The New Mayhem: No critiques allowed in critique forum

The Retarded New Order Of Model Mayhem

My dear friend Elle did a recent shoot with TH Taylor. She was curious to get some feedback so she posted the pictures in the critique forum for some opinions. Now this has been done tens of thousands of times without incident. Both photographers and models place images they collaborate on to seek feedback. Sometimes the critiques are positive, sometimes they are negative. But in the majority of thoughtful critiques, the entire photograph is open to critique. When I give critiques, I comment on every aspect of the photo where pertinent. My comments may encompass the pose, the look of the model, the wardrobe, the location, the lighting, and the technical aspects of photography. This is the only way to give valuable feedback.

Well it appears the new order of Model Mayhem has slipped farther into Bizarro world. The thread was locked because a model posted the picture for critique but people started making comments about the photography. Whoa! Stop the presses and call in the moderators! Someone asked for feedback and people gave feedback. What a shock!

The reason given by the moderator, who coincidently happens to be none other than TH Taylor himself, was that it was an unsolicited critique of the photographer. Isn’t that a conflict of interest? You would think the right thing to do is to get another moderator to lock it if it is indeed against the rules. At least he’ll get the appearance of neutrality. The notion that a critique of a photograph cannot be allowed unless all parties who collaborated on it give permission is so utterly ridiculous it borders on the bizarre. Is this the future of Model Mayhem? A future where every member is coddled and pampered for fear of offending someone’s sensitivities? How is anyone suppose to grow as an artist if their collaborative efforts cannot be open to critique unless everyone involved agrees? I contend that the very act of collaboration for portfolio use implies that the images are open to critique and comment. If an artist do not want their work criticized, perhaps they should consider never collaborating and hiding all their creative works in their attic.

TH Taylor, who is new to his job as moderator, is no stranger to controversy. Just a week ago, he was the topic of this heated discussion because he allowed an unqualified member to proclaim she was a former agent and give absolutely horrible misinformation to the uninformed. When this member was taken to task by other members for giving bad advice, she was protected and those asking for her credentials were threatened with probations for disrupting this very bad critique thread.

It’s obvious to me that the leadership of Model Mayhem has lost its bearings and no longer in touch with the pulse of the membership. The recent changes and the uproar that followed is a testament to how far off they are in their attempts to improve the community. At this rate, they would have been better off leaving things alone.

The discussion of the matter can be found here.

Addendum: Well I thought I was done with the post but I just took a look at Elle’s profile and see that TH Taylor has left her this tag:

T H Taylor
Photographer
02/06/08 1:10pm

Just FYI: I locked that thread. I was getting tired of having my work critiqued without asking for it.. I started to feel like an art student! It got very annoying when folks that I would consider mediocre started chiming in!
😉
T.

Well isn’t that just the epitome of hypocrisy. Here we have a moderator who locks a critique thread because he was receiving unsolicited critiques tagging a model’s public profile making unsolicited negative critiques of those who critiqued his work. Moderator abuse has hit a new low.

The New Order: List Of Recent Changes

  • No posting of pictures in the industry forum unless it is specific to the topic. So that means pictures like LOL cat, spam pics, etc cannot be used to emphasis a point.
  • No critique of any components of a photo that is not specifically related to the person asking for the critique.
  • No challenging the credentials or information of those offering critique regardless of how awful the information may be.
  • No linking to any outside sources like ebay for items being offered for sale on market forum.
  • No off topic discussion of any kind in the industry forum.
  • The first reply to a thread is sometimes a forum moderator warning people to behave. This is done before anyone has even replied.
  • Phill @ Dreamshot

    Based on the above, locking the thread was clearly an abuse of Mod privilege and should be reviewed by MM Admin. If this decision is allowed to stand, particularly in light of the tag left on Elle’s profile, it sets a somewhat disturbing precedent for the future.

    As for the comments in the tag, albeit some of us might be considered “mediocre” in respect of our photography skills, that is not to say that our opinion as to the qualities, strengths or weaknesses of an image, are worthless.
    One does not have to be an expert photographer to appreciate a good photograph. Were that to be the case, then every movie critic would need to be a consumate, actor, screenwriter, director, etc in order to critique movies.

    I really hope something is done to address this apparently blatant abuse of Mod privilege and that we do not see a recurrence of it.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention Pat, as I for one was not aware it had occured.

  • Phill @ Dreamshot

    Based on the above, locking the thread was clearly an abuse of Mod privilege and should be reviewed by MM Admin. If this decision is allowed to stand, particularly in light of the tag left on Elle’s profile, it sets a somewhat disturbing precedent for the future.

    As for the comments in the tag, albeit some of us might be considered “mediocre” in respect of our photography skills, that is not to say that our opinion as to the qualities, strengths or weaknesses of an image, are worthless.
    One does not have to be an expert photographer to appreciate a good photograph. Were that to be the case, then every movie critic would need to be a consumate, actor, screenwriter, director, etc in order to critique movies.

    I really hope something is done to address this apparently blatant abuse of Mod privilege and that we do not see a recurrence of it.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention Pat, as I for one was not aware it had occured.

  • Phill @ Dreamshot

    Ok, I see the Mods have unlocked the thread, I appreciate Joe’s need to try and set down some guidelines, dunno if I agree with them. But still, thats another discussion for another time, just glad to see the thread is once again open.

  • Phill @ Dreamshot

    Ok, I see the Mods have unlocked the thread, I appreciate Joe’s need to try and set down some guidelines, dunno if I agree with them. But still, thats another discussion for another time, just glad to see the thread is once again open.

  • Yes, the new takes on the rules are QUITE interesting.
    I am currently in the brig for “maliciously discrediting” a member (not CAP).
    I went in to a thread where a member was being lauded & praised, and I pointed out that said member is a habitual liar and didn’t deserve said praise, and I provided EXAMPLES.
    I was told this was wrong of me & not allowed.

    Meanwhile, in the “Vote me off MM” thread, CAP has been telling blatant lies about me so I sent a CAM about it.
    This’s exactly what the Mods said in response:
    “Lies are not against the rules. When you are unbrigged, you can rebut. ”

    It’s FASCINATING logic that I cannot tell what the Mod ACKNOWLEDGED was the TRUTH about a member because they deemed it as “malicious discrediting” but someone who’s lying about me for noticeably malicious reasons is allowed to continue.

    Great way to structure & enforce rules.

  • Yes, the new takes on the rules are QUITE interesting.
    I am currently in the brig for “maliciously discrediting” a member (not CAP).
    I went in to a thread where a member was being lauded & praised, and I pointed out that said member is a habitual liar and didn’t deserve said praise, and I provided EXAMPLES.
    I was told this was wrong of me & not allowed.

    Meanwhile, in the “Vote me off MM” thread, CAP has been telling blatant lies about me so I sent a CAM about it.
    This’s exactly what the Mods said in response:
    “Lies are not against the rules. When you are unbrigged, you can rebut. ”

    It’s FASCINATING logic that I cannot tell what the Mod ACKNOWLEDGED was the TRUTH about a member because they deemed it as “malicious discrediting” but someone who’s lying about me for noticeably malicious reasons is allowed to continue.

    Great way to structure & enforce rules.

  • I am INCREDIBLY disappointed at how TH has performed as a forum mod. Incredibly.

    http://www.modelmayhem.com/p.php?thread_id=245130&page=
    Above is the link to another critique thread he mishandled.

    🙁

  • I am INCREDIBLY disappointed at how TH has performed as a forum mod. Incredibly.

    http://www.modelmayhem.com/p.php?thread_id=245130&page=
    Above is the link to another critique thread he mishandled.

    🙁

  • The thread quoted above by MDiva is a perfect example of preemptive over moderation. Some new forum moderators now have too much time on their hands and seem to be under the impression that they now have some kind of precognitive abilities to foretell the future. It would be like you’re driving down the street running your errands when a cop pulls you over and said “I’m going to give you a warning because I can tell you’re going to run a red light.” It is intrusive and irritating. Make it stop.

  • The thread quoted above by MDiva is a perfect example of preemptive over moderation. Some new forum moderators now have too much time on their hands and seem to be under the impression that they now have some kind of precognitive abilities to foretell the future. It would be like you’re driving down the street running your errands when a cop pulls you over and said “I’m going to give you a warning because I can tell you’re going to run a red light.” It is intrusive and irritating. Make it stop.

  • Yup.
    A new escort thread started today here:
    http://www.modelmayhem.com/p.php?thread_id=246692
    and a few posts in the Forum mod pops up:
    “So far, all of the advice and suggestions have been fair and reasonable. And, they should stay this way. We are working to steer these threads in a positive, useful direction. That said, trolling and thread hijacking will not be allowed. So far, we’re off to a good start. I’m happy to see it. :-)”

    Ok… if the thread is good & everyone’s being reasonable why is there even a need for the “That said” bit???

  • Yup.
    A new escort thread started today here:
    http://www.modelmayhem.com/p.php?thread_id=246692
    and a few posts in the Forum mod pops up:
    “So far, all of the advice and suggestions have been fair and reasonable. And, they should stay this way. We are working to steer these threads in a positive, useful direction. That said, trolling and thread hijacking will not be allowed. So far, we’re off to a good start. I’m happy to see it. :-)”

    Ok… if the thread is good & everyone’s being reasonable why is there even a need for the “That said” bit???

  • Damon

    *sigh* TH needs to chill the fuck out.

    One thing is correct, it is a textbook example…. of how he continually jumps the gun in terms of his moderation.

  • Damon

    *sigh* TH needs to chill the fuck out.

    One thing is correct, it is a textbook example…. of how he continually jumps the gun in terms of his moderation.

  • TH is an idiot, this much I have learned from the thread you linked and the previous thread with the “agent”.

  • TH is an idiot, this much I have learned from the thread you linked and the previous thread with the “agent”.

  • ::sigh::

    They were sooo quick to find moderators that some of them have no idea what the fuck they are doing.

  • ::sigh::

    They were sooo quick to find moderators that some of them have no idea what the fuck they are doing.

  • What’s really funny about this is that Fifi & I were both told we couldn’t be Mods (despite some of the Mods publicly supporting us) because it was felt we had problems with too many people & wouldn’t be fair/impartial.
    Uh… ok. ‘Cause the people they picked are operating fairly & without any sort of bias.
    Suuuuuuure.

  • What’s really funny about this is that Fifi & I were both told we couldn’t be Mods (despite some of the Mods publicly supporting us) because it was felt we had problems with too many people & wouldn’t be fair/impartial.
    Uh… ok. ‘Cause the people they picked are operating fairly & without any sort of bias.
    Suuuuuuure.