MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation  (Read 36603 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

ShadySue

« Reply #100 on: February 06, 2011, 18:10 »
0

Absolutely no clue why they would do that. At one point I believe the functionality was tied together, so banned from one, banned from both. But recently ShadySue was banned from the forums, but still had access to sitemail.

It is a little annoying, because there are people I would like to communicate with about business matters, but now I can't. And I have a few sitemails that I am unable to access. So, I hope whoever sent them doesn't think I'm a jerk for never responding back.
Hey, shhhhh, maybe they forgot, and will 'remember'  ;D
The people who matter know I'm on here too, so could SM me here. Some even know my real email, which I think I took off my iStock profile as my website isn't 'professional'.


dbvirago

« Reply #101 on: February 06, 2011, 19:58 »
0
This freedom of speech argument pops up everytime someone gets censored or banned in a forum. To the points below, a private business doesn't have to do anything except followt the law under the jursidiciton they operate in. Many businesses didn't refuse to serve blacks because it wasn't right. The rest of them did it because a law was passed preventing them from doing so.

Not only does no one have the right to say anything that suits them without consequences, there is no law that says you have 'freedom of speech' or 'free speech' or any of the other terms that are bandied about when this topic pops up. If Leaf didn't like what I said in the post, he could ban me for life and there isn't a thing I or a team of lawyers could do about it. I don't have any rights here. The OP doesn't have any rights at Istock not spelled out in the TOS (which most of us never read before agreeing to them.)

If it makes anyone feel any better though, I think Istock sucks.

Have to disagree with you, Race. When a private business is offering services to the public, it has to observe the rules of fairness and principles of human rights.

Decades ago, a private club or restaurant might refuse the entry of a colored person, can anyone do it today in North America? Free speech didn't come without fights.

The reality is, no one has taken it upon himself/herself to challenge any of the agencies in court, yet. Why? First of all, we are not rich enough; secondly, we haven't been hurt enough; thirdly, we are not brave enough.... The list can go on and on.... Think about it.

[
They own the website and the forum, they can allow or disallow anything they want. There is no human right or freedom of speech issue here. It's Their Site!

The End

Hi Race, How's it going? It;s not that simplistic. Bad feelings just  don't go away. It's true it's all there's to do as they wish but a whole lot of bad Karma has been made, which I'm sure no one as greedy as they are believe in.

You may be correct, about feelings, Karma or greed, but that wasn't the point or the subject. The question was freedom of speech and human rights. A private forum on a private website, they can do whatever they want, and so could you if you owned a forum.

« Reply #102 on: February 06, 2011, 20:56 »
0
I think an issue a lot of us aren't voicing is that the people getting banned are CONTRIBUTORS to their site. Artists and photographers who made the company what it is today. I have been with iStock for several years and made them and myself a lot of money. I understand it is their site, but we arent just a bunch of ranting quacks, we have a vested interest in what happens and have concerns when money is stolen from us. When we get vague answers that dont add up we have every right to be angry and voice our concerns and opinions.

« Reply #103 on: February 06, 2011, 21:21 »
0
I have been with iStock for several years and made them and myself a lot of money. I understand it is their site, but we arent just a bunch of ranting quacks, we have a vested interest in what happens ...

Yeah, when you put it that way, it does sound a little ridiculous.  I for one have made enough for them over the last few years to probably pay someone's salary - perhaps even Lobo's salary.  In those terms, it seems I should be able to say more in a less restrictive manner.  Oh, well. I suppose they will continue to delete posts and just blow off the folks that are paying their salaries. Hope it doesn't eventually come back to bit them in the ....

« Reply #104 on: February 07, 2011, 01:13 »
0
If they have seemingly adopted a no tolerance policy in their forum, they should just do away with the forum altogether. They could at least have a 3 strikes and your out policy. istock once the apple of a contributor's eye, has become a laughing stock. Their site doesn't function properly, they give nothing but pocket change to their suppliers and these suppliers are thrown in the trash if they dare to voice their opinion in the forum.

Yes it's their company and they can do what they like and we are flotsam and go where the tide takes us. But we can get out, we really are worth more than what istock value us at. If istock fall from grace and it is a big if, it would be a lesson to any other agency to regulate itself in this seemingly unregulated market. Istock remember your suppliers, they made you. If you didn't exist they would still be able to flourish elsewhere, they don't need you, but you can not flourish without them. Just had to get that off my chest.  ;)

« Reply #105 on: February 07, 2011, 03:38 »
0
But it's still a significant source of income for some of us, one that isn't so easy to walk away from.

Here's my question...  Will you lose significant income if you stop new contributions?  Will your existing portfolio continue to earn a good enough monthly average that you no longer need to add new images?

If so, why not protest by stopping all new contribution.  If you're no exclusive, pick another site and make that you're new favorite and put your newer stuff there.  In that way, you can (hopefully) increase your revenue elsewhere without completely giving up income from iStock and slowly ween yourself away to the point where you can walk away from them.

I know a number of non-exclusives that are doing just that.

helix7

« Reply #106 on: February 07, 2011, 08:45 »
0
I think an issue a lot of us aren't voicing is that the people getting banned are CONTRIBUTORS to their site. Artists and photographers who made the company what it is today. I have been with iStock for several years and made them and myself a lot of money. I understand it is their site, but we arent just a bunch of ranting quacks, we have a vested interest in what happens and have concerns when money is stolen from us. When we get vague answers that dont add up we have every right to be angry and voice our concerns and opinions.

Right, but istock has no obligation to provide a public forum in which to voice those concerns and opinions.

You're entitled to your opinion, and to express that opinion. istock doesn't have to make it any easier for you to do so.

helix7

« Reply #107 on: February 07, 2011, 08:51 »
0

Here's my question...  Will you lose significant income if you stop new contributions?  Will your existing portfolio continue to earn a good enough monthly average that you no longer need to add new images?

If so, why not protest by stopping all new contribution.  If you're no exclusive, pick another site and make that you're new favorite and put your newer stuff there.  In that way, you can (hopefully) increase your revenue elsewhere without completely giving up income from iStock and slowly ween yourself away to the point where you can walk away from them.

I know a number of non-exclusives that are doing just that.

I am doing that, but not just with istock and not for any reason that has anything to do with the actions of any particular microstock company. I intend to walk away from microstock completely at some point. I just don't see much of a long-term future in the business for me anymore, and I think things are only going to get worse in the coming years. So I'm moving on to other things.

But if that wasn't the case, I could probably see myself uploading less at istock and I've always favored other sites anyway. I've had some images that I never even bothered to upload to istock because the time it takes to do so just isn't worth it on images I know they won't take (even if they're great sellers elsewhere). I can certainly understand that for a lot of people, it's just not going to be worth it to upload to istock anymore, either for financial reasons or personal reasons.

« Reply #108 on: February 07, 2011, 09:40 »
0


Right, but istock has no obligation to provide a public forum in which to voice those concerns and opinions.

You're entitled to your opinion, and to express that opinion. istock doesn't have to make it any easier for you to do so.

You're absolutely right. Then why have the Forums at all??? Why give the illusion that you care about what your suppliers want and/or don't want?

« Reply #109 on: February 07, 2011, 10:21 »
0


Right, but istock has no obligation to provide a public forum in which to voice those concerns and opinions.

You're entitled to your opinion, and to express that opinion. istock doesn't have to make it any easier for you to do so.

You're absolutely right. Then why have the Forums at all??? Why give the illusion that you care about what your suppliers want and/or don't want?

Because there are still a lot of people (contribs) who believe in iStock and enjoy going in there for the community aspect there with the minilypses and personal competitions set up in the off-topic forums. yes, the community part is nothing like it once was, but there is still some of it left in parts.  oh, and not to forget the faithful who love to woo-yaying in the forums every time iStock announces a fix to something they never should have broken in the first place.

« Reply #110 on: February 07, 2011, 11:40 »
0
Hey peeps, been away for the weekend and I'm glad to see many more people joining in.

I feel i have to clarify a few things:
Firstly, i was not banned by iStock, i was banned by Lobo who seems to own the right to do whatever he wants without having to check back with a superior.
Secondly he (most likely) banned me because i mentioned he was deleting posts in the thread, something he hates because he probably feels exposed (a feeling shared by many people who are doing dubious things..). And because i dared to respond (politely) to his (intimidating) sitemail saying "In future posts i will choose my words more carefully. While i do that you might want to check into http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech..." basically asking for a ban but at the same time letting him know he has his priorities all wrong and i wont stand for it.

So the point of iStockphoto being a business with their own site and forum in which they rule and decide what can or cannot be said is clear and fully legal. I couldn't agree more and i have no issues or problems with iStock other than the ones they admitted to and have promised to fix in the near future.
My protest is focused solely on the personal attacks, below the belt actions and bullying of fellow contributors and myself by Lobo which is harming our workflow and is keeping us from the support we should be enjoying through the forums and sitemail.

Why the sitemail ban ?I think that in the light of things this is quite obvious.
When you try to shut a person down you need to make sure he/she cannot contact anyone who might not agree with this kind of intimidation. Be it iStock staff, important contributors and personal iStock friends whom might try to stop this from going on.
So that's why he locks your mailbox as well eventhough you could be contacted by a friend or client who needs something urgently.

In my view of things, Lobo is a moderator who, over the years, acquired some form of right to act on his own, to punish and spank whoever he feels like in the light of keeping the peace on the forums. A hard task that seems endless and without reward (new contributors who have to be whipped every day..) which can turn any forum-hero into an evil professor trying to wipe out those pesky little know-it-all forum-addicts.  A bit like Batman getting tired of saving Gotham over and over again...
Heck i can imagine what it's like and i would not be able to cope with it as well as he does, I'd be Darth Vader in a second...
But.. that's why I'm not an istock moderator and that's also why i want to blow this wide open.

I am still banned form the forums and sitemail and i do realize my protest won't be favorable for him to lift any bans, on the contrary.
He is probably following this (hi Lobo) and not quite happy the way this is going.
So i do apologize if this might grow into real consequences for him as a moderator but i think it is for the best.
iStock is growing into a big corporation with thousands of people depending on it and investing in it.
A business of this stature should not have problems like this, ever.
I fear if Lobo persists like this, things might become quite unsustainable for him.

Again many thanks for the reading (sorry about the longwindedness :) ) and please share your views and experiences.
Cheers, Kurt

« Reply #111 on: February 07, 2011, 12:14 »
0
Hey Kurt,
Sorry but I'm going to have to disagree with you. I work for a pretty large company and I know that if I not only started bullying fellow employees or some of our vendors but did it in a public forum as well I wouldn't last very long here. As far as I'm concerned, if iStock allows Lobo to continue treating people in this fashion, they are justifying his actions and should be seen in the same light as him.

« Reply #112 on: February 07, 2011, 12:44 »
0
I hear you mate.
But my initial quarel lies with Lobo and the fact he banned me because he felt like it.
It remains to be seen what their official response will bring to my complaint.
That response might reveal their true intentions towards their contributors and either acknowledge there is a problem or ignore us and hope we go away.

I have never backed down in situations like this (ask our government when they tried to illegally reform our architectural degree and keep us quiet by just handing us a lower degree a year sooner no questions asked..) and i sure as hell will not back down now.
Never surrender, never give up, to infinity and beyond !
 

« Reply #113 on: February 07, 2011, 12:59 »
0
Oh don't get me wrong, I'm pissed with Lobo as well and am sure there are a ton of great people over at iStock. Like you I was bumped by Lobo(tomy) just because he felt like it and am waiting to see what iStock's official response is as well. For all we know they may not even be aware of what's going on. Although I did email everyone over there that I knew and still havent heard from any of them. I guess it comes down to our word against his at this point. lad to have you on my side. Anyone who can quote Buzz Lightyear is OK in my book!

« Reply #114 on: February 07, 2011, 14:28 »
0
wait..so you guys have emailed someone(s) at iStock HQ and asked for an official reply as to why you were banned? 

and you expect an "official" response outside of the "official" banning you got and notice from your "friend" Lobo?

Now that would certainly be interesting to see if you get a reply and what it is.   :)

ShadySue

« Reply #115 on: February 07, 2011, 15:06 »
0
wait..so you guys have emailed someone(s) at iStock HQ and asked for an official reply as to why you were banned? 

and you expect an "official" response outside of the "official" banning you got and notice from your "friend" Lobo?

Now that would certainly be interesting to see if you get a reply and what it is.   :)
On my banning email, it said I could contact Support about the banning if I wanted.

jbarber873

« Reply #116 on: February 07, 2011, 15:15 »
0
wait..so you guys have emailed someone(s) at iStock HQ and asked for an official reply as to why you were banned? 

and you expect an "official" response outside of the "official" banning you got and notice from your "friend" Lobo?

Now that would certainly be interesting to see if you get a reply and what it is.   :)
On my banning email, it said I could contact Support about the banning if I wanted.

I contacted support after several months of being banned and no sitemail. They gave me sitemail back. Woo-Yay. They didn't say anything about the forums. They know very well what he is doing- he's doing it for them. He doesn't have any more power to do anything than anyone else there. They are all under the whip. ( And they like it!)

« Reply #117 on: February 07, 2011, 15:23 »
0
You guys have been banned from the forums for a couple of months??? What .? It's so funny, I've been away for months and the one time I come back to voice my opinion I get banned. I emailed support and replied to the email Lobo sent me and still haven't heard back (surprise, surprise). Since my ability to sitemail has been cutoff is it possible to still receive sitemail? I've gotten a lot of emails from potential clients that way

ShadySue

« Reply #118 on: February 07, 2011, 16:35 »
0
You guys have been banned from the forums for a couple of months??? What .? It's so funny, I've been away for months and the one time I come back to voice my opinion I get banned. I emailed support and replied to the email Lobo sent me and still haven't heard back (surprise, surprise). Since my ability to sitemail has been cutoff is it possible to still receive sitemail? I've gotten a lot of emails from potential clients that way
Why not put your personal website address on your iStock profile and make sure your personal email address is on the home page?
Or you can put your business phone and fax numbers on your iStock profile.

« Reply #119 on: February 07, 2011, 16:58 »
0

I fear if Lobo persists like this, things might become quite unsustainable for him.


I dream of that day. :D

« Reply #120 on: February 07, 2011, 17:07 »
0

Why not put your personal website address on your iStock profile and make sure your personal email address is on the home page?
Or you can put your business phone and fax numbers on your iStock profile.
[/quote]

Oh, I do. Just seems like iStock's sitemal is some people's preferred way of contacting me for some weird reason

« Reply #121 on: February 07, 2011, 17:08 »
0

I fear if Lobo persists like this, things might become quite unsustainable for him.


I dream of that day. :D

LOL, wow you guys must have some sordid history!

helix7

« Reply #122 on: February 07, 2011, 17:29 »
0

Right, but istock has no obligation to provide a public forum in which to voice those concerns and opinions.

You're entitled to your opinion, and to express that opinion. istock doesn't have to make it any easier for you to do so.

You're absolutely right. Then why have the Forums at all??? Why give the illusion that you care about what your suppliers want and/or don't want?

I've asked that very question many times. Sometimes the forums seems to do more harm than good for them. And it's pretty obvious lately that they have little regard for the concerns of the contributors. So why bother?

« Reply #123 on: February 07, 2011, 19:10 »
0
I've asked that very question many times. Sometimes the forums seems to do more harm than good for them. And it's pretty obvious lately that they have little regard for the concerns of the contributors. So why bother?

I may seem an idealist to you or an anoying person at the very least but i firmly believe if more people put in the effort of not letting others walk over them we wouldn't be having this problem altogether.
It's called fighting a good cause or standing up for yourself or not being lazy nor scared.
I may fail miserably and suffer the consequences but i will have cracked the wall (and my head :) ) making it easier for the next guy to open it up.
I can't stand things like this, never have and never will.

helix7

« Reply #124 on: February 07, 2011, 20:03 »
0
I may seem an idealist to you or an anoying person at the very least but i firmly believe if more people put in the effort of not letting others walk over them we wouldn't be having this problem altogether.
It's called fighting a good cause or standing up for yourself or not being lazy nor scared.
I may fail miserably and suffer the consequences but i will have cracked the wall (and my head :) ) making it easier for the next guy to open it up.
I can't stand things like this, never have and never will.

We'd still have all of these problems. And I appreciate your enthusiasm in fighting the good fight and standing up for something, but unfortunately the fight is too big to win. It's not just istock doing things like this. These companies figured out a few years ago that that don't need to give us anything more than they already do, and in fact they can pretty easily take things away from us and there's nothing we can do to stop them. Even if a few people take a shot at that wall and try to make an impact, it's too easy to just kick the trouble-makers to the curb and replace them with the thousands of other willing and able contributors who will gladly take up the slack. This is why SS stopped giving contributors pay increases, it's why FT just cut rates again, and it's certainly why istock walks all over us and does whatever they please. ThinkStock exists despite the significant boycott by contributors because there are enough people willing to submit images at that low pay rate.

So we can bang our heads against that wall, but ultimately no one at HQ cares. They know all too well that we're powerless and we're replaceable. I know it sounds like a horribly defeatist stance on the issue, but after a few years in this business and watching these companies get away with anything and everything, I've just come to the conclusion that they hold all the cards in this game and we just like to sometimes think that we stand a chance at winning.

The fact that microstock has grown to be so huge is one of the things that kills any chance of affecting change in this business. Even if you rallied every member of this forum to take a stand or take action on an issue, we're still only taking about a small percentage of contributors. The vast majority don't bother with forums, they just go on their merry way and don't get involved in the discussions and opinions.

If everyone in this forum quit istock today, tomorrow they'd still be doing business as usual and most buyers wouldn't notice much of a difference.


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
Free speech

Started by Aquilegia Off Topic

8 Replies
3324 Views
Last post August 28, 2006, 02:21
by kacper
55 Replies
13366 Views
Last post July 31, 2009, 06:44
by borg
11 Replies
7589 Views
Last post August 28, 2011, 19:23
by RacePhoto
33 Replies
5842 Views
Last post March 06, 2013, 09:34
by luissantos84
19 Replies
8816 Views
Last post February 16, 2016, 05:40
by Lana

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results