Trying to understand the "No very similar images" rule

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Dear Jasenka, Jason and the Report team of Pixoto,

I have discovered Pixoto in spring 2015, and found it interesting and fun at first. Unfortunately, as time went by I became more and more frustrated. The thing that made Pixoto frustrating, and the reason I used that exact word, was that it has the potential to be great, but it isn't yet. It has its issues.

To start the new year on a positive note, I decided to try and help Pixoto and its community to understand each other by addressing the issue that seems to have been troublesome to many of the users here. That issue seems to the "repetitiveness rule". The rule is detailed here (correct me if I am wrong):
http://blog.pixoto.com/no-very-simila...

The first two sentences say:
"NO VERY SIMILAR IMAGES: You may submit an unlimited number of images but each one must be significantly different from the others. This means only one image of any subject and scene/pose combination is allowed."

Now, in accordance with the linked rule, and other Pixoto rules, please have a look at the 9 cases presented in this file:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/d2sum8b4xaj...
and kindly declare here, publicly, which of the presented cases does NOT represent repetitive and very similar images, and if possible, provide a short explanation of your decision.

I am sure that if you do this your users, including me, will finally understand the rules, your decisions when you don't react on the reported images, and many other issues. It will also, hopefully, stop the constant arguing about repetitive images as well.

Hope this will help make Pixoto a great community it is destined to be.
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Kreso D

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Posted 5 years ago

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Jasenka, Official Rep

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Hello Kreso, I'll ask for clarification and I'll let you know when I get reply.
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Kreso D

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Thank you kindly Jasenka. I really hope these kinds of initiatives can benefit all of us. This has been a toxic topic for a long time now.
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Stephen Crawford

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There so similar it's laughable. I am also interested in the outcome of this enquiry.
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DVA

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Let me try to guess.
Cases 4 and 9 can be considered as similar photos according to Pixoto because one picture is the closeup of the other. The rest of them will be different, again according to Pixoto as the angles are different.
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Kreso D

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We shall see DVA. :))
Let us all finally understand the rules hopefully.
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Debi Kaye

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I too am very interested in the response you will be getting from Pixoto. When I posted photos I only posted the one of several that seems the best as to all aspects of what I consider a good photo. (I hope I am making myself clear?)
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Ciprian Apetrei

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This topic was raised so many times in the past. There are photographers famous for recirculating the pictures. Yet, nothing ever happens. Maybe this time, as is another year :) :)
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Bill Underwood

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DVA: AND 1 ISN'T SIMILAR BECAUSE THE BIRD'S BEAK IS EVER SO SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT?
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DVA

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Unfortunately, according to Pixoto rules, yes.
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Kreso D

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Dear Bill, I see you posted a similar question here...Hope we'll finally get an answer from Pixoto. I too only hope to understand the rules...
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Bill Underwood

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I got an answer. And DVA was right. The Hawks were not similar.......
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Bill Underwood

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But changing colors, cropping and inverting are similar.
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Jasenka, Official Rep

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Hello Kreso, I'm sorry about delay, here is clarification:

Case 1 - second image is very similar to last one. First image has different pose (opened beak and tongue out)

Case 2 - #2 and #4 are very similar to #5

Case 3 - Pose is different (keychains are in different pose) so they are not very similar images

Case 4 - One is just zoom/crop of other so one is very similar image

Case 5 - #1, #2, #3 and #4 are very similar.

Case 6 - #1, #3, #4, #5 and #6 are very similar

Case 7 - #1 is very similar to #2 and #3 is very similar to #4

Case 8 - All images have same subject but different scenes

Case 9 - one looks like crop/zoom of another so one is very similar image

Please report images that are very similar.

I hope this helps.
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Stephen Crawford

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You never said said offending images would be removed and a warning given.
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DVA

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Interesting, Jasenka. I will use this thread as a basis.
Case 5 is a especially interesting, there are couple photographers whose profiles are full of those photos. They must be brothers ;-)
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Joanne

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It is called PLAGIARISM, no manner, PROBLEMA NEMA
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Stephen Crawford

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If not, their pals. They've even got photos of each other taking the same photographs of boats and sunset/sunrise. To be fair the original images are really good but once you've seen them 50 times it becomes really boring. What amazes me is that people keep voting them into top spot over and over again. Something mighty fishy going on. The same could be said for a selection of other photographers with portfolios jam packed with the same subject matter. Get a life, risk a nose bleed and take some different pictures.
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Ken Goh

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Agree, don't understand why people keep voting the same similar pics over and over again for years.
If you look at the exif info, the settings are not optimized, eg. F2.8/F3.5 for cityscape? I don't think that photographer even use a tripod and yet he keep winning cash awards.
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Marco Nuno Faria

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What is sad from the answer obtained from Pixoto to this topic is that they don't say they are going to do something to prevent this to happen again in the future. They said: ok, report the images you find similar and let's move on and continue as is...
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Jasenka, Official Rep

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Hello Marco, we rely on users to report images that are very similar (or that in any other was don't follow our rules).

If you see very similar images, please do report them.
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Steve Brooks

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So in other words Pixoto is too lazy to do it's job. We must be the police for them. Does Pixoto compensate us for our time to find all the abuse? Because there is a ton of it.
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Joanne

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I must agree with Marco Nuno Faria. nOthing was solved.
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Bill Underwood

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I think what "they" are saying is that there is no human way for Pixoto with the number of photos that are submitted daily for them to enforce the rules. I suspect this would be an impossibility. I would only ask if the participants do report the violations that Pixito enforce a three strikes and you're out penalty. I.e. You submit similar photos three times in a six month period and you can't submit for a year. I inadvertently submitted a similar picture once and got an email asking me not to do it again. All of this can be computerized so it won't take up a second of the staffs time.
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Jasenka, Official Rep

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Thank you for suggestion Bill.
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Steve Brooks

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Bill, Pixoto can do anything it sets it mind to. They just don't want to. More photos submitted is better for them. What Pixoto doesn't seem to understand is that people are cheating in the contests, and the regular headings by doing this. Maybe we all need to flood the system with say 10 identical photos everytime we submit one shot.
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Bill Underwood

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Another suggestion would be to "out" the offenders by supplying all participants once a week with "examples" of similar images. Surely if all participants were going to see the names of the cheaters next to the offending pictures that would be a deterrent. But there obviously need to be teeth or the abusers simply don't care.
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Steve Brooks

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Bill, not sure the cheaters as we see them feel they are cheating because Pixoto never warns them, or deletes any photos as far as I know. I think we would just stir up resentment, and probably be banned from the site. That is very sad!
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Bill Underwood

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It is very sad.
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John Larson

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" I inadvertently submitted a similar picture once and got an email asking me not to do it again."

Your suggestion of three strikes and you're out seems a bit harsh, Bill, especially for those of us, including you, who inadvertently post very similar images on occasion. You're asking Pixoto to make an impossible call as to whether the posting was done inadvertently or intentionally to deceive and cheat. There are many respected togs on this site with thousands of images posted, and occasionally some variation of an image that was worked on in post processing slips through the cracks and is posted. To label them all as chronic offenders and then to ban them from posting for a year makes no sense.

To me, the real crime on this site is to allow someone to post forty, fifty shots of the same subject with only a very minute variation to each photo. The photos are usually colorful with a somewhat interesting subject and they all score very high and get top ten awards. Then at the end of the year that tog receives a Best Photographers of the Year award, where, in my humble opinion, it is not even remotely deserved.
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Stephen Crawford

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I've post images inadvertently that verge on being similar but never in the same contest or day. I can't stand it when you see as you say 50 near identical bright and immediately appealing images appearing in the same contest. Then it is repeated and the person ends up with a yearly award for essentially a handful of shots. I don't know how difficult it is, but it's a shame an award for diversity of shot isn't recognised. Provided there is no financial gain it's all pretty academic, we all know who the good photographers are without seeing the awards.
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Bill Underwood

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John, how many times have you inadvertently posted "similar" images in a six month period? My mistake was that I didn't realize that a significant crop of a photo would be considered "similar ". Now I understand that it is. I hope I don't make that mistake again. Let alone in a 6month period,... I'm not senile yet.......
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Kreso D

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Dear all,
we all know who posts similar images all the times. I bet that most users even know the exact names of the authors who's images are presented in example cases here. I have reported most of the images in the above cases before writing this post, and you didn't react. I even reported with a link to which image is the reported image similar, but with no effect. After seeing your response here Pixoto, I can only conclude that you just don't care, otherwise you would have sanctioned certain profiles somehow a long time ago.
In order not to spoil anyone's fun here by my nagging, since this is really not fun for me anymore, I bid you all fare well and hope to see you somewhere else, in perhaps a better atmosphere. I have filed my request for my account to be disabled. For those of you who choose to stick around, I hope this thread can help you in your fight against repetition here.
To Pixoto: consider a simple solution. Pick top 20 profiles that are repetitive (don't tell me you don't know which those are) and which images sell well (because, I understand, you have to make money to keep this going) and make them partners. Give them a special section of the site where they can publish their images, make them stars, share profits with them, and remove them from the voting process and from showing up in rankings. This seems to me like a win-win solution.
All the best to all of you!
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John Larson

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I can certainly relate to your frustration, Kreso, but it would be a shame to leave just because Pixoto hasn't been able to get a good handle on the inequities of this site. They are here to make money, which is their right, and the more stringent they make the rules and enforce them the fewer the members they attract, with more members leaving every day. Fewer members equal lesser revenues and I'm sure that is not part of their business model. I have been here going on my fifth year and still get frustrated over the voting inequities I see. Lesser images making photo of the day and week. Pixoto says they have an algorithm which detects bad voting patterns, but in reality it just amounts to those who whip through voting for all the images on the right or left in the duel or don't look at all.

Overall, this can be a fun and interesting site and a great learning experience, and every once in awhile you'll get a fair and honest voting pool that will recognize the excellence of your work and vote accordingly, and that, for me, is the one hope that keeps me here. For others it's the weekly cash prize at any cost, but I don't see Pixoto being able to fix that anytime soon, and will always have to rely on members reporting images that skirt the rules. Anyway, my advice is hang in there. Hopefully the frustrating things about this site will eventually change for the better. With the emphasis on "hopefully."
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Steve Brooks

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But, John the more abuse by a few will make more quality photographers go elsewhere. Everyone will lose if Pixoto doesn't change the rules or police the situation better.
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Stephen Crawford

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I am also thinking of leaving as the fun is slowly getting drained out of me. I really enjoy seeing other folks work but I am sick to the teeth of the blatant misuse of a site that has so much to offer. I have commented regularly about some images under achieving while other subpar and repetitive shots score higher. I can't understand who keeps voting for these people because if you're on the site for any length of time you see the same names with the same?(ish) images that can be identified from a hundred paces. Money must be the motivating force because surely ones ego isn't that big one has to cheat to win an award!
There are plenty of other online galleries for showing work and conversing with like minded photographers. So I say leave the site and don't look back because nothing will change. The voting is almost impossible to regulate and money makes the world go round. If repetitive images means money for the site then only a lunatic would change the system. When I first joined Pixoto I looked forward to the competitions thinking the "game" was played on a level playing field and that people would adhere to the rules and have the common decency to vote truthfully. Alas not, whenever money is involved less scrupulous people seek to gain an advantage.
I haven't left already because I've paid my subscription and I'm a stingy mother. See what I mean about money.
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Bill Underwood

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If you the same John Larson who posts the images of tigers (among other wild animals) I am in awe of your skills!

Stephen, I know you take phenomenal bird pictures.

Kreso you too are a wonderful photographer.

As Pixoto's Staff has been quite responsive to this line of questioning and seems to be interested in our complaints we should not quit the site but instead keep up the pressure for change. John, you indicated a belief that my proposal seemed harsh but it was merely a proposal not a dictate. I am however indicating a belief there has to be a consequence to someone who flaunts not only the rules, but the purpose of the site.
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Trey Larson

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Yes I am the same John Larson and thank you for the kind words, Bill. I agree. I think serial offenders should face some consequence, just not sure how one makes that determination. In the more serious case of togs that actually post stolen images, I think a permanent ban from Pixoto is certainly justified, though I think some of those cheats find their way back onto the site under a different name and different ip address, because they are so intent on winning the weekly cash awards by any means available to them.
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Stephen Crawford

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I find it difficult to see a solution for a couple of reasons. Firstly there are so many contributions it is overwhelming to police. Secondly a very small minority are cheats and have no scruples when it comes to "fame or fortune". If a dishonest contributor can vote on images in the same contest as their own they'll cheat by voting against a competitor who is doing well, as everyone's progress in the contest is visible to all. I like the idea of changing the rule to one photo from one subject matter or image and I think hiding the progress of the competition might help. The downside is the excitement of watching the scores progress like a horse race would be lost. I think I'll still be leaving when my subscription runs out if nothing is changed. At the very least serial offenders should be messaged about their behaviour and given a warning. Three strikes and you're out sounds fair to me. Oh BTW thanks for the kind compliment Bill.
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Rudi Kleynhans

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Trey Larson = John Larson? Double account?
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John Larson

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Yes, Rudi, Trey Larson does equal John Larson, but I do not have a double account. When I first joined Pixoto I signed in under my nickname, which is Trey. Then I had Pixoto change my account to my given name, which is John, and which I am known by professionally. However, they were unable to delete the Trey Larson in this community powered board, since I think it is a separate entity from them. I was able to establish my given name on here, but the nickname still remains, and I usually have to log out and log back in as John Larson. Sometimes I forget and the comment shows under Trey Larson. Pixoto was able to delete my original account and change it to my present account which I have had for over four years. If you do a search for Trey Larson on the main Pixoto site you will not find any account associated with that name. If you still have doubts I'm sure Pixoto will verify that I have only one account. Hope that answers your question.
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Rudi Kleynhans

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Thanks for clarifying, John.
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Bill Underwood

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I have noticed your photos and am in awe of your skill set. I also agree that you can't spend too much time worrying about cheats.
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Steve Brooks

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He who yells the loudest usually gets noticed. It is still an on going problem. I just spent 10 minutes voting and had nine different, but nearly the same shots of a young women come up in duels. It seems like a wedding photographer can download an entire wedding shoot if they want.

Simply change the rule to allow ONE PHOTO PER SUBJECT MATTER OR IMAGE!
Having a subject move a couple inches or turn slightly is not a different photo in my mind.

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