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Hipster Gets Mad That His Image Is In Article Saying All Hipsters Look The Same, Wasn't Even Him

When we're trying to discover what makes us stand out in this world, we can sometimes have a tough time finding a way to reinvent ourselves that really feels right for us.

So when somebody finds a style and a subculture that suits them, it's not necessarily hard to understand why they'd be a little sensitive about their personal brand.

Still, it's important not to be too hasty when they detect disrespect because they may end up learning a hard lesson on what happens when keeping it real goes wrong.

And one magazine ended up with a perfect example of these consequences in action.

Earlier this week, the MIT Technology Review ran an article about some research they uncovered about "the hipster effect."

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As editor-in-chief Gideon Lichfield tweeted out, this article explored why those who don't wish to conform to "mainstream" aesthetics often express their nonconformism in more or less the same way.

To illustrate this, they used this stock image of a man who fit the description of the typical hipster.

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However, Lichfield said it wasn't long before they received an email from someone claiming to be the man in the photo that accused the magazine of slander and of using his photo without his permission.

Ignoring that untrue statements in print are technically libel, not slander, Lichfield was puzzled by the man's complaint.

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As he saw it, calling somebody a hipster isn't really consequential enough to meet the definition of slander or libel. No matter how much hipsters commonly hate that label, it's a stretch to call it terribly damaging to their reputation.

Still, the MIT Technology Review staff checked the license to ensure they hadn't used the image improperly.

They discovered that when using an image to illustrate a subject that would be "unflattering or unduly controversial to the reasonable person," they should say the person in it is a model.

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As Lichfield tweeted, however, the example the licensing information provided concerned sexually-transmitted diseases, which are a far cry from simply implying that somebody is a hipster.

Regardless, the staff considered replacing that photo with another image anyway to avoid any further issues.

But this idea didn't sit well with the magazine's creative director, who instead decided to contact Getty Images directly for further information about the terms of the man's model release.

Amusingly, their contact at Getty discovered that the model's name didn't match with the person who complained.

So yes, what their accuser failed to realize is that the photo he said was used without his permission to slander him featured a completely different person in it.

So someone at the magazine contacted the guy and told him they didn't think he was in the photo.

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As Lichfield told CBC News, he replied to this awkward revelation with "Oh, I guess you're right. It's not."

Lichfield went on to say, "No apology, but, you know, I'm happy that it's resolved."

Despite the hassle, Lichfield seemed to think the man had made an honest mistake.

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As Lichfield said to CBC News, "You know, as a no-longer-in-his-30s white man with a beard, I know that a lot of white men in their 30s with beards look kind of similar. So I guess it doesn't surprise me that much."

He said it also didn't help that the model was shot in profile and wearing a hat.

h/t: Twitter | @glichfield

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