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Author Topic: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation  (Read 36594 times)

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helix7

« Reply #50 on: February 04, 2011, 09:15 »
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I think that is what I was saying.  They have the right to protect their investment.  If they act in some way that a contributor thinks it is no longer in her/his best interest to stay with IS then the contributor has the right to leave.  Its a basic business agreement.  If you don't like the deal you are free to not sign up or leave within the constraints of the original agreement...


I know the inclination to say something like this is greater when we're talking about something like microstock, especially when one microstock company is not the sole source of income for most people around here. But it's still a significant source of income for some of us, one that isn't so easy to walk away from. My current relationship with istock definitely makes my stomach churn. My percentage is down from what it used to be, and the overall way in which this company prioritizes themselves and their internal staff over the contributors that supply their product is sickening. That said, istock still represents about 5-7% of my total personal income (microstock + freelance work). I've got a 4-month-old sitting in a bouncer next to me as I type this, and that 5% from istock will pay for his formula, diapers, pretty much everything he needs on a monthly basis.

Maybe if I was 21 again, didn't have a kid and a mortgage to worry about, necessary home repairs coming up that will cost me a few thousand dollars, and a crazy heating bill sitting on my desk from this brutal winter we're having here, I might be more inclined to take the financial hit and walk away. But right now, at 31 years old and even considering how ugly things have gotten at istock, I'm not in a position to make a statement of protest by ending my relationship with them.

It costs me nothing to leave my work there and keep collecting that 5%, even under this less favorable deal. If I pull the plug, though, I have to go find that lost income somewhere else.

It's easy to say "if you don't like the deal you are free to not sign up or leave within the constraints of the original agreement..." when your personal situation might allow you to make such a move yourself. Not everyone is in a financially stable enough position to walk away from any income, and for a lot of people it's never quite as simple as you make it sound.  


« Reply #51 on: February 04, 2011, 10:22 »
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I'm not in a position to make a statement of protest by ending my relationship with them.


I think most people  either can't afford to protest like you or are willing to put up with it or are happy with the way things are. It's all the same when you look at the outcome.

« Reply #52 on: February 04, 2011, 10:35 »
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[
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.

« Reply #53 on: February 04, 2011, 11:01 »
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Well, Marisa, I always knew you'd come to a bad end :)

I do sort of get the request to be banned. I've been trying to stay out of the train wreck/car crash that is iStock these days, but like many an addict, I can't help myself. Seems to me that all respect for contributor concerns has gone out the window. If they were being ruthlessly efficient and the site was humming like clockwork, I'd be a bit sad, but would probably adjust to the new reality. But this keystone cops farce is just embarrassing.

Now when Leaf starts sending you PMs warning you about your posts here...

:)

LOL on the bad end  :D

And no PMs from Leaf ... yet  ;)

Though really, I don't see participating in this forum much more than I have already. I'm glad to have it as an option, but it's not the same as iStock's own forum. And you've seen me here at my ugliest, so if that didn't warrant a PM, I doubt I have anything to worry about.

« Reply #54 on: February 04, 2011, 11:06 »
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That's essentially why I declined the offer to become unbanned.

I hear ya, Sue.

And no worries, Tundra. I understand.

« Reply #55 on: February 04, 2011, 11:08 »
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I think that is what I was saying.  They have the right to protect their investment.  If they act in some way that a contributor thinks it is no longer in her/his best interest to stay with IS then the contributor has the right to leave.  Its a basic business agreement.  If you don't like the deal you are free to not sign up or leave within the constraints of the original agreement...


...I know the inclination to say something like this is greater when we're talking about something like microstock, especially when one microstock company is not the sole source of income for most people around here. But it's still a significant source of income for some of us, one that isn't so easy to walk away from....

Easy to walk away or hard to walk away is not the point.  I am sorry to sound harsh but if you sign up with a site you need to read the TOS and be sure you are ready to assume the risks.  At least with microstock the risks are pretty out in the open and not difficult to enumerate, will the site fold and not be able to pay me what they owe me, will the site cut my commissions and/or change the rules for advancement etc.  You accepted those risks when you went into this business and decided that the rewards were worth the risk.  

Right now the industry is pretty much market driven with no site having much in the way of monopoly power.  By going exclusive you decided that you would help IS increase their power in the market in order to increase your returns.  If you didn't see the risk of putting yourself at the mercy of a single outlet then that is unfortunate.  However, your additional income comes from depriving independents of market share so I hardly see how you could expect us to commiserate.

fred  

helix7

« Reply #56 on: February 04, 2011, 11:13 »
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What makes you think I'm exclusive?

« Reply #57 on: February 04, 2011, 14:51 »
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What makes you think I'm exclusive?

Sorry, I thought you had said you were exclusive in the post I was answering. 

« Reply #58 on: February 04, 2011, 22:48 »
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People with legitimate complaints, who are voicing them in a totally reasonable way, are getting banned.

RacePhoto

« Reply #59 on: February 04, 2011, 23:08 »
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[
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 #60 on: February 05, 2011, 00:50 »
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Yep, I was banned as well, I'm surprised the thread in question wasn't locked days ago. As much as it bothered me to be banned, there were no real answers coming from anyone in authority anyway. Like a lot of you I lost interest in iStock a while back and just let them do their things and collected the diminishing money every month. I just now started getting more involved and was disgusted by the way things were handled with their recent debacle. I'm spending my time in exile researching my other options and the consequences of dropping my crown and signing up with some of the other micro stock sites...

« Reply #61 on: February 05, 2011, 01:08 »
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I don't know why they have to be so cagey and mysterious about whether or not there are going to be more deductions. Either there are, or there aren't. Though this further lack of transparency is typical of their MO these days. I can't believe contributors don't get to know anything about any of their transactions with that company. It just smacks of them trying to hide something. I wouldn't be surprised if they were stealing money from the contributors in more ways than one. Well, they already are. In several ways that people already know about. But something like the drastically discounted credits...maybe those downloads are actually at full credit prices, and that's why they don't want anyone to know the actual details. Wouldn't surprise me a bit.

And anyone that gets even remotely close to the truth gets banned.

« Reply #62 on: February 05, 2011, 01:12 »
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Yep, I was banned as well, I'm surprised the thread in question wasn't locked days ago. As much as it bothered me to be banned, there were no real answers coming from anyone in authority anyway. Like a lot of you I lost interest in iStock a while back and just let them do their things and collected the diminishing money every month. I just now started getting more involved and was disgusted by the way things were handled with their recent debacle. I'm spending my time in exile researching my other options and the consequences of dropping my crown and signing up with some of the other micro stock sites...

That surprises me. You were hardly saying the most inflammatory things. I will never understand the logic behind the bans. Smacks of immaturity.

« Reply #63 on: February 05, 2011, 01:14 »
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Like I said I havent been involved with the site in a while but coming back to it and seeing whats been going on just seems like a bunch of bullies running the school yard now and just totally turned me off.

lagereek

« Reply #64 on: February 05, 2011, 02:16 »
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Any half brain can just pack up and jack it in, doesnt take too much intelligence, but to hang on and persevere, riding out the storm, thats how battles are won.

Its far too easy just telling people to leave if they dont like it.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 02:30 by lagereek »

« Reply #65 on: February 05, 2011, 02:30 »
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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 #66 on: February 05, 2011, 05:07 »
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someone created 72 threads in an hour the other day, offering us all some great deals (well I assume they were great deals :)) on viagara etc. All posts were deleted by Pixart, did you ban him leaf? no freedom of speech for him LOL

« Reply #67 on: February 05, 2011, 09:17 »
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I don't know why they have to be so cagey and mysterious about whether or not there are going to be more deductions. Either there are, or there aren't. Though this further lack of transparency is typical of their MO these days. I can't believe contributors don't get to know anything about any of their transactions with that company. It just smacks of them trying to hide something.

And anyone that gets even remotely close to the truth gets banned.

My guess is that the allusions to possibly needed to take more deductions indicate that they expect a round of deductions for January fraud, but given the current firestorm they don't want to come right out and say so.  It would just ignite the masses again.  Instead, they've hinted at it, and will let things die down, then send out the notices in advance next time.  Given the ineptness going on over there they may still be trying to figure out January's mess still as well, so they may not yet know the extent of it.  They are not yet ready to face an influx of calls from contributors trying to confirm whether or not some of their suspicious DL's in January were legit or not.  They may also have some legal counsel that is telling them to keep their mouths shut regarding future actions, status of investigations, etc.

« Reply #68 on: February 05, 2011, 09:19 »
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I find it amusing that this thread

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=299222&page=72

has been allowed to continue.  It has even gotten to the point of Mr. Lobo calling someone a "Nerd."  

Still lots of irateness all around!

« Reply #69 on: February 05, 2011, 09:22 »
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My guess is that the allusions to possibly needed to take more deductions indicate that they expect a round of deductions for January fraud, ...


http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=299222&page=73
By DeborahMaxemow:
"May I suggest canister levels for fraudulent downloads? This might bring up the morale a bit."

Of course, someone needs to inform DeborahMaxemow that canister levels don't matter any more.

 :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

« Reply #70 on: February 05, 2011, 09:46 »
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Hey everyone,

Thank you for all the responses.
I am shocked how many of you are getting banned as well for not doing anything wrong.
Lobo seems to be riding his oversized gerbil through the masses whipping everyone into submission which is an odd sight in these modern times of democratic diplomacy and common sense.

I am still banned from both the forums and sitemail which has been longer than 48 hours (what i believe to be the going rate..) and i feel this is overdoing it a tad bit since i didn't even post anything offensive, abusive or even damaging to iStock.
In my opinion Lobo's personal vendetta's and frustrations should not interfere with normal iStock operation and currently he is denying me access to client questions via sitemail and the forums i need for criticism, help and support.

I can only suggest that we notify as much people as possible who could have any interest whatsoever in this matter so they can read what is going on and maybe even comment or vent their own experiences.
I think it is quite important that this kind of behavior is addressed by iStock management so only people who are offensive and repeatedly break the rules are being dealt with accordingly and consequently.
As said before, banning people who aren't happy will make them less happy and is not solving any of the issues at hand.

In any case i wish you all an awesome weekend with maybe even some good stock sales ;)
Kurt

« Reply #71 on: February 05, 2011, 10:17 »
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In my opinion Lobo's personal vendetta's and frustrations should not interfere with normal iStock operation and currently he is denying me access to client questions via sitemail and the forums i need for criticism, help and support.

And it makes folks like me that are usually quick to report bugs/issues decide to not bother with it.  I am not going to provide my free troubleshooting efforts if I can't have the freedom to say what I want.  It is a two way street.

« Reply #72 on: February 05, 2011, 10:19 »
0

I am still banned from both the forums and sitemail which has been longer than 48 hours (what i believe to be the going rate..) and i feel this is overdoing it a tad bit since i didn't even post anything offensive, abusive or even damaging to iStock.
In my opinion Lobo's personal vendetta's and frustrations should not interfere with normal iStock operation and currently he is denying me access to client questions via sitemail and the forums i need for criticism, help and support.

I've been banned for months now. Ever since the announcement was made to cut commissions. Nice way to treat a buyer, eh?

« Reply #73 on: February 05, 2011, 10:23 »
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Does it bother anyone else that Lobo and other forum moderators have access to your accounts and private information AND have at times posted it publicly in the forum? For instance, a few years ago, a forum moderator publicly discussed my buying habits and the only way they could have known that was to access my account and look at my purchasing history.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 10:25 by caspixel »

« Reply #74 on: February 05, 2011, 10:44 »
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Hi Caspixel,

Wow, banned for months, that sounds really harsh.
I wonder what did you say that was worth that kind of ban :o
Did you call "a certain person's" cat names ? That would explain a lot.

Discussing your buyer habits in public ? :o
Why did they do that even ?
And indeed i would expect it to be good conduct to talk to you first and ask for permission to make that kind of personal info public. Any more details on this you might care to share ?

Cheers, Kurt


 

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