Troll Nation

It had to happen and I knew it would.

No one accomplishes anything without eventually getting slapped with a stinking pile of — envy?–

These were in my inbox today:

Hate mail

I usually ignore trolling unless I think I’m dealing with someone who intends to malign my character,  in which case I make the thing public.

Until I began Flickr Wednesday this person was content to sit silently through almost five years of art theft because I’ve posted pictures of graffiti when I
joined Flickr in 2010.

I only credit the artist when I know who it is.

Here is my response to the email in the screenshot:

I have no idea what this is about and I don’t care.

What I do care about is setting the story straight because I suspect this is a
build up to a smear campaign.

Again, I don’t know why and I do not care.

If I’ve posted a mural by Diego Rivera, I don’t know which one it is.

I always tag uploads, and if one reads the tags one should see “Urban Art,
Graffiti Art, and/or stickers.

All graffiti and mural uploads go into a set called “Graffiti Art and Murals.”

I never claim the art as mine, I photograph it because I think it’s political speech from the least heard segment of the population.

If I’ve made the mistake of suggesting that any of the mural art on my stream is anything other than a photograph taken by me of a piece of public art then I ask the Flickr membership to forgive me.

If I have suggested in any way that I have the skill to create the mural art that I photograph it was unintentional.

If I post a photograph of a mural and any member knows who the original artist is I invite you to post the name of the artist in the comments section or send me an email.

If I’ve said or done something that any of you find questionable all you have to do is ask me.

You’ll find that I’m as eager to clarify the mistake as you are.

A note in the comments about the artist who drew the mural would be an asset to the post.

Thank you,

Rob Goldstein

The purpose of this post is to offer a rebuttal for anyone who might read that Rob Goldstein is so stupid that he thinks he can get away with passing off a Diego Rivera as his own.


36 thoughts on “Troll Nation

  1. excellent and realistic article, its title included… 🙂 there are trolls everywhere, hidden(more or less!) in the http://WWW... I’ve always ignored, spammed and deleted them – for good!!!

    glad to have come across your awesome blog, my very best and good luck in all your present(or future!) endeavours! have a sunny June & friendly greetings, Mélanie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading it–I don’t know why people expect the internet to be a safe have from verbal abuse in a nation that accepts scapegoating, rumor mongering and lies are accepted as a form of political discourse.


  2. Five years of street art is an impressive collection. I bet your troll thinks everyone who collects art is pretending that they created it…
    There was a prolific tagger in my city who left the same simple drawing everywhere. I wish I had taken a photo of it. It really defined an era in the neighborhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Every blogger needs a troll now and then. I haven’t received mine yet, but I’m sure one will be coming.

    I did learn something from this post about public art and copyrights, however. Good to know that if (for example) I photograph someone’s sidewalk chalk picture, I can post it on my blog without knocking on doors to find who drew it. Although I might enjoy the attention from people who think it’s actually my sidewalk drawing – ’cause I’m sure it would be better than anything I could do.

    Having bored you with that, I have a question: if I photograph Campbell soup cans, will that make people think I’m Andy Warhol?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I honestly didn’t know what a troll was until now. I would see the title “Troll Nation” but never really got a chance to read it. I felt the response you left regarding the “private” response, warranted a response. I admire your desire to clarify and inform while standing on the truth of your desire to share what most of us would have missed. I will admit, most art goes completely over my head but your willingness to capture leaves a part of art history that would have otherwise been loss. The person who left the comment is entitled to voice what they considered to be an injustice whether they felt they had legitimate grounds for making those accusations or not. I find that an irate person is not a clear thinking person who is truly seeking to understand or find justice. Once again, your approach to the response was one that I would categorize as timeless and classy simply because you didn’t allow yourself to be taken down in the mud pit of name calling and slander. I know you really don’t need to hear this especially from a stranger but GOOD JOB because it is not always easy to be the mature person when dealing with others who lack maturity when they are trying to communicate their thoughts and feelings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really appreciate your comment. I actually like the person who sent me these stink bombs and hope that this reflects a moment in his life and not what his life has come to.
      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. it would be nice if they used the correct word when calling you a liar. it’s not “your fucking pathetic”. “your” is possessive as in “your art”, “your blog” or “your post”. what they should have written was “you’re” a contraction of “you are” which would make more sense in order to say “you are fucking pathetic” or maybe more aptly “you are in need of taking your 7th grade English course all over again”. but then I would probably be referred to as a Grammar Nazi. but what do I know?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your comment. I did notice the misspelling of you’re and it impacted me terribly. I suspect that before this decade is over your will replace you’re and everyone will be impacted.


      1. it’s impossible to keep everyone happy, so don’t even try. and it’s crap that some self-righteous person feels empowered to leave a comment like that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think it has something to do with gaming.

        I’ve noticed that gamers write aggressive and insulting comments like this on forums.

        My favorite gamer comment to someone was “Do you feel totally fucking stupid now?”


  6. Reblogged this on HarsH ReaLiTy and commented:

    Trolls love to claim you steal things when they can’t create things of their own. I currently have a troll that is “hinting at” in his posts that I plagiarize when we all know the plagiarism was from a guest poster. This is what trolls do to try and discredit your work and your website. It is pathetic really and all it shows is their jealousy and lack of originality. Be strong man! -OM
    Note: Comments disabled here, please visit their blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. An excellent, well-reasoned reply to an obviously demented troll. The followup comments about public art and copyright law are on the money. You have done a service by preserving these ephemera. The troll obviously doesn’t know that photography is also art.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You have clarified publicly and clearly done. Angry envy is an emotion. Angry condemnation is an expression this person felt strongly to do. This person felt it strongly and whether it was sincerely done or in spite we don’t know, we may not care. It has been clarified clearly though your intent and how you tag your work. Whether this is important is up to the person to evaluate. We do our best when we try to live together, when our best is not up to par, as in this case for this person we reach out and speak up both to clarify and to set an example. Thank you to the reader who left the comment on copyright laws.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know how anyone can sincerely believe that anyone would try to steal the work of Diego Rivera. Especially someone who has been a contact of mine since 2010.

      But I think if you’re going to do something stupid you should go all out: which is why I intend to steal the Mona Lisa…or perhaps the whole of the Sistine Chapel!


  9. My take on it: You took the photo. You put YOUR photo (of someone’s art on the street) on YOUR blog. Your photo is your art. No art theft. As far as I’m concerned you never claimed that those graffiti are yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of my contacts sent me a bit of info on how copyright law covers public art:

      If any art is on public display (murals, sidewalk chalk, sandcastles, etc) there is no restriction on reproduction or inherent copyrights of the reproduction ie. photograph. It becomes public domain the instant the paint hits the wall.

      He goes on to say: how would you credit an Egyptian statue?

      Most of the murals I’ve photographed are gone now, I have a huge collection of mural art that no longer exists.

      I doubt that I am going to get the names of the artists now.

      But I have preserved a kind of public art, made by average people, as a document of their lives and their time.

      If I wanted to steal art I would be an idiot to try to steal copies of famous public murals.

      What I find intriguing about these letters is their presumption of the right to launch a psychological attack against someone under the guise of artistic integrity.

      It’s so completely wrong and yet so completely in keeping with the rest of the debased discourse in the U.S..

      It’s like having Fox News for a stalker, only less informed.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hahaha… Seems like someone has too much time on his hand but is too lazy spending it with doing good things and rather attacks others… Just shaking my head! Good on you for taking those shots and preserve those great pieces!

        Liked by 1 person

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