Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
For those who watch Lowell City Council meetings, we’ve all experienced the moments where Councilor Rodney Elliot insists he knows better than the experts testifying in front of the Council. Like the time Elliot knew more about the traffic patterns on Father Morissette Blvd than any city traffic engineer.
So most people would agree we need another “expert” (in air quotes) in the Council like we need speed bumps on Tanner St. (Reference to the fact Tanner St has like a million potholes and bumps already and you can’t go faster than 20 mph or risk your wheels flying off.)
But we have another such “expert,” a challenger, running for City Council, and the evidence for his lack of judgement in an online discussion with real professionals was too clear and illustrative to not bring it to your attention. After all, this guy is vying for one of your votes, and you need to know the content of his character before you make your decision.
In the same status from Jen Myers on which I posted previously, regarding copyright and the Sun stealing a photo from Facebook, Jen and several other photography professionals were discussing copyright and generally bemoaning this amateur move from the Sun. Into this discussion of professionals wades candidate Matt Vieira.
His first comment on that status leaves one with the impression that his next words might be, “nana-nana-boo-boo,” so mature is its opening.
He was gently challenged by professional photographer Adrien Bisson of Adrien Bisson Photography (who by the way is excellent, and you can see his work many places, including the Merrimack Valley Magazine). Adrien simply responded, “They need to ask, not tell.”
To which Matt responded:
Now, let’s examine this exchange carefully. If Vieira really didn’t have a clear idea about copyright and posting photos on the internet, and wanted to question the assumptions of the professionals who had already posted how egregious it was for the Sun to use the photo, and if he was someone willing to be educated, then he might have jumped in with, “I don’t understand, how is it that a public photo that someone posts online on Facebook is covered under copyright?”
But instead, he jumps in with:
There’s no copyright Adrien. I could very well take the same photo as you. Without proper evidence you won’t get anywhere. Even then… The courts would chuckle. There’s bigger issues to deal with. FB is PUBLIC! What you post here you post for the world to see. Just saying!
“There is no copyright Adrien.” Just like that, Matt Vieira has established he doesn’t not understand the copyright issue, he knows there is no copyright infringement in this case. He just told already-established professionals on the thread that he knows better than them. If you mouse over Adrien’s face and name on Facebook, you get his title profile which includes, “Owner at Adrien Bisson Photography.” Adrien spends the entire thread speaking like an expert on the subject. But Matt knows better!
And to dig himself in further, in response to someone calling him out on his tone regarding the mayor, he posted this rambling, incoherent response:
I can’t even list all the things wrong with the tone of this rant. For one, it’s dripping with a lack of professionalism. For another, it sounds utterly arrogant. “I’m very mature…” “That might allow you to have a better understanding of…the contributions I have given back to those around me at the age of 23.” I mean seriously? He might as well said, “I know you are, but what am I? I’m rubber, you’re glue…”
And his obvious Rodney Elliot luv. Ugh. I don’t care which side of this whole tribal thing you come down on, anyone watching Elliot Rodney in the last two years has to be embarrassed for him, at a minimum. You can’t possibly defend his demeanor on the Council with a straight face, not if you have an objective eye.
To be fair, eventually (after posting an article about “Fair Use”:
…which to anyone who knows about copyright, is totally irrelevant to the issue at hand) and having several people correct him on that front, Matt did finally say:
Had a different understanding than what he was seeing there? As in, the three or four professionals in photography or art who had made definitive statements prior to his jumping in…statements like, “…making a photo ‘public’ absolutely does not make it available to anyone for their use. One can ’share’ on FB, but that references the original photo on the creator’s page. But taking it, whether from FB or google is stealing. A federal copyright violation.”
Or those who had posted links to articles such as this? (”Can I use a Facebook photo in a news story without permission?” Short answer: no.)
Given all this context prior to his own comment, I can only conclude Vieira thought his expertise trumped all the professional information posted, or that he failed to even read through any of it. Neither scenario is a mark of good character, or someone I want representing me on the City Council.
It goes deeper though. Wait, there’s more! I too also called Matt out on his tone in the initial comment he made wherein he placed the term mayor in “quotes.”
I’m shocked a candidate for city council would be A) terrible at typing/grammar and B ) so blatant in his bias. I can’t wait to use his comments he posted here on the blog. Maybe that’ll show him the difference between fair use and copyright. I’m always glad to educate people.
(I can’t help it, I’m a grammar queen on social media, nothing irks me more than bad writing and grammar…it’s the English B.A. in me. Also, his defensive/condescending tone against others on the thread had really bothered me. The way he had treated the professionals trying to explain things to him was uncouth.)
Aha! There we go. And now we see Vieira flush out the Freedom of Speech Meme, which is used whenever someone wants to pretend that being criticized is the same thing as having your First Amendment rights trampled on. As Mr. Lynne said in response, “Why is it that whenever people don’t like criticism, ‘freedom of speech’ comes up? Amazing that such a fundamental thing is misunderstood. … As if criticism is a call to censor…”
Well, he gave me permission to use his comments on my blog, and I have obliged. I doubt it’s the outcome he’d prefer, however.
Why is this relatively minor scuffle important? It isn’t for its own sake. It’s a bit of an exchange on a Facebook status about something not even related to local politics. But this is a window into the character of Matt Vieira, candidate for City Council. And we’ve seen this behavior before - someone who wants to tell the experts how to do their job, whether that’s never accepting the City Manager’s explanations for anything, despite all the data sitting in front of them, to telling traffic engineers they’re wrong, because hey, Rodney used to drive his daughter to high school sometimes.
And that initial character assessment is leaving off the remarkably immature tone Matt displayed, the breaktaking disregard for the Office of the Mayor because of his disdain for the person who holds it, and his defensiveness (does a truly mature person have to say, “I’m very mature”?) and tribal attitude (calling anyone who happens to think differently of the Mayor his “rubber stamps”). And I can’t fail to notice his lack of basic writing skills, though I suppose writing on an 8th-grade level on a social website should not disqualify someone from running for office.
I think Lowell deserves to know the character of this candidate, and never have I seen it displayed quite so frankly, all in one convenient place, as in this social media conversation. And that, I think, is a rather important point to make.
[powered by WordPress.]
|« Jul||Sep »|
44 queries. 2.767 seconds