Update: I just got banned from the Flickr help forum for posting a link about the new blog there.
Update #2: the Flickr is Fascist blog has moved to http://saynotoflickr.blogspot.com/
Well it looks like someone’s finally gotten sick and tired enough of Flickr account deletions that they’ve launched a “Flickr is Fascist” blog. And before you ask, no, it wasn’t me.
The blog seems to focus especially on the recent rash of censorship on Flickr dealing with male non-porn gay related photostreams. The new site specifically calls out the fact that flickr censors closed their thread in the help forum entitled “Flickr’s new anti-gay policy” among others.
In addition to the help forum post above being locked by Flickr staff, there have been several recent cases on Flickr where photos showing either non-nude male self portraits, non-nude male models, or photos of men in public have been either recharacterized as “restricted” NIPSA accounts or have been deleted entirely. In one case, a professional photographer who focused on non nude beefcake type male models, Edelson Flores, had his entire photostream deleted with Flickr citing the fact that he was posting other people’s work as their reasoning. Flores has denied that his stream contained photos that were not his and in fact had his own copyright watermark over every photo in his stream.
In a post on the new “Flickr is Fascist” blog they point out specifically what they feel is a double standard when it comes to Flickr’s deletion of candid photos of males in public in the post “Flickr has Issues With the Male Body:”
“A community of ‘candid’ photographers of men in public situations (all of whom have paid for their accounts in good faith) has been displaced and silenced on photo-sharing site Flickr in less than a fortnight. Four prominent photostreams as well as countless photos vanished from July 6th 2009 to July 13th 2009 without warning or right to appeal. At least one site had over a million hits in less than a year. Flickr has stubbornly refused to give a reason for its recent axe-grinding mission against these sites, but one user was given the reason ‘voyeur content’ after more than 8 days of asking for a reason yet that particular site contained pictures of men in public which is legal. Flickr has refused to expand on the reason it gave, but cited its ambiguous and open-ended ‘Don’t be creepy’ clause in its Terms of Service asjustification for terminating at least one photostream. Flickr has also silenced debate about the issue on its Help Forum. When confronted with whether or nor the famous Robert Doisineau candid image of the kissing couple in Paris was voyeur content or simply a candid street photo, Flickr immediately closed the thread and banned the user from challenging Flickr’s inability to define ‘voyeur content’ as opposed to candid content. Disturbingly Flickr has refused to reopen the debate. Another thread ‘ Flickr’s new anti-gay policy’ was also closed in a mater of hours. Is it a a coincidence that the many candid men sites were closed within a week? Flickr silent wall of automated e-mails will never let you know.”
It will be interesting to see if this new blog or other public criticism of Flickr’s censorship policies will in fact have any impact on the account deletions that seem to be taking place almost daily on the site.