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When a pro user has their account deleted, and no terms of service have been violated

o! patric says:

do they get a refund?
Posted at 10:18AM, 18 October 2010 PDT ( permalink )

← prev 1 2
(1 to 100 of 180 replies in When a pro user has their account deleted, and no terms of service have been violated)
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Flickr Staff

zyrcster says:

I'm sorry, we do not offer refunds for Pro accounts.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

"and no terms of service have been violated"

that's usually where the hitch comes from. Accounts are specifically deleted for violating either the terms of service or the Community Guidelines (which in some cases is more strict that yahoo's TOS).

Or the user has deleted the account themselves, in which case it's sort of like leaving the movie early.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Pacdog PRO says:

Sadly We have lost yet another member of Flickr due to some reason which is not known to us. I'm sure the Staff will let said member know why they were deleted, but for a pro member with so many photos and comments and friends and family and contacts to loose it all without at least a message from the staff letting them know they are breaking the rules justs leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth. It seems there should be a better way to deal with members. Pro members at least. We pay your bills! I'm not trying to get deleted myself btw but feel strongly about how the deletion process happens. Can Flickr staff at least give warnings? They used to back in the early days.
too many people (pro accts) lately have said over and over they got no warning.

We all are human and this is the interwebs. stuff happens.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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​eyebex PRO says:

"I'm sorry, we do not offer refunds for Pro accounts. "

No pro refunds? What types of account are refundable then? I'd like to sign up.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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kmacgray PRO says:

Sadly We have lost yet another member of Flickr due to some reason which is not known to us. I'm sure the Staff will let said member know why they were deleted, but for a pro member with so many photos and comments and friends and family and contacts to loose it all without at least a message from the staff letting them know they are breaking the rules justs leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth.

From the terms of service, which every user agrees to when they sign up:

"Flickr expressly reserves the right to immediately modify, delete content from, suspend or terminate your account and refuse current or future use of any Yahoo! service, including Flickr pro, if Flickr, in its sole discretion believes you have: (i) violated or tried to violate the rights of others; or (ii) acted inconsistently with the spirit or letter of the TOS, the Community Guidelines or these Additional Terms. In such event, your Flickr pro account may be suspended or cancelled immediately in our discretion, all the information and content contained within it deleted permanently and you will not be entitled to any refund of any of the amounts you've paid for such account. Flickr accepts no liability for information or content that is deleted."
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

It's kind of sad that Flickr still doesn't tell people that they are going to be deleted AND WHY THEY ARE GOING TO BE DELETED just before they delete them. It's inexcusable. Obviously somebody knows why the account is going to be deleted, so not alerting the owner is pure laziness.

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

Accounts are specifically deleted for violating either the terms of service or the Community Guidelines (which in some cases is more strict that yahoo's TOS).

Then account owners should specifically be notified of which specific "guidelines" ("they're more like guidelines") have been violated. And since the guidelines are so nebulous ("don't be that guy") it might be worthwhile to give a time to respond. But at the very least it's inexcusable to delete someone and not tell them why!

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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o! patric says:

But at the very least it's inexcusable to delete someone and not tell them why!


but it says that they can in the TOS so shut up
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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o! patric says:

basically.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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jane_sanders PRO says:

But as kmacgray says, we agree to the terms of service and community guidelines when we join up to Flickr - so we should know what to expect.

If you're running your Flickr account according to the rules, you'll have nothing to worry about :-)
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Pacdog PRO says:

If you're running your Flickr account according to the rules, you'll have nothing to worry about :-)

Do you?

Are you sure?

I made a post back in 2005 on a contacts photo that was taken way out of context and I knew I made a mistake when I looked back. I got a email and fmail from staff letting me know what i had posted was taken the wrong way and I apologized to both the member and staff for my mistake. I was not deleted. The issue was solved. It taught me to be more careful when posting comments on another's stream.

Why cannot this be in force still? too many members so just nuke anyone who makes mistakes?
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

If you're running your Flickr account according to the rules, you'll have nothing to worry about :-)

ORLY?

Just what are those rules? In unambiguous black and white terms, please.

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Wil C. Fry PRO says:

"Just what are those rules?"

I'm probably missing something here, but I thought that Flickr's Community Guidelines were the rules...
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

And you can translate "don't be that guy" into a set of behaviors, a well defined, unambiguous, set of behaviors, that define "that guy?"

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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J-Bones says:

Flickr'ss Community Guidelines include "Don't be creepy."

That's not exactly the unambiguous black and white terms Pierre asked for, now is it?
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Wil C. Fry PRO says:

Wil C. Fry
"I'm probably missing something here"

Ah. I see I *was* missing something.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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andyscamera says:

I know it when I see it. ;-)

So much has to do with context and intent that I suspect it's impossible to translate into unambiguous terms. The line between "street photography" and "voyeurism", for example, would be tricky to define.

But I agree that it could be made a lot less ambiguous, particularly given that the casual language of the guidelines doesn't translate very well across an international readership.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Pacdog PRO says:

I sure hope Flickr addresses this b4 they delete my account for something I never knew i did.

The person who's account was deleted is working with the staff through email. He does not want this thread here. He wants all to know it's not Our fight and I say it is!

You wake up tomorrow and find your account deleted for some infraction of the rules and you loose over 2000+ photos you posted here is going to be upsetting. I sure hope this is dealt with by the staff soon. There has to be a better way.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

The line between "street photography" and "voyeurism", for example, would be tricky to define.

So how can you justify deleting an account, without warning and without recourse, over such a judgment call?

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Pacdog PRO says:

What has happened to the Old Flickr?

*crys*
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Pacdog PRO says:

Did you not take heathers place as community manager?

Just asking.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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andyscamera says:

I don't justify it -- I'm not staff. There are certainly obvious cases on either side of the line. I don't know what action Flickr takes for cases right in the middle.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

zyrcster says:

Hi,

Emily and I are technical support service engineers (which means, we fix things). ;-)

We can, however, ask someone in community to visit this topic and address your questions, so thanks for patience there.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

zyrcster, I've been here long enough that I don't expect any answers from Flickr on this. There have never been any given, and I doubt there ever will be any good ones. I don't know how Flickr can justify a system that encourages users to snitch on each other. In fact Flickr relies on users being kindergarten level tattle tales, then deletes the victims of these tattlers with no warning whatsoever, leaving the account owner to fight through help by mail over the course of days to find out just what happened. The first answer, BTW, is always, "You violated the CG, but we won't tell you WHICH CG you violated."

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

I think it's a pretty clear condemnation of Flickr's account management when there exists a group with more than 12K members whose sole purpose is to try to guess, based on things said but never recorded, and based on what accounts have been already deleted for, how not to be deleted. Does Flickr understand the implications of this?

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

And it is sad that the CG and TOS are so ambiguous that any account deletion can trivially be justified ex post facto.

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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iansand PRO says:

Deja vu all over again.

Nothing to see here. Move along folks.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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J-Bones says:

I frankly don't have any problem with flickr deleting any accounts for any reason at any time.

But they really should be giving refunds. At least pro-rated for the unused period that was paid for by the account holder. For one, that would give flickr an incentive to be less draconian and to communicate with account holders rather than delete without even bothering to inform them.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

While having some clarity to some of the terms might be nice, the usual cause for deletion is virtually always quite clear and distinct, and the deleted user knows exactly what they did that led to deletion, and are just suffering from post-deletion amnesia.

Every so often folks rally to their "cause", either willfully ignoring or genuinely ignorant of the valid cause for deletion. Again virtually every time, once the cause is known, everyone clams up as if they were never here, and the protests end abruptly, and without mea culpa.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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J-Bones says:

For another, it would be a lot less like stealing.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Patrick Costello PRO says:

Really? So someone can sign up to a pro account, use it to abuse you and spam your account for a day, then get deleted and receive $24.93 back?
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

Charge a deletion fee then.

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Ewan PRO says:

zyrcster wrote

Emily and I are technical support service engineers (which means, we fix things). ;-)

We can, however, ask someone in community
So who did take Heather's old job then? And could they please make themselves a bit more obvious - I can't quite imaging anyone replacing her, but we need someone to give it a good try.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

When a guy gets too drunk at a bar, or starts trouble, he's thrown out. He doesn't get to keep his unfinished drink. Same for going to a baseball/football/basketball/soccer/batminton game, or the opera, or a concert.

Basically any place you pay an entry fee, then fuck up and get thrown out. Why should it be any different here than out in the real world?
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Patrick Costello PRO says:

The deletion fee is $25.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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J-Bones says:

This isn't a place and you don't pay an "entrance fee"... Flickr provides a service.

Sure. Your scenario isn't realistic but in the ultra rare instances where something like that happened, Flickr would still have the recourse of not to permitting the abuser to purchase another pro account. They might be able to fool flickr for a while, but they'd eventually run out of credit cards and have to resort to abusing people with free accounts... which they can do anyway.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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J-Bones says:

and they can delete whoever they want whenever they want for any reason they want and they don't have to explain themselves. But they can charge $25 for it? That's senseless.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

But they can charge $25 for it? That's senseless.

Hey, don't blame him, it was my idea :)

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Wil C. Fry PRO says:

"But they can charge $25 for it? That's senseless."

Yet this is what we agreed to... (See above).

"and you lose over 2000+ photos you posted here"

Nothing Flickr can do can cause me to lose any photos. Sure, I'd be upset tomorrow if my account was gone. I put a lot of work into it (organizationally). But no photos will be lost; only the copies of my photos that are stored on Flickr's servers.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

"Flickr provides a service."

What does that mean, and why shouldn't it follow the same rules as the real world? Everyone "provides a service", and in most cases, you're fucked if you break their rules while enjoying that service.

"Senseless" is in reading those rules, and then deciding they don't apply to you, or are somehow unfair after the fact.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Brock PRO says:

Ok, maybe some kind of official response to the following woul dhelp with this:

First element: can Flickr please let us know if the account holding area (with or without appeal system) that was promised as 'coming' well over 4 years ago even being considered as an option any more? Basically, a yes or no answer as to Flickr's opinion as to whether the concept has worth.

Second element: Why can the following not be implemented:

1: Account is found to be out of TOU/CG compliance.
2: Account is removed from public view (either by making it private or blocking all links to the content or some other tech method so only the user can access the account). The 'this page is private' would be adequate or an extra 'under review' could be added to allow people to understand what is happening (is not fill the forum with "where did X go" posts).
3: Standard (but fairly strongly worded) email relating to area of lack of compliance and FAQ for fixing style of issue is sent to user, with a (say) 2 month window for reply. Help case number generated at this stage, and a relatively detailed set of stock responses would be quickly generated for this. No reply or action to remedy the account within the timeframe? Account is deleted.
4: User replies to email for more specific information or just to bitch - reply is a more personal element, with relevant sections of FAQ/CG/TOU in bold and repeat of time constraint required for remedial action. The clock does not get reset from the initial account freeze.
5: At this stage, it should be obvious if a genuine desire to remedy the account is present or not. Only one personal email has been generated from Staff, and at this stage a decision to ramp it up to a more detailed help case (with background included in the help case) to assist the user to bring the account back in line, or alternatively, repeat the violation in question and stress the finality of the time deadline for remedial action.

if the account is fixed, then it is restored to full view - if the worst thing that happens is a loss of favourites from the privatisation of the pages, it's a shit ton better than it is now. The biggest single problem with the current system is that there is zero ability to appeal. None. If Flickr gets it wrong, it's a shitty, shitty thing to do to delete someone's account. Structuring the appeal process to reduce load on the Help system should be relatively easy with planning and a framework in place.

So locking off the account from view with only a Staff controlled release after meeting the remedial action requirements IS the warning period. Only if the user doesn't get it, or refuses to, do Staff have to get involved, and I'm sure that qorkload is already there with the "where did my account go" emails.

I'd really, really like to know why this has not already been implemented, as I can't imagine that this massive delay is some technical issue, as it would seem to be a philosophical decision on FLickr's part, which is wrong headed, from my point of view, as the result is really bad public relations.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

Besides, who cares about the prorated remainder of $25? In most cases it's the loss of time and effort and organization from a deleted account that's the real kick in the groin. $19.34 is nothing compared to how much time and effort went into a photostream, in most cases.

Which suggests the crux of the issue should still be don't-fuck-up-or-else-you'll-lose-all-the-work-you-put-in.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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J-Bones says:

What does that mean, and why shouldn't it follow the same rules as the real world?


What does it mean to provide a service? I think that's self-explanatory.

The rules of the real world generally don't include the ability to charge for a service for a period of time and then cease to provide that service before the time period has ended without so much as an explanation.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

Which suggests the crux of the issue should still be don't-fuck-up-or-else-you'll-lose-all-the-work-you-put-in.

But with the TOS and the CG being what they are how do we know when we've fucked up until we try to do something on Flickr only to find our account is gone with no explanation at all?

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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J-Bones says:

Besides, who cares about the prorated remainder of $25?


Apparently flickr does.

While I agree the loss of time and effort would be more important to me, no one could expect to be compensated for it. One should be able to expect to be compensated for the costs of a service over the time period for which he paid for it but didn't receive it.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

Don't forget personal behavior is also cause/grounds for account deletion. Pretty much none of the remedies you list would apply in those cases.

That's the problem when we get into hypotheticals as opposed to whatever this specific person did to lose their account. Your suggestions are sound, but there's no indication that the deletion process is rife with "accidental" or improper deletions, or enough to warrant an overhaul.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Eric Hunt. PRO says:

Searcher - Zack Sheppard took Heather's old job.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:


That's the problem when we get into hypotheticals as opposed to whatever this specific person did to lose their account.


The problem is that, too often, the person who had their account deleted doesn't know why it happened either. From a behavior modification point of view this is counter-productive.

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

"The rules of the real world generally don't include the ability to charge for a service for a period of time and then cease to provide that service before the time period has ended without so much as an explanation."

Then we live in very different worlds I guess. People who fuck up are tossed with nary a word for why all the time. The reason? They know damn while how and why they fucked up. They may stand outside yelling "THIS IS BULLSHIT" for a while, and draw a crowd of folks who buy their story and go advocate for them.

But it's pretty much never a mystery to the person who fucked up.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

"From a behavior modification point of view this is counter-productive."

Even if I agree with your premise (which I don't) why should Flickr care to modify behavior? It's not their problem, the person is off the site. If a person can't figure out what behavior can get them booted, when the vast majority of the user base has no problem figuring that out, then maybe Flickr feels it's better to invite that person to the world, instead of wasting resources and time training them on proper behavior.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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J-Bones says:

Then we live in very different worlds I guess.


No we don't. You're just choosing not to see what you don't want to. What would you do if your cable company or cell carrier or hosting service or landscapers or etc. decided to stop providing service midway through the period you paid for it and provided you with zero explanation?
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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J-Bones says:

Then we live in very different worlds I guess.


No we don't. You're just choosing not to see what you don't want to. What would you do if your cable company or cell carrier or hosting service or landscapers or etc. decided to stop providing service midway through the period you paid for it and provided you with zero explanation?
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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J-Bones says:

Weird double post and I can't delete?
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

If a person can't figure out what behavior can get them booted, when the vast majority of the user base has no problem figuring that out,

Your logic is flawed.

Almost nobody on Flickr can categorically state what will get you deleted, and nobody on Flickr, including Flickr staff, can unambiguously tell you how not to get deleted. The TOS/CG are vague (perhaps even purposefully so) so that when accounts are deleted it's trivial to make an excuse after the fact. That there are lots of easy cases, most deletions probably are, does not excuse the fact that there are also cases that are very much on the edge and require a, perhaps new and novel, interpretation of the CG and TOS.

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

In fact I doubt that anyone here can come up with a satisfactory explanation for the continued existence of the account of one of the admins of a very very large group that might be described as some kind of central station on Flickr. It's an account that is overwhelmingly made up of thousands of web images that are not this account owner's images. Personally I have no problem with it: it's a source of great humor and wit. However, this account clearly violates the TOS and the CG every single day, and has done so for years.

With this sort of blatant and public favoritism of insiders over the rest of us it's kind of hard to make a "neutral enforcer" argument for account deletions by Flickr.

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Pacdog PRO says:

This is the best help thread ever!

just saying.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Pacdog PRO says:

Look! I just want to address the issue of Pro accounts being deleted w/o a warning or even a hint you have violated the TOS/CG. Like was posted above you (Flickr staff) said b4 you were going to address this issue and 5 years later it is still an issue?

Common man!

A refund on the account is also high on the list but as said all your work is gone and you do not even have a say in it?

Common man!
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

"You're just choosing not to see what you don't want to. What would you do if your cable company or cell carrier or hosting service or landscapers or etc. decided to stop providing service midway through the period you paid for it and provided you with zero explanation?"

That's funny I was going to say the same thing about you (choosing not to see what you don't want to). I'll tell you what, if I was using my cable to download pirated movies, and they found out and cut my service with nothing but a cryptic "you violated the terms of service", then I'd still know exactly what I did wrong.

You're having issue with no explanations given, without context. Sure if it was an ACTUAL mystery, that might be frustrating. But it's not. The person who got deleted knows exactly why. They may not be telling, because how else would they get good folk like yourself to misguidedly advocate for them?
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

have you reported them? Account Abuse reports is usually the only way those things can be acted upon. though as an aside, Flickr doesn't seem to be acting on "obvious" copyright infringement like they used to. I've reported many accounts with nothing but web-scoured content and nothing happens. They seem to be going with a "copyright holder has to file takedown notice" as the only way to go these days. So that may be less "favoritism" and more just letting those accounts slide across the board now.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

have you reported them?

I don't work here, so no, I haven't.

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

So that may be less "favoritism" and more just letting those accounts slide across the board now.

This account has been here for years.

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

And nevertheless, Searcher, if Flickr is now not enforcing the "don't post what isn't yours" "guideline", and this is something that has not been publicly stated by Flickr but only something we, as users, can try to infer from observations, how can any of the "guidelines" be truly known except to the person who presses the delete button?

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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J-Bones says:

They may not be telling, because how else would they get good folk like yourself to misguidedly advocate for them?


Actually, the person in question and I have a fairly long history of antipathy. We disagree on nearly everything and I don't have a lot of respect for his ability to debate coherently. But he's not "that guy".

You are just going on faith that he is. He must be, right? Because flickr deleted him. Wrong. That's just piss poor circular logic.

Your example is badly flawed, by the way. Pirating movies is a pretty well-defined behavior. Being "that guy" is not.

The point you fail to address is that flickr can delete anyone they choose for any reason they choose at any time they choose and fail to give any explanation at all but still keep the fee they charge for the service.

It's more like if your cable company decided to cut your service because you were, say, looking at various elementary school websites... maybe you are a creep... and maybe you are thinking about moving and want to research the education systems in the areas you are thinking of moving to.

This isn't going anywhere and it simply won't go anywhere until you stop making the assumption that flickr is always right when it makes a judgment call based on an ambiguous rule. That's all your argument boils down to.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Pacdog PRO says:

it would be nice to get some feedback from the staff on this. I can only assume they are scared to reply w/o a lawyer or just not really that into helping with the issue. The main issue here is not that you deleted a pro member, but how you deleted them without them even being able to retort b4 they were deleted and your keeping the monies they paid you to use your site.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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'SeraphimC PRO says:

The person who got deleted knows exactly why.

You keep saying that, but you offer no proof. How is it they know exactly why? It sounds like you're really, really sure that every individual who has had his or her account deleted definitely 100% for sure knows exactly why.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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"Mike Foster" PRO says:

The nature of the internet is such that if you create hard and fast, clearly defined rules people will then toy infinitely with those rules in a tiresome avalanche of petty brinkmanship. Been there, done that, worn the t shirt on the admin side.

I'm not saying this is any better, BTW.

Just sayin...
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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iansand PRO says:

J-bones

The point you fail to address is that flickr can delete anyone they choose for any reason they choose at any time they choose and fail to give any explanation at all but still keep the fee they charge for the service.
This is pretty much what the ToS say. I think that flickr's attitude is that if you don't like it go somewhere else.

This argument has been had a gazillion times with the same proponents without any change being made. There is no reason to think that will change. One definition of madness is repeating the same action several times expecting a different result.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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kmacgray PRO says:

But they really should be giving refunds.

Really? So someone who screws off and violates the rules should get their money back? That makes no sense.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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kmacgray PRO says:

and they can delete whoever they want whenever they want for any reason they want and they don't have to explain themselves. But they can charge $25 for it?

Flickr is not charging people to be asshats. If someone chooses to be one, then they run the risk of losing their money. It's pretty simple.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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kmacgray PRO says:

have you reported them?

I don't work here, so no, I haven't.


What does working or not working for Flickr have to do with reporting abuse?
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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J-Bones says:

Really? So someone who screws off and violates the rules should get their money back? That makes no sense.


Uhm... it makes perfect sense. They kick said person out, give him a refund for the unused portion of the service, and tell him not to come back. Simple as that.

Flickr is not charging people to be asshats. If someone chooses to be one, then they run the risk of losing their money. It's pretty simple.


If it's simple, give me the simple definition of asshat that flickr uses to decide if someone is being one.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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J-Bones says:

What does working or not working for Flickr have to do with reporting abuse?


My guess is that Pierre means he's not being paid to be an asshat, so why should he be one?

See what I did there?
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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kmacgray PRO says:

Uhm... it makes perfect sense. They kick said person out, give him a refund for the unused portion of the service, and tell him not to come back. Simple as that.

They have no obligation to do this. Each user has AGREED to the terms of service that explicitly state that no refunds will be given. If a user cannot agree to those terms, they should stop the signup process and look elsewhere for a service that suits their needs.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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nahanni•whisky™ says:

But they really should be giving refunds.

i suspect withholding a pro-rated — or even complete — refund would not pass the scrutiny of the supreme court. however not many people can afford to get there on principle. it would probably require a class-action suit to reverse this.

Each user has AGREED to the terms of service that explicitly state that no refunds will be given.

except that you can't contract outside the law, and whether these terms are within the law is a matter of opinion until backed by the courts.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

"I don't work here so no, haven't"

well there you go. If you think a staff of 30 or so is going to properly handle policing 30-40million users, then you get what you pay for. The site's rules are largely community enforced, so if you see something you think is breaking the rules, but don't report it, then you're the reason they're still here.

"You keep saying that, but you offer no proof."

Exactly, and neither do you for the contrary. You're going by what your friend/acquaintance is telling you, while I'm going by the numbers. And while there may be a chance that this person is the one out of a million who genuinely doesn't understand what they did wrong, it's pretty much almost always the other way.

Wait, so you know for a fact that the person was deleted for the "don't be creepy" clause? I thought all this sturm and drang was because they DIDN'T get an explanation for what they did. But now you're saying they did get an explanation.

Now I really don't know what the hubbub is about.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

. If you think a staff of 30 or so is going to properly handle policing 30-40million users

That's their problem! I pay them to deal with that part of things!

However, believe me, the person I mentioned obliquely above is well known to Flickr and it is an open secret that almost all of this person's stream is images grabbed from the web. People who no longer work at Flickr certainly knew about this account, from years ago, and did nothing about it. I find it quite unimaginable that current Flickr staff don't know about this account. Possible, but highly improbable. So any excuses given for not deleting it are fig leaves.

Like I said, my personal opinion is that this account enriches Flickr and should not be deleted, which is another reason I would not report it, but nevertheless, by a strict reading of the CG/TOS, it should be deleted. And if all others are expected to live by these rules then these rules, where they do happen to be clear, should be enforced with no regard to who the account's owner is.

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Ewan PRO says:

phoneymanflickr wrote

I pay them to deal with that part of things!
At 25 USD a year, no, you don't.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Superchou PRO says:

i would like to repoint out that there really should be a better way to communicate to users what they have done etc.... the person in question isn't one of the fluffy kitten and sunset crowd but Pierre is right, he does add flavor to the personality of the site. It does feel arbitrary and if it is due to his behavior then that surprises me greatly... especially since the majority of his interaction on this site is gone within the confines of a group that is restricted from the general population and within that group his behavior don't fall into being "that guy" (whatever that means).
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

At 25 USD a year, no, you don't.

What they charge me is also their problem. I do pay them.

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

superchow, I'm not talking about the person who was deleted in my oblique references, I'm talking about someone else. Someone else who, for years, has successfully and cleverly flaunted just about every "guideline" in Flickr's Community Guidelines, and all with the tacit support of some members of Flickr's staff.

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

"by a strict reading of the CG/TOS, it should be deleted. And if all others are expected to live by these rules then these rules, where they do happen to be clear, should be enforced with no regard to who the account's owner is."

Oh I agree. There's a lot of folks who I think have earned an account deletion several times over, but for a variety of reasons (threatening to drag Flickr through the blog-mud, for example) seem to be immune. My point was that in your example, an account full of web-scraped images, just isn't commonly addressed anymore, unless the actual copyright owner comes forward with a complaint. So even if they're "known" to Flickr, it's not so much "favoritism" as "current policy".
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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'SeraphimC PRO says:


Exactly, and neither do you for the contrary. You're going by what your friend/acquaintance is telling you, while I'm going by the numbers. And while there may be a chance that this person is the one out of a million who genuinely doesn't understand what they did wrong, it's pretty much almost always the other way.


How would I prove a negative?
I thought maybe since you were so sure, that you actually had proof holders of deleted accounts always knew why they were deleted. So what numbers are you referring to? And where are you coming up with all this "one in a million" stuff?
Do you actually know anything or is this just opinion without evidence or statistics?
I'm not being belligerent here, I thought maybe you had some inside info the rest of us didn't.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Superchou PRO says:

phoneymanflickr wrote

superchow, I'm not talking about the person who was deleted in my oblique references, I'm talking about someone else. Someone else who, for years, has successfully and cleverly flaunted just about every "guideline" in Flickr's Community Guidelines, and all with the tacit support of some members of Flickr's staff.

Pierre


mkay... i still think the idea still stands in the current deletion though. :)
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

Doesn't that suggest that it was someone from within this private/segregated group that complained about this person? Sounds like the group should have some internal mechanism for handling complaints, maybe an admin who responds to group-member's issues, before it escalates to a full on abuse report.

If it was behavior limited to a private group, where the members are aware of the rules of the group, it seems like it was a failing of the group that led to the deletion.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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'SeraphimC PRO says:

Sounds like a conspiracy theory to me, Pierre.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

Nope, just talking out of my ass. Oddly enough my ass is almost always right though. It's almost uncanny.

My point was that this was clearly a person known to you and others, and you and others apparently have way more info on whatever went down than you're sharing in here. And yet the tone of the thread is about an unknowable reason for deletion, for no explanation given, for apparent innocence in the face of corporate apathy/greed.

Yet clearly none of those things appear to be true, as the thread grows.

So I guess it would be more fair to say that I have no "evidence", I just have "predictions".

Uncanny Ass Predictions™.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

Sounds like a conspiracy theory to me, Pierre.

It's not a conspiracy and it's not a theory. The person I'm talking to has managed to get into the in-group WRT Flickr staff, and that apparently means this person is undeletable. You know who I'm talking about and you know what this person's violations are, and you know who knew about them.

As for the person who was deleted: yes, some of us obviously know who it is, but the facts are that any guesses as to the reason for the deletion are guesses. Flickr has provided no information about the deletion to the deleted person, at any time.

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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'SeraphimC PRO says:

I have no idea what went down, actually.

And your predictions will ultimately be unprovable unless the deleted individual all of sudden says, "I knew why i was deleted all along!" and provides the evidence.

What the truth is, is that, generally, a person has a hunch what could have gotten him/her deleted, but never really "knows" because, 1) they are never given an explanation, and 2) the Flickr TOU are vague enough that it could have been something s/he posted in a forum, uploaded to their stream, was being "that guy" on someone's photo, etc.

There are definite ways flickr could improve upon their account deletion system, but I also understand why they would keep their TOU of use vague enough to allow them wiggle room in either direction as the situation warrants in their judgments.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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kmacgray PRO says:

Flickr has provided no information about the deletion to the deleted person, at any time.

Again, they are not obligated to do so.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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'SeraphimC PRO says:

Said person has had an account or two deleted in the past, Pierre -once I think after she was part of of the "in group".
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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'SeraphimC PRO says:

Again, they are not obligated to do so.
He wasn't making the point that they were obligated, he was using that information to explain why we don't know crap.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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kmacgray PRO says:

Point taken, thanks.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

So even if they're "known" to Flickr, it's not so much "favoritism" as "current policy".

No, it's favoritism. This hasn't always been Flickr's policy, and if it is current Flickr policy it isn't public policy. Certainly there have been many accounts that have been deleted for being collections of web-based imagery, and when she worked here Heather was quite happy to say that Flickr deleted Flickr accounts that were collections of web porn, so if it's recent policy it's very recent policy. She just hasn't been gone that long.

I do NOT think the person I'm talking about has "earned" a deletion. Not at all. The account is entertaining, witty, provocative, and cutting: it often borders on genius. I think that deleting the account would be the wrong thing to do, and a big mistake. HOWEVER, that does not justify Flickr's inaction when Flickr deletes/has deleted other accounts for the offense of posting web scrapings.

Regardless, the point is that there is or has been some clearly "nuanced" behavior by Flickr in the past so any claims that the TOS/CG are clear, clear enough to warrant immediate deletion without warning for any "violation", are not substantiated. The facts are that the CG, especially the CG, are vague. In fact the very term "Guidelines" is explicit about the vagueness of this set of "rules." In that light it is not justified to simply assert that the TOS/CG are your warning. No user can possibly know how Flickr staff is going to interpret a particular Guideline or term at a particular moment, so to delete users without warning is unjustified and, in the circumstances, unjustifiable.

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

Said person has had an account or two deleted in the past, Pierre -once I think after she was part of of the "in group".

Like I said, it's just an illustration. The existence of this person on Flickr with the knowledge and tacit support of Flickr puts the lie to any claims of objectivity or equal treatment when other users are deleted for the same offenses, and other users are deleted for the same offenses. Further, the claims by others here that there are policies of what sorts of Guideline violations merit deletion and when they merit deletion is an admission that the Guidelines are not clear, and therefore cannot justifiably serve as a warning. More like a "veiled threat."

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Walwyn PRO says:

phoneymanflickr

Well other than the web porn collections I don't recall anyone being deleted for copyright problems for a long while.

They even have a system in place now to disable an image while the DMCA process is going through. For several years a NOI has been required and even after that the violator is warned not to do it again. But you know that already. So enough of the fake outrage eh?
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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iansand PRO says:

From whence comes an obligation for "objectivity or equal treatment"?
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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'SeraphimC PRO says:

Did Flickr ever claim to be objective or offer equal treatment?
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

Zack Sheppard PRO says:

There are no refunds in most cases for Pro accounts. However, if it turns out that someone was deleted and it was a mistake we would refund them to do what we can to make it right and that would include refunding their money.

Deleting accounts is a very complex subject and we do warn people in some cases. When an account has run afoul of the Community Guidelines or Terms of Service we take different actions depending on a few things including the type of offense, is this the first time, etc. We have internal rules on what to do in each situation and checks to make sure those are used consistently. When someone writes in asking why they were deleted we refer them to the Community Guidelines and Terms of Service. In most all cases, especially after reading the rules, people know what they did wrong.
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

Deleting accounts is a very complex subject

Then how do you justify not warning people?

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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phoneymanflickr says:

They even have a system in place now to disable an image while the DMCA process is going through. For several years a NOI has been required and even after that the violator is warned not to do it again. But you know that already. So enough of the fake outrage eh?

This is a person who has been on Flickr for longer than I have, and the account that currently exists has been around for at least as long as I have, so that's going on 5 years now.

Did Flickr ever claim to be objective or offer equal treatment?

Good point. Just seems to be a bad business model to NOT offer such treatment.

Pierre
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

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

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