(1 to 100 of 354 replies)
crazyinthenight 5:31pm, 13 June 2007
As you might have noticed on Explore, there is some protest going on. Sorry for the inconvenience, but we need all your favourites and comments on our photos. Have a look at the associated group, there are some more nice photos, too.

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(1 to 100 of 354 replies)
revertebrate 12 years ago
For those of us under a rock, what is going on?
crazyinthenight 12 years ago
You'll find lots of information linked with the photo above.

Short answer: Since yesterday, german users are blocked from seeing photos which are not marked "safe".
thodue Posted 12 years ago. Edited by thodue (member) 12 years ago
here some more infos:

censorship is shit - everywhere

If your Yahoo! ID is based in Singapore, Germany, Hong Kong or Korea you will only be able to view safe content based on your local Terms of Service so won’t be able to turn SafeSearch off.
In other words that means, that german users can not access photos on flickr that are not flaged "safe" ... only flowers and landscapes for the germans ...
We will not let this happen! Copy and upload this picture to your account - show flickr who we are!


Si votre compte Yahoo! est basé à Singapour, à Hong Kong, en Corée ou en Allemagne, vous ne pourrez voir que les photos qui n'ont pas été marquées comme ayant un contenu qui peut choquer. Toutes les autres ne vous seront pas accessibles. Vous serez donc condamnés à ne voir que des paysages et des fleurs. Il ne faut pas laisser faire ça. Envoyez cette photo sur votre compte pour montrer à Flickr que nous savons nous mobiliser contre la censure !

No sé cuando, pero muy recientemente a las cuentas de Alemania, Hong Kong, Corea y Singapur les han prohibido ver las fotos que están en el Safe Search, las mismas en las que a nosotros nos dan la opcíón de ver o no ver. A ellos simplemente se lo prohiben. Chale no? Para más información ver el grupo: www.flickr.com/groups/againstcensorship/

edited for espanol
Taurec 12 years ago
In short:

Flickr users in Germany must now abide by a more restrictive Yahoo! terms of service (TOS) which does not permit them to view filtered content set to "moderate" or "restricted". The same is also true for Singapore, Hong Kong, and Korea.

Extra Medium 12 years ago
As much as I'm against censorship, it's still Flickrs site, and when signing up, we agree to their rules, and thus, they are able to control the content on their site.
crazyinthenight 12 years ago
@Extra Medium: We did not agree to these rules...
Walwyn 12 years ago
@crazy... you voted for them.
thodue 12 years ago
no, we didn't - they changed the rules without asking.
♥ shhexy corin ♥ 12 years ago
Well, the rules probably contain a rule saying "we can change the rules at any time, without asking"

Not that this isn't fucking shite.
Mαciomhαir Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Mαciomhαir (member) 12 years ago
So, why don't German users register in a different EU country and claim free market rights to purchase as though in that country? Like me buying DVDs from Amazon France, but I'm in the UK. No restrictions on the imports due to the free market.

Edit: Not much good for the other countries, but it should help the Germans a bit?
Walwyn 12 years ago
Germany is the 4th largest flickr community. Do you really think they'll have said hey how can we mess with them? This will be to do with local laws.
funkaoshi 12 years ago
Why protest on Flickr? Protest in *Germany* if you want things to change.
ubiquity_zh Posted 12 years ago. Edited by ubiquity_zh (member) 12 years ago
Why protest on Flickr? For example, because also users who live in a different country (i.e. Switzerland, Austria...) with different laws are affected.
cute calendar [deleted] 12 years ago
I really don't understand how people can say that this is a kind of a local problem for us (old world) Germans. There is no german law that I know that forces flickr to decide wich pictures are good for us and witch are not. This is a kind of censorship made by flickr, which is only legitimated by the fact that it is flickrs playground and they make the rules. It's hard for me to tolerate this.
But I'll wait until there is a kind of official reaction from the f.-team before I start to take consequences.
RubyMae 12 years ago
Enough with battle cry of censorship. It's highly (nay near impossible) that flickr has just randomly decided to limit what German viewers see. It's not a very good business model. Look toward your government for the answer not flickr. Fight the battle where you'll actually get results.

(And my, what a bunch of self-entitled prigs we've all become.)
ubiquity_zh 12 years ago
Well RubyMae, I can't really blame the Swiss government for this?
Jeremy Stockwell 12 years ago
I just wish folks would stop spamming all their group pools with this image. Raise awareness on your own stream -- not in group pools where it doesn't belong.
Dominik Schwind 12 years ago
It's right. They're just not as loud and well connected.. ;)
spotless noise [deleted] 12 years ago
So funny how much solidarity there is among the Flickr-users....not! I cannot believe that this change of rules is based on local German laws, the Germans are the most liberal if it's about free speech and so on in Europe. But all these, especially, Americain users who want the Germans to shut up... it's unbelievable... Maybe you Americains forget that we are also solidair with you in your wars, eventhough we don't wanted/want them and don't like them, we fight alongside you.
FLC 12 years ago
Has anyone paged Thomas Hawk yet?

ahhhh, the TH pager still works
Corgi_T 12 years ago
There's something I don't get here. By blaming Flickr, are you trying to suggest that Flickr made a conscious decision to punish users in Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea, but not other countries? What do you think would be their motivation for that? Let's use some logic.

They are obviously changing their policy to comply with either local laws, or policies set by whomever is hosting their servers in those countries (the server hosts may be concerned about lawsuits, bad press, etc.)

Do find out what is behind this and work to change it, but don't automatically assume Flickr is out to get you when the source of the problem is clearly somewhere else. And the American-bashing - that's just completely uncalled for.
RubyMae Posted 12 years ago. Edited by RubyMae (member) 12 years ago
You've all just jumped to the conclusion that flickr has implemented some evil scheme against your countries. Why would they do that? They're a for profit business and doing so certainly isn't profitable.

You're all being hysterical instead of trying to get to the bottom of things.

While many Goverments may protect free speech, most do not protect pornography, and flickr has always been home to a tremendous amount of pornography. If you can't access flickr fully, then prehaps your Government isn't censorsing speech, but rather restricting your access to pornography.
Corgi_T 12 years ago
(@Ruby - great minds think alike! And so do ours!)
friendly secretary [deleted] 12 years ago
malcomhair hope you don´t mean that!!
swisskiltbear Posted 12 years ago. Edited by swisskiltbear (member) 12 years ago
I think several people here have made it abundantly clear that there simply are no laws in Germany that call for such sweeping censorship.

So if the the Americans quit telling us Europeans to shut up (we have to listen to more than enough from that side of the pond) we'll quit bashing them. Fair enough?

Besides, as for jumping to conclusions: Yahoo does have a reputation of being very, err, proactive when it comes to complysing with preceived legal constraints. Chinese Filtering, anyone? (No, I am not talking about the latest flickr blockage)

And please don't forget that this is also affecting users in countries that have different laws (Austria, Switzerland) and signed up through Yahoo Germany because of language.
Corgi_T Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Corgi_T (member) 12 years ago
swisskiltbear - want to point out where ANYONE has told you to shut up? I'd actually like more information about this issue, but I can't find it anywhere. All I can find is complaining.

And if someone has told you to shut up, extending your rancor to all Americans certainly won't win any of them over to your cause.
cute calendar [deleted] 12 years ago
I would appreciate a flickr statement, pointing out why they did that and who told them so.
knautia 12 years ago
Normally I'm completely on flickr's side in these "censorship" issues (which often seem to start with people shouting and screaming but on closer view are more complicated - death threats, nipples, etc) - but what's confusing me about this one is the fact that the safesearch page suddenly says about no moderate etc images in Germany etc, but there's no official message on this - nothing on the front page, nothing on the blog, and I think I'm safe to make the assumption that the affected people weren't emailed and warned..... that lack of communication seems so un-flickr-like, and that makes me worry. I mean, this is a major change, taking the decisions about what customers want to see away from them - and no word on it? Seriously, the paying customers at least should be at least warned in advance.....
thodue 12 years ago
you hit the point, knautia.
Corgi_T 12 years ago
Yes. Nipples are, indeed, very complicated.
villoks Posted 12 years ago. Edited by villoks (member) 12 years ago
RubyMae & etc: It is rather clear at this point that Flickr has changed its rules for German-speaking users (and to some others). Do you really think it is OK to make this kind of change without informing the affected customers about the change and for the reasons of change beforehand?

(and yes, there are no new content regulation in Germany as others have stated - instead, the change is most likely against German consumer protection law, which AFAIK does not allow this kind of one sided changes..)
RubyMae 12 years ago
Swisskittbear - I have not told anyone to shut up. I've asked people to stop being hysterical and jumping to conclusions.

(Knautia, there is a FAQ that reflects that the TOS is changed for Singapore, Korea and Germany).

My point is that flickr didn't just decide on a whim to block "unsafe" images in Germany. That doesn't make sense from a business perspective. It's more likely that the change to the TOS in the affected countries is to comply with International laws.

Therefore, the proper target of everyone's ire is not flickr//yahoo, but the Governments who have enacted those laws (which flickr presumably is complying with).

As for Germany - it has been made clear in other discussions about this matter, that while pornography may be acceptable, there is an issue concering the display of nazi ensignia and such. It's speculated (and only speculation at this point, since we have no word from staff) that flickr is restricted in Germany because of that law.
RubyMae 12 years ago
If Flickr announced yesterday that they were changing the terms of service for Germany, Korea and Singapore, to comply with local/international laws do you really think we would have avoided any of this discussion and protest?

Absolutely not. The users would still be upset and screaming censorship.

Nor, have they violated any consumer protection laws, as the original TOS says that the TOS is subject to change unilaterally without notice.
babyjesusiscrying 12 years ago
and yes Thomas Hawk has taken the opportunity to take another cheap pot shot at flickr on his blog....
knautia Posted 12 years ago. Edited by knautia (member) 12 years ago
But that's what's so strange, RubyMae - there's a change on the SafeSearch page, but it doesn't say why in any detail that makes it understandable (which is why there's so much conjecture going on) - and if someone was able to go in and change the ToS, couldn't they also have put a message on the newspage, or on the forum, or by emailing the affected users?

Until I hear from flickr why they did this, I can't comment on that - but I certainly can comment on the fact that flickr have made a really weird/worrying decision not to communicate on this.

edit: Just looked at the ToS and can't see anything about it there
rightful mitten [deleted] 12 years ago
Flickr should stop censorship or they will loose a lot of (paying) users.
Against censorship
Jim Skea 12 years ago
Some things I find very strange about this.

1) 4 countries, obviously with different laws and legal systems, have had filtering imposed simultaneously.
2) that filtering was put in place on the same day that Flickr was internationalized.

So let's assume that these 2 events occurred on the same day is not a coincidence. If that's the case then we're led to the conclusion that filtering was *planned* in advance to be implemented with internationalization.

As it's unlikely that injunctions from 4 different countries would arrive on the same day on Yahoo/Flickr's desk, we can only assume that Yahoo/Flickr have known they were going to introduce filtering for some time beforehand, and weren't caught by surprise.

And finally, since four separate countries are filtered, this can't be about some peculiarity such as "nazi symbols", which wouldn't apply to Singapore.

I'd guess this has been in the planning for some time and Flickr may have been waiting for internationalization to have the infrastructure necessary to facilitate the introduction of country-based filters, perhaps in line with already existent policy that Yahoo! has on its other sites.
Walwyn 12 years ago
So let's assume that these 2 events occurred on the same day is not a coincidence. If that's the case then we're led to the conclusion that filtering was *planned* in advance to be implemented with internationalization.

You'll probably find that they came about on the same day because

o - They get the publicity for the internationalisation.
o - The country filtering gets buried for a day or so, and then the spotlight falls on the legal systems of the filter countries.
villoks 12 years ago
RubyMae wrote:

"Nor, have they violated any consumer protection laws, as the original TOS says that the TOS is subject to change unilaterally without notice."

You don't know much about European consumer protection regulation, I guess? That kind of clauses are not tolerated here unlike in States (they are basically void). In EU all substantial changes (like this seems to be) has to be communicated to the customers - beforehand.

Anyway as stated before, the big problem here is lack of communication, which makes it - for example - impossible to start contacting the authorities if they are to blame.
DWinton 12 years ago
aren't those some of the same countries that now have 'own language' flickr sites? any connection?
_sarchi 12 years ago
if that's an elevator journey you have to go down about a thousand floors and knowing a little bout l o n g cables this might take sum time?
cosmonautirussi Posted 12 years ago. Edited by cosmonautirussi (member) 12 years ago
Flickr uses a censorship against some countries that is not logical. - Adminst in Germany there is no law or visible reason why censorship should be used from Flickr.

Yahoo tried in the last days to protest against the censorship of Flickr-photos in China. - Could it be that Flickr/Yahoo just wanted to make clear in the western countries what censorship on Flickr means?

What do you think?
RubyMae 12 years ago
"You don't know much about European consumer protection regulation, I guess? That kind of clauses are not tolerated here unlike in States (they are basically void). In EU all substantial changes (like this seems to be) has to be communicated to the customers - beforehand"

The irony is that the original TOS probably (as you suggest) did not comply with various 'foreign' laws, so when they switched the TOS to comply - you've gotten a whole brouhaha.

As while it might have been better customer service to announce the change, and seriously doubt it would avoid any of the outrage at the change. Knowing a more restrictive TOS was being put into place doesn't make it any less of a bitter pill to swallow.
RubyMae 12 years ago
No official annoucement, but here's the FAQ that sets forth the new rules.
DWinton 12 years ago
re the FAQ, does that mean that affected users can choose between "safe" and "moderate" but not "off"? or that the only option is "safe"?
RubyMae 12 years ago
It's sounds like affected users must use safesearch (safesearch on) and therefore can not view photos flagged as moderate or restricted.
cute calendar [deleted] Posted 12 years ago. Edited by cute calendar (member) 12 years ago
right... no other choice anymore. It's not even a grayed out, it's just not there.

Corgi_T 12 years ago
I asked a German friend and got the following straightforward explanation. Thanks, xdrei.

"i'm pretty sure it got to do with german law (and law enforcement), afaik every germany based pornsite is required to check their clients age. flickr registration does not require age verification, so as a consequence they had to restrict access to "inappropriate" material."

So the question becomes "why did Flickr not tell us?" rather than "why is Flickr censoring us?" Bad customer service? Most definitely. Censorship? No, at least not with Flickr as the culprit.
helpful receipt [deleted] 12 years ago
Jerry Yang, Yahoo’s co-founder and “chief Yahoo,” said at the meeting that the company had been actively lobbying the United States government to assist Internet companies in fighting censorship and protecting human rights in countries like China. Yahoo has also been working with academics, nongovernmental organizations and others to create a set of principles to protect freedom of expression, he said.


Time to walk the walk...
nils.pickert 12 years ago
This censorship is not because of german laws. We are allowed to view naked women over here. We are allowed of posting pictures containing nudidity on the web, as long as it is not child pornography etc. We are not allowed to post online Nazi-Symbols. So this is clearly a filter gone wrong! I will not prolong my Pro-Account, if flickr doesn't manage to get it's filter working according to local laws. I do not accept to be restricted by totalitarian or fundamentalistic restrictions because somewhere on this planet some contry thinks it is best. I am living in a democratic and free country and want to have access to anything allowed by local laws.

If I don't agree with the local laws I will consult the local government. But this is ridiculous!
swisskiltbear 12 years ago
@Corgi T

AFAIK, that bit about the adult content only applies if the content is hosted on servers that are physically located in the country of Germany and in a .de domain (flickr.de redirects to flickr.com).

Consequently, most german companies that serve any potentially adult content, have moved their servers out of Germany to the Netherlands for instance, or the *gasp* United States. (Isn't that where the Flickr servers are located?)
*steve_gobeil* 12 years ago
Damn...Some of the hottest porn comes from Germany.
striatic 12 years ago
it could be that flickr has servers in germany to improve performance?
As somebody from Austria, I think this is not (yet?) relevant to me, but
just to be sure, is there a way to check (i.e. a sensible search that will
show me restricted images (whatever that is)?

I am feeling your pain, Germans (and users from Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore), and I want to express my full solidarity. I wanted to buy a pro account as soon as my 200 pictures are in my photostream, but I will wait now, see how this develops. I think it is ridiculous to censor users in Europe and Asia that way, and I cannot help thinking this complete lack of judgement originated on the yahoo (not on the original flickr) side of things. I see naked women each time I open a tabloid at the newsstand, I certainly do not need Yahoo (or some other hypocritical US corporation) telling me what is appropriate for me to see.
The Searcher Posted 12 years ago. Edited by The Searcher (member) 12 years ago
gocarrt: unfortunately, Yahoo shareholders voted overwhelmingly to not adopt an anti-censorship creed of any kind. So regardless of what Yahoo or Flickr may want to do as a company, the guys who want the money to keep flowing in, have their own ideas.

tasteful trees [deleted] 12 years ago
Flickr might not do age verification on sign up for free accounts, but if you pay for your pro account by your own credit card that should be sufficient to prove you're not a minor.

Even if there was a law in Germany that forbids German citizens to look at certain material (and I can't think of one), the safe search is not suitable to comply with such a law. There is no strict rule how to moderate your own content. User A might decide their photo of a yellow rubber duck has to be restricted, user B thinks their photo of the yellow rubber duck is safe. So, if pictures of yellow rubber ducks were prohibited in Germany, the safe search filter would be insufficient to comply with the law, since German users could still access the illegal picture from in user B's photo stream. So the safe search filter does not protect Flickr from possible prosecution, it just makes their paying German customers very angry, since they now can not see pictures of red rubber ducks flagged as moderate or restricted, even if those are perfectly legal in Germany.
außerirdische sind gesund Posted 12 years ago. Edited by außerirdische sind gesund (member) 12 years ago
The Searcher: At least in the case of German users, I am sure that censoring them will not help Yahoo's bottom line at all. I, for one, will certainly not pay for a service that decides for me what I am allowed to see and what not, especially if most of the things it censors are completely legal for me to see!
knautia 12 years ago
as has been pointed out elsewhere, this also means that people in those countries, or people who share photos with people in those countries are more likely not to self-censor, so that they can carry on sharing as before - which harms the whole safesearch system
just another bloke 12 years ago
At least microsoft doesn't try to tell us what we can or cannot look at, read, listen to, watch etc.

It seems that yahoo and google are busy sucking up to the "big" governments in order to protect their rapacious growth globally.

Consumers, it seems, are simply numbers, disposable and easily ignored.

Try boycotting yahoo, google and any of the global internet players


They seemed so friendly, said the dying man.
helpful receipt [deleted] 12 years ago
The Searcher,

Shareholders saying one thing and the Chief Yahoo! saying another...that won't be fun either...

He better start picking battles...
Corgi_T 12 years ago
"At least microsoft doesn't try to tell us what we can or cannot look at, read, listen to, watch etc. "

Ya think? You haven't heard about how Windows Vista checks 30 times per second and reports your doings to make sure you aren't pirating content, huh?
just another bloke 12 years ago
Windows Vista checks 30 times per second and reports your doings to make sure you aren't pirating content, huh?

but at least you get to view pirated material, if yahoo owned microsoft your operating software would simply blank out any content that yahoo considered "unsafe" - which is anything not connected to advertising.

yahoo have been sucking up everything, search engines, video sites, music sites, photography sites, socialising sites, the whole lot. soon they'll start sucking up the forums and message boards until you can't get on the internet without their grubby spam-smeared hands all over you. soon they'll start loading every site with pop-ups, spyware, adware, malware, spies, tricks and shoddy practices.

hey. look at bill gates! he's making money! he's the bad guy! he's the only bad guy!

Now, my question is why, how, when, who? After reading some posts here I still don't know if this a Flickr or a governement/legal move? Will this stupidity spread to more countries?

... I did subscribe one more Pro year, yesterday! And now I'm really pissed of! Strangely enought I don't find any public explanation from Flickr staff. Maybe is time to write directely to them!
rui: I also think that this is so un-flickr. Have we discovered the dark side of Flickr?

Nicht mit sooperkuh!
Jim Skea 12 years ago
I'm surprised noone's mentioned pie yet. Or torte.
just another bloke 12 years ago
I should imagine that the flickr staff are just as upset as some of the users are. But when you take the big filthy dollar, you get dirty.

Yahoo may go down in history as the first multinational internet company to actively create it's own downfall. I think the people at Yahoo have forgotten that the incredible rise of the internet depends so heavily on its lack of local intervention.

Something tells me that there's a serious Yahoo backlash just around the corner, but are we too late? Have they already copyrighted the internet? Will we soon find it impossible to share photographs, videos, messages without first getting clearance from the board of Yahoo?

But back to the point, flickr are probably quiet on this because any statement from them will surely reveal that the entire concept of flickr is now dead. What we have here is a conglomerate-controlled marketing device which happens to use photography.

Yahoo bought the company for the numbers. They don't care whether it's a good service, or a catalyst for social and cultural engagement, they've bought flickr because it extends their marketing reach.

The people at flickr are probably clearing their desks right now, after all, they've got the money to retire now. good luck flickr users.
TinyTitian 12 years ago
I really find this utterly surprising, Stewart seems so anti-censorship in the Rebbca case and the blueviolet situation and he allowed this to come through?

I am not angry at them censoring photos, censorship happens all the time. Guess Photo pass I can understand to avoid kids stumbling on them.

what I am trying to understand, is the sudden 180 turn and without a warning or explanation. I think flickr owes the community an explanation at least.
..Lobi 12 years ago
I would not say anything against a forced Filter that prevents photos tagged with "swastika", "nazi" etc. I would not search for these anymway.

Everything else is just inapropiate, we should be able to decide on our own.
RubyMae 12 years ago
There's an official thread in the Help Forum, to which Heather has (sort of ) replied.
knautia 12 years ago
the thing is though, a filter could only filter out swastikas if they were tagged "swastika" - so that kind of filter wouldn't stop them being on flickr if people chose not to tag them.
Tampen 12 years ago
Does this mean we won't see any more shots of the green seats at the Munich stadium ?

*crosses fingers*
Rodrigo Álvarez / Rupert Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Rodrigo Álvarez / Rupert (member) 12 years ago
First, I would like to notice that when yo talk about América, you're including the following list of countries that are, indeed, in the continent of América:

North America:
-United States of America

Central America:
-Antigua y Barbuda
-El Salvador
-Puerto Rico
-República Dominicana
-San Cristóbal y Nevis
-Santa Lucía
-San Vicente y Las Granadinas
-Trinidad y Tobago

South America
-Guayana Francesa (It's part of Europe, but it's in America too)

So please, don't write about the people that lives in the USA as americans, beause we're all from that continent (I'm form Chile, also in América).

[As a note: Puerto Rico is a Free Associated State of USA, that means that the the government is similar to that of a state of the USA, with a governor elected for four years, and a legislative assembly with a senate and house of representatives. Residents are US citizens, represented in the US Congress by an elected Resident Commissioner with a seat in the House of Representatives...

but at the same time, Puerto Rico is a free country by it´s own]


In the subject that is discussed here, I don't agree with anything that "destroy" the freedom of people (over 18 years, in thsi case) to see whatever they like... we have freedom to choose, and I think we all should fight for that right... even from countries like mine, who can see any picture in flickr

PS: Excuse my english... it isn't my native languaje
RubyMae 12 years ago
Awww, I like the green seats at the Munich stadium.

(And to answer your question - unless you're in Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong or Korea, you will still be able to see them...)
daffy grade [deleted] 12 years ago
Nice that someone in charge knows best. Maybe this could lead to wonderful things. Wonder if Yahoo / Flickr could tell me what groceries I should avoid, holiday destinations to shun and what books may cause me offense?

The UK must be one of the most overly regulated nanny states in Europe. Surprises me that our government has yet to stick it's meddling fingers in what we get to see on the internet too. Whether it's Yahoo / Flickr or local regulations I'm sick of being told what's good for me. That I don't live in any of the countries affected is of little significence as it's the principle that matters. Seems to me that more rights and liberties get trodden over under the guise of protecting of our *safety* and sense of decency than are upheld by such examples of disproprotionate reaction to the *power* of the internet.

There is on off button. It's usually the same one that turns the computer on.
Ottoman42 12 years ago
@knautia Scanners and Photoshop can recognize money when scanned or imported into the program. Therefore the same kind of technology could be adapted to recognize those kinds of images as well I would assume that Flickr does the same after the images are posted. How else could they go through and analyze so many photographs a month as Stewart said either here or another thread?
Ok, I wrote an e-mail asking for explanations. Let's see what will be the answer...

I'm also upset when a discussion like this one turns a "fight" between countries or cultures! Let's face it, we are together on this one. Today it's not "my business", but who can assure that I won't be the next one?
styler* 12 years ago
ok is their a forums thread on this?

and did flickr know?
if not how uncool of yahoo

if they did were you all told?
helpful receipt [deleted] 12 years ago
Jump on in, Ellipse, water's a bit choppy, be careful...

*steve_gobeil* 12 years ago
Heather has suggested that you all might want to throw tomatoes and dance the fish dance.

I am not sure that I understand how that will help the problem.
Thomas Hawk Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Thomas Hawk (member) 12 years ago
[I'm CEO of Zooomr]

Well what do you know. There you all go again talking about Thomas Hawk. My referring URL logs show that my blog is getting a bunch of traffic from yet another thread in Central. Thanks for the link guys.

I'm not going to stick around and chat with you all because I find it tedious and destructive. If you want to have a conversation with me about it though you can feel free to come on over to my blog.

In short.

Censorship is wrong.

It was wrong of Yahoo to reject an anti-censorship plan proposed by their shareholders -- yesterday I believe. It's bad for business actually, but more importantly it's the morally wrong thing to do.

I believe that the fact that Yahoo/Flickr has decided to begin censoring their German users is directly responsible for Zooomr today having our single largest number of German users sign up in the history of our site.

I'm sure that in the end this one will get chalked up to as yet another "mistake" on Flickr's part, apologies all the way around, etc. etc.. but the bottom line is that Flickr/Yahoo does not take censorship seriously. The rejection by Yahoo of a shareholder proposal to take it more seriously is case and point.

With that in mind I will say that I have long felt that the subject of censorship is of significant importance. It was Thomas Hawk who, well before Zooomr, got kicked out Deleteme for protesting censorship there and started the very first "Uncensored" group on Flickr. The very first one. There are now today about 57 "Uncensored" groups on Flickr.

The point is that taking a stand against censorship is a good thing to do. Companies should do this, even if it means that it might limit some of their business or commercial success. Trust me, Yahoo is doing just fine. Terry Semel, their CEO, was the highest paid executive in a recent Associated Press compensation report for 2006. One place I read said it was something like $71 million, but then another place I read had it at over $100 million for last year personally.

So with this in mind, today, Zooomr officially adopted the anti-censorship policy that Yahoo rejected. It's called putting our money where our mouth is. And even though Yahoo probably doesn't give a rats ass about our little photography site, it is my hope that this is at least registered as a vote of dissent and that it does in fact apply pressure on Yahoo for them to reconsider their position on censorship and maybe next shareholder meeting when an anti censorship provision is called for that they don't so strongly oppose it.

I'm sure the haters are going to have a go at Zooomr over this. Especially the anonymous ones coming from Yahoo. But before you hate too hard, remember that this is the right thing to do and it ought to be the right thing for Yahoo to do. If as social media we are not here to encourage companies to do the right thing, then I don't know what the heck we are here for.

Power to the people. The best photographs in the world have yet to be taken.
iansand 12 years ago
So, Thomas. What is your plan when your success with the German market runs you up against whatever problem flickr has run up against? Resist by legal means? When that fails what happens? Are you going to tilt at windmills until the cash runs out?

You have much to learn, grasshopper.
Thomas Hawk Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Thomas Hawk (member) 12 years ago
Haha, Iansand, there you go, trying to draw me in yet again. Not going to happen tonight. I'll respond to your question but that's the last one. If anyone else wants to chat they can leave a comment on my blog.

With regards to our plan when our success with the German market runs us up against whatever unknown problem flickr has run up against?

Well then I suppose if the German govt locks us out of the German market then it will be our business loss won't it. Some things are more important than dominating the German market Iansand. Zooomr doesn't have to be a dominant marketing photo machine to be successful.

Zooomr is already a success. Yes, even with our measly little 50,000 users. They are 50,000 (and rapidly growing) users who care about photography and are passionate about making the world a more creative and beautiful place. You should check out some of the amazing photography that they are uploading to the site.

If we miss out on world domination, then so be it. Maybe I won't have a $71 million pay package like Yahoo CEO Terry Semel, but I'll do ok *and* be able to sleep well at night.
pioforsky 12 years ago
iansand Posted 12 years ago. Edited by iansand (member) 12 years ago
Thomas Hawk Draw you in? Why not look like an idiot now, and save time?

But getting yourself locked out of the German market will sure as hell not be any use to your German subscribers.
bosquetango 12 years ago
RubyMae, maybe people would hear your message a little better if you didn't choose such loaded words like hysteria and calling people "Prigs". Just a thought.
RubyMae 12 years ago
(at least I included myself when I said "we.")

However, many people have been saying the same thing I've said in a much nicer manner and no one has heeded their calls for sanity either.

A boycott on flickr about flickr is pointless. Either truly boycott flickr (as in take your business elsewhere, or take the protest outside flickr, where you'll be heard. Spamming the various groups and forums with threads isn't going to change anything here (in fact, just follow the few threads in the Help forum if you need proof of that - clearly, staff is aware of the outrage, yet has chosen not to respond).
teh resa 12 years ago
Has there been an official response anywhere? As I've said before, I'm as prudish as anyone but I just don't click on thumbnails I don't want to see. Its rather easy to avoid. The art magazines I have in front of me have more racy nudes than lots of unsafe flickr photos, any kid could flip through them in the store. Its not about protecting kids. Its about pandering to intolerance and trying to define "art nudes, nazi symbols" from "non-art nudes,or nazi symbols". It just can't be done. Amateur nude artists are on this site so they can develop their skills. If yahoo finds that offensive then that doesn't jive with what Stewart said about wanting to help people express their creativity.

He did give an excellent list of alternative photosharing sites - much more reliable sites than zooomr.
teh resa Posted 12 years ago. Edited by teh resa (member) 12 years ago
I think an in house protest is quite appropriate. All the photo content on flickr is user generated content - but here's the rub with crowd sourcing: you can't always control that content like as if you paid for it...

edit: by that I mean that "protest" content comes with it.
RubyMae 12 years ago
Stewart has commented in the official help forum thread (on page 6).
styler* 12 years ago
Basically it seems to roll down to this for people in germany

flickr made a decision to include German in the roll out of languages and regional whatever

by doing that people now don't have access levels of their choices

seems like that would have been good to communicate since they knew it was going to happen instead of not telling people. I wonder if people could choose between language options and access level choices which they would pick.
ms.Tea 12 years ago
I'm against censorship , but isn't it Yahoo, that is controlling Flickr's hand in this matter.
I only say this as i recently read a news story about the content that Google shows people In China, due the restrictions that the Chinese Government wants enforced, Google is abiding to that, to keep in business.
Don't you think Yahoo is doing the same thing?
RubyMae 12 years ago
From reading the help forum, I don't think the language choice is what's at hand. It has to do with whether you're signed up with yahoo.de (yahoo in Germany) or elsewhere. For example, people in countries other than Germany, but who have an account through yahoo.de are subject to the same restrictions (while people in Germany who are signed up through yahoo.uk are not having the restrictions imposed on them).

I can't figure out why flickr wouldn't have thought it wise to announce this enormous change, other than legal counsel told them not to.
striatic 12 years ago
of the 80 comments before yours in this thread, exactly 2 mention your name.

that, and nobody cared enough to respond to either of those comments except mister hawk himself.
Jim Skea 12 years ago
Sorry, striatic, I removed my comment as I didn't want to be accused of drawing Thomas in again. But, since I've been quoted, I'll repeat it.

There you all go again talking about Thomas Hawk.

Thomas, of the 80 comments before yours in this thread, exactly 2 mention your name. I'd hardly say we're "all talking about you".
helpful receipt [deleted] 12 years ago
Stewart says:

We really apologize for the delay in responding to these threads. The whole Flickr team has been in ongoing discussions, trying to hammer out a solution.

We have absolutely no intention of censoring the content on the community's behalf. It is always been our intention that Flickr members participate to whatever extent they want and are as free as possible create their own experience. Currently, switching the SafeSearch function off is not available for German members. It is a really complex situation -- we have been in deliberation on this for a while, and we had to make the decision whether or not to leave Germany and the German language out of the international launch.

The decision came down to the wire, but we decided to include Germany. We're still hoping that that was the right decision. It definitely was not a decision that was made lightly and there is no intention to annoy, frustrate or inconvenience Flickr members in Germany. Rest assured, we do hear you loud and clearly (painfully loud, even) and are doing our best. We hope to have more to say soon.


Something official, but not too much...
teh resa 12 years ago
I don't understand the relationship between the international launch and the censoring. How does showing German text mean that the safe search cannot be turned off? Looks like that was written in a hurry and a better explaination is to come.

I never saw the need for any nipsa or filtering of any kind. Maybe if the explore page was all thumbnails then you could just click on the ones you want to see and ignore the ones that offend you? Flickr isn't a public place with public nudity, its a private website owned by yahoo with content provided by the members/users/viewers. If I don't like some images I just don't look at them. Same goes for magazines and late night soft porn TV. Parents can supervise what kids see on the internet. And people in their workplaces are supposed to be working anyway...
iansand 12 years ago
Ther﹣esa My speculation here and here
Dominik Schwind 12 years ago
Interestingly enough, no-one from Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea chimed in, yet. Or did they?
imonster 12 years ago
I also would love to hear from somebody from Singapore, Hong Kong or Korea, and if only to make my protest pics multilingual ; )

Nicht mit uns
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