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Author Topic: Shutterstock starting terminating accounts of people criticising them  (Read 11130 times)

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« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2020, 14:49 »
+1
Regarding the above post - why would someone not be entitled to the payments in their account if they close their account and the amount is great than $35?

Increasing shareholder value? lol.


« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2020, 15:23 »
+6
Regarding the above post - why would someone not be entitled to the payments in their account if they close their account and the amount is great than $35?

From the Terms of Service, section 8d:

"If your account is terminated for a breach of the material terms of the TOS, in addition to its other rights at law or in equity, Shutterstock shall have the right to retain any royalties and/or other compensation otherwise payable to you hereunder as liquidated damages."

One of the ways you can breach it is violating forum guidelines, section 7:

"Any activity by you on Shutterstock's forum (please see "Forum for Contributors") which does not adhere to Shutterstock's Forum Guidelines may result in the termination of your Shutterstock account. The terms of Shutterstock's Forum Guidelines are deemed incorporated into and made a part of the TOS by this reference."

Not saying any of this is right, just that that it's what we signed up for.

« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2020, 15:54 »
+5
Well, thats going to be a very very expensive mistake.

Sent from my HD1901 using Tapatalk


« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2020, 16:24 »
+2
Regarding the above post - why would someone not be entitled to the payments in their account if they close their account and the amount is great than $35?

From the Terms of Service, section 8d:

"If your account is terminated for a breach of the material terms of the TOS, in addition to its other rights at law or in equity, Shutterstock shall have the right to retain any royalties and/or other compensation otherwise payable to you hereunder as liquidated damages."

One of the ways you can breach it is violating forum guidelines, section 7:

"Any activity by you on Shutterstock's forum (please see "Forum for Contributors") which does not adhere to Shutterstock's Forum Guidelines may result in the termination of your Shutterstock account. The terms of Shutterstock's Forum Guidelines are deemed incorporated into and made a part of the TOS by this reference."

Not saying any of this is right, just that that it's what we signed up for.

Have they EVER done something like this before? I personally met some fantastic SS employees and they always pointed out how much SS welcomes critique, even aggressive critique, because it makes them stronger.

Mind you, people from New York anyway seem to be a very straightforward talker kind of breed. I mean Germans are very pointed and direct, but the few times I was in New York I found conversations at times to be so brash and direct that even I had to get used to it.

Not that I am in any way an expert on the US or New York. Just a personal observation.

So now the new management has changed that direction.

Probably means contributors have to avoid the agency forums and can only express themselves on other plattforms.

Or they want to grow themselves a woo yay crowd?

But how does that improve SSs reputation in dealing with the current crisis?

« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2020, 16:39 »
+6
I'm not aware of any account closures other than for image-related problems (stolen content, copied content, etc.). They are trying to keep a lid on things by making a public example of trouble-makers.

I know nothing of the new CEO, but he has no connection with contributors or the origins of the business. I don't expect them to change what they're doing, but I want them to get the biggest possible public shaming for behaving like uncaring corporate jerks.

There are businesses that don't like to be associated with (buy from) an unethical outfit. My tweets have emphasized the big corporation versus small-business contributor angle as I'm hoping it's the sort of viewpoint that might motivate buyers to shop eleswhere.

I'm also, even though I'm a minnow in their great pool of 320+ million images, highlighting images that are at the top of searches and will be going away, as another way to possibly engage the designer community. I have more, but here are a couple of examples so far

https://twitter.com/joannsnover/status/1266812478647709696

https://twitter.com/joannsnover/status/1266843339673886720
« Last Edit: May 30, 2020, 18:39 by Jo Ann Snover »

« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2020, 16:41 »
+4
They are also deleting posts on the forum.

This is what, in our marvelous liberal democrat society, we call freedom of speech

I would like your post were it not for this dumb clause: "in our marvelous liberal democrat society"

Because, frankly, this is not a partisan shitstorm. It's 100% a non-partisan shitstorm.

« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2020, 17:01 »
+2
Jo Ann, Thank you for the reply. So it appears if you opt of sales and your earnings are more than $35 you still get the payout, unless they terminate you for whatever reason?

The pull this out of nowhere will a few days notice in the middle of a pandemic when people have money problems as it is, and wants to steal money from the contributors for calling them out on this???

DISGRACEFUL!!!

Clair Voyant

« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2020, 17:01 »
+3
This garbage is just like Getty closing Sean Locke's & Rob Sylvan's (and others) accounts and Fotolia closing a whole bunch of accounts. You try to keep a lid on things by making a public example of trouble-makers.


Not saying I agree with what Istock did to Sean, but in all  fairness he (and others) were actively working behind the scenes against Istock, and against the terms of the contract. They got busted.

And the end result is Istock does not miss any of them, just as Shutterstock won't miss anyone who leaves.

It's all in the numbers.

It's a very bitter pill to swallow, but it's very sadly the truth.


« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2020, 17:13 »
+11
I don't expect Shutterstock to care about deactivated portfolios, but I also don't want their actions to be silently accepted.

#BoycottShutterstock is making a difference

https://twitter.com/joannsnover/status/1268201397230551040

https://twitter.com/joannsnover/status/1268215825380470784
« Last Edit: June 03, 2020, 11:22 by Jo Ann Snover »

« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2020, 17:43 »
+4
If people not just switch off their ports for a week or two in protest, hoping SS will come back with a better plan and resolve the issue...if they really have decided to leave...then it is vital that their customers move with them.

In addition anyone that actually was banned from the platform for complaining that their income was cut with 6 days notice...they really have nothing to lose.

And many people will sympathize. The aggressive, huge company from New York with 300 million in cash, going after literally individual tiny contributors from countries with low income.

This is not just a huge marketing failure, it can become the basis of an unbelievable wave.

Burned contributors will have only one goal: to drive customers to their new favorite agency.

In this situation, where their other day job income has disappeared, they cannot afford to sit this out.

They have to restore the lost SS income very quickly,

Again...without the pandemic this might have all developped very differently.

I very sincerly hope they reconsider. Jon Oringer is still the largest shareholder with 45%. Is this shitstorm really what he wants?

« Last Edit: May 30, 2020, 17:51 by cobalt »

Clair Voyant

« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2020, 17:45 »
+2
... but in all  fairness he (and others) were actively working behind the scenes against Istock, and against the terms of the contract...

That is just not true. Let's not de-rail this thread by dredging up ancient history, but I would just like to note the error. I note your differing viewpoint on what happened in 2013

I don't expect Shutterstock to care about deactivated portfolios, but I also don't want their actions to be silently accepted.

you actually derailed it by bringing up ancient history...

i was invited by rob at the time to some agency (forget the name) where the inner conversations were pretty aggressive against istock even discussing pooling funds to start working against Istock. somehow a mole got in there and also on the "secret" facebook group as well, and a lot of what went on there was definitely against the terms of "the contract", which i might ad was a unilateral contract, just like they all are these days. Those asshol3s at Getty put a very firm end to it, not even having the courtesy to "talk". - i guess inviting contributors over to a mutiny using PM on the site you are opposed to was not the brightest move after all.

again, not saying i like what happened in the past, but to claim innocence is not right either.

stock photographers are expendable... ancient history proves this.

FWIW Shutterstock and the current action they are doing especially during these very trying times is much much much worse that what Istock did to a few people long ago. In my books it's disgusting.

« Last Edit: May 30, 2020, 17:51 by Clair Voyant »

« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2020, 18:38 »
+2
Interesting.

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/chinese-censorship-or-work-elsewhere-inside-shutterstock-s-free-speech-n1144211

The culture that we want to build is also one where when leadership makes a decision, we move on. We commit, and we move on," Pavlovsky said at the Dec. 10 internal meeting.

Pavlovsky didn't respond to an emailed interview request, but in his statement Wednesday he echoed his earlier statement: "As a transparent organization, one of our core practices is that once we've had an open and honest conversation on a topic, then we commit and move on


Things have changed. If they have no problems telling longtime employees to quit, they obviously dont mind kicking out people who voice critique.

That is why there is no admin available for response on the SS forums.

It really is a completly different corporation.

Tell me your problems, then go and do exactly as I say

My way or the Highway


It sounds like a really scary place.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2020, 18:48 by cobalt »

« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2020, 19:00 »
+8
Interesting.

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/chinese-censorship-or-work-elsewhere-inside-shutterstock-s-free-speech-n1144211

The culture that we want to build is also one where when leadership makes a decision, we move on. We commit, and we move on," Pavlovsky said at the Dec. 10 internal meeting.

Pavlovsky didn't respond to an emailed interview request, but in his statement Wednesday he echoed his earlier statement: "As a transparent organization, one of our core practices is that once we've had an open and honest conversation on a topic, then we commit and move on


Things have changed. And the market for micropriced content they are targeting is China.

I remember the stories about censorship at the time, but didn't see this particular story - which certainly outlines an unlikely-to-compromise Pavlovsky.

The problem he has in angering his suppliers is that it may be harder to get stuff to sell over time - without which he has no business - if the agency has a reputation for treating suppliers badly. It's really a gamble that he can afford to p*ss off lots of us and it won't matter to his customers.

Remember StockXpert that was bought by Jupiter Images because they needed new content for a few of their moribund subscription sites that didn't have enough new content to keep subscribers paying up? It can happen that big names - photos.com was the subscription site I think - can fail, as Jupiter Images itself did in time. Shutterstock isn't immune to these sorts of forces.

The fact that Jon Oringer is just standing by and letting this all happen infuriates me. He knows how this business was built, but he's letting someone else do his dirty work for him. He can't even make the bad news a personal message from him. I'll quote from the email in 2012 when Shutterstock went public:

"Today was a very exciting day for Shutterstock a day that wouldnt have been possible without each of you. This morning, Shutterstock became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. This milestone is the result of many years of hard work and innovation, and perhaps most importantly, the incredible talent of each of our contributing artists. Together we have built a thriving, diverse, global creative marketplace that spans more than 150 countries. . . . As we celebrate this milestone, I would like to extend a sincere, heartfelt thank you for making this all possible. It is because of you that our marketplace is truly spectacular. We look forward to the exciting journey ahead, and will continue to work at making Shutterstock a rewarding experience for contributors. "

Edited to add a link to a tweet highlighting 2012 sentiments with the June 1st plan...

https://twitter.com/joannsnover/status/1266884032731611136
« Last Edit: May 30, 2020, 19:08 by Jo Ann Snover »

« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2020, 19:34 »
+6
I can tell you one thing: someone who has no scruples to sweetly kick out 20% of hard working staff because they ask too many uncomfortable questions....this will not end well. This creates a very uncomfortable, secretive work environment for employees.

That is why the people that speak up in the SS forum are being kicked out. And why there are no admins talking to the community.

The contributors have no idea how drastically  the company culture has changed. They are still part of the very vibrant, very dynamic old Shutterstock that the new CEO is trying to transform into a subservient yes man entity.

And Oringer approves, if he cannot even stand up for his own people.

If the new CEO really has set all his focus on China - then he needs content that he can flip in very high volume for extremly low prices. 2 cents, 5 cents, 8 cents. 10 cents is the lowest for 2020...then....

And he believes the upload monkeys will happily supply 2 million files every week for him....and accept any price.

And every New Year the upset contributors can leave, the yes sir people will stay. 

But what if they dont?

Very frustrating to read this.




ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2020, 19:56 »
+1
...apparently if you have money in your account at the time of closure that money is kept by them
As your contract says they will.
"8.3 There is a minimum payout rate per accounting period of: Thirty Five US Dollars (USD 35.00) (the "Payout Minimum"). If during an accounting period, you haven't reached the Payout Minimum or provided Shutterstock a valid electronic payment account, your compensation will be rolled over into the next accounting period. If you cancel your account prior to accrued earnings in your royalty account reaching the applicable Payout Minimum, you thereby forfeit such royalties. For clarity, you shall have no right to any earnings accrued following the disabling of your contributor account or until such time as the applicable Payout Minimum threshold is reached."

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #40 on: May 30, 2020, 20:02 »
+6
Interesting.https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/chinese-censorship-or-work-elsewhere-inside-shutterstock-s-free-speech-n1144211

The culture that we want to build is also one where when leadership makes a decision, we move on. We commit, and we move on," Pavlovsky said at the Dec. 10 internal meeting.

So essentially they want employees and partners to be farm animals. Sheep. Produce, be afraid and be quiet.

Sounds like Jonathan Klein. "Lovely to get the milk, the cream, cheese, yoghurt and the meat without buying the cow"

« Reply #41 on: May 30, 2020, 20:10 »
+4

And Oringer approves, if he cannot even stand up for his own people.


There's an old, true saying: SILENCE EQUALS CONSENT.

We can safely assume that Oringer's silence equals his consent.


« Reply #42 on: May 30, 2020, 20:50 »
+1
...meanwhile, I read on some Facebook groups that Shutterstock terminated and suspended the accounts of some contributors who criticize them on the Forum and Social media. In one case I read that even the Portfolio continuous to be on sale but without the name of the contributor! How low can you fall?

I've seen the blurred out name and avatar account because the person posted in a thread here yesterday. Does anyone have any specific information about a contributor account (not forum posting privileges) that's been suspended?

That was one of Fotolia's favorite tactics and I'd love to make noise about it if Shutterstock's done/is doing it. My quick scan of twitter and facebook this morning didn't reveal anything

I guess they delete everything from the account and the images need some time to vanish from the site.

There is nothing anymore on my portfolio just the link still exist as you can see by clicking it.

« Reply #43 on: May 30, 2020, 21:23 »
+5
Talk about an over reaction. Last night, on the Contributor Experience forum, there was a thread about who was going to leave and who was going to stay. Pretty harmless topic, huh? I had just finished reading that thread and about two seconds later (when I returned to the main forum) the thread was gone. I'm getting sick of this censorship.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2020, 21:37 by dragonblade »

« Reply #44 on: May 30, 2020, 21:53 »
0
...apparently if you have money in your account at the time of closure that money is kept by them
As your contract says they will.
"8.3 There is a minimum payout rate per accounting period of: Thirty Five US Dollars (USD 35.00) (the "Payout Minimum"). If during an accounting period, you haven't reached the Payout Minimum or provided Shutterstock a valid electronic payment account, your compensation will be rolled over into the next accounting period. If you cancel your account prior to accrued earnings in your royalty account reaching the applicable Payout Minimum, you thereby forfeit such royalties. For clarity, you shall have no right to any earnings accrued following the disabling of your contributor account or until such time as the applicable Payout Minimum threshold is reached."

Would that be the case if they changed their Terms and Conditions given that it is usual to give 30 days notice to accept the terms or not?

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #45 on: May 30, 2020, 22:56 »
+5
Talk about an over reaction. Last night, on the Contributor Experience forum, there was a thread about who was going to leave and who was going to stay. Pretty harmless topic, huh? I had just finished reading that thread and about two seconds later (when I returned to the main forum) the thread was gone. I'm getting sick of this censorship.

Their company, their forum. They can do whatever they want with it. Interesting to see the lengths they're going to though.

« Reply #46 on: May 30, 2020, 23:37 »
+1
Their company, their forum. They can do whatever they want with it. Interesting to see the lengths they're going to though.

Very true. Though that was one of the most harmless threads that emerged over the last few days. There are other threads that are much more provocative and very much anti-SS that still remain on the forum.

« Reply #47 on: May 31, 2020, 00:20 »
+4
I'm not aware of any account closures other than for image-related problems (stolen content, copied content, etc.). They are trying to keep a lid on things by making a public example of trouble-makers.

There were a few cases within the last few months of people getting accounts closed for "similars" because it breached T&Cs.
A few clearly were not full of similars, SS support refused to answer until a forum sh*t storm erupted and it got overturned.
Others though were terminated (rightly or wrongly.  Thats a different debate).  BUT the key difference here is SS support specifically told them the minimum payout had been reduced to ensure they got the money owed at the end of the month.

This keeping the money is something they've never done before which makes it look even more vindictive/intimidating.

The threads are buried a few pages deep on the contributor forum.

« Reply #48 on: May 31, 2020, 01:03 »
+3
Talk about an over reaction. Last night, on the Contributor Experience forum, there was a thread about who was going to leave and who was going to stay. Pretty harmless topic, huh? I had just finished reading that thread and about two seconds later (when I returned to the main forum) the thread was gone. I'm getting sick of this censorship.

That censorship is pretty dumb anyway, isn't it?

Deleting criticism never makes it go away. Like Jello, it just squirts up/out somewhere else. Like here.  ;D

« Reply #49 on: May 31, 2020, 01:26 »
+6
It is not that easy. Of course we can never see what had happen if...... What if Sean was never quicked out, what if Arcurs would no had joined Getty and left Shutter and the others. Adding small motions to the wheel can slowly change the course of any giant.

Getty is a shadow of what they were. They are riddled with debt to a point that looking at the numbers the probability that they fade into oblition into the future, at least in the creative market, is high (editorial is another thing- their position there is stronger).

Shutter stock value has been on decline ever since they went public. Their growth is quite small now and one of the reason we have this shitstorm now.

Adobe on the rise but they do not depend on stock but rather their software division.

We are all small fish but without us nobody comes to the aquarium to see an empty glass tank. I wish we would be a little more aware of the power we have as a collective group.

This garbage is just like Getty closing Sean Locke's & Rob Sylvan's (and others) accounts and Fotolia closing a whole bunch of accounts. You try to keep a lid on things by making a public example of trouble-makers.


Not saying I agree with what Istock did to Sean, but in all  fairness he (and others) were actively working behind the scenes against Istock, and against the terms of the contract. They got busted.

And the end result is Istock does not miss any of them, just as Shutterstock won't miss anyone who leaves.

It's all in the numbers.

It's a very bitter pill to swallow, but it's very sadly the truth.


 

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