word and be off to the pub?

I understand EB's example perfectly and have followed it to the letter. Almost miraculously, the formerly passive-agressive person figures out that he needs to tell me what he's upset about or it will never get resolved.

Life is much, much easier when I only have to deal with the crap in my own head and don't feel any obligation to also decipher what's in someone else's head. It also makes my relationships much, much more honest. (And this one has lasted 10 + 1,435,680 minutes.)
posted by desjardins at 11:57 AM on July 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


(ironically named) solid-one-love writes "Hey, shit-for-brains."

I'm sorry I took your words (slightly) out of context. To be fair and precise, you advocated theft and destruction of private property (flushing a memory card which could potentially cost hundreds of dollars) as a means of intimidating someone if you don't approve of their harmless actions. I apologize. I am an asshole.
posted by mullingitover at 12:07 PM on July 10, 2007


When I divorce my wife and my teenage children say "nothing's wrong, we're fine", what do you suggest I do?

I can't believe you have to ask this. Go to parties and take pictures of pretty girls.
posted by ODiV at 1:19 PM on July 10, 2007


if you don't approve of their harmless actions.

For many of the reasons described here and in the other thread, I do not consider it harmless. Yes, I do advocate escalating the conflict if after multiple requests and warnings a photographer refuses to back off.

(flushing a memory card which could potentially cost hundreds of dollars)

Your right to own an 8 GB memory card ends where my right to ensure that my face isn't plastered all over the Net begins. You can debate whether or not I have that right until the cows come home, but I still flushed your goddamn card and all the rights in the world won't bring it back.
posted by solid-one-love at 1:38 PM on July 10, 2007


Your right to own an 8 GB memory card ends where my right to ensure that my face isn't plastered all over the Net begins. You can debate whether or not I have that right until the cows come home, but I still flushed your goddamn card and all the rights in the world won't bring it back.
And your right to steal an 8GB memory card begins ... oh, wait, it never does.

Sure, the rights won't bring it back, but the could well see you in court, or getting a doing. Your ability to take the card isn't always going to end in a photographer sheepishly going "oh, silly me, I haff seen the error of mi ways".
posted by bonaldi at 1:41 PM on July 10, 2007


It's like the (deleted) guy in the other thread who said "Yeh, I smashed your camera, you're lucky I don't run you over with my car", as if photographers don't also have cars.
posted by bonaldi at 1:42 PM on July 10, 2007


Yeah but who has the bigger car? And what if one has a wild bear and the other has a trained attack monkey? Huh? Who wins then?
posted by vacapinta at 1:44 PM on July 10, 2007 [4 favorites]


Whoever still has a working camera to film the glory.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:47 PM on July 10, 2007


But what if I don't want you to film it?
posted by iconomy at 1:51 PM on July 10, 2007


Goddamn I want more favorites to favorite vacapinta.

I am a photographer and want to take a picture of an unwilling subject, who has a bear. Will my attack monkey be enough to protect my 8GB memory card? That won't get deleted.
posted by bonaldi at 1:53 PM on July 10, 2007


Resolved: only photograph people who drive compacts, or, ideally, fixies.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:55 PM on July 10, 2007


You people really need some oxygen, hmm?
posted by Burhanistan at 2:01 PM on July 10, 2007


And your right to steal an 8GB memory card begins ... oh, wait, it never does.

That's sort of my point. People in these threads can make all sorts of claims about rights, all of which are irrelevant -- in the real world, if you're an asshole, you might get clocked. And if nobody witnesses it or if nobody cares, you will have no means of redress, civilly or criminally.

Thus, don't be an asshole. If someone doesn't want their picture taken, don't take their picture. That's how you help to ensure that you will get to keep your property.

It's like the (deleted) guy in the other thread who said "Yeh, I smashed your camera, you're lucky I don't run you over with my car", as if photographers don't also have cars.

That was me, and it wasn't deleted. And no, it's not like that, not really. I mean, sure. If Joe flushes your memory card and then you smash Joe's windshield, maybe Joe puts you in the hospital. Oh no! Joe has infringed upon your rights! Call the police! That doesn't change the fact that you're having pins installed in your shoulder. Asserting your rights when facing imminent violence is idiotic. Again, the best thing to do is to not take the picture if you are asked not to.

I think the other point you're making is that maybe the photographer is the tougher guy in the conflict. That's as maybe, but I'll bet real money that if the photog's gonna wallop me one for snapping his memory card in half, the people at the party (and we are talking about a party) are going to witness his rampage and not my bit of vandalism.
posted by solid-one-love at 2:01 PM on July 10, 2007


Resolved: only photograph people who drive compacts, or, ideally, fixies.
posted by cortex


Nuh uh!!!! Take fixies off the list! That chainring is a real ball-grinder. Don't ask how I know! [cue dramatic chipmunk]
posted by The Deej at 2:09 PM on July 10, 2007


This is a very interesting question and will only get more interesting as cameras come out which upload directly to the Internet.

No memory card to flush. You can smash the camera, but the picture is already taken.

I wouldn't take pictures of people who ask me not to*, but rest assured that someone will.

* - I was on a bus to a protest (vs. the FTAA during the Summit in Quebec City a few years back). I was going there to film it and maybe end up using it for my film class or side project. Some people on the bus were having an interesting conversation about globalization and I started filming it. One girl ducked for cover and shot me a dirty look and I stopped filming and felt pretty bad about it. Then I felt annoyed for feeling guilty about it because she was on her way to protest publicly (and possibly end up on national TV). I didn't end up using the film for anything unfortunately.

Also, while I was there a police officer asked me to stop filming. Should I have listened to him as well?
posted by ODiV at 2:10 PM on July 10, 2007


No memory card to flush. You can smash the camera, but the picture is already taken.

I would think the solution would be obvious: smash the entire Internet.
posted by solid-one-love at 2:14 PM on July 10, 2007


solid-one-love writes "Asserting your rights when facing imminent violence is idiotic. "

Tell that to Gandhi, Martin Luther King, et al.

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. One of the hallmarks of adulthood is an ability to delay gratification. If you're willing and able to sustain an injury, knowing that you can resolove the matter in court by suing and/or imprisoning your attacker, one could argue that you're pretty damn intelligent.
posted by mullingitover at 2:16 PM on July 10, 2007


I think the other point you're making is that maybe the photographer is the tougher guy in the conflict.
The point I'm making which I think you're missing is that the card-snatching lens-snapping behaviour you're talking about is also assholish, and subject to everything you say about assholish behaviour -- so, if you're an asshole, you might get clocked. And if nobody witnesses it or if nobody cares, you will have no means of redress, civilly or criminally.

Asserting your rights when facing imminent violence is idiotic.
Mostly, yes! So by the time violence comes out, you're OK to use violence. So by being violent to a photographer, essentially you're saying "forget your rights, you now have the justification to have a pop at me, cos I've escalated this to violence"

I'll bet real money that if the photog's gonna wallop me one for snapping his memory card in half, the people at the party (and we are talking about a party) are going to witness his rampage and not my bit of vandalism.
Well, OK, but if you're both in the bathroom, he just closes the door and hoofs you in the balls.
posted by bonaldi at 2:20 PM on July 10, 2007


Mostly, yes!
And to qualify this, most of the photographers seen on TV meekly accepting their fate at the hands of celebs do so because they know they'll get their day in court (and all their rivals are filming, it usually.
posted by bonaldi at 2:22 PM on July 10, 2007


People in these threads can make all sorts of claims about rights, all of which are irrelevant -- in the real world, if you're an asshole, you might get clocked.

Yes, except that in the real world, the type of person who will vociferously object to being in-frame during New Year's Eve photos probably isn't likely to be physically aggressive or to be the "tougher" party in a conflict. I mean, really: Read the OP's question again. The type of person who commits assault doesn't say things like, "I just wish there were some kind of badge or symbol one could wear...or alternately, some verbal formula."

There was an AskMe thread once where a guy was getting cuckolded by his wife's pottery teacher, and somebody replied, "You need to punch him out, dude!" I laughed. The guy who finds himself in that situation and decides to ask Internet strangers for advice...he's not the guy who punches people out.
posted by cribcage at 2:24 PM on July 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Tell that to Gandhi, Martin Luther King, et al.

I would, but they both got fucking shot to death.

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

You keep asserting this, but this has not been bornet out to be true. Violence is a tool which, when used judiciously, has served as the greatest agent of change throughout human history.

I consider a photograph taken against my wishes to be a violent act, btw; it is an injurious and unwarranted act of aggression.
posted by solid-one-love at 2:26 PM on July 10, 2007


The point I'm making which I think you're missing

No, I caught it. I answered it in the immediately following sentence, actually.
posted by solid-one-love at 2:29 PM on July 10, 2007


I consider a photograph taken against my wishes to be a violent act, btw; it is an injurious and unwarranted act of aggression.
Good luck with that in the courts. It's not injurious until the resulting print is used in some fashion. Even in common sense, is "he took a picture of me!!!" going to swing it as justification for "butttt he started it"?
posted by bonaldi at 2:30 PM on July 10, 2007


I answered it in the immediately following sentence, actually.
Coo, it's "people just aint reading solid-one-love right" day on MeFi innit? Unlike our book-loving pal, I really can't see where you did that here, though.
posted by bonaldi at 2:32 PM on July 10, 2007


I consider a photograph taken against my wishes to be a violent act, btw;

as someone who's seen pics of you, I can say that it's an even more violent act on those of us forced to view them.
posted by jonmc at 2:35 PM on July 10, 2007


Good luck with that in the courts.

I didn't say or imply that it was any legal definition of violence.

Unlike our book-loving pal, I really can't see where you did that here, though.

No? I don't disagree that taking action against the photo is not assholish behaviour and subject to the same caveats: "if you're an asshole, you might get clocked. And if nobody witnesses it or if nobody cares, you will have no means of redress, civilly or criminally."

I counter that, however, by suggesting that there will not be witnesses to my action but will be to his. Vis: "I'll bet real money that if the photog's gonna wallop me one for snapping his memory card in half, the people at the party (and we are talking about a party) are going to witness his rampage and not my bit of vandalism."

So, sure, I might get clocked, but unlike him, I will have the opprtunity for redress. Like I said, I think I answered it.
posted by solid-one-love at 2:38 PM on July 10, 2007


I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry, jonmc. You're not just ugly, you're fugg-buggly. I have heard it told that any camera can only take your picture once before the lens shatters.

In short: dude, you implying that I'm ugly would be like you calling me a drunk.
posted by solid-one-love at 2:42 PM on July 10, 2007


You're not just ugly, you're fugg-buggly. I have heard it told that any camera can only take your picture once before the lens shatters.

Ha-Ha. Please, which one of us is happily married? I've actually had online friends of mine been asked if I was single, for crying out loud. and 'fugg-buggly?' That's the best you can do? Get out of 6th grade.
posted by jonmc at 2:47 PM on July 10, 2007


This handy diagram should go a long way towards helping us resolve these important issues.
posted by ODiV at 2:49 PM on July 10, 2007


Please, which one of us is happily married?

Neither of us, probably. I'm sure that your wife is a lovely person, because she would have to be, but I doubt that you get any satisfaction from the paper bag she asks you to wear.

I've actually had online friends of mine been asked if I was single, for crying out loud.

Is this where you go on about how some of your best friends are blind people or some other group?

Yeah, anyhow. You started this for some reason (drunkenness or stupidity, I assume -- it's impossible to tell with you most days), so suck it up and take it until I'm done with you, bitch.

Or maybe I should bring your wife into it. I'm sure I could make up some shit about her. You'd be cool with that, right? You've made it apparent that unprovoked personal attacks are warranted in the grey, after all.
posted by solid-one-love at 2:53 PM on July 10, 2007


*blows kisses*

Yeah, anyhow. You started this for some reason (drunkenness or stupidity, I assume -- it's impossible to tell with you most days), so suck it up and take it until I'm done with you, bitch.

Mainly because I find you junior ubermensch act boring and cliched.
posted by jonmc at 2:55 PM on July 10, 2007


and I've consulted with my wife and she says to tell you to kiss this.
posted by jonmc at 3:00 PM on July 10, 2007


Holy fuck, you two. Calm the hell down.
posted by ODiV at 3:02 PM on July 10, 2007


Hey, don't make me come back there, you two. You want me to turn this thread around?
posted by misha at 3:11 PM on July 10, 2007


on preview, what ODiV said.
posted by misha at 3:12 PM on July 10, 2007


Wait, are you guys kidding or not? I really can't tell. I think my irony meter blew out in this thread.
posted by dersins at 3:28 PM on July 10, 2007


Eh, I am irritated ny solid-one-love's shtick as I've been for a while, and the posterior in that picture is indeed mine, but beyond that, nah, I don't take this too seriously.
posted by jonmc at 3:29 PM on July 10, 2007


I counter that, however, by suggesting that there will not be witnesses to my action but will be to his. Vis: "I'll bet real money that if the photog's gonna wallop me one for snapping his memory card in half, the people at the party (and we are talking about a party) are going to witness his rampage and not my bit of vandalism."
Yep, you're right, you did answer it, sorry. But I still think your argument is flawed, because you seem to be always assuming that you're going to come off better. And since the law isn't really on your side (except possibly in France), that's not the case.

Your argument seems to be (and I might have this wrong, too) that photographers should stop taking pictures when asked, because there's a chance it could get violent, and then they lose.

But that's not the case. If you smash up their card or equipment, they can just take you to court, and win (as countless out-of-court settlements on Celeb vs Paparazzo scum attest).

Even if what you say about forgetting your rights when violence is imminent is true, you still don't win. Joe flushes the card. The photographer smashes Joe's windshield. Joe has a go at him. Joe loses, badly. Joe ends up in traction for six months. Oh no! His picture was taken! That doesn't change the fact he's shitting polarising filters.

(All of this is void if you're in the Magick territory of sociopathic harrassment, but then we're not really talking about photography, and the party has ground to a halt, with plenty of witnesses watching Mr Lensman.)
posted by bonaldi at 3:32 PM on July 10, 2007


Why does anyone think party snaps are on par with journalistic recording of a public protest?

zadcat wasn't saying, "When I participate in newsworthy events in a capacity in which I am in fact making news, I resent reporters taking notice of me." Hell, in that case she could just wear a mask, as many people do. No, she was explicitly talking about parties in which she is simply a low-key attendee.

This is not about rights. This is about whether you want to be an asshole or a respectful person. As the threads there and here demonstrate, many of you just want to be assholes. Which, incidentally, is discouraged on the Green.
posted by caitlinb at 3:34 PM on July 10, 2007


the posterior in that picture is indeed mine, but beyond that, nah, I don't take this too seriously.

And... scene.
posted by pineapple at 3:37 PM on July 10, 2007


caitlinb: As far as I know I'm the only person who brought up the public protest. Were you talking about me? I didn't say anything about it being on par with zadcat's parties.
posted by ODiV at 3:39 PM on July 10, 2007


jonmc and s-o-l's dispute can quickly be resolved if one participant simply asserts that he is composed of rubber, and the other of an adhesive, the consequence being that derogatory utterances by the other participant are deflected from their object and instead redirected permanently to the speaker.
posted by brain_drain at 3:44 PM on July 10, 2007 [4 favorites]


Wait, are you guys kidding or not?

Not I. In the blue, when an unwarranted personal attack is thrown my way, I tell them to cut that shit out or find someone else to play with. In the green, I bite my tongue and report it. In the grey, I throw down.

I like to think that I've learned how better to deal with assholes -- and, in particular, intellect-challenged assholes -- on the Net in my time on MeFi. I started out guns blazing, treating MeFi like Usenet. More recently, when someone writes something that I disagree with, even in the grey, I try to respond thoughtfully, at least at first (and the key word here is "try"; I don't always succeed, but I succeed more often than people, like jonmc, who make to attempt at all). I avoid personal attacks except in the grey, and only after someone else has taken the first shot at me. You don't have to agree with what I write. You don't even have to agree that I'm not a mouth-breathing, slack-jawed headcase. But without a modicum of respect, the system breaks down.

I don't respect jonmc as a person. I think he's crass, lowbrow, and not particularly bright. He has an inflated sense of self which is not supported by any kind of skill with words or ideas. But I'm not going to take an unwarranted and unsolicited shot at him when he writes something stupid, even in the grey, because that kind of behaviour fucks up the system, and I have learned to enjoy seeing the system work.
posted by solid-one-love at 3:44 PM on July 10, 2007


But I still think your argument is flawed, because you seem to be always assuming that you're going to come off better.

Enh. We can agree to disagree, as rational people can.
posted by solid-one-love at 3:47 PM on July 10, 2007


caitlinb, try to keep up. If zadcat doesn't let internet photographers take her picture, they're going to run her over with a smallish car and put her in the hospital where she will be forced to look at naked pictures of jonmc.

At least that's what I've gotten from this thread so far.
posted by taz at 3:48 PM on July 10, 2007


I don't respect jonmc as a person. I think he's crass, lowbrow, and not particularly bright

That's why people love me. that and my cute ass.
posted by jonmc at 3:49 PM on July 10, 2007


Wow. I go out for coffee, and MetaTalk goes all old-school on my ass! Well - not my ass...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:52 PM on July 10, 2007


In the grey, I throw down.

I think you mean "thow down!"
posted by The Deej at 3:54 PM on July 10, 2007


Yeah, Flo, can you please stick around! You haven't been around as much lately, and look. It was shit smeared on the walls a while back, now this. I blame you.
posted by The Deej at 3:56 PM on July 10, 2007


In the grey, I throw down.

*cowers in fear*
posted by jonmc at 3:57 PM on July 10, 2007


Sorry Deej. Health problems in the IRFH household have seriously fucked with my Internet time, and frankly, my attitude as well. Nice to be missed, though. Keep up the good fight.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:59 PM on July 10, 2007


Well, the best to you and yours, Flo. I would try my hand at poetry to fill the void, but it would be a pitiful and pale imitation.
posted by The Deej at 4:03 PM on July 10, 2007


Also, Flo, I keep a file with quotes, poems, etc, that I read when I need some inspiration or introspection. I copied something to it that might be familiar:

Negative Space

There is a prison in my head
Whose walls are bricked with books unread,
Whose bars are set in cold cliches,
Whose chains are forged from wasted days
And tender things unsaid.

posted by The Deej at 4:07 PM on July 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


Hey, whattaya know - my attitude just improved a bit! Thanks, man!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:22 PM on July 10, 2007


Welcome. Plus, a little lovefest to balance the flame war is never a bad thing.
posted by The Deej at 4:26 PM on July 10, 2007


jonmc is ten times the man you'll ever be, solid-one-love. You're a belligerent coward, the kind of person who will use the expression "throw down" without a trace of irony. I doubt you've made a single friend on MeFi. You know why? Because you're an asshole.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:43 PM on July 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


thanks, eb. (to everybody else, I'd like to apologize for my vociferous and ass-exposure-unless of course you enjoyed it, in which case consider it a by-product. s-o-l's continuing bullshit gets me furious like no other user here, and I don't think i'm alone.)
posted by jonmc at 4:46 PM on July 10, 2007


Well, jonmc, to be fair, you know you annoy me sometimes, too. As I'm sure I annoy you. It's not necessary for anyone here to be perfect and to have never annoyed anyone else. It's not necessary that anyone here has avoided ever being an asshole. I certainly haven't. You haven't, and you did start this name-calling with solid-one-love. But you've displayed a whole host of other personal qualities online on your time on MeFi that make it clear that you're a decent person. Solid-one-love has not. He's belligerent here almost all the time and he's just admitted that this is his online shtick, much stronger elsewhere. That says a lot, none of it good.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:06 PM on July 10, 2007


yeah, I started it, which I shouldn't have, but he makes my blood boil to the point where it's almost irrestiblenot to stick a pin in him (I say 'almost' since after a few run-ins with him, I should know better, he's not a decent person I disagree with, he's just a jerk), but that very quality of getting peoples backs up is what makes him a menace. Not that that excuses me for messing with him but you see what I'm getting at.
posted by jonmc at 5:12 PM on July 10, 2007


When a fatuous blowhard like EB thinks that I'm doing something wrong, that's a clear sign that what I'm doing is exactly right.
posted by solid-one-love at 5:27 PM on July 10, 2007


I'm gonna be contrarian here (I know, what are the odds, right?): solid-one-love often annoys me, but in this dispute with bonaldi, I consider him a knight in shining armor. See how much good you've done for your side, bonaldi? I, a nonviolent disciple of Tolstoy, am rooting for the breaking of cameras and the throwing of down.
posted by languagehat at 5:35 PM on July 10, 2007


The only good thing that's come out of this was the booty pic. Now there's a tool the mods can actually use.

"Why was my question deleted?"
*picture of jonmc's ass*

"Pony request!"
*picture of jonmc's ass*

"Jessamyn is hawt and I want to be hawt with her lololol!!1!"
*picture of jonmc's ass*

"This thread is useless without the img tag."
*picture of jonmc's ass*

"This is why we can't have nice things!"
*picture of jonmc's ass*

"Man, I could sure use a dose of jonmc's ass."
*picture of an elephant pissing*
posted by supercrayon at 5:36 PM on July 10, 2007


Why throw down? That's not going to hurt anyone. At least throw a rock.
posted by mullingitover at 5:44 PM on July 10, 2007


Good drama, everyone. Nicely done.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 5:44 PM on July 10, 2007


*picture of jonmc's ass*

Wait. That was his ass?
posted by The Deej at 5:49 PM on July 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


solid-one-love often annoys me, but in this dispute with bonaldi, I consider him a knight in shining armor. See how much good you've done for your side, bonaldi? I, a nonviolent disciple of Tolstoy, am rooting for the breaking of cameras and the throwing of down.

Yep, it's difficult to "win" when you're all over the place and posting 100 times. But, meh, if you think s-o-l made the better argument, go for it.
posted by bonaldi at 5:49 PM on July 10, 2007


Ho wow that thread just restarted. Coo.
posted by bonaldi at 5:52 PM on July 10, 2007


It's wicked hard to throw down.
posted by rtha at 6:07 PM on July 10, 2007


PEOPLE!!! PEOPLE!!!! I tried to start a love-fest, and that didn't help! I am only going to say this one more time:

It's THOW down!

Everyone laughs at you if you say otherwise.
posted by The Deej at 6:09 PM on July 10, 2007


Oh, and wait, since I never get involved in a flame war, I want to take this chance. *clears throat*

OK... here goes:

FUCK...

(more after the jump)
posted by The Deej at 6:12 PM on July 10, 2007


YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by The Deej at 6:13 PM on July 10, 2007


It's "chow down," actually.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 6:20 PM on July 10, 2007


Well, since we're on metatalk now and all..

So, some people think they should be able to take any photo of someone in public, and some people think photogs should be polite when people say "no".

What if someone says "Don't photograph my child?"
Do you go ahead and take the photo?

A stranger wants to photograph your child. How do you feel about this?

What if a big, mean looking dude tells you not to take his pic, when you usually ignore these protests?

You see someone having a seizure in public. How fun to put that on your blog! Is this OK?
posted by yohko at 6:37 PM on July 10, 2007


Ho wow that thread just restarted. Coo.

Yeah, it's the Lazarus thread. People are going back in and reposting shit that has already been deleted. Clearly it's a slow day in the intellectual universe.
posted by pineapple at 6:39 PM on July 10, 2007


What if someone says "Don't photograph my child?"
Do you go ahead and take the photo?


NO!!!!! I wouldn't. But YES, it's legal.

A stranger wants to photograph your child. How do you feel about this?

Depends on the situation. I have taken pictures of strangers' children with permission. I give them my business card, I tell them I am not selling them anything, and I'm not weird, and if they e-mail me I will send them a print. Most people are fine with it. I have yet to have anyone ask for a print.

What if a big, mean looking dude tells you not to take his pic, when you usually ignore these protests?

I ALWAYS abide by requests to not take photos, mean person or not. But it is still LEGAL to do so.

You see someone having a seizure in public. How fun to put that on your blog! Is this OK?

I would NEVER do such a thing. It would be wrong to do so. And yet, it is still LEGAL to take the picture. As far as posting on the blog, that's probably legal too.

(Well, maybe not NEVER. If I thought there was a legal issue involved, I might take the photo for the benefit of the seizure sufferer. But how would I know?)

In other words: it is LEGAL to be a dick. I am not a dick. I would hope no one else wants to be, either, but that's just not how things are.

Further, it is LEGAL to photograph someone ON their own property, if you take the photo FROM public property.

Also, I can take a photo of someone in public, and publish it in a magazine with an article or with a caption, without a model release or compensating the subject. This is called editorial use. It becomes a legal issue if I give a false caption that says something derogatory about the subject. I can also display photos of people in galleries. If, however, I sell the image, or the rights to the image, outside of editorial use, I should have a model release. (Not "must have" because it only become an issue if the subject protests.) However, if someone in a photo taken in public is not recognizable (face turned away, face in darkness, etc.), I can sell the photo or the rights to whomever I want with no model release.

Free bonus: a link.
posted by The Deej at 7:05 PM on July 10, 2007


Well, it ought to be illegal to be a dick.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 7:08 PM on July 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Late breaking story: New Law Puts 75% of Population Behind Bars.
posted by The Deej at 7:15 PM on July 10, 2007


It is interesting that so many people argue for a social (not legal) right to photograph others who protest being photographed. That it is legal does not mean it isn't rude. Why do so many people seem to feel that they are not breaking any social rules by doing this, that it is rude for others to ask them not to?
posted by yohko at 7:22 PM on July 10, 2007


rooting for the breaking of cameras and the throwing of down.
posted by languagehat


Oh, please, before you break the camera, can you make sure someone takes a picture of you throwing down. It's so pretty and fluffy. I think it would go a long way to softening your image. You'd be like a linguistic Rip Taylor.
posted by The Deej at 7:31 PM on July 10, 2007


When a fatuous blowhard like EB thinks that I'm doing something wrong, that's a clear sign that what I'm doing is exactly right.

Another fine example of the quality of your reasoning.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:47 PM on July 10, 2007


The Deej said: PEOPLE!!! PEOPLE!!!! I tried to start a love-fest, and that didn't help!

FWIW, The Deej, your lovefest interlude with IRFH made reading this whole thread worthwhile.

Although, I'll admit, the multi-member flamefest is very entertaining.
posted by amyms at 8:34 PM on July 10, 2007


Thanks Amy. And to everyone: if it wasn't obvious, the snippet of verse I pasted was written by the immensely talented It's Raining Florence Henderson himself. I was just tossing it back at him after many moons.
posted by The Deej at 8:41 PM on July 10, 2007


Yeah but who has the bigger car? And what if one has a wild bear and the other has a trained attack monkey? Huh? Who wins then?

I think I speak for all of us when I say that when any one of us has a wild bear and/or a trained attack monkey, we ALL win.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:08 PM on July 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Another fine example of the quality of your reasoning.

It's called an ad hominem attack, pinhead. Anyone with half a brain has learned long ago not to bother reasoning with you. Because you are functionally retarded, your opinions have no merit. That's an insult, not a debate. Get the fuck over yourself.

I mean, the irony of you calling me a beillgerent coward is astonishing. See, both you and jonmc came out of nowhere to chuck shit at me, whereas until that point, I hadn't said a rude word to anyone in this thread. Which is belligerent? As for cowardly, it is worth noting that you refuse to get into it with me unless you see that you've got an ally, whereas I -- if you are to be believed -- walk alone in these parts.

Christ a'mighty, it's obvious that you either don't grok elementary school words like "belligerent" or "coward", or that you're a preening hypocrite (my money is on both).

Maybe it's true that you don't understand a single word you type, like a piece of malfunctioning software picking at random from a vast, monosyllabic dictionary. It might explain how you're able to post, time and again, insanely long screeds that have no inherent meaning.

It's all so clear.

Chuckles, I am many things. An arrogant prick is one of them, and I freely admit it. A belligerent coward? Not on your life, you bloviating fuckwit.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:35 PM on July 10, 2007


You sure put a lot of effort into trying to insult me. If you weren't such a forgettable example of a belligerent coward, I'd be flattered.

I don't refuse to "get into it with you"—I ignore you. When you start saying shit about jonmc, who's a better person than you can imagine yourself ever being, I take notice. Get it? You're an asshole, which is annoying, but otherwise you're not worth even 30 seconds of my attention. So the next time you might me tempted to think that I'm afraid to "get into it with you", try to remember that it's actually because you're not worth the effort.

Sometime in the next year or so, you'll find someplace else where you can stir the shit up. Shortly after that, no one here will remember you.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:52 PM on July 10, 2007


Wow, it's like a thread that will never die. I guess a picture really is worth a thousand words - or several thousand - or whatever...

*head explodes*
posted by rmm at 10:53 PM on July 10, 2007


Maybe I should. When I divorce my wife and my teenage children say "nothing's wrong, we're fine", what do you suggest I do?

Oh, you were thinking of teenagers. I thought you were talking about people.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:00 PM on July 10, 2007


All I heard was "sniff, sniff, wahhh" from some oblivious corner of the Southwest where meaningful thought is as rare as rain. I'll have forgotten this whole exchange by the time I wake up in the morning, but EB will stew over it for weeks or months, waiting for the next opportunity to impotently jump to some freakshow's defense.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:37 PM on July 10, 2007


You boys and your silly feuds... You never see us girls behaving this way toward each other... We may yell, and even pull each other's hair, but then we go play with our Barbies and we're BFFs again.
posted by amyms at 11:46 PM on July 10, 2007


Metafilter: It's called an ad hominem attack, pinhead.
posted by ottereroticist at 11:47 PM on July 10, 2007


I love all of you, unconditionally.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:55 AM on July 11, 2007


I condition you all, unlovingly.
posted by The Deej at 5:48 AM on July 11, 2007


Well, that pissing match you guys having going is really awesome and all, but I think maybe it's time to close this mother.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:41 AM on July 11, 2007


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