BBC NEWS: Yahoo ‘Censored’ Flickr Comments
[I’m CEO of Zooomr]
It is interesting to see the BBC use the word "Censorship" with regards to this recent case with Flickr. I say interesting because the first official response from Flickr was to deny that this could be considered censorship.
"In joining Flickr, all of our members agree to abide by the Yahoo! Terms of Service and our Community Guidelines. Actions taken by the team to ensure that any content or activity on the site resides within these boundaries is not and cannot be viewed as censorship." (my emphasis)
Two months ago when I raised a different matter of censorship by Flickr Stewart Butterfield responded to me that I he thought I didn’t know what censorship meant linking to wikipedia and trying to dismiss that censorship couldn’t happen at Flickr.
Although Flickr has now "apologized" for this "mistake" (smart, given the backlash that they’ve received on the internet over this this week at places like digg, reddit, Slashdot, and now the BBC), the fact of the matter is that censorship has been quite rampant at Flickr and it’s unfortunate that it took such a high profile case to have the matter seriously addressed.
I have been censored by Flickr staff. My first response regarding this censorship was to contact Flickr privately which received no response. Since then I’ve asked about my own case of being censored many, many times publicly.
The only official response I’ve ever been able to get from Flickr came from Flickr staff member Eric Costello who wrote regarding my own censorship issue: "obviously I cannot comment on that case TH."
Many other individuals have also come out of the woodwork recently commenting about their own censorship that has taken place at Flickr.
"flickr did the same thing to me too – no explaqination and deleted my paid membership. sorry rebekka. i feel for you," wrote one flickr user.
The sad thing about this whole affair is that while Flickr claims to care about censorship, many of us are being censored there. What’s more, Flickr has promised to take steps to ensure what happened to Rebekka doens’t happen again and yet still refuses to outline what those steps exactly will be.
Perhaps most ironic of all, is that the thread dealing with this entire messy matter for Flickr on censorship has now been locked by Flickr staff. Convenient.
Thanks for the head’s up urban penguin.
Update: Down in the comments Flickr Chief Stewart Butterfield challenges me to write that child porn would be ok into Zooomr’s TOS. Rather than more rhetoric and PR spin Stewart should answer my question as to why Flickr censored me and offer an outline of what steps Flickr plans to take to ensure that less censorship happens there in the future. Here’s another blog post as well from LAist pointing out more ludicrous censorship on Flickr’s part. Like most higher profile cases though Flickr once again apologizes and would like us to move on.