Flickr’s Stewart Butterfield Responds to Violet Blue who Responds Back to Stewart Butterfield
[I’m CEO of Zooomr]
Violet Blue has published an email she received from Flickr Chief Stewart Butterfield regarding the recent censorship/moderation of her account.
Short version, Stewart apologizes. Longer version, his email is a thoughtful and considerate one and well worth reading.
Violet still has questions about some of the issues raised by Stewart in his email, most noteably which photos of hers that Stewart censored/moderated personally and the need for better definition to the rules of what is allowed on Flickr and what is not allowed on Flickr.
One thing I will say is that running a photo sharing site is hard work. Especially one that is community based. There is a constant struggle between what some people want to share openly and what other people don’t want to see. I think Flickr has made lots of mistakes with regards to censorship in the past, but I also probably tend to err too much on the side of allowing content that other places might restrict.
I think the people at Flickr are good people though and that their heart is in the right place in trying to find the right balance.
This is going to get harder though especially with the mass transfer of another 2 billion photos (roughly 4x the size Flickr is today) from Yahoo Photos over to Flickr.
In the past Flickr has been a edgier place than Yahoo Photos — more of an artist community stronghold vs. a pure photo hosting place for middle America. As all of the Yahoo Photos people are assimilated into the Flickr Community this will bring an even bigger challenge to make sure that everybody gets along well in the the Flickr photo playground.
I’m not sure that there is an easy answer to the Flickr censorship/moderation issues.
Fleshbot has picked up on this story and is running it too.