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Atlanta Vampire Alliance [AVA]  |  Vampires & Vampirism  |  Vampire Community & Subcultural Discussion (Moderators: Merticus, SoulSplat, Eclecta, Maloryn, Zero)  |  AVA Discussion: Dealing With Negative Publicity? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: AVA Discussion: Dealing With Negative Publicity?  (Read 18733 times)
Persephone
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« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2010, 06:17:15 pm »

@ childofthespiral ,

When Meriticus posts an article on here (& even sometimes when he doesn't) vampires do post in the comments section. Sometimes they can help provide a positive image of us in contrast to a negative one presented in the article, but often their posts don't help. Why? First, because other posters with a moronic mentality usually overshadow the more intellegent posts. Second, because most of the people who write such articles don't have an interest in creating a positive view of the vampire subculture, so they either ignore our posts or use them as a springboard to write further biased & infuriating articles.

I think the idea of presenting positive PR events to contrast negative media is a better plan. ABC's 20/20 could skew their show on the vampires of New Orleans all they wanted, but they couldn't make fun of how NOVA feeds the hungry there. Sometimes it's just a case of actions speaking louder than the most eloquent of words.
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childofthespiral
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« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2010, 02:37:54 am »

I agree with that too, holding positive, public events like that would do well. But as more people become aware of true vampirism, it'll be unavoidable that teenagers will be drawn to the movement and their parents will be upset. Seems to me it would be helpful if accurate information was made available as widely as possible *shrug*
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Octarine Valur
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« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2010, 08:42:53 am »

Dear all, allow me to address this question from the perspective of human rights activism. Some of you might be annoyed with my continued reference to the LGBT rights movement, but I do this for two reasons - one being that I see a lot of parallels between that cause and this one, and also therefore a lot of ways we could benefit from adopting some of the strategies of the other.

1) "How can the community respond when individuals who claim to be "vampires" act in socially inappropriate ways?" "We can’t control who decides to claim membership – even the undignified, careless, delusional, or dangerous who happen through our community aren’t immediately turned away, even if they aren’t accepted." "how do we deal with the media and social fallout when such “fringe” members or non-members have had real contact with our community, however brief or unfriendly?"

- In terms of crime blamed on all because of the actions of one, the standard approach appears to be a) deny the individual is a member of the community, or b) state the obvious, that an entire community cannot be realistically blamed for the ill-conceived actions of one of its members.

2) "The vampire community is loosely affiliated, rather than organized, with no central authority or modes of censure, no borders, and no shared ideology."

- So is the LGBT community - yet they are spoken for in the public domain by researchers, activists and human rights advocates, with the support of sizable portions of their community, overtly or covertly.

3) "How do we draw lines that will keep our community safe, especially when community participation is often anonymous (Internet message boards) and semi-public (club events, Goth nights, Meetup groups, etc)."

- That's a million-dollar question - even the LGBT community has events often infiltrated by those hostile to it - the best that can be done is to encourage responsible behavior, especially when in public view. That community has been on the receiving end of a full-scale war mounted against it from very much the same conservative/religious fundamentalist groupings we face, and for much longer. The only reason we don't face the same level of hostility, is because we seem fewer, are less visible and they don't take us seriously or view us as such a threat to them yet.

I'd like to add that in addition, wherever there are negative statements made about the community in general, whether in the press or media or online or in public forums etc, there should be those willing to address the prejudice, misconceptions or bigotry in them. I think over the past decade or more, this approach has been extremely effective in LGBT advocacy. Younger generations are extremely web-savvy and active online, and also far more open-minded than most of the older generations.

The LGBT community has numerous newspapers, community based organizations, websites, forums, groups, just as the VC and OVC do. These would be ideal to disseminate standardized material from - the only problem we face here is a lack of standardization, and there are very few actual vamp newspapers out there Wink and what few there are, are online.

Additionally, what would help this is having a cache of reliable medical, scientific or cultural information available for those doing the defending to draw on - and unfortunately, this is where our defense currently falls flat. At the moment, all we have is scant references to "civil rights" such as "freedom of expression", "freedom of speech" and  "freedom of religion" to draw on under the broader mantle of human rights.

While these are good enough under some circumstances, in others, such as breaking down narrow-minded and closed-minded thought, more direct and decisive material is needed. This can be provided by more revealing and impartial scientific or medical research data. At this point I would like to suggest the areas of scientific research that could produce useful material might include ways to produce evidence of the existence of prana, prana transfer, ways to demonstrate the need of vamps to feed (other than just the by now traditional psychoanalysis that tends to cast a dark shadow over us all).

As a final comment, I think a database of groups disseminating harmful material should be compiled, and especially of groups who do so while claiming to be part of or representing the VC.

Just a broad collection of my thoughts and suggestions Wink

Val
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childofthespiral
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« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2010, 03:29:46 pm »

How do I post a thumbs up?
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paindancer
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« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2010, 10:43:03 am »

+1
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Paindancer
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Persephone
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« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2010, 09:32:31 pm »

Great suggestions, Octarine

I think we have the means as a community to begin a systematic approach to improving our community's public image. We don't have to just throw our hands up in the air & complain that nothing can be done. Neither does everyone have to come out of their coffin to march in a pride parade. We have the models of other identity groups & awareness movements to follow, from which you've pulled some very good suggestions.

We know from 2 decades of bad press what to expect from the media & hate groups. This means we can take measures to prepare for more of the same, because it's sure not going to get any better if we stand back & do nothing. As much as some people would like to crawl back into the shadows, society knows we're here now, so we can't just hide.
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