Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What You Should Know if You Plan to Post on Curl Talk.

I want to make it clear that Curl Talk states all this stuff in its user agreement.  I'm not trying to accuse them of anything.  Some people don't read the user agreements.  Some people may not have read the agreement in a while.  Since links on my blog will send you to the Curl Talk Forum, I wanted to tell you about some things I think you should be aware of.

Naturally Curly uses Curl Talk quotes from members in their articles and post links to threads in their articles.  Their current policy is not to ask or inform a member that their quote has been used, that a thread they posted on has been linked in an article, or that a thread they started has been linked in an article.  Naturally Curly is currently looking at a way to inform members after the fact that a quote or thread has been used.  They expect to be able to do this in a few months.

When you post on Curl Talk, it is easy for the posts to become conversational.  I've seen people post about their husbands, their kids, their health problems, etc. The feeling is the threads are temporary.  The are at the top of  a forum for a few day and then disappear into the sea of threads.  I feel, if a thread is linked to an article, the thread becomes more permanent. Everyone has different levels of privacy they would like to maintain.  Some of you will not care if you posted about your husband and that thread is linked to an article.  Some of you would not want that to happen.  Be sure to keep in mind that you can be quoted and threads can be linked at any time.  Make sure you don't post anything you wouldn't want quoted in an article.

Here is just one example of the way threads have been linked in articles:
A Curl Talk member decided to post some photos of herself as a comic relief post.  She took a few progressive photos of her hair as she brushed it.  In the pictures, her hair got progressively bushier.  She posted this thread on the 2 forum, because she knew we wavies would get the joke.  Many wavies have been told that they should go brush their hair.  Wavies know that if you do brush you hair, you  get big bushy "Hermione hair".  The posts in this thread were comments like "LOL", "My hair used to look like that when I didn't know not to brush it".  The meat of the thread was the original poster's pictures.  This thread was linked to an article with the title "Wavy Manifesto:  I Don't Brush My Hair".  This article was about the pictures and would have made no sense at all without the link to the thread with the pictures.  The woman who posted the pictures was not aware the article existed.  The original poster was eventually informed that this article existed through the grapevine by another Curl Talk member.  I don't think any of us members guessed that an article like this was a possibility when she posted the brushed hair thread.  My personal belief is that in this specific case (and future similar cases), Naturally Curly should have gotten the member's permission to link her thread in an article.  Naturally Curly does not agree that they should have asked her first and they have no plans to do things differently in the future.  Trust me, I asked them several times. NC.com has a policy that they do not use member pictures in articles.  However in this case, they found a way to use the member's pictures without technically breaking their own rule.  IMHO, they broke the spirit of their own rule by finding a loophole.  The thread and article were meaningless without the pictures.

If you post, keep in mind that posts are regularly quoted by other members.  Even after NC.com begins to inform people about threads linked to articles, you will only have so much control.  You can delete your post and/or pictures after a thread has been linked to an article.  But, if your post has been quoted, you will be out of luck.  You cannot delete what another member has quoted. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you post it, Naturally Curly owns it.  If you are an author, scientist, hair professional, etc., this is something to keep in mind.  You may not have any current plans of using your hair knowledge for a project, but that may change in the future.

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