Flickr = Censorship

Flickr = Censorship

[I am CEO of Zooomr]

I’m pretty pissed right now. Two days ago I blogged about an incident involving Rebekka Guðleifsdóttira. Rebekka is one of the most popular photographers on Flickr and definitely someone that those of us who have been around for a while would consider “Old Skool” (RIP).

Rebekka is a single mom and art student living in Iceland. She’s an artist and a talented one at that. She does amazing things with her camera. Recently she discovered that a gallery Only-Dreemin had been ripping her off. They’d sold thousands of dollars worth of her images and when she caught them and tried to make them give her the money that they stole from her they refused. So Rebekka did what anyone with a following on the internet might do and she posted about her frustration and plight on her flickrstream. And her story resonated loudly with the flickr community. Her story made the front page of digg and by days end she had 100,000 views on this particular photograph with hundreds of supportive comments.

So what’s got me pissed today? What’s got me pissed today is that according to Rebekka, Flickr has removed her image from their site. That’s right. Not only did they remove and kill her image and her *non-violent* words of protest, but they censored each and every one of us who commented on her photograph, who offered support to Rebekka, who shared in her frustration by wiping every single one of our comments off the face of the internet forever.

According to Rebekka, Flickr’s explanation?

“Flickr is not a venue for to you harass, abuse, impersonate, or intimidate others. If we receive a valid complaint about your conduct, we will send you a warning or
terminate your account.”

WTF?!?

So a flickr photographer gets ripped off. Dares to complain about it. Has an outpouring of support on the internet over it and Yahoo decides censorship is the way to handle this? This is the worst I’ve seen from Yahoo yet.

You know when Yahoo decided to without my permission delete a photograph I’d posted of Michael Crook and along with it a long dialog of community conversation I was pissed. But I’m even more pissed now.

Yahoo should not get away with this. This type of censorship is not right. They should apologize to Rebekka and reinstate this photo that they deleted and all it’s comments. These comments that Flickr don’t belong to them. They belong to all of us. All of us, the community that makes Flickr even possible. Remember the community Yahoo? Remember the community that Flickr used to stand behind.

I remember back when I posted a much earlier photo on Flickr when I’d almost been ripped off by PriceRitePhoto. I used this photo to put pressure on PriceRitePhoto which eventually put them and their sleazy business practices out of business. You know what? Back when this happened I actually got a personal email supportive of my plight from someone on Flickr staff. That was then though. This is now.

Rebekka, I’m sorry that Yahoo has decided to censor you. Consider this post and the posting I’ll make at Flickr a protest in support of you and your right to share your frustrations in your photostream and in your art.

This really sucks, and know that even without Flickr, the attention to this matter will not die down. I’m not sure how this company got to Flickr and Yahoo, but this will not make their problem of cheating you go away. Because when people censor it only makes the censored story ring louder in the end.

Rebekka, you had my support when you originally posted about your plight and you have it now.

And to Yahoo and Flickr? Shame on you.

Digg this here.

Update: Flickr has formally responded on this matter and a debate regarding this “mistake” is going on over here in this Flickr Help Forum. Feel free to chime in if you’d like.

Update #2: More news on this now from the BBC.

Update #3: More here.

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110 Comments

  1. With regards to the letters of support you received about your PriceRitePhoto situation;

    Did that take place before or after Yahoo bought Flickr?

    As much as they’ve tried to hide it, there are a number of subtle and not-so-subtle shifts in the way users are treated on Flickr since the Yahoo purchase.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You know this was probably Heather Champ’s doing. When she is in a bad mood or gets pissed, she acts really weird and does strange things.

  3. Rebekka says:

    thank you so much:)
    hardly anyone looks at my boring old blog;)

    so.. i guess its back to safe content like pretty pictures of myself in the icelandic landscape, followed by “nice” and “wonderful colors” and “great shot” and “instant fave” comments.
    i mean.. its not like flickr is actually supposed to be a venue for INTELLIGENT DISCUSSIONS? about matters that concern PHOTOGRAPHERS? oh no, heaven forbid!

    sheesh.

    don’t get me wrong.. i love all the people that comment on my work and follow it dilligently and tell me that i inspire them and that my work means something to them. its all wonderful.
    but i love it even more when something sparks a lively discussion that was THE most important thread ever written on my flickr stream. so yeah..
    this is more than a little tacky.

  4. Cody Mays says:

    I submitted to digg. Hopefully it will help her fight back.

  5. Vajra says:

    I have posted your entire letter on my blog. I am shocked at this censorship. For many of us the virtual world is a window to the beauty and interest of the universe of a world of diversity. Stifling peaceful voices of support and information is reprehensible.

  6. kk+ says:

    hey thomas. good to write about this. i’m sure you remember my lil incident with kevin corazza and the plagarism cease and desist. after getting 100k views no that cease and desist they removed it too… :(

  7. Thomas, another censorship from Flickr here – http://www.flickr.com/photos/yuridojc/499501441/

    This is one of my contacts, he often has some artistic nudes, he’s been having a devil of a time having anything displayed at all lately without flickr removing it or doing something dumb.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Interesting.. OnlyDreemin’s links seem to be down now. I’ve cliked on Shop, About, and Contact. Page cannot be found. Only two that work are Home and Links…

    I wonder if they are busy “cleaning” up their inventory.

  9. Jeremy says:

    See, this is where Riya might have been some use – helping protect copyrights of photos.

    Instead, they’re now a shopping engine, or something like that, and not much else.

  10. phototristan says:

    What ever happened to Kevin Corraza anyways?

    Just curious what he’s up to these days.

  11. The BenSpark says:

    What Flickr did is not right. An artists work should be protected not the people who rip them off. We’re with you Rebekka. Thanks Thomas for bringing attention to this.

  12. Flickr deleting an image on their site that had a time stamp and documented provenance in the middle of a copyright dispute? Utterly crazy. As a community administrator, I can kinda sorta understand their viewpoint, particularly if they got a complaint. But also as said community administrator, I have always personally gone out of my way to protect our own from people infringing upon our artists’ copyrights, TOS be damned. Shame on you, Flickr. You had the power and the proof to make this thing go away for one of your best.

    Thanks for the heads up, Thomas, and Rebekka, you can count on our community for an official blog post of support.

  13. John C Abell says:

    Lots of broken links at that site, including the shop. Hmmmm …

  14. Lahdeedah Lu says:

    I am so amazingly disappointed with Flickr. I really am disgusted by this censorship. Rebekka had HUNDREDS of comments with advice and support. This is definitely going to be something very negative for flickr. I think you’ll find people migrating away from there because they’ve really hit the core of one’s right to express oneself.

    And screw those who reported it… what cowards. What slimy cowards!

    grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  15. Anonymous says:

    once, when i started flickr, i was pissed by DA (deviantart.com) for their actions agains users.
    as much as i like flickr, i start to dislike it too. its not as much as DA once when i left, but its getting more and more :(

  16. Anonymous says:

    Stop whining about it

    Your post can be summarized as “… blah blah blah… i’m a self-centered internet adict…blah blah blah…listen to my little bitchy monologue… blah blah blah…”

    You sound pathetic.

  17. Airencracken says:

    This is just horrible. You think they’d learn something from the fiasco on Digg recently. I hope this only brings Flickr grief.

  18. Nicki says:

    This is one of the many MANY reasons I love Zooomr.

  19. Hugo* says:

    It’s a sad story: first, Rebekka’s work being stolen and then, Flickr censoring the story of it. What strikes me is that Flickr should actually do the opposite and side with her. After all, such cases not only do a bad publicity to Flickr and might dissuade “serious” members from making their work available, but they also represent an infringement to Flickr’s own rules. Isn’t Flickr somehow the “publisher” of our works ? The worst is the lack of consequences might only encourage others to do the same with impunity. Not a good sign…

  20. MaloFX says:

    I say we do what we all did to Digg.com on the HDDVD number, you know, that number…

    09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0

  21. Anonymous says:

    I suggest all you FLickr people send those guys a letter…

    I sent this:

    Shame on you guys for not supporting your arists….

    ESPECIALLY Rebekka….she is one of the reasons I signed up and paid for a full account. Her art inspired a lot of us to do so….she is one of your stars here.

    I cant beleive this is how you treat those people who BRING YOU CUSTOMERS!

    If you dont replace her photo and allow her FREE words — I will delete my account and move on to another photo service…and every person I ever told to use Flickr? I will also tell them.

    Btw – I own a web 2.0 company myself – and Im about to go public beta with a user embeddable product — you may be surprised how many people I will be able to reach about this.

    Shame on you for NOT protecting the creative rights of your artists….it shows your true colors about this….you dont care about the artists.

    angry regards,

    Tj

  22. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe that we still have people who don’t understand that anything, and I mean ANYTHING, posted on the Internet should be considered fair-game.

    Charlatans will take your images, content, whatever, sell them and good luck trying to sue them and recoup any money. You probably do not have the resources to pay a lawyer for one, and if you do, the case will be tied up for years unless it is small claims.

    Take if from a former professional photographer: GET A CLUE. If you don’t want to share your work freely with everyone: DO NOT POST IT ON THE INTERNET.

  23. OnlyDreamin’ is now down ^__^

  24. tmarbois says:

    Hey do you Zooomr guys have a FLICKR to ZOOMER export? hah. Write one now….Im going to convert if they dont put that page up.

  25. Patrick says:

    I just wanted to mention that I too have written to flickr about this and would encourage anyone else concerned with this matter to take a minute to do so. When the angry voices come right to their door, it might make the seriousness with which many of us take this that much more apparent to them.

  26. Juan says:

    Thomas, Kudos to you for keeping the heat on Flickr and on the Scumbags @ OnlyDreemin.

    Rebekka, I wish you well and hope that things get resolved for you.
    Thanks for sharing your art with the rest of us.

    - Juanski

  27. Fertanish says:

    Years ago, Yahoo’s arrogance in who/what sites they would deem worthy of being part of their search engine opened the door for Google to take over the search engine technology. “Google” is verb the online world uses daily; “Yahoo” is an adjective for my hillbilly neighbors…

    This action has the aroma of its own arrogance, but perhaps more from the standpoint of following rules based on a false initial interpretation without taking into consideration the facts of a situation. Hopefully this attention will remedy the injustice.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Maybe someone at Flickr is related to Only-Dreemin. Perhaps a friend or they have a financial interest in it.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Yahoo corp also deleted the poll results and comments that showed Ron Paul dominated the political debate.

    Then when people complained, they deleted their accounts.

    So this seems to be their way of doing business.

  30. MadDog2020 says:

    First JPG, then Flickr. The sites I’ve been pushing on my friends are all falling apart! Then I read that Amazon.om has bought DP Reviews, I wonder what’s going to start happening to free and open discussion in those forums? At least I can still feel good sending people to Thomas Hawk…

  31. roberto says:

    Anonymous said:
    >>>>can’t believe that we still have people who don’t understand that anything, and I mean ANYTHING, posted on the Internet should be considered fair-game.

    Charlatans will take your images, content, whatever, sell them and good luck trying to sue them and recoup any money. You probably do not have the resources to pay a lawyer for one, and if you do, the case will be tied up for years unless it is small claims.

    Take if from a former professional photographer: GET A CLUE. If you don’t want to share your work freely with everyone: DO NOT POST IT ON THE INTERNET.< <<<

    And by the same token, if you steal images and are subsequently outed by the community you stole it from, and that community decides to voice their displeasure through numerous phonecalls, e-mails, and blog comments that generally are not favorable to your business… well, that TOO should be considered fair game. Let this be an example to all who might share Mr. Anonymous former professional photographer’s (we’re soooo impressed) blame-the-victim for the crimes I commit stance: there is ALWAYS a price to pay for theft of publicly displayed art.

  32. Yahoo/Flickr should be ashamed for sure. Why would they do that? I can’t see any T&C;’s have been violated.

    It’s bad enough _rebekka has to go through all this, now a record of all the people who showed support has vanished for no good reason.

  33. Lance Chew says:

    they prolly just wanted to settle things as quickly as possible? without stirring up a storm of muck? well, maybe they did wrong this time.. PUBLIC apology? =)

  34. Benjamin says:

    After the recent controversy over Yahoo!’s coverage of the upcoming U.S. election, you’d think that they’d be beig careful.

  35. Michelle says:

    Has anyone actually read Flickr/Yahoo’s terms of use? They give you several ways to reduce the possibility of your photos being stolen, and remind you that there isn’t any foolproof way to completely protect your images and that they’re not responsible if someone does. There are ways to protect all of your photos from being downloaded, but there’s no way to keep someone from taking a screenshot and converting that into a photo.
    I’m a fan of her work, and it’s a shame what happened, but you have to take a little responsibility..

  36. Cyde Weys says:

    Wow, this is terrible. I guess you really can’t trust these big corporations to protect their customers. They lack souls. I ran across Rebekkah’s work just the other day upon hearing how she was getting ripped off, and now it seems like she’s just getting the same treatment from Yahoo.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Yahoo is an immoral company. I stopped using them when they helped imprison a Chinese citizen because he was critical of the government online. His wife has made it to the US and is suing Yahoo. The only way to punish them is to stop using their services and spread the word. Even if only the commenters of the thread that was deleted left, Yahoo would notice.

  38. tinou says:

    let’s be a little objective here…censorship? flickr isn’t shutting down thomashawk.com or anybody else’s blogs. flickr is a private company, just like zooomr, and they have a right to set whatever rules they want. you have a right to be piss, to move your photos to another service. but censorship? a little over the top, don’t you think?

  39. Brian Boyko says:

    I’m downloading all my photos off Flickr, deleting them, and uploading them to Zooomr.

  40. Amaresh says:

    Its not Flickr actually, its Yahoo… Ever since they bought Flickr stuff like this has been happening.

    Hoping Yahoo Execs do something about this or face the wrath of a great online community that is Flickr

  41. ENDelt282 says:

    First of all, it does suck that her work was taken w/o her consent. Bare minimum, she should be compensated financially.

    However, what is Flickr’s service? Is it a soapbox platform? Is it a place to share photos and examples? I imagine the reason Flickr has struck this down was to keep their service from becoming a soapbox for photographer’s misfortunes for free.

    A personal web page IMO, would be the correct venue to get the word out without stepping on toes.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Do we really know the whole story? So many many many people are quick to judge “the corporation” because “the man” is always keeping us down. Is it possible that this site that ripped her off had a bunch of people flag the photo for being wrong in some way and then flickr performing some automatic picture deletion feature to protect itself from some sort of potential law suit? Even if a flickr employee was to blame for taking the photo down, wouldn’t it be to protect itself from potential litigation? I don’t understand when people say “flickr should stand by one of it’s most awesome users.” So what if she is? No company in the world is going to take a potential million dollar bullet for a user. Anyone else following logic or is it just me? I guess it’s just me. Everyone else can remain sheep and bah bah bah at the chance to gripe about a situation they have absolutely no knowledge about.

  43. I don’t really buy the censorship argument. Flickr clearly made the wrong move though and my heart goes out to Rebekka. See my elaborated thoughts here:
    http://www.jmg-galleries.com/blog/2007/05/15/flickr-_rebekka-availability-of-high-resolution-images-nightmare/

  44. Kevbo says:

    This turn of events has me considering relocation. I go to and subscribe to flickr not just for the sharing of photos but for the dialogs that take place beneath Rebekkah’s photos and others. Why mustn’t ideas be shared along with photos? Sort of counterintuitive. What photos will they soon censor because their content is not to Yahoo’s liking?

  45. Tech says:

    If I were the CEO of a company, I’d try to help her. ;)

  46. Onno Zweers says:

    Dear Rebekka,

    Have you sent them a bill?

    The Dutch tv news (NOS Journaal) once used a photo of minde without permission. I was watching the news and recognised it immediately. Ik took some photos of the screen as proof, and then I sent them a bill of 600 euro (150 for the photo, 300 for unpermitted use and 150 for not mentioning my name – these are prices according to the Dutch photographers federation). They paid without complaining.

    If they hadn’t paid, I would have hired a collection agency. I have done that once for a company for which I had done some freelance work, and I got all my money. If you have all correspondence in writing (email or paper) and you have a bit of patience, then the chance is quite big that you’ll get your money.

    I wrote the story on my website – see link.

    Good luck!

  47. Anonymous says:

    Hey Thomas. There’s already incentive enough to migrate to Zoomr, but it wouldn’t hurt offering to honor the remaining time on current flickr pro members who sign up…

    And is there a tool to import from flickr built yet??

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/giantkicks/

  48. Anonymous says:

    If Yahoo was a decent citizen of the Flickr community they would hire a lawyer and support Rebecca. That they don’t want all kind of riot comments on Flickr I can understand, but accepting that the intelectual copyright of the work of one of your clients is stolen through their Flickr website is just … (sorry can’t think of an appropriate word!)

    Good luck Rebecca!

  49. FYI – For Your Interest
    In googles cache are 2 of 5 pages with comments of the original site, if you are interested click on the links below and then on the google results page on "cached" – i don’t know how long it will stay there, but i guess not very long. btw i captured the pages so if someone want to read them after they have been removed of the google cache, just let me know…

    Page 1 with comments:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=www.flickr.com/photos/rebba/49774...
    Page 3 with comments:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.flickr.com%2Fpho...

  50. entechia says:

    I had been running my website, and posting my photographs there. Using gallery. However, with work taking up most of my time, I moved towards using flickr as my storage resources. When it had not been sold to yahoo, and even went pro with them. Now, i have serious misgivings. This is exactly the sort of thing I wanted to avoid when I was using gallery installed on my website.. A pity this. Considering flickr is the home of so many obviously talented and remarkable people. I had no clue who rebekka was, or had seen her photographs. But this is something not about her alone. Flickr’s original owners, if they have any sense, would hopefully find out the problem and not create another.

  51. What a fucking story…
    Rebecca you’ve got all my little support..
    Nice Regards, Riccardo Giuntoli.

  52. rubken says:

    This is a deeply shabby incident, rebekka has been wronged twice. Though there may be some truth to the hindsight wisdom of her being naive in how the images were published on flickr this generous naivety is the sort of spirit that makes the world a better place. Until that spirit is taken advantage of.

    I have a suspicion that all this is being made worse by some of the parties involved not being forthright and honest. There was a comment on Digg purporting to be from OnlyDreemin claiming that they had purchased the rights to use the images from a third-party and that their silence on the issue was due to advice from lawyers.

    This is just making it worse. Perhaps OnlyDreemin are scared that offering to pay rebekka, at least, the royalties due would be an admission of guilt. I don’t want to speak for her, but as someone watching this ghastly spectacle unfold, I think it could only be a good first step.

    Perhaps flickr/Yahoo are receiving similar scared, cover yourself advice from their lawyers.

    It would all be so much better if the company/corporate entities involved would behave like people rather than paranoid psychopaths.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Thats why you should host and mirror your own content … a pain yes, but then you dont have to answer to the man!

  54. Erik says:

    Complete crap, yet not surprising. While I supported Rebekka initially, she has my full support now and I’ll do what I can to fight for the cause.

  55. Typical big company. I never really liked flikr, I use google now, I’m sure they would do the same in some cases, but google, while not perfect, does seem to be better at that sort of thing.

    cryptojoe.blogspot.com

  56. josh says:

    I’m getting sick of the whole censorship thing. Strike that, I’m sick of it. I’ll put my information where I can do what want with it. I just deleted my flickr account. So when is google coming out with their flickr?

  57. Anonymous says:

    When will you people learn: For profit organisations have profit as number one on their list of goals, and any other goal will be ignored if it conflicts with, or the possibility of making profit. If you are a photographer, get your own hosting, don’t use joke Web 2.0 sites who aren’t offering the service because they are nice.

    This blogger.com is the same – Sooner or later Google will censor on here as profit will come first one day.

  58. Anonymous says:

    >josh said…
    >So when is google coming out with their flickr?

    They already have.
    http://picasaweb.google.com/
    http://picasa.google.com/

  59. Anonymous says:

    Came across this at http://www.photographyvoter.com. It is going to be very interesting to see how this one plays out. There’s been lots posted in various blogs recently about issues concerning the use of images from Flickr and photo-sharing websites..

  60. Rob Moir says:

    You’re all disgusted.

    That’s good. You ought to be.

    I hope everyone who professes to be disgusted with Yahoo / Flickr is busy taking down any content they’ve got on any Yahoo related servers.

    And if not why not?

    And don’t think Google or anyone else (who’s left? MSN? heh!) are any better. Google have bent to censor their search results at the behest of the chinese govt. before now.

  61. iCE Breaker says:

    The answer is to HOST your own stuff… Flickr is sub-par to begin with. Everyone gets upset when MySpace deletes this or Digg deletes that. If it’s that important, host it yourself. It’s really the only way you’ll have freedom of speech. And hopefully your provider won’t put their nose in it. But I to fully support Rebekka and the others who have been squelched. It’s total B.S.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Wow, what a crock of shit. But, what people have to understand, is that you don’t really own the content on their servers, and they probably have 2-3 pages of legalese saying that they can do whatever they want with whatever you upload.

    I would personally not use Flickr anymore if they did that to me, and I’d take a bunch of people with me to a different photo-sharing site.

    As far as the theft by those dreemin people, I’d save the money that you spent on the lawyer and hire someone to break their kneecaps, but hey, that’s how we deal with thieves here in Jersey ;) Good luck to you!

  63. Anonymous says:

    The easiest way to get through to the owners of Flickr is to vote with your feet. Find somewhere else to share your love of photography and watch the share prices plummet.

    They won’t listen to you, only the finance department.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Flickr/Yahoo are completely within their right according to their Terms of Service. All that legal verbage everyone just “clicks OK” and never reads is a contract between you and the service provider. Yes this sucks, however this is what you get for agreeing to their terms.

  65. This really sucks. This isn’t even a gray area censorship situation where they could say the photo was offensive, etc. This is a situation where they are backing THIEVES! Rediculous.

    I that rather than Rebekka just going back to “safe pictures…” she should make a very PUBLIC move to zooomr.

    Just my thought though…

  66. michal says:

    I think this story deserves to be published on the official Zooomr blog as well, Thomas. What do you think? I stumbled upon it almost accidentally on flickrhits.com. I’m a Zooomr user (not on Flickr) but I find the affair interesting anyway. As you wrote: “Because when people censor it only makes the censored story ring louder in the end.”

  67. Anonymous says:

    Folks, Zooomr is a competitor of Flickr. Because this incident, they are hoping you switch to them. OK, fine. Nothing wrong with that. But I ask these questions:

    1. Everyone loves Rebekka, so it would be a big win to get her on Zooomr. Why is she still posting on Flickr?

    2. What are you doing to protect people’s photos. Do you have a legal team ready to fight on their behalf? If the Flickr folks complain enough I bet Yahoo has the resources to put one together.

    3. Finally – OK, I’ve decided to move from Flickr to Zooomr – what have you done to make this EASY for me. Meaning, “two clicks and a username/password easy”.

    (BTW, lay out the cash for the “two-o” version of the domain, already!)

  68. Yzark says:

    If you want to fight it, every one of you should be removing all your photos and deleting your flickr and yahoo accounts. Otherwise Yahoo wins. They know you’ll just complain about it for a while then lose interest and go back to your normal dismal lives.

    There are tons of other really good photo sharing/blogging sites out there which you can use.

    Good luck.

  69. Michael says:

    I guess Thomas has been too busy commenting in the flickr help forum to update this story that Heather apologized on the behalf of flickr to Rebekka and the community. I was shocked that this posting didn’t reference that important detail. It still sucks they deleted it and some important issues such as the the ability to restore deleted photos and comments after the fact came out of all of this. And it sucks even more that one of my favorite photographers on flickr had her work ripped off. But please Thomas and fellow readers at least give flickr some credit for apologizing and admitting they were wrong to delete her photo. At this point Heather is saying removing it was operator error.

  70. Quillman says:

    I just deleted my account. Screw that. I hope it becomes a ghost town. And I ‘dugg’ it on Digg.

  71. Anonymous says:

    I haven’t seen or read an apology by Heather or anyone else on the Flickr staff, only an admittance of it being a mistake, an operator error, period. Not good enough Flickr !!

    I’m not pulling my photostream *yet*, but I’ve done so in the past in order to protect the original files – to break the url’s and re-upload low-res files. My Flickr account renewal comes up in June. Strongly considering only using Flickr within the limitations of the *free* account, rather than paying another cent to them.

    Flickr doesn’t care if one person doesn’t renew or pay for *pro* account, but if enough people take the same approach..they’ll listen. MONEY talks !!

  72. Michael says:

    @anon, Rebekka herself claims she received an apology from Flickr HQ. But reading Heather’s replies in the help forum I linked I can see only admission it was an error and not a straight apology. Good point.

  73. Anonymous says:

    I will be deleting my flickr account.

  74. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Michael for link above, I’d not ran across that. However, that alone does not change my stance on not renewing my pro account in June.

    Flickr staff have, in the past, treated other members (some were my contacts) in much the same way. Unfortunately they weren’t as popular as Rebekka but had their photos being misused by other Flickr members. If Flickr staff continues to behave in a way that I consider to be censoring the “neighborhood watches & awareness” posts, groups, etc. – rather than aiding & educating members on how to protect their intellectual properties, then I & others may have NO use for their services, free or not.

    Plus, I’m not convinced this was simply a “mistake” !

  75. Anonymous says:

    Arent there any better sites than flickr that don’t censor?

  76. Anonymous says:

    Hello. Please correct me if I’m wrong: Flikr is a free service of Yahoo! Flickr doesn’t owe its anything to its users, who post material at their own risk. ‘Censorship’? Please. Flickr is a photo forum, not a forum to air grievances. You get what you pay for.

  77. Anonymous says:

    That’s easy to fix. Stop using Flickr. Smugmug is so much better anyway.

  78. Ryan Moulton says:

    I think everyone should take this opportunity to try out picasaweb.

  79. Anonymous says:

    I highly suspect that the Rebekka “mistake” happened in order to squelch the community warning from getting out to the flock of new “Yahoo Photo” transients. “OMG, they may not flip from free use over to PAYING members if they come across this popular photo & all it’s comments!”
    This looks like bad press for Flickr – “it might effect our revenue – delete it!” But ha – that BACKFIRED !!

  80. Anonymous says:

    According to the terms of use, Flickr is for posting pictures. Not for making statements. Should’ve used another forum for that kind of protest. It violates the terms of use, and barring that isn’t censorship. Just relax, people.

  81. tmarbois says:

    Looks like theyre censoring the ensuing comments now on other pages….this is going down hill fast.

  82. BowzZer says:

    I tried to follow the FLIKR response link and it said it was a bad link. Looks like their brilliant programmers hit it again.

  83. BillyWarhol says:

    Yeah it’s Sad n Pathetic*

    Twits + Hypocrites are Flickr!!

    Whattabout Gail Orenstein + Flickr Deleting her entire Account & amazing Body of Work of over 3,400 Photographs + over 1 Million Views + over 20,000 Comments from all her Flickr Fans!! A bloody outrage!!

    Gail’s Work incorporated behind the scenes Photos of Strippers in their Work environment so yes that meant shots of bOObies but nothing Pornographic* She would post the Top World Headlines of the Day concerning things that All People should Care about like Bush’s Illegal War in Iraq + the Pope banning Condoms for African Women etc. Like Rebekka said – this sparked lively Political + Social Discussion – some of the Smartest insights to be found anywhere on Flickr & poof it’s all gone!!

    A bloody outrage!!

    Even Professional Recreationalist who tried to setup a Flickr Customer Union had the Group Deleted + all the comments!!

    ridiculous*

    It goes right to the Top of Flickr with Stewart ButterMyAsshole + his SheWolf of the SS sidekick Heather Chump! Their Arrogance knows No Bounds!!

    I was actually gleeful with scheudenfreude to hear Miss Chump got the Boot from JPG Mag!! Pompous Twit!! ;))

    atanyrate i’ve been NIPSA + none of my Photos show up Publicly on Flickr for over a year – yeah i’ve posted about 12 Nudes (fer a Joke) but I also Speak my Mind – last I heard Freedom of Speech was still a good thing in America!!

    The ONLY reason any of us still stay at Flickr is cuz all our Friendz our there & frankly it is still an awesome Web2.0 website*

    Otherwise people would be over to Zoomr in a heartbeat*

    Cheers Hawk!! Billy Warhol ;))

    Peace*

  84. Tom:

    Thank you for your coverage on these matter.

    The mistake seem to be repeating by itself.

    I hope these incidents on flickr is a good or great lessons for all web 2.0 corporations to learn from.

    Evergreen is Always Evergreen!!

  85. Anonymous says:

    one would have to understand the viewpoint of flickr on the matter too. if there are legal aspects to an issue, the law must take its course. as an established corporate entity, the flickr platform is governed by laws and rules. besides, how does the use of flickr for publicising an image hijack really help the case of the person who says the pictures have been stolen? the best thing for that person would be to obtain a legal redress.

  86. tinou says:

    I am a little relieved that some users are still being a little objective here. We’ve reached the point where many think that by contributing a little to a site they are entitled to run the show.

  87. Kashgarinn says:

    Yahoo owns the site. They can do whatever they want. It is not the site of “the people” or “the community”. You have no say, and probably sign away all of your rights to whatever you publish when you agree to the conditions in posting things to the site.

    Welcome to the corporate world, they thank you for your stuff then kick you out. kthxbye.

  88. Kurazaybo says:

    This is really awful but please be more sincere. Zooomr has deleted comments too. I know because I wrote them. What really pissed me was that Kristopher Tate sent me an email saying “nobody is deleting your comments”.

    I think nobody wants to be responsible of “disturbing” content but the community demands it, just what happenned to digg with those numbers.

  89. Bob and Gail says:

    Gail Orenstein has a very popular photo site showing perfectly legal nudes, talking about politics, and a history of complaining to the admins about issues and our entire site was deleted.

  90. Dawn One says:

    I’m not happy that Yahoo, which I think is an unethical company, bought Flickr and have yet to decide whether or not to quit when my “pro” year expires…
    That aside, people have been stealing my photos (by which i mean, publishing them elsewhere without my consent) for years, long before the advent of the internet. It’s unavoidable. I choose to share my images on the web, but as an attempt at copyright protection, keep my dpi very low (so if they’re printed, they’ll be unusable) and imbed a copyright logo across the image, which at the very least will require photoshop skills to remove it, and be proof that my original photo was tampered with, should I have the opportunity to go after a thief.
    Good luck Rebekka!!!

  91. Anonymous says:

    Just phoned Only_Dreemin – they were slightly aggressive, and took my details to get somebody to call me back. Should be interesting to hear what they have to say.

  92. Anonymous says:

    I stopped using flickr easterday….

  93. Anonymous says:

    Heather refenced fish slapping with a link to the term in Wikipedia. Just added a note to the wikipedia entry concerning her use of the term as a measure of censorhip. Going away for a few weeks on vacation, could everyone keep the wikipedia fish slapping reference to flickr=censorship updated and TRUE.

    Google just return me 1,320,000 for +Flickr and +Censorship.

    I think people should Google

    “Aborts Gail Orenstein” to see how long this problem has been developing.

  94. BillyWarhol says:

    I’m glad the Travesty of Gail Orenstein’s Flickr experience is getting the exposure it deserves*

    as i just said here on Malingering’s Blog http://www.laist.com/2007/05/18/flickrs_new_cen.php

    it Sucks to have yer Photos deemed Unsafe by Flickr’s Kangaroo Court & yeah it hurts that Rebekka had 1 Photo deleted – but it’s Beyond the Pale (quote taken from Heather Champ’s FINAL WARNING to me ;)) compared to poor Gail*

    seriously All her Hard Work – over a Year’s worth of 3,400 Photos + 1 Million Views + way over 20,000 Comments from Flickr Users!!!!!!

    Cmon!!!

  95. Cat says:

    While this doesn’t mean that it’s a good way to behave, Flickr has the right to censor anything it wants. You do not have the right to expect that Flickr will behave as if it is bound to the Constitution. They are a private entity and can do whatever they please.

    I believe that Flickr is in the wrong. But I also thing that whining to/about them reeks of a feeling of entitlement. Warn people off and never go back.

  96. Anonymous says:

    Cats

    I don’t att all understand your point, are you really saying that Flickr can do what ever it wants. That if decided to say deleted the photos from all blacks or gays that would be okay? That if it elected to banned say nude pictures while taking no action against say neo-nazis posting that would be fine?

    Where did this strange idea come from, no offence but I assume your American because only Americans seem to have this disease in thinking that a company that owns something is immune to laws of decency and humanity.

    Flickr sells a service, in doing so it is entirely dependent upon other services that other people pay for. That is the entire point of the Internet. If I post something I am taking advantage of the investment of governments and business in making the Interenet for me.

    If Yahoo is going to claim it can do as it pleases because it pays the bills well firstly I want to know where I send my bills for internet accesss I might run up using Yahoo’s services? If they are going to assume some kind of power over me because they have more money than me I want to get paid for what monies I spend getting their site. I also wonder if Yahoo has paid the investments made by governments in developing the interent, if it has paid for all the servies it depends on run its business.

    If Flickr/Yahoo are going to say we own it and thats that I would state they fail to understand the collective value proposition that is the interent.

  97. Anonymous says:

    in reponse to Cats. Flickr is not “a private institution” and can therfore do whatever it likes. It is part of a publicly traded company and subject to US laws and corporate governance rules.

  98. Anonymous says:

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  99. adam-dexter says:

    Flickr has done it again-

    I was just shafted by Flickr a few weeks ago. They decided to delete my PAID Pro Flickr account without warning or telling me. Now, for the last two and a half weeks, I’ve been trying to find out why and they have given me the hardest time I’ve ever had with any customer service (not even Best Buy was this bad)- They still have not told me exactly WHY my account was deleted. I apparently violated some TOS, but they won’t tell me which one or how. My account wasn’t even a year old. I wasted $24.95 on this BS. Check out my full story and show your support in by commenting here: http://adamdexter.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/my-flickr-account-deactivated/

    Also, I dugg this story- digg mine here:
    http://digg.com/tech_news/Flickr_Yahoo_Evil

  100. […] Flickr’s user base of photographers is notoriously sensitive to any hint of censorship, so the company would be well-advised to come up with a coherent […]

  101. […] Flickr’s user base of photographers is notoriously sensitive to any hint of censorship, so the company would be well-advised to come up with a coherent […]

  102. […] Flickr’s user base of photographers is notoriously sensitive to any hint of censorship, so the company would be well-advised to come up with a coherent […]

  103. […] Flickr deletes photo from prolific Flickr Photographer […]

  104. I got booted out of Flickr for the same reason. A local newspaper the Deccan Herald used one of my photos without permission. I posted about it on Flickr and within 12 hours my account was removed. No notice from Flickr, no indication as to why the account was deleted, which was the offending photograph or which clause of the TOS was violated (in their opinion).

    Devesh
    bangalore aviation

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  107. […] was impacted by all the controversies and censorship stories (Thomas Hawk is relating some of them here and here) around […]

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