Why I Hate NIPSA and Yahoo Censorship

Twittermania

Update: The photo above now also seems to also have been removed from public search at Flickr. Censorship sucks.

[I am CEO of Zooomr]

Yesterday I posted up two Twitter photos to my photostream on Flickr. I blogged both images here at thomashawk.com. The images were of two collections of avatars. One for Robert Scoble’s Twitter friends and one for mine. Both were tagged Twitter. The image of Robert’s friends shows up in public search on Flickr while the image of mine does not.

Now, this could be a bug. But it could also be that the photo of my friends on Twitter has been marked NIPSA (short for not in public search) by Yahoo. NIPSA is a tool that many people are not aware of where Flickr/Yahoo can remove your photo, your group, even your entire photostream from public search at Flickr. It can happen to you with no notification. And unless you go and manually search for your group, photo, photostream, in public search you may never be aware that it has happened to you.

This sucks.

I have no problem with Flickr/Yahoo censoring certain images. There are certain things that are truly offensive. But even here I think that Yahoo should notify people after they are being censored.

Recently I posted about the fact that Yahoo pulled down a photo of mine of Michael Crook, the guy who baited men on craiglist only to publicly release their private information and humiliate them. When they did this they effectively killed an essay I’d written as well as dozens of comments and a growing conversation about Crook’s actions. This also was not right and Yahoo needs to treat their paying customers at Flickr better.

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4 Comments

  1. I wasn’t even aware that Flickr possessed the ability to do this to your photos. I assumed it was used sparingly for offensive images and the user would be notified.

    I was also reading an article the other that implied Yahoo was using Flickr images without compensating the photographer because that would be ‘too much of a hassle’.

    If this stuff keeps up, I’m outta there. I hate Yahoo.

  2. I read this earlier today and after revisiting this post again I can’t understand what the justification would be for changing the status to NIPSA. Then again they don’t really need to provide justification. Odd.

  3. Steelsun says:

    Maybe they consider the image copyright infringement? After all it’s composed of multiple images that are not yours.
    But this would be a laugh since Flickr has so many more infringing images all over the place that they are not policing.

  4. Anonymous says:

    All new Flickr accounts must be reviewed by the Ministry of Flckr Truth prior to be available to view.

    If Flickr deems your content “unsafe” you are labeled by Flckr as a “loose cannon”.

    The default Flickr settings are for “safe search” meaning censored searching.

    Artists are required to label their own work as offensive or non-offensive.

    Thank you for allowing anonymous posting.