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Boingboing.net reports drawings being taken down from Flickr. True?

illovich says:

From boingboing: "Why are Ape Lad's and other illustrators' drawing being banned from the 700hoboes tag on Flickr? A post on Jawbone radio suggests it is because some artists are submitting more than one drawing each, but that can't be the case. No one would police that. Maybe it is because drawings aren't allowed on Flickr?"

I'm kind of curious about this story. I have mostly photos in my stream, but I've uploaded some scans of doodles as well. Is there really a good reason why this wouldn't be allowed? I mean I understand this is a photo sharing site, but I mean -- come on.

I also found another topic where someone who uploaded drawings couldn't be found via searches, and some people told him that drawings that are found be staff are marked not searchable or maybe "nipsa" whatever that means.

Anyone know? Is there an un/official prohibition on illustration sharing on Flickr?
Posted at 10:41AM, 23 November 2005 PST ( permalink )

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(1 to 100 of 174 replies in Boingboing.net reports drawings being taken down from Flickr. True?)
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striatic says:

your answer is here methinks:

flickr.com/forums/help/14662/

it seems that drawings are allowed on flickr, but will get you NIPSA'd unless your photostream is mostly photos.

nipsa = not in public site areas like tags and interestingness and 'everyone's photos'.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
striatic edited this topic 113 months ago.

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Flickr Staff

heather says:

Flickr is a photosharing community. There's information about this in our FAQ:

www.flickr.com/help/photos/#69

There's more info in this previous Help Topic about 700 Hoboes:

www.flickr.com/forums/help/14662/
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

heather says:

Also, we don't "take down" photos unless they are a TOU violation. In this instance the accounts are NIPSA so the photos won't be visible to non members of the Group or return in tag search results.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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illovich says:

If you have your account marked NIPSA, is there any way to get it back? (I'm pretty sure mine is not, but I was just curious).
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
illovich edited this topic 113 months ago.

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jacqueline-w says:

Yes, you can ask to be re-reviewed. Several people have done so and gotten the NIPSA status taken off after they found out why it was there and fixed things.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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rvacapinta says:

It's odd that someone from BoingBoing doesnt understand how Flickr works.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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illovich says:

Are people notified when and why their account is marked NIPSA? I'd want to know.

Also, since we're on the subject... I have a lot of photos in my photostream of little figures that I paint. That's fine, right?

I just don't want to get NIPSA. =)
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Collin Grady says:

If your account is flagged NIPSA, you'll see a message on the main Flickr page.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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striatic says:

Also, since we're on the subject... I have a lot of photos in my photostream of little figures that I paint. That's fine, right?

pretty sure those are fine.

some of the hobos people have found the 'loophole' of taking a photograph of the piece of paper that they drew the hobo on, but that makes the drawings look pretty uggy.

i find it odd the the boingboing peeps would even think to ask people to host drawings on flickr. kind of a suggestion doomed to disaster from the start.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Ape Lad says:

Hi. Just thought I'd weigh in.
Boingboing merely suggested the idea, some of us just got a little too carried away.
I now understand the TOU better (does anyone ever actually read these things anymore?) and have added more photos to my site, although I'll probably be kept NIPSA due to the preponderance of hoboes and their incoming brothers.
In the meantime, the hoboes are gathering away from public view (ironic I know) in a group called 700hoboes, if anyone is interested.
I do have a concern that the rest of my photos have been flagged NIPSA. Can this be undone?
And in this time of thanksgiving, I would like to offer my gratitude to flickr for providing this fine service and would ask that they please not plan any sort of clampdown against the hundreds of illustrators and graphic designers who use it to show off their wares, NIPSA or not.
Good day.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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jacqueline-w says:

If you mark all of your non-photos private or NIPSA them yourself (by clicking the "May Offend") link, you can ask the staff to re-review your photostream and they can un-NIPSA your stream.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

heather says:

plan any sort of clampdown against the hundreds of illustrators and graphic designers who use it to show off their wares

There is no clampdown. Flickr is a photosharing community. As mentioned in the other thread, a hoboe or two isn't going to get an account NIPSAed, but a stream entirely made of illustrations, graphics, screenshots, etc. isn't the current idea behind Flickr.

And in the spirit of thanksgiving, I've removed the NIPSA from your account.

[edited -- didn't like the way the second to last sentence sounded]
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
heather (staff) edited this topic 113 months ago.

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Ape Lad says:

Thanks, that is wonderful and kind of you!
May all your turkeys be fully cooked and your cranberry sauces non-can shaped.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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FlyButtafly says:

Hey, I rather like the can-shaped cranberry sauce! ;) (sorry for taking this OT)
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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sfrsh feed says:

I'm planning to create drawings and store them on a service that I can use to tag them and parse them into different feeds, etc. Flickr seems to be a very valuable tool because lots of Wordpress (my blog tool) extensions are made for it.

I don't necessarily mind being "NIPSA", but if i'm continually making drawings and posting them up regularly, could this mean I could get kicked off? If so, is there a better place with all the metadata functionality of Flick that would be better?
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Eric Hunt. says:

I don't think your account would be terminated - your images simply would not be indexed in the tag search and other search features. (i.e. NIPSA'd)
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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sfrsh feed says:

okay. for all practical purposes, i plan on using the Flickr API because it is robust for certain purposes. It seems like Flickr allows these sorts of things, but if a staff member reading this could either provide more detail or point to a reference for terms of service (regardless of NIPSA status), it would be appreciated.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

heather says:

Flickr is a website for you to use to share your photos. If the images you're uploading either (i) aren't photos, or (ii) are images you've 'borrowed', stock photos, celebrity photos, stuff that appears to be copyrighted by someone else, screenshots, porn or nudity/partial nudity, it's safe to assume that we will probably have marked you as NIPSA (Not In Public Site Areas)


www.flickr.com/help/photos/#69
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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tonx says:

I sort of feel like jpegs are jpegs and I'm not really sure where the presence of a small number of illustrations in the tagging system becomes a problem. I know of one user (who I will not mention) who has an amazing stream that is primarily original illustrations. His stuff is one of my favorite RSS feeds and I delight in seeing one of his images show up if I'm doing random tag searches.

It seems a lot of what makes flickr great is the degree to which it is a user-defined experience. I can't fathom any argument (that couldn't already be made against photography) for why flickr should not embrace the jpeg in its many forms.

What is the impetus for this sudden enforcement? Is it perhaps a mandate from someone inside the Yahoo image search team? Is there a sense among more professional photographers (people who unlike myself know what an F-stop is) that illustrations dilute their personal user experience?

What gives?
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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striatic says:

What is the impetus for this sudden enforcement? Is it perhaps a mandate from someone inside the Yahoo image search team?

i can't speak to your second point .. about WHY no illustrations, but i can assure you that this isn't a recent enforcement.

if you do some forum searching you'll see that. long before yahoo was in the picture the policy was the same.

i think this all has something to do with not becoming deviantart and also with shaping the "flickr brand" {shhhh} in some way.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

heather says:

What is the impetus for this sudden enforcement?

There's no sudden enforcement, no clampdown, no change. Period.

Perhaps 700 hoboes brought it to your attention, but as per the FAQ, Flickr is a website for you to use to share your photos.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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animoller says:

But you could in theory get around that by taking photos of your drawings? That seems a bit silly.

If someone pays to use Flickr to share their images, surely this isn't a bad thing? How far does it go? What isn't a photo? A digital camera image that's been heavily manipulated in Photoshop? A photogram? An artwork with photographic influences? An image that is in exactly the same format as a digital photo? As tonx says, a JPEG is a JPEG, and if you're sharing it in the way this community allows and you own the copyright why is there a problem?
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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tonx says:

I think this is worth you guys reconsidering. There is some amazing content here that is in the form of illustrations, photoshopped works, computer art. I can count at least 3 people in my contacts who are there because I happened upon their non-traditional-photography artwork. Flickr is an optimal service for sharing and discovering this stuff. Its not as if there is a deluge of non photos here or that searches here return the kind of crappy spacer_gif noise that pops up on google images.

FAQ, ShmAQ. I fail to see a meaningful issue with this sort of content. (No offense).
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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teotwawki says:

you're sharing it in the way this community allows

I think you've identified the issue here - it's been made clear (not least in this thread) that Flickr is, and always has been, a photo sharing community. Non photographic material, it seems to me, has been tolerated because it's been 'below the radar', i.e., no-one has made a fuss about posting it and has respected the fact that Flickr is, and always has been, a photo sharing community.

If you want Flickr to be something other than it is and always has been, it might be an idea to try the FlickrIdeas forum, which is the proper place for changes and new ideas. Or a lot of people like deviantart.com, which seems like it might a more appropriate site for drawings, paintings etc.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
teotwawki edited this topic 113 months ago.

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bug138 says:

Flickr needs to change to meet the needs of its users. We are paying for this service, its not something you are hosting out of the goodness of your heart.

Nothing is lost when we allow the inclusion of a variety of images. Flickr has a great reputation to lose, and nothing to gain by limiting the range of content available.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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teotwawki says:

Flickr has a great reputation to lose

Which it gained as a photo sharing community. Not a clone of deviantart.com

I think it would be hard to make it any clearer that Flickr is for photos without being impolite. Heather has posted five times so far in this thread pointing out that Flickr is a photo sharing community. Not liking the fact doesn't invalidate it.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
teotwawki edited this topic 113 months ago.

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animoller says:

See, the problem is that Flickr isn't designed to be a "photo gallery" so the way it works isn't specific to photos only. It works best as an image moblog type thing, so if you have someone who draws or manipulates images on a regular basis, it's really pretty damn similar to someone who posts a poor quality image from their mobile phone. That isn't "photography".

Maybe anyone who posts drawings should only be allowed to post their images via a pixelated 240x360 cameraphone. Right?
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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striatic says:

If you want Flickr to be something other than it is and always has been

well there was a time ...

i'm of two minds about this.

on the one hand i'd love to just post drawings for a month and not worry at all about nipsa.

on the other hand, i understand that flickr wants to keep its brand pure and not dilute its marketing image from photos, Photos, PHOTOS.

ultimately though, it isn't up to us. having a clear brand image is very important and the TOS is very clear on the issue.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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teotwawki says:

ultimately though, it isn't up to us

It's not - and I think the staff are better able to choose the direction of the site than an increasingly disparate and fractious mass of users. There's nothing wrong with wanting Flickr to change, of course, but if that's what someone wants, it wouldn't hurt to at least recognise the fact, instead of pretending otherwise (not referring to anyone in particular, just in a general sense.) I do find the demanding attitude of 'Flickr must do this' or 'this must be done' a little grating though, I have to say.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
teotwawki edited this topic 113 months ago.

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umrain says:

This all sounds very Web 1.0 to me...
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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tonx says:

There are always going to be a certain amount of fringe uses and unintended self-organizing zeitgeists in a dynamic medium like this. And its arguable that in the past flickr has embraced this and drawn lessons to extend its feature set and improve the user experience.

I'm not suggesting that flickr ought to rebrand itself as a "jpeg sharing" site instead of a "photo sharing" site (even if it really is a jpeg sharing site). I just don't see the value proposition for flickr as a company or for the flickr user experience in policing a strict definition of "photo".

I don't believe anyone approaching Flickr right now is suffering from any confusion about what this site's primary shtick is about, or that there is any danger of that happening. Maybe the people policing this stuff can make a case that this aint so.

I'm not questioning anyones authority here to enforce whatever house rules they want, just inquiring as to the rationale of inhibiting a small but thriving aspect of this service that I (and I suspect many others) find value in.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Spanktacular says:

tag searches such as boobs, tits, juggs, porn, xxx, stolen, fucking, erection, phallus, penis, and sex never, ever turn up anything against the TOU... (although the option to explore cunt clusters was tempting, I refrained.)

www.flickr.com/photos/pinkmafiaradio/64837799/
www.flickr.com/photos/teezer66/sets/1347873/
www.flickr.com/photos/23748404@N00/62960604/
www.flickr.com/photos/94915796@N00/65682954/
www.flickr.com/photos/pinkmafiaradio/64838544/

Yep. Finding cute drawings in a public feed is a really terrible thing.

Face it, this is a user-driven system. You're trying to herd cats, and you're doomed to failure.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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striatic says:

some interesting additional discussion about this here:

monkstyle.net/?p=274

keep in mind that while illustrations might not have a big impact on tag searches, i've a feeling that they would absolutely DESTROY most of the photos here when it comes to 'interestingness' .. so a good reason to nipsa all illustrations is to keep them from dominating interestingness.

because if drawings started dominating interestingness it would really cloud the idea that flickr is 'for photos'
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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tonx says:

A lot of interestingness has fallen to things like mosaics, computer imaging, flickr ID cards... derivative digital works that are certainly no longer photos but seem to have been embraced by the flickr core. I don't think the dilution arguments hold much water. I don't believe anything is in danger of being DESTROYed by letting this stuff continue.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Dr Snafu says:

My blog was linked from the BB article, so i think i'd best clarify my position.

First off, let me say that I <3 flickr. If flickr was a girl, I'd marry her. I've spent more time on flickr than any other intarwebsite since I signed up a year ago. I work on the internets, so I can really appreciate the top notch service that flickr provide. I respect their attitude towards their customers and have been surprised by their generosity at every turn.

However, this whole thing just seems very unflickrish. I really expected them to be more open minded. To blanket ban my entire photostream from public areas because I've uploaded a few drawings seems rather unfair.

I don't think there's any danger in allowing illustrations to be seen in public areas and searches, in fact, i think it makes for a richer flickr.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Chico Bangs says:

If you think illustrations, if left unchecked, would absolutely DESTROY more traditional-style photography, then you're selling photography short.

I too kind of think this is a curious place to draw the line, but hey, it's your baby.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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bivAb says:

this whole thing just seems very unflickrish.

Amen. This policy against art just makes me sorta sad. Flickr drew me here by seemingly trying hard to be something bigger and better and creative and truly social, and for me mostly it has been until now. But I didn't even realize until this week that I haven't been welcome here because I've been sharing more of my art images than snaps of my kids. No flickr users ever told me.

For me it's even harder to understand NIPSA enforcement due to flickr's lack of definition of a "photo", or even the explicit acknowledgement that the word "photo" might be difficult to define. And if anyone anywhere is in a position to see that clearly, flickr is there. This makes it extra frustruating to hear the FAQ point parroted repeatedly, when all it says is "photos only".
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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@tomh says:

frankly, this is the type of thing that will make people stop recommending flickr to friends and family. at least i know i would stop doing it if this type of limiting becomes standard practice. photo sharing is not a unique business online, and keeping an edge that will set you apart from any other service is what will save it from being just another site. this does nothing but hurt, both flickr as a service and the users who rely on it.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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teotwawki says:

this whole thing just seems very unflickrish.

I don't understand why you would think that when it's been repeatedly explained by staff that Flickr is a photo sharing site. If we're going to arbitrarily define what's 'flickrish' and 'unflickrish' - it's clear that photos are flickrish and doodles aren't.

Click on the 'yours' button at the top left of your screen, next to the word 'Photos' in grey - it takes you to your photostream, where photos are hosted. The url is flick.com/photos.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
teotwawki edited this topic 113 months ago.

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striatic says:

teotwawki .. it isn't really that simple .. especially when a flickr founder is the sole admin of the doodle group.

while flickr trumpets photos all over the place, it hasn't always. and while it is photos, photos, photos all day long today, there are still legacy members and groups from the days when this wasn't the case.

the fundamentals of flickr were designed to be content agnostic. that's probably why 'photo' isn't anywhere in the word 'flickr'

people look at names like 'fotolog' or 'photosig' or 'ofoto' or 'shutterfly' and the brand name reinforces the connection to photos in a way that 'flickr' does not.

so when people come here they often think flickr = play = flickr = play rather than flickr = photos = flickr = photos.

flickr's image on the web has been flickr! blogs! tags! community! flickr! TAGS! for so long now that it is going to take a while for yahoo to take the focus off of play and convince people that it was the photography all along, not the doodads.

blocking illustrations from public areas is probably the best way of doing this. it casts what flickr wants to be in starkest relief and purifies the brand image.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
striatic edited this topic 113 months ago.

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Brock says:

"No flickr users ever told me."

No Flickr user needed to tell you, though, surely? It is clearly stated in the TOU and the FAQ that this is what Flickr is intended for. This is so oft repeated because it is the ONE place people should check before paying for a service. All this talk of feeling marginalised and 'hard done by' (referring to no-one in particular, but a feeling from seeing this issue before) just means that people should be looking at their own laziness for paying for a service without bothering to read its restrictions or purpose.

It's one thing for people to post in the ideas forum with a free account saying "Please show drawings, they're great", but to post saying "I paid money and you won't let me show my drawings" is just daft.

They are allowed here, but they are kept out of searches. It really isn't that big a deal, and within the TOU and framework that Flickr have created for this, they would be pretty justified in deleting illustration-only accounts.

They don't. Be happy.

Personally, I'm ambivalent. I'm not that fussed by drawings, but would prefer to have a search return photo's. You already get so much noise (badly tagged/rubbish shots/snagged images/poor camphone shots etc) that it wouldn't mean that much to me.

Flickr have, however, been trying to clean that up. To allow people to find photographs as this is what the site is for. Maybe they'll capitulate, allowing users to flag images as "illustrations" and have a toggle button to include these in searches or not.

But then, of course, someone has to police it.

Gets a bit hard very quickly, doesn't it?
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
Brock edited this topic 113 months ago.

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striatic says:

brock, i getcha .. but i don't think that flickr really wants to be about photos in a slimey "you didn't read the eula" kind of way, which is basically what is happening here.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Brock says:

Yeah, but every service has a right to dictate how it is used, doesn't it?

The people calling foul because of their having purchased a Pro account gets on my bits and pisces a bit. If I found out after I'd paid for something that I had got it's purpose/ethos wrong, I'd just be pissed off with myself, not complain to the service provider.

I also think that NIPSA marking rather than full account deletion/requests for removal is pretty generous/accomodating, actually.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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striatic says:

well look .. here's the thing.

flickr is expecting right now that people should think it is only for photos because they call themselves a photosharing service.

but that's baloney. anyone looking at all of the instances of 'photo' is NOT going to think "that means they don't like illustrations around" .. they're going to think "oh, they like photos"

there is a big difference between sending the message that you like photos and sending the message that you don't like illustrations, because really liking photos does not preclude ALSO liking illustrations.

i think that accounts for why people are rather confused by this and find it 'unflickrish'
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
striatic edited this topic 113 months ago.

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teotwawki says:

it isn't really that simple

Yes... erm, that was the point. Who is defining what is flickrish and unflickrish? Not me.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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striatic says:

oh, and one last thing. this waving the FAQ around is likewise baloney.

it is a FAQ! frequently asked questions. it is NOT required reading.

notice how flickr staff only links to the FAQ on this issue, and not the TOS?

i wonder why.

perhaps because the terms of service have nothing to say about this issue at all.

the closest they come is:

Your account will also be terminated if it is used for hosting graphic elements of web page designs, icons, smilies, buddy icons, forum avatars, badges and other non-photographic elements on external websites.

which has to do with off loading your website's bandwidth on to flickr, not with a 'no illustrations' policy. note the 'on external websites' condition.

are we saying "hey, you people were too dumb to read the ENTIRE FAQ before signing up for the service? quit whining!" ?

so when we talk about the TOU being clear on this. honestly, it isn't. the FAQ is very clear on it but again, you can't expect new users to read the entire FAQ before joining.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
striatic edited this topic 113 months ago.

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Flickr Staff

heather says:

Mmmmmmm.... baloney.

I think that accounts for why people are rather confused by this and find it 'unflickrish'

It might have something to do with BoingBoing asserting that we're removing stuff accounts and setting up what NISPA is with the word "banned".
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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striatic says:

so if they had said "Drawings excluded from Flickr's 700hoboes tag" then there wouldn't be this confusion?

if you could tell us which word to use in order to best maintain flickr's reputation, i'm sure everyone would be a lot happier.

'dropped' from tags?
'excluded' from tags?
'removed' from tags?
'nixed' from tags?
'hidden' from tags?

which one makes you guys seem the nicest?

{edit : and where does boingboing assert that you are removing accounts or deleting photos?}
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
striatic edited this topic 113 months ago.

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Jayel Aheram says:

Note to Flickr: There are a lot of unhappy DeviantArt folks who are willing to shell out big bucks for a service as good as yours.

I think your business can adapt. <3
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

heather says:

Striatic, I'm not going to tell anyone what to say about Flickr. *That* would be unflickrish. I was merely attempting to point out that we started at a certain point in this converation. That's all.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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striatic says:

I was merely attempting to point out that we started at a certain point in this converation. That's all.

fair enough, but i don't think that there was any confusing or misleading information in the boingboing post.

i don't think that it has confused anything at all.

getting repetitive .. but i think {and could be wrong} what is confusing is that flickr only informs people of its "no illustrations in public areas" policy in an already very long FAQ. it is the sort of policy that should be articulated up front before people sign up.

heck, if only to make it so staff doesn't have to filter as many illustraions via nipsa!

saying that you are a "photosharing" site is not the same as saying that you are a "photosharing to the exclusion of all other content" site.

there isn't a problem with flickr's no illustrations policy and think you are doing the right thing with keeping it .. however, you could explain it earlier and more clearly before people end up with a surprise nipsa after paying for an account.

i was attempting to address brock's point about people claiming to be confused when they shouldn't be confused. i don't think that this confusion has anything to do with how boingboing has 'framed' the issue, but with flickr not properly articulating its policies to new members.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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bivAb says:

No Flickr user needed to tell you, though, surely?

Brock, you missed my point entirely. My point is that it's only flickr staff enforcing this rule, not flickr users. It's ironic for this to happen at a site where everything is designed to empower and expand user participation and experience and otherwise push the boundaries of what the word photography means.

Heather, Boingboing's post has absolutely nothing to do with why this issue feels unflickrish to me. Nor did it have anything to do with the hundreds of other artists that have complained about this for the last year and a half. But you know that already. The feeling of this policy is simply contradictory to the feeling of everything else flickr appears to stand for.

Aside from that, the policy is ambiguous. It should be stated more clearly. And in an actual policy context, rather than the FAQ.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Typhanie says:

Striatic, the FAQ isn't something that everyone has to read, or will read - as proven, but I think Brock makes a good point that the information is there - available in one easy click. If a person is willing to shell out money for a service they don't know much about, they should be prepared to be disappointed when it turns out different from what they expected, and accept that instead of making an issue out of it.

If one more opinion counts, though, I agree that it would be a really good idea to have something put into the terms of use concerning this.

Also, I guess this is one little desperate cry for Flickr to keep the service as-is and not turn it into a DeviantArt clone.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

heather says:

We're working on a set of Guidelines a user will pass through as they join and that will be linked from the bottom of every page. It should address the issues about lack of clarity mentioned in this Help Topic.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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bivAb says:

Oh, BTW, someone did need to tell me that flickr is not friendly to art. No flickr user did, they've only given me gushing compliments. So it was a complete surprise to me to find out this week, after almost a year of flickring, and maybe after a month of being NIPSAd that flickr has an unwritten, rigid definition of the word photo that users are punished for not abiding by.

I'm trying to think back on the reasons I was confused, because I did read the FAQ on the first day.

I use several other web printing and sharing services that have photo in the name. Not one of them means strictly photography when they say photo. They're trying to capture more business by joining the fad of digital imaging.

It seems rare for a business to expect that it's name or slogan somehow reflects what it won't sell you. McDonalds signs all say "McDonalds Hamburgers". When you go in a buy a Coke too, then don't take away your hamburger. If you eat the bun and toss the meat they don't tell you to go read the sign again.

Flickr also has a large number of art-based and digital imaging groups. Upon joining flickr, this immediately said to me that flickr invites imagery that is not strictly photographed and unmanipulated.

Flickr has always seemed to me to be about the sharing part of photosharing, not the photo part. That's really what underscores my opinion that this is unflickrish. The emphasis people keep adding here to photo-sharing isn't there on the front page of flickr.com.

This is so oft repeated because it is the ONE place people should check before paying for a service.

I totally agree. Which is why it should be stated clearly. Which it is not.


people should be looking at their own laziness for paying for a service without bothering to read its restrictions or purpose.

I don't think you're being fair to yourself to call other people lazy for making a very reasonable assumption. Some of us made the assumption that photo-sharing means more than photography, that photo in the digital age is synonymous with image. Flickr reinforces that assumption in a large number of ways, which many people have tried to point out. You made an assumption that the faq was talking strictly about photography, which I think is just as big and lazy an assumption as the one I made.

They are allowed here, but they are kept out of searches. It really isn't that big a deal, and within the TOU and framework that Flickr have created

It is a big deal. The NIPSA punishment banishes images from public view. It takes the sharing out of photosharing. If it weren't a big deal, why do it at all?

they would be pretty justified in deleting illustration-only accounts.

I would have *so* preferred more explicit communication.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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teotwawki says:

If you eat the bun and toss the meat they don't tell you to go read the sign again.

Have you ever been into a McDonalds and asked for the breakfast menu in the afternoon? Or a whisky? I haven't myself, but then I have a reasonable idea of what they do and don't provide in a McDonalds - not that I would remonstrate with the staff if they needed to clarify.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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striatic says:

We're working on a set of Guidelines a user will pass through as they join and that will be linked from the bottom of every page. It should address the issues about lack of clarity mentioned in this Help Topic.

cool heather, should help a bundle.

i do still feel for people like bivAb, but it takes time and mistakes in order to get it right.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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bivAb says:

Have you ever been into a McDonalds and asked for the breakfast menu in the afternoon? Or a whisky?

I don't think I have, but I'm pretty sure I can look on the menu and see the breakfast times written down, so that annoying customers like me don't keep asking about it.

And they don't serve whiskey. They might be surprised if I asked for it, and politely say no, but I doubt I'd get indignation and name-calling from other customers if I asked.

But I don't buy your analogy, because I think what I'm talking about is on the menu. We're not actually trading photographs here, we're posting JPEG files. I'm using something flickr is offering in a way that flickr doesn't like, not asking for something that flickr doesn't offer.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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tonx says:

I'd still love to hear (from Heather or another staffer) what the rationale is for putting the skids on this small but persistent and thriving aspect of flickr.

I'm personally not affected by this as all of my stuff is photographic in the most basic sense, but I appreciate the work of a number of users who upload other forms of jpegs.

should images like these be NIPSA'd?:
flickr.com/photos/caterina/22486811/
flickr.com/photos/heather/41523078/

Its great that there is going to be more "clarity" about "dos" and "don'ts", but a little clarity about "whys" would be nice. I'm at a loss to imagine a compelling argument for policing and deprecating the small fraction of non-camera jpegs.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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striatic says:

i can't tell you 'why', but flickr used to be primarilly filled with 'snagged' images, and many many snagged non photo icon thingies.

then one day the staff decided that they wanted to not be a big storage pile for web crud and made a number of changes to curtail that use of flickr.

at about this time, the 'no illustrations' policy was introduced.

while right now flickr is primarily a 'post your own photos' place, at one point it was mostly a 'post other people's illustrations' place .. and this policy at least partially grew out of that legacy.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
striatic edited this topic 113 months ago.

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Violentz says:

Have you ever been into a McDonalds and asked for the breakfast menu in the afternoon? Or a whisky?

As someone who once worked at a McDonald's 25 years ago, I can attest to the fact that people on occasion did ask for breakfast food at all times of the day. As far as the whiskey, well...they usually just brought it in on their own in a brown paper bag. :O)
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Violentz says:

As far as Flickr changing to accomidate the wishes of its members, well, they do that all the time in all kinds of different ways to the dismay of many old members. Someday Flickr will allow illustrations, drawings and doodles.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Spanktacular says:

I gotta tell ya, I'm pretty curious about this cunt clusters thing. I may have to explore them soon...

Hey, why doesn't flickr censor tags themselves!? (what's the ascii code for an interbang, anyway?)
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Ape Lad says:

Flickr allows piles and piles and piles of illustrations right here and now, in spite of their own description of themselves. They just don't allow tagging of illustrations (or do they...www.flickr.com/photos/tags/doodle/ ) or accounts that are purely illustration/design portfolios. (Or do they...(I won't actually link to any of those for fear of reprisals upon said users. I'm no Elia Kazan.))
This tempest in a teakettle will continue to brew until one of three things occurs:
•flickr flat out removes all "non-photos" (which could mean a heck of a lot of deletions (depending on whose definition is used) and offend a heck of a lot of users)
•they simply allow the tagging feature for those accounts that feature illustrations
•they clarify that NIPSA is not deletion or censorship, merely a removal from the tagged photo pool.
Frankly I'm happy with one less feature if it means I can still use this great service and I have found the group feature to be equally rewarding.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
Ape Lad edited this topic 113 months ago.

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Jayel Aheram says:

flickr used to be primarilly filled with 'snagged' images, and many many snagged non photo icon thingies.


:(
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Spanktacular says:

www.flickr.com/photos/tags/penis/
turns up some interesting publicly accessible photos.
www.flickr.com/photos/hobknob/
www.flickr.com/photos/tudor/66680038/

If flickr can't even periodically spot-check such obvious words in tag usage, why are they such hawks when it comes to going after doodles?
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Kevin says:

To be fair, those were posted over the last couple days when the staff has been on holiday.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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striatic says:

If flickr can't even periodically spot-check such obvious words in tag usage, why are they such hawks when it comes to going after doodles?

also, i suspect that flickr has far more cocks than doodles.

er..

heh..

so harder to eliminate the porn, since there is more.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Kevin says:

Cock-a-doodle-doo!
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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zota says:

What if I hand alter a polaroid? What if I draw on a photograph and re-scan it? What if I draw on my camera lens?

What a silly epistemological rabbit hole.

If flickr wants "real photography" they should start exclusively hosting glass negatives.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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bivAb says:

I think flickr has a genuine problem, they don't want drawings and fractals for some reason, but they don't want people to say they're censoring images by content either, because that would just come off as uncool. Using the process as the mechanism for keeping art away is an obvious solution. But DAMN all these stupid grey areas!
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
bivAb edited this topic 113 months ago.

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groc says:

sounds remarkably petty to me.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Spanktacular says:

www.flickr.com/photos/maharaja/56925936/

Yup. Keeping copyrighted works from public tags is important!
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Caviar says:

Why not just add a set of flickr metatags that cause images to be indexed in certain ways?

The easiest thing would be to have a flickr:notphoto tag (or simply "notphoto"), and any images tagged with it don't show up in the photo indexing sections, although this could be fairly easily extended into other types if so desired. However, the basic functionality of not having those images show up in the dedicated photo areas could be accomplished with one tag. Sure - people would have to properly tag their non photo images, but that's sort of the case now to avoid being NIPSA'd anyway. If you have non-photos that aren't properly tagged as such, then you still get NIPSA'd as before.

Seems like this is a good compromise on both sides. Illustrators can still use the great tools, and the illustrations don't show up in the photo areas of the site.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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bivAb says:

Why not just, indeed. I do like your idea as much as it would infinitely improve the user experience of getting (or not getting) NIPSA'd, and I assume would have the bonus effect of relieving the staff of some of the manual effort of policing that they've setup for themselves.

But this makes no headway at all toward addressing the real problems here, which are that nobody knows what flickr means by "photo", or why they don't want "non-photos" to be seen in public so badly, or how to be in any way consistent or fair with any threshhold that segregates photos from non-photos.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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rvacapinta says:

Adding the notphoto tag would work in exactly the same way that marking your own photos "may offend" works today. So, unfortunately, it wouldnt solve anything.

The core problem is that NIPSA applies both to nonphotos and to erotica/porn with almost no distinction. No progress will be made on this issue until those two things are separated in some way.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Drift Words says:

Categories - bah!

> nobody knows what flickr means by "photo"

Nobody can ever know what a photo is, categorically. It's not a definite thing, it's a cluster of technological and social practices, and maybe some natural light (or maybe not).

This is why a convenient check box "I'm afraid this image is not a Photo" allowing a work around to this issue would ultimately spring up grey areas of its own, like a fractal, on and on ...
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
Drift Words edited this topic 113 months ago.

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exocubic says:

The salient point here is the definition of "photo". The prospect of drawing a rigid line that divides one image from another as "photo" is one that I find daunting, and I'm glad I don't have that responsibility. Some of my most enjoyable moments on flickr were searching what other users had tagged as "vector" or "fractal", and the loss of this ability would greatly diminish my appreciation of flickr. The most annoying aspect of the tagging system is the fact that so many weak, low-quality, uninteresting, banal, just-plain-ugly PHOTOS clutter my search for inpiring IMAGES. I would much prefer images that are judged for their quality rather than for a strictly semantic definition based upon the method of their creation.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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diversionmary says:

i've been worried about this since boing boing posted it. if you get nipsa'd, do you at least get notification? i try to keep my flickr mostly photos, but doodles sneak in there from time to time.

*edit
looks like i'm still ok! (knocks on wood)
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
diversionmary edited this topic 113 months ago.

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bivAb says:

No, there's no warning or notification. There's a little blurb that you can find only when you go to "everyone's photos" or do a search, but otherwise you won't know. You might notice you get fewer views and comments. That's part of why it upset me, the quiet and passive aggressive way this unwritten "policy" is enforced.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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katgyrl.com says:

this is really distressing to me. i've just found out that my absolute most favourite flickr contact has been NIPSAed, even tho' the bulk of her stream is traditional photography. amongst those photos are scans of her excellent and inspiring artwork, some of which now hang in my home. i would never have found her if the staff had been cracking down like this pre-yahoo, and my experience of flickr and my enjoyment of the art in my own home would not have been the same, or as good as it has been. i only found her because i was searching for photos of orange tabby cats, but i ended up with so much more - now tho', even her traditional photos are not found in searches or even the photo groups she belongs to.

fuck, i don't like this one bit ! how about a less heavy hand when NIPSAing ? someone who's got as many as or more trad photos as illustrations should not be punished.

no warning or notification ... You might notice you get fewer views and comments... the quiet and passive aggressive way this unwritten "policy" is enforced.

which leads me to believe yahoo has not learned any real lessons from it's previous customer related blunders, except that they should tread more quietly whilst wielding that big corporate stick.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Violentz says:

Tracy, this isn't due to Yahoo. NIPSAing has been going on long before Yahoo. Illustrations and Drawings on Flickr have been treated this way before Yahoo. This is FLICKr's decision so blaming Yahoo is absurd.


Edited to fix grammar
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
Violentz edited this topic 113 months ago.

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katgyrl.com says:

from the accounts of all others i'm discussing this with, it was not even remotely as common as it is now. people who are only recently NIPSAed have been around for nearly 2 years - why didn't it happen to them sooner. you would think those of us who have been around that long would have heard of it. granted i don't spend much time in the forums, but still, word of mouth etc.

clearly flickr was not as stringent pre-yahoo.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Brock says:

The fact that people get NIPSA'd and its consequences have been massively raised in profile over the last 6 months, though, Tracey.

It is always possible that people were NIPSA'd and just didn't know.

Also, the staff count has massively increased over the last year as well, so along with better development and support (despite some of the moaning in the forums) the chance to police some of the policies of the site has increased. Yahoos influence may well be purely that Flickr can afford to pay the wages to do it!

I suspect that Flickr was not as stringent as they wanted it to be, PRe-Yahoo...
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Violentz says:

I'm NIPSAed and just found out about it this weekend. How long I have been...I have no clue. I don't care, though, it saves me from wasting my time Tagging my images.

Tracy, don't you want to belong to such a service that is stringent about their rules? The fact they may (possibly) have not been so strigent in the past
was not a good thing overall, was it?

I personally think that Yahoo could care less if artwork or illustrations are posted on FLICKr. As Brock mentioned above...the staff has greatly increased since the Yahoo takeover, so I'm presuming the original staff who are still with Flickr are deciding how they are using that increased budget to improve the service. Who better to determine this than them? I suspect the only thing yahoo cares about is the profits.

Don't get me wrong, I want illustrations and drawings to be allowed on FLICKr, but I'm not blaming Yahoo for them not being allowed. That was the FLICKr rule before Yahoo.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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katgyrl.com says:

whichever way it is LESS. HEAVY. HAND. PLEASE. it makes no sense to alienate customers who have a a trad stream mixed with other types of jpeg. meanwhile i'll just add this to my list of reasons not to renew my pro acct next year.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Brock says:

Every account holder (Pro or otherwise) can apply, through the help by email system, to have their account reassessed if they feel that they have been incorrectly NIPSA'd.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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katgyrl.com says:

oh, also, shouldn't notification be the standard for something like this ? otherwise it's outright dishonest, especially concerning paying customers. regardless of it being in the faq or what-have-you, everyone knows people don't read those things thru' & that well known fact appears to be taken advantage of in this case.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Violentz says:

Well, the fact that people are NIPSA'd at all is the issue in these past few posts. I don't think anyone is claiming they were wrongly NIPSA'd, it's the rule itself they find unjust and the fact that Flickr goes to such extremes without even notifying the person NISPA'd.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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bivAb says:

What is correct NIPSA?

If the enforcement patterns are changing due to growing staff, this is effectively a change in policy, regardless of whether the wording (or in this case word) changed, contrary to claims at the top of this thread.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Violentz says:

Deleted
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
Violentz edited this topic 113 months ago.

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groc says:

petty AND sneaky.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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cemedia says:

I can't believe that all of you have spent so much time whinging about nothing. Just go out and take some nature foto's instead, please, and keep smiling. Peace Man!
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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striatic says:

Just go out and take some nature foto's instead

you might want to add "or go out and draw some pretty flowers", considering the thread.

: )
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

Stewart says:

1. Flickr (and the people who work at Flickr) are not against non-phographic images for any aesthetic, moral or political reasons.


2. In the long run, we'll have a way of flagging images as being something other than photos (screenshots, illustrations, art-thingies, etc.) and then everyone will be happy.

3. Until then, to keep photo searches photo searches, we only have the blunt instrument of nipsa'ing to do the job.

4. If you are nipsa'd, in means your photos don't show up in search results - they are still visible to non-users, search engines, other users, your contacts, other members of groups you are in. It is not the end of the world.

5. We're just trying to hold Flickr together* -- and till we have more subtle tools, it's the only thing we can do.

6. This has absolutely nothing to do with Yahoo! - I could dig out a thread almost just like this one from months before we were acquired.

p.s. "the staff count has massively increased over the last year as well" - at the beginning of this year, we were 10 people. Now we're 13 ... so, not sure if that is "massive".

That's 30% and at the same time the userbase has grown 800%, the number of pageviews 1200%, the number of photos posted per day by 2000%, etc. I'm sure it looks quite easy, but it ain't.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Brock says:

"at the beginning of this year, we were 10 people. Now we're 13 ... so, not sure if that is "massive"."

Really? Bloody hell, that surprises me. Maybe they were just suddenly more active. I certainly saw (active) more people that worked for Flickr (Corey I'd never heard of before at the time and a few others). Obviously just an impression rather than a reflection of true events.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )
Brock edited this topic 113 months ago.

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Spanktacular says:

flickr.com/photos/tags/moleskine/

Oh, those poor, poor, moleskine users are all about to be soo upset with their newly-imposed NIPSA status, aren't they?
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Ape Lad says:

Stewart,
Thank you for the clarification and explanation and keep up the good work.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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striatic says:

Corey I'd never heard of before at the time and a few others

corey was on staff well before the acquisition. you can zip back through these forums and see her acting in the 'official flickr helper elf' capacity.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

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Violentz says:

Thanks for the clarifications. My own confusion on this came over the weekend when I was with my brother on his computer and we logged into his Flickr account. We went to a public group that I admin. and have the majority of images and clicked on my my name in the list of the top five posters and none of my images were visable. We then went to my account and did the same and all my images were visable. Back to my brother's account and they still weren't visable, yet the other top 4 posters photos were visable, so I presumed this was a result of my being NIPSA'd. It was probably just a bug or something.


Anyway....glad to get the facts on NIPSA.
Posted 113 months ago. ( permalink )

This thread was closed automatically due to a lack of responses over the last month.

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