I’m not the internet police, nor do I try to be. So I don’t to go around Fetlife reporting people for posting pictures that don’t belong to them, nor do I get all up in arms about it on a regular basis, though I do occasionally participate in the discussions, usually just to correct some misconceptions about the law. But I do notice when a person’s profile has a high volume of photos that aren’t theirs, and I don’t like it.
I have a negative reaction to it because Fetlife is a place where consent matters (or is supposed to matter) and when someone is regularly posting pictures of other people, obviously without their permission, it says to me that the person may have a relatively passive attitude about consent, which is a concern for me. This is the type of person who might be willing to try to give orders to random subs at a club because “it’s up to them whether they follow them or not” or touch someone without permission because “It’s not like I really hurt them or anything.”
The type of person who posts a lot of pictures of others on Fetlife without permission also tells me that they have no qualms with violating a space’s rules if it doesn’t suit them. After all, with each new picture they post, they first have to check a box that says: “I certify this picture is of me, by me, or that I have explicit permission to post it on FetLife. I tell no lies.” So this type of person may violate a club rule against breath play because “it wasn’t hurting anybody.” Or they may ignore the rule against using cell phones because “I was just sending a text.”
It all boils down to entitlement. You want to do something, so you do. And it doesn’t matter if it’s against the rules. It doesn’t matter if it is arguably immoral to do so. It doesn’t matter if other people don’t like it. You are doing what you want to do and everyone who doesn’t like it can fuck off. These people are the ones who cause problems in our spaces.
Of course, I am generalizing. #notallmen who post pictures of naked women without permission are going to violate consent or club rules or generally be assholes. But when you act that way on here, I notice, and so do many others. And I am making a note to avoid and/or keep an eye on you because of it.
Do you have a bunch of pictures on your profile that are not of/by you? Have you ever thought about what you are communicating to others? Have you considered that people may choose not to interact with you because of those images and what they communicate? Maybe you are fine with that, that’s cool.
But maybe you are wondering why you have such a hard time finding relationships or play partners. Fixing your profile can be a good first step to improving your presence online. And the easiest way to improve your profile is to remove the things that don’t belong there, starting with images you never should have posted in the first place.
Beyond right or wrong (though I believe there is a pretty clear answer in this case) is simply the question of what you are communicating to others, because that’s what social networks are for, communication. So what does your footprint here on Fetlife say about you?