Author Topic: Rude to take video of exercise class without asking/telling us first?  (Read 3683 times)

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haggis for the soul

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I went to a new Zumba class at my Y last night.  20 or so minutes into the workout, I saw a young man walk into the class and sit down on the chair that's up front.  Outsiders do not normally come in during exercise classes at this Y that I've been in, so I thought it was unusual, but nobody said anything about it.  I thought maybe he was the instructor's child or the boyfriend of someone in the class.  I was not comfortable having a spectator in the room, but whatever.

After a while, I noticed that he was holding his cellphone in a way that made it obvious that he was video recording the class.  I was definitely not okay with that, so I stopped, grabbed my jacket, and walked out of the class.  I wasn't going to interrupt the class.  I went to go use the treadmill and some weight machines to get the rest of my workout time in.  After another 10 minutes or so, the young guy left the Zumba class I had been in and walked out of the members area of the Y. 

I had been debating whether I should check with Y staff or wait and speak to the instructor when class was over about what had been going on, but when I went to the front desk for something, I noticed that the guy who had taken the video was sitting just inside the front door, so I mentioned to the woman at the desk what had happened.  She was surprised that someone who was not participating in the class would be in there and taking video to boot.  She said she would speak to him and she headed over to him as I left for the night.

This was unusual, but was it rude of him to take video of our class without asking or telling us?  I know it is sort of public, but you do have to be a member to get in the building unless you are a guest of a member.  And it is an exercise class, so we are not exactly looking our best while sweating.  It took me a long time just to get up the nerve to exercise in a group let alone have someone video record me, so I was extremely uncomfortable.  But is that my problem?  Am I overreacting?

artk2002

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Re: Rude to take video of exercise class without asking/telling us first?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2014, 03:33:30 PM »
Yes it was rude and yes you need to talk to the staff.
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Bethalize

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Re: Rude to take video of exercise class without asking/telling us first?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2014, 03:34:06 PM »
It's an incredible violation of your reasonable expectation of privacy. It might not be illegal, but it doesn't mean you can't object to it.

haggis for the soul

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Re: Rude to take video of exercise class without asking/telling us first?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2014, 03:35:55 PM »
It definitely felt like a violation, and I was glad that I ended up reporting him to the staff.  Thanks for your replies.

Peregrine

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Re: Rude to take video of exercise class without asking/telling us first?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2014, 03:37:51 PM »
If it was another patron of the gym or a guest of the member taking video, that is not OK at all.  However, look closely at your membership contract, because there may be language within the contract allowing staff at the Y to use your image or take video in classes to use in advertising etc.

TootsNYC

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Re: Rude to take video of exercise class without asking/telling us first?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2014, 03:44:28 PM »
Yes it was rude and yes you need to talk to the staff.

I agree.

(do note that it's possible the gym itself might have some sort of clause in its contract that says they can take pics and video and use to promote themselves. But even then I'd expect them to be open about what they're doing.)

Also, feel free to say something in the moment: "Excuse me, are you filming this class?" or "Excuse me, leader, is this a closed class?"

I think the leader and the management would benefit from hearing that you were not happy. That way they can keep you happy.

haggis for the soul

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Re: Rude to take video of exercise class without asking/telling us first?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2014, 03:49:50 PM »
If the Y was taking the video, I wouldn't be particularly comfortable, but I would like to be told that that was what was happening.  Y staff members always wear clothing that identifies them as staff.  I got the impression that this guy was taking video for himself.

jedikaiti

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Re: Rude to take video of exercise class without asking/telling us first?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2014, 03:54:29 PM »
If it was another patron of the gym or a guest of the member taking video, that is not OK at all.  However, look closely at your membership contract, because there may be language within the contract allowing staff at the Y to use your image or take video in classes to use in advertising etc.

Cell phones are not likely to give a good enough quality video for marketing purposes. Also, one would hope they'd make an announcement so those who do not wish to be recorded can skip class that day.

This guy was creepy - I think you should tell the gym's staff.
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Amara

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Re: Rude to take video of exercise class without asking/telling us first?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2014, 03:55:43 PM »
If the Y was making a video they wouldn't use a phone to do it. Poor quality. Also, they'd have the instructor say something, or there would be a note on the door, or the front desk staff would inform you.

Maybe this guy was a weirdo, shooting "the girls" to post it online. Who knows? But I would have spoken up IMMEDIATELY and stopped everything, including the instructor, until the instructor made the guy leave.

haggis for the soul

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Re: Rude to take video of exercise class without asking/telling us first?
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2014, 03:57:04 PM »
This guy was creepy - I think you should tell the gym's staff.

I did report him to the staff.

Yvaine

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Re: Rude to take video of exercise class without asking/telling us first?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2014, 03:58:32 PM »
If the Y was making a video they wouldn't use a phone to do it. Poor quality. Also, they'd have the instructor say something, or there would be a note on the door, or the front desk staff would inform you.

Maybe this guy was a weirdo, shooting "the girls" to post it online. Who knows? But I would have spoken up IMMEDIATELY and stopped everything, including the instructor, until the instructor made the guy leave.

I was wondering if he might be trying to make a "funny" video to mock online, though I'm surprised he'd be so blatant about it.

veronaz

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Re: Rude to take video of exercise class without asking/telling us first?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2014, 04:00:30 PM »
Rude and just plain wrong.  Glad you spoke to staff about it.

turtleIScream

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Re: Rude to take video of exercise class without asking/telling us first?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2014, 04:01:59 PM »
If it was another patron of the gym or a guest of the member taking video, that is not OK at all.  However, look closely at your membership contract, because there may be language within the contract allowing staff at the Y to use your image or take video in classes to use in advertising etc.

I don't go to the Y, but a similar community center type gym. ALL the staff wear identifying clothing, and if they enter a class, they will announce why they are there. We also have a system where people wishing to protect their privacy are issued a sticker that identifies them as not wanting their photo taken.

This situation the OP ran into is totally not okay. I would first be upset with the video taker, but also with the instructor for not stopping him. She should know if he is supposed to be in the room, and is in a position of authority to do something.

Or, basically what everyone else said as I was typing.

haggis for the soul

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Re: Rude to take video of exercise class without asking/telling us first?
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2014, 04:10:20 PM »
This situation the OP ran into is totally not okay. I would first be upset with the video taker, but also with the instructor for not stopping him. She should know if he is supposed to be in the room, and is in a position of authority to do something.

The fact that she didn't tell the guy to get out is what made me think that maybe he was her kid or her daughter's boyfriend.  In my other Zumba class, taught by another instructor, nobody comes or goes, staff included, without the instructor apologizing to us and telling us that they shouldn't be doing that while we're in there.

Harriet Jones

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Re: Rude to take video of exercise class without asking/telling us first?
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2014, 04:18:56 PM »
My Zumba instructors will sometimes record some of their routines (to share choreography), but everyone knows the recording's happening.  Even if there's some clause in your contract that allows filming, you should be given the opportunity to opt out.