MicrostockGroup

Agency Based Discussion => iStockPhoto.com => Topic started by: Noctiluxx on February 02, 2011, 23:03

Title: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Noctiluxx on February 02, 2011, 23:03
Another day in iStockland and an interesting one at that.
Today a vast number of people lost a good bit of royalties due to piracy.
iStock, apparently not being insured, reclaims all the funds acquired from these fraudulent sales putting the full lost on the side of the contributor.

The vast discussion you can find over in the istock forums but not the reason i am posting this here.
The main reason of this message is that it is becoming more and more clear that we are just cows that are being milked dry and have to undergo this silently or else...

Or else what you ask?
Well, i just mentioned in the same thread that i noticed that posts were being deleted (very) fast.
I quickly got a sitemail from Lobo (who is a forum moderator) threatening me with a full ban from the forums and sitemail with the arrogant tone as we have come to expect from his person.

After letting him know i would choose my words more carefully in the future but still value the concept 'freedom of speech' very highly i was immediately banned.

I am certain all my posts were very civil and did not leave the boundaries of my personal opinion and views.
In this regard i feel this kind of censorship is directly in violation of the democratic concept of people being able to freely share their opinions without being deleted, controlled or banned.

This is turning into a right dictatorship where people who speak up are 'taken out' and down right silenced.
They let the others rant on in one thread (quickly locking, blocking, banning any other threads that might spawn) and just wait untill everyone gets tired and carries on uploading their hard work to make them loads (and i mean loads) of money...

I for one will not be silenced like this and i hope there are others like me who will take a stand..
That being said, thanks for the read and i wish you all the best.

Kurt
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on February 02, 2011, 23:20
There's a reason that I hang out over here (beyond the fact that I did when I was independent and old habits die hard :))

Lobo has an account here (as does rogermexico) but they don't get to lock or ban, only read and (very occasionally) comment. It's useful to have an off site place to be able to compare notes about various sites and to talk in ways that none of the sites permit on their own forums.

I saw your posts and although I don't see why you were banned, I haven't entirely understood some of the other banees' banishment either. I understand that it's their playground and their rules, but you can't call yourself a crowsourced site with a community and then muzzle or otherwise intimidate contributors into silence or a chorus of woo yay.

I'm sure iStock is feeling a bit pressured and beleaguered right now - they've behaved very badly and are getting a deserved earful from their suppliers. Possibly Lobo's trigger finger is a tad itchier than usual as a result.

At any rate, welcome to Microstockgroup.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: nruboc on February 02, 2011, 23:25

Don't feel bad, Lobo is a forum moderator, you'd be in a bad mood too if you were moderating forums for a living at his age. (* a forum that's not your own that is)   ;)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: RacePhoto on February 03, 2011, 00:39

After letting him know i would choose my words more carefully in the future but still value the concept 'freedom of speech' very highly i was immediately banned.

I am certain all my posts were very civil and did not leave the boundaries of my personal opinion and views.
In this regard i feel this kind of censorship is directly in violation of the democratic concept of people being able to freely share their opinions without being deleted, controlled or banned.

Kurt

While I don't frequent the other micro/agency forums, for the reasons you mentioned in full, and because reading here is enough, and because here we do have free speech, within limits... I'll add something that many people seem to misunderstand.

It's their site. They can do whatever they want. You and I have no rights of free speech on their site. It is not a democracy and it may be censorship, but it's their forum on their hosted site and you are a guest. As a guest they can ask you to leave at any time for any reason. Does that explain it?

You can write about any of the agencies pretty much all you want, right here and people will probably listen better and pay attention more than going to the site owned and run by the agency with the Lemmings and Chauvinists that hang out on their forums, shouting yes and Yahoo for anything the agencies feeds them.

This is not IS specific, or directed at them specifically, it's for any forum run by anyone. Consider the other agency which announced that what we write on blogs or outside public forums, could be cause for having our sales account closed. Now that's beyond and over the top and censorship. But the problem is, it's legal because they can do whatever they want.

Did that help?
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 03, 2011, 01:09

Don't feel bad, Lobo is a forum moderator, you'd be in a bad mood too if you were moderating forums for a living at his age. (* a forum that's not your own that is)   ;)

:D :D
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: hqimages on February 03, 2011, 01:46
Exactly.. a democracy means people are voted into power, no-one voted for Lobo or anyone else, it's a company, they want your images, they most certainly do not want your opinion..

The only time they care is if you start to remove your images from the web site, that they understand, but opinions, nope!
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: hqimages on February 03, 2011, 01:56
From your suppiers agreement here's all the other stuff they can take money off you for, in their eyes they're being nice only taking for fraud..

"In response to a written request, iStockphoto will endeavor to make payment of fees in respect of purchased downloads of Accepted Content on a monthly basis on or about the 15th day of the month following the purchase of Accepted Content, except when sales reporting from a distribution partner is delayed, in which case payments will be made in the month following the date such sale is reported, provided such fees aggregate a minimum of US$100, failing which fees owing will be retained until they exceed such minimum. In all cases, payment of fees to the Supplier will be net of: (i) applicable taxes or other withholdings required by applicable law; (ii) bad debts or other uncollectible sums; (iii) legal and other reasonable fees incurred in enforcing this Agreement or the agreements contemplated herein; (iv) where purchases or licenses are by other than the credit system, fees payable to financial institutions for the processing of any credit card, debit card, e-cheque or alternative payment method; and (v) any amounts owing by the Supplier to iStockphoto under this Agreement or otherwise. "
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: hqimages on February 03, 2011, 02:03
And more of what you've agreed to, if you use your own money to legally pursue someone that stole your images, istock want half.. wow this agreement is unbelieveable..

"In the event iStockphoto elects not to proceed against an Infringer, the Supplier shall have the right to proceed against such Infringer for such license violation or infringing action. The Supplier hereby agrees that any monetary recovery it receives as a result of any legal action taken against any such Infringer, to the extent such monies are intended to compensate the Supplier for lost licensing fees or include statutory damages, shall, after deduction of all costs and expenses incurred in gaining such recovery (including, without limitation, reasonable counsel and experts' fees and disbursements on a solicitor and client basis), be divided between the Supplier and iStockphoto pursuant to the provisions of the Compensation section above. "
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: lagereek on February 03, 2011, 02:19
Dont get it really??  so the contributor is then getting paid before IS can verify the buyers card is genuine or not? or what?  Im not effected, yet? but Im curious as to why its taken such a long time to find out?
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: dirkr on February 03, 2011, 04:48
istock want half..

I think you're too optimistic on that one:

"In the event iStockphoto elects not to proceed against an Infringer, the Supplier shall have the right to proceed against such Infringer for such license violation or infringing action. The Supplier hereby agrees that any monetary recovery it receives as a result of any legal action taken against any such Infringer, to the extent such monies are intended to compensate the Supplier for lost licensing fees or include statutory damages, shall, after deduction of all costs and expenses incurred in gaining such recovery (including, without limitation, reasonable counsel and experts' fees and disbursements on a solicitor and client basis), be divided between the Supplier and iStockphoto pursuant to the provisions of the Compensation section above. "

They'll take up to 85%.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Fred on February 03, 2011, 07:26
... it's their playground and their rules, but you can't call yourself a crowsourced site with a community and then muzzle or otherwise intimidate contributors into silence...

You can for as long as those that stick with you still amount to a "crowd"!

c h e e r s
fred
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: ShadySue on February 03, 2011, 07:38
Welcome to that glorious Limbo of the Banned.  8)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: ShadySue on February 03, 2011, 07:40
I bet no one who has any clout reads that thread. They put it up just before closing the office for the day, then they all skipped home for forget about it all. Lobo makes sure the postings aren't too bad, and that all comments stay in the one thread so that they can easily be ignored. End of.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: loop on February 03, 2011, 07:54
In all fairness, lots of negative posts are being tolerated; 90% of this monster IS thread is critical with Istock. I suspect that this is way more of what would have been allowed at any other microstock site.
Credit card fraud, in a minor scale, happened before and istock ate the losses. After ten of thousands of downloads I never had (until now) a single CC fraud refund. This time, it seems to be too big. I understand their position, but I would appreciate to have the refund hours or days after the fraudulent download instead of letting accuumulate. Leaving offices empty in Christmas week and announcing it wasn't a good decision.
I'm far more worried for the site funcionality; I think efforts should be directed at having a 100% working site as soon as possible.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Colette on February 03, 2011, 09:06
I do not agree to RacePhoto’s comment.
"Freedom of speech” is an elementary and essential human right.

Stockagencies do not have the “Right” to try to stop people from giving their opinion on what his happening.
Yes, they do it and they will continue to do it, but they don't have the right to do it!
It is misuse of power and although through the ages and also today everywhere in the world people are ‘made silence’: nobody has the right to do so!

We got Unions for people were threatened as slaves in the 19th and 20th century factories. Although they did so, the factory owners did not have the right to threaten their workers like they did!

On the other hand: contributors do not have the right to be rude, unpolite etc. either.
Sometimes people become angry and that is also understandable. But: think twice before you write!
Try to stay polite and reasonable, even if you are angry.
Remember: “he who writes stays”. That can be positive or negative.  What do you think about your writings from a year or so  ago? Wish you didn't write?

You say: they can do whatever they want. Yes, they can, but: they don't have the right to do whatever they want!
You say: it is their business. Yes it is, but: they build it on the contributors work and delivery of images! Just like it was (and is) in factories all over the world.

Sometimes decisions are made to hold the business sustainable, sometimes decisions seem to made by greed. Sometimes stockagencies and contributors seem to don't have the same interest. But I try to hold in mind that there's a crucial difference to drive a big stockagency business nowadays in a quick changing world and to drive my own small one!
Different:  like between a captain of one of the biggest cruiseships in the world and me rowing my own small boat on the river.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Fred on February 03, 2011, 09:45

...You say: they can do whatever they want. Yes, they can, but: they don't have the right to do whatever they want....


Of course they have the right.  They pay the bills.  Including whatever contributors charge them to sell their work.  Contributors have the right to leave anytime they don't like the deal.

fred
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 03, 2011, 09:54
istock want half..

I think you're too optimistic on that one:

"In the event iStockphoto elects not to proceed against an Infringer, the Supplier shall have the right to proceed against such Infringer for such license violation or infringing action. The Supplier hereby agrees that any monetary recovery it receives as a result of any legal action taken against any such Infringer, to the extent such monies are intended to compensate the Supplier for lost licensing fees or include statutory damages, shall, after deduction of all costs and expenses incurred in gaining such recovery (including, without limitation, reasonable counsel and experts' fees and disbursements on a solicitor and client basis), be divided between the Supplier and iStockphoto pursuant to the provisions of the Compensation section above. "

They'll take up to 85%.

Wow.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Noctiluxx on February 03, 2011, 10:49
First of all thank you all very much for your support!

I have a strong feeling iStock is in a transitional phase going from a relaxed environment to a corporate one with the inevitable semi-apocalyptical implosion that usually follows.

The fact that they don't seem to have systems present to prevent the most obvious problems of today’s corporations is proof of that.
They know this and they seem to be trying to change everything at the same time possibly under high pressure of the Getty group.
During this transition they seem to treat their contributors as cattle, killing the weak, smooth talking the strong and silencing/ignoring the ones that retaliate or ask questions.

I am only a bit shocked on how they get away with this to be honest which is why I wanted my voice to be heard.
There are far better ways to conduct business than this and I feel for the ones who invested time and money into iStock only to realize they are now depending on a business that doesn't care about them at all.

I understand forums have to be policed, I myself am a moderator of a well know 3D community and know all too well how this works.
However, I would never send out an intimidating sitemail to someone in the way Lobo just sent me one.
I can see he has to do his job and keep the peace but I feel he is taking this a tad too far.
When he posted the thread where he stated we could no longer post "+1" messages (meaning we agree with the above) because they take up space in the thread I instantly knew I would meet him verbally very soon...

In all honesty I still think iStock is doing a really good job and if they succeed they will harvest the benefits of their efforts.
I only wish they would keep their priority-list in good order to prevent all these silly and unfortunate mishaps that seem to follow each other faster every time.

In any case I wish you all the best.
Kurt
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Noctiluxx on February 03, 2011, 11:07
This is not IS specific, or directed at them specifically, it's for any forum run by anyone. Consider the other agency which announced that what we write on blogs or outside public forums, could be cause for having our sales account closed. Now that's beyond and over the top and censorship. But the problem is, it's legal because they can do whatever they want.

Cheers for your insight RacePhoto,
Could i ask which agency made this bold statement and maybe even a link to it ?
I wonder how far they can strecht statements like that... "We hereby inform you that we have come to your house and slapped your kids around a bit because you said our agency smells like a dead hamster. Please don't make us come over there again. Sincerely yours."
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: tundraphoto on February 03, 2011, 13:31
What they seem to be missing over there is that all the contributors to those forums have a vested interest in iS doing well.  If the company does well, the contributors do well - and vice versa.  I have had too many posts deleted where I was trying to provide "constructive" criticism.  For that, I'll just keep my thoughts to myself now or post them over here.  Furthermore, I'm not going to waste my time troubleshooting the web site, and bringing malfunctions to their table, if they won't allow me to participate in other ways.  I am not paid for troubleshooting.  You reap what you sow!
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Colette on February 03, 2011, 13:38
Quote
Of course they have the right.  They pay the bills.

So when I pay the bills, I have the right to do whatever I want?

"Having the power" and "having the right" are not the same things!
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: pancaketom on February 03, 2011, 13:41
This is not IS specific, or directed at them specifically, it's for any forum run by anyone. Consider the other agency which announced that what we write on blogs or outside public forums, could be cause for having our sales account closed. Now that's beyond and over the top and censorship. But the problem is, it's legal because they can do whatever they want.

Cheers for your insight RacePhoto,
Could i ask which agency made this bold statement and maybe even a link to it ?
I wonder how far they can strecht statements like that... "We hereby inform you that we have come to your house and slapped your kids around a bit because you said our agency smells like a dead hamster. Please don't make us come over there again. Sincerely yours."

Sounds like fauxtolia (well, that isn't how you spell it, but it still sounds like the sort of crap they'd pull).
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Fred on February 03, 2011, 13:50
Quote
Of course they have the right.  They pay the bills.

So when I pay the bills, I have the right to do whatever I want?

"Having the power" and "having the right" are not the same things!

You just don't get it.  If they don't pay the bills no one has the right to do anything on the site because there is no site.  Like the man said - Your right to swing your fists ends where another persons nose begins.  Your right to post in their forum ends when what you post damages their business.  What does or does not damage their business is up to them to decide.  Their forum their rules. 

If you work for a company, or sell your product through a company do you think that gives you the right to post anything you want on their bulletin board?   

Does someone really need to explain this to you?

fred
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: luissantos84 on February 03, 2011, 13:55
Quote
Of course they have the right.  They pay the bills.

So when I pay the bills, I have the right to do whatever I want?

"Having the power" and "having the right" are not the same things!

You just don't get it.  If they don't pay the bills no one has the right to do anything on the site because there is no site.  Like the man said - Your right to swing your fists ends where another persons nose begins.  Your right to post in their forum ends when what you post damages their business.  What does or does not damage their business is up to them to decide.  Their forum their rules. 

If you work for a company, or sell your product through a company do you think that gives you the right to post anything you want on their bulletin board?   

Does someone really need to explain this to you?

fred

LOL

thank you IS for paying the bills and letting the website online (not that often happens) but heck yeah pay the * hosting so we can make loads of money, not IS :)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on February 03, 2011, 14:03
do you think that gives you the right to post anything you want on their bulletin board?   

Does someone really need to explain this to you?

fred

From what I can see the OP wasn't being abusive, he inadvertently questioned the authority of the "boss" by stating his belief in free speech. You can construe this as "anything you want", hiding behind this is my sandbox mentality if you like, but the fact is the only reason the sandbox exists is because everyone there contributes their hard work and creativity to the cause. You see it's almost like, gosh, being in a democracy, where you contribute and feel that you should be heard or a least able to vent some some of your concerns. The company isn't just THE COMPANY it's a tiny bit of everyone who contributes.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: lightscribe on February 03, 2011, 15:00
Censorship like this is an admission to guilt! Istock would not be censoring people if they didn't feel that they were saying something that was correct.  I stock will most likely make millions off of this lawsuit...lets not forget that the penalty for copyright infringement is about $10,000 per infringement....multiply by how many images were stolen...that is millions...will the contributor see any of the settlement money?....Absolutely not! At any retail store I have ever worked in my life, Credit card companies are always responsible for stolen credit cards, it is never the merchants responsibility.  Why should it be different than how amazon or anyother online store works.  Something fishy is going on here.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: helix7 on February 03, 2011, 15:12
Quote
Of course they have the right.  They pay the bills.

So when I pay the bills, I have the right to do whatever I want?

"Having the power" and "having the right" are not the same things!

Same or not, istock has both of those things on their own website. They have every right to decide what appears in the forums and what doesn't.

I've wondered why they even have a forum at all. Seems to be more trouble than it's worth. Nothing says they're required to have it.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: VB inc on February 03, 2011, 15:24
Quote
Of course they have the right.  They pay the bills.

So when I pay the bills, I have the right to do whatever I want?

"Having the power" and "having the right" are not the same things!

Same or not, istock has both of those things on their own website. They have every right to decide what appears in the forums and what doesn't.

I've wondered why they even have a forum at all. Seems to be more trouble than it's worth. Nothing says they're required to have it.

If istock didnt have any forum, someone would make one up and then istock would have absolutely no control of what is said about their company on that forum.
This is a crowd sourced business. And in business, like life, nothing is going to be fair or democratic.
This forum, you can be childish all you want and make fun of other peoples age and job title without the fear of getting banned.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: loop on February 03, 2011, 15:28
Censorship like this is an admission to guilt! Istock would not be censoring people if they didn't feel that they were saying something that was correct.  I stock will most likely make millions off of this lawsuit...lets not forget that the penalty for copyright infringement is about $10,000 per infringement....multiply by how many images were stolen...that is millions...will the contributor see any of the settlement money?....Absolutely not! At any retail store I have ever worked in my life, Credit card companies are always responsible for stolen credit cards, it is never the merchants responsibility.  Why should it be different than how amazon or anyother online store works.  Something fishy is going on here.

Online sales are no treated as presencial sales (when the card is phisically present) by banks and credit cards companies,
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Fred on February 03, 2011, 16:10
do you think that gives you the right to post anything you want on their bulletin board?   

Does someone really need to explain this to you?

fred

From what I can see the OP wasn't being abusive, he inadvertently questioned the authority of the "boss" by stating his belief in free speech. You can construe this as "anything you want", hiding behind this is my sandbox mentality if you like, but the fact is the only reason the sandbox exists is because everyone there contributes their hard work and creativity to the cause. You see it's almost like, gosh, being in a democracy, where you contribute and feel that you should be heard or a least able to vent some some of your concerns. The company isn't just THE COMPANY it's a tiny bit of everyone who contributes.

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.

Where is the confusion?

fred
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: tundraphoto on February 03, 2011, 16:22
Censorship like this is an admission to guilt! Istock would not be censoring people if they didn't feel that they were saying something that was correct.  I stock will most likely make millions off of this lawsuit...lets not forget that the penalty for copyright infringement is about $10,000 per infringement....multiply by how many images were stolen...that is millions...  Something fishy is going on here.

Let's also not forget that this is an international serving company.  If the images were purchased some place where copyright doesn't mean anything, it won't amount to anything.  I don't care what the agreement on iS says.  I doubt any of us will ever see anything from this.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Colette on February 03, 2011, 17:26
Fred and Zeus: No, I was not being abusive. At least I didn't meant to be. Don't take things I wrote personal. By the way I am a 'she', not a 'he'... ;D
 
I understand your point of view. But when talking about a company, you have a contract to work for them, right? You don't bring anything in. They pay you for the work you do for them.
But, like for example being a bank, stockagencies have a contract with us. We bring everything in! For the licenses they sell are our images. And we don't sell the rights. The copyright remains to stay with us. When all the contributors should decide to remove their portfolios from an agency there is no business at all anymore.

Your reaction was also not about what I tried to say. This is not about Istock particularly or one of the other agencies.
What I was saying that having the power to do things not makes automatically that you also have the right to do so. That should all injustice in the world makes just at once!
And of course you cannot write what you want on a forum. I said that too. There are always two sides.
There is also an agency side. They have to keep their business healthy. Of course I am not happy when commissions are lowered. But can I see, from my point of view, if this is necessary or not? Perhaps it is greed, perhaps it is necessary surgery to keep a business healthy.
But if it should be really only greed. What can we do? Ranting and calling names will not help. And of course tehy will not allow you! So even if they would choose to go that way, we have no choice than to try to find another.
At least the way all the bigger contributors are active to set up their own websites to sell their images from and the way they are organizing themselves are a sign at the wall. 
I am only a few years in this business and I don't know very much about it and I don't know either what will happen in the near future, but sometimes I have the feeling that agencies are sawing the branch they are sitting on.
And sometimes, reading the discussions, I feel if we all are the blind people trying to describe how an elephant looks like. Doe it look like a snake, like a tree, like a... ?  ;)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Noctiluxx on February 03, 2011, 18:58
Fred,

I always hear people say "If you don't like it you can just leave.." and i have to slightly disagree with that.

The thing is that you start out on a site like iStock which has certain values, a good commission and what seems like a good set of opportunities for the future.
After a few years of investing your time and effort into iStock (making them loads of money along the way) you have built a substantial portfolio which should yield a good return over lets say the next 5 to 10 years.

Then, out of the blue they decide they have the 'power' to change everything they want. Lowering your commission, your income and taking whatever cut they seem fit for themselves (no more EL bonus, less %,etc..) because they say paying you less than a fair % already has become quite 'unsustainable' (because they need the money to complete the construction of their 'Death Star™').

At that point yes.. you have the free choice to abandon your investment.. but you really can't can you.
They know you have invested into every upload, the file management, getting your work accepted, getting exclusive, having vettas and agency files... And so on and so on..

Not really a valid or even sane choice is it.. unless you are willing to wipe away everything you have achieved and have put your valuable time into.
They on the other hand a fully aware of this and don't try to hide their intent because why should they..
It's like renting a farm, fertilising the fields making it healthy and then hear you have to pay triple rent.

It is taking advantage of you because they can.
It's pushing you around because you're meek, weak and scared.
It's a choice to stand up and get banned or accept your faith and keep shoveling crap like a good little lemming.
'That' choice, is entirely yours...
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: jamirae on February 03, 2011, 19:07
Fred,

I always hear people say "If you don't like it you can just leave.." and i have to slightly disagree with that.

The thing is that you start out on a site like iStock which has certain values, a good commission and what seems like a good set of opportunities for the future.
After a few years of investing your time and effort into iStock (making them loads of money along the way) you have built a substantial portfolio which should yield a good return over lets say the next 5 to 10 years.

Then, out of the blue they decide they have the 'power' to change everything they want. Lowering your commission, your income and taking whatever cut they seem fit for themselves (no more EL bonus, less %,etc..) because they say paying you less than a fair % already has become quite 'unsustainable' (because they need the money to complete the construction of their 'Death Star™').

At that point yes.. you have the free choice to abandon your investment.. but you really can't can you.
They know you have invested into every upload, the file management, getting your work accepted, getting exclusive, having vettas and agency files... And so on and so on..

Not really a valid or even sane choice is it.. unless you are willing to wipe away everything you have achieved and have put your valuable time into.
They on the other hand a fully aware of this and don't try to hide their intent because why should they..
It's like renting a farm, fertilising the fields making it healthy and then hear you have to pay triple rent.

It is taking advantage of you because they can.
It's pushing you around because you're meek, weak and scared.
It's a choice to stand up and get banned or accept your faith and keep shoveling crap like a good little lemming.
'That' choice, is entirely yours...

good point, but if I can interject a bit here.  They have also wiped away quite a bit from contributors.  I, personally, hit diamond in December and should be making that 40% commission right now.  However, because my portfolio is a mix of vectors and photos I was to take a huge hit and drop down to 25% under the new system.  I didn't like it.  In October I went non-exclusive and decided to branch out.  I'm making up the loss by expanding my distribution market for my work.  It's not as horrific and cumbersome as some people may think.  In fact, it's been rather nice to see how differently things can be at other outlets.

I started with iStock in 2004 and expected that I would always be with iStock.  However, the changes that have gone on over the last year simply do not work for my best interest.  So yes, the choice is each one's individual choice.  I choose to leave exclusivity and branch out.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Risamay on February 03, 2011, 19:28
I always hear people say "If you don't like it you can just leave.."

I received a warning sitemail from Lobo yesterday after posting this -

Posted By risamay:
Oh, stop your worrying. We have a seasoned new VP (read: expensive). He's going to fix everything. Just you wait and see.


in response to this -

Posted By delirium:
Unbelievable. Unprofessional. Unacceptable. I've been here since 2002, and I've never seen a company go so bad, while making money hand over fist.


At first I was like, okay. I get it (because I do). But then, after seeing how many similarly snarky and vitriolic comments were left live both before and after my post, I took it personally and asked that Lobo shut my forum posting privileges. He finally got around to turning them off just now.

So I'm now banned, by special request.

While I'll always have an opinion, I realized that it's pretty well senseless to go on sharing it there. The feeling I get is that iStock doesn't really care, isn't really listening, and, even if it does/is, isn't doing anything with the lion's share of our criticism (snarky and vitriolic or not). On the contrary, things only seem to get stranger and more disappointing. And frankly, I'm tired of yelling at a wall.

Thankfully there's still this forum for ranting, commiseration, etc. And I'm sure Lobo/Andrew/iStock monitors the chatter here, so they know where to go to find other views not expressed on their own forums. Not that what we say here makes a lick of difference, either.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: stockastic on February 03, 2011, 20:22
I don't get why IS wants to 'police' their contributor forum anyway.  How are they damaged by negative posts?  Are they afraid buyers are going to read the forum and get the impression that a lot of contributors are unhappy?  Or is the company itself being shopped around, and someone is concerned that potential buyers or investors will be discouraged?
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: ShadySue on February 03, 2011, 20:54
So I'm now banned, by special request.
Hey, look: the Club of the Banned is so cool, people are asking to join.
Welcome!  8)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: tundraphoto on February 03, 2011, 22:09
So I'm now banned, by special request.
Hey, look: the Club of the Banned is so cool, people are asking to join.
Welcome!  8)

I am a little puzzled at asking to be banned. Why not just stay out of the forums? That's pretty much what I'm doing, just not wasting my time over there.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Noctiluxx on February 03, 2011, 22:10
Respect Marisa,

Only a handfull of people have the guts to do a thing like that.
Let's call being banned by Lobo a "Lobotomy" shall we :-X

I am surprised how many messages and even emails i get with support of people who have big concerns with IS
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Noctiluxx on February 03, 2011, 22:13
I am a little puzzled at asking to be banned. Why not just stay out of the forums? That's pretty much what I'm doing, just not wasting my time over there.

To send a clear message, to make a change however small,.. to name but a few..
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: klsbear on February 03, 2011, 22:59
So I'm now banned, by special request.
Hey, look: the Club of the Banned is so cool, people are asking to join.
Welcome!  8)

Sounds like the making of a new group on Microstock.Me - Criteria for joining the group, you've been banned from IS forums.  Soon to be the biggest group there.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Noctiluxx on February 03, 2011, 23:46
So I'm now banned, by special request.
Hey, look: the Club of the Banned is so cool, people are asking to join.
Welcome!  8)

Lol, hey Soopy
Welcome to the club, we have t-shirts!
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Risamay on February 04, 2011, 00:03
So I'm now banned, by special request.
Hey, look: the Club of the Banned is so cool, people are asking to join.
Welcome!  8)

I am a little puzzled at asking to be banned. Why not just stay out of the forums? That's pretty much what I'm doing, just not wasting my time over there.

Thanks, Sue.

Tundra, I'm just fed up. With Lobo deleting my posts and not those of others, with one brouhaha after the next, the whole shebang. And sure, I could self-censor/moderate or just stay out of the forums, but I know myself. crap there continues to hit the fan and piss me off and I'd rather not have even the temptation of posting or having to bite my tongue. If the threat of speaking my mind in my own voice (and yes, sometimes that means with a heavy dollop of sarcasm) means sitemails warning me to cool it or be banned, go ahead and ban me then. Screw it. I no longer give a crap. Besides, like I stated earlier, there is this forum if I *really* have something to say or want to interact with my fellow contributors.

I hope they get it together and the company continues on successfully for each of us, I really do. But I'm no longer interested in trying to help people who could care less about what I have to say.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Risamay on February 04, 2011, 00:06
Respect Marisa,

Only a handfull of people have the guts to do a thing like that.
Let's call being banned by Lobo a "Lobotomy" shall we :-X

I am surprised how many messages and even emails i get with support of people who have big concerns with IS

I'm not in any way thrilled about my last interaction with Lobo. I *thought* he and I were friends or at least friendly. So it was disappointing. I wish him only luck and hope he finds a way to be nicer to people - online life is real life, so far as I am concerned. I'm not one way with people online and another in "real life".

He has a difficult job, but he makes it infinitely harder for himself than it has to be.

And that's all I have to say about that.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: RacePhoto on February 04, 2011, 00:19
I do not agree to RacePhoto’s comment.
"Freedom of speech” is an elementary and essential human right.


I'll try to control my tendency to explain details or intricacies.

I'm not talking about right or wrong. In principle I might agree with you, BUT

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
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: RacePhoto on February 04, 2011, 00:23
So I'm now banned, by special request.
Hey, look: the Club of the Banned is so cool, people are asking to join.
Welcome!  8)

Lol, hey Soopy
Welcome to the club, we have t-shirts!

I could earn a T-Shirt in under 24 hours, but two things.

1) I'd have to care enough to post on the IS forum, what I really think. (is this like gone in 15 seconds?)
2) We'd have to print the T-shirts and pay for them

I suppose there's a 3, if I wore it, no one would know what it meant? "Banned by iStock and Proud"  ;D
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on February 04, 2011, 00:46
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...

:)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: jbarber873 on February 04, 2011, 08:40
I don't get why IS wants to 'police' their contributor forum anyway.  How are they damaged by negative posts?  Are they afraid buyers are going to read the forum and get the impression that a lot of contributors are unhappy?  Or is the company itself being shopped around, and someone is concerned that potential buyers or investors will be discouraged?

     I think they are trying to keep the forums closer to the woo-yay model going forward and let the negative posts fade away, so that any analyst digging into the forums will think everything is okay. This company, being private, has no analyst following at the moment, but if they try for a sale or IPO, there are a few very good analysts who will be asked for an opinion. They will look at the books, which will show a big jump in revenue ( coinciding with the end of the recession ) and the forums will look like everyone is relatively happy. It's called "window dressing". A time honored wall street tradition. All they need to make the sale is a good story and no apparent warning signs about the future. Buy on the rumour, sell on the news...
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: ShadySue on February 04, 2011, 08:48
So I'm now banned, by special request.
Hey, look: the Club of the Banned is so cool, people are asking to join.
Welcome!  8)

I am a little puzzled at asking to be banned. Why not just stay out of the forums? That's pretty much what I'm doing, just not wasting my time over there.

Thanks, Sue.

Tundra, I'm just fed up. With Lobo deleting my posts and not those of others, with one brouhaha after the next, the whole shebang. And sure, I could self-censor/moderate or just stay out of the forums, but I know myself. crap there continues to hit the fan and piss me off and I'd rather not have even the temptation of posting or having to bite my tongue. If the threat of speaking my mind in my own voice (and yes, sometimes that means with a heavy dollop of sarcasm) means sitemails warning me to cool it or be banned,  ban me then.  it. I no longer give a crap. Besides, like I stated earlier, there is this forum if I *really* have something to say or want to interact with my fellow contributors.

I hope they get it together and the company continues on successfully for each of us, I really do. But I'm no longer interested in trying to help people who could care less about what I have to say.
That's essentially why I declined the offer to become unbanned.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: tundraphoto on February 04, 2011, 09:00
I am a little puzzled at asking to be banned. Why not just stay out of the forums? That's pretty much what I'm doing, just not wasting my time over there.

Thanks, Sue.

Tundra, I'm just fed up. With Lobo deleting my posts and not those of others, with one brouhaha after the next, the whole shebang. And sure, I could self-censor/moderate or just stay out of the forums, but I know myself. crap there continues to hit the fan and piss me off and I'd rather not have even the temptation of posting or having to bite my tongue. If the threat of speaking my mind in my own voice (and yes, sometimes that means with a heavy dollop of sarcasm) means sitemails warning me to cool it or be banned,  ban me then.  it. I no longer give a crap. Besides, like I stated earlier, there is this forum if I *really* have something to say or want to interact with my fellow contributors.

I hope they get it together and the company continues on successfully for each of us, I really do. But I'm no longer interested in trying to help people who could care less about what I have to say.

I hope you didn't take my question the wrong way.  The reason I asked is that I contemplated doing the very same thing.  Then I just decided I would try to stay out.  As a result, I was curious why you actually did it.  So, I completely understand your motivation now.  I still peruse the forums over there occasionally and I have even typed in a response a few times.  However, up to this point I have just convinced myself to close that browser window and move on (i.e. not post my response) - since like you, I realize it will do no good.  I just wish more of those folks knew about this forum.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: helix7 on February 04, 2011, 09:15

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.  
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on February 04, 2011, 10:22
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on February 04, 2011, 10:35
[
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Risamay on February 04, 2011, 11:01
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Risamay on February 04, 2011, 11:06
That's essentially why I declined the offer to become unbanned.

I hear ya, Sue.

And no worries, Tundra. I understand.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Fred on February 04, 2011, 11:08

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  
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: helix7 on February 04, 2011, 11:13
What makes you think I'm exclusive?
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Fred on February 04, 2011, 14:51
What makes you think I'm exclusive?

Sorry, I thought you had said you were exclusive in the post I was answering. 
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 04, 2011, 22:48
People with legitimate complaints, who are voicing them in a totally reasonable way, are getting banned.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: RacePhoto on February 04, 2011, 23:08
[
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: drawntobewild on February 05, 2011, 00:50
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...
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 05, 2011, 01:08
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 05, 2011, 01:12
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: drawntobewild on February 05, 2011, 01:14
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: lagereek on February 05, 2011, 02:16
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Freedom on February 05, 2011, 02:30
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Phil on February 05, 2011, 05:07
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
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: klsbear on February 05, 2011, 09:17
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: tundraphoto on February 05, 2011, 09:19
I find it amusing that this thread

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=299222&page=72 (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!
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: tundraphoto on February 05, 2011, 09:22
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 (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
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Noctiluxx on February 05, 2011, 09:46
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
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: tundraphoto on February 05, 2011, 10:17
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 05, 2011, 10:19

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?
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 05, 2011, 10:23
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Noctiluxx on February 05, 2011, 10:44
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
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 05, 2011, 10:53
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.

All I did was make some jokes (which people liked and thanked me for the comic relief at a time when everyone was so stressed out) and commiserated with the contributors. But it was a long-standing grudge that Lobo had against me. He told me as much via sitemail right before the banning.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Noctiluxx on February 05, 2011, 11:42
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.
All I did was make some jokes (which people liked and thanked me for the comic relief at a time when everyone was so stressed out) and commiserated with the contributors. But it was a long-standing grudge that Lobo had against me. He told me as much via sitemail right before the banning.

Yes unfortunately some people do not get or even appreciate the concept of humor. A concept that can make life a lot easier.
This kind of personal grudge, intimidation and downright bullying people is the exact reason of my protest.
It is not becoming for an agency of this level (or any agency at that) and it should not be tolerated.
Thank you for sharing that Caspixel.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Noctiluxx on February 05, 2011, 11:51
Just found this and i thought it was quite appropriate and on-topic  :-X
(http://www.happyvalley.sa.edu.au/newsletters/2007vol04/bullying.jpg)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on February 05, 2011, 12:19
A private forum on a private website, they can do whatever they want, and so could you if you owned a forum.

This is where I humbly disagree. For the site to be ultimately successful then they would need to pay attention to all the nuances of the site. I agree that technically they can however in reality the can't.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: drawntobewild on February 05, 2011, 14:06

All I did was make some jokes (which people liked and thanked me for the comic relief at a time when everyone was so stressed out) and commiserated with the contributors. But it was a long-standing grudge that Lobo had against me. He told me as much via sitemail right before the banning.

Yeah I think thats what finally did me in, apparently this Lobo character doesnt have a sense of humor.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on February 05, 2011, 15:00
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.

I don't think human rights applies here. You are complaining about a company on the company's property and they most likely have the right to not let you do that.

Here, try this. Go to your local grocery store, go inside, and start yelling over and over again about much the place sucks.

Or if you have a day job, do the same thing there. Or even just post on Facebook or Twitter over and over again about how much your day job sucks.

Let me know what happens.

There is nothing stopping you from saying whatever you want. But there may be consequences.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Freedom on February 05, 2011, 15:14
Paulie, I think you are twisting the words here. Do you mean that the customers cannot make complaints in a store? Who was yelling? Some of the contributors were just posting their dissenting opinions or did they cause disruption of the business? Everything has to be measured in a fair proportion. If the contributors were causing disruption of the business, they can and should be banned. Otherwise, the master of the house has to observe the rules of fairness. I have no idea if Lobo was fair, I just want to emphasize that private business still have to observe the law and common principles of fairness.

In old times, if you hit your wife and kids in your house, that was a private matter. But the law evolves. Today, it's called domestic violence.

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.

I don't think human rights applies here. You are complaining about a company on the company's property and they most likely have the right to not let you do that.

Here, try this. Go to your local grocery store, go inside, and start yelling over and over again about much the place sucks.

Or if you have a day job, do the same thing there. Or even just post on Facebook or Twitter over and over again about how much your day job sucks.

Let me know what happens.

There is nothing stopping you from saying whatever you want. But there may be consequences.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: cathyslife on February 05, 2011, 15:39
Paulie, I think you are twisting the words here. Do you mean that the customers cannot make complaints in a store? Who was yelling? Some of the contributors were just posting their dissenting opinions or did they cause disruption of the business? Everything has to be measured in a fair proportion. If the contributors were causing disruption of the business, they can and should be banned. Otherwise, the master of the house has to observe the rules of fairness. I have no idea if Lobo was fair, I just want to emphasize that private business still have to observe the law and common principles of fairness.

In old times, if you hit your wife and kids in your house, that was a private matter. But the law evolves. Today, it's called domestic violence.


Well, apparently they don't have to observe the law and common principles of fairness. No one has blown the whistle on them yet (i.e. filing lawsuits, etc.). And just like domestic violence, before it had a name and was against the law and could be prosecuted, contributors at IS continue to take the abuse and go back for more. The law for abuse from microstock agencies hasn't been written yet, because no one has the money/guts to take them to court.

Until contributors are willing to suffer the consequences of leaving IS and stopping the abuse by filing lawsuits, you can complain until you are blue in the face...and nothing is going to change! Life goes on as usual over at IS.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on February 05, 2011, 15:47
Paulie, I think you are twisting the words here. Do you mean that the customers cannot make complaints in a store? Who was yelling? Some of the contributors were just posting their dissenting opinions or did they cause disruption of the business? Everything has to be measured in a fair proportion. If the contributors were causing disruption of the business, they can and should be banned. Otherwise, the master of the house has to observe the rules of fairness. I have no idea if Lobo was fair, I just want to emphasize that private business still have to observe the law and common principles of fairness.

In old times, if you hit your wife and kids in your house, that was a private matter. But the law evolves. Today, it's called domestic violence.


This isn't a court and a good percentage of people are venting and not trying to come to an agreement on anything.

Let's try it again your way. Go to your local grocery store, go up to the service desk, and offer your "dissenting opinions". Calmly and politely, tell them how poorly they run the store, how inept they are, and how they and the entire management team should be fired. Keep doing this every day and let me know what happens.

In business, companies are free to treat customers, partners, and suppliers as they wish within the limits of the law. I'm sure it's perfectly legal to throw someone out of a store if they are causing a disruption. It may not seem fair to the person causing the disruption but it's probably perfectly legal.

This is a pretty simple concept. It's their site. They don't need to accept complaints if they don't want to.

What if you had a money making blog and there were a group of people who posted complaints and insults all day every day. What would you do?

Yes, laws evolve and there should be a law for common sense.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Freedom on February 05, 2011, 15:56
The question is, whether or not these people who have been banned had gone beyond the reasonableness of fair complaints. Simply accepting the rule from the master of the house set a dangerous precedents for all.

Paulie, I think you are twisting the words here. Do you mean that the customers cannot make complaints in a store? Who was yelling? Some of the contributors were just posting their dissenting opinions or did they cause disruption of the business? Everything has to be measured in a fair proportion. If the contributors were causing disruption of the business, they can and should be banned. Otherwise, the master of the house has to observe the rules of fairness. I have no idea if Lobo was fair, I just want to emphasize that private business still have to observe the law and common principles of fairness.

In old times, if you hit your wife and kids in your house, that was a private matter. But the law evolves. Today, it's called domestic violence.


This isn't a court and a good percentage of people are venting and not trying to come to an agreement on anything.

Let's try it again your way. Go to your local grocery store, go up to the service desk, and offer your "dissenting opinions". Calmly and politely, tell them how poorly they run the store, how inept they are, and how they and the entire management team should be fired. Keep doing this every day and let me know what happens.

In business, companies are free to treat customers, partners, and suppliers as they wish within the limits of the law. I'm sure it's perfectly legal to throw someone out of a store if they are causing a disruption. It may not seem fair to the person causing the disruption but it's probably perfectly legal.

This is a pretty simple concept. It's their site. They don't need to accept complaints if they don't want to.

What if you had a money making blog and there were a group of people who posted complaints and insults all day every day. What would you do?

Yes, laws evolve and there should be a law for common sense.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on February 05, 2011, 16:09


Paulie, I think you are twisting the words here. Do you mean that the customers cannot make complaints in a store? Who was yelling? Some of the contributors were just posting their dissenting opinions or did they cause disruption of the business? Everything has to be measured in a fair proportion. If the contributors were causing disruption of the business, they can and should be banned. Otherwise, the master of the house has to observe the rules of fairness. I have no idea if Lobo was fair, I just want to emphasize that private business still have to observe the law and common principles of fairness.

In old times, if you hit your wife and kids in your house, that was a private matter. But the law evolves. Today, it's called domestic violence.


This isn't a court and a good percentage of people are venting and not trying to come to an agreement on anything.

Let's try it again your way. Go to your local grocery store, go up to the service desk, and offer your "dissenting opinions". Calmly and politely, tell them how poorly they run the store, how inept they are, and how they and the entire management team should be fired. Keep doing this every day and let me know what happens.

In business, companies are free to treat customers, partners, and suppliers as they wish within the limits of the law. I'm sure it's perfectly legal to throw someone out of a store if they are causing a disruption. It may not seem fair to the person causing the disruption but it's probably perfectly legal.

This is a pretty simple concept. It's their site. They don't need to accept complaints if they don't want to.

What if you had a money making blog and there were a group of people who posted complaints and insults all day every day. What would you do?

Yes, laws evolve and there should be a law for common sense.

The question is, whether or not these people who have been banned had gone beyond the reasonableness of fair complaints. Simply accepting the rule from the master of the house set a dangerous precedents for all.

This again reminded me why I spend less and less time here.

You seem to be confusing fair with legal.

They don't need to be fair. Just like at-will employment. Most companies can get rid of an employee regardless of the reason as long as it's within the law. Come to work every day complaining about your company and they most likely will fire you. May not be fair, but perfectly legal and within their right to do so.

Since you seem to like the law so much, maybe you should dig into the contributor agreement and see what it says about the forum. My guess is that it states they can do whatever they want. And if so, anyone who signed it has no argument.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on February 05, 2011, 16:32


You seem to be confusing fair with legal.

They don't need to be fair. Just like at-will employment. Most companies can get rid of an employee regardless of the reason as long as it's within the law. Come to work every day complaining about your company and they most likely will fire you. May not be fair, but perfectly legal and within their right to do so.

Since you seem to like the law so much, maybe you should dig into the contributor agreement and see what it says about the forum. My guess is that it states they can do whatever they want. And if so, anyone who signed it has no argument.

Except this is not an employer/employee arrangement and the "agencies" went to great lengths long ago to distance themselves from the notion of being true agents or anything like an employer.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: leaf on February 05, 2011, 16:33
I think you should take it one step further.

I think going into iStock's forums and complaining is more like picketing with a sign in walmart with the sign saying walmart sucks and that the manager should be fired.  Walmart is private property and the owners have full right to remove you from their store.  You don't have 'freedom of speech' inside walmart. Inside walmart, it is walmart that decides how you can act.  On public property, or property you own you can say what you like

The same on the net, if you go to istock, it is iStock who decides what can and cannot be said inside their business (which extends onto the internet).  The only place you have real freedom of speech on the internet is if you buy a domain yourself and set up a website ... then you can say anything you like (within the limitations of the national law).
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on February 05, 2011, 18:58
I think you should take it one step further.

I think going into iStock's forums and complaining is more like picketing with a sign in walmart with the sign saying walmart sucks and that the manager should be fired.  Walmart is private property and the owners have full right to remove you from their store.  You don't have 'freedom of speech' inside walmart. Inside walmart, it is walmart that decides how you can act.  On public property, or property you own you can say what you like

The same on the net, if you go to istock, it is iStock who decides what can and cannot be said inside their business (which extends onto the internet).  The only place you have real freedom of speech on the internet is if you buy a domain yourself and set up a website ... then you can say anything you like (within the limitations of the national law).

Another good example but I don't think this will sink in either.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on February 05, 2011, 19:06
[
Another good example but I don't think this will sink in either.

Ah nope. It's not the black and white, all details fit into neat little cubbies, scenario you'd like it to be.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on February 05, 2011, 20:09
[
Another good example but I don't think this will sink in either.

Ah nope. It's not the black and white, all details fit into neat little cubbies, scenario you'd like it to be.

Ahhh yep. It's pretty unbelievably simple and black and white. It's their site. They can do whatever they want with the forum.

In fact, they can choose to not have a forum. Then what? Would you sue them if they got rid of it?
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on February 06, 2011, 12:38
[
Another good example but I don't think this will sink in either.

Ah nope. It's not the black and white, all details fit into neat little cubbies, scenario you'd like it to be.

Ahhh yep. It's pretty unbelievably simple and black and white. It's their site. They can do whatever they want with the forum.

In fact, they can choose to not have a forum. Then what? Would you sue them if they got rid of it?
Walmart, BP, and I dare say most large companies don't give a rat's patootie about the health of the environment. Profit, profit profit. But most will profess their commitment to green technologies and recycling etc. They do so because they know they gather good will by doing so. They don't have to do any of it. Many companies have 1-800 numbers to call to register complaints. They don't have to do this either. It's a matter of good business and maintaining a stream of communications. Many sites have open and lively forums where real discussions can take place and yes, as you so aptly put it, they don't have to do this either. It's a matter of perception. They ask how will we be viewed because of this or that action? I prefer not to bow towards the direction of iStock every time I reach my payout because I know they have reached it 4 times in the same period, now of course that goes to 5.25 times. But hey, it's their company and they can do whatever they want and we should all just accept this with grace and gratitude.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: cathyslife on February 06, 2011, 13:12
I am sure they would get rid of the forum if they could. But it's actually saving them money and providing a service. Why hire customer service people when most questions can be answered by contributors willing to give away advice for free?
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: KarenH on February 06, 2011, 14:00

I am still banned from both the forums and sitemail


I just caught this -- banned from site mail ?  ???  I can't even begin to figure out the logic behind that. :(  Are they afraid people might email their CN (or "friends" as it is now) and tell them they're banned? 
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 06, 2011, 16:07

I am still banned from both the forums and sitemail


I just caught this -- banned from site mail ?  ???  I can't even begin to figure out the logic behind that. :(  Are they afraid people might email their CN (or "friends" as it is now) and tell them they're banned? 

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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on February 06, 2011, 16:08
[
Another good example but I don't think this will sink in either.

Ah nope. It's not the black and white, all details fit into neat little cubbies, scenario you'd like it to be.

Ahhh yep. It's pretty unbelievably simple and black and white. It's their site. They can do whatever they want with the forum.

In fact, they can choose to not have a forum. Then what? Would you sue them if they got rid of it?
Walmart, BP, and I dare say most large companies don't give a rat's patootie about the health of the environment. Profit, profit profit. But most will profess their commitment to green technologies and recycling etc. They do so because they know they gather good will by doing so. They don't have to do any of it. Many companies have 1-800 numbers to call to register complaints. They don't have to do this either. It's a matter of good business and maintaining a stream of communications. Many sites have open and lively forums where real discussions can take place and yes, as you so aptly put it, they don't have to do this either. It's a matter of perception. They ask how will we be viewed because of this or that action? I prefer not to bow towards the direction of iStock every time I reach my payout because I know they have reached it 4 times in the same period, now of course that goes to 5.25 times. But hey, it's their company and they can do whatever they want and we should all just accept this with grace and gratitude.

You're talking two different topics. What they can do, and what they should do.

They should treat customers and suppliers with fairness and respect. But they can do whatever they want. It will take a while to see what the long term affects are of their current actions.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on February 06, 2011, 16:10
I am sure they would get rid of the forum if they could. But it's actually saving them money and providing a service. Why hire customer service people when most questions can be answered by contributors willing to give away advice for free?

That plus they can control the content. They can remove any posts they don't like. If they get rid of the forum most people will come here to publicly flog them and they will have no control over it.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Freedom on February 06, 2011, 16:23
There is a difference between a site owned by an individual and a large corporation.

For a corporation, a forum is a valuable asset for the management to keep in touch with its suppliers and buyers. Again, I have no idea what Lobo did was correct or not, I am just using this as an example. A forum admin can make mistakes, just like a Walmart employee would. Walmart definitely will not ban a customer simply because that person goes to the store to complain about a problem. If the complaint is legitimate and valid, the management may apologize for the employee's mistake. I rarely use Walmart, so again I am talking about it hypothetically. But I think any credible corporation will do this.  

However, if the customer is interfering with the business operation and causing disruption, that is another matter. In my mind, someone who is complaining in IS forum is like a Walmart customer goes to the service department to complain. Complaints in the forum may give the company a negative PR image, but it is not the same as someone who was yelling and committing violent acts. If the company does not like negative PRs, they can shut down the forum. However, the customer can still complain to the government or sue in court if they feel strongly about the unfair treatment. An act happens in a private premises does not mean that it is above the law. Mind you, Lobo's decision may be his own and not that of his boss. In another way, Lobo's decision can be reversed if his boss feels differently.

Leaf, you are the boss of this forum, so your position is different from Lobo's.

Can you say whatever you want to say in your own forum? Nope, if you are promoting Nazi, racist, terrorist agendas, or even Wikileaks, someone will definitely try to shut you up or sue you in court. Yes, I have owned several forums of my own, but I haven't banned anyone, not yet. I am not saying I will never ban anyone, but you have to be fair if you want to be credible.

My point is, when we hear that our colleagues are banned by some agencies, be it IS, FT or DT, or whatever, and we know that these persons are banned just because of complaining about the things which most of us feel badly about, should we dismiss their grieves by saying, "Shut up, you deserve it, because it's their forum", knowing there is a huge imbalance of power?  

I think you should take it one step further.

I think going into iStock's forums and complaining is more like picketing with a sign in walmart with the sign saying walmart sucks and that the manager should be fired.  Walmart is private property and the owners have full right to remove you from their store.  You don't have 'freedom of speech' inside walmart. Inside walmart, it is walmart that decides how you can act.  On public property, or property you own you can say what you like

The same on the net, if you go to istock, it is iStock who decides what can and cannot be said inside their business (which extends onto the internet).  The only place you have real freedom of speech on the internet is if you buy a domain yourself and set up a website ... then you can say anything you like (within the limitations of the national law).
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: leaf on February 06, 2011, 17:07
I totally agree with everything you say Freedom.  I also think that people should express their opinions in the iStock forum - it is great for iStock to get feedback from both buyers and photographers.  I can't say wether the bannings were justified or not as I don't know all what was said.  From the little I have heard though, it seems people are getting banned pretty quickly over trivial things. I wasn't trying to say either way though.  My only point was whether iStock had the legal right to ban someone or not.  I was absolutely not trying to dismiss anyone's grievances or troubles.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: jbarber873 on February 06, 2011, 17:35

I am still banned from both the forums and sitemail


I just caught this -- banned from site mail ?  ???  I can't even begin to figure out the logic behind that. :(  Are they afraid people might email their CN (or "friends" as it is now) and tell them they're banned? 

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.

    Lobo banned me from the forums and sitemail as well. I figured this was how they always did it. 4 months later, they opened up sitemail, but I'm still banned from the forums.  ;D
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: ShadySue on February 06, 2011, 18:10

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'.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: dbvirago on February 06, 2011, 19:58
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: drawntobewild on February 06, 2011, 20:56
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: tundraphoto on February 06, 2011, 21:21
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 ....
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Microstock Posts on February 07, 2011, 01:13
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.  ;)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: dnavarrojr on February 07, 2011, 03:38
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: helix7 on February 07, 2011, 08:45
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: helix7 on February 07, 2011, 08:51

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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: drawntobewild on February 07, 2011, 09:40


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?
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: jamirae on February 07, 2011, 10:21


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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Noctiluxx on February 07, 2011, 11:40
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... (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
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: drawntobewild on February 07, 2011, 12:14
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Noctiluxx on February 07, 2011, 12:44
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 !
 
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: drawntobewild on February 07, 2011, 12:59
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!
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: jamirae on February 07, 2011, 14:28
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.   :)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: ShadySue on February 07, 2011, 15:06
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: jbarber873 on February 07, 2011, 15:15
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!)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: drawntobewild on February 07, 2011, 15:23
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
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: ShadySue on February 07, 2011, 16:35
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 07, 2011, 16:58

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


I dream of that day. :D
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: drawntobewild on February 07, 2011, 17:07

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
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: drawntobewild on February 07, 2011, 17:08

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!
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: helix7 on February 07, 2011, 17:29

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?
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Noctiluxx on February 07, 2011, 19:10
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: helix7 on February 07, 2011, 20:03
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.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: nruboc on February 07, 2011, 20:23

Agencies should think about this a bit:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/dailycaller/californiacourtfreepornportalsnotunfairtopaidsites (http://news.yahoo.com/s/dailycaller/californiacourtfreepornportalsnotunfairtopaidsites)

I've already prep'd my site for a easy transition to a free site. If agencies go too far down that road, oh well, that's why I didn't quit my day job, I'm not the type to bend over to the IStocks of the world.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Chris3fer on February 07, 2011, 23:55
Hey, just joined after getting annoyed with istock's forums. Or lack there-of. I've been a contributor for a few years now and also got a "I don't like you and I'm in charge" email from little lobo. I backed off before getting banned, but still. How silly is that? I sent an email about his lack of respect towards us, the contributors. Haven't heard back. Doubt I will. I'm just glad to see there are open forums in other places. Most forums I've ever been on have at least one of "those guys" on their moderation team. Its sad, but that's how the world works. As for istock screwing us over all the time lately, that's another story.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: tundraphoto on February 08, 2011, 09:41
.... got a "I don't like you and I'm in charge" email from little lobo. I backed off before getting banned, but still. How silly is that? I sent an email about his lack of respect towards us, the contributors. Haven't heard back. ....

You know, I came real close yesterday to sending an e-mail to Contributor Relations regarding his unprofessional remarks in the forum.  Some of the remarks verge on being down right disrespectful.  You would think iS would realize that this portrays a bad image of the company - as moderators represent the company, whether they are paid are not!  I wonder if enough of us sent e-mails someone would straighten him out?
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: drawntobewild on February 08, 2011, 09:46
I sent emails to every one I know over there (no sitemails, still banned) over the weekend and havent heard a peep from anyone. No responses. I also had a chat with who ever does the iStock twitter account and they said this in regards to people getting banned:

"But it's happened before when things get heated. Not a ban, just a cool down period."

I replied: "...it seems more like censorship where I'm sitting"

Haven't heard back since
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: vlad_the_imp on February 08, 2011, 09:48
Quote
is it possible to still receive sitemail?

Hopefully you guys are aware that istock can and do monitor sitemails? They are not private in the way emails are.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 08, 2011, 10:28
I sent emails to every one I know over there (no sitemails, still banned) over the weekend and havent heard a peep from anyone. No responses. I also had a chat with who ever does the iStock twitter account and they said this in regards to people getting banned:

"But it's happened before when things get heated. Not a ban, just a cool down period."

I replied: "...it seems more like censorship where I'm sitting"

Haven't heard back since

It's probably Lobo that does Twitter too, when he's not monitoring the forums. :D
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: drawntobewild on February 08, 2011, 12:08

It's probably Lobo that does Twitter too, when he's not monitoring the forums. :D

I was thinking the same thing but this person did seem like a decent individual
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: ShadySue on February 08, 2011, 13:04
I sent emails to every one I know over there (no sitemails, still banned) over the weekend and havent heard a peep from anyone. No responses. I also had a chat with who ever does the iStock twitter account and they said this in regards to people getting banned:

"But it's happened before when things get heated. Not a ban, just a cool down period."

I replied: "...it seems more like censorship where I'm sitting"

Haven't heard back since
It's really not that unusual. I was a teacher until recently. A teacher in the same council authority (not school) as me posted some remarks about the authority's policy on an education discussion group and was suspended (from his teaching post). What he said was neither untrue, heated nor libellous. It was true, and it was a controversial topic, worthy of discussion. Don't know what happened to him next, as I'm now 'out of the loop'.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: jamirae on February 08, 2011, 13:16

It's probably Lobo that does Twitter too, when he's not monitoring the forums. :D

I was thinking the same thing but this person did seem like a decent individual

I am pretty sure it is NOT lobo.  I am pretty sure it used to be Rob Sylvan but since he's gone I am not sure who it is.  whoever it is is much nicer than lobo and does get a lot of ranting tweets aimed at them but seems to stay very calm and civil.  
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 08, 2011, 13:30

I am pretty sure it is NOT lobo.  I am pretty sure it used to be Rob Sylvan but since he's gone I am not sure who it is.  whoever it is is much nicer than lobo and does get a lot of ranting tweets aimed at them but seems to stay very calm and civil.  

I guess they only want him offending people on-site. LOL
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: drawntobewild on February 08, 2011, 14:15
Yes it is unfortunate that this maniac is the "Face" of iStock and the anonymous tweeter is behind the scenes
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: drawntobewild on February 08, 2011, 21:35
Day 4 of my ban from the iStock forums and sitemail...just sayin'
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: gostwyck on February 08, 2011, 21:51
Day 4 of my ban from the iStock forums and sitemail...just sayin'

Bans from Istockphoto forums are normally measured in months (at least) not days. Just sayin'.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: klsbear on February 08, 2011, 22:34
I was just over at the forums and saw one thing that made me wonder... The forum index showed Lobo as the most recent post for the Discussion forum, but when I went to that forum he wasn't a recent poster on any of the top threads that had posts in the past hour or so (including stickies at the top).  Maybe he got his post deleted for going to far???
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: SNP on February 08, 2011, 23:09
I was just over at the forums and saw one thing that made me wonder... The forum index showed Lobo as the most recent post for the Discussion forum, but when I went to that forum he wasn't a recent poster on any of the top threads that had posts in the past hour or so (including stickies at the top).  Maybe he got his post deleted for going to far???

no. it probably means someone started a thread that got axed by Lobo. Lobo was just the last user to be indexed as 'touching' a thread in that forum.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: JamesGdesign on February 09, 2011, 00:40
Ha welcome to the Banny Club. Lobo is just a little mouse trying to piss upwind. No matter how hard he tries he still goes to sleep at night tasting his own vitriol on the pillow.

Its incredible how Karma works like that. Just think 5 years from now we'll all look back and wonder why we ever got so worked up in the first place  ;)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: ShadySue on February 09, 2011, 07:36
Day 4 of my ban from the iStock forums and sitemail...just sayin'
I think you're supposed to send a grovelling SM promising to be good in future.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: azurelaroux on February 09, 2011, 08:14
Day 4 of my ban from the iStock forums and sitemail...just sayin'
I think you're supposed to send a grovelling SM promising to be good in future.

They've managed to separate forums and SM in the banning process?? Used to be an all or nothing gig like the "3rd party Marketing".
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Noctiluxx on February 09, 2011, 08:20
Day 4 of my ban from the iStock forums and sitemail...just sayin'


Bans from Istockphoto forums are normally measured in months (at least) not days. Just sayin'.


I sent my mom over to iStock HQ, they seemed surprised and instantly stopped remodeling their new offices for the occasion.
I taped my mom's persuasive diplomatic actions Robbers attacked by handbag wielding old woman (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1f3zuK4beCA#ws)
Shortly thereafter all my site privileges were reinstated :)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: ShadySue on February 09, 2011, 08:26
Day 4 of my ban from the iStock forums and sitemail...just sayin'
I think you're supposed to send a grovelling SM promising to be good in future.

They've managed to separate forums and SM in the banning process?? Used to be an all or nothing gig like the "3rd party Marketing".
Shhhh. I don't want them to notice.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: jbarber873 on February 09, 2011, 09:14
Day 4 of my ban from the iStock forums and sitemail...just sayin'
I think you're supposed to send a grovelling SM promising to be good in future.

 OH,I'm supposed to grovel? I left that part out when I sent a message to support. I guess I shouldn't have put in the part about Lobo being " petty and vindictive" in the request for my forum rights being restored then? Maybe that's why I'm still banned after 4 months. I never could get the hang of groveling... ;D
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: drawntobewild on February 09, 2011, 10:01
Day 4 of my ban from the iStock forums and sitemail...just sayin'
I think you're supposed to send a grovelling SM promising to be good in future.

I dont have SM so I cant grovel (not that i would) I did email contributor relations but did the exact opposite of grovel so I'm thinking I'm out for a while. Meanwhile the thread goes on with no response from the powers that be over there.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: ShadySue on February 09, 2011, 10:08
Day 4 of my ban from the iStock forums and sitemail...just sayin'
I think you're supposed to send a grovelling SM promising to be good in future.

I dont have SM so I cant grovel (not that i would) I did email contributor relations but did the exact opposite of grovel so I'm thinking I'm out for a while. Meanwhile the thread goes on with no response from the powers that be over there.
Responses from TPTB are sooooo 2009.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: jamirae on February 09, 2011, 10:22
I was just over at the forums and saw one thing that made me wonder... The forum index showed Lobo as the most recent post for the Discussion forum, but when I went to that forum he wasn't a recent poster on any of the top threads that had posts in the past hour or so (including stickies at the top).  Maybe he got his post deleted for going to far???

actually there's a update thing that is totally off on the index page.  just check it after you post something and you'll notice that you are not right away listed as the most recent post.  I'm pretty sure that was probably what you experienced since I seriously doubt that has been fixed in all these years.  it's been like that for a long time now.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Noctiluxx on February 09, 2011, 10:39
If you are still banned after a few months i would not hesitate and call head office to kindly ask if they can look into it.
Chances are they have forgotten about your ban altogether and emailing support can take a long while as we have noticed.
Cheers peeps, Kurt
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Chris3fer on February 09, 2011, 11:20
There doesn't seem to really be any point to contributing to the istock forums anymore, unless you want to talk about:
1. How FANTASTIC istock is.
2. How SUPER FAST the inspection team is.
3. Thank you istock for (fill in the blank).

Anything against istock is frowned upon and if you post more than 1 negative comment about istock, you get the lil lobo sitemail threat. I wish I could post my lengthy back and forth site mails I had with him. They are awesomely ridiculous. But I won't to maintain my anonymity.

Since there is nothing good to say about istock lately, there is no point in trying to post anything over there.. IMO
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on February 09, 2011, 12:20
I haven't been banned and I've certainly posted many things pointing out the flaws, problems, greed, inconsistency, etc. with various aspects of the site or company policy.

I have gotten ticked off via site mail a couple of times, but not for every post. Things are not good over there, and I find the "thank you for fixing this piece of code you broke months ago" pretty gag inducing, but I do think it's possible to hold their toes to the fire as long as you don't rant or make personal attacks.

Once, I really think there was some attention paid to contributor concerns and speaking out in the forum made a difference. I don't think that any more, but until I give up on the site altogether, I will continue to complain constructively about things that need attention.

It's pretty easy to get yourself banned by bluntly and angrily telling them the truth about how they have effed up one of the best stock sites out there. It's also reasonably easy to avoid getting banned if you want to temper what you say a little and word things carefully (harder to do for non-native English speakers, I realize).
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Noctiluxx on February 09, 2011, 12:54
Well said Jen, i'll be right there with you doing just about the same  :-X
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: tundraphoto on February 09, 2011, 13:00
I haven't been banned and I've certainly posted many things pointing out the flaws, problems, greed, inconsistency, etc. with various aspects of the site or company policy.

I have gotten ticked off via site mail a couple of times, but not for every post. Things are not good over there, and I find the "thank you for fixing this piece of code you broke months ago" pretty gag inducing, but I do think it's possible to hold their toes to the fire as long as you don't rant or make personal attacks.

Once, I really think there was some attention paid to contributor concerns and speaking out in the forum made a difference. I don't think that any more, but until I give up on the site altogether, I will continue to complain constructively about things that need attention.

It's pretty easy to get yourself banned by bluntly and angrily telling them the truth about how they have effed up one of the best stock sites out there. It's also reasonably easy to avoid getting banned if you want to temper what you say a little and word things carefully (harder to do for non-native English speakers, I realize).

+1
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Risamay on February 09, 2011, 16:38
It's pretty easy to get yourself banned by bluntly and angrily telling them the truth about how they have effed up one of the best stock sites out there. It's also reasonably easy to avoid getting banned if you want to temper what you say a little and word things carefully (harder to do for non-native English speakers, I realize).

Definitely true. If you're conscious and careful, you won't get a warning and you certainly won't be banned.

In all my posts on iStock, I only ever got a handful of warnings from Lobo. And I usually knew when/why they'd be coming. Also, the posts of mine that he deleted never really surprised me. It was pretty clear to me what I could and couldn't get away with saying, and I feel like he let me get away with a lot over the years. What surprised me was only that he'd delete my more sarcastic comments but leave those of others. He's definitely become more vigilant of late, as things have continued to spiral out of control there. What with all the changes, bugs, and other negative developments or things we have to rant about.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 09, 2011, 17:15
I do think it's possible to hold their toes to the fire as long as you don't rant or make personal attacks.
Don't try to be funny either. That was one of the reasons for my banning. Lobo doesn't like "lolcanoes", even if everyone else does.

He's takes himself far too seriously, just like the traffic cop he claims to be.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Risamay on February 09, 2011, 17:31
LOL @ "lolcanoes"  :D
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: drawntobewild on February 09, 2011, 21:12
I'm still going to have to disagree with the group. Yes this Lobo character is totally out of control but iStock still condones it by letting him do what he wants. I've sent several emails to contributor relations and had a nice twitter chat with who ever runs their twitter and no one has reached out to me or rectified my ban. iStock is as much to blame as Lobo(tomy)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: drawntobewild on February 09, 2011, 21:32
Oh and I had no warnings what so ever
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Risamay on February 17, 2011, 19:05
Boy am I glad I had myself banned when I did.

While it seems Lobo's tone has softened these last weeks, the more I read of Dawn and Kelvin (in particular) in their new role as moderators, the less I feel I know them. Their voices/tone has really changed from before the badges.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Mantis on February 17, 2011, 19:21
Boy am I glad I had myself banned when I did.

While it seems Lobo's tone has softened these last weeks, the more I read of Dawn and Kelvin (in particular) in their new role as moderators, the less I feel I know them. Their voices/tone has really changed from before the badges.

This is for * SURE, especially Kelvin.  Before he was pretty down to earth and now he sounds like LOBO jr.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 17, 2011, 19:26
I miss the old Kelvin. He had some of the best zingers I've ever read on those forums.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Risamay on February 17, 2011, 19:35
This is for SURE, especially Kelvin.  Before he was pretty down to earth and now he sounds like LOBO jr.

I miss the old Kelvin. He had some of the best zingers I've ever read on those forums.

Ditto. And ditto. Kelvin was awesome. Keyword: was. His zingers were the best! And cut straight to the chase. He was (there's that word again) a great voice for the contributor base. One of our top voices. And now ...

It's disappointing, to say the least. Actually, it's quite shocking. I'm still not nearly used to it. Though I haven't been reading the forums more than sporadically of late. As just a pop-in, now, I feel like I've lost the flow of the forums. So maybe other people who still read more regularly have already acclimated to the new tone/voice.

Anyway. Onward.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Suljo on February 17, 2011, 20:16
Poor fat lobo. He really deserves lobotomy...
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: BooKitty on February 17, 2011, 22:06
I don't think he is fat. Is he?
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on February 17, 2011, 22:07
Apparently he's also poor. All hail angry parakeet. 
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: BooKitty on February 17, 2011, 22:17
Good one..  ;D
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: gostwyck on February 17, 2011, 23:04
Apparently he's also poor. All hail angry parakeet. 

I get the impression he's suffering from dementia. He seems to be completely forgetful or totally unaware of who is actually paying his f*cking wages.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Pheby on February 17, 2011, 23:09
Apparently he's also poor. All hail angry parakeet. 

I get the impression he's suffering from dementia. He seems to be completely forgetful or totally unaware of who is actually paying his f*cking wages.

yeah: the people he is disciplining. In which other business would you ever find an absurd constellation like that?
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: RacePhoto on February 18, 2011, 03:22
Apparently he's also poor. All hail angry parakeet. 

I get the impression he's suffering from dementia. He seems to be completely forgetful or totally unaware of who is actually paying his f*cking wages.

His Mother was a hamster and his father smells of elderberries

Can anyone here be any more irrelevant or stupid with personal attacks?

Oh by the way, IS pays his wages and IS makes the guidelines for how he should manage the forms. Last of all - none of us has any "Freedom of Speech" on any private forum anywhere that's run by some company or individual. It's their RIGHT to allow or disallow anything they want. Are people so clueless to miss the point that the forum owner/operators also have rights?

Intimidation, that's bad practice. The right way to handle people who don't follow forum guidelines is give them a vacation and if that doesn't work, ban them. Explain the rules and issue a warning. No intimidation, no reasoning, just the facts.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Eyedesign on February 18, 2011, 06:41
Facts! We don't need no stinking facts! Mob mentality is the rule of the day here on MSG.  ;D
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: cathyslife on February 18, 2011, 10:25
Facts! We don't need no stinking facts! Mob mentality is the rule of the day here on MSG.  ;D

Just like the IS forum! It's everywhere!  ;D
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: SNP on February 18, 2011, 11:25
Facts! We don't need no stinking facts! Mob mentality is the rule of the day here on MSG.  ;D

it is, and I find it in really poor taste listening to some of you referring to moderators with very personal insults. whether you agree or disagree with their comments, fine. but as per usual many of you are crossing serious lines. show some class.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: cathyslife on February 18, 2011, 12:08
Facts! We don't need no stinking facts! Mob mentality is the rule of the day here on MSG.  ;D

it is, and I find it in really poor taste listening to some of you referring to moderators with very personal insults. whether you agree or disagree with their comments, fine. but as per usual many of you are crossing serious lines. show some class.

If you want class, you should stick to the IS forum. Because everyone that posts there is VERY classy, including Lobo!  ;)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: helix7 on February 18, 2011, 15:59
Facts! We don't need no stinking facts! Mob mentality is the rule of the day here on MSG.  ;D

I'll take the mob over the woo-yay-ers over at the istock forums.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: lisafx on February 18, 2011, 16:05
Facts! We don't need no stinking facts! Mob mentality is the rule of the day here on MSG.  ;D

I'll take the mob over the woo-yay-ers over at the istock forums.

Good news!  You don't have to choose!  The Wooyayers have migrated over here ;D
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: azurelaroux on February 18, 2011, 16:09
Facts! We don't need no stinking facts! Mob mentality is the rule of the day here on MSG.  ;D

I'll take the mob over the woo-yay-ers over at the istock forums.

Good news!  You don't have to choose!  The Wooyayers have migrated over here ;D

LOL May the combat begin.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Eyedesign on February 18, 2011, 18:00
Facts! We don't need no stinking facts! Mob mentality is the rule of the day here on MSG.  ;D

I'll take the mob over the woo-yay-ers over at the istock forums.

I S T O C K   B A Dddddddd  R E S T  O F  T H E  W O R L D  G O O Dddddddddd.... is that better?  ;D I love this place you guys are so nutty!
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: lisafx on February 18, 2011, 18:59
Facts! We don't need no stinking facts! Mob mentality is the rule of the day here on MSG.  ;D

I S T O C K   B A Dddddddd  R E S T  O F  T H E  W O R L D  G O O Dddddddddd.... is that better?  ;D I love this place you guys are so nutty!

Thomas, if I didn't know you from years on the Istock forums, and was only going by your posts here at MSG, I would swear you were nothing but a troll.  

Don't you have anything constructive to add to any of the conversations here?  Or are you just here to insult the regulars and anyone you disagree with ???

I think we all get it by now.  You love Istock unconditionally and are angry and insulting toward anyone who doesn't feel the same way.  Why bother hanging around here if we are such downers?  The Istock forums are available to you and are blessedly free (thanks to numerous bannings) of most of the angriest complainers.  

Why not let people who have been silenced at Istock blow off steam here without you poking sticks at them like some playground bully?  You are just rubbing salt in the wounds.  Surely there is some more productive way for you to get your jollies?  
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: ShadySue on February 18, 2011, 20:15
Facts! We don't need no stinking facts! Mob mentality is the rule of the day here on MSG.  ;D

I'll take the mob over the woo-yay-ers over at the istock forums.
To be fair, there's not much woo-waying over there.
Only two threads, really: the people who are dying to fork out c£1000 on the London'lypse (OK those who live near enough or have friends there won't pay that much) and those who didn't have the gumption to investigate Editorial outlets before, and are apparently delighted about this half-baked Editorial Lite confusion.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: SNP on February 18, 2011, 20:57
^ there's plenty of opportunity to continue my usual editorial work in addition to iStock's editorial lite....it's not one or the other. ;-)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: gostwyck on February 18, 2011, 21:17
I S T O C K   B A Dddddddd  R E S T  O F  T H E  W O R L D  G O O Dddddddddd.... is that better?  ;D I love this place you guys are so nutty!

So not a glimpse into your thoughts about the hefty drop in commission your loyalty to Istock just bought you then? You really have swallowed it hook, line & sinker haven't you?
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Eyedesign on February 19, 2011, 03:38
Facts! We don't need no stinking facts! Mob mentality is the rule of the day here on MSG.  ;D

I S T O C K   B A Dddddddd  R E S T  O F  T H E  W O R L D  G O O Dddddddddd.... is that better?  ;D I love this place you guys are so nutty!

Thomas, if I didn't know you from years on the Istock forums, and was only going by your posts here at MSG, I would swear you were nothing but a troll.  

Don't you have anything constructive to add to any of the conversations here?  Or are you just here to insult the regulars and anyone you disagree with ???

I think we all get it by now.  You love Istock unconditionally and are angry and insulting toward anyone who doesn't feel the same way.  Why bother hanging around here if we are such downers?  The Istock forums are available to you and are blessedly free (thanks to numerous bannings) of most of the angriest complainers.  

Why not let people who have been silenced at Istock blow off steam here without you poking sticks at them like some playground bully?  You are just rubbing salt in the wounds.  Surely there is some more productive way for you to get your jollies?  
Lisa are you kidding me, have you been reading this thread. Istock is trying to take away our freedom of speech! As has been pointed out before in this thread iStock is a private company they get to decide whats posted in the forum on istock. Not you, not me, those are the facts. Now does that make me a Troll or a realest? Oh I guess on this site it means I'm a Troll

No worries Lisa I still love Ya!
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: lagereek on February 19, 2011, 04:11
Facts! We don't need no stinking facts! Mob mentality is the rule of the day here on MSG.  ;D

I S T O C K   B A Dddddddd  R E S T  O F  T H E  W O R L D  G O O Dddddddddd.... is that better?  ;D I love this place you guys are so nutty!

Thomas, if I didn't know you from years on the Istock forums, and was only going by your posts here at MSG, I would swear you were nothing but a troll.  

Don't you have anything constructive to add to any of the conversations here?  Or are you just here to insult the regulars and anyone you disagree with ???

I think we all get it by now.  You love Istock unconditionally and are angry and insulting toward anyone who doesn't feel the same way.  Why bother hanging around here if we are such downers?  The Istock forums are available to you and are blessedly free (thanks to numerous bannings) of most of the angriest complainers.  

Why not let people who have been silenced at Istock blow off steam here without you poking sticks at them like some playground bully?  You are just rubbing salt in the wounds.  Surely there is some more productive way for you to get your jollies?  
Lisa are you kidding me, have you been reading this thread. Istock is trying to take away our freedom of speech! As has been pointed out before in this thread iStock is a private company they get to decide whats posted in the forum on istock. Not you, not me, those are the facts. Now does that make me a Troll or a realest? Oh I guess on this site it means I'm a Troll

No worries Lisa I still love Ya!

Everybody loves Lisa! 
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Eyedesign on February 19, 2011, 04:40
I S T O C K   B A Dddddddd  R E S T  O F  T H E  W O R L D  G O O Dddddddddd.... is that better?  ;D I love this place you guys are so nutty!

So not a glimpse into your thoughts about the hefty drop in commission your loyalty to Istock just bought you then? You really have swallowed it hook, line & sinker haven't you?
Here's a glimpse, the big hefty drop has turned out to be a drop of about 2% because of Vetta/Agency sells. I'll be the first to say it's still much to early to predicted how the rest of the year's income will turn out but, I think with VeTTa/Agency images placed on Getty I should see an increase of 10% - 15% over last year. If that doesn't workout I'll drop them in a hot minute, I'm not marry or in love with them,iStock is just a company I do business with.

I get why non-exclusive are pissed, you guys got the shortest and crappy end of the stick. I feel your pain, but threads like this and some others don't really help. On the site is a thread titled "How to divert traffics away from istock and fotolia" I disagree with the thread but have not posted because I think the thread has good helpful info for non-exclusives. Not like threads like "Buyers bailing on istock", "F5 epic fail"..... on and on. these threads may have started out with good info and facts, but have now turned to into name calling nonsense.

I've said this before I don't care if your exclusive or non-exclusive you need to do what's profitable for your business. I fail to see how any of these emotional I hate iStock threads help to reach that goal.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: cathyslife on February 19, 2011, 08:27
I S T O C K   B A Dddddddd  R E S T  O F  T H E  W O R L D  G O O Dddddddddd.... is that better?  ;D I love this place you guys are so nutty!

So not a glimpse into your thoughts about the hefty drop in commission your loyalty to Istock just bought you then? You really have swallowed it hook, line & sinker haven't you?
Here's a glimpse, the big hefty drop has turned out to be a drop of about 2% because of Vetta/Agency sells. I'll be the first to say it's still much to early to predicted how the rest of the year's income will turn out but, I think with VeTTa/Agency images placed on Getty I should see an increase of 10% - 15% over last year. If that doesn't workout I'll drop them in a hot minute, I'm not marry or in love with them,iStock is just a company I do business with.

I get why non-exclusive are pissed, you guys got the shortest and crappy end of the stick. I feel your pain, but threads like this and some others don't really help. On the site is a thread titled "How to divert traffics away from istock and fotolia" I disagree with the thread but have not posted because I think the thread has good helpful info for non-exclusives. Not like threads like "Buyers bailing on istock", "F5 epic fail"..... on and on. these threads may have started out with good info and facts, but have now turned to into name calling nonsense.

I've said this before I don't care if your exclusive or non-exclusive you need to do what's profitable for your business. I fail to see how any of these emotional I hate iStock threads help to reach that goal.

I respect your opinion about how you fail to see how any of the threads help reach a goal. But maybe the threads aren't meant to reach any goal. Maybe they are meant for people to blow off steam about their frustration and disappointment with istock. And yes, they do help. They help US, the people who are talking about it.

I don't get why you, Stacey and some others come here and put us down because we have the freedom of speech here and are commiserating with others. If you don't get it, why bother coming here and commenting? That's what I don't get. I can't stand all the kiss-butt, woo-yaying at the IS forum, so you know what? I just don't go there!

As far as name calling...most of the time, for me, it's entertainment. I get a good laugh. If it's a conversation I'm involved in, I still get a good laugh. I get that people are upset and frustrated and sometimes that translates into acting like children and name-calling. Big deal. I still respect everyone here. If I don't, I use the little ignore button.

Good for you if your business increases at IS! There aren't a lot of people that can say that. Do you ever go to a bar with your buddies and sit around and BS about work, the state of the world, etc.? Well, think of this as not only a source of information, but sometimes the local neighborhood bar, where everyone can talk about whatever they want. And sometimes there are even barroom brawls!  :D

What I get is that some of you folks who ARE making out well at IS are worried that our telling the truth and talking about the negatives might be hurting YOUR income. All the negative threads here aren't helping YOU. And maybe that's why you are here? You have to understand, this forum is NOT controlled by IS. People get to actually say what they want. Even you!
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Microstock Posts on February 19, 2011, 08:59
I S T O C K   B A Dddddddd  R E S T  O F  T H E  W O R L D  G O O Dddddddddd.... is that better?  ;D I love this place you guys are so nutty!

So not a glimpse into your thoughts about the hefty drop in commission your loyalty to Istock just bought you then? You really have swallowed it hook, line & sinker haven't you?
Here's a glimpse, the big hefty drop has turned out to be a drop of about 2% because of Vetta/Agency sells. I'll be the first to say it's still much to early to predicted how the rest of the year's income will turn out but, I think with VeTTa/Agency images placed on Getty I should see an increase of 10% - 15% over last year. If that doesn't workout I'll drop them in a hot minute, I'm not marry or in love with them,iStock is just a company I do business with.

I get why non-exclusive are pissed, you guys got the shortest and crappy end of the stick. I feel your pain, but threads like this and some others don't really help. On the site is a thread titled "How to divert traffics away from istock and fotolia" I disagree with the thread but have not posted because I think the thread has good helpful info for non-exclusives. Not like threads like "Buyers bailing on istock", "F5 epic fail"..... on and on. these threads may have started out with good info and facts, but have now turned to into name calling nonsense.

I've said this before I don't care if your exclusive or non-exclusive you need to do what's profitable for your business. I fail to see how any of these emotional I hate iStock threads help to reach that goal.

I respect your opinion about how you fail to see how any of the threads help reach a goal. But maybe the threads aren't meant to reach any goal. Maybe they are meant for people to blow off steam about their frustration and disappointment with istock. And yes, they do help. They help US, the people who are talking about it.

I don't get why you, Stacey and some others come here and put us down because we have the freedom of speech here and are commiserating with others. If you don't get it, why bother coming here and commenting? That's what I don't get. I can't stand all the kiss-butt, woo-yaying at the IS forum, so you know what? I just don't go there!

As far as name calling...most of the time, for me, it's entertainment. I get a good laugh. If it's a conversation I'm involved in, I still get a good laugh. I get that people are upset and frustrated and sometimes that translates into acting like children and name-calling. Big deal. I still respect everyone here. If I don't, I use the little ignore button.

Good for you if your business increases at IS! There aren't a lot of people that can say that. Do you ever go to a bar with your buddies and sit around and BS about work, the state of the world, etc.? Well, think of this as not only a source of information, but sometimes the local neighborhood bar, where everyone can talk about whatever they want. And sometimes there are even barroom brawls!  :D

What I get is that some of you folks who ARE making out well at IS are worried that our telling the truth and talking about the negatives might be hurting YOUR income. All the negative threads here aren't helping YOU. And maybe that's why you are here? You have to understand, this forum is NOT controlled by IS. People get to actually say what they want. Even you!

Wooyay to cclapper!! Brilliantly said. Would you mind bending over a little further so I can position myself better to kiss your ass. Omg I don't know what came over me, for a moment there I thought I was in the istock forum.  :-*
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: cathyslife on February 19, 2011, 09:35
I S T O C K   B A Dddddddd  R E S T  O F  T H E  W O R L D  G O O Dddddddddd.... is that better?  ;D I love this place you guys are so nutty!

So not a glimpse into your thoughts about the hefty drop in commission your loyalty to Istock just bought you then? You really have swallowed it hook, line & sinker haven't you?
Here's a glimpse, the big hefty drop has turned out to be a drop of about 2% because of Vetta/Agency sells. I'll be the first to say it's still much to early to predicted how the rest of the year's income will turn out but, I think with VeTTa/Agency images placed on Getty I should see an increase of 10% - 15% over last year. If that doesn't workout I'll drop them in a hot minute, I'm not marry or in love with them,iStock is just a company I do business with.

I get why non-exclusive are pissed, you guys got the shortest and crappy end of the stick. I feel your pain, but threads like this and some others don't really help. On the site is a thread titled "How to divert traffics away from istock and fotolia" I disagree with the thread but have not posted because I think the thread has good helpful info for non-exclusives. Not like threads like "Buyers bailing on istock", "F5 epic fail"..... on and on. these threads may have started out with good info and facts, but have now turned to into name calling nonsense.

I've said this before I don't care if your exclusive or non-exclusive you need to do what's profitable for your business. I fail to see how any of these emotional I hate iStock threads help to reach that goal.

I respect your opinion about how you fail to see how any of the threads help reach a goal. But maybe the threads aren't meant to reach any goal. Maybe they are meant for people to blow off steam about their frustration and disappointment with istock. And yes, they do help. They help US, the people who are talking about it.

I don't get why you, Stacey and some others come here and put us down because we have the freedom of speech here and are commiserating with others. If you don't get it, why bother coming here and commenting? That's what I don't get. I can't stand all the kiss-butt, woo-yaying at the IS forum, so you know what? I just don't go there!

As far as name calling...most of the time, for me, it's entertainment. I get a good laugh. If it's a conversation I'm involved in, I still get a good laugh. I get that people are upset and frustrated and sometimes that translates into acting like children and name-calling. Big deal. I still respect everyone here. If I don't, I use the little ignore button.

Good for you if your business increases at IS! There aren't a lot of people that can say that. Do you ever go to a bar with your buddies and sit around and BS about work, the state of the world, etc.? Well, think of this as not only a source of information, but sometimes the local neighborhood bar, where everyone can talk about whatever they want. And sometimes there are even barroom brawls!  :D

What I get is that some of you folks who ARE making out well at IS are worried that our telling the truth and talking about the negatives might be hurting YOUR income. All the negative threads here aren't helping YOU. And maybe that's why you are here? You have to understand, this forum is NOT controlled by IS. People get to actually say what they want. Even you!

Wooyay to cclapper!! Brilliantly said. Would you mind bending over a little further so I can position myself better to kiss your ass. Omg I don't know what came over me, for a moment there I thought I was in the istock forum.  :-*

 :D
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: lagereek on February 19, 2011, 12:03
I S T O C K   B A Dddddddd  R E S T  O F  T H E  W O R L D  G O O Dddddddddd.... is that better?  ;D I love this place you guys are so nutty!

So not a glimpse into your thoughts about the hefty drop in commission your loyalty to Istock just bought you then? You really have swallowed it hook, line & sinker haven't you?
Here's a glimpse, the big hefty drop has turned out to be a drop of about 2% because of Vetta/Agency sells. I'll be the first to say it's still much to early to predicted how the rest of the year's income will turn out but, I think with VeTTa/Agency images placed on Getty I should see an increase of 10% - 15% over last year. If that doesn't workout I'll drop them in a hot minute, I'm not marry or in love with them,iStock is just a company I do business with.

I get why non-exclusive are pissed, you guys got the shortest and crappy end of the stick. I feel your pain, but threads like this and some others don't really help. On the site is a thread titled "How to divert traffics away from istock and fotolia" I disagree with the thread but have not posted because I think the thread has good helpful info for non-exclusives. Not like threads like "Buyers bailing on istock", "F5 epic fail"..... on and on. these threads may have started out with good info and facts, but have now turned to into name calling nonsense.

I've said this before I don't care if your exclusive or non-exclusive you need to do what's profitable for your business. I fail to see how any of these emotional I hate iStock threads help to reach that goal.


Quite right!  thats what I said earlier, threads like these are down out damaging, especially when everybody can read them. It doesnt help the slightest, it backfires with bad side-effects.
 Im pretty sure nobody cut our rates because of personal feelings for thousands of contributors.
This is the business we have chosen so we simply have to live with it.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: SNP on February 19, 2011, 12:13
^ agreed. Cathy, since you named me even though I'm really not saying much in this thread, freedom of speech is not a license to say anything you want. I've been spoken to in a way here that I can truly say no one in my life has ever spoken to me. it reminds me of the time I worked in a building that also housed a union-represented company. they were on strike and it had nothing to do with our company and when I tried to go to work, two big guys sat on my car, wouldn't let me in the parking lot and whispered sweet nothings to me that included words I wouldn't repeat.

MSG has become a haven for thugs. we're professionals. disagree until the cows come home, that's totally fine. I don't care if you dislike everything I say and vice versa...there's still a line that gets crossed regularly over here. it's not about moderation, it's about professional courtesy. not to mention the conspiracy theories and extrapolations on 'the truth' here go so far beyond ridiculous that you're not even disseminating information anymore.

this isn't a watercooler anymore. if you want it to belong to you, congrats....thanks to the intimidation tactics that happen, mostly unfettered here, it actually does belong to you and those like you. no one else bothers to come here. why do I come here? because there is some information that gets passed around. but that's rarer and rarer these days.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 19, 2011, 13:08
why do I come here? because there is some information that gets passed around. but that's rarer and rarer these days.
Except you seem to gravitate towards the threads where you know what you say is going to provoke people. Why is that? Is it deliberate? If you were just looking for information, why would you join in on the threads that are clearly negative towards iStock?
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 19, 2011, 13:09

Quite right!  thats what I said earlier, threads like these are down out damaging, especially when everybody can read them. It doesnt help the slightest, it backfires with bad side-effects.


How so? I thought the buyers didn't care about things like rate cuts to the contributors? Or forums or things like that?
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: jbarber873 on February 19, 2011, 13:15
^ agreed. Cathy, since you named me even though I'm really not saying much in this thread, freedom of speech is not a license to say anything you want. I've been spoken to in a way here that I can truly say no one in my life has ever spoken to me. it reminds me of the time I worked in a building that also housed a union-represented company. they were on strike and it had nothing to do with our company and when I tried to go to work, two big guys sat on my car, wouldn't let me in the parking lot and whispered sweet nothings to me that included words I wouldn't repeat.

MSG has become a haven for thugs. we're professionals. disagree until the cows come home, that's totally fine. I don't care if you dislike everything I say and vice versa...there's still a line that gets crossed regularly over here. it's not about moderation, it's about professional courtesy. not to mention the conspiracy theories and extrapolations on 'the truth' here go so far beyond ridiculous that you're not even disseminating information anymore.

this isn't a watercooler anymore. if you want it to belong to you, congrats....thanks to the intimidation tactics that happen, mostly unfettered here, it actually does belong to you and those like you. no one else bothers to come here. why do I come here? because there is some information that gets passed around. but that's rarer and rarer these days.

A haven for thugs? I would rather hear a real discussion of the issues than the filtered happy talk at Istock. I disagree with with many of the ideas expressed on this forum, and a lot of people disagree with my point of view. I value everyone's ideas. And I wouldn't try to compare anything that happens on a free and open forum with something that happened in a highly charged strike situation. There is no way to comment on that, except to say that there are always two sides to an issue. If you feel there is no more information to be gotten here, then go back to the Istock forums, where you can plug back into the " you'll think what we tell you to think" mindset. I always read what you post, and sometimes agree, sometimes not. In this case I'm with Cathy- more ideas, not less. As for thugs- the biggest thug I can think of is a guy named Lobo, and he's waiting to beat someone up right now.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: cathyslife on February 19, 2011, 13:17
why do I come here? because there is some information that gets passed around. but that's rarer and rarer these days.
Except you seem to gravitate towards the threads where you know what you say is going to provoke people. Why is that? Is it deliberate? If you were just looking for information, why would you join in on the threads that are clearly negative towards iStock?

Yeah, that's the part I don't get. Well, actually I do get it. I think there has been an impact on sales at istock and rather than blame the party who actually has been the cause of the problems (istock), it's easier to call us names and tell us to stop. There definitely is censorship on istock, and you all are correct...it's their forum, they get to do it. Not so here.

Right now on this forum, I counted 30 threads at the top of the list, 3 of which are specifically about IS. Not exactly thug-worthy.  ;)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Microstock Posts on February 19, 2011, 13:23
I S T O C K   B A Dddddddd  R E S T  O F  T H E  W O R L D  G O O Dddddddddd.... is that better?  ;D I love this place you guys are so nutty!

So not a glimpse into your thoughts about the hefty drop in commission your loyalty to Istock just bought you then? You really have swallowed it hook, line & sinker haven't you?
Here's a glimpse, the big hefty drop has turned out to be a drop of about 2% because of Vetta/Agency sells. I'll be the first to say it's still much to early to predicted how the rest of the year's income will turn out but, I think with VeTTa/Agency images placed on Getty I should see an increase of 10% - 15% over last year. If that doesn't workout I'll drop them in a hot minute, I'm not marry or in love with them,iStock is just a company I do business with.

I get why non-exclusive are pissed, you guys got the shortest and crappy end of the stick. I feel your pain, but threads like this and some others don't really help. On the site is a thread titled "How to divert traffics away from istock and fotolia" I disagree with the thread but have not posted because I think the thread has good helpful info for non-exclusives. Not like threads like "Buyers bailing on istock", "F5 epic fail"..... on and on. these threads may have started out with good info and facts, but have now turned to into name calling nonsense.

I've said this before I don't care if your exclusive or non-exclusive you need to do what's profitable for your business. I fail to see how any of these emotional I hate iStock threads help to reach that goal.


Quite right!  thats what I said earlier, threads like these are down out damaging, especially when everybody can read them. It doesnt help the slightest, it backfires with bad side-effects.
 Im pretty sure nobody cut our rates because of personal feelings for thousands of contributors.
This is the business we have chosen so we simply have to live with it.

It's not the threads which are damaging, it's istock. Threads like these are part of the repercussion of their actions. Have you seen how many negative threads on msg about istock there are, more than any other agency and they're not going to stop that's for sure. Can u imagine anyone discovering microstock and new too msg also, coming across so many negative threads about one agency, anyone in their right mind would stay away, which is good for istock exclusives, just not for buyers.

The damage done lies unequivocally with istock and they have to live with the consequences of their actions as we all do. Negative threads are as a result of negative actions. If the actions in the future change for the positive, by simple reasoning there will be more positive threads. For anyone who wants to hear istock's side of any negative talk about them, they have very generously provided an International Toll-Free number: 00 800 6664 6664. I can't imagine where they get the money for this, I would have thought they would have cut back on this to help maintain sustainability. It really is unfair that istock is so underrepresented in a good light on msg. Oh that's right unlike other agencies, istock choose not to represent themselves here. Maybe they know they still have enough stooges here to do that for them.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 19, 2011, 13:29
There definitely is censorship on istock, and you all are correct...it's their forum, they get to do it. Not so here.

Seriously. It doesn't get much more censored than banning people. LOL
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Danicek on February 19, 2011, 13:40
I S T O C K   B A Dddddddd  R E S T  O F  T H E  W O R L D  G O O Dddddddddd.... is that better?  ;D I love this place you guys are so nutty!

So not a glimpse into your thoughts about the hefty drop in commission your loyalty to Istock just bought you then? You really have swallowed it hook, line & sinker haven't you?
Here's a glimpse, the big hefty drop has turned out to be a drop of about 2% because of Vetta/Agency sells....

Congrats to your 'relative' success to stay at almost the previous level... Your 2% drop could have been nice increase, but you are obviously free to be thankful for staying at the same level.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on February 19, 2011, 14:08


MSG has become a haven for thugs. we're professionals. disagree until the cows come home, that's totally fine. I don't care if you dislike everything I say and vice versa...there's still a line that gets crossed regularly over here. it's not about moderation, it's about professional courtesy. not to mention the conspiracy theories and extrapolations on 'the truth' here go so far beyond ridiculous that you're not even disseminating information anymore.

this isn't a watercooler anymore. if you want it to belong to you, congrats....thanks to the intimidation tactics that happen, mostly unfettered here, it actually does belong to you and those like you. no one else bothers to come here. why do I come here? because there is some information that gets passed around. but that's rarer and rarer these days.

One could argue there is as much, if not more, intimidation over there as there is here. The reason this thread got started is because of the intimidation over there. Imagine a society where they (people in charge) censor people's comments and have a say over the contents of all media. You can probably think of a few places this still happens in. Now think of a society where you can write in a scathing letter and it gets published in an editorial section of a paper. Even if that letter goes about calling your boss or neighbours a fascist pig it would still not be the same form of intimidation. You see there is difference. Those who agree with and follow the tenets of the ruling party tend not to see things the same way.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: gostwyck on February 19, 2011, 14:16
Here's a glimpse, the big hefty drop has turned out to be a drop of about 2% because of Vetta/Agency sells.

I think it's wonderful that you are so grateful to your agency for cutting your commissions by less than you expected them to. Fantastic! How many pints of Istock Kool-Aid do you need to drink per day to maintain that attitude?

Be careful though __ if they only cut your commissions by another 2% this year then there's a danger you might actually explode with happiness and gratitude.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: jen on February 19, 2011, 14:28
Here's a glimpse, the big hefty drop has turned out to be a drop of about 2% because of Vetta/Agency sells.
I think it's wonderful that you are so grateful to your agency for cutting your commissions by less than you expected them to. Fantastic! How many pints of Istock Kool-Aid do you need to drink per day to maintain that attitude?

Be careful though __ if they only cut your commissions by another 2% this year then there's a danger you might actually explode with happiness and gratitude.
It's good of you to pick out the stuff you want to mock out of context and ignore the overall sentiment, "I think with VeTTa/Agency images placed on Getty I should see an increase of 10% - 15% over last year. If that doesn't workout I'll drop them in a hot minute, I'm not marry or in love with them,iStock is just a company I do business with."
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: cathyslife on February 19, 2011, 14:33
Here's a glimpse, the big hefty drop has turned out to be a drop of about 2% because of Vetta/Agency sells.
I think it's wonderful that you are so grateful to your agency for cutting your commissions by less than you expected them to. Fantastic! How many pints of Istock Kool-Aid do you need to drink per day to maintain that attitude?

Be careful though __ if they only cut your commissions by another 2% this year then there's a danger you might actually explode with happiness and gratitude.
It's good of you to pick out the stuff you want to mock out of context and ignore the overall sentiment, "I think with VeTTa/Agency images placed on Getty I should see an increase of 10% - 15% over last year. If that doesn't workout I'll drop them in a hot minute, I'm not marry or in love with them,iStock is just a company I do business with."

Not out of context...for a FACT eyedesign has seen a drop of about 2%...he is only hoping to see an increase...there's a difference between something that has already happened, and one using a crystal ball to try to determine the future. So gostwyck's IF is just as valid as eyedesign's IF.  :)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: gostwyck on February 19, 2011, 14:38
It's good of you to pick out the stuff you want to mock out of context and ignore the overall sentiment, "I think with VeTTa/Agency images placed on Getty I should see an increase of 10% - 15% over last year. If that doesn't workout I'll drop them in a hot minute, I'm not marry or in love with them,iStock is just a company I do business with."

No, the minus 2% is stated as fact, i.e. what has actually happened. The guessed increase is pure speculation. The commission cut was very real too.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: gostwyck on February 19, 2011, 14:52
... MSG has become a haven for thugs. we're professionals. disagree until the cows come home, that's totally fine. I don't care if you dislike everything I say and vice versa...there's still a line that gets crossed regularly over here. it's not about moderation, it's about professional courtesy. not to mention the conspiracy theories and extrapolations on 'the truth' here go so far beyond ridiculous that you're not even disseminating information anymore.

this isn't a watercooler anymore. if you want it to belong to you, congrats....thanks to the intimidation tactics that happen, mostly unfettered here, it actually does belong to you and those like you. no one else bothers to come here. why do I come here? because there is some information that gets passed around. but that's rarer and rarer these days.

I see you're also complaining on the Istock forum about the way your thoughts/desires are being ignored. This is becoming a habit __ you just keep popping up everywhere to complain how each forum is treating you.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: jen on February 19, 2011, 14:56
That's not what I meant.  The 2% cut is fact.  The "you are so grateful", kool-aid drinking comments were the out-of-context mocking to which I was referring.  

(Context being that he will leave if it doesn't work out for his business.  You took a comment saying, "I currently have a 2% decrease in earnings but I expect a 10-15% increase by the end of the year.  If that doesn't happen I'll leave and do what's best for my business." and turned it into "I love iStock, I'm so grateful they only cut my earnings by 2%!  I hope my earnings keep going down by such a small percentage!  Pass the Kool-Aid please!")
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Risamay on February 19, 2011, 16:19
MSG has become a haven for thugs.

Some of the behavior and name-calling here definitely goes over the top, but you're part and parcel when it comes to that.

And, "a haven for thugs"? Seriously?
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: VB inc on February 19, 2011, 16:38
Welcome to the CROWDSOURCING DILEMA!!!! The Squeeze has just begun!!!
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: SNP on February 19, 2011, 21:53
MSG has become a haven for thugs.

Some of the behavior and name-calling here definitely goes over the top, but you're part and parcel when it comes to that.

And, "a haven for thugs"? Seriously?

I can't take credit for it. it was what another contributor called MSG and I thought it was fairly accurate. secondly, I'm not part and parcel. I'm definitely opinionated, and yes, many of my thoughts have rubbed some of you the wrong way or come across as provocative. but my first line of defense is not name calling or mud slinging. I won't say I haven't been reactive at times, because I've had my knee jerk moments for sure. but in general I'd prefer to talk things out. anyone I've unintentionally insulted I have always contacted personally to apologize. and there's just one person I've ever actually told off who absolutely deserved it.

what I don't understand is the unwillingness to accept that indeed things get really nasty over here and it's not conducive to any sort of discussion. I think that's how some of you like it and inevitably those personalities will eclipse any attempts to change that culture. you can call it freedom of speech if that makes it appear more noble. but it's not freedom, nor is it noble.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: cathyslife on February 21, 2011, 08:18
Welcome to the CROWDSOURCING DILEMA!!!! The Squeeze has just begun!!!

Crowdsourcing has certainly brought on a dilemma for agencies. I think istock has realized that no longer can they keep screwing contributors over...the news is going to spread like wildfire. They can control their own forums, but they can't control the rest of the world.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: VB inc on February 21, 2011, 14:24
Welcome to the CROWDSOURCING DILEMA!!!! The Squeeze has just begun!!!

Crowdsourcing has certainly brought on a dilemma for agencies. I think istock has realized that no longer can they keep screwing contributors over...the news is going to spread like wildfire. They can control their own forums, but they can't control the rest of the world.

Crowdsourcing is the business model of the agencies. The dilemma is with the suppliers when the market is overflooded with goods. The agencies get paid either way while the suppliers are working harder and harder for the shrinking slice. I cant possibly see a brighter picture for the majority of sellers going forward unless we get more buyers. Only a select few will profit handsomely from now on.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: cathyslife on February 21, 2011, 15:16
Welcome to the CROWDSOURCING DILEMA!!!! The Squeeze has just begun!!!

Crowdsourcing has certainly brought on a dilemma for agencies. I think istock has realized that no longer can they keep screwing contributors over...the news is going to spread like wildfire. They can control their own forums, but they can't control the rest of the world.

Crowdsourcing is the business model of the agencies. The dilemma is with the suppliers when the market is overflooded with goods. The agencies get paid either way while the suppliers are working harder and harder for the shrinking slice. I cant possibly see a brighter picture for the majority of sellers going forward unless we get more buyers. Only a select few will profit handsomely from now on.

Yeah, there's that too.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: helix7 on February 23, 2011, 08:34
...this isn't a watercooler anymore. if you want it to belong to you, congrats....thanks to the intimidation tactics that happen, mostly unfettered here, it actually does belong to you and those like you. no one else bothers to come here. why do I come here? because there is some information that gets passed around. but that's rarer and rarer these days.

Couldn't disagree more. This place is the only objective forum for microstock with useful information. The istock forum is useless. SS has turned into a sideshow for posting political rants and photos of little white dogs. MSG is the only microstock forum I use anymore because of the interesting discussions and useful information. I just don't see it the way you do, I guess.

The tone around here has certainly gotten very anti-istock, but that's the same everywhere. istock, deservedly, has become a hot topic for mostly bad moves lately. If you're an istock supporter, I can see how the tone of this forum might seem a bit more hostile. But it's no worse here than at istock's own forum. The only difference is that here the threads don't get locked and people don't get easily banned. Which I think is a good thing. I understand why istock draws the line where they do, but it's nice to know that I can come here and read some real opinion and commentary that people can post without fear of over-moderation.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: jamirae on February 23, 2011, 11:57
wait... did someone just call me a thug?   ;)
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: SNP on February 23, 2011, 13:09
...this isn't a watercooler anymore. if you want it to belong to you, congrats....thanks to the intimidation tactics that happen, mostly unfettered here, it actually does belong to you and those like you. no one else bothers to come here. why do I come here? because there is some information that gets passed around. but that's rarer and rarer these days.

Couldn't disagree more. This place is the only objective forum for microstock with useful information. The istock forum is useless. Shutterstock has turned into a sideshow for posting political rants and photos of little white dogs. MSG is the only microstock forum I use anymore because of the interesting discussions and useful information. I just don't see it the way you do, I guess.

The tone around here has certainly gotten very anti-istock, but that's the same everywhere. istock, deservedly, has become a hot topic for mostly bad moves lately. If you're an istock supporter, I can see how the tone of this forum might seem a bit more hostile. But it's no worse here than at istock's own forum. The only difference is that here the threads don't get locked and people don't get easily banned. Which I think is a good thing. I understand why istock draws the line where they do, but it's nice to know that I can come here and read some real opinion and commentary that people can post without fear of over-moderation.

I think that's actually a fair way to say it. I don't have any issue with disagreement. that's fuels awesome discussions. what I disagree with is the language and playground bullying that occurs when someone disagrees. we're all coming from different perspectives, with different experiences, in different countries. I too have had to learn to rein my opinions in and keep that in mind. it's too easy on an internet forum to speak to people in a way you never would in person. at least I wouldn't.

@jamirae: nope. I wouldn't have referred to you as a thug. in fact, you're a great example of someone who generally seems to post with respect for your colleagues, even when you disagree.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Risamay on February 24, 2011, 13:52
...this isn't a watercooler anymore. if you want it to belong to you, congrats....thanks to the intimidation tactics that happen, mostly unfettered here, it actually does belong to you and those like you. no one else bothers to come here. why do I come here? because there is some information that gets passed around. but that's rarer and rarer these days.

Couldn't disagree more. This place is the only objective forum for microstock with useful information. The istock forum is useless. Shutterstock has turned into a sideshow for posting political rants and photos of little white dogs. MSG is the only microstock forum I use anymore because of the interesting discussions and useful information. I just don't see it the way you do, I guess.

The tone around here has certainly gotten very anti-istock, but that's the same everywhere. istock, deservedly, has become a hot topic for mostly bad moves lately. If you're an istock supporter, I can see how the tone of this forum might seem a bit more hostile. But it's no worse here than at istock's own forum. The only difference is that here the threads don't get locked and people don't get easily banned. Which I think is a good thing. I understand why istock draws the line where they do, but it's nice to know that I can come here and read some real opinion and commentary that people can post without fear of over-moderation.

+1

wait... did someone just call me a thug?   ;)

I think she was calling me a thug? Who knows. Not that she'd likely admit it if that was her [underhanded] intention. Thankfully, Stacey's opinion of me matters to me ... not!
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: SNP on February 24, 2011, 14:01
again, it wasn't me who initially coined the term. I just re-used it, so I don't have any individuals in mind Marisa. just the general tone of discussions and the railroading that occurs here frequently can be thuggish. and I know many contributors are far too intimidated to post here for that reason. it's often a topic for discussion at minilypses and other contributor events. sorry you felt I was referring to you specifically.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Risamay on February 24, 2011, 14:35
again, it wasn't me who initially coined the term. I just re-used it, so I don't have any individuals in mind Marisa. just the general tone of discussions and the railroading that occurs here frequently can be thuggish. and I know many contributors are far too intimidated to post here for that reason. it's often a topic for discussion at minilypses and other contributor events. sorry you felt I was referring to you specifically.

What does it matter if you coined the term or not? Not the point. You clearly think the shoe fits, else why would you use the word or any derivations thereof?

We aren't stupid, Stacey.

Perhaps some of those intimidated contributors are afraid of you "not" calling them a thug (or unprofessional, etc.) here.

Clearly, I'm not one of those contributors.

I'll not let your comments/opinions deter me from posting here, or anywhere. What you choose to contribute here is as valid as that of anyone else who chooses to dive into the discussions. Period. Whether or not you approve of the tone or language that some people sometimes choose to take. If posts here cross a line, this forum is also moderated and the appropriate actions will be taken, I trust.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: jamirae on February 24, 2011, 16:47
again, it wasn't me who initially coined the term. I just re-used it, so I don't have any individuals in mind Marisa. just the general tone of discussions and the railroading that occurs here frequently can be thuggish. and I know many contributors are far too intimidated to post here for that reason. it's often a topic for discussion at minilypses and other contributor events. sorry you felt I was referring to you specifically.

For what it is worth, i have often felt that way on the istock forums -- being treated like a second class citizen or "thuggish railroading" -- and thus was when i was exclusive.  There are somw tought cliques there as there are pretty much anywhere.  This place just has more on both sides.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: caspixel on February 24, 2011, 16:58
again, it wasn't me who initially coined the term. I just re-used it, so I don't have any individuals in mind Marisa. just the general tone of discussions and the railroading that occurs here frequently can be thuggish. and I know many contributors are far too intimidated to post here for that reason. it's often a topic for discussion at minilypses and other contributor events. sorry you felt I was referring to you specifically.

For what it is worth, i have often felt that way on the istock forums -- being treated like a second class citizen or "thuggish railroading" -- and thus was when i was exclusive.  There are somw tought cliques there as there are pretty much anywhere.  This place just has more on both sides.

I agree. I have felt attacked many times in the iStock forums. I know some will say I reaped what I sowed, but I would have to say that over time, my attitude in their forums changed due to the treatment that I received when I voiced my opinions. Sorry, but I wasn't going to be bullied. For those who remember when I first started participating, I was just as much a cheerleader as the admins and was a total iStock addict.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: SNP on February 24, 2011, 17:00
again, it wasn't me who initially coined the term. I just re-used it, so I don't have any individuals in mind Marisa. just the general tone of discussions and the railroading that occurs here frequently can be thuggish. and I know many contributors are far too intimidated to post here for that reason. it's often a topic for discussion at minilypses and other contributor events. sorry you felt I was referring to you specifically.

For what it is worth, i have often felt that way on the istock forums -- being treated like a second class citizen or "thuggish railroading" -- and thus was when i was exclusive.  There are somw tought cliques there as there are pretty much anywhere.  This place just has more on both sides.

I agree there are tough cliques there too. And I think what people get away with often depends on who they are. But that has nothing to do with here. I disagree that there's balanced representation here though. In fact you really just need to look at the end of year surveys to see the imbalance. But it is what it is. I have no illusions about the culture here changing.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Risamay on February 24, 2011, 18:00
There are some tough cliques there as there are pretty much anywhere.

Absolutely.

I think what people get away with [on IS] often depends on who they are.

And the mood of the mod at any given moment, it would seem. Sometimes.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: luissantos84 on February 27, 2011, 14:16
just had a comment removed from the BUGS thread at iStock.. I never post anything on the forum there but it was a polite comment, I was just asking what was being done regarding the "uploading slots bug" and that it would be fair to have a few slots too (once I guess if I am uploading for almost 2 years every single week and have a little more than 600 files online, when some uploaded that in a single month), I have noticed that other (sjlocke) had a little *regarding this matter telling that they were taking care of this
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: nruboc on February 27, 2011, 15:21
just had a comment removed from the BUGS thread at iStock.. I never post anything on the forum there but it was a polite comment, I was just asking what was being done regarding the "uploading slots bug" and that it would be fair to have a few slots too (once I guess if I am uploading for almost 2 years every single week and have a little more than 600 files online, when some uploaded that in a single month), I have noticed that other (sjlocke) had a little *regarding this matter telling that they were taking care of this

I think you need to opt in to the partner program to qualify for that bug... they need content over there
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on February 27, 2011, 18:01
I had a comment removed on Friday - not from that thread - but as in part it made a snide reference to the banning of +1 in comments, it was deemed to be inappropriate.

Seemed petty and pointless so I didn't do much more than note it and move on.

Regarding this bug with the upload counter never decrementing, I think it isn't everybody affected as my upload counter has gone down as it should. Either that or it matters if you use the web site (I use DeepMeta to upload).

I agree they should fix it, but as there are so many very, very important bugs that have been outstanding for months, I'd rather they did the important stuff (search and paying us correctly and at the right time) first.
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: luissantos84 on February 27, 2011, 19:14
I agree but this is also a quite important issue, I may sound jealous (I am) but I guess if some get this advantage others should too (I have always use deepmeta and my slots stopped on the 15th, then 18th, lately 20th with the increase)

if I had more 600 slots (60% would be approved) and I am sure that would change my current scenario

too bad I have choosen a bad day to upload.. how long was this bug?

can´t wait to hear what is their decision
Title: Re: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation
Post by: ShadySue on February 27, 2011, 19:37
Regarding this bug with the upload counter never decrementing, I think it isn't everybody affected as my upload counter has gone down as it should. Either that or it matters if you use the web site (I use DeepMeta to upload).
I use the website directly to upload, and my slots are decrementing as usual. So far.