Don’t Steal One of the Gay Author’s Pictures on Facebook…He Doesn’t Like It
Posted on February 6, 2012
I do some work for a company that pays very close attention to social media. I know, I know. Moi? Work? Ralph says if I’m not barefoot and pregnant at home, my supple ass has to get out there and earn us some money. Personally, I think I’d make a pretty awesome house husband. We’ll see. I’m working on it. Give me a few more months. Anyway, back to topic, the folks where I work and I are fairly well-versed in online etiquette…despite some of my posts and things I say that might suggest the contrary. But there are just some things you don’t do. And if you do happen to do them, there are things you don’t go and do after you’ve gone and done what you did! Are you following me? Good, because some of this gets a little complicated.
Like you, I enjoy sharing parts of my life. Not all. Just parts. My particular parts include pictures, just not pictures of my parts. The odd thing is in that all the time I’ve been on Facebook, I’ve never had a truly bad experience with someone who put in a Friend Request. Sure, I’ve had to remove a person or two who’ve been a little socially awkward and made complete asses of themselves, but that’s normal, right? Last week, though, I was going through and *Poking* a few folks back–you cannot believe how often I get *Poked* online…I’m surprised I can still sit–when I saw the profile pic of a would-be *Pokee*. I looked at the small picture, did a double take and realized it was familiar. Very familiar. So familiar, that I realized I was the one who’d taken it.
The last dog my family had, Snickers (or as I called him, Mr. Snicks), was put to sleep back in early 2010. He was adorable, stubborn and an absolute pleasure during the years we had him. It was double-bad timing when he had gotten to the point where his quality of life just wasn’t what he needed it to be anymore, especially because my father had recently been diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s. Those were two blows to us. Anyway, I’d posted a picture of Snicks in one of my Facebook galleries. Flash forward to last week when a fellow gay male from Michigan named Gale Frick downloaded the photo and then uploaded it as his profile picture.
My thinking right now is this: if Gale had e-mailed and asked me if he could use it, I probably would have said ‘yes’. It’s a personal picture of former furry member of the family, but if this man got some joy out of the pic, who am I to say no? That didn’t happen. If he’d even e-mailed and told me that he was using it–without asking–I might still have been okay with it. Maybe not. We’ll never know because he never gave me the chance. He simply took it and used it.
So, I look at the picture and I’m puzzled at why he would take it, use it, and then poke me so that I can see it. It seems rather brazen to me, only I still didn’t have a huge problem with it. And rather than be reactionary in a negative way, I e-mailed him and this is what I said:
I don’t mean to be rude and I hope I’m not sounding rude, but I was a little surprised to see that your profile picture is of one of my dogs that passed away from one of my own galleries on FB.
That’s it. That’s all I said. I went to bed and when I got up in the morning, I checked to see if Gale had responded. He had, but it wasn’t in e-mail. Gale had removed/blocked me. No note. No explanation. No nothing. Just gone and he was still using the picture. Now I have a huge problem with it.
Gale Frick and I have 60+ mutual friends, so I posted a little message telling them what he’d done. I didn’t call him names. I didn’t say anything untrue. I just spelled it out and I was going to leave it at that. Friends suggested that perhaps he was embarrassed by the incident, so he removed me out of that embarrassment. I can even understand that. Someone else pointed out, however, that he was still using the picture and sent me the link so I could report it. Report it? Was it really necessary? Should I? Over a picture of a former dog? What if it had been a picture of one of my parents? Or Ralph? Or another family member? And then I realized that Snicks was a family member, so it did pertain. And I sent in a report to Facebook.
I have no idea of the outcome, if there is an outcome or what’ll happen, if anything. It’s the principle of it. Honestly, I feel the whole thing is kind of silly. All Gale Frick had to do was ask or mention it and that just didn’t happen. And removing/blocking me? Not exactly the kind of response I was looking for. So now he has my response: don’t steal a gay author’s picture from Facebook. He doesn’t like it.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
2 Responses to “Don’t Steal One of the Gay Author’s Pictures on Facebook…He Doesn’t Like It”
February 6, 2012 at 9:59 am
What an overreaction! Just talking about it in another thread, the fact that people seem unable to say “I’m sorry” or admit they are wrong about anything. It’s sad. Maybe he had a crush on you and this was his way of getting your attention.
People should not use other people’s pix without permission. That’s stealing. If you do, own up, apologize and get on with your life. Geez. Heading over to see if he’s still using it as you have piqued my curiosity.
February 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm
I can understand if he felt a little embarrassed about it, but the way he handled it was unacceptable. It was then that I decided something should be done. Fortunately, I had friends who contacted him and reported him on their own, too. I was really blown away by the support.