North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › Standards for photos on our personal profiles
Last week, a new member "Matt" aka "Funkyworm" signed up for our local group. While his profile did not provide much information, it did include a photograph, presumably of himself, wearing nothing but a bathing suit and a giant gold cross.
I do not think that this photograph would be helpful to promoting our group to potential and new members who are considering whether or not to meet with us for the first time. I also strongly question what Matt was trying to communicate with this photo. Still, there was a possibility that Matt's photo might have been misplaced humor.
I tried to constructively address Matt's posting of this photograph in a private e-mail to him. In response, he immediately withdrew from our group without any argument or explanation. I infer from his action that he was not constructively interested in our group.
Matt's photo prompted some discussion at our last gathering. While we certainly support an individual's right to freedom of expression (including parody or joke, in case that might have been what Matt intended by his photo), NTOS does not have to be a forum for anything that anyone who signs up may wish to post.
As he has withdrawn from our group, I think I can publicly discuss and explain how I tried to handle the situation. A copy of the e-mail I sent to Matt is reproduced below:
Welcome to the North Texas Objectivist Society.
I don't know how to say this diplomatically, but I am concerned about the photo you have selected to use for your introduction to our group.
We are attempting to actually meet other people interested in Objectivism, including couples and families with children.
I do not understand what you are trying to communicate with a photo, presumably of yourself, in a bathing suit and wearing a giant gold cross. While you may have selected the photo as a joke, I don't think it plays well if you are trying to meet someone over the internet, and especially in our meetup group.
I request that you take that photo down -- a photo is optional or you can select something more family friendly. It's a judgment call on my part, but it falls to me, as our Organizer, to moderate the atmosphere for our group.
Apart from that, assuming you are in fact a presentable person and you are interested in Objectivism, we would be sincerely interested in meeting you sometime. And we do appreciate a sense of humor!
Thanks for your understanding,
Edited by Old Toad on Feb 28, 2006 6:53 AM