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A Sad Day Revisited

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  • A Sad Day Revisited

    The one and only reason for this thread is because I'm concerned about the possibility of the site becoming less inviting to many of us.

    While the results of this thread will not set policy, I guarantee that the results will be monitored by the administrator of the site.

    There are probably several reasons why some of you wouldn't want to reply to this thread, so I'm attaching a poll. You don't have to be verbal, but please take time to vote, even if you don't agree with my way of thinking. The way you vote could have an effect on the way things are handled on the site.

    When I first came to RetouchPro, I don't know how many members there were.........maybe 20 - 30? Now we have over 800, and with that many members comes a variety of personalities. Given the proper environment, personalities will clash, and the potential for flame wars becomes a reality. This is not what most of us want. It was the lack of that, that made the site attractive to many of us. What can we do to prevent it? I feel that debate, in most cases, is healthy, but I do not think that this site is the place to debate certain issues. These issues fall into the category I'll describe as having "High chance of being controversial". It is my opinion that these types of images/posts should not be allowed on the site simply because they open the door for personal conflict/flame wars. It should be up to the moderators to use their judgement on anything questionable. Of course, the owner of the site has the final say, and he will set the guidelines to be followed. I am simply offering my suggestions as food for thought. Please vote so your voice is heard. Let's keep the glue that brought us together, and ban the cancer that lives in our personalities.

    I agree with Ed's suggestions
    I disagree with Ed's suggestions
    I have an alternate suggestion

  • #2
    The word "controversial" is so subjective. I haven't voted yet, but I will make a comment (which I have refrained from doing up to this point).

    Doug has stated that what is appropriate for the site, generally, is whatever could be viewed by an 8 year old child. I can agree with that.

    Some things may not be suited to my own personal values and tastes, but that doesn't make them objectionable to other members. And vice versa.

    Perhaps another way to look at it is the way we do it where I work (a photo lab). We decline to print any images that depict something that would not be acceptable if seen on a public street.

    I don't think there really is a way to please everyone, but I do suggest that if something does not suit someone's personal taste, that they may just decline to look...

    Just my 2¢ worth....


    • #3
      Oh, I forgot to ask....

      What is it exactly we're voting on?

      1) That anything that could be construed as controversial should not be allowed on the site (posts, threads or images)


      2) That it should be left up to Doug and the moderators to decide what is acceptable and what is not

      I just couldn't quite decide what the question was...


      • #4

        I am wondering the same thing as Jak? Would the vote be about what issues should be considered controversial or about who should determine what is controversial. I think the poll is a great idea, I am just not sure what is being voted on... ?


        Unfortunately (I think), what can / should be viewed by an 8-year-old child is very subjective anymore, though it shouldn't be, too bad people's parenting skills aren't moderated as well as this site.


        • #5
          I won't vote until there is clarification on what the vote would mean, but I will say where I stand.

          RetouchPRO is a safe and friendly place for people to show their photo editing skills and learn new ones. This must never be allowed to change. Anyone who is unwilling to be friendly and helpful to all others in the forum should be kicked out of the membership.

          Controversy is an inherent part of freedom. Controversy can help clarify thinking and can be helpful, or it can be destructive -- the result depends on the reactions of those engaged in the debate. I would never vote to eliminate all controversial subjects.

          The forums that concentrate on the skill-building issues related to photo retouching/restoration rarely find any issues that cause anger or outrage. The conflicts that have occured, to the best of my recollection, relate to the creative/artistic production of work shown either in the Gallery or in an individual thread created to showcase the work.

          Art is by its very nature, subjective, and thus often courts with controversy.

          Possible Solutions: A or B; or A and B
          A. Eliminate all uploads or links of artwork which is not a direct restoration or retouch of an approved photo. Photo art challenges could continue as long as they are based upon an approved subject photo. Artists who want to post a creative work would go to those websites that encourage creativity.

          B. If an image or post is found to be offensive, report it to the moderator or to Doug. Then go on to another thread or another forum and concentrate on the subject matter that does not offend you.

          It is so VERY important to save RetouchPRO from losing it's essential kindness to all members. Change will always occur, but this basic requirement (members, especially newbies, must be able to trust that they will not be flamed) must not change for this website to succeed.


          • #6
            Sorry for not being clear on that. I think we're voting on letting the moderator's (with Doug's approval) decide whether or not there's a good chance for the image/post to cause problems. They could always wait to see if there's a problem before using the delete key. The important thing, to me, is that we eliminate, as much as possible, personal conflicts and flame wars.



            • #7
              I'm not clear on what Ed's "suggestion" is.

              My personal feeling on this issue is that, I would like to see this site, and the images posted here, limited to the topic of restoration. I don't believe the idea would stifle any artist's, just limit their contributions to this particular site. I like Doug's "8 yr old viewer" guideline. That sounds like the best idea to me.

              Another thought, limit galleries to members who have been active for x number of days. (Why fight controversy with individuals who are not active, contributing members?)

              2 cents: I have zero tolerance for people crying about their freedom of experssion and rights at this site. Doug has set a standard, it they are not willing to abide by it, they should graciously leave, and find a more appropriate venue.


              • #8

                My suggestion is that images/posts that, in the mind of the moderators, have a high chance of being controversial, be deleted before anything gets started. In the event that there are questionable situations, the moderator could wait to see if a problem is forthcoming, then nip it in the bud if there is.

                For what it's worth, I feel the same way as you. But the site has grown too much for that to happen, in my opinion. I don't think it will ever again be strictly restoration/retouching, and I have to admit that I've been tempted to try my hand at some of the things I see in the "art" section. But that's not why I came to the site, and it wouldn't bother me in the least if we went back to the old days. They were a lot safer.



                • #9
                  I think everyone has a very good point, and I totally agree with the suggestion Vikki made:

                  Let's just give users a trial a limitation on how many posts they make and not allow them to put in pictures. But if they prove themselves to be a professional, mature and CONTRIBUTING member in the forums then we can make make certain allowances.

                  the 8 yr old guideline is a bit much if you ask me.

                  WE ARE PROFESSIONALS.

                  If you're a 30-60 yr old and you're offended by a 1930's photo of a restoration of the members of a Brothel, then you're not being professional and you're in the wrong business.



                  • #10
                    I think, though, that what Ed is suggesting has always been the policy, right? That is why some things are removed and some things are kept.

                    What happened most recently is that a moderator chose not to remove something and therefore it caused controversy, am I correct?

                    I guess there just needs to be a commitment to accept what is there or not there, the way it is, and not get worked up about it.

                    If the policies are made vividly clear to new and old members, than any issue that comes up will just be seen as irrational and everyone will move on and ignore it.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by chiquitita
                      I think, though, that what Ed is suggesting has always been the policy, right?
                      Close, but not exactly. I'm suggesting that the moderators take into account the subject matter of images/posts, and how they are presented. As an example, let's say that Jack Brock cares deeply about animal rights. Chris knows this. Now, Peggy Sue posts something where she talks about boiling cats in water. Chris should know that this post is cause for concern. He can then delete that post because there is a good chance there will be problems arising over it.



                      • #12

                        I think that, taking every person's personal feelings about each and every subject into account is impossible, and as someone else posted before, there would be nothing left.

                        Now, if there are very obvious things, like the example you stated, it makes sense.

                        Here is an idea - what if we just followed the law? Nudity in public is illeagal (in this country). Child porn is illeagal, animal cruelty is illeagal. Those things shouldn't be posted.

                        Just a thought, so that it isn't so subjective.


                        • #13
                          I have an idea!

                          Let's just get back to doing what makes RetouchPro great - post question, post answers, post examples that demonstrate techniques, talk about retouching photos, talk about how we run our businesses, how we deal with customers, how we deliver our work, how we charge for our time, what we like about retouching, what we dislike, how we attract more of what we like and how we gracefully turn away what we don't like, share enough about ourselves through observations about our lives whether mundane or exciting so that we become "real" people to each other, real family, REAL important.



                          • #14
                            Eliminating anything that could be viewed as controversial is a mistake. One of the obvious problems with it is who gets to decide what's controversial? The community standard in one place is different than in another, even in the same town it can be confusing. In Berkeley, for example, near where I work, you can read Playboy at the library's magazine rack, but the American flag was forced off of all the fire trucks because it was viewed as offensive to some in the community. Did it occur to Jak, for example, that her avatar is offensive to some people, even people who live in her own country? Some of you may not believe that, but it's true. That makes it controversial. Should it be removed? The internet is global, and this is a site that can be viewed and participated by people in all parts of the world. Would it be ok for a Saudi Arabian RP user to use his flag as an avatar? How about a Palestinian? (This example is meant as an illustration of how a simple thing can be controversial; it's not a slam on Jak nor does it have to do with any personal opinion I have on the matter.)
                            I do believe some tolerance is a healthy thing.
                            As for waiting for people to have a certain number of posts before they can upload pictures (to the galleries or wherever), that would stifle the site as well. New people would come here, join up, realize they have to wait until they're ok'd by some unknown panel before they can contribute freely... but by that time they'd be gone.

                            One potential fix would be to remove much of the superfluous portions of the site. It's too big and difficult to manage. The galleries could go. If you want to show your art, go to and others - there's plenty of sites out there for that. Also, a large portion of the forums could also go, especially the salon area. Reducing the focus of the site back to retouching and restoration would eliminate much of the problems, the "controversial" subject matter would be reigned in, and that would make it much easier for moderators to police the site.

                            Attached Files


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mig

                              ...Also, a large portion of the forums could also go, especially the salon area.
                              I would rather just put up with the occasional "controversy". The site has evolved into what it is because of what people wanted...the "Photo Based Art" forum being a good example. RetouchPro has always had the feel of a community rather than just a website and I think things like the Salon have a lot to do with it...I would not want to see that go.


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