Will you do something about repetitive images?

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This isn't an image report (so doesn't break the new rules). Can someone from Pixoto please take a look at this contest:

http://www.pixoto.com/contests/water-...

And tell me if this in the spirit of the site's goals?
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Mikki W

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  • bored, repeatedly

Posted 5 years ago

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Paul Cannon

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it makes photography boring .
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Mikki W

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And it makes Pixoto boring. We, the site users, have to sit through this tedious repetition in voting. But we need points to upload, so the natural consequence is that, to avoid suffering the same images over and over again, users will instead create contests that attract large numbers of entries ('any image', 'any flower', 'any color') over a short period of time ('one day!') to grind for points. There are a couple of obvious serial offenders doing this already. I don't need to name them, it's obvious.

So now we have boring, repetitive images and boring, repetitive contests. Well, I know a thing or two (professionally) about trying to maintain a social network, and Pixoto, that ain't the way to do it.

Adapt or die.
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Lenore

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Contests are optional. If you want to participate, then participate. If you don't, don't. If you think some are boring, that's great. That's your opinion. It would be a horrible world indeed if we all shared the same opinions and thought the same things were beautiful and the same things were ugly. I used to like water lilies before I joined Pixoto -- a couple of years of constant exposure to them and I no longer like them. But that doesn't mean other people should dislike them because I do. More power to them. I like lots of things that other people don't like.

If you think there should be better contests, you can do two things. Sit back and wait for others to create the kind of contests you want to see. Or, create them yourself.

And I hope you do create some vibrant, interesting contests.
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Mikki W

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You've missed the point entirely. Almost all of the very similar entries in that contest are by the same person. Surely that constitutes and encourages the kind of repetition of images that Pixoto supposedly wants to act against? I've got a couple of water lillies in my images -- I still like them (though give it time...), I just don't want to sit through hundreds of very similar ones that are obviously by the same person, same style, creatively bankrupt.

And I am creating contests - I have three on the go at the moment. And I do enter the contests where people make an effort in thinking about a subject (and moderating it properly). Doesn't alter the fact that there is a lot of repetitive behavior on the site that will, ultimately, turn people away if it goes on unchecked.
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Lenore

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I'm not quite sure what you mean by "the kind of repitition of images that Pixoto supposedly wants to act against" ..... my observations (and this is just my opinion) is that Pixoto only discourages images that are either duplicates or so-close-they-might-as-well-be-duplicates. I see many images that I think are "very similar" to each other and should be deleted but Pixoto thinks they're just fine. It seems you can photograph a woman and have her eyes look off in different directions or raise or lower her chin and submit a photo of each pose and all are allowable. I disagree with that. It goes against what I think "very similar" means..............

Anyway, as for contests, some folks are contest-crazy. As you moderate contests, I'm sure you've seen this in your own offerings. I know I sure have in mine -- certain people who are willing to spend hundreds and hundreds of credits just on a contest, submitting dozens of photos. I don't really understand that kind of importance to try to obtain a contest award, but whatever. It's their right to do that -- but I wish Pixoto would impose a limit on contest entries, I really do.
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Mikki W

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Hi Lenore, thanks for your reply. What I meant was that Pixoto has, in the past, banned certain types of image (roses with waterdrops, non-native american women wearing native american head dresses, etc). It's not because the images are identical - they aren't - it's because Pixoto knows that if the ImageDuel process dies, so does the site, and one way that is likely to happen is if we, the users, get bored because we are seeing lots of very similar (not identical) images of the same subject when we vote.

I'm a relatively new (and generally happy) site user, but it is already painfully apparent to me that the same (or similar) images are being thrown up all the time. That's partly due to the emphasis the ImageDuel algorithm gives to the top trending images, but it's also because individual users are submitting a lot of similar photos of: water lillies, water drops and splashes, a female model from a particular studio session, dogs playing with the same toy on the same day, a particular tiger in a particular zoo, insects with waterballs, you name it. Some users have a lot of repetition within their individual portfolios, sometimes these are being entered under different (sub)categories to game the system, sometimes they are being used to spam contests.

Automatically detecting the portfolios that have lots of similar images isn't hard using modern software techniques (and in fact it's so blatant, even a simple human like me can find these people easily through the leaderboards). What I'm suggesting is that Pixoto does something to discourage this kind of behavior, because it is to the detriment of the site's long-term viability, and does it sooner rather than later.
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Lenore

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I've been here since 2013 and unfortunately, the images you reference were being constantly posted back when I joined too. Pencil crayons, objects and food being dropped into water, certain pretty models, certain dogs playing with toys in water or on grass -- sad to say, this is not a new problem whatsoever. It seems that if a photo doesn't get top-dog for the day, it gets deleted and uploaded again the next day. It sure seems some photographers operate that way, anyway. I see many of the same damn photos I did two years ago.

In 2013 the exact same complaints were being made -- last year, too. Finally, late last year, some "over represented" subjects were proclaimed. That was a first and a big deal that Pixoto did this. Of course, it really was just a drop in the bucket of all the repetitive images that were being posted and complained about, but at least it was something and a step in the right direction. But that expires at the end of this month, and what we don't know is if those bans are going to be lifted or not. Will water lilies with water drops be okay again? If so...yikes.
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Mikki W

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Yep - the colored pencils, the food dropped into water (I automatically vote against anything on a dark reflective surface now). And it is obvious that, in most cases, the repetition in a particular genre is down to a specific individual ... it's not that suddenly everyone wants to photograph the same green iguana/snake/etc!

Sites like Pixoto are great - the competitive element has certainly reawakened my interest in photography - but they need to adapt as the users find ways to play the system. I can't help but feel Pixoto isn't dealing with these issues anything like fast enough, and that's sad.
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Jasenka, Official Rep

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Hello Mikki, I'm not sure what this issue with contest is, can you please explain a bit more? Regarding very similar images in this contest I have checked top 10 rows and I don't see obvious very similar images. Per our rules "This means only one image of any subject and scene/pose combination is allowed. " If subject changes (different flower same scene/pose) or is pose/scene changes (and subject remains the same) images are not very similar.
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Mikki W

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'I don't see obvious very similar images' - you'll forgive me if I laugh in mild astonishment.

The contest is of course valid, if uninspired in theme. There are 101 images in that contest. 78 of them are by the same person. OK, you'll say, that's allowed if they want to spend all those points to enter. Fair enough. The images are not identical. The angles vary slightly, the crops are different. They are not all of the same flower, though the same flower(s) do appear many times. So I agree with you when you cite your 'rules' to the letter.

But the images are repetitive by the judgment of any reasonable person, and this is not the only example of a member who has their portfolio stuffed with such repetitive images. So what we get are competitions that are effectively spammed by an individual and are boring to vote on for all users. In fact the voting is meaningless when so many entries are so similar and from the same person in the same style. They discourage people from competing and will over time discourage them from voting, which surely is something Pixoto does not want.

So my point is that, even if they don't break the letter of your rules, they certainly break the spirit of them. My suggestion is that you sit down around a conference table and review your rules to discourage this kind of behavior in the future, because it isn't desirable for the site or the vast majority of its users.
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Jasenka, Official Rep

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Thank you for suggestion Mikki.

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