Over the weekend I had a wonderful time doing coverage of Seattle’s own Slut Walk to help highlight the issues with sexual
abuse, abuse, violence towards women, rape, and a host of other societal ills that I actually think are very uncool. This is one of those issues I have an opinion about. What was at first a wonderful experience of survivors, people who have helped, people who want to help has turned upside down for one member of the walk. See someone is using one of my pictures to harass and/or bully a person who was in the walk. It is bad enough for this person that I got this e-mail from the coordinators at Slut Walk via the victim to take down a couple of pictures off of the general Flickr Pool.
“A few pics of me have been posted to Dan Morrill’s flicker account, and there is one on Komo News 4. I didn’t mind artist’s snapping pics, but had I known (that) one person was a journalist that would post it on a news website, I NEVER would have consented, and had I known I would be threatened with the same kind of harm that made me a survivor in the first place, I wouldn’t have consented to anyone’s request for pictures. It’s been difficult dealing with random strangers yelling ugly things at me; I had a breakdown at work, and haven’t been back since. I’m terrified to go outside, as I don’t know if someone will recognize me and then say/yell something evil, or be the person that does more than just say.
I’m desperate for any modicum of feeling safe; please, please, is there any way that someone at SWS would contact Mr. Morrill and ask that he either remove my pics, or at least crop my face? One of the producers at Komo explained that legally, photographers can take a picture and keep it, particularly when posed for. I am asking for Mr. Morrill to please look at my situation through an empathetic lens; I just want my life back, I just want to feel safe. I will relievedly write down the image numbers and email them, should he oh-god-please-wrote-the-atheist agree to help me.”
Authors Note: Cleaned up some of the grammar, removed any personal references to names, dates, or work places, kept the general feel of the note intact.
While I cannot do much about the pictures on KOMO News 4, I can and will willingly take down the pictures that are causing distress to the person who sent this over to Slut Walk and then on to me. It is reprehensible to me to have my work used to hurt another person. I am now introducing a first rule of “using my pictures”.
The first rule now is “don’t use my pictures to hurt anyone, ever, if I find you, it will be bad with dire direct consequences”.
The most brilliant thing I can do is highlight society, the people we are, the things we do, and the outsiders. I do a lot of coverage of fringe elements of society, from Punk Rock shows to Burlesque to Anime Shows to Comic Book Shows. I have never before had my pictures used to harass anyone for any reason until today. Needless to say in my opinion, since I take these pictures, is that there is always, always, and always be room for and the need for documentation of elements of our society that are uncomfortable to know about, or have a wonderfully unique view of the world that we can all learn from. We need to show respect for those who march to their own drummer, acknowledge that they listen to their own tune, do their own thing, and generally just want to live their lives the way that they want to.
I really don’t cotton to bullying, and that is what this person is dealing with right now.
Via my work.
That alone is misuse of something I do, have done, and will continue to do.
In the future, please for the love of God, or anything else you hold holy including the flying spaghetti monster, do not use my work, my pictures, my documentation of the awesome beauty that are the multiple subcultures we have to bully, abuse, or otherwise harass people.
Dan Morrill, Flickr, KOMO News 4, Needless, Punk Rock, Seattle, Sexual abuse, SlutWalk