Hi! I'm Holly Brimhall, a newborn photographer in Gilbert, AZ. I am the mother of 4 and a lover of ALL things baby. This blog is where I share the life of my family and favorite pictures of my newborn photography sessions.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I have a voice....


and I want it to be heard.  

I can make a difference.

I can be an advocate for change.

I have a team on my side.

Thoughts have swirled through my mind as I've wondered what to say... how to approach this issue.  How to share how violated I have felt.  At this time, I choose not to share much, but I will share this:

I want you all to be aware that if you have images/pictures posted publicly ANYWHERE on the internet.... they are not safe from the users on this website - www.polyvore.com.  It does not matter if your images are copyrighted, watermarked, etc. - they can clip an image from ANYWHERE the members have access to, and they have.  Pictures of babies breastfeeding, pictures of small children, etc - it goes on and on.  The original purpose of this website was for fashion building.  It has somehow turned into a sick and twisted, strange "role-playing" site.  I have spent much time on the phone with employees of Polyvore (they only have 7 employees), hours and hours on the website pouring over and contacting photographers and websites with stolen images, making lists, taking screenshots, documenting phone calls, gathering an army.... person by person.  When talking to one of the co-founders of the website he said that "most of the community are assholes."  Sorry!  I'm not one to use that word.... but we need to know what we are up against.  I asked him how he was going to address the issue of innocent children being victimized on his website.  His only response was that they didn't have the means to currently address it and that they would have to rely on the community to flag inappropriate behavior.  Rely on a community of "assholes"?  I guess I can't understand that.

I am grateful for blogpatrol.  Grateful that I felt the need to check it and recheck it.  Grateful for the HUNDREDS of pages of reports (of IP addresses, what people viewed on my blog, how long they were there, etc.) that they have sent to me to help me in this situation I am in.  They have been quick to get me whatever I needed.  I have to say this again.... if you do not set your blog to private, you MUST put blogpatrol or some other kind of sitemeter on your blog.  You MUST check it!  You must watermark the images - that is the only way for me (or anyone else who is helping me) to find other victims.

Currently, there are still stolen pictures of mine on this website.  I want them gone.... every single one of them. 

You can contact Polyvore.  You can ask them to block their users from clipping from your blog or website.  Just be aware that there are still ways around it.  They can still get your pictures if they want them, even if Polyvore does block your images.  There are petitions against Polyvore. Do a little google search and you can find the petitions and their phone number.  THEY HAVE GOT TO PUT A STOP TO STEALING PEOPLE'S PICTURES!  

ETA: Just because a picture is somewhere on the internet does NOT mean that a member of Polyvore can use the picture.  The images are often copyrighted - and therefore should not be used unless given permission by the photographer.  I do not intend to have Polyvore closed down.  I can see that there is some good in the website.  I can also see how many members have not been educated on what is and what isn't allowed.  As of today, I can see how they are trying to make some changes.  As of today, my pictures are gone.


60 comments:

MMW 11:59 AM  

Ms. Holly, I am soooo sorry for what has happened to you and your pictures. I am also a member of your faith, I also have small children (my youngest was born the same time as your little Grant), I've suffered through PPD just like you, and I feel like we're dear friends even though I've never met you. FYI, when I read your last post that you were going private, I happened to notice that all of your posts are still available on Google Reader, because I subscribe to Sunshine...Soul. I don't know if there's a way to get rid of those too?

How sad people will turn something so beautiful into something so ugly and evil.

God bless. All the best to you, your family and all you do.

I certainly will miss having your blog and inspiration available to draw upon.

xoxo MMW

Napes 12:01 PM  

Nicely said- and done with composure and tact. What I am wondering is what it means to "watermark"? I am very ignorant to computers really and though I have a blog patrol (sitemeter) I am unsure how to identify visitors really because of the confusing layout and computer terms I don't understand. Hundreds of people will read this post. Hundreds of people will need help. If there is a way you could post instructions and information...a "class" per say, for everyone desperatly interested it would be not only helpful but essential for our kids as well.

Holly, you have gone through this and have now learned the in's and out's of it all. May we use your knowledge and your heart of gold for a clean experience?

Thank you...as difficult a position as it has been, as completely unfair as it has been, you amaze me with your strength and goodness.

I love you.

Adventures on the Farm 12:20 PM  

Holly-
People never cease to amaze me. I could only imagine how you feel and how it feels even worse not to have the situation rectified in a timely manner. I hope you know that you are such an inspiration to many and those few who have ruined it should be ashamed. Your tact and grace is amazing. I hope you get this situation worked out.

Emily 2:30 PM  

I am interested to know more. You've really got me thinking. Why Blog? Especially if you have to do it privately? What are your thoughts? I'm thinking of quitting blogging altogether after reading your last post.

AZmommy23 3:06 PM  

Thanks for the info... it all sounds so foreign to me. It's scary that most of us are ignorant to this kind of stuff. Can you tell us how to go about "watermarking" our photos? Do you know if they can steal photos from sites like photobucket? Thanks for caring enough to go after the bad guys, and sharing your "ammo" with us!

Erin 3:26 PM  

I stumbled onto your blog months ago from a link someone had about the adorable pumpkins you make and thought your stories and pictures were wonderful! I don't know you but I feel a connection to you as a mother in hopes of protecting my family. I have two blogs, one of which is private and one of which is not. I don't know what to do about the public blog but I am comforted in knowing that I have stats sent to me and can know who is looking at my family. Thanks for sharing your story and I hope things can get cleared up for you and yours!

Kameron 7:31 PM  

Question for you, Holly: how did you even find pictures of your lil' ones on that site? I clicked over to it, and couldn't find anything other than "feathers" and "studded vests" and how to wear them...??? Any thoughts?

Also, as an answer to someone's question of "Why blog?"... I use it as my family's journal. I don't write for an "audience", and I use it as an alternative to scrapbooking, at which I was never very consistent. You can use Blurb (or the like) and print out your posts for the year, then - voila! - have your family journal. That's why I blog.

Brooke 7:59 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
anne 9:25 PM  

Dear Ms. Holly,

My name is Amina Anderson. I have an account on polvore. I feel strongly that what you are saying is very wrong. Yes we are allowed to clip pictures from anywhere on the internet and use them but if you do not want it on their then please keep your pictures and other content private. Like facebook, twitter, and myspace. The pictures that we use for roleplaying are ones that have been online forever and i dont see why this has to be addressesed now. If someone used your picture just contact them on their private message and ask them to delete it. Please i see no reason that they have to shut down the site. It is really fun and even though i waste most of my time on it anyway, you meet many people from all over the world. I have made many friends on their and Polyvore is my only way to contact them. Please consider not shutting down the site. Thanks you for you understanding.

Sincerley,
Amina Anderson

Meguli 10:13 PM  

Hi. I'm a long time Polyvore member and I'd like to put my opinion here. I agree with you on some of the things you adressed. I agree, there are some really violent/sick/twisted roleplays in Polyvore and I for one am not in any way assosiated with them and hope that they will be stopped. I also think that breastfeeding pictures etc should be completely banned.
But I am in roleplays. Fashion roleplays. It's like an escape from the real life. And some of us have not got the best life in the real world so we escape to Polyvore. We use pictures we find on the internet, but at least for me, as I can only say this for myself, never claim to own or have anything to the pictures. I'm always (at least trying to) thank the people that have done the pictures and as I'm using the so called "site models" I have the permission of my sitemodel to use her picture. I have never claimed to own any of the pictures I've used and would never do that because that would be just plain wrong. But what your saying is, that we shouldn't be able to go to Polyvore anymore. Well, what about the people that do it for the fashion? What about the people that don't participate in the sick and twisted roleplays and games on polyvore? Are you saying that we should suffer as well? I don't understand how you could do that. If someone has violated your rights on Polyvore let them know. Let the team know. They'll delete it and block the access to import pictures from your blog. But don't blame every single Polyvorian for this. You do know, that there are good people in Polyvore too, right?

{{maddy}}loves[[jonas]] 4:41 AM  

Im new to your blog but im not new to polyvore :)
im polyvores biggest fan EVER
and i use it purely for art && fashion
i hate roleplays on there
its all about rape and stuff
i hate it so much :(
i make my own images for polyvore and clip them to photobucket, is that bad :/
please reply xoxoxo
lots of love maddy :D

megan 6:42 AM  

Yeah, I have no clue how to find any of my images even if they are stolen, and I find it absolutely disgusting that there are people from that site coming on here to "defend" themselves. You know, if you aren't the ones doing the sick stuff, that doesn't mean that others aren't. And don't you people understand the meaning of a copyright? Look it up for cripes sake. It is illegal to copy or save the images of others without their permission period, and you can face very large fines for doing so. You people are not the victims here.

Sorry, Holly. I have been watching your blog for more info, and then when I saw those comments this morning...you are doing the right thing, and you know there are hundreds of us who are behind you.

Grace 8:12 AM  

Dear Ms. Holly,
Someone sent me the link to your blog and I last night went to it, after reading it I was filled with anger that polyvore might be shut down, but then as I cooled off I felt sorry for what you were going through...I'm involved in a roleplay for polyvore and I know that I have clipped images of people and things off of websites and stuff, however I didn't do it knowing that it was wrong, I didn't do it wanting to hurt someone. I'm sorry that you feel as though you've been an irresponsible mother, but you aren't...When you posted these pictures on here you had no idea that they would get onto polyvore. But I can say that from my point of view, that once you put something on the internet its open to anyone to use. People on polvore simply use your pictures, but they aren't claiming that they own them. I'd think that it was a complement that people think that your children and adorable...I'm not trying to defend anyone here, however...I'm part of a roleplay, as I mentioned, and some people go on polyvore and do roleplay to get away from real life. And to take that away would be just sad... Not everyone has a perfect life, not everyone goes home to loving families, not everyone can look forward to something when they go home, but I guarantee you that a roleplayer has something to look froward to when they get home, they feel as though they have friends and that people actually care about them. Please don't take this away from us... I know that some of my friends on polyvore are scared that they are going to get in trouble for using someones pictures,but they are innocent, they aren't on here to say that they are theirs...Please respond to this...I don't mean to hurt your feelings or anything. Just think about if you were a kid right now, in the 21st century, involved in a roleplay...Thank and good luck!
<33Anyonmous

Jen Korando 9:57 AM  

Hi Holly!

I am just so sorry to hear about what you are going through. I'm the mother of young children who maintains a blog as a journal of sorts but also to share pictures and such with all of our family members across the country.

It scares me to think about all those potential creeps out there!!!

Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. I will certainly now be more vigilant about "policing" my website.

Most of all, thanks for sharing your amazing pictures and stories with all of us. You've been a real inspiration to me (and many of us) the last year or so. My kids and I will certainly miss your family pictures!

All the best to you and your family.

Fondly, Jen K

Debbie 11:11 AM  
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Deb 11:14 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley Madsen 12:43 PM  

I too am interested to know more. I went to the site, how did you find people's pictures. I don't think i know how to navigate it very well or something. I can't imagine the hours and hours it took for you to find your images.

Is there a way you can check your things quicker? Let us know anymore you can. Thanks Holly!

Pecas 1:24 PM  

When you make this blog private, can I still read it? I love your photo and decorating tips.

Leslie 1:59 PM  

I was alerted to read this post by a family member. Can you post their IP address so we can keep watch for it??

Nicki, 2:00 PM  

Holly - WELL SAID! Frankly, just because we put something on the internet - does not make it fair game. It is generally done with a notice of copyright and a watermark. That means "MINE! NOT YOURS!" Posting 'private' takes away inspiration and sharing of ideas. (your posts, Holly, inspired us to take better photographs, attempt fabric pumpkins, and lifted us spiritually through your families losses, joys, and deep rooted faith.) And all because there are people in this world that have NO RESPECT for what does not belong to them and no regard for others' feelings. Keep to your mission. IT IS NOT OKAY TO TAKE WHAT IS NOT YOURS [PERIOD!!!] By the way, I rarely (pretty much NEVER) post any pictures of my children because of the parasites that roam the internet.

Carolina 2:25 PM  

Holly, i absolutley see what you are saying, and agree it is wrong to steal images. I too believe roleplaying is wrong. But polyvore has no bad intentions. The staff can't moniter what people post. If you want a change, you can track specific people, but you don't have to make everyone pay.
And if you've been on the site, you'd knowthat people make beautiful sets, and polyvore has become a way to express themselves. Lastly, if you do not want your specific picturs posted, you can title them with a message saying "please do not post". It wont stop everyone but it will help. I would also like to mention that the amazing polyvore staff HAS heard your voice, and they have posted multiple blogs about how role playing is unacceptable And if I recall correctly, they will soon have consequences. I hope all works out for you, but polyvore is the oppasite of evil, and you really need to know what you're talking about in order to post this sort of thing. Best luck to you, and long live polyvore.
polyvore fan-
caro

Sophie 2:33 PM  

Holly, you can't blame all of the people of Polyvore for your mistakes. If you do not want a picture used by anyone, please do not post it. It is unfair to let us use a picture and then blame us for doing so. In addition to that, Roleplaying is in fact a very fun way to express yourself. It is like acting in a way, and I don't see why it's wrong. Using pictures that are copyrighted is the only issue here. All pictures that are not copyrighted are free for anyone to use. I cannot explain to you how much my friends and I love Polyvore. We would hate it so much to see Polyvore shut down. You will probably ignore this comment but I wan't you to know, you will be crushing the self expression of millions.

Signed,
Sophie

LONG LIVE POLYVORE!

eisha 2:53 PM  

Ms.Holly,
My name is Eisha.I too have an account on polyvore,and I too "roleplay"I see roleplaying as a sort of....lets see,how do i put it..uhmmm...Way to i guess,practice.I'm an aspiring actress,and i guess this sort of helps me get inot a"role"If i have indeed used a picture of yours,I apologize.members of polyvore do not intend to cause anyone harm,in anyway.Many polyvoreers are younger children,seeking new friends,and a place to talk.Many polyvoreers dont even know what conpyright means.And even though i do agree that things such as breastfeeding pictures have me appalled,not everything is bad.I use the site for my entertainment,it keeps kids busy,and out of trouble,possibly even off the streets.I hate to make this bigger the it needs to be,but you yourself have posted images on the internet,and as a parent,i think you would know that if you dont want those pictures exposed anywhere but on your site,Why upload them?I'm done.Thanks
-Eisha

Karleigh 3:31 PM  

How are the 13 year olds (some younger and some older) supposed to know they are copyrighted?? I for sure dont know!! I am a proud roleplayer of Polyvore and I go on there to roleplay a boy who happens to be a father. I do this because I want the "child" to have a good father..the one I NEVER had..I try my best to be the father to that child that I lacked in my life!! Some of these people are not happy with their lives and go to Polyvore to have a dream and express them selves

- Karleigh

cara 4:42 PM  

I just don't understand the point of role playing on that site. It seems like such an odd thing to do.

I am glad to hear that your photos are gone.
How sad that some people assume that it is ok to take your photos to use just because you posted them somewhere. Stealing is stealing.

rgoulart 5:26 PM  

I live in Brazil, where their photos are being stolen, I am only 15, but I know what is happening.
The fact is that teenagers have no concept, using photos of children from sites without asking permission to parents to play in one of this "fake world". They are not evil, I am aspiring to photography and I know how to take pictures of my cousins have been stolen and posted on websites without my permission.
I advise you to seek a lawyer in Brazil and resolve this as soon as possible. They do not stop if you block the pictures or the cut of sites. This happened with the pictures of my little cousins, but as I live nearby, did the kids take. Good luck, this is very sad and sorry for the english: /

Amber 6:40 PM  

Okay... I looked at your blog on my phone today to see the status of your stolen pic's and HAD to get on my computer to type!

I think it is absolutely ridiculous that members from "polyvore" are coming to your family blog to tell you their opinion.

GET A CLUE!

I love that they take YOUR PHOTOS to role play? What in the heck is that?! And of course it's your fault that they stole your images... (note the sarcasm?)

again... GET A CLUE PEOPLE!!

That makes me sick that someone spends their time, finding kids and pretending that they are what, their kids? Honestly, I just made my profile private so that these polyvore members can't come on my blog and steal pictures of my kids.

I totally respect your need to go private. You will have to let me know how you found these pic's. I installed "Blogpatrol" the day I saw that this happened to you but I really don't know how to use it either!

Anyway, I am glad I met you at your first photography workshop, I really learned a lot! Good luck with all of this.

Amber

No wonder everyone is going private... it's really awesome that people justify their actions

Amy 7:43 PM  

Oh Holly, I am so sorry for your frustration and violation. As a fellow photographer, I know how wonderful it feels to share your art with the world... But I do not blame you for taking down the images. I have been so inspired by your words and stories that I had started my own family blog over a year ago--a private one, and I will be so sad not to come here to see how the children are growing, or what cute thing you have put the baby in now... But again, I understand.

It is sad how bad apples can ruin a bunch, but...well, they do! Blessings to you and your family!

Amy 7:53 PM  

Ok, after reading some of the other comments, I had to respond again...

I do not believe that you guys don't know what it means when things are COPYRIGHTED. I am sorry, but even in junior high papers are being checked via the itnernet for plaigerism. Just because it is out there does not mean it is ok to take. Looking at clothes at the mall is not the same as taking them. She puts them on to share them so we can take part in her life. How giving, how thoughtful, how generous... And then to have them TAKEN from you is WRONG.

I am not a fan of roleplaying, but I don't know enough about it to say it is wrong. Again, that is not the issue here. I am not going to argue about something I don't know enough about...BUT, I do know it is not right to take. ANd just in case someone claims ignornace...it was put at the top of her blog that they should not be taken--as well as ALMOST ALL other photographer's blogs/sites. How would an author feel about taking their work and using it (even if not publishing it...). Same reason you can't take video camera to the movie theater. It is there for you to see. Why not take that for your own use... Doesn't it hurt someone? Um...yea.

I'm sorry. You can't make this argument work. Try any other form of art and it is the same.

Eva 8:17 PM  

Wow. I cant believe that everybody's getting SO worked up about this!

#1: Any body can find your photos online. They can look up a certain thing and finds your pictures so i advise if you dont want them to use it then dont upload them or put your blog on private! simple as that!

#2: I go on Polyvore because i dream of being a fashion designer and I LOVE polyvore! Many other spend their whole day on polyvore! If you shut it down do you know how many kids dreams your crushing?

#3: I have role played before. Little kids usually ages 8-14 use pictures of little kids to represent them. They put them self up for 'adoption' and other role players who role play moms 'adopt' them. Its to give some kids a new world to have a better life then their own. Some kids hate their parents and hate their life and this is their comfort. I dont do that I do fashion role play. But some kids NEED that comfort.


Sincerely,
☀Rainbow☀
aka Eva!

Grace 8:24 PM  
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Eva 8:47 PM  

Imagine you at age 12. Your parents are divorced and you live with your dad. Your mom's in jail and your dad's never home. Your older brother has cancer and your younger sister died. Your life's a wreck. Then you find polyvore where you can make a fake life to get rid of some of that pain. You can find a 'adoptive' mother who seems to care for you. You can make yourself happy. Then imagine this person trying to stop polyvore and shut it down. You'd have to go back to your miserable life. I'd personally feel terrified! I'd feel that polyvore would be my only happiness. Even though that seems pathetic some kids go through that and you are taking away their comfort and happiness! Their chance to live a pretend good life! Their DREAM life! Now think about that!

Cadewi 11:12 PM  

GOOD! I am glad you are using your voice....using your voice to report to the police, to your attorneys, to the owners of polyvore and to the rest of the public who should know the shenanigans that these "teenagers" (if in fact they are teenagers) are up to. it is WRONG, and they all know it. I am glad you are using your voice - I back it 110% and am on your team!! :)

Kate 5:23 AM  

Hi Holly,

I just had to comment. This is making me sick. How did the "polyvorians" come to find your blog - obviously they were on it before. I think playing innocent and not knowing what "do not use my images without my permission" means - they shouldn't be on the internet. They do have sad stories but it still doesn't right a wrong.

It's simple - if you want a picture of a little kid, go find one and take it yourself. I am fired up over some of these comments.

I've loved your blog for a long time. I was lucky enough to attend your very first workshop and meet you in person. You do not deserve this. I will really miss your blog and the inspiration I found there. Thanks for taking a stand.

And I am also curious how you found your images - I went on there yesterday and want to make sure my images aren't on there :)

Grace 8:03 AM  

Holly,
I'm not messaging you to upset you or anything at all...I've put more thought into this whole situation and am saddened by how some people are treating this. You seem like a wonderful person who just wanted to have a blog and post her pictures so close friends and family members could get updated...And then suddenly you find your kid's pictures on Polyvore, no wonder why you are upset. My cousin [who is much older than me] has a blog and puts up photo's of herself and her one year old daughter and now that I think about it, I would hate to see her pictures on Polyvore. At first when I read your blog I was very angry at you [no offense] and I thought to myself "Well if she put pictures on her blog for the whole world to see then obviously everyone has access to them and can use them so she shouldn't be getting mad at us!" [I dont think the same though now! :]] I slept on that thought then I woke up and thought some more about it and the more I think about it the sadder I become. It really is unfortunate that you and your family have to go through this. The more I think the more I try and imagine if I were you...And I'm sorry that everyone is treating you and your sister[?], Cadewi, badly. I really hope you read this and please respond. That would mean a lot to me because I feel so bad about this whole situation. I think I'm going to quit my roleplay, even though it is one of the best things in the world to me right now, but I don't want anyone else to have to go through what you are going through now. I talked to Cadewi and she said that hopefully all your pictures are removed, and I really truly hope they are. But don't worry, I read your blog and you have so many supporters and it seems like you are an inspiring and great person! I know that most kids who clipped your photos didn't mean to do it, but I understand how wrong it is now. PLEASE, if there is anything I can do right now to help you, let me know. God bless you and your family....
<3
P.S. I agree with what Eva said for number 3 on her comment, but Holly isn't saying that roleplays should stop..[at least I dont think so] But its just wrong to use other people's pictures without their permission! =]

Mary-Leigh♥ 8:55 AM  

Dear Holly,
Hi, My name is Mary-Leigh and I am a polyvore roleplayer. I completly understand that you want your photos off the site, and I hope that they get off and everything works out. I do not blame you for being angry, if I had kids and there photos were all over the internet.. oh Lord, I would angry too!
Polyvore is not a bad site, though. A few people made a mistake and forgot to check copyrights and I know they are truly sorry. Polyvore has helped many people through hard times, and it gives them.. the perfect life & something to look forward too.
Picture this: You are a 13 year old girl. Your parents are divorced, your grandpa is dying, you face all kinds of drama at school. When you go on polyvore, you can live your perfect life as a 14 year old with a nice family, friends, maybe even a boyfriend. One day it comes to an end, and now there is no light in your dark life.
Polyvore helped me when I fought an illness. When I got on, I got tons of letters of encouragement from my friends & some people to talk to! I even started an organization to encourage members to raise money for cancer. Roleplay is not all bad!
Please, do not try to shut down polyvore. It has encouraged me, made me smile, helped me meet great people, and I love it there.
I completly understand your situation.. and I am so sorry you have to go through this. I hope everything works out & the photos are off the site. I will be praying for you & your family.
Best Wishes,
Mary-Leigh (Known on polyvore as Sarah Anastacia Hartmann)

Kathryn 9:26 AM  

Polyvore should not be calling us such names. I have an account on polyvore and that is just nasty.

CourtneyJay 9:45 AM  

Ms. Holly,
As a member of Polyvore, I feel the need to voice my opinion. Yes, some members do use others pictures, I can't deny that. However, not all of us are like that. Most of us use Polyvore just for art and fashion. We flag as many inappropriate sets/items/members/groups as we can, we talk to the moderators, we try to do as much as we can to keep Polyvore clean but obviously, we can't make sure it's perfect.
Please don't assume we are all just a bunch of image-stealing, sick-minded, a-holes (as the mods seem to think we are) because we're not.
I am terribly sorry about pictures, I truley am. If you send me the link to the sets/items/members who have used your pictures, I will gladly flag them for you.
Please, if you want to shut down Polyvore, reconsider. Like I said before, many of us use Polyvore just for art and fashion and would still like to be able to access our wonderful little escape from reality. Thank you!

- Courtney

Whitney Ward 10:41 AM  

holly,
i understand where you are coming from as a member of polyvore for a year now i have been there when the site was hardly nothing. i hate the roleplays (bad ones)! because of them our site for expression and release is turning in to garbage but you should not blame everyone!! personally i am hurt and disgusted that polyvore crew members addressed us as assholes! that is an insult! for us who report the trash to them and they do nothing about it, it is the crews fault for not following up of vulgar material we send to them. just a week or so ago we sent they crew a link to 5 pages of child porn on polyvore so holly keep in mind that some of us are vigilant in reporting trash.

Carmalee 12:50 PM  

Dear Ms. Holly,
My name is Carmalee. I'm an eleven-year-old girl.
I am from Polyvore.com, and I can truthfully say that this is a truly fun site to be on.
Listen. You might think that we're all assholes now, but we aren't. There is a such thing as "Roleplay" on Polyvore, in which thousands of Polyvorians are addicted to. I can tell you. My cousin Emmabeth is addicted to it day and night. I need to talk to you. I have no idea what is going on now, and I understand the frustration that you must feel. I would feel horrible about it too if people were using my pictures.

My friend Cadewi is working very hard to remove all copyrighted images from the site. I've met a lot of really nice people there.

I think you need to know the history of Polyvore and its people.

2 years ago, Polyvore was used to create fashion. Then roleplay took over. At first it was very fun, but drama took over. Many groups and items got deleted.

Polyvore is--forgive my language here--hell. You have to contact me because I really have to talk to you. My polyvore is http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/profile?id=731446 . Please, we are working very hard and each and every member of Polyvore is working.

Yours truly,
Carmalee

Carolina 1:27 PM  

AMBER!!!! wow. you are so errogant. polyvore mebers are going on to help exlain. DO.YOU.UNDERSTAND??????? know next time just stay on your phone until you understand the concept colmpleatly. lastly, NOT ALL POLYVORE MEMBERS ROLEPLAY!!!! sheesh

Jennifer Duarte 2:51 PM  

I'm in total shock here.
I have never heard of such a thing..Role play
BTW Holly I wanted to remind you about 2peas I know you have posted there before- Images are NOT SAFE THERE. I have had my images taken from there before.
I'm really weirded out by this sick world of roleplayer... People get a LIFE a real one. walk away from the computer and make real friendships and relationship with REAL people. Stop pretending and wasting time with fake cyber families.
talk about weirdo out there... scary- I'm off to remove all my images from the web.

A.katherine 7:17 PM  

I'm sorry for what happened to you and that your pictures have been used. I do have a polyvore account and I'm an active user. I however do not use it as a roleplay website. I use it for art and fashion sake. I think that most if not all of the roleplays are stupid and should be GONE. However nothing seems to work like that. I would like to say that not all of us are assholes and that the web will never be safe, no matter if polyvore was up or no longer working. I am sorry that this has happened to you and that some people are so rude and that they do not think about what they do. Very sorry.

~Anna.Katherine

A.katherine 7:17 PM  

I'm sorry for what happened to you and that your pictures have been used. I do have a polyvore account and I'm an active user. I however do not use it as a roleplay website. I use it for art and fashion sake. I think that most if not all of the roleplays are stupid and should be GONE. However nothing seems to work like that. I would like to say that not all of us are assholes and that the web will never be safe, no matter if polyvore was up or no longer working. I am sorry that this has happened to you and that some people are so rude and that they do not think about what they do. Very sorry.

~Anna.Katherine

A.katherine 7:18 PM  
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Joanne 9:24 PM  

I'm just sick about this. I LOVE visiting your blog and being inspired on so many counts, not just your amazing photography. I will so miss your blog. I have been wondering what to do about this problem as well...

P.S. The word verification for me is "unlit" and it's ironic to me that your light may have gone out for many that it blesses with each post. BUT I know you are creative and will find many other ways to continue to bless others! God takes care of us like that, doesn't He? =)

MMW 9:45 PM  

Hello Again Ms. Holly and all commenters on this post. Check out a statement from The Official Polyvore Blog. It's a good start, don't you think?
http://blog.polyvore.com/2009/04/roleplay-guidelines.html

elizabeth winsby 6:04 AM  

Oh Holly I feel so badly that you are having to deal with this. At the same time I am so grateful for everything you are doing!!! I have heard of polyvore and had no idea that people where using itin other ways.

Johanne 6:41 AM  

in all of your respect i think this blog is weird and sad.
i have now been on Polyvore in 3 months - and i love it. nd i must say, i have not seen your pictures here on your blog, but do people use them? from my time on polyvore i know there is two kind of people - the young ones, who is using sitemodels and the older and more smart ones, who is making "sets" with classy clothes or making art. i make those art sets. and i would never use a boring picture or something that wasn't speciel. i agree it's a problem with the young ones using pictures of people, they don't know. but a lot of us is making stuff, we like. not to say it is our picture or anything. just to have the fun of it.

Emma 2:53 PM  

Thank you for this post I am a member of polyvore I do not participate in any of that roleplay stuff, but I see many with them, I never thought much of them but now I do, and I'm very sorry for that happening to you. I will now be quitting polyvore, seeing as the one who runs it thinks of us but also because of whats happening with the photos and things. I'm very sorry and hope that you are able to remove them all!

-Emma

Aaron and Lindsey 6:52 PM  

Holly,

You don't know me...I'm a friend of a friend of a cousin of yours...hope that makes sense...anyway we made your cute pumpkins back in October for a craft night in our ward...big success! Since then I've checked your blog every so often for new ideas, which is why I am glad you are keeping a crafting blog. I'm so sorry that this has happened to you, but thank you for your warnings. My blog has been private for awhile but I just added blog patrol as another safety measure. My prayers are with you!

Lindsey

TM 9:18 PM  

okay I understand your situation, i would be crushed if someone used my picture without permission, but today's world theirs copy righting, gang wars, global warming,child abuse, bad economy's things you can't even imagine I dont think you should get worked up about something like this... you say "just because a picture is somewhere on the internet does NOT mean that a member of Polyvore can use the picture." Well then you still put the pictures up so random strangers can see? Also there are over millions of people on polyvore, people from many different country's, they roleplay because they might not have family get made fun of at school or maybe they have no friends but on polyvore they can be whoever you want to be with noone jugging you. Roleplays some times get out of hand but the fashion part.. theres people on here who want fashion as a career and on here it may come true.

Polyvore is not bad. People get caught copyrighting everyday dont blame polyvore for everything!

Leslie 6:00 AM  

I am so sad for all of us that it has come to this. We can't even post pictures of our children. I have gone private since reading your post. It is just not worth it. My hubby is a police LT. so I have always been a bit sceptical about putting our family "out there", but you have convinced me that this is just bigger than little old me.
I have sitemeter on my blog but how do you know if it is someone "bad"? I have no idea who half the people reading my blog are from.
Thank you so much Holly for fighting against the a-holes!
I will miss seeing the gorgeous pictures of your sweet children but applaud you for protecting them.

lundgrenville 7:29 AM  

Holly-I dont know you, but linked onto your blog from Janell Dewitts. I received an email from a 'gimmick' company wanting my money for something. When I received the email the company had my maiden name, my city & state, zip code of where I live...and the most sickening part, is that they had a family picture taken of my family 3 years ago at a 'Professional Photography Studio' in Chandler.
I called the company to find out how someone got a hold of my picture and connected a picture with a name. Supposively, they said they have no idea...nor do they sell that information. That picture was never posted on my blog...or is even stored in my computer (it was taken at a studio, where I could only obtain physical prints) Any ideas of what to do?? This just happened to us last week.
Someone got access to our family picture...and my stomach hasnt settled well since.

Jennifer 10:52 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara 4:34 PM  

This is nicely said. I'm an artist who had images stolen from Polyvore users. It's frustrating to find my work stolen.

I know it wasn't you who said it, but that asshole comment really annoyed me. In trying to get some images removed from polyvore, I looked at a lot of the sets that had been created. I got the sense that a ton of the members of Polyvore are middle schoolers.

It really bothers me that the co-creator would say that. He's got to know that there are a ton of 13 and 14 year olds on that website. Yeah, they shouldn't be using other people's pictures, but to call them assholes? That strikes a bad nerve with me.

Holly 12:46 PM  

Like a lot of other commenters, I'm curious how you found your photos on the polyvore site? I watermark mine and have a copyright notice on my blog, but I still worry about it.

I'm sorry you had such a difficult time, but kudos for standing up and saying something.

510Jen 1:51 PM  

Holly this is horrible. I haven't been by your blog for awhile but it looks like you are going private. I would love an invite. Your photography inspires me and your attitude for life is beautiful.

jchandler5@gmail.com

april302009 5:50 PM  

Hi, Sorry for what you went through. You may want to know about this website, as it mentions you. http://polyvoresucks.webs.com/
Sorry to be the bearer of this link, but it's just not right and you should know about it.

Adrienne 1:11 AM  

Holly, I am so sad about your blog! I will miss the inspiration you give and the beautiful pictures and ways you capture life so well with the camera.

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