Help / The Help Forum

This thread has been closed by Flickr Staff.

Hot Topics

Flickr grandfathered Pro subscriptions
Latest: 54 minutes ago
[Official Thread] All new Flickr galleries
Latest: 6 hours ago
Hi SmugMug, my wish list for Flickr
Latest: 5 days ago

 

Current Discussion

Viewing photos on library computers
Latest: 2 hours ago
New Photo Not Showing Up in Photostream
Latest: 2 hours ago
How can I obtain this film photography style?
Latest: 6 hours ago
Auto sharing to Facebook.
Latest: 6 hours ago
SSL error when trying to login to App on iPhone
Latest: 7 hours ago
Will deleting my account at Yahoo delete my photos on Flickr?
Latest: 9 hours ago
[bug] Flickr 4.5.0 Auto Upload has stopped working
Latest: 11 hours ago
Expired Kodak T400CN
Latest: 14 hours ago
unable to view images beyond the one page
Latest: 15 hours ago
Changing payment method to PayPal from credit card, will I lose my grandfathered Pro benefits
Latest: 15 hours ago
Changing Email Address
Latest: 18 hours ago
Does flickr iphone app upload videos?
Latest: 19 hours ago
More...

Search the Help Forum

[locked] flickr is censoring our photos and comments

chadworthman says:

Check out _rebekka's story:

www.flickr.com/photos/rebba/500114525/

Please read the official response from Stewart:
"...I've gotten the whole back story from the team and have read the forums, various Flickr groups topics and blog posts on this topic (as of a few hours ago), so I have a pretty good idea that we screwed up for which I take full responsibility..."
Posted at 4:53PM, 15 May 2007 PDT ( permalink )
Eric (staff) edited this topic ages ago.

(201 to 300 of 312 replies in [locked] flickr is censoring our photos and comments)
view photos

aleeshka PRO says:

ericmeier2002: lol. love your sense of humor. :)
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

The Searcher PRO says:

aha! there it is, a no-less-than-perfectly ironic example of Flickr's censorship! They've deleted this very thread, snuffing out countless voices without reason or warning. This thread has been deleted!

Except.. I'm complaining about it.. IN this thread.. um.

Crap, now I'm confused.

Dave, as hilarious [and not funny ha-ha, more funny ooh--really?] as it is that Flickr temporarily misplaced the worst possible forum thread to misplace, it's probably a little different than deletion. Database errors [where I work, at least] usually mean something's been bumped to a wrong directory, or mislabeled under "P" for "Censorship", etc.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Flickr Staff

‮‭‬bees‬ PRO says:

a whole bunch of threads started yesterday afternoon had gone missing. however, this was the only one people noticed in the few minutes that they were gone.

we had accidentally failed over to a database which was missing a portion of data from yesterday. this thread appeared to disappear. we failed back to the original database server and the thread re-appeared.

vast conspiracy? you bet!
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Dave Ward Photography says:

"Mistakes were made."

And saying to makes it all okay. See? There's no need to actually FIX "mistakes" when you can just say "oops! my bad!" and giggle!
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Walwyn PRO says:

@_tee

I paid for a full account - I expected better from Flickr

Gosh you paid a penny under $25 and for that you get to post unlimited photos, and get all righteous online too. For pure entertainment you must have had more than your $25 worth in the last hour. Do you also expect flickr to send some one round to wipe your backside too.

So a photo or a post gets deleted ... personally I blame the mob that started in with the threats. Collectively you've managed to turned this from "rebekka got her photos ripped off", into "flickr deleted my post". What was that about "speaking for Rebekkas specific case"?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

The Searcher PRO says:

which mistake exactly haven't they fixed, and/or are giggling about?

Or are you saying we aren't actually in this thread right now? Maybe we're still in the locked thread that [someone] misleadingly renamed after the fact?

Personally, I don't mind some giggling while fixing things. lightens the mood.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
The Searcher edited this topic ages ago.

view photos

gainful table says:

Gosh you get to decide who and whats posts are worth the $25? Gee I didnt know that was anyones job....Hey everyone - your $25 aint worth shit here!
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
gainful table edited this topic ages ago.

view photos

striatic PRO says:

They only seem to make 'mistakes' when convenient for them.

stewart butterfield [flickr founder, maybe you've heard of him?] had his entire photostream deleted from the site, accidentally, and it too was essentially irretrievable from backup.

i think that's a mistake that wasn't convenient for him.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

gainful table says:

and btw! Walwy gets to decide its worth more than $25 to post here - because of the 'entertainment' value!

Hey Walwyn? Can I borrow your entertainment calculator? You are a programmer right? It must be uber complex!

(id like to wipe my backside with your calculator)
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

The Searcher PRO says:

I doubt that anyone, after all this, after Digg, after Slashdot, after this vanishing thread, that anyone could actually say this event was "convenient" for Flickr.

Maybe the word you're looking for is "incontheivable".

[Tee: if I paypal you $25 right now, will you calm down and re-join the topic?]
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

*phototristan says:

No, he deleted them himself. Plus he's on the Flickr staff, very different than deleting paying customer photos/comments.



stewart butterfield [flickr founder, maybe you've heard of him?] had his entire photostream deleted from the site, accidentally, and it too was essentially irretrievable from backup.

i think that's a mistake that wasn't convenient for him.

Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

gainful table says:

I think this topic is pretty much beaten to death and no worries - I got my $25 worth according to Walwyns fancy calculator of entertainment.

My final comment:

Answer this question FLICKR:

IF the original data is saved by a member of this site - are you willing to REPOST it in its orginal format?

Anyone willing to answer?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

striatic PRO says:

i think the problems caused by rebekka's photo are really being papered over here.

there were physical addresses being shared and threats of physical harm leveled.

the company having the threats leveled against it had claimed to have bought the photos from someone else in good faith.

was rebekka responsible for the threats? no. should flickr have deleted the photo? no. was there a sane, responsible 'motivation' behind deleting the photo? i think so, stopping the threats and legal liability from the threats. was deleting the photo the right way to go about neutering the threats? no, and flickr has admitted as much.

there's free speech and then there is leveling threats at people, which shouldn't be allowed on flickr. rebekka was clearly unfairly punished for the behaviour of the mob, but let's not pretend that the mob didn't exist and that threats weren't being leveled.

how SHOULD flickr be dealing with threats or implied threats posted in comments? deleting photos obviously isn't the answer. what is?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
striatic edited this topic ages ago.

view photos

ceaseless stranger says:

Please, can someone explain to me the difference between doing a "fail back" on the original database to retrieve threads on the help forums compared to the inability to retrieve comments and deleted photos? I'm confused. I have no knowledge of how the database works. Are threads on the help forum kept on a different database then our photos and comments are?

As I understand it, you are able to get back missing threads from the database but not deleted photos or comments? Can you not "fail back" (sorry if that is not the correct terminology) on the database to get back the deleted photos and comments or does it only work on threads in the help forums.

Not trying to stir the pot, just wondering why one is retrievable and the other isn't.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Dave Ward Photography says:

which mistake exactly haven't they fixed

Where is the "accidentally" deleted image and all the original comments associated with it?

Thank you, Searcher, for standing up for the big guy, and doing your part to keep the unwashed masses at bay. You are a true hero.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

The Searcher PRO says:

Considering it was apparently an error, and much of the contents of the surviving comments and image description has been re-posted multiple times in this forum without re-deletion, odds are if it exists it can go back up.

But it's Rebekka's photostream. So it's probably up to her whether or not she wants a giant comment-vomit regurgitated onto one of her pages (and Dave demonstrated that's doable with his temporary recovery of this thread in a new post), not up to Flickr.

And considering Rebekka's absence among this freight-train, she may be doing other things more important to her. Like taking some pictures or something.

[thanks dave. I always appreciate your continued adulation.]
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
The Searcher edited this topic ages ago.

view photos

Dave Ward Photography says:

I think this topic is pretty much beaten to death

Hardly. It's not been beaten to death until it's actually fixed. Merely saying "oops! my bad! tee hee!" is not a fix.

"if it exists it can go back up."

And yet, it hasn't. Why won't flickr staff actually FIX the mistake?

And if there were "addresses" and "threats" in that material, why don't they just do a "[deleted by staff]" like they do in all other cases when there is an inappropriate link or similar?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
Dave Ward Photography edited this topic ages ago.

view photos

gainful table says:

No youre right - but I left my final say....the data is available for repost.

and lets see if the crickets ensue...

(crickets?)
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Dave Ward Photography says:

"the data is available for repost."

...and yet Flickr staff refuse to fix it. Funny, that.

Back to "The Searcher Show", as this thread has become.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Flickr Staff

‮‭‬bees‬ PRO says:

SublimeImage:

The forum thread was not 'deleted'. When something is deleted, it is gone. The forum threads had not been copied correctly from one database to another. We switched back to using the database which had a copy of all threads.

We have many different copies (replicas) of every database incase something goes wrong. Any writes or deletes are performed simultaneously on all of the copies stay in sync. The thread was missing from one copy, whereas pressing 'delete' removes it from all copies.

If a thread is 'deleted', we cannot get it back. While forums and photos are stored in different databases (and likely my photos are stored in a different database to yours - we have alot of databases) they all work in the same way.

There's a fair bit of simplication in this explanation, but hopefully it goes a little way to explaining where the thread went :)
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

The Searcher PRO says:

thanks. I'm here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

enchanted home says:

Going all out against a particular person at a particular address is generally a bad thing to do.

There's a good reason for not wanting to encourage this sort of thing, and can result in some extremely horrible things in the rare cases (it happens) when the infringement is misblamed or someone hits the wrong address (often domains get registered by other people, or someone else committed the foul up, etc).

This isn't really a bad form of censorship... it's protecting the rights of someone who has been accused. There is a legal process for actually dealing with the problem.

IMHO Flickr did the right thing here.

The fact that minor issues are once again being elevated in status by someone holding a stake in a direct Flickr competitor (I shall resist using the word "ripoff") are once again hilarious.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

striatic PRO says:

we don't have the right to threaten people on flickr ... is everyone in agreement on that?

seems that flickr staff overreacted to an out of control situation where threats were being thrown about.

i think that's a bit different than censoring rebekka to shut her up because she's an 'uppity' photographer. it was trying to put a plug in a situation where some nasty and possibly illegal acts were being bandied about.

they did a poor job of putting the plug in, and ended up throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but i think that they were acting with good intentions.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
striatic edited this topic ages ago.

view photos

Flickr Staff

Gino PRO says:

The fact that minor issues are once again being elevated in status by someone holding a stake in a direct Flickr competitor (I shall resist using the word "ripoff") are once again hilarious.

I wasn't aware that any Flickr competitors were posting here.

[censored: de-winked]
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
Dunstan (staff) edited this topic ages ago.

view photos

ceaseless stranger says:

Thank you kindly for explaining that to me Bee's.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

{alpinejonny} says:

While I agree in some regards to what Thomas Hawk has been saying, its also realistic to say that the flickr employees are the ones with the final say arn't they?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Flickr Staff

Stewart PRO says:

[I'm one of the co-founders of Flickr, and am the general manager with overall responsibility for all things Flickr.]

I have to be a little quicker than I'd like because I'm writing this on a Treo in a car in the desert, coming back from a vacation (I'm not driving - no worries). I've gotten the whole back story from the team and have read the forums, various Flickr groups topics and blog posts on this topic (as of a few hours ago), so I have a pretty good idea that we screwed up -- and for that I take full responsibility (actually, several team members are fighting to take responsibility).

There are several policies which will be changing as a direct result of this incident and the goal is that nothing like this ever happens again. Any errors from now on should be on the side of caution.

It's important to be clear why the photo was deleted: it had nothing to do with a desire to silence Rebekka from calling attention to the outfit which had reportedly sold copies of her photos without knowledge or permission and without compensating her (in fact, even before her photo was deleted, we were investigating ways in which we could help Rebekka in this situation and prevent it from happening to others).

This had nothing to do with fear of a lawsuit, but with deeply held beliefs about the kind of place we want Flickr to be. Unfortunately, those beliefs were misapplied in this case, but we still hold the general principle to be true.

We spend huge amounts of time an energy to prevent unauthorized use of Flickr members' photos through technical, policy and legal avenues: the whole team that manages Flickr, from technical operations and engineering to design, customer care and community management are acutely aware of the issues and do their best on a daily basis to balance rights issues and copyright protection with a sharing environment that is as open and dynamic possible and let members make their own choices about how they want to play.

The photo was deleted -- again, mistakenly -- because of the direction the comments had gone, which included posting the personal information of the infringing company's owner and suggestions for how best to exact revenge. It is an emotional issue and most people were there to support Rebekka in a positive way, but some of the angry mob behavior crossed the line.

Flickr is not a venue that we will allow to be used to harass, intimidate, threaten incite hatred against people -- even if those people have done something wrong. We strive to be free and open, but just like laws against crying "fire!" in a crowded theater, a desire to promote free speech has it's limits.

We get challenging situations on Flickr all the time: ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, ex-husbands and wives, disputes between business partners or landlords and tenants, posting photos and text with the intent of hurting someone else. These can be quite tricky to deal with morally and legally, and almost all of the time we make the right choice.

Having said that, this time, we made the wrong choice. The person who made the call is not, as has been suggested, stupid, incompetent, underpaid, under qualified, inexperienced or mean. They just made a big mistake (and feel inconsolably awful about it, by the way). We also did not have the right policies in place to prevent it from happening or rectifying it afterward. And that's entirely the responsibility of the Flickr leadership team, and myself in particular.

So, to Rebekka: Our apologies. I'm sure you did not intend to bring on the firestorm to the extent it developed, you were not in the wrong and it was our fault to suggest that you were. (I will write to her directly as well).

We're taking our well-deserved lumps on this one, but have learned a painful lesson and are doubly committed to being better stewards of this wonderful thing called Flickr. Thank you for bearing with us and we're sorry.

-- posted by Heather for Stewart who is on the road and won't be able to respond until later tonight

[edit awkward sentence in first paragraph]
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
Stewart (staff) edited this topic ages ago.

view photos

aleeshka PRO says:

wow. well handled stewart. nice to hear from you on the topic.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

sbpoet PRO says:

This is why I joined -- and stay with -- flickr.

Thanks, Stewart.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

chadworthman says:

I've been using flickr as a place to backup some of my most important photos. Given the news that has been shared here, I now believe I have a false sense of security.

I'm a sys admin for the phone company and a major part of my job is making sure important data is backed up, safe, and retrievable.

In my experience, human error is almost always the cause of a data restore, more than hardware or software failure. Yet flickr appears to only have a backup strategy for the latter.

Will this be changed?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
chadworthman edited this topic ages ago.

view photos

TinyTitian says:

Stewart,

I am glad that someone at the top is aware and it taking charge. I hope to see improvements in the entire situation.

Chadworthman, fairness to flickr here, Phone companies had legal duties for many decades to keep such a fine level of back up policies for legal purposes.

Internet base Operations such as Flickr have no such legal requirement to do so.

In all fairness Stewart said they simply did not have the polices in place to prevent this and recover from this, I am sure it will be there now.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

philomythus says:

Thanks, Stewart. That's a very charitable, thorough explanation. I very much look forward to hearing more about the Flickr policies that "will be changing as a direct result of this incident". Do keep us posted.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Matthias Pabst PRO says:

@Stewart: Thanks for your statement.

The photo was deleted -- again, mistakenly -- because of the direction the comments had gone ...

But this means the photo was chosen for a review by the flickr staff to decide whether to delete it or not?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Dave Ward Photography says:

Great reply, Stewart. I still don't buy that Flickr keeps all the backups of the db in synch. Any sysadmin knows that's a recipe for disaster. When something happens to one database, all the others copy the problem. If all dbs are synched, it defeats half the purpose of keeping backups at all. Did Flickr really not know any better until now?

And in the future when comments get out of hand under a photo, will staff use a "line item veto" against just the offending portions (as is done right here in the help forum when somebody posts a bad link, etc), instead of deleting the photo itself?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

jimporett says:

Thanks Stewart for your post. Much appreciated. Time to move on people. More important issues in the world to spend our time and energy on than this.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

The Searcher PRO says:

chadworthman: as have been discussed many, many times in forums here in the past; using any online repository for critical backups is a bad idea. As a backup-backup, or handy retrieval location, sure. But Flickr should not be considered as a replacement for proper personal/physical backups and storage. Not just for this incident as an example, but for you accidentally deleting your own images, or a storage failure, or an account hack, etc.

So yes. you have a false sense of security.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Dave Ward Photography says:

@jim: don't tell people when to move on, or what's important and what's not.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

gainful table says:

Nice post from the leaders over here. Id love to see a better rule set around comments that may have gotten out of hand as Dave says above - not the delete and forget way that happend before...

Please keep us informed as to your changes so we can all be aware of your new rules.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Proggie PRO says:

Dave: i think flickr has backups in place for when bugs in software or hardware failures occur. When a user or staffer deletes something by mistake, it's viewed by them as authorative, and not an accident. Otherwise if they failed back from a backup you'd have users complaining that their deleted photo/comment suddenly returned.
(Sounds like a failback happens in bulk and is not as simple as dragging a few specific files from a backed up HD like users may be used to).
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
Proggie edited this topic ages ago.

view photos

RoninVision says:

Thanks for the reply, Stewart. As I said in another thread, a little honest communication goes a long way. I'm also glad that Flickr policies will be revised regarding this type of situation.

As philomythus said, please keep us posted.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

JPaul23 PRO says:

First I knew of this story was when I just read about it in the online edition of the Guardian newspaper here in the UK. It makes me wonder what would happen if , for example, the same thing happened to...say...ME, who doesn't get huge exposure and thousands of people visiting my photos, and hence, generating interest in Flickr. Probably bugger-all I'd guess.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

chadworthman says:

Thanks Searcher, I also have duplicate copies on hard drives.

After I thought about it a bit, Stewart's response confirms the fact that rebekka's photo was censored (albiet hastily and incorrectly) and that censoring takes place "all the time" on flickr.

What you post on flickr has to fit within the "deeply held beliefs" of what the flickr team wants flickr to be or your content (photos, posts, comments) may be arbitrarily deleted.

My bet is that the delete first, ask questions later policy will be adjusted (hide first, delete later), but censoring will ultimately continue.

Make your own choice if that's a community you want to participate in.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

jimporett says:

@Dave: Relax... Last time I checked I can and will suggest people move on. And I do so with no ill intent. There are more important things in the world than this.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

SteveFE says:

JPaul, it happens to ordinary, less-than-stellar photographers all the time.And the same old hacks tell us "Don't post your pictures on the WWW if you don't want to be ripped off".

Screw that.

Rebekka didn't take it lying down and she had the support to get the offending site taken down by its owners, albeit through threats and intimidation (not instigated by her I hasten to add). Live by the sword, die by the sword. Rip off intellectual property, you get death threats and harassment. That's the way the WWW currently works in the absence of anything resembling international regulation and facilitation of due legal process in any form that normal mortals can afford.

While not especially condoning the harassment of Only-Dreemin, I have to say that somebody had this coming to them for a long time, and they were the unfortunates who ripped off the wrong photographer.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

meowing-noises says:

I've followed the progression of this incident with growing confusion and disbelief. More so when the clearly flippant and dismissive attitude of Flickr staff came clear in this topic. This later answer by Stewart already sounds much more like someone in Flickr actually cares about this whole mess.

However, "There are several policies which will be changing as a direct result of this incident and the goal is that nothing like this ever happens again. Any errors from now on should be on the side of caution." -- Can Flickr truly back this claim up? Only time will tell. I'm honestly not feeling too confident about anything changing, especially if - in the end - all it takes is a couple apologies and some political rhetoric when something nasty hits the fan.

It's been an extremely unconvenient incident for Flickr. It just so happened that Rebekka's fanbase was over the critical mass, and that she had the right qualities for becoming a bit of an "icon for the oppressed." I'm most saddened by the very likely probability that had Rebekka not become such a martyr, things like these would pass under the radar as it seems they have passed until now.

I can somewhat assume that the person who deleted the photo in question is someone who deletes a lot of illegal or unwanted material from Flickr on a regular basis - and has grown a loose delete finger. If they are truly chagrined from this event, maybe they'll grow as a person through it and give more respect to people's right to freedom of speech. A circumstance that grants power to rule what other people express needs firm responsibility to keep the watchdogs in check - obviously more responsibility than what has been available through these various "censoring incidents."
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Dave Ward Photography says:

"There are more important things in the world than this."

And I can and do point out that if you think it's a good idea to tell artists they shouldn't be deeply concerned about censorship and copyright violation, then you're a complete idiot.

And don't tell artists to "relax" when they're being ripped-off or censored, just like you don't tell a woman to "relax" while she's being raped. YOU may not give a damn about theft, or censorship -- or even rape maybe -- but you have no business telling the people who DO give a damn to "move on."

It's a shame that some people like you don't care about anything until it happens to you.

When YOUR pictures are stolen, or when YOUR house is broken into and robbed, or when YOUR child is abducted, remember "relax and move on."
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Matthias Pabst PRO says:

Thanks, Dave!!!
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Flickr Staff

George says:

just like you don't tell a woman to "relax" while she's being raped

Dave - Just so you know? I find your inflammatory comparison to rape here personally offensive, and I'm doing my very best not to abuse my power and delete your post, in the interests of free speech.

Perhaps you'd like to look for another metaphor?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Walwyn PRO says:

And I can and do point out that if you think it's a good idea to tell artists they shouldn't be deeply concerned about censorship and copyright violation, then you're a complete idiot.

But this thread wasn't about any of that was it now?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

cameronconner says:

I didn't read all the comments in this forum and I don't have time to, but frankly I don't see how flickr did anything wrong. They MAY have done wrong to delete the photo and not just the offending comments, but it still remains that the people were (again i didn't see the photo, i got the backwash from it, so from what stewart said) violating the rules here and should be punished.

The problem with flickr -and all service based sites like zoomr, google, whatever- is that your data isn't under your control anymore, which is why you should always expect the possibility of it being removed for any reason what so ever.

that isn't to say that the service site (ie flickr) doesn't have the right to remove the stuff, they do, it's their site, even if you're paying them to use it, but you must strike a balance in your policies.
for example, in this case i think that the photo should have not been deleted but the offending comments should with notes sent to the offenders and something posted in the thread. The photo in this case wasn't the issue, nor was the plea for attention of the problem, it was the people who made it go sour (whoever those were).

you've got to strike a balance. and that's a tough thing to do. Is it right for flickr to run to my stream and delete any of my photos for no reason? No. If I had an image on there that wasn't owned by me, or was a hate crime, yes and maybe, respectivly. The latter isn't a yes because photos are art, and like art they have to be taken in a way that could be just journalism, because I might be taking a photo of gay bashers, or even setting it up to make it look like gay bashers (or whatever), but that doesn't mean I don't like gay people or I oppose their rights, (which I don't, mind you) but it could be that I'm hilighting a problem all over the world with a particularly gruesome photograph. Which is what art is about, to bring out emotions in people, wether that's hate, love, sadness, lust, or whatever.
So you must strike a balance.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Rygood PRO says:

This forces a comparison to the whole JPG magazine debacle of late. This is a perfect example of GOOD customer service and community management and how to handle a mini pr crisis honestly and effectively, unlike the people who run 8020 and feel dishonesty is the best policy. (heather, you and derek will be missed their i'm sure, at least by those who havent quit....


Props to flickr for handling this with grace, class and honesty, despite an intial misstep.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

fotochickarama says:

flickr did the same thing to me too - no explaqination and deleted my paid membership. sorry rebekka. i feel for you.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

jimporett says:

@Dave: FYI after you are done your personal attacks I'd be willing to discuss this further since you don't know me or my beliefs. Oh and by the way I agree that Flickr is in the wrong about this. In addition, I fully support all artists as i have had my work stolen and care about protecting it more that you will ever know. Flickr has responded in this thread more than most issues and I believe they owned up to the fact that they screwed up. Kudos to them for that.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

The Searcher PRO says:

chadworthman: "Make your own choice if that's a community you want to participate in. "

That's sort of a no-brainer, isn't it? I mean, why would you be someplace, participate in something, that you personally don't agree with? And you've seemingly convinced yourself of others' wrongdoing, so it appears to be an easy choice for you. Fortunately, you haven't convinced me of same.

Dave: "don't tell people when to move on, or what's important and what's not."

Great advice. Interesting that it's from the same person that not hours ago gave this advice:

"Don't you have more important things to do, like take pictures?"

Is this one of those do as I say, not as I do moments?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

DougBulger says:

It is very simple:
If you post large high quality images on a public site you open your self to theft.

1. Post low res 72 dpi at 600 x 800 pixels or smaller and tag your stuff with your copyright notice. Tag every photo you post no matter how small or trivial. If you make a web site and have untagged photos have a copyright page that states it is yours or others intellectual property.

2. If you post to a public site your ideas will be copied as ideas can not be copyrighted.

3. Accept that your low res images will be stolen. If you discover the theft bring it, politely, the attention of the user. In most cases they are unaware of the law and will pay for or remove the image. If not contact their ISP, most ISP's have no tolerance for copyright violations per their TOS. If your copyright tag has been removed you will have a very strong case. That can be made stronger if you registered your copyright.

3. Register your work, all images, text et. al., with www.copyright.gov/ so you have a more powerful recourse if your copyright is violated.

4. Indicate that high res versions (or prints) of your images are for sale. Make them available from another site like photoshelter. Sites using the photoshelter model cater to keeping your stuff safe and have reputations for honest treatment of their clients.

Nuff Said

Doug
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Dave Ward Photography says:

Perhaps you'd like to look for another metaphor?

Absolutely NOT. Perhaps you know NOTHING about me, what I've been through, what has been done to me, or what I'm speaking out of.

Got it?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

www.dnurv.ca PRO says:

oh dear
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

The Searcher PRO says:

Ok, well that makes the choice really easy. I think for the foreseeable future, I'm just not gonna do anything as you say, nor as you do.

yikes.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
The Searcher edited this topic ages ago.

view photos

Flickr Staff

heather PRO says:

Got it?

I'm sorry, but you'll need to dial back the agro if you'd like to continue in the discussion.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Indrani Soemardjan PRO says:

I don't understand why flickr not just lock / make private any problematic pictures rather than delete it immediately. Flickr always reiterates that "your photos are yours" but deleting photos hastily is as close as stealing, no?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Flickr Staff

dathan PRO says:

heather == zen priest
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

The Searcher PRO says:

Indrani: I know it's a long thread [torturous even], but way up there someplace, or just up to Stewart's post, you should be able to see that the deletion was a mistake. Setting images to private is something that they usually/often do if there are issues, at least in my experience. They do, however, reserve the right to delete anything here, including entire streams. Usually it's if there's a violation, last resort sort of thing, of the terms of service or guidelines. So I don't think you can call it theft, since when you sign up you basically agree to the terms.

[I'm sure those who's comments vanished might agree with you, since those don't exist anyplace else. But some way to preserve comments has long been on my wishlist.]
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Indrani Soemardjan PRO says:

thanks for the clarification, the searcher
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Bici Girl says:

stewart butterfield [flickr founder, maybe you've heard of him?] had his entire photostream deleted from the site, accidentally, and it too was essentially irretrievable from backup.

i think that's a mistake that wasn't convenient for him


Lame, I may not renew after all,, haha
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Dave Ward Photography says:

I'm sorry, but you'll need to dial back the agro if you'd like to continue in the discussion.

That's funny. Tell George, as that's where the "agro" entered, not to mention the incredible disrespect, as well as the outright confession that some flickr staff members have a very strong urge to quickly delete anything they don't like.

No, you'll have to dial up the listening and humility if you want this to actually be a "discussion" rather than just another round of the familiar "let's smite all who complain" game.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

workroom says:

bravo

if only our own government would have such integrity and candor

well done stewert
will you run for president
or at least apply for US Attorney General?

; )
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Tom DS says:

Thank you for rectifying this. It's great to see how human we are, that we can make mistakes, and we can correct them and learn from them. I was outraged when I read about Rebekka and now I'm glad you rectified this.

Ðjin
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

enchanted home says:

ost low res 72 dpi at 600 x 800 pixels or smaller and tag your stuff with your copyright notice

My favorite line from Herbert -- "Fear is the Mind Killer".

Nah, as I've said before elsewhere, I think this is reactionary. Do this if you want, but the world really is safe for photo sharing if you can accept the consequences that a few bad apples are out there and will do evil regardless. Those types don't care about your copyright notice and will erase your ugly watermarks, etc. They can upsample your image with something like Genuine Fractals if they want to. And, while it will probably suck when it does, somebody might still buy it.

To be a part of a photo sharing community you have to, well, share, and that means not being afraid of these folks.

I doubt anyone is pirating my traffic cones, but if that happens, odds are I won't be around to see it, and I'll never know. That really doesn't bother me.

Being able to share photos in a community, and to be able to provide undegraded content is a good thing. And I upload stuff original size because I believe in the Creative Commons. There are legitimate reasons for sharing unscarred fullsize content with the world. You have to believe that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

If someone wants to print a 20x30 picture from my photostream and hang it on their walls (not sell it of course), that's an honor to me, not a crime. One of my friends did this actually, I would have let him of course, but it was even more awesome that he did this without asking ... and that it's legal for them to do so. I also had someone email me about some photos I had of their old homesite. Again, it was absolutely great to make that stuff available -- they wouldn't have paid for them, and had they not been on Flickr, I'm not sure I would have had them to share.

The new media/intarweb revolution requires new business models. Attempting to restrict content, like the way the media industry does it (DRM, low-quality iTunes tracks, etc) clearly doesn't work.

The model is flawed, let's not break it further by treating consumers like criminals and subjecting them to copyright notices (note: you have copyright even without that notice, and even content under the Creative Commons still leaves you with copyright), watermarks, and tiny images that obscure how good/bad a photo really is.

Maybe in some ways I just want to be a hippie, but share and share alike... hiding content doesn't make Flickr a better place. And, if you're selling photos, it's probably not designed for you anyway. Flickr shouldn't be an advertising medium exclusively about self promotion.

Watermarks, (C) notices, and downsized images are just like those low-bitrate MP3's and CD's that don't play on certain computers we don't like. That is, they penalize good people a lot more than they stop alleged crooks.

On a similar note, currently the RIAA et al want to raise the penalties for IP theft. Prisions suck and they ruin lives. I think it's better we find a way to make these sort of copyright violations less useful rather than punishing people for making them.

Also, don't say IP. It blurs things. These things are not all the same, and none of them are actually "property" in that knowledge isn't a thing that can be owned. This is a copyright issue alone.

The companies you hear most shouting "IP" are the ones we most love to hate -- Microsoft, SCO, the RIAA, MPAA, etc. It's better to not give them creedence. Copyright and trademark need to be respected, true ... but it's not really about "property", per se, in that these are not tangible assets but ideas. Since they are all treated differently, this is a copyright discussion not an IP discussion.

In ensuring artists/distributers rights, we have to make sure we're not also reducing consumer rights by encouraging such things as the RIAA/MPAA and the Microsoft patent empire to grow. Asking for greater IP protections is asking for that.

Sorry for the long comment, plenty are welcome to disagree with the above. Anyhow, I just think we all hiding our "valuables" makes them less valuable. People who try to sell other people's work suck, because the people who are getting paid are predatory -- but we're not going to be able to starve those predators.

Sharing content online has made me want to take a lot more pictures. It made me from a guy who has a camera to somebody who is (at least as a hobby) someone who considers himself a photographer. That's awesome. Anyhow, spreading the message that we should be afraid of image theft encourages less sharing, and that community dies a little when that happens. I choose not to be afraid.

Back on topic -- I've always been impressed with Flickr's honesty and openness, and this is a really _small_ event and not much to get worked up over. Good for Flickr, and I'm glad to see you did well more than what was needed to apologize. Your tolerance in some cases with folks complaining against the system is also very very admirable. I wouldn't have as much tolerance and many people are fans of this site because you do have that straight forwardness and fairness. I'm continually impressed. Not trying to suck up. I really am impressed.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
enchanted home edited this topic ages ago.

view photos

brlittle says:

@Dave:

You know, nothing personal, but maybe a sense of perspective is in order. If you seriously believe a single instance of IP theft is equivalent to rape, I'd suggest your view is a tad skewed. Seriously, man...dial it down.

@Stewart:

Thanks for the candid response to a noxious situation.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

www.dnurv.ca PRO says:

bad judgement...rash decsions...a case mishandled...contrite apologies... a dark day to be sure..

hopefully one that will lead to more openess and consideration when it comes to these types of issues because it would appear that now hundreds of normal law biding flickr folk have had a taste of how mercurial their perceived right to expression can be once they've been deemed unclean...

the cat is out of the bag so to speak...
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

honestdave says:

props to stewart.

impressive communication and leadership!
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

striatic PRO says:

the thing i'm really confused by is that some people seem to think that flickr has this malicious intent.

i mean there they are trying to deal with people leveling death threats, and they make a mistake in how they executed on dealing with these threats.

okay, so that's a big dumb mistake.

but how do we get from that to "flickr wants to censor everyone"?

i think that when threats of physical harm are leveled, that's an appropriate time to flickr staff to get involved. obviously not by deleting entire photos, but deleting some comments might have to happen. the people making such threats might have to be warned of possible termination and so on.

is that censorship? maybe. whatever you want to call it i think it is a pre-requisite for a civil community and i don't want flickr staff to shy away from dealing with threats of violence [although more prudence would be in order next time].
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
striatic edited this topic ages ago.

view photos

enchanted home says:

Right. The tendancy to believe Flickr to be hostile confuses me. Flickr is awesome.

From past experience everywhere else, people on the internet like to get riled up more so than they do in real life. They need to learn that the internet is also the same real life, and they do not need to get offended as easily.

Flickr is not a malicious entity. We have Redmond and Halliburton for that. (Ok, maybe not your favorites, so you can pick any two you like instead).

Part of this thread consists of an alleged (wink) competitor trying to rile up a crowd so more people get angry wtih Flickr. That's wrong. And several others that continually play the angry parts they like to play, because this is the internet, and being offended/outrateged is fashionable. This event is nothing. People are dying elsewhere and nobody really wants to blog about that. However this -- this -- is controversy?

Removal of an thread gone horribly awry, posted for commentary purposes to call out an alleged copyright violator -- not for photo sharing purposes but doing something already discouraged by the Flickr TOS -- instead of hiding that content. Minor mistake. But the photo uploaded wasn't there to be looked at as a photo, so the only loss is the ability to wage social war on the offender. Minor loss. And in the event the offender was incorrectly identified, this is a good thing to prevent that from happening. Vigilante justice without process is wrong. I think we all know why that's wrong, it's not what the poster of the photo intended most likely, but Flickr didn't want to see that turn ugly. That's good. They should have just marked it private instead or something, but other than that, it's ok. I imagine the photo getting added to digg or equivalent messed up the idea that making it private would be reasonable enough to protect the rights of the accused -- I could be wrong, but in any case, that would make deletion acceptable IMHO.

While we may think it, freedom of speech doesn't actually /apply/ in Corporate America (it's not the government) -- and Flickr has an incredibly liberal TOS. Be thankful of how good it is here, the sign that they allow this kind of commentary and criticism is in fact a fantastic sign that they are really good in nature. I would like it to continue to be that way, and why it may be Orwellian to think so, being nice to Flickr means they can find it easier to be nicer to us.

So let's encourage a decent /positive/ community about stuff like this. Flickr owned up. They didn't really even have to, and this is being made into a really big deal when it's just a minor incident. If you want to dig further, see who is proding the coals.

Can we go save the whales now?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
enchanted home edited this topic ages ago.

view photos

tshane PRO says:

I petition that Stewart fire the entire flickr staff and then resign. All staff members should be compensated with pain killers for having to bite their collective tongues for todays epic journey. If this does not happen, I vow to cancel my XM Radio, JPG magazine, and 24-Hour Gym memberships.

No giggling.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

enchanted home says:

Ironically, I already cancelled XM (quality*/content** was just meh) and JPG. I don't have a gym membership. But if getting one to cancel it helps, I'll do that.

* = low bitrates, ironically enough
** = easy-listening Fleetwood Mac on Classic Rock Channel is equivalent to kitten photography
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Flickr Staff

Rev Dan Catt says:

oooh, I like kitten photography...

/subscribes to XM
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

tshane PRO says:

I wasn't trying for ironic, but thanks. Actually, I never go to the gym, either.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

seibu1 says:

Thanks, Stewart. This is the kind of open communication, and honest talk we expect from Flickr. Well done.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

::sarah:: says:

how do we get from that to "flickr wants to censor everyone"?

...not just to there but to comparing a few photos being stolen and then a post and comments mistakenly being deleted (which has been admitted, explained and apologized for repeatedly) to a mentally, physically and emotionally damaging, horrible, violent act. I seriously doubt that the victim of photo-theft and human error (which we're all guilty of at some point) feels quite the same way a rape victim would. Perspective is a good thing to learn in life.

Maybe it's time for everyone to take a deep breath, go have a cookie and calm your happy butts down. The several posts mentioning that there are more important things in life pretty much say it all. Let it go.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

enchanted home says:

@RDC: I can has f/stop?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

willieabrams PRO says:

I'd be surprised if anyone sticks their one and only copy of an image on a photo site.

I do. I pay for the service and the peace of mind. As a paying customer, I expect professional ramifications if an employee takes an action that would cause me to lose data that I paid Flickr to keep.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

WillCalder says:

Okay Flickr deleted a post for reasons they thought were right, and some people are jumping on the "Flickr is Satan" bandwagon again. They made a mistake, and I just hope they can address the issue.

I also find it funny that a majority of the posts on this issue were not centered around the community posts that were offensive, but people jumped to the conclusion that Flickr was either trying to cover something up, or censor EVERYONE.

Flick made a mistake, The members who posted personal information made a mistake, the members who posted threats made mistakes. I guess that proves everyone is human and not the deities judging from the pedastals you are putting them on.

@Rebekka : If you checking this post, I'm very sorry about issue that started the whole thing, but I do think that if threats and personal information was being posted into the comments by people other than you, you also had the ability to remove the death threats/personal information as well as the Flickr Staff who should have removed the offending pieces and not the entire photo and comments.

@Stewart : Great work. I'm sure that some solution will be brought forth in due time. May I suggest a line item freeze (only the original poster and flickr staff can view until resolved) for "Offensive/Questionable" comments?

Now if you don't mind I think I'm going to find a baby seal to club...
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

onerous jam says:

No, you'll have to dial up the listening and humility if you want this to actually be a "discussion" rather than just another round of the familiar "let's smite all who complain" game.

I don't suppose anyone cares, but I agree with www.DaveWard.net here. As someone that's dealt with considerable amounts of power in tricky situations, I can tell you that adding threats is the worst thing flickr staff can do at this point. Remember that the whole 'internet world' is watching ...

George would have achieved a LOT more by only saying, "I don't appreciate the comparison, please pick another metaphor" instead of adding, "Oh, and I just might kick your ass if you don't chill" ... nobody wants to be bullied, and you'd imagine that someone that is paid to do customer service would have undergone training and taught this at that time.

Get your act together and stop embarassing yourself please, flickr staff.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

*steve_gobeil* PRO says:

Hey Dave,

I have never understood how or why flickr lets you sell your stuff off your flickr site.

Could you enlighten me so I can do it too.

Thanks,

Your friend

Steve
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
*steve_gobeil* edited this topic ages ago.

view photos

iansand PRO says:

willieabrams This shows far more confidence in the wild wild web than is warranted. You should have alternatives to be safe.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

aqui-ali PRO says:

Dave:

For someone who implies, by virtue of the level of moral outrage you output in these discussions, that you seek justice/equality/fairness, you (IMHO) do yourself an incredible disservice by not also investing this level energy in creating something positive as a starting point.

This is only true if you are sincere about doing what is right, as opposed to enjoying the thrill of confrontation...

Short speak: channel that energy to do good. Create something, engage with a positive first step as opposed to getting lost in the adrenalin of combat.

"Rape" as used by you in this context offends me immensely. All moral indignation you express here is simply made hollow by this level of discourse.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Rippie: Contra Censura! PRO says:

while i'm pleased that staff see how severe this situation really is, and it's been discussed at length in the past, and it always takes an insulting situation or tragedy to make things happen around here, hasn't anyone noticed that the first letter that stewart sent should have been to rebekka, not to this thread? isn't she the agrieved party here???

i do appreciate the public, and rare explanation, but rebekka should have been the first person to be contacted before any of us lot.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Flickr Staff

Eric PRO says:

She was.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Flickr Staff

heather PRO says:

i do appreciate the public, and rare explanation, but rebekka should have been the first person to be contacted before any of us lot.

She was.

[snap!]
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

iansand PRO says:

Somewhere a while back someone from staff said they had apologised to rebekka. Of course someone else immediately said they should apologise to the universe, but you would expect that.

It is not for any of us to dictate how private communication should be carried on.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

iansand PRO says:

Triple snap.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

aqui-ali PRO says:

*blink blink*

who thought it first?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

fallsroad PRO says:

I did.

but I had my fingers buried deep in...wait for it...

pie!
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Rippie: Contra Censura! PRO says:

stewart said:

"So, to Rebekka: Our apologies. I'm sure you did not intend to bring on the firestorm to the extent it developed, you were not in the wrong and it was our fault to suggest that you were. (I will write to her directly as well)."

if i have even the most remote grasp of english grammar and tenses, stewart is writing of an event to come, i.e., writing to rebekka. please read the post before you get snippy.

ian: it's called courtesy to an agrieved party. she should have been contacted first.

peace.

snap that.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

fallsroad PRO says:

Rippie:

She was contacted first.

And acknowledged so on her photostream long before Stewart posted.

I think he is saying that he will also personally contact her, when he has the time to do it properly (and not on a Treo - how in hell can anyone write anything on those things is beyond me).
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Flickr Staff

heather PRO says:

Rippie, I sent her a personal note of apology early yesterday evening prior to posting in the forums. That's what she is referring to in her post.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Violentz PRO says:

I just can't believe that this issue is still alive. It's over people....now let's all live our lives. Nobody died.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Rippie: Contra Censura! PRO says:

thank you heather. that clears it up and i accept that. you may want to check in another thread that could get this out of control. f-mail me and i will tell you, it should not be here, but there is another incident about ready to blow.

thanks again.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Flickr Staff

heather PRO says:

you may want to check in another thread that could get this out of control. f-mail me and i will tell you, it should not be here, but there is another incident about ready to blow

Report Abuse, linked in the footer of every page, is the correct conduit to bring stuff to the team's attention.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

view photos

Rippie: Contra Censura! PRO says:

it is abuse of another person's picstream who is getting nowhere thus far. i just know the person. there is no link in the report abuse button for that. i just want to send the picthread link and let you read it and decide what to do.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

This thread has been closed by Flickr Staff.

(201 to 300 of 312 replies in [locked] flickr is censoring our photos and comments)
Subscribe to a feed of stuff on this page... Feed – Subscribe to help discussion threads