Boing Boing pal and photographers' rights activist Thomas Hawk has come under fire from Jill Greenberg, a photographer whose methods he criticized online. Greenberg photographs distressed children, and Hawk criticized her for her methods in getting the children into a photogenic state of distress. In response, Greenberg and her husband have threatened to sue him for libel and called his employer. Hawk's response is a good one: he argues that if they disagree with him, they should disagree with him, not attempt to silence him. As they say in First Amendment circles: the answer to bad speech is more speech.
First she tries to discredit me as an insane person with personal problems who she doesn't even think has kids (even though in my blog post about her I clearly state I've got four children, have photos of my four children up on flickr and elsewhere on my blog etc.) She tells this to a professional publication American Photo (whom I've asked for a retraction from and who never contacted me to verify her claims even though they pulled quotes from my same post that referenced that I had four kids).
Next, Jill tracks down my employer, an unrelated third party who has absolutely zero to do with my personal views and opinions and tries to apply pressure to get me to pull my post. She literally calls my boss this morning who has absolutely zero to do with any of my blogging. (By the way Jill, I blog from my own laptop on my own time). The last company who thought that they could intimidate me by involving my employer, an unrelated third party, went by the name PriceRitePhoto. I don't think they are in business anymore but feel free to Google them to read the story.
And then her husband tells me that in his opinion I'm committing libel. I'm committing libel for having an opinion that what Jill is doing to these kids constitutes abuse. That to emotionally work these kids up is abusive. My opinion Robert Green. He goes on to tell me that if I want to discuss this further that I get a lawyer.
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