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NGS posting turns REAL UGLY ! What to do ? URGENT PSE

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bendheim, Oct 18, 2005.

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  1. An hour or two ago, I posted a thread on a forthcoming National Geographic Traveler assignment that I'm really pleased about and it was so nice to get some very pleasant responses from folk at the Cafe.

    Now for a REWIND... About two weeks ago, I did what I shouldn't have done. I posted a faintly political response to a thread over at the Olympus Forum at DP Review on the rights of photographers in the US. The thread author had indicated that she had had some trouble taking candids and had been questioned. Others have posted similar stories in recent times and I find it disturbing. In particular, I was disturbed about issues around the press in the wake of New Orleans and my response was a bit overly emotional, but on DPR emotions can run high sometimes.

    In retrospect, my post was wrong in terms of posting it in that forum, and serves as a lesson that we need to be paranoid about what we say and to whom. It was however no different in content to similar postings in the same thread - you can read it all here http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1022&message=15351212 if you want and I trust that my freedom to express my view doesn't offend anyone, and I'm sorry in advance if it does.

    BACK to present
    I get this email a few minutes ago from one "john john" with the address chestnut3600@yahoo.com

    It reads as follows : I am sure my connection at the NGS trustee's office will find your recent post interesting.

    I already sent them a PDF.

    No need to thank me

    Wow, there are some really spiteful people in the world ! I SINCERELY hope that this person is NOT a member of the Cafe, as I will have no option but to resign my membership if that is the case. I do feel deeply hurt and concerned about this.

    I have replied to him as follows : So, what’s the big deal ? That post is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s not anti-anything except the right to the individual freedoms which your forefathers fought for. Or did you not learn that at school.

    Perhaps you are too dumb to understand that; it’s certainly not anti-American, just anti the rights that people have lost to take the pictures that some of the great American photographers took in last few decades.

    Besides, I’m sure that NGS has more intelligence than that in choosing photographers. Now listen up, why don’t you send them this mail as well.

    Sad that society is full of creeps like you, I doubt anyone from the NGS would listen to someone with your addled brain.

    And, furthermore, if you are not careful, I’ll have my US agent seek legal action against you once your email address has been traced.

    Gosh, hope these kinds of ugly people and messages don't start affecting our forum.

    What should I do if anything?

    Peter B
  2. GaryW

    GaryW Guest

    I think you will find that most people are in favor of freedom of expression, as long as it conforms to their beliefs.
  3. BLV


    Jul 14, 2005
    Peter, you should do absolutely nothing. Or what do you think will happen? Government will come a knocking, questioning what you post on photography forums?! Don't sweat it, world is full of idiots and if you argue with them, they will drag you down and beat you with experience :) .

    Upd: Ah, I just realized that NGS is National Geographic (oops). Well, in that case, if there is any merit to his email and it does end up influencing the assignment, you should feel proud about not being a part of it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2005
  4. Peter
    Sorry to hear your run in with this idiot, since this took place on DPreview I don't think you have to worry about the Cafe. I really dont think this information being sent to NGS will jepordize your assignment. I feel for you and have also learned my lesson a few years back about speaking your mind of the internet since then I steer clear of all topics non photographic, I know it shouldnt be that way but some dopes make you have no other option.
  5. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005

    I didn't read the post on DPR but I know you to be a kind person. Don't let things like this get to you. Afterall, this is the internet and it is full of people who look for trouble and give it.

    You are a great photographer and I support you. I don't care what anyones' political viewpoint is on any matter when it comes to the cafe, dpr, or any other forum. It does me no good. People here look past that and look to what we share together, photography.

    I'm sure everything will work out. I don't think I would be too concerned. If you are being harrassed don't let it get the best of you. Protect your integrity but don't take anything on the internet personal.

    If you feel like your opportunity at NGS has been compromised perhaps if anything seems strange a call or email to your liasion would be in order. Otherwise, I would keep taking wonderful picutures my friend.

    As I've said before. Your committment to giving the story through print and pictures is top notch.

    Thanks and good luck,
  6. Unfortunately, Mike, the ONLY place I posted about this forthcoming assignment was at the Cafe. Which means someone, probably a guest, could only have read it here, nowhere else.

  7. I say the last thing that person warrants is attention.

    Seems very obvious to me that NGS cares about freedom, let alone freedom of expression. I can't imagine why you would end up with anything to be concerned about beyond having experienced this rather unpleasant human being.
  8. Angelo


    Sep 19, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA

    You've already given the moron who wrote you more validity that he deserves by bringing his idiotic remarks to light.

    Drop the matter, ignore him in future and move on.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2005
  9. strobel


    Apr 30, 2005
    Algonquin, IL
    I can understand the commotion this would cause. Myself as a hardcore republican would get upset by reading that message. Although part of living the United States is that I believe in everyone's right to speak their feelings. When a person does speak their mind, they are bound to get some negative responses.

    Don't take it personal and keep on posting your terrific photographs. While I disagree with your views, I love your work and respect your thoughts.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2005
  10. strobel


    Apr 30, 2005
    Algonquin, IL
    Yes you can Angelo, that is what freedom is all about.
  11. Dpr

    Im not really familiar with US law but I think Patrick said it best, and like most I to support you any way I can.
  12. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005
    Folks, the cafe is not going to be used for the expression of our political viewpoints.

    Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Socialist, Communist, Baptist, Catholic, Anarchist, etc I don't care and the majority of the cafe membership does not care.

    We are here for photography, not politics. This thread had better turn or its going to get locked, and kicked out of general.

    Peter was asking our advice on his problem, not for us to side either way with him on a post from another forum that should have nothing to do with the cafe.

    Thank you,
  13. Thanks to everyone. I don't want this discussion to get political, cos then it can easily get ugly. I just really felt troubled by the response from who was obviously a Cafe guest, and was seeking advice. I'd hate to be judged on a simple viewpoint that was simplistic at the time. Having lived in South Africa where freedom has been crushed for decades and decades, I simply, as a working photographer felt that I would hate to see my freedom to express my craft limited. I'm sorry that these discussions can so easily overflow into politics, but these things are clearly quite sensitive right now, not only in the US but in many parts of the world.

    I'd like to thank everyone who participated most sincerely for their advice. This discussion is NOT about politics but IS what to do when faced by a creep who could influence my working career.

    Finally, it's a reminder to everyone, myself especially, then in such sensitive times, it may be prudent to keep some opinions to oneself, as I should have done at DPR.

    Clearly, what one writes or says can have a wider influence and is not just lost in virtual space. This has been a real lesson to me, even if my feelings have been hurt somewhat, and perhaps I have hurt those of others.

    It's sad but true to say that the issues that effect working photographers who are in the field of covering documentary and social issues will always attract attention as they are bound up with the issues of the day.

    In future, I will keep such views well away from forums and debate them only with colleagues on a face to face basis.

    Please let's not get this thread banned by getting into a political debate. Views on how to deal with creeps are most welcome, however!

    Thanks all.
  14. That's awful!

    Peter, the web is no different then the real world: your first neighbor can be cannibal or rapist or pedophile... and you'll never know.

    The only way, the real way, the real path in life is to follow your heart. People will do anything to stop you but they can't if the road ahead is yours.

    This being said, just go on and don't regret nothing.

    This is hte way I see things and I don't think I'm wrong.

    Good luck and keep up.
  15. F15Todd


    Feb 1, 2005
    I have not read the thread on DPR, and don't know if I will (just not enough hours in the day). I hate to think that someone would go to such lenghts to hurt you, and truly hope it's not a member here, but just a guess.
  16. NeilCam


    Feb 21, 2005
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Wot Todd sed. :) 

    I'll also add part of what I wrote in the other thread, to whit: "I would sincerely hope that NGS will treat that idiot's email with the contempt it deserves."

  17. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Hi Peter,

    I feel bad for the discomfort this has brought you. From the response at DPR, you can see why we have a no politics rule here at the cafe. People's emotions play far too big of a role when politics come into play.

    I have done some internet sleuthing on the email address you provided. I believe this address belongs to a young, female, photo-blogger in Taiwan. Mostly she posts about cats and food, and her life in general. I see no connection to NGS in any of her writings or links.

    This person does not appear to be a member of the Cafe, based on member records. I suspect her email to you was youthful trouble-making.
  18. Oh my word - you are a genius

    Chris, you are a genius...how do you manage to do these things ?

    There are some really crazy people out there. I suppose in a virtual world we can all pretend to be anything we want and assume any identity that we choose. Just like I'm sure that some of the real "troll" posters who are anti Nikon at another well known forum have probably never done more than seen a camera through a shop window.

    I'm truly amazed at your ability to find these things out. Basically I was up all last night trying to calm down and find out who this person was.

    Well thanks, what a relief. I wish I could actually thank you in person - and yes - NO politics, EVER EVER in capital letters and in a 140 point ultra bold font.


  19. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    I will not read all of this post.

    What I will say. If one so disires to to to DPR, you deserve the crap you get. Thats why we have this forum. Peace, kindness and caring.

    I see many of you going to DPR to get your daily doses of abuse.

    I do not understand that.
  20. Gail, you are of course 100 percent right. I don't know why I (many of us) go there either.

    And while I'm not a gearhead, I feel strong brand loyalty to Nikon. Why...well as I gaze over my much worn and loved Nikkormats and my F2 -- well, Nikon has been a part of my life for nearly 30 years. I think of all the places I've been and the images I've shot.

    I really want Nikon to succeed in this new era and I feel an almost driving compulsion (which is in rational terms, madness) to do my part to correct all the misinformation that is perpetrated.

    I suppose I worry that given the number of newbie and prospective consumers that visit DPR, some of the garbage that is posted may influence the perception of Nikon in the marketplace. Take for example, all the mis-information about the D2H, a camera which I got some of my best work from btw.

    It wouldn't surprise me if manufacturers used these forums to their own marketing advantage using perhaps a guerilla approach.

    But yes, getting involved at DPR is all madness.
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