Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pleasant update to the 'Profit From Suffering' post

I sent messages to the stock-photo websites that were selling images of piles of human skulls from the 'Killing Fields' in Cambodia.  The one I sent to read:
You sell images of piles of skulls from the Khmer Rogue's killing fields in Cambodia. Making a profit off of that type of atrocity using images of the victims is very distasteful.
I just received this email back from one of their reps:

Dear Kafes,
I just found a few such images and removed them. Please verify if you still find such images on the site.
Actually we resell images from another image agency and their images are automatically forwarded to our collection.
The part with the profit is similar to how a photographer taking pictures of victims of a murder or of war will get paid by the press agency, and the press agency itself will get some money.
It's a kind of job and who do it get rewarded.
Anyway, please accept our apologies, while still keeping in mind that these images are part of history and having them somehow increase awareness of what has happened.
For example we here in Bulgaria also have the Batak massacre and don't feel like knowing about it is something bad.
Best regards,

I feel very pleasantly surprised that they actually took my message seriously; perhaps I'm getting a little to jumpy to assume the worst about people lately o.O?

I'm going to send a short email back thanking them.  I also want to say that I agree that it's certainly not something bad for people to know about.  My only problem was that the images were simply close-up shots of piles of skulls with almost zero context; selling images of the memorials or of historical photos I don't have a problem with.

Anyways, I have a lot of respect for the way they responded and definitely want to thank them for taking it seriously.

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