How Would You Feel if Your Flickr Account Were Permanently Deleted?
One of the things that continuously pisses me off to no end is how capriciously and callously Flickr goes about deleting accounts with no warning. The latest example comes from Flickr user Shéhérazade. After paying for a Flickr Pro account and uploading photos to a stream on Flickr that had been visited over 150,000 times, Shéhérazade found that one day her account was in her words, “deleted without any reason or warning.” According to Shéhérazade, when she tried to contact Flickr about the problem, “Terrence” from the Flickr Censorship Bureau (FCB) told her that her account had been deleted because it included photos that had not been taken by her.
Although at first Shéhérazade had said that all of the photos in her stream were taken by her, she later admitted that 10 of the photos in her stream were not taken by her. But it turns out that, according to Shéhérazade, those 10 photos were actually of her from a model session that she participated in and she claimed that she had rights to them as the model being photographed. Now apart from whether or not Shéhérazade actually has legal rights to those photos, what pisses me off here is just that Flickr without warning continues deleting user accounts.
To make matters worse, when Flickr deletes your account it really is gone. There’s no going back. It’s permanently deleted. Gone forever. There’s no undo. There’s no, “I’m sorry we accidentally pressed the delete button.” Not only are all your photos gone, but thousands of comments left by users throughout the site are also permanently gone. Same goes for images that they delete from your account, like they’ve done to me in the past.
Anyways, so Shéhérazade gets pissed of course. You would be too if your Flickr account were deleted. So she does what anyone might do, she goes to the Flickr Help Forum to express her dissatisfaction over this and try to get some sort of response from Flickr (see screenshot above).
It should be noted that some of Shéhérazade’s photos were of a shall we say “adult” nature. But all of her photos had been correctly marked as “restricted” by her pursuant to the Flickr rules.
So her response back from Flickr? Well the only response she got back in the help forum was a rudely worded message from Flickr Community Manager Heather Champ locking the thread.
Here first response she got back was:
“Apologies… I’ve been battling a cold and a little less observant that normal. This topic is way over heated. I’m going to close it for 24 hours to let people chill out. I would ask that once the topic is re-opened that we dial back the name calling and ugliness towards members and the team.”
but before the thread could be reopened, Champ then posted this follow up message:
“I’ve gone back and had the opportunity to read through the back and forth. While it might serve to continue to further the discussion, I think that attitude of the OP isn’t something that I want to give a further venue to. I think it would be better served via 1:1 Help by Email. As such, I’m closing this puppy permanently.”
Now this doesn’t really surprise me. In fact in my own thread the other day where I complained about five of my images being censored (a museum painting, a sculpture from Beverly Hills, and some screenshots critical of Flickr) that thread ended up locked as well (but at least I got Flickr to agree to uncensor 4 of my 5 censored photos).
But the point is this. Flickr should NOT be permanently deleting anyone’s account. Especially a paid account. And especially without warning. In the event that Flickr really feels that they need to delete an account, I think that they owe it to their customers to first engage in a dialog about the images. Were there images in Shéhérazade’s account that were not hers? Maybe. But maybe a perfectly reasonable explanation was that she was the model in the photos and had permission to use them.
Are there photos in your Flickrstream that are not yours? I know that I have a few photos in my stream that are not mine. For instance, this photo of me can’t possibly have been taken by me because I’m only about 6 months old and clearly was in no position to handle a camera in 1968. Should I deserve to have my Flickr account deleted without warning for this?
Shéhérazade set up a new account on Flickr and posted a single black image in protest of her account deletion a few days ago and the image already has 106 comments on the image, mostly all expressing how much they will miss her work on Flickr.