Flickr + unconditional surrender

Today the account of “9th life” was deleted by flickr management without mentioning any violations he might have committed. So my only guess is, he might he have written too many mails criticising the staff. Now, that would be a poor performance as flickr encourages discussions on their site among members but does not allow criticism on the management.

Below you find the letter I wrote to flickr before.
For more information see the correspondence that 42n81 keeps for a couple of hours without any result:

to express your own protest use the flickr help link:

9th life has an account on fotolog:


deleting the account of „9th life“

Madams and Sirs,
I know there is the liberty of free speech, but there are also the ' Terms of Use' I agreed with by creating my account. Today I realised I sold one of my most important rights for 24,95 U.S. Dollars.
Nevertheless I feel the urgent desire expressing my opinion with the risk loosing my account within 48 hours.

Your former client “9th life” quoted on his flickr page an email sent by Ms. Heather Champ, Community Manager at Flickr’s, as follows:

"9th Life,

Your continued dis(s)atisfaction with Flickr leads me to
believe that you would be more comfortable in another
online photography community. We are terminating your account.

Heather Champ
Community Manager, Flickr"

Now, my English is unfortunately not good enough to articulate my deeply felt alienation.
Of course, at first I tried to look at it on a positive way:
what a terrific service. The personnel cares about the client’s well being. Furthermore the personnel even takes over to think about a solution how the client would feel better and starts immediately with the solution of the supposed problem. Can you demand more from a service? Probably not in an American way of service thinking.
However, I am German, and this behaviour reminds me of some of the darkest moments of the younger American history. Only a very few years ago major U.S. media as well as the government did not want to think or discuss their people about what their government was going to do abroad. Critical comments on the government politics have been suppressed, discussions did not happen, the truth had no chance. All major media followed the president’s theme: Either you are with us or against us. Meanwhile some U.S. people have learned a bit. Flickr management apparently not !!!
The email from Ms. Champ states a assumed dissatisfaction, but listed no violation committed by “9th life”. So the only reason for deleting his account is supposed to be a lack of faith and loyalty of her client into her abilities. Or let me say clearly: Flickr demands the unconditional surrender to their company politics, and clients without unconditional loyalty are kicked out.

Maybe I am wrong. In this case you should be able to give a reasonable explanation why 9th life’s account termination was absolutely inevitable.
Meanwhile I am going to save my pictures.

I remain respectfully yours
An Widderson
Voodoo Zebra 10 years ago
who gives a damn? i have better things to do than get deeply involved with your "protest" but at first glance i'd have to agree with management's decision.

try this at home: go to a bar/restaurant/store and sit/stand/squat around bitching about the service and see how long it takes them to kick you out. Then stand out in front of the place protesting to anyone who'll listen about how you were "wronged by the management" for not being allowed to bitch about their service.

Then answer me this question: what happens first, A: you affect a positive change in your targeted managerial enterprise or B: you get arrested for disturbing the peace?
Romain Su [deleted] 10 years ago
It's frightening ... I use to reproach to this kind of service to be too unpersonal, which isn't the case of Flickr (do you know any website which displays "Flickr is having a massage" when it is down ?) and that's one of the reasons why I choose it.

Anyway I'm quite shocked by this "too human" reaction which isn't very "commercial" and looks to be a bit too much based on personal feelings.

You are right about this last sentence ... it isn't very nice :-/

I don't know very well what happened between this guy and Flickr but thank you by advance to keep us tuned.
wirehead PRO 10 years ago
Freedom of speech?

You use this phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means.
sbpoet PRO
Just a reminder that none of us actually know what led to this decision. It would be consistent with previous Flickr staff behavior for them to maintain the privacy of the customer, even if not doing so would entirely vindicate Flickr.

In fact, it is none of our business why Flickr deleted this account.
exactly right, sbpoet
Voodoo Zebra 10 years ago
BTW: your letter looks fake, all the red text has a slightly different colored background than the rest of the page. for that matter this whole letter looks like it was copied and pasted, old-school style, like with scissors and elmer's glue, next time pay more attention to the details.
emdot PRO 10 years ago
It seems as if you are hassling the Flickr Staff. At least give them a minimum of 24 hours to respond. Imagine if everybody expected such a fast response, they would never get anything done.
' Terms of Use'
General Conditions
We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time.

I paid for my account, so one should think I have some rights. But all my rights count nothing with the quoted part of terms of use.

Flickr can kick you off whenever they want !!!

I do not want to know details of 9th life case. But they should be able to say if there were serious violations on the terms of use or if they just were in the mood to get rid of a member that cares too much.

It is midnight here, good night.


@ Voodoo Zebra:
I posted a picture from my page, my letter to the management is at the end of my first post.
@ emdot:
several members who sent protest mails have already got replies. Flickr is not willing to comment in any way. Go to the account of 42n81
[bailed out of thread]
emdot PRO
widderson, i read the photos you linked to. you say that flickr refuses to comment but i read a reply from heather champ to those harrassing email.
Lexinatrix PRO 10 years ago
I'm with sbpoet on this one. We don't know the full story, so I will not be contacting Flickr.

Besides, barraging Flickr with emails will only cause them to respond even more slowly because they will have to wade through tons of emails.
Mαciomhαir 10 years ago
I kind of trust Flickr on this one. They are incredibly liberal and tollerant, so I can only assume they have an extremely good reason. They're in a position to judge correctly, we are not. They certainly don't need a deluge of e-mails every 45 mins expecting an immediate response.
I moved... [deleted] 10 years ago
nine lives used up ehh - wonder what happened to the other eight?

(sniggers to self and quietly shuffles out of the room)
Anders Östberg 10 years ago
Another annoying whiner. Good riddance.
chicawhappa 10 years ago
I would be interested in knowing exactly what it was that 9th life did - was he spamming the hell out them on their flickrmails/personal emails? Or did he like, complain in the forums? what did he complain about? did he post horrible photos that loads of folks marked as "may offend"?

If the ToS says that flickr mgt. has the right to terminate any account at any time then I am not questioning this right of theirs, after all we agree to the ToS while signing up, so it's okay.

However, I am curious what it is that makes the mgt. terminate the account of someone who I (atleast) have not seen being loud and obnoxious or insulting. Normally those people are seen or heard about even by someone who doesn't read every forum post in every group sooner or later.
curlsdiva 10 years ago
I too am inclined to trust flickr on this. I perceive them to be fair-minded, normal, occasionally fallible human beings and nobody can ask for more than that. And actually I don't want to know the details of why 9th life had his/her account terminated.

Personally, I'm sick to death of people banging on and on about 'their rights' on the internet and using such things as photo forums for petty politicking.

The world and everything in it doesn't run exactly to our individual desired specifications and that's just how it is - get real and get used to it is my view.
Phil Nesmith 10 years ago
If you want to know why 9th Life was terminated, ask 9th Life. I'd hope that flickr staff would have more class than to hang every person's dirty laundry out to air when they terminate an account.

AS far as the TOS saying "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time." That's fairly standard issue, and so far I've not seen any abuse of power over it. If you think they are, then leave. Or stay and hope you don't piss them off too :)
chicawhappa 10 years ago
well me being the way I am, the probability of pissing the powers that be are fairly high ; )

Fortunately this doesn't make me lose any sleep - I guess if i get *terminated* I'll just have to find some other place to hang out!!
fishlamp [deleted] 10 years ago
It's not our business. Here's the way I really like it:

(me) *flying*
@widderson: Not to pile on here, but you mentioned that because you paid for an account here, you should have some rights. Quite right -- you should have lots of rights. In fact, you *do* have lots of rights; those rights are described in great detail in the Terms of Use agreement into which you entered when you became a member of the Flickr service. If you felt that the Terms of Use described terms that were not palatable to your own sense of right and wrong, you were free to reject them and use one of the many other available services designed to allow the sharing of images. Instead, you chose Flickr.

Please spare us your latter-day angst about the specifics of an agreement that you entered freely and voluntarily. And until someone steps forward with actual specifics about why a particular user's account was terminated, please cease and desist from your faux-free speech arguments concerning Flickr's alleged censorship. You do a disservice to genuine issues of censorship and free speech, and you make yourself look like a fool.

Hmm. Now that I re-read this post, I suppose I *am* piling on.

So be it.
P!ndaro PRO 10 years ago
This looks like the guy that makes loud noises at the cinema complaining because his seat is uncofortable.

What would you do?
Would you be happy if the cinema staff takes him out?
or would you shout that hey let him stay?

now, let's take some pictures
"I used up all my vanity and innocence" - ray LaMontagne

I trust flickr too. My experience observing both heather and flickr is that they are liberal and cool...9 lives may not be~ but hard to know, not knowing 9lives. Hmmmmm(thinking hard), I gotta trust the powers that be here and that sounds funny coming from *me*.

two points I agree's not my business *and* "i got my own stuff to do". dare I say, this isn't about nazi's (official end of thread, I've heard).
sbpoet PRO 10 years ago
wirehead PRO 10 years ago
Ah, but the corrilary to Goodwin's law is that intentionally mentioning the nazis doesn't end a thread.
Brian T Wright 10 years ago
From one of 42n81's latest photos: "We want a committee or panel to review Terminations and that Panel or Committee should include active Flickr members."

This reminds me of the union organizing effort from a few months back.

To all my Flickrfriends - don't let Flickr become more important to your life than it should be. Flickr is a business providing a service for a fee. It is a place to share photos, chat with people, and be entertained.

But, please, the membership fee does not make you a shareholder.
sherah 10 years ago
HEY...i want some pie too!
Eric Eggertson 10 years ago
I don't see any problem with people raising issues about the Terms of Use. Yes, people agree to them when they activate an account, but that activation takes place under a wide variety of circumstances, and may not involve a lawyer and a magnifying glass.

If, on reflection, someone thinks Flickr should take a second look at its Terms of Use, it's no big deal. Post something in Flickr Ideas, with a suggested change. If everyone who complained about something on Flickr was crapped all over and told to shut up, then Flickr would stagnate from lack of input. We're talking about a service that's still in Beta, so it would be surprising if there weren't some things about Flickr that could be improved.
Yer Sister 10 years ago
I don't know what this guy did to get kicked out, but the point here, is flickr is a business. It is not a democracy. It may look act and feel like a community (which it is) and yes, it has (several) very human faces in the administration, which it is such a successful community and why I love it so.

I'd imagine they had to have a pretty good reason for deleting someone's account. I'd also imagine that more than one person made the decision to do so, with much discussion.

But the bottom line is that the website on which this community exists is a business owned by a rather large corporation. They do have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. And they have the right to make the Terms of Service anything they like. You agree to the TOS when you sign on. If you don't agree to them, don't sign on. It's that simple.
Patrick.T 10 years ago
i can't be bothered to read everyone's comment so it might have already been said.

one of the many reasons i love flickr is that the staff always seem to be working for us to improve all the time, not cos they want to make a buck but becuase they enjoy the whole thing. and if 9th life didn't respect that good on them for kicking him. he can do whatever he want's, just because he can't do it here now doesn't mean anyone has curtailed his rights.
styler* PRO 10 years ago
well said patrick
gabriel paulus [deleted]
Well, my two cents are this. If it's harrassment that he is guilty of, then he SHOULD have his account deleted as harrassment is unacceptable ANYWHERE. It's completely different from "freedom of speech." However, I DO think that he should be notified as to WHY he was kicked out. WE don't need to be notified though because it's none of our business. If 9thlife wants to come back under a different account and tell people about why he was kicked out, if he ever finds out, that's his choice. This is supposed to be a web site where photographers can share their photos and experiences, and even make some friends. It makes things different when things get personal. But again, I don't know why he was kicked off and frankly, I don't care much. There's no way in hell that I will protest this as I cherish MY Flickr account WAY too much. I'm outie.
sandrino PRO 10 years ago
C'mon people wake up and smell the developer fluid! Flickr is obviously up to no good. I am sure that they are part of the tri-lateral commision and they are secretly planning to take over the world and corrupt our precious bodily fluids.

We all need to run out in the street right now and tell everyone, whether they care or not, that Flickr is evil and that it needs to be stopped. Nothing else in your life or anyone else's matters more than this. If you don't act now you will find worse things than fluor in your water. Speak now or forever lose your right to be a freaking, mouth breathing, drooling, nutcase!

Get a life! Find something important to get worked up about. Right now your government is torturing people who are not represented by an attorney and have no hope of being released or even being told what they are being charged with. Right now soldiers are dying in Iraq because George W. Bush lied to the American people about Iraq having WMD. Because of this lie thousands of American soldiers have died and thousands more have been wounded. Tens of thousans of Iraqi people have died because we invaded their country. That's something real to get upset about.

What happened between 9th life and Flickr is not our business. Flickr doesn't owe us an explanation. That's between 9th life and Flickr.

Nuff said.
jasonmontague 10 years ago
this is ridiculous! what sort of bond must you have with a member to launch a huge digital protest to call attention to the deletion of an account?

everyone will move on, and no one will care.
Emiko Hime 10 years ago
"BTW: your letter looks fake, all the red text has a slightly different colored background than the rest of the page. for that matter this whole letter looks like it was copied and pasted, old-school style, like with scissors and elmer's glue, next time pay more attention to the details."

I agree with Voodoo Zebra PRO
Flickr is a privately owned, for-profit enterprise. It is not a family, a school, or a government.

Sufficient reason exists to drop an account as soon as the account represents a loss in business terms. Terms of service will always leave the provider room to do this.

Consider: a customer pays a company $25. The company then pays an employee $10 an hour to monitor forums and address problems.

One customer starts generating a disproportionate amount of mail the employee has to handle, public accusations the employee has dispel, and aggravations that make other customers less inclined to use the service. As soon as these problems take up three hours of employee time, the business has lost money. An account that brought in $25 has cost $30.

The only question left for the provider is whether the account might still make money in the long run. If the customer's mood becomes more cordial, the account stays open because a renewal will turn around the balance. If the customer threatens more behaviors of the same kind, the account is terminated.

Companies can't afford to keep resource-draining accounts active. Doing so only drives up the cost of the service for everyone else.

That's the math. It's a business.
suzanne† PRO 10 years ago
there's nothing to disagree with (most) of you here:
-the TOS..
-we all signed-up..
-its a business..
-harrassment is bad..
-Flickr staff has no obligation to devulge info on private emails between them and a customer..

there is so, so very much more going on outside of the front of a computer screen.........

to shed some light on the situation,
9th_life makes his point here

gabriel paulus [deleted] 10 years ago
It sounds like he didn't want to be here anyway so I can now see the reason for his account being deleted. I think enough was said by Heather. It was handled professionally.
What is most interesting about this case, is how it shows that flickr is a microcosm in time. 1 year ago flickr was a small stone age tribe with few people and complete trust in the chief. Today there is a cry for democracy, and development-wise we have reached the end of the 19th century. Several thousand years of development in just a year. The renaissance must have happened on a thursday... :-)

Seriosly, flickr is looked upon as a community, it is marketed as a community, we praise the community-feel of the place, and many people, myself included, spend a lot of time here. It can not come as a surprise to anyone, that the demand is coming for the social mechanisms we are used to in communities, for instance democracy and transparency in the leadership.
styler* PRO 10 years ago
we never trusted stewart
Yogi 10 years ago
Yeah, he was kinda creepy with all his "I love you guys" stuff.
Gary Jones PRO 10 years ago
"Today I realised I sold one of my most important rights for 24,95 U.S. Dollars."

You blew any credibility right there, and I didn't even bother to read the rest.
ThenAndAgain 10 years ago
well, I never spoke with the guy, nor did I ever see his photographs.

But, from his reply, he seems like a self righteous, arrogant ass spouting off random remarks trying to devalue flickr in his own mind so he can come to terms with the action taken against him.

Anyways, that's how I read it =\
Good points, Damiel.

Gary Jones, why does he lose credibility for that statement? Can you explain? I'm confused...

Thenandagain, I'd say after reading 9th life's comment, that he seems to be one of those annoying self-appointed morality policemen - on the other hand maybe he's not completely unjustified in wondering why 13 year olds have access to 18+ images...
because, chicawappa, that comment is a complete fallacy-no one lost one of their most important rights. it's a complete misunderstanding of the facts.
Geir Halvorsen 10 years ago
His sentence is not correct: He did not "sell" his rights for 24,95. He "bought" a space in a place where he feel he does not have the rights he ought to have.

But please do not gag a person over bad rethoric. His point is quite clear, isn't it?
Gertrud K. PRO 10 years ago
I agree with nearly all things posted in this thread besides christyscherrer's nazi pie!

I'm really tired of hearing/reading the word nazi alwys if someone from Germany does/says/writes something people from other countries don't like. Today internet sites from nazis are protected by freedom of speech in the USA while they are banned and switched off in Germany. There are nazis in nearly ALL western countries.
Fred Zepplin [deleted] 10 years ago
So, what was "9th Life" about? No one states what it was about, even the guy who complains.

And, Sandria, I say we torture more people, and kill more people in Iraq, too.

My God, do people like you ever stop whining?
*edit*: deleted because I decided I couldn't be arsed getting involved.

I like Pie.
teotwawki PRO
What surprises me is that '9th Life' was dealt with so calmly by the Flickr staff, when he had accused them of exploiting children and encouraging paedophiles. I think they should be applauded for their tolerance, under the circumstances. The right to freedom of expression doesn't equate to a license to peddle malicious, false accusations.
this whole thread is creepy.
sandrino PRO 10 years ago
Fred Zepplin, The name is Sandrino.

I hope that neither you or any member of your family or friend is ever tortured. The US used to be able to claim the moral high ground. Now we are at the same level as countries like Syria who routinely torture people. Instead of being known for exporting democracy now we are exporting torture. Hopefully none of our soldiers will ever be tortured in retribution for our own government's lack of judgement.
Try exporting democracy to syria, tell me how that works out for you.

Oh, and this discussion is banal. Flickr had every right to end this guy's account. (that's a full-stop.)
Fred Zepplin [deleted] 10 years ago
Sandrina, why not just change your name to "Bozo". It fits better. You're just another idiot who wants to destroy American from within. Those people in GITMO are living better than most people in the US. Truly, I think we should torture them. Why not export yourself? It's obvious you hate the US since you'd defend the killers of children.

I'm off this group forever now. The smell is more like shit that photographic chemical, and that smell comes from low lifes like you.
ok... I think we need to make an amendment to the "comparison to nazi" rule (can't remember its given name)... Anyways, you should tack on whenever someone compares a situation to some misfortunes that have arisen in this world due to GW.

Honestly, torture, indecency, and all that rot have absolutely no bearing on this situation. By purchasing the account you must agree to the terms of service. And I guarnatee you that flickr is not the only company that resevers the right to refuse service. In fact, any service providing organization has that clause in their TOS. The fact of the matter is, no one cares to read the TOS nor take it seriously until it gets in their way.

9th life did not sell his rights. He simply agreed that while using this service, provided by ludicorp/yahoo, he does not have the final say so in who stays and who goes.
it looks like 9th life used up one more of its lives. the heck with him, he needs to calm down a little bit. and agree with Sandrino that maybe he needs to employ his endless passion to something other than the evelness that is flickr(joking, don't take my account too :)

but It also worries me that Sandrino, one who allways has mindful posts, comes up with the minute weaknesses of the as the worst our species is currently enrolled with. not that we should be headed this way but, we at the US have ways to go:

intresting that, Fred Zepplin, could also use a deep breath of fresh air, calm down people...
I think this is ridiculous.

No one likes a whiner, Flickr included.
Jasper Lesterhuis 10 years ago
This has got quite a big discussion going on.. Let's all go out and take pics shall we...?
ThenAndAgain 10 years ago
pictures of pie!
quoo 10 years ago
blueberry pie?
bitterlysweet 10 years ago
is that a joke which the 'joker' wanted to insult Flickr, but himself/herself indeed?
go get pies and pics!
Phil Nesmith 10 years ago
Please close this thread.....what a load of crap.
eating some pie right now!!! closed this should be.
ThenAndAgain 10 years ago
apple pie too!
Pie (pi * e)

intutum 10 years ago
oh lala!
I'm sorry, Gertrude K, for offending you. It was totally distasteful for me to reference nazi and I feel shamed. It is uncomfortable to joke with that subject (and maybe from my name you can see I come from a proud german family), but flickr/internet mentality, and referencing other discussions, was implied in my statement. I will try to speak from the heart without the influence of others. In some lights, yes, any cyber discussion is creepy. I guess the discussion should be closed because it has gotten so heated and off track...yes, pie pie pie pie, it's over.
Anders Östberg 10 years ago
What a stupid discussion. You'd think photographers would have a better sense of proportions... :-)
Dangeresque [deleted] 10 years ago
why is this still being discussed?!

(see Slingerdoo's Law)
Jasonaut PRO 10 years ago
Easy Old Fashioned Blueberry Pie

12 oz. blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup butter
1- 9 inch unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large sauce pan combine blueberries, sugar, flour, and butter; bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer berries for 10 to 15 minutes until thickened. Pour berry mixture into unbaked pie crust. Bake pie for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Everyday Cook Recipes - Old Fashioned Blueberry Pie
sweet distin PRO 10 years ago
R.I.Pienaar 10 years ago
you go into any privately held public place and you'll notice signs saying the right of entry is reserved. if people misbehave they get kicked out, other people in the mall/whatever doesnt get told why and its none of their business.

Its the same online, its an extension of real world not a parallel universe, you harass people you will get what you deserve.

I suspect the person didnt get told why his account got terminated because he knows exactly why, kudos to the flickr management for not entering a flame fest of accusations etc.
Happy Dave 10 years ago
*Gets out his troll gun*

Bang. It's dead. Please leave the thread in an orderly fashion.
RichardLowkes 10 years ago
surely you'd want to make two bangs, just in case
ThenAndAgain 10 years ago
aw hell, throw in a third to throw off any symetry
Trapac PRO
Q - Whose issue is this?
A - It's not an issue, it's a topic!
Q - Whose topic is this?
A - Threads..
Q - Who's Thread?

A - Thread's dead baby, Thread's dead.....
christyscherrer PRO 10 years ago
"zed's dead, baby." I love that movie! Can Bruce be the official "end of thread" now?
This is a really interesting thread about the forces or normalization in Flickr.

People regulate groups anyway by flaming someone in a thread or in their comments and recently the ability to block other users has been added.

In terms of growth, does going from a 'village' to 'metropolis' mean Flickr has to be more regulated and policed?

If so, shouldn't the instances in which an account is deleted be more defined?

The staff member's response has an element of the 'light hearted' flickr language in the almost jokey 'with us or against us' thing. But at the same time I can't help but feel that's unprofessional (too subjective) and the response should have been totally cold with a concise unarguable reason.

I have no doubts about the decision; after reading this user's comments about children, it's clear he is ridiculous. Children make amazing subjects because they don't obey the same rules of social space as adults. Street photography of children is sadly becoming more rare as kids lead more sedentary indoor lives. His comments are very weak, if not laughable. I assume this has been repeated to the point of offense?

Aside from this user more clarification on 'instances' for deletion would be a good thing though...
touching light 10 years ago
Pie in the face! *splat*
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