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[locked, redirected] flickr now censoring all moderate and restricted photos from Germany

myfear says:

Follow up for the discussion started in
www.flickr.com/help/forum/en-us/35971/page6/

You are welcome to say anything about this.

(edit: link not working)

-------------------

Official fresh start (a new topic)

Older updates from staff:
fifth · fourth · third · second · first
Posted at 11:29PM, 12 June 2007 PDT ( permalink )
George (staff) edited this topic 111 months ago.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 49 50
(401 to 500 of 4,960 replies in [locked, redirected] flickr now censoring all moderate and restricted photos from Germany)
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loupiote (Old Skool) pro PRO says:

@cgc0202

actually the page 6 of the forum where this discussion started is here:
www.flickr.com/help/forum/en-us/35971/page6/

the URL you refered to was the wrong forum.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
loupiote (Old Skool) pro edited this topic 111 months ago.

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Brenda Anderson PRO says:

wander as a shallow husk full of nothing

I resent the implication that my work is "shallow" simply because it is "safe". And I suspect that the vast majority of Flickr's 8 million users upload "safe" content. It may not be what you think Flickr should be, but I would bet that it is what Yahoo thinks Flickr should be, and somehow I think Yahoo has more say over the direction of Flickr than you do.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Corey James (Derp) says:

Damn... The Searcher, we are so on the same page. It's nice to know there is at least one other person in this world who understands "this world".

Again... everybody look at the "Forbidden Four". What do they all have in common?

I too would love to see Flickr say "Fuck You!" to those trying to censor it, but that is more ideological than practical. Let's just wait and see what Flickr has to say as to their reasoning, before deciding to scuttle the ship.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Walwyn PRO says:

They have the choice of following laws and not operating in that country.

It stems from this:
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1098466.stm

Yahoo got fined $13,300 a day a sought a ruling in the US courts as to whether such a fine was enforceable:
www.out-law.com/page-6536


Followup op-ed:
www.rcfp.org/news/mag/25-1/sct-worldwid.html
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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loupiote (Old Skool) pro PRO says:

OK..so this whole thing is corin's fault for her hindu pic???

no, corine's hindu tattoo pic is "safe", so germans can see it.

note that germany bans nazi propaganda, which this photo is not.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
loupiote (Old Skool) pro edited this topic 111 months ago.

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Corey James (Derp) says:

@loupiote (Old Skool) : I bet all the fault lies at the feet of "The Master Sword Of Greatness Grou"! A month ago they were the reason for all the faults of Flickr. Today, they have sunk into obscurity. Amazing how hatred can be shifted and diffused.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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pioforsky says:

I came to flickr, because in other websites where I upload exist censorship.
What happens here?

Be able to choose is the first principle for freedom.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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*steve_gobeil* PRO says:

Joke lopie...Joke
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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gocarrt says:

Even if Flickr is caving in to local demands regarding filtering prohibited content, how in the world would user-moderation meet the requirement?
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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loupiote (Old Skool) pro PRO says:

Technorati's WTF (Where is The Fire) section currently features this story as number one buzz in the blogosphere today:

www.technorati.com/wtf/

the tag zensur point to a lot of blogs on the subject, too.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
loupiote (Old Skool) pro edited this topic 111 months ago.

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The Searcher PRO says:

Brenda: of course that was a bit hyperbolic. Certainly many safe images have cultural and artistic significance (certainly all of mine.) etc etc.

Point is, you me and everyone here, before today sometime, had the choice to decide for ourselves what Flickr is to us. The filters were sold to us as a way to allow that choice, not as a way to force huge groups of people into darkness. Flickr has ad nauseam maintained that they are the keeper of what Flickr is and should be, not Yahoo. So are you really arguing that this is the golden ring that Yahoo has long sought, the true safe-ification of Flickr? And that is what their vision of Flickr is and should be for all of us, not just Germany or China?

man I just got a huge chill.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
The Searcher edited this topic 111 months ago.

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benrobertsabq PRO says:

I just wish we could find out what the requirement IS and if there is one to begin with?

Everything I can find on Google on "German internet censorship" from the last couple years is in German. And I'm linguistically handicapped.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

loupiote: wow. the number 2 is "UFO seen flying over Salt Lake City, UT"

we've hit the big time, indeed.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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loupiote (Old Skool) pro PRO says:

actually this UFO was a blimp. an indication that Burning Man is coming soon :)

and i feel bad for german people who won't be able to see Burning Man photos on flickr...
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
loupiote (Old Skool) pro edited this topic 111 months ago.

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Thomas Hawk PRO says:

thomashawk.com/2007/06/on-putting-are-money-where-our-mou...

blog.zooomr.com/2007/06/13/willkommen-welcome-to-our-germ...
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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www.dnurv.ca PRO says:

Shooters for a Democratic Society... suggest...

that artists should not post images to sites that treat decent human beings like criminals...
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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::sarah:: says:

Wow. Poor Heather. She didn't make the call on locking down the filters, so there's no reason to attack her personally or mark up her personal photostream with complaints.

I guess it would be useless to suggest that everyone wait until a formal explanation is offered now that we've heard from someone on the staff that they'll look into it and get back to us. Again, there has to be some reason external to Flickr for this mess, and it was probably a pretty darn big one so it's going to come out sooner or later. Just a thought...
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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::sarah:: says:

My, Mr. Hawk, aren't we the busy little opportunist. LOL
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Neo Saguaro says:

Flickr used to be a fairly happy place.
But Flickr doesn't seem very happy these days.

There was a time when we displayed our wares for others to view an comment on. The site's response was also pretty fast. Outages were rare.
I try to minimize my time spent on the forums because of the degree of contention, anger and increasingly - mudslinging. To be sure, much of this angst is certainly justified.
The site has grown exponentially since its assimilation (excuse me; acquisition) by Yahoo and sure enough, this growth brings with it all the growing pains associated with this kind of internet business model.

To the staff's credit, I do believe they are trying, but they're stuck between a rock and a hard place. I'm not sure how much autonomy is given to them by the Yahoo principals to handle everyday ops, and it really shouldn't matter.

But Flickr is getting a bit ragged around the edges. It's now slow, we have random (but brief) outages, my iPhoto Uploadr hasn't worked reliably in over a month so I stick to the native uploader, there is censorship - let's call it what it is - whether by government entities or Yahoo's policies in specific countries, Pro account payment problems - eliminating PayPal altogether is gonna take a bite out of Flickr's revenue, I fear - that was a bad call, folks.

Flickr has sustained an overall loss of credibility that will take no small amount of damage control to correct.
I'm good here until 2009 and I'll continue to use Flickr - but that 100GB of space I get at the university I work at is becoming an attractive alternative, and it's free.

I really do hope Flickr gets its shit together. it used to be a pretty nice place.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
Neo Saguaro edited this topic 111 months ago.

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_mpd_ says:

I'm suprised they haven't banned the weasily subversive opportunist yet.

This, if anything, shows how tolerant Flickr really is.


I guess it would be useless to suggest that everyone wait until a formal explanation is offered now that we've heard from someone on the staff that they'll look into it and get back to us. Again, there has to be some reason external to Flickr for this mess, and it was probably a pretty darn big one so it's going to come out sooner or later. Just a thought...


Exactly.

Flickr has always been straight forward, honest, and did the right thing. We have no reason to expect otherwise, and they have always been one to explain why things happen the way they do. The level of fairness (even with Sr. I'm-putting-up-advertising-stickers-inside-your-business and ripping-you-off-without-innovating-a-lick) is quite something.

A bit of patience instead of spamming "protest" icons in unrelated group pools will go a long way.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
_mpd_ edited this topic 111 months ago.

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pioforsky says:


Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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dbthayer says:

the busy little opportunist. LOL

possibly the only thing more disgraceful than this restriction on german users is flickr's competition trying to exploit this for their own profit.

I hope flickr straightens this mess out quickly, and returns to being the premier photo sharing site that we know and love.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

zoooomrr is so much better than Flickr. They don't need agreements with some countries to block content. They knock themselves off the internet all the time, and all on their own.

loupiote: this weekend is the Solstice Parade in Seattle. Naked painted bikers by the hundreds. similar loss.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Corey James (Derp) says:

FYI...

Flickr is only as "free" as the laws that govern the people who view it.

It is a conduit, not a source of information.

Person "A" uploads "whatever". "Whatever" may be illegal in the country that person "B" resides. Person "B" is now in violation of the law governing where he/she lives, just by "viewing" something that was "uploaded elsewhere".

Jesus people. This is so similar to the whole "Napster"/"BitTorrent" thing.

What you DOWNLOAD, (viewing is downloading), if illegal where you live, is ILLEGAL WHERE YOU LIVE.

Bitch at your politicians. Change the freaking laws that keep you from seeing nipples and pussy. Overthrow the government that holds you back from expressing yourself.

Damn. So many people, all up in arms, screaming "loud noises"... and so few really understanding why they are pissed.

*Sigh.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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::sarah:: says:

dbthayer, he does that every time Flickr makes a mistake. It's just pathetic and funny at this point.

And _mpd_ I avoid using the "P" word at all costs because typically I have none, but that is exactly what I was getting at. ;-)
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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_mpd_ says:

They knock themselves off the internet all the time, and all on their own.

LMAO :)
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Andreas Helke says:

Artikel 5 (1) Grundgesetz der Bundesrepublik Deutschland:
-- from David Foster Nass - (?)

The german constitution (Grund Gesetz) says there is no censorship. I feel violated in my fundamental rights.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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::sarah:: says:

You know, I even tried to sign up for a Zooomr account just to see how similar to Flickr it was, and the signup page wouldn't work for me. Maybe it knows I'm up to no good... ;-)
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Corey James (Derp) says:

@Andreas Helke: What you say is a political issue within your government- it's not Flickr's fault. Flickr did not "elect" your officials. Flickr is not a political party within your country. Take the initiative to make a difference and lobby your officials.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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loupiote (Old Skool) pro PRO says:

@Corey (a.k.a. ten0fnine)

i don't think any of my "un-safe" flickr photos are illegal in germany, yet they cannot be seen by german people (see screenshot here).

so what point are you trying to make?
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
loupiote (Old Skool) pro edited this topic 111 months ago.

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The Searcher PRO says:

So the governments need to be toppled. But until then, the only tools that Flickr has to comply with Germany's wishes, are a bit of a cudgel, and gathering up much that is not restricted.

Corey and loupiote, two great tastes that taste great together.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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iansand PRO says:

Andreas Helke Then the solution is for someone to mount a constitutional challenge to the German law (whatever it is) that underpins this problem.

Please note my assumption, which may be incorrect, that somewhere behind this is some German law. The alternative is that flickr has indulged in some random act of bastardry against the citizens of a country.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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ipernity.com/home/nicoleb / No to censorship says:

That is my assumption yoo, iansand, even though I am German and I actually thought it a bit less restricted than the States, but I might be wrong there.

I tried to switch my German yahoo account to the US yesterday (country wise), but I still can't see the "unsafe" pictures :(
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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he-sk says:

@Corey, you're really trying hard not to get it, right?

Bitch at your politicians. Change the freaking laws that keep you from seeing nipples and pussy. Overthrow the government that holds you back from expressing yourself.


Nipples and pussy are totally legal in Germany. So, tell me again, why am I not allowed to see them on Flickr? And how is bitching at my government a valid recourse, when there's no law in Germany that is forcing Flickr's behavior?
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Corey James (Derp) says:

What, ^^^iansand^^^ said.

It's not that difficult to understand.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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loupiote (Old Skool) pro PRO says:

I tried to switch my German yahoo account to the US yesterday (country wise), but I still can't see the "unsafe" pictures :(

make sure to turn SafeSearch to OFF in your account settings.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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striatic PRO says:

flickr staff's silence here is probably a good thing.

well, not that being in the dark is fun, but it means that some consultation is going on.

consider this hypothetical scenario:

flickr hooks up with yahoo! germany to get the translation done. yahoo! germany is a typical local arm of a multinational corporation, trying to justify its existence in any way it knows how. translate everything twice, pass everything through local legal twice .. you know, whatever it takes to sustain the pure bureaucracy that is the local arm of a multinational corporation.

so flickr hooks up with these red tape slingin' cowboys, and asks what the best way to adapt flickr to germany is. local bureaucracy launches into action!

"ooh, finally we have something important to do! " they cry!

so the german legal springs into action, trying valiantly to justify their budget.

"well we do have these internet laws regarding age verification for porn sites hosted in germany.. and flickr is sort of a german site now -- right?"

so they scribble furiously on the legal pad.

"and there's all that nazi stuff on yahoo! german auctions we have to deal with .. same ideas can apply to flickr, no?"

and they scribble some more.

so these notes get to flickr, and flickr looks at them crooked. but the arguments make a little sense and hey, the german yahoo peeps know better than them, right? and they want to keep a good working relationship with the german yahoo peeps since the german yahoo peeps will be doing the ongoing translation .. AND they have already coded the blocking for hong kong and singapore who have more clearly draconian laws so what the heck, let's throw in the germans too!

of course i've probably got a lot of the story wrong, and it is all speculation, but in the absence of any information, i like my story the best!
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Corey James (Derp) says:

@helter-skelter: Prove to me that the German government didn't persuade Flickr to take these actions.

Again... where is the Chinese or Korean outrage over this?

Speak up so you can be HEARD!
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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crbassett PRO says:

Recently there was a bill under consideration in the U.S. that was to protect children using public computer workstations from malicious content, or content that their parents might not want them seeing. I read about it on Cnet. The law was worded in a way, however, that if passed as it originally was presented, would prevent any site that accepted comments or allowed a user to create an account/profile from being visible at public workstations (like a library). This would prevent Flickr or Cnet or Digg or any other similar site from being used at public libraries. I don't think the law ever passed, and if it did, it was to be reworded.

That is an example of how local restrictions can sometimes cause technicalities that are undesirable and unexpected. Again, there is no way Flickr is deliberately targeting four regions of the world with special filtering tools out of an innate hatred or desire just to censor someone. There is almost certainly a legal reason for it. If there is a law or regulation in Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong, or Korea under which Flickr must comply, then they have to do so. The energy consumed flaming Flickr here might better be spent contacting your government officials and asking them about it. Maybe do some research. Simply quoting a list of German rights isn't going to do it either. It seems like there is a deep technicality going on here that affects only regions.

I'm an American and lived for a while in Germany. It would be naive for anyone to just say, "There is no law against this stuff in Germany." Just as it would be naive for an American to simply state that. There are lots of laws, and the German legal system is very complex, especially when you consider EU implications, as I stated before.

Again, I think that there is a lot of overreaction here and I applaud the staff for not jumping in right away to try to stem the tide. It would be dumb of them to post things without full information. Running a business that has to work under lots of different legal systems is not easy, especially since many legal systems are still coping with the blurry lines of the internet world. Anyone who follows tech news realizes this.

I am sure there is a logical explanation to this. If there is a legal reason, then the Germans need to work to change their laws. If it is Flickr's fault, by all means, leave Flickr. But at least wait until the dust settles.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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loupiote (Old Skool) pro PRO says:

@striatic

i'm not sure that your explanation is the right one, for two reasons:

1) on the official flickr localization thread, german people complain that the german localization sucks, so it was probably not made entirely made by german natives.

2) most of the nazi-related photos on flickr are "safe" because there is nothing in the flickr TOS that says that nazi-related photos or swastikas (or things that look like that of have the swastika tag must be flagged "moderate". according to flickr, "moderate" or "restricted" should be used for so-called "adult oriented photos" or very offensive images (e.g. dead dogs) that can shock children.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
loupiote (Old Skool) pro edited this topic 111 months ago.

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Corey James (Derp) says:

@photomaven: Nice!!!
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

Stewart PRO says:

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

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

The decision came down to the wire, but we decided to include Germany. We're still hoping that that was the right decision. It definitely was not a decision that was made lightly and there is no intention to annoy, frustrate or inconvenience Flickr members in Germany. Rest assured, we do hear you loud and clearly (painfully loud, even) and are doing our best. We hope to have more to say soon.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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_mpd_ says:

Occam's razor here states that there is no reason for Flickr to do this without pressure from the German government. Wait for the facts...

Edit: Stewart posted while I was typing, nm...

I would be interested in knowing why laws apply differently to content that's been localized differently, or if that has any bearing at all. Kind of weird, but you learn something new every day. Maybe it's being hosted differently or because German employees worked on it?

Anyhow, yup, wait until the facts are all in...
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
_mpd_ edited this topic 111 months ago.

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he-sk says:

@Corey: The German government can't just go around and tell Random Internet Website what to do. There needs to be a public record, and there's none. If there were, we've all heard of it by now.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Corey James (Derp) says:

@Stewart: Bravo!!!!

Thank you.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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loupiote (Old Skool) pro PRO says:

@Stewart

Why should the release of german localization be tied with blocking un-safe content from german people?

We're still hoping that that was the right decision.

in my opinion, it was not the right decision, but again, i'm french, and french people can still see un-safe photos if they want to (until when?).

there is no intention to annoy, frustrate or inconvenience Flickr members in Germany.

according to the blogosphere, german people are very ennoyed, and some of the rest of the flickr community (i.e. people who have un-safe photos on flickr that cannot be seen in germany anymore) are also very ennoyed, too.

you know better, you could have anticipated that reaction, and the bad press that it will generate.

and the way that blocking was sneaked-in without being announed anywhere did not make it feel any sweeter.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
loupiote (Old Skool) pro edited this topic 111 months ago.

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Corey James (Derp) says:

French people surrender?
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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loupiote (Old Skool) pro PRO says:

@flickr

I have a proposal, then:

If german people choose to use the new german-localized UI, then don't let them see un-safe photos.

But if they chose to use another flickr UI language (e.g. english), then let then see un-safe content, just like it was before.

i.e. punish german people for speaking german, but don't punish them for being german :)
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
loupiote (Old Skool) pro edited this topic 111 months ago.

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maexxotic says:

@Stewart
> We hope to have more to say soon.

More? You haven't said anything yet to the reasons behind the censoring.
This is the second time within a few weeks that flickr is censoring without prior notice.

All Germans had no problem using flickr with english language so far. So having German language will be no big win for anyone from Germany as of now. But it is a big loss being censored.

And using the localisation as an excuse for censoring is simply a lie. Either the content is "illegal" in Germany then it is illegal with or without localisation. Or it is not, then your argument is no argument at all. Images being legal or illegal is not a matter of the desktop language.

You will soon loose your customers/community by telling lies. And you surely will lose me (no big loss, I'm not a pro).
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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_mpd_ says:

Dude, Flickr Elves are incapable of lying.

Unless you've got a German Law degree I don't know about, those accusations are not well founded.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Mazda6 (Tor) PRO says:

"And using the localisation as an excuse for censoring is simply a lie. Either the content is "illegal" in Germany then it is illegal with or without localisation. Or it is not, then your argument is no argument at all. Images being legal or illegal is not a matter of the desktop language."

Heard of local laws? Things are much more complex when you have to comply with local regulations, laws and other rules. Wait for the facts to come out on this.....

I do think Flickr should have dropped the German language or explained first though (law x says this blah...) They should known that this would cause a riot among sensitive users...
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Proggie PRO says:

If Stewart's response was known at the time of launch I'm sure people wouldn't be as annoyed as they are now (and it's not just germans, or people with non-safe content that are very very annoyed).

Was it that hard to warn people that this issue exists and that Flickr is working on resolving it? It's always better to be upfront at the start. People see the current state, see the FAQ, and think nothing will change and that this is intended.

Flickr lately seems to be always in damage control mode instead of proactively communicating with their members.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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bohn-o-mat against censorship says:

Which law requires Flickr to do that anyway? The only law I can think of it the JuSchG (law for the protection of the youth) but there is nothing about website (Telemedien).

Really weird situation, maybe we should ask Brigitte Zypries. ;-)

Edit: BTW in Germany you can publish picture which would be called child pornography in the US w/o legal problems. Just take a look in the youth magazine Bravo:
www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,417080,00.html
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
bohn-o-mat against censorship edited this topic 111 months ago.

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. dying says:

@flickr staff

"Currently, switching the SafeSearch function off is not available for German members. It is a really complex situation."

May we know WHY it is not available?
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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atomtigerzoo says:

hi flickr staff!
I just got home and had to read through a lot of comments that have build up in the meantime... but - I can't find any change in all of your or other comments.

I'm expecting an answer today - tomorrow your time maybe ;) - otherwise I will dropp off flickr... which would be a hard decision, but - sorry - worth it :'(
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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maexxotic says:

@_mpd_

I am from Germany and I had enough to do with TMG (former TKG - the german telecommunication laws derived from european guidelines) and its companions to know what I am talking about. Due to the EC harmonization of telecommunication laws there is no real big difference in the EC about those topics.
And again: Images being legal or illegal is not a matter of the desktop language.
And as Yahoo (which I understand wholly owns flickr.com) has a subsidiary in Germany for years nothing is suddenly different.

Edit: German law requires every commercial website to have a imprint link on a prominent and easy to access location on every page. I did change my language to german just to see and guess what: there is no imprint with the relevant and statutory information anywhere. This is a basic requirement and they have overlooked it?
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
maexxotic edited this topic 111 months ago.

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AustinTX says:

Wow, @Stewart, that is the biggest nonstatement I have ever seen from a Flickr representative. You said absolutely nothing. How could you possible have not forseen this reaction?

Hammer out a solution? You created the problem, still haven't explained, it, unilaterally sprung it on a paying membership with no notice, and you are working on it? Give me a break.

You certainly are NOT doing your best, since you have done nothing except implement a policy with no explanation (still) and no rationale that anybody but you seems to know or understand. I refuse to believe that is Flickr's best (it might be Yahoo's best though).

This is a sad day for Flickr. Very sad.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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iansand PRO says:

AustinTX I am guessing, and assuming, and doing all kinds of stuff. My guess, assumption etc is that flickr may be in the process of negotiating a solution with German authorities. It is possible, conceivable and imaginable that premature comment may, could or might prejudice those negotiations. I am just guessing and speculating and I could be wrong. I often am.

As for the launch of the German language version coinciding with censorship, until that happened it may have been possible for everyone to keep the issue under the carpet on the basis that, although the site was accessed from Germany, such access was not intended and could be ignored. Once a German language version was launched that convenient little fiction was out the window. I am just guessing and speculating and I could be wrong. I often am.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Pacdog PRO says:

If some other members could only hold on a few days and let Flickr try to hammer this issue out instead of posting here about leaving I think you all might sleep better tonight. It seems most of the posts here are just vents... Flickr is working on it rest assured...
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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maexxotic says:

@lansand:

> although the site was accessed from Germany, such access was not intended and could be ignored.

I wonder if all the money from German pros was also not intended and ignored and sent back, just to "keep it under the carpet"?
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Suhanna ♥ says:

oh now thats just great and can somebody explain why Singapore got looped into all this?
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Jim Skea says:

@Suhanna*: I guess it's something to do with Flickr simultaneously rolling out the localization in Malay ...

oh, hold on a minute ....
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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earthdog PRO says:

@Stewart

Thanks for the information.
Please give us more information.

It is really hard to defend Flickr, a service that I love, when the most we know is "It is a really complex situation." I implore you to give us more information. Let the community know what the issues are. Keep us involved. I think that would be a lot better than the pages and pages of speculation. Everyone here wants to know more.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

Stewart said: "we had to make the decision whether or not to leave Germany and the German language out of the international launch. "

Why did you [Flickr staff] have to make that decision at all? I would think a simple survey among German users could have made the choice pretty simple.

A: Ability to see and post images of their choosing? Or
B: Ability to read text on a site that without choice of images to view or post?

I'd think the answer would skew quite a bit towards the photos. Photo sharing site and all.

[PS: can Germans upload non-safe images? How do they set the filters? Are they breaking German law just by uploading them?]
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
The Searcher edited this topic 111 months ago.

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gocarrt says:

Kinda takes the shine of all that fun Localization, doesn't?
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Visual Impact says:

If your Yahoo! ID is from

Those of us choose to stay with flickr after the filtering was put in were tricked into becoming censors against Singapore, Germany, Hong Kong and (South or North?)Korea. As well as the other countries that got hit with the collateral damage.

What is this about already?

I'm still waiting for one of those deeply heart felt explanations that going to make this all alright again --but its hard to believe that's possible at this point.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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myfear says:

Stewart Thanks for walking into this. But as you might have guessed and already read: There is no chance on sitting this out for flickr. We are here. Waiting. For many many hours already. Badly need no further thoughts but action from flickr! Put those filters down. Drop german, if neccessary. It's useless nevertheless with all the filters installed!!!!

(edited: bad english :))
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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striatic PRO says:

it's interesting that flickr launched localizations to essentially zero complaints, which isn't something i've seen from a major flickr feature launch in a while...

and then they sabotaged themselves with this.

the thing is that i REALLY don't think flickr staff wanted it to be this way. if you want someone to complain to, i wouldn't start with flickr .. wouldn't start with the german government either.. i'd start with yahoo.de
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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maexxotic says:

@The Searcher
*lol* define "non-safe images". I can set the "safety" of all my images by myself. So if I upload an image of ... hmmm ... a rose and mark it "non-safe" no other German can see it. I don't think however, that it is illegal to upload it neither due to German nor to flickr law.
And exactly this example shows how stunning stupid flickrs censoring is. If everyone in the "flower" group would mark their images un-safe no German could see the flowers.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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iansand PRO says:

maexxotic I think you misunderstood the point of my post. While the site was only in English, regulators and flickr could hide behind a convenient fiction. Once the German version was launched, that fiction was no longer tenable. I am just guessing and speculating and I could be wrong. I often am.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneyman says:

Boo for Yahoo. Too bad Flickr, you're getting screwed.

Pierre
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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myfear says:

Stewart btw: do us a favour and make this an official topic! This is the fewest I expect from you (staff) during the lawyers think about all this!
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Jim Skea says:

It's easy to say with hindsight but, frankly, if, as a user, I had to choose between

1) using a fully functional site in my second (or third) language, which I'd been using for months or years and had adapted to, or
2) using a broken site in my native language

I wouldn't need to spend more than a second thinking before choosing (1). stewart, given that you knew the consequences, I'm surprised that this decision even "came down to the wire". It should have been thrown out during the initial round of discussions.

I'm sorry, but the decision looks like a very poorly made one based on financial reasons (hoping to attract more new users from Germany than the ones you're going to alienate) or political reasons (the Berlin launch party) than common sense and makes you look seriously out of touch with your user base.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

And not just your German user base. The voluntary nature of the filters was based on the assumption and desire to allow people to choose the type/level of images they viewed. But now, every time every single Flickr user sets an image to "moderate" or "restricted", they're going to have to decide if it's worth excluding whole populations from viewing.

Now we're all going to be complicit in censoring images, regardless of the laws of the land in which we live. In fact, I wonder if we could be breaking laws in some places? We're discriminating against whole countries, after all.

Really makes me worried about the already tenuous grasp on people using the filters properly, going forward.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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myfear says:

The Searcher totally agree! And I am so sad to see, that the response from flickr is so weak ... I am not shure how this will end.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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zen PRO says:

i agree with Striatic... it's not the Flickr i have come to know and love but something in the Yahoo matrix.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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myfear says:

posted before?
www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/web/0,1518,488279,00.html
The heise news are spreading into more widely read newspapers.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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teh resa PRO says:

The Searcher makes a good point there.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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-Georg- says:

I assume flickr tries to be as careful as possible to not break a law in any of the countries that they offer a localized version for. That is a very reasonable and fair thing to do for any company.

But what disappoints me is, that there is still no announcement, why the related countries / regions are restricted. Are there related laws? I am originally from Germany and I travel frequently there - besides the said "Nazi-Symbols" there is nothing restricted.

I also do not think that the German government has anything to do with this. To me this looks like an over-precaution taken by flickr.

Please give us some clear statements due to which policy these restrictions came into place.

Please next time when you do such a thing, make it crystal clear from the beginning.

And to the users: flickr works fine and they did a lot on terms of openness and sharing, so let's don't damn them to hell and threaten with account deletion. This is a community, things happen. Nobody restricted us from making comments on this issue, everything can be discussed in the open.

I do not regard this as an intentional censorship. This is a mistake and I am sure it will clear off soon. So have a bit of patience and be constructive.

(I blogged about this here)
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
-Georg- edited this topic 111 months ago.

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ipernity.com/home/robert_k says:

"-- we have been in deliberation on this for a while..."

"The decision came down to the wire, but we decided to include Germany"

"It definitely was not a decision that was made lightly..."

Deliberation. Decision. Decided. Not made lightly.

So many opportunities to do the right thing. And they still managed to fuck up.

That sucks. Big time.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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loupiote (Old Skool) pro PRO says:

I'm surprised none of the reporters asked about the censorship part at the swanky international kick off party.

i'm sure the reporters didn't know about that. i don't think that this german blocking was officially announced by flickr anywhere, they didn't want to spoil their party!

see the official announcement for multilingual flickr.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
loupiote (Old Skool) pro edited this topic 111 months ago.

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slowbiex says:

sorry Stewart, that's not an explanation, that's appeasement. Still waiting for a real explanation though.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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iansand PRO says:

Thomas Hawk If you had a similar launch you could fit your members into a phone booth.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Scy83 says:

Stewart:
It's interesting to see how censors, even if they are corporate like you are, instantly acquire the methods of censoring politicians: You can write three paragraphs that sound calming but say absolutely nothing. Maybe that should make you think a little bit about how much Flickr is actually selling out, on the account of the community. Eventually, when all the creative and intelligent people have left Flickr (just like they left Germany when the Nazi party came to power) and Flickr is consisting of 13-year old girls uploading photos of their kittens and boobies, you might actually get a clue. It'll be too late then, but hey, you can always do a tag search for "boobies".

I live in Germany. I know about German law. And I can't think of anything that would prohibit Flickr from showing pictures marked as "moderate" or even "restricted". And certainly not for people over 18, which is something you could easily check, but you don't. And, even more certainly, it's absolute bullshit that the need to censor things has anything to do with the language the site is displayed in. That's just a lie, and the fact that already the first post after yours recognizes that should make you even more ashamed of lying to and leading your userbase on.

I don't accept your apology at all, and I don't think you're doing your best. If you were, you would have commented on page one, not five. If you were, you would have informed users in advance. If you were, you would have offered paying customers the option to quit Flickr with a refund and a usable export tool for all their photos, comments, geodata and so on. If you were, you would have actually said something, instead of just trying to calm us down and hoping to stop the riot that certainly gives you bad press and less revenue.

In my opinion, this reply from you should actually make people even more angry. It certainly made me.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
Scy83 edited this topic 111 months ago.

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loupiote (Old Skool) pro PRO says:

@Scytale

i agree 100% with you there.

FYI the "first post" permalink in your post is incorrect...
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
loupiote (Old Skool) pro edited this topic 111 months ago.

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BillyWarhol PRO says:

`Pacdog can I vent??

;))

yeah this stuff sucks fer sure*

I can only imagine - well not really - how Gail Orenstein felt having her Flickr account Deleted - over 3,400 amazing artistic Photographs + over 20,000 Comments from all her Flickr Fans + had over 1 Million Views & some o the Smartest Commentary on the Headlines of the World dealing with Serious Issues*

I'd like to ask Stewart which of the Flickr Kangaroo Court did that??
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

Ok that's a fair use of Godwin's Law. All the earlier talk of nazis I think was topical, but this one's clearly cynical comparison. Though I think we also achieved Hawkr Laaw someplace back there, too.

Scytale: Just a little common sense, no scrying necessary: Stewart and Flickr aren't going to do anything as excruciating and excoriating as this unless their nethers were in a vice. Everyone can talk German law this and German law that, but until I hear from someone who's running a global internet site across international borders, it's gonna be nothing but best guess from any of you.

They mishandle things, they reverse the clock a few decades on the moral and ethical standards of most nations, fine.

But they aren't lying, and they aren't doing this voluntarily.

[oh god. and now we've hit Gail Law. A trifecta.]
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
The Searcher edited this topic 111 months ago.

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Visual Impact says:

@Scytale: i agree 100% with you there.

I totally agree as well.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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carsten42 - off to ipernity says:

Stewart, your explanation is insufficient and not logical! What has localisation to do with the censorship? As least we can demand a sane explanation...

Actually this is the first time I'm seriously thinking about leaving. It is a hard decision.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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dalmet says:

@Steward: Your statement is not anywhere near an explaination of the latest measures taken by Flickr. Ignoring most questions and points of users in this and other threads (especially the point that I am Austrian and also affected by your stupid censorship) makes me think that you are deliberately treating paying customers that you consider mature enough to give you money like small childs. Your behaviour and communication strategy are totally unaccepteable. You better come up with a customer friendly solution pretty soon.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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loupiote (Old Skool) pro PRO says:

But they aren't lying

no, but Stewart didn't say anything, as many people have pointed out, except aknowledging that they thought and discussed a lot before taking that decision of restricting german users to only "safe" images, and that they are at peace that it was the right decision for them to take. no explanation was given on the reason why they had to do that.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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!Shot by Scott! says:

What right do FLICKR think they have to tell me what is SAFE because I live in Germany
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Scy83 says:

loupiote: Thanks, permalink fixed.

The Searcher:
Since nazi stuff is definitely on-topic here, I consider the analogy (not comparison) of current Flickr behavior to the stuff they are (presumably, we still don't know) trying to censor not to be covered by Godwin's law. Edit: Actually, since Godwin's law says nothing about whether that analogy is appropriate or not, I withdraw my last sentence and replace it by: I cannot imagine that I'm the first one who hit Godwin's law in these last five pages of text. I'm not comparing Flickr to the Nazis, but I'm comparing the exodus of German Flickr inhabitants to that that happened back then.

About "until I hear from someone who's running a global internet site across international borders": That's what we are asking for, for five pages now, damn! And if these people don't tell us why, we'll start guessing. And rightly so.

And yes they are lying by telling us they are doing their best. I've explained why they don't.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
Scy83 edited this topic 111 months ago.

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loupiote (Old Skool) pro PRO says:

by the way, there is still a way for flickr users to let german people see their "moderate" photos:

if you provide a guest-pass to a set, people viewing your set using the guest-pass will be able to see all "moderate" photos - after passing through a confirmation dialog for each photo.

i'm pretty sure that this works also for german people, because it works for people that are not signed-in, so it does not require a yahoo ID for viewing un-safe photos.

in all my sets that contain un-safe photos, i provide a link to the guest-pass in the set description. see an example with this set (only harmless artistic nudes).

however:

1) this works only to give access to "moderate" photos. "restricted" photo access cannot be provided via a guest-pass.

2) it requires the set owner to create a guest-pass and make it available to the viewers.

3) since my set descriptions are in english, people who cannot read english cannot know about this "guest-pass" giving uncensored access to my "moderate" photos.

4) if the viewer has a german yahoo ID, he must NOT be signed-in flickr (i think that's a bug!).
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
loupiote (Old Skool) pro edited this topic 111 months ago.

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myfear says:

loupiote (Old Skool) Tried yesterday with your provided guest pass. Does NOT work for germans. (if you signed in). You have to look at it beeing not signed in ...
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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Proggie PRO says:

Thinking about Flickr's decision to include Germany in all this as Stewart mentioned, I think we need to think about the majority of users here. I think that the majority of users post safe photos and view safe photos (even if they have their level set to restricted). So I think Flickr was expecting that the majority of users wouldn't notice this filtering, and it was worth it to them to release the localization at the cost of a minority of users not being able to see moderate content. I still think it was a poor decision though.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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loupiote (Old Skool) pro PRO says:

Tried yesterday with your provided guest pass. Does NOT work for germans. (if you signed in). You have to look at it beeing not signed in

it makes no sense that signing-in removes some privileges available to non-signed-in german users.

this looks like a bug!
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )
loupiote (Old Skool) pro edited this topic 111 months ago.

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myfear says:

loupiote (Old Skool) *lol* As the staff is still silent, we will not find out in time ..
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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styler* PRO says:

Thomas they are having open parties all around Europe and north America. for the book blog.flickr.com/en/2007/05/24/save-the-date/
They have a birthday party for flickr users in SF every year.

Most people know that media events are different from public and community events.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

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iansand PRO says:

In my naive Panglossian way, and given flickr's general openness, I assume that there is a good reason why no more information is being given out. I even offer a bit of a speculation about a possible reason for it.

Still, why take deep breaths when hysteria is so much more fun? But I am just guessing and speculating and I could be wrong. I often am.
Posted 111 months ago. ( permalink )

This thread has been closed by Flickr Staff.

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