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Malingering 12:54am, 10 January 2007
So what would you to about this? If the kid tells the girl, can anyone think of a way I could get sued? Should I delete it? Just watching my ass.

www.flickr.com/photos/malingering/243863436/
The Eggplant 11 years ago
I think they might sue you on some silly claim. In that case, deleting the photo should be sufficient. I'm a little rusty on the photography rights, but I think it's fair game unless you're explicitly told to not take their picture. If you do get sued, there's a chance people would go even further (even after picture deletion) and make up some silly claim. People will sue over the stupidest things these days.
Adventures of Tintin 11 years ago
don't delete, just make it private.
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BOCTAOE PRO Posted 11 years ago. Edited by BOCTAOE (admin) 11 years ago
It's a tough call - not sure whether you need parental consent to photo underage kids or not, not sure about the laws regarding them in a public place either.

But I'd definitely delete the comment, with a comment of your own that you deleted it because it may be construed as libel (or is it slander? I always get them mixed up).

You might want to check out that link you had to The Photographer's Rights. Might be something there, or you can google for local laws regarding photography and see what you get for hits - there are lots of legit law sites out there.

Bill S.

(edited just a bit later) Well, after going back and reading some of the other comments made, I guess I couldn't stand by deleting his.
Hell, if you aren't that fond of the pic, just dump it - it isn't worth the headache.
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I'm useless--my tactic would be to try to convince the kid that high school too shall pass, and there's no point in getting excited about the people who are at their peak there, even if they're annoying little sluts who go out of their way to make your life there miserable.

(just practicing my homonyms)
wskrz PRO Posted 11 years ago. Edited by wskrz (member) 11 years ago
The only thing that I could see them suing over would be "emotional distress" or some stupid such thing. To which they would probably lose, however, the biggest problem would come with the fees that you would have to pay out for a lawyer. Regardless of the fact that you would probably win the case, you still have to pay for the legal help and they ain't cheap.

Make it private amongst your friends and/or contacts. Wait 'til this blows over (a month or two), then maybe you can repost it.
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wildlifeuplift 11 years ago
Hehehe, the trouble with free legal advice is you get what you pay for.

Only fact I know for sure is that in this country at this time, anyone with the bucks can sue anyone they wish. And just as a man can be found innocent of a crime yet still liable for it, they could make life miserable for you.

Deleting it at this point may not even solve the problem as it could be cached a million places. But dumping it is probably for the best and would involve the least possible headache.
jolly sofa [deleted] Posted 11 years ago. Edited by jolly sofa (member) 11 years ago
I got dinged by my employer because I posted a pic of one of the nurse's aides asleep on the job. You couldn't see her face and you couldn't see anything that identified the hospital. The other aides (ones that actually stay awake and do their jobs) caught wind of it and gave her a hard time. The aide in the pic got her husband involved, he went to my boss, she went to Risk Management, and the whole thing blew out of proportion. I was 'posting pictures of girls on the Internet without their knowledge.' Now the IT department regularly cruises Flickr for references to the hospital I work at, and the pics of the users known to be employees (there's a bunch of us).

My employer banned me from taking photos at work and insisted that I remove the pic. I could make it a First Ammendment issue, but I don't feel much like ice skating uphill right now. I've been laying low ever since.

You could argue that as the subjects in the photo are outside in a public place, they have no reasonable expectation of privacy, that's what usually protects photographers in these cases. But the subjects are minors, so that might complicate things.

You could keep the pic up and 'stand on principle,' but it might not be worth it.
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TheDamnMushroom 11 years ago
It's removed or private now so I can't comment. But it sounds like it must have been good. :)
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Malingering 11 years ago
I wonder what I will get sued for first, posting photos of strangers on the internet or malpractice.

TDM: I just made it visible to friends, hopefully none of my "friends" will sue me.
Adventures of Tintin 11 years ago
hey, make me a friend so i can still see it.
Karin Bultje 11 years ago
I think you're best of hiding it. I don't know the law in the US. In England they wouldn't have a leg to stand on I think.
wskrz PRO Posted 11 years ago. Edited by wskrz (member) 11 years ago
I just made it visible to friends, hopefully none of my "friends" will sue me.

Well, I could use some extra money... ;-)

glyph, that's an interesting situation you found yourself in. I guess sometimes when we're talking here and posting up pictures in what we sometimes think is our little corner of the Internet, we do tend to forget that there are other people looking and listening in.

However, if you want to talk about someone posting pictures of girls from work on the Internet, here's a prime example that meow posted in another group - www.flickr.com/photos/firecopbill/

It's kinda creepy.
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cmrowell 11 years ago
Minors don't have any exceptions under your rights to photograph people in public, at least according to that Photographer's Rights pamphlet floating around. The smart-ass remarks might be grounds for slander or something, but that would be a weak case. You could remove your original title and warn Nose Nose to be careful what he says. I wouldn't think that you are liable for his comments, though. Just as easy to make it private, unless you are interested in forging new legal ground.

There has been articles recently saying that it is very common now for future employers to check up on your online activities.
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TheDamnMushroom 11 years ago
M: Apparently I'm not your friend. I'm so shattered! :-D

cmr: A couple of the jobs I've seen listed were for exactly that -- the part of HR that Googles prospective candidates. My given name and the email address on my resume are not associated with Flickr, but it can be said they're not so far distinct that looking for one string wouldn't possibly find the other. Hmm, wondered why I haven't had any callbacks lately... :)

wskrz: Not to defend FireCopBill (who is an upstanding yet non-photo-posting member of a group I moderate), but those are all badge headshots. Be concerned if they were candids of his coworkers bending over... but we're only seeing what's publicly available, indeed. The real question is whether those coworkers know their photos are in his profile. They could.
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cmrowell 11 years ago
I was trying to see if that photo was cached on google. I was searching for "malingering" "teenage" "boobs", which is something I probably couldn't get away with if I worked at a larger company. Anyway, I came across a discussion about Malingering's photos with some legal aspects. I thought it was interesting that this one person says it isn't libel when you say things that are true, eg. that a person is wearing uggs and asswriting, or in this case that the person went out with their boobs showing. Not that I'd get legal advice from a discussion like this. I'm kind of amazed that these kinds of discussions go on elsewhere. Mal really is quite famous in that regard.

monkeyfilter.com/link.php/12191
wskrz PRO 11 years ago
Interesting discussion. I wonder how many of those people in that thread are now regulars here? :-)

It would also be very interesting to actually get some real legal opinion on all this. I wouldn't want to have to pay for it though.
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wildlifeuplift Posted 11 years ago. Edited by wildlifeuplift (admin) 11 years ago
Flickr search results:

We couldn't find any photos matching malingering and teenage and boobs. Would you like to try a search for photos about girl, mutant, ninja, portrait or turtles instead?
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BOCTAOE PRO 11 years ago
Truth is not always a defense for libel. Considering how much blogging is going on now, there are certainly numerous cases that do not bode well for electronic freedom of speech.
If I can re-discover the legal site I used to do some research, and any references to existing cases, I can post links to them if you're REALLY interested.
A lot of it depends on where the libel suit is brought to court. Some states will allow truth as a defense, some consider whether the intent was to injure the person. In other words, even though it's true that doesn't mean you can broadcast it to the world.

Bill S.
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cmrowell 11 years ago
The wiki on slander and libel has better information. It mentions that doing harm is the issue and not always whether it was truth or not (especially in the cases of opinions). Sounds complicated.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slander_and_libel

Most of the cases that have hit the news lately were based on patterns of harrasment, not one-off photos or comments. For instance, picking on a particular individual in a blog over and over again. But, you never know. Lots of people with money in LA and no shortage of lawyers.
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Malingering 11 years ago
Yeah, I'm mostly worried about some rich kid's irritable parents, which is why the "minor" thing worries me.

Our Wall Street Journal friend wrote her article and brought up some of this... if you have a Wall Street Journal log-in.

Otherwise, here's the full text:

The Snoop Next Door
Bad parking, loud talking -- no transgression is too trivial to document online. Our reporter on new Web sites for outing fellow citizens.
By JENNIFER SARANOW
January 12, 2007; Page W1

Last month, Eva Burgess was eating breakfast at the Rose Cafe in Venice, Calif., when she remembered she needed to make an appointment with her eye doctor. So the New York theater director got on her cellphone and booked a date.

Almost immediately, she started receiving "weird and creepy" calls directing her to a blog. There, under the posting "Eva Burgess Is Getting Glasses!" her name, cellphone number and other details mentioned in her call to the doctor's office were posted, along with the admonition, "next time, you might take your business outside." The offended blogger had been sitting next to Ms. Burgess in the cafe.
[snoop]
The dawn patrol: Tim Halberg filmed a newspaper-stealing neighbor, then put the video online.

It used to be the worst you could get for a petty wrong in public was a rude look. Now, it's not just brutal police officers, panty-free celebrities and wayward politicians who are being outed online. The most trivial missteps by ordinary folks are increasingly ripe for exposure as well. There is a proliferation of new sites dedicated to condemning offenses ranging from bad parking (Caughtya.org) and leering (HollaBackNYC.com) to littering (LitterButt.com) and general bad behavior (RudePeople.com). One site documents locations where people have failed to pick up after their dogs. Capturing newspaper-stealing neighbors on video is also an emerging genre.

Helping drive the exposés are a crop of entrepreneurs who hope to sell advertising and subscriptions. One site that lets people identify bad drivers is about to offer a $5 monthly service, for people to register several of their own plate numbers and receive notices if they are cited by other drivers. But the traffic and commercial prospects for many of the sites are so limited that clearly there is something else at work.

The embrace of the Web to expose trivial transgressions in part represents a return to shame as a check on social behavior, says Henry Jenkins, director of the comparative media studies program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Some academics believe shame became less powerful as a control over everyday interactions with strangers in all but very small neighborhoods or social groups, as people moved to big cities or impersonal suburbs where they existed more anonymously.

The sites documenting minor wrongs are the flip side of an online vigilantism movement that tackles meatier social issues. Community organization Cop Watch Los Angeles encourages users to send in stories and pictures of people being brutalized or harassed by police, for posting on the Web. The governor of Texas plans to launch a site this year that will air live video of the border, in hopes that people will watch and report illegal crossings. In a trial run in November, the site received more than 14,000 emails. Tips included spottings of individuals swimming in the Rio Grande, a person wearing a large white hat and a "wild" boy at the border. In China, Web postings have become a powerful social weapon, used to rally thousands of people to hound a man who allegedly had an affair with a married woman.

An Anonymous Tip

For people singled out, the sites can represent an unsettling form of street justice, with no due process. Chris Roth's driving skills have been roundly criticized online by self-anointed traffic monitors. "This man needs his license revoked," wrote one poster, who accused Mr. Roth of cutting in and out. Another charged him with driving on a shoulder and having the audacity to "flip off" an old lady who wouldn't let him cut in.

Mr. Roth found the critiques when an anonymous writer added a comment to his MySpace profile in late November directing him to PlateWire, one of the handful of new sites devoted to bad driving. There, a user had posted Mr. Roth's license-plate information -- his vanity plate reads "IDRVFAST" -- and complained about his reckless driving style. Subsequent posters found and listed his full name, cellphone number and link to his MySpace page, as well as comments like "big jerk" and "meathead." (He has no idea how they found his information.)
[snoop]
Chris Roth was criticized by anonymous posters on one site for his driving skills.

"There is no accountability. You can just go online and say whatever you want whether it's factual or not," says the 37-year-old Mr. Roth, of Raleigh, N.C., who works in technology sales. He admits he is an impatient driver and speeds, but he has no plans to change his driving style based on posts by anonymous commentators. "Who are they to decide what is safe or not?" he says.

If you type "ycantpark" into photo-sharing site Flickr, there are about 200 photos of bad parking jobs at Yahoo Inc.'s Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters. The company says the posts were started anonymously around 2005 by employees disgruntled with the parking situation. During that year, Yahoo hired more than 2,100 new employees, and finding a parking space become difficult. "I don't want to have my car posted up there so I definitely think twice about how I park," says Yahoo spokeswoman Heidi Burgett.

The digital age allows critics to quickly find a fair amount of information about their targets. One day last November, at about 11:30 a.m., a blog focused on making New York streets more bike-friendly posted the license plate number of an SUV driver who allegedly accelerated from a dead stop to hit a bicycle blocking his way.

At 1:16 p.m., someone posted the registration information for the license plate, including the SUV owner's name and address. (The editor of the blog thinks the poster got the information from someone who had access to a license-plate look-up service, available to lawyers, private investigators and police.) At 1:31 p.m., another person added the owner's occupation, his business's name and his title. Ten minutes later, a user posted a link to an aerial photo of the owner's house. Within another hour, the posting also included the accused's picture and email address.

The SUV's owner, Ian Goldman, the chief executive of Celerant Technology Corp. in the New York City borough of Staten Island, declined to comment for this article. According to an email exchange posted on the blog, Mr. Goldman said that he had lent the vehicle in question to a relative with "an urgent medical situation" and that he was not aware of any incident. The alleged victim has decided to drop the matter since the damage to the bicycle, which he was standing next to at the time, was under $20. Last month, Aaron Naparstek, editor of the blog, says he removed Mr. Goldman's home and email addresses from the site after receiving a "lawyerly cease and desist" email asking that the whole posting be deleted.

Other sites have also received complaints asking that posts be removed. Most say they will remove identifying information like phone numbers or full names when it comes to their attention or if asked. Yet lawyers say alleged wrongdoers shamed online typically have little legal recourse under libel and privacy laws if the accusations in postings are true, if they are posters' opinions about behavior witnessed in a public place and if the personal information listed is available to the public. "It becomes very difficult when it comes to the shaming sites in terms of what you can do in creating a case," says Daniel Solove, an associate professor of law at George Washington University Law School, who is working on a book about gossiping, shaming and privacy on the Internet.

Caughtya.org hosts pictures of cars illegally parked in handicapped spaces. (Other objects qualify, too; one photo from Plano, Texas, is called "Big Rubber Chicken parked in accessible parking spaces.") Playground snoops can log onto the five-month-old Isaw-yournanny.blogspot.com, where users have posted details about nannies committing misdeeds, like feeding children Ho Hos.

Few Postings

Some of the sites are attracting little attention. Caughtya.org lists fewer than 10 U.S. infractions, RudePeople.com has about six stories of rudeness and Irate-Driver.com has none.

Many ask for donations to cover costs, but some owners are hoping to make money. Mark Buckman launched PlateWire in May after almost getting run off the road a few months earlier by several drivers, including one who was looking in his backseat and steering with his leg. The site now lists nearly 25,000 license-plate numbers, chastised for moves like tailgating with brights on and driving too slowly in the left lane. To drum up revenue, Mr. Buckman recently added advertising and an online store with branded merchandise. Users in about 15 states can also pay $2 to have a postcard sent to an offending driver, directing the accused to the site. He plans to launch another site this year that will allow people to rate and complain about local businesses and individuals. "If I can create jobs and create an empire that would be awesome, but my main goal is to make a Web site that can actually make real world changes," Mr. Buckman says.

Yahoo photo site Flickr has an "I hate stupid people" group that focuses on shots of regular people parking or dressing badly, among other misdeeds. It has nearly 60 members, as does the similar "Jerks" group, for pictures of "neighbor cats pooping on your lawn" or SUVs parked in compact spots. On Google Inc.'s YouTube, users have contributed videos of minor wrongs, like people cutting in line. On the blogs, one poster refers to this new form of revenge as "blogslapping," a word that previously just referred to when one blogger criticizes another's blog.

Caught on Tape

After Tim Halberg's Santa Barbara [Calif.] News-Press didn't show up on his doorstep for six days straight last March, he grabbed his camera and launched a stakeout. He stayed up all night waiting for the newspaper to arrive. When it did, he attached a note declaring, "I'm watching you! Don't ever steal my paper again," and left it on the driveway. Then he waited with his front door open a crack to catch the thief. The robed culprit: His neighbor at the time, a man who looks to be in his 50s. Mr. Halberg captured him on video walking up to the paper, reading the note and walking away.

Mr. Halberg never approached the neighbor about the issue directly, but he found four of the older newspapers in front of his house the next day. The 26-year-old wedding photographer posted the video on YouTube, where it's been viewed more than 850 times.

Online shaming is happening across the world, with several well-publicized cases in China. Last fall, one blogger posted photos and the license plate number of a Beijing driver who got out of his car and threw aside the bicycle of a woman blocking his way. The driver was quickly identified by Internet vigilantes and soon apologized on television for his behavior. And on a popular Web site last year, after one husband accused a student of having an affair with his wife, other users posted the student's phone number and other personal details. After that, groups of people showed up at his university and parents' home, according to some reports. The student denied the affair.

Some suggest that public shaming could be used here as a tool for social betterment. In a paper in the November issue of the New York University Law Review, Lior Strahilevitz, a law professor at the University of Chicago, suggested that roads would be safer if every car had a "How's My Driving?" placard on the bumper asking other drivers to report bad behavior.

The neighbor-as-Big-Brother approach is already being deployed offline. Since August, spectators at Cincinnati Bengals home games have been able to call 513-381-JERK to complain about rowdy fans. When a call comes in, security zooms in on the area with stadium cameras, confirms there's a problem and dispatches security. Initially, the hotline was receiving more than 100 calls a game, about 75% of which were crank calls. Reports were recently down to about 40 a game, with less than 25% being crank calls.

Posting a snarky message online is often safer than confronting bad behavior face to face. "You never know how people are going to react in person," says Scott Terry, 32, who works in advertising in Chicago. Last spring, he posted a photo on Flickr of a "cell phone bus yapper" who disrupted his morning commute. The caption: "Can't you use your inside voice?"

For others, posting can be revenge enough. In April, Grace Davis, 51, a stay-at-home mom in Santa Cruz, Calif., captured a "pushy customer" wearing a Hermès-like scarf and black sunglasses while ordering around sales people at Molinari Delicatessen in San Francisco with words like "gimme." Ms. Davis posted the photo online and wrote "Not nice! No fresh Molinari raviolis for you, madam" over the woman's face. "I can just happily walk away," says Ms. Davis, "because as we say in New Age Santa Cruz, 'It's out in the universe now.'"


Props to cmrowell's stupid people group.
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Malingering 11 years ago
P.S. TDM: I have you listed as a friend, not sure why you can't see it.
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TheDamnMushroom 11 years ago
M: I'm seeing it now. Maybe it was a "Flickr hiccup". Thanks for checking. Also, thanks for the WSJ article -- I think someone went over the line with the woman making the optometrist appointment, as well as the one where everything but the guy's shoe size wound up online, but the other incidents bore documentation. And props to "I Hate Stupid People" which I've been a member of for a long time. :) I'm kinda surprised your stream didn't wind up in the article. LOL!

Oh, and to answer the original question of this discussion:
It's been up for some time and you haven't received any hatemail or cease-and-decist orders from the girl's family. She may be showing too much skin and be under eighteen, but she's not fully showing off The Parts that anyone would call exploitative, and obviously she was out in public like this -- you were far from the only person to see her like this and you likely weren't the only one who took a picture. So as far as I can tell, the photo can stay because it breaks no actual laws. If the girl or her mother have an issue with her being here, they should also have an issue with her dressing like that in public.
Adventures of Tintin 11 years ago
i can see it now too. thanks for adding me as a friend, mal! your photostream is the best!
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cmrowell 11 years ago
I asked that reporter to e-mail me when the article came out. She didn't. I haven't had time to read the article yet, but thanks for including it here, Mal.

There was a news story recently about some school teacher who got caught videotaping girls wrestling matches. Everyone was fully clothed, obviously, but that state has a law against videotaping for sexual arousal, which is what they thought this was since the guy was zooming in on crotches, etc. Pretty vague law, but interesting.

Here's one article about it:
www.pantagraph.com/articles/2007/01/12/news/doc45a7b25e0a...
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TheDamnMushroom Posted 11 years ago. Edited by TheDamnMushroom (admin) 11 years ago
cmr: I heard about that on the nightly news yesterday but didn't catch the story. I was not aware that there was ANY school district that offered girls' wrestling, but live and learn...

> Ware's school, Garland Lakeview Centennial High School,
> was not entered the wrestling tournament.
That would be your first clue something was amiss...

Brings to mind the time the school newspaper (big school so its paper was on newsprint and about the size of your average smalltown paper) had a full-page spread of wrestling photos, in the expected wrestling action poses, and the only caption on the page was "This is how we do it." Uh, um, thanks for the gay sex ed tutorial...

After reading the WSJ article above, I picked my local paper up off the porch and there was an abbreviated reprint.
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cmrowell Posted 11 years ago. Edited by cmrowell (admin) 11 years ago
Finally read the article. Interesting. I like that it mentions that there is little legal recourse for shaming in most cases. Maybe something good will come out of us making fun of Ugg boots. Agreed that some of it goes too far. No one has ever looked up a license plate and posted personal info on any of Mal's photos. I'm too busy crafting smart-ass comments to bother with that kind of vengence. Maybe I'll be less of a wuss now. I had been backing off a bit lately on the more vicious comments.

My "I Hate Stupid People" group was really for bad behaviour and not necessarily bad dress, but whatever. It's open to interpretation. I need to look at that group again. It's been a while. I deleted a bunch of spam-like photos for t-shirts a while back. The t-shirts were funny and said things like "I Hate Stupid" people, but I didn't want that kind of thing in there. It's against flickr policy to sell stuff anyway.

Oops, I did have "stupid fashion" listed on the I Hate Stupid People group description.
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You're famous--I expect to hear you interviewed on NPR sometime sooon.
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TheDamnMushroom 11 years ago
NPR person: "Tell me, you founded a group called 'I Hate Stupid People'. What is the group about?"

CMR: "Mind if I take your picture?"
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cmrowell 11 years ago
I'm sort of glad the reporter didn't use my name. She wanted it for some reason. I wonder if it will increase traffic in that group. Seeing Malingering's photos inspired me to create the group. I had some of my own, too. I didn't realize there were already some similar groups out there, like Jerks and WTF.
wskrz PRO 11 years ago
My pictures in the group have been getting a lot more views since the article.
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TheDamnMushroom 11 years ago
I haven't been paying close attention but I did notice a couple photos from way-back suddenly getting fav'd/commented and wondered why people were trolling the depths. :)
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cmrowell 11 years ago
Interesting. Wonder if it will ever be one of flickr's "groups we've noticed"? Yeah, doubt it.
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wildlifeuplift 11 years ago
I sincerely doubt that, considering they've only noticed the same ten or twelve groups over the last six months.
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TheDamnMushroom Posted 11 years ago. Edited by TheDamnMushroom (admin) 11 years ago
One or two of the featured groups closed to new posts, so you could call them "living dead". And one for sure (Squared Circle) was created by a foundr of Flickr.
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cmrowell 11 years ago
That's funny. I thought I noticed that those featured groups were always the same.
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meowhous the iconoclast PRO Posted 11 years ago. Edited by meowhous the iconoclast (admin) 11 years ago
No, no, really--they change! Some are there more frequently than others. You folks just aren't as obsessive about going to your "Groups" page as I am...
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cmrowell 11 years ago
That could be true. I never noticed the "Recipes to Share" or "Public Space and its Discontents" groups before.

I'm trying to be better about my groups. I used to think of them as drudgery because I would view every photo in them. I still do that with the smaller one's, but typically I just glance at the thumbnails to make sure things are on-topic. Much quicker.
Groups Beta