Advice - Your Rope

Posting Content: A Few Tips

I recently found myself in a position where I needed to reflect on the content I create and where it gets posted. I have created art with other people, and I always actively seek consent on what gets posted where, and how. I ask:

  1. What would you like me to take photos, videos, audio, or any other recording of? I take some time thinking of what should be included and excluded from the photos and videos. This might include body parts like the face, body jewellery or tattoos, objects in the background, poses in the ties, other people, etc. We should never assume we can take a photo or other recording of another person or their belongings.
  2. What shall we do with the recordings once we’ve taken them? It’s in my practice to share all content I create with them via whichever form of communication they prefer (eg email, on WhatsApp). Do whatever you feel comfortable with.
  3. What edits are needed and/or preferred? Once the edits are done, I show these edits to the people I tied with and seek their permission to use them.
  4. Where is it OK to post the photos or videos? Think about the context of where you are posting and the terms of use of that platform. Think of the visibility on the platform, if it is a public or private account, and whether you are happy with it to be seen by strangers or close friends. Considervthe level of control you ha e over that image. In reality, once a photo or video is on the internet, it’s extremely difficult to get it removed.
  5. How can we protect each other’s privacy? We are often in compromising positions, sometimes the photos are sexual in some nature. We need to not let the photos get into the wrong hands, evading our privacy needs.

This issue gets more complicated, though. I have recently asked two former partners to delete my content (for personal reasons) from their profiles. I did not want to be associated with them anymore, nor did I feel they could protect my privacy. It was difficult reaching out to the 2 people, because I once cared for them deeply, but they betrayed me significantly and our paths diverged. I let them keep using the photos, but I suddenly realised I didn’t want then to use ny photos to promote themselves anymore. I would never want to be complicit to any other problems they might go on to cause.

Consent is active and ongoing. We should never assume that our initial agreement on that one day, is a carte blanche to do what we want with recordings we create. The rigger, the model and the photographer each have the right to ask the other parties to delete their content at any time, for any reason. That’s the way consent works in all aspects of life. Nothing should ever be taken for granted.

A commenter on one of my posts about this topic drew my attention to how often their work is stolen. I have had this happen. I have needed to, on occasion, had to send a polite message asking people to remove my content (writings), and perhaps quote their favourite paragraph, credit me, and link to the writing or content I created. This has worked for me. It does surprise me just how much some people do not always consider copyright infringement and the nature of intellectual property. Whatever we create is ours!

If you do want to contact someone to withdraw consent for them to post the creations, put it in writing. Be explicit. “I withdraw my consent for you to use content we created on all platforms. Please delete the content.” Or something to that effect. If you are fearful of that person or their reaction, keeping the message clear and simple will help. Do not get dragged into a conversation, hold your boundary. How a person resounds to a “no” is often very telling.

If someone steals my content intentionally, then I feel there is no option but to report the infringement and block the person. If this is a continuing or serious problem, you may want to seek legal advice and/or find a professional to mediate.

I’m left wondering if my content is being copied without my permission and outside of my knowledge? I was once told my photos are on a profile on Tinder, an app I have never used. I was once quizzed on if I copied my writing because they saw it posted elsewhere. No, they copied me! It happens and it bothers me.

With the rise of AI and Chat GPT, plaguerism and fake content creation is now even easier than ever. It’s getting to the point that we do not know if what we see is real and truthful. I’ve written and spoke in classes a lot about how the photos we see do not represent the hard work and weeks (/months) of negotiations that happened for that moment the rope art is created to exist. We see the best bits, in that brief moment of time. Fake, artifically generated posts take that problem to the extreme, because it would devoid of any sense of reality.

So, we need to think carefully about what we post and where. We need to be careful who we trust with our content. We need to assert ourselves and say no if we don’t want to to post a photo or video or other recording. We need to be confident to withdraw our consent of our situations changes, and use the law if this continues.

If you have any other ideas of how to manage recordings of rope content you create, I’d love to hear it.

Dea Nexa

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