#8 in a series of background briefs

TCQ is modeled on the “Nonfiction” label

Some of the characteristics that the “Guaranteed TCQ” label incorporated from the “Nonfiction” label on books:

  • 1. The label is a principle, not a product.

    If the label’s host organization (tcq.photos) could be bought and sold, people wouldn’t trust the label.

    As with the “Nonfiction” label on books, everything about TCQ is completely advertising-free, commercial-free, and independent of any monetary influence.

  • 2. The label is free of cost to everyone.

    As with the “Nonfiction” label on books, nobody anywhere ever has to pay for anything related to TCQ.

  • 3. The label is universally available to all.

    As with the “Nonfiction” label on books, use of the “Guaranteed TCQ” label involves no registration, certification, licensing, permission, or approval.

    Anyone anywhere can attach the label to their own works any way they wish.

  • 4. The labeling process is “bottom-up,” not “top-down.”

    As with the “Nonfiction” label on books, with TCQ there is never any centralized watchdog group overseeing use of the label.

    Whether the label is appropriately or inappropriately applied is entirely between creator, publisher, and audience.

  • 5. The label is opt-in, not opt-out.

    As with the “Nonfiction” label on books, the “Guaranteed TCQ” label involves a completely voluntary opt-in — not opt-out — model.

    That way any content creators who don’t feel comfortable using the label (or whose work isn’t relevant to the label) never need bother with it.

  • 6. The label is not attached to the work without the approval of the creator of the work.

    TCQ takes this one step further than the “Nonfiction” label on books, making it clear that the “Guaranteed TCQ” label can be credibly attached to a photograph only by the creator of the work.

    Viewers are told to disregard the “Guaranteed TCQ” label if it appears to have been attached to a photo by someone other than the photographer responsible for the photograph (see #6 here).

  • 7. Because the label applies to creative works covering an enormous range of topics, the label cannot be as specific about what the creative work is as it can be about what the created work is not.

    The “Nonfiction” label obviously means “not fiction.”

    The “Guaranteed TCQ” label declares things like “not doctored” and “not misrepresentative.”

    See also the page on the “not” construction

  • 8. The label isn’t magically powerful.

    As with the “Nonfiction” label on books, there is never any implication of anything “magically powerful” about the “Guaranteed TCQ” label.

    The expectation of superpowers from the label may stem from viewers’ overexpectations: some people may assume that “Nonfiction” equals “objective fact.”

    That is not true for the “Nonfiction” label on books and it is certainly not true for the “Guaranteed TCQ” label on photographs.

    See for example questions #218-222.

  • 9. There is no logo for the label.

    As with the “Nonfiction” label on books, the TCQ label for photographs has no logo (“The label IS the logo”). The public is accordingly attuned to the content of the label rather than to one particular “look.”


But aren’t all photographs fiction?


Note that on this website TCQ is never called “The Nonfiction label for photographs, only “A Nonfiction label.” Anyone anywhere can create a different “Nonfiction label for photographs,” whether they use the above-listed characteristics or not.