Clearing the air...

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  • Quote: From all the answers i got here the only thing that I can contest is preciselly the first answer Viviane gave me, not on the context that the moderator might have followed the rules too strictly but what followed (photo removed, critiques removed, and I even got a message at the entrance of the forums saying "you are banned for 2 days for "throwing troubles" the ban was supposed to have action until today).

    Question: if you had a thread removed and then this serie of events during the whole day what would be your thoughts about that? would you accept it with ease?
    Thank you Paulo for this last post you just wrote, it's greatly appreciated.
    I just want to answer that quoted piece of thread, here up...

    I indeed would be angry, just as you would do, just as the others did, but I have to tell you the whole thing happened because of something we could NOT expect, on a day with a small team and with a huge accumulations of mistakes we could not stop on time because it was w-e.
    Again, I'm very sorry it happened...
  • Quote: Greetings all,
    One for the technical team - which I do recall being mentioned somewhere recently on TE: The home page could do with some work to ensure that is supports the modern ToS. I can understand the logic of a statute of limitiation on deletions, and not wanting to delete photographs which were accepted years ago. But, however gradually, I would like to think there was some work being put in to the home page such that eventually we will not have a "Featured Photographer" whose work consists of close-ups of flowers, or a theme which openly advertises that is about pets and cats.
    That sounds like a point that should be pursued, but I can't say that I notice the home page much as I go straight to the gallery. It sounds like a random process which should be made more discerning!

    Quote:
    And for my fellow posters, perhaps the key to survival here is to write a nice long note, that isn't just copied from wikipedia. If we are doing more than just dumping our holiday snaps then there are times when we will be pushing the boundaries of what people will accept as a travel shot - but that is the nature of art, not everyone will agree with your assertion that what you are doing is art in the context that they understand or wish to promote the term.

    To pick an example from my own gallery, when I published Green into Blue, I knew that I was pushing the boundaries of the TE ToS, and that my close up may get deleted.
    http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Sou...oto1252880.htm
    I can defend its status as a genuine travel photograph (to me), but I have to accept that others may not agree with me. I do like to think that what has saved me is that I can get quite verbose with my notes (or the moderators haven't seen it yet, which could be a bit of a pain when it disappears ).
    I wish everyone had the same attitude to note writing. I suppose your photo is 'borderline', eh! But as you say a note can bring a shot around to the right side of that line. If I'd seen it and critiqued it I'd have said it was a pity the photo was so small and that there was no exif information! But in this instance the main thing is that the photo and the note go together well as a 'unit'. There are, in fact, quite a few photos like this on TE.

    Quote:
    I guess TE is not for every shot - and even if TE do not like Green into Blue and can find other sites that do. Which does not mean I will be leaving TE in a hurry, just because the don't think all my work is for them.
    No, TE is not for every shot; that point has got lost somewhere along the way, maybe. But nor is it a site just for 'post-cards'.

    One more thought that I meant to mention when I was typing last night:

    'Photography' (as opposed to 'photographs') is just ONE of the things that TE is about.

    I think we all love to see stunning photos. Yet some of the most well-received photos are not at all stunning, but they illuminate, and are well complemented by really informative notes.

    Thanks for your comments, Iain!

    Andrew
  • questions and an idea
    Hello Vivian, Keith and others,


    quote:
    Hi Clio, you are NOT banned at all anymore. KLB had written to a wrong @address, and yes a same mistake with the ban tool has been made twice by a moderator who did not know how to handle yet.


    after reading and appreciating most of Vivian has written in this forum I still do not understand two things:

    1. It is apparent that Diane's ban has been removed. Why is it in forum where she has to find out that she had been banned by mistake? If it was my mistake I would write a personal apologizing and explaining email to her.

    2. KLB still seems to be banned, why, if it was a mistake?

    ------ ------ ------

    As for the TOS - I also think that there is no need for major changes in it. (Close ups, that are erased many times, are not forbidden if they have explaining and informative note.) The problem I see here is the extent to which the rules of TOS are executed and how.

    From the recent happenings my imagination sees the moderator in front of his or her computer behaving like this :

    I do not like the picture you posted - let's delete it.
    I do not like what you wrote in forum - let's close it.
    I do not like that your opinions differ from mine -let's ban you - for a day, for a month, forever.

    And what if someone sees my behaviour on-line? Let's trace everything sent to the person executed and erase all messages mentioning it or at least modify them.

    Forgive me if I am exaggerating here a bit but I feel some change is needed in the way the TOS is applied, so that people do not have feeling of being treated badly, feeling that their freedom of expression is harmed.

    I suggest that there could be some warning before straight deleting.
    Eg. Someone has posted a close up on the rusty boat anchor.
    Instead of instant deletion, a red frame could be posted with announcement (and could appear among critiques): This picture will be deleted unless you accompany it with an appropriate informative note.

    I am sure that the programmers can add this as a feature to the moderators easily, they can easily add a wide range of prepared warnings with a possibility to write a personalised message in such a warning frame.

    This is just an idea... trying to be constructive. (And I am not defending my pictures, you will not see many close ups in my gallery... yet I think TE would become boring if only mountains and cathedrals are in the gallery..., even from a close up we can learn if it has a good note.)
  • Quote: Hi Clio, you are NOT banned at all anymore. KLB had written to a wrong @address, and yes a same mistake with the ban tool has been made twice by a moderator who did not know how to handle yet..

    I assume this moderator is banned by now, preferably for ever...
  • Salut chere Viviane
    Salut chere Viviane

    Like so many things in life, misunderstandings have occurred and things have "snow-balled" due to a failure in communication between the parties. TE really is just a microcosm of the outside world and we must endeavour to resolve this problem like adults.

    I have "spoken" (via email) this morning with Karine and urged her to read this very hepful and very positive thread. Unfortunately, she cannot participate in any dialogue here as she is still "banned" from the site. Maybe I have misread this thread, but I thought that her ban and that of Diane had been lifted.

    Could you please confirm whether the ban has been lifted and if so, please ensure that the technical people implement it?

    Many thanks in anticipation of your response.

    Lisa (delpeoples)
  • Bonjour Lisa,

    KLB's banishment will be out spoken as soon as possible with the admins who are not on line in the w-e and must be told what has precisely happened then. As myself wasn't logged in either during these events I have to re-order things, read, evaluate, accept the consequences and keep contact with all the different requesters.
    I've already promised I won't stop this thread before anyone is less or more satisfied by the outcome...
  • Quote: As for the TOS - I also think that there is no need for major changes in it. (Close ups, that are erased many times, are not forbidden if they have explaining and informative note.) The problem I see here is the extent to which the rules of TOS are executed and how.
    There might not be a need for major changes, but some changes probably ought to be considered. For example the recently introduced rule about 40-character notes could be discussed as a result of the difficulties it has presented in implementation by moderators - lots of asterisks, for example! More guidelines are possibly needed to explain what a 'suitable note' is when it is accompanying a close-up of a common object such as a flower. There is some vagueness about the meaning of 'studio-like', although it seems the tech staff have already placed this in the list of reasons for removing a photo; still, the term probably needs a little more explanation in the TOS, as some members will think it means the photo must have been taken indoors.

    The other issue that Keith has brought up is that the TOS need to be made more visible to members at crucial locations on the site, such as when uploading or writing notes.

    If members think the TOS are generally satisfactory, it suggests that they would have no problem observing them; the moderators' experience is that this is very often not the case. I know, you think it's the Mods who are not doing the right thing!

    Quote:
    From the recent happenings my imagination sees the moderator in front of his or her computer behaving like this :

    I do not like the picture you posted - let's delete it.
    I do not like what you wrote in forum - let's close it.
    I do not like that your opinions differ from mine -let's ban you - for a day, for a month, forever.

    And what if someone sees my behaviour on-line? Let's trace everything sent to the person executed and erase all messages mentioning it or at least modify them.

    Forgive me if I am exaggerating here a bit but I feel some change is needed in the way the TOS is applied, so that people do not have feeling of being treated badly, feeling that their freedom of expression is harmed.
    Romana, this is absolutely wrong. Not just 'exaggerating', but plain wrong. It's jumping to a conclusion about a process on the basis of what some members have reported when they think they have been treated unjustly and feel aggrieved. Sometimes an injustice does occur and the member is right in feeling wronged (right in feeling wronged?? you know what I mean!); but at other times the member may be complaining unreasonably when he or she has clearly failed to comply with the TOS but either hasn't read them or has forgotten them, or believes they don't apply to him or her.

    Your use of the word 'I' is also misleading, as the moderation works on a consensus basis nearly all of the time. Occasionally a photo will be deleted because one member has found a very clear case of duplicate photos, advertising, copyright infringement, lack of title or note etc. But these absolutely clear infringements - where the moderator acting alone (no others may be online) feels confident of acting - are not that common, in my experience anyway. As I said earlier in the thread, we are always reminded that where doubt exists, the member must be given the benefit of the doubt. Many cases are, by nature, 'borderline', and that's why discussion and a consensus of a majority of the participating moderators, or at least 3, must be reached before action is taken. Often, one moderator will persuade the others that the first opinion was wrong.

    However, clearly you are right in thinking that too many members are feeling they were badly treated. In some cases they were, either by our negligence, being too hasty, or by error of judgment. Yes, the way things are done should be examined very carefully, but not because the moderators sit hunched over their computers looking for photos or people they would like to punish in some way. It is NOT an exercise of 'power', which your imagined procedure implies.

    Quote:
    I suggest that there could be some warning before straight deleting.
    Eg. Someone has posted a close up on the rusty boat anchor.
    Instead of instant deletion, a red frame could be posted with announcement (and could appear among critiques): This picture will be deleted unless you accompany it with an appropriate informative note.
    I am sure that the programmers can add this as a feature to the moderators easily, they can easily add a wide range of prepared warnings with a possibility to write a personalised message in such a warning frame.
    A very good suggestion, and one which we have been trying to carry out with some prepared texts to insert into emails to members. We have also tried to do the same thing in critiques or comments on photos. For example we have given members 24 or 48 hours to improve the note or change the frame or add a title etc. Let's see if the techies can come up with something a little more sophisticated and time-saving. The idea of a warning is one which the moderators would approve, but obviously not in all cases, and they would have to reserve the right to remove photos immediately for some kind of breaches of the TOS (photos of family members for example - some of these are actually admitted in the notes, believe it or not!) or with some members who have offended repeatedly and should know better.

    Quote:
    This is just an idea... trying to be constructive. (And I am not defending my pictures, you will not see many close ups in my gallery... yet I think TE would become boring if only mountains and cathedrals are in the gallery..., even from a close up we can learn if it has a good note.)
    Of course it would be boring with nothing but wide angle views of cathedrals and mountains and sunsets! Close-ups and very graphical works are permitted by the TOS provided the note is informative. Would we like to see lots of close-up pictures of ordinary garden roses or autumn leaves with tiny notes that say nothing about the location or the subject, but simply say isn't it lovely we are now in Summer or Autumn? That is why Trek Lens exists, for that kind of photo.

    I hope I've explained a few things which might make you think differently about moderation of the site.

    Andrew
  • Am I wrong?
    Hello Andrew,

    I am glad you have taken your time for such a long response and that we agree in many points.

    With difficulties and google translator I read the words of Nicolasv that are very angry if I understand them well. Hey, I see I got the meaning right, as his contribution disappeared while I was writing this. Nothing against removing rude words.I would not use such strong words, yet there is something what strikes me in this - the clear fact PixelTerror left too. Is he feeling aggrieved as you are suggesting? I suppose not. He has neither been posting holiday snaps nor troublemaking, hasn't he?

    Am I wrong? Not with my vision of mods playing gods, not only the number of members leaving supports the fact that their vision is similar to mine - just look who they are!
    We lost a member who posted 1561 valuable pictures, who was favourite of 550 members....
    If the most respected members are leaving, the situation is more than serious, it broke out of control.

    I do not feel aggrieved, I feel sorry for loosing the best ones on the site, the ones who have been admired and followed by many. The ones who were the inspiration for me, the quality of whose work I wanted to achieve once...

    You keep operating with the posts that are not posted properly and to a proper site, and what about the critiques altered? The words mods do not want to read erased?

    If my friends leave,
    I would feel sorry for the hundreds of hours I stole from my family in belief that it is needed to introduce to others that there is more than Prague in my country.

    The main question of this contribution -

    Are you going to do any actions to invite the leaving or having left members back?


    Of course, a number of new members will replace the lost ones...

    Who cares? I do.
  • Quote: Hello Andrew,

    I am glad you have taken your time for such a long response and that we agree in many points.

    With difficulties and google translator I read the words of Nicolasv that are very angry if I understand them well. Hey, I see I got the meaning right, as his contribution disappeared while I was writing this. Nothing against removing rude words.
    Just replying in a few words about this... That member, Nicolasv had triple accounts, it is always sanctioned by permanent disabling.
  • Quote:
    From the recent happenings my imagination sees the moderator in front of his or her computer behaving like this :

    [I]I do not like the picture you posted - let's delete it.
    I do not like what you wrote in forum - let's close it.
    I do not like that your opinions differ from mine -let's ban you - for a day, for a month, forever.

    And what if someone sees my behaviour on-line? Let's trace everything sent to the person executed and erase all messages mentioning it or at least modify them.
    I promise you that if any mod tried to act in such a way they wouldn't last very long! It wouldn't just affect their credibility it would reflect badly on all the mods by association.

    I don't believe that any posting should be edited by the mods unless it contains a serious breaking of the TOS. Into that category I would put things like personal attacks, obscenity, racial attacks, commercial advertising. There may be other areas but those listed above are the most likely to be removed. When that does happen we should certainly be putting an explanatory note in place.