Change in photo policy! (for the better)

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Re: Change in photo policy! (for the better)

Postby 3rdrail » Wed May 23, 2012 11:20 pm

saulblum wrote:
The T police can't have it both ways: if they are encouraging passengers to report suspicious activity by their fellow passengers, then they're inviting riders to also submit reports of T employees behaving improperly at their job.

Well, that's comforting to know Saul, that you and these "riders" that you speak about always conform 100 % to the rules of their respective employment and never do anything that would be considered "derelict in their duties". How to you spell H - Y - P - O - C - R - I - T - E ? I hope that the officer went right to a doctor to see if he was undergoing a low sugar or low blood pressure situation and if so, comes out and sues the hell out of Channel 7 due to the manner in which the story was aired. Then, I'd like to see an enforced ban on photography.
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Change in photo policy! (for the better)

Postby saulblum » Thu May 24, 2012 7:28 am

3rdrail wrote:Well, that's comforting to know Saul, that you and these "riders" that you speak about always conform 100 % to the rules of their respective employment and never do anything that would be considered "derelict in their duties". How to you spell H - Y - P - O - C - R - I - T - E ? I hope that the officer went right to a doctor to see if he was undergoing a low sugar or low blood pressure situation and if so, comes out and sues the hell out of Channel 7 due to the manner in which the story was aired. Then, I'd like to see an enforced ban on photography.


It is not the fault of the passenger who initially reported the photo that the media turned it into potential slander against the officer.

If the T police are encouraging passengers to report alleged suspicious behavior of other passengers that will most likely turn out to be nothing, then why should the T's own employees be immune from the same type of allegations?
saulblum
 
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:42 pm

Re: Change in photo policy! (for the better)

Postby CRail » Thu May 24, 2012 9:23 am

saulblum wrote:It is not the fault of the passenger who initially reported the photo that the media turned it into potential slander against the officer.

First of all, the photograph was not taken to promote the officer's impeccable character, it was to make the department look bad at the particular expense of this PERSON (the same type of being as you, me, and the photographer). The photographer and media may not know that after a long night with his wife at the hospital the officer reported to work already tired and was then asked to take on a shift of overtime which he couldn't afford to pass up because of their situation (a hypothetical scenario, not necessarily the case in this situation), but the real issue is that they don't care! It makes a good story and gets them a laugh. Despicable, and exactly what the photographer intended!

How exactly is appearing to be at rest suspicious behavior? How does falling asleep affect anyone's safety if he's at a desk (not operating a vehicle or machinery) when he's at least there and can still react to an emergency should one arise? Far less of an issue than if he wasn't there at all... Does this make it right? No. Does it make him deserving of being blasted by negative media attention? The uniform is not affected by these actions, the real live person wearing it is.

So, when an enthusiast is harassed for innocently photographing equipment they enjoy documenting, it is to this type of behavior that you can credit the hostility. So when I get dirty looks from an operator because I like what I see and want to save that scene, I know who to thank for that.
Moderator: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Avatar:3679A (since wrecked)/3623B (now in service as 3636B).
User avatar
CRail
 
Posts: 2132
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 8:27 am
Location: Eastie

Re: Change in photo policy! (for the better)

Postby saulblum » Thu May 24, 2012 9:38 am

CRail wrote:First of all, the photograph was not taken to promote the officer's impeccable character, it was to make the department look bad at the particular expense of this PERSON (the same type of being as you, me, and the photographer). The photographer and media may not know that after a long night with his wife at the hospital the officer reported to work already tired and was then asked to take on a shift of overtime which he couldn't afford to pass up because of their situation (a hypothetical scenario, not necessarily the case in this situation), but the real issue is that they don't care! It makes a good story and gets them a laugh. Despicable, and exactly what the photographer intended!

How exactly is appearing to be at rest suspicious behavior? How does falling asleep affect anyone's safety if he's at a desk (not operating a vehicle or machinery) when he's at least there and can still react to an emergency should one arise? Far less of an issue than if he wasn't there at all... Does this make it right? No. Does it make him deserving of being blasted by negative media attention? The uniform is not affected by these actions, the real live person wearing it is.

So, when an enthusiast is harassed for innocently photographing equipment they enjoy documenting, it is to this type of behavior that you can credit the hostility. So when I get dirty looks from an operator because I like what I see and want to save that scene, I know who to thank for that.


An on-duty cop who has fallen asleep is a cop who is not doing his job. Period. The same holds true for any on-duty employee. Was there a legitimate medical or family reason that explains why he fell asleep at his desk? Perhaps. But it is not the rider's job to determine that.

Did the rider who took the photo intend to embarrass the cop and the department? Maybe. But it's irrelevant. The photo still showed a T employee who was not acting properly at his job.

>> So when I get dirty looks from an operator because I like what I see and want to save that scene ...

The operator or T employee can give all the dirty looks he pleases. The moment he intervenes in a passenger's photography in a public space is when there is a problem.
saulblum
 
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:42 pm

Re: Change in photo policy! (for the better)

Postby CRail » Thu May 24, 2012 11:21 am

I'm glad you carefully read and understood my points before crafting a well tailored response reflecting such. At least that's what I would have said had you done those things.

saulblum wrote:An on-duty cop who has fallen asleep is a cop who is not doing his job. Period. The same holds true for any on-duty employee. Was there a legitimate medical or family reason that explains why he fell asleep at his desk? Perhaps. But it is not the rider's job to determine that.
Not the point. Pick a point and stick to it.

Did the rider who took the photo intend to embarrass the cop and the department? Maybe. But it's irrelevant. The photo still showed a T employee who was not acting properly at his job.
It's not irrelevant, because you were speaking in defense of the person claiming it wasn't the person's fault the cop was made to look bad. Again, stick to the points you make. Calling your own points irrelevant doesn't make any sense.

The moment he intervenes in a passenger's photography in a public space is when there is a problem.
A simple concept that doesn't seem well understood; MBTA property is not public property, and parts of it being open to the public does not grant rights for anyone to occupy it. If you are involved in any activity unrelated to being transported, you may be asked to leave and are then required to do so subject to arrest.

As someone who, as a teenager, regularly updated his photo permits when such was required, presented them numerous times upon request and still got a ration for it, got followed out of stations by T police for carrying a video camera, got interviewed by local police as a suspicious person for videotaping a train at a railroad crossing, etc... I thank you and your like for the hostile and quite sophomoric attitude provoking the treatment I received despite being far more respectful and compliant than a right touting rebel. It really speaks wonders for the rest of us!
Moderator: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Avatar:3679A (since wrecked)/3623B (now in service as 3636B).
User avatar
CRail
 
Posts: 2132
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 8:27 am
Location: Eastie

Re: Change in photo policy! (for the better)

Postby saulblum » Thu May 24, 2012 11:37 am

CRail wrote:A simple concept that doesn't seem well understood; MBTA property is not public property, and parts of it being open to the public does not grant rights for anyone to occupy it. If you are involved in any activity unrelated to being transported, you may be asked to leave and are then required to do so subject to arrest.

As someone who, as a teenager, regularly updated his photo permits when such was required, presented them numerous times upon request and still got a ration for it, got followed out of stations by T police for carrying a video camera, got interviewed by local police as a suspicious person for videotaping a train at a railroad crossing, etc... I thank you and your like for the hostile and quite sophomoric attitude provoking the treatment I received despite being far more respectful and compliant than a right touting rebel. It really speaks wonders for the rest of us!


The MBTA is a subdivision -- "body politic" -- of the Commonwealth. MBTA property that is open to the public -- stations, train cars, buses -- is NOT private property in the same way that your apartment or an office building is private property. Courts have generally held over the years that photography in public spaces is a Constitutionally-protected activity. That there are conditions of entry onto T property -- namely paying a fare and a ban against activities that could harm operations and fellow passengers, such as using tripods and flashes -- doesn't negate these protections.

That the T has imposed restrictions on photography in the past also does not negate these protections. It merely indicates that no one tried challenging them in court. Just because a policy is enacted does not make it legal.

>> If you are involved in any activity unrelated to being transported, you may be asked to leave ...

That is a meaningless statement. Should a passenger who is waiting for a friend, reading the paper on a platform bench, be asked to leave, because he is not at that immediate moment involved in being transported?

Besides, if I am waiting ten minutes for a train and decide to take some photos on the platform, how am I not involved in being transported?
Last edited by saulblum on Thu May 24, 2012 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
saulblum
 
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:42 pm

Re: Change in photo policy! (for the better)

Postby BostonUrbEx » Thu May 24, 2012 2:46 pm

The Transit Police Chief said the proper action was taken as per "See Something, Say Something".

</end of discussion>
User avatar
BostonUrbEx
 
Posts: 3603
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Winn to MPT 8, Boston to MPN 38, and Hat to Bank

Re: Change in photo policy! (for the better)

Postby Red Wing » Thu May 24, 2012 5:27 pm

Time to chime in:
Back to the beginning, the public has every right to question an abuse of their constitutional rights. One thing they say at the academy, the public doesn't know their civil rights and thats our best friend.

Number two. As a public servant. (I am one too). You are always reminded that this isn't the private world. Some member of the public is out there to catch you, so make sure you're at the top of the game or the boss is going to find out. I bet everyone on this board has nodded off for a few minutes at work at one time, But being a public servant in a semipublic place this officer is held up to a higher standard, like it or not.

Personally I feel this was a good change in the policy. After all if the TPD wants you to take a picture with their app and send it to them well. Now you can use the app and not break the rules.

Now I got to take a picture of the big backpack in the Harvard Station (if the Jansport adds are still up).
Red Wing
 
Posts: 305
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:55 pm
Location: On the B&B

Re: Change in photo policy! (for the better)

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Thu May 24, 2012 7:44 pm

Red Wing wrote: I bet everyone on this board has nodded off for a few minutes at work at one time,


I most certainly have not.
User avatar
Adams_Umass_Boston
 
Posts: 870
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:26 am
Location: Eastie

Re: Change in photo policy! (for the better)

Postby FP10 » Thu May 24, 2012 10:28 pm

Adams_Umass_Boston wrote:
Red Wing wrote: I bet everyone on this board has nodded off for a few minutes at work at one time,


I most certainly have not.


Nor have I, which is why I am so flabbergasted at people defending a public employee, a police officer nonetheless, sleeping on the job. If I found one of my employees napping I would fire them on the spot, and I would expect the same to happen to me. What kind of a world is this where it is okay to fall asleep at work? How is it even possible to fall asleep on the job? Find something to do, if you're able to fall asleep I highly doubt the job was being done in the first place.

I'm in no way saying the media didn't blow this our of proportion, but the action is still dead wrong.
"even a money tree would draw opposition in Boston "
FP10
 
Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:09 am

Re: Change in photo policy! (for the better)

Postby Teamdriver » Fri May 25, 2012 8:02 am

Not to bang on this guy at all but in some sectors, sleeping is considered stealing time . But in this case the fellow could have been taken one of his contractual breaks, or even lunch. Today you just have to assume that you are being recorded somehow , either institutionally by security cameras , or by the general public with this new gadgetry available.And especially in this case , with the policy of encouragement to pass on this type of imagery, even as facilitated by the website, you just have to be very very careful of your actions.Even if they are harmless and even allowable, its how other people can perceive them.
User avatar
Teamdriver
 
Posts: 956
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:18 pm

Re: Change in photo policy! (for the better)

Postby CRail » Fri May 25, 2012 9:15 am

My last comment regarding the police officer; People fall asleep when they're driving. Is that a problem (ya think)? Do they get hounded by bad press because of all of the people they put in harms way? NO! Because it was an accident! People talk about firing people like you'd throw out a piece of tissue paper, you're dealing with people's lives and their families here!

When you speed should you have your car confiscated because YOU BROKE THE LAW with it? It's not the same thing, right? Well actually yeah, right! No laws were broken in this case, so strip the guy of his income? Get serious. Then wonder why they're not nice to everybody. Same goes for train crews and operating personnel, you want them to do their jobs to every letter of every rule (oh, unless you forgot your pass and don't want to break that $20...). Take pictures of police officers and then, "That guy stole my wallet, what are you going to do about it?" Tables turn.

Now, I'd like to get back to the photo policy (which is what we're supposed to be discussing). Ever since the elimination of the permit, I've always told people from out of town it's okay to photograph, just be prepared to explain what you're doing. Regardless of what the constitution says about cameras in subways (neither of which existed when the document was written), people wonder what you're up to. Sometimes they're just curious or interested, maybe they aren't trying to give you a hard time. An attitude like the one portrayed above will get the same in return.

I was once taking video of trains crossing over at Wonderland with a friend when a woman (passenger) made a federal case about it saying because of us she's afraid of being "blown up". The inspector she reported us to sided with us, and told us just to go to another station so she'd go away. Point is, employees know about us and most are pretty comfortable with us doing our thing. Being friendly may open opportunities to do more than you had even hoped. I've found that many employees are happy to talk about the job and their experiences once they know you're genuinely interested in what they're doing, but that wouldn't have happened had I maintained an us vs them attitude!
Moderator: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Avatar:3679A (since wrecked)/3623B (now in service as 3636B).
User avatar
CRail
 
Posts: 2132
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 8:27 am
Location: Eastie

Re: Change in photo policy! (for the better)

Postby saulblum » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:32 pm

New published photo policy.

http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/About ... 202012.pdf

All mentions of showing identification to T employees or cops are removed.

In a nutshell, no restrictions on personal photography in any area open to the public.
saulblum
 
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:42 pm

Previous

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: diburning, Exabot [Bot] and 1 guest