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[FIXED] Web uploader suddenly stripping out keyword tags

Melissa Maples says:

I embed my keywords/tags in the metadata of my images so that the tags are available wherever I upload my files. So when I use (for example) the Flickr web uploader, the tags embedded in the files appear automatically.

This was working correctly as recently as two days ago (photos I uploaded then are showing tags correctly), but when I went to upload some photos this morning, I noticed the web uploader behaving strangely. While the photos were uploading, the tags appeared in the left sidebar as normal, so that all seemed fine. But then I noticed that as each file was uploading, as soon as the upload finished, the tags in the sidebar would suddenly disappear. I thought this might have just been a display glitch in the UI for the uploader, but I tried publishing a photo and sure enough, the tags were missing on the photo's page as well (I have since deleted that photo).

The problem persists in multiple browsers and even when using the older uploader. It has always worked correctly up until now, and the only thing I can think that has changed since two days ago is that I migrated my login away from the old Yahoo login. I can't imagine why the problem would be with the way new logins are handled, but I thought I'd mention the coincidence with timing in case it's relevant.

Obviously the point of embedding tags directly in photos is specifically so that the tags can automatically travel with the file wherever it goes. Having to re-add them in on Flickr would be a hassle, and in fact I'm waiting to upload my most recent batch until this issue is resolved.

Incidentally, the problem only seems to be affecting keyword tags - image titles, location names, and other embedded metadata seem to be coming through and displaying normally.

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

Staff replies:
www.flickr.com/help/forum/en-us/72157708171890454/7215767...

www.flickr.com/help/forum/en-us/72157708171890454/7215770...
Posted at 11:29PM, 14 April 2019 PST ( permalink )
Eric Willis (staff) edited this topic 8 months ago.

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John Oram says:

One of many glitches by which Flickr is currently stricken. Related, I am getting incorrect notifications of duplicate or invalid tags. Other functions are inhibited.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Thomas Hawk says:

I've noticed this as well. Weird that it keep some but strips out others and only does it on some of the photos. Hopefully something that gets fixed.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Melissa Maples says:

For me it seems to be all photos - I keep trying different photos hoping to make it work, but so far no luck.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Meteorry says:

Importing photos with tags I entered together with information (description) on Lightroom and Photoshop are without tags when uploaded on Flickr. Double work for each photo. Hopefully it will be fixed!
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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r.a. paterson says:

I've noticed issues very similar to the ones described here; have also noticed that camera metadata has disappeared. I should say that uploading files as JPEGs rather than as TiFFs which I'd done previously does mitigate some of the metadata problems but it is still very annoying. How could something work seemingly well for so long and suddenly no longer do so?
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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blazer8696 says:

Same thing here. Some tags get uploaded but most do not.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Thomas Hawk says:

Just uploaded a batch now with a lot of missing tags/keywords. :(
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Thomas Hawk says:

really frustrating as the keywords are used with SuprSetr to build my albums. It is going to be a pain to have to verify keywords on uploads after they are done and delete all the photos that didn't make it and try again. About 60% of the images strip out most of the keywords.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Rex Block says:

The problem is not on the upload. I just uploaded an image with an extensive set of EXIF tags (including keywords), and then downloaded back from Flickr. The EXIF data on both files match.

The EXIF data is there on the uploaded images; it's just up to Flickr to start displaying it.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Bephep2010 says:

Same problem with me - all tags have been removed or are not shown form my last upload.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Alex-de-Haas says:

Same problem here. At first the uploader detects al the 30-40 tags/keywords. After the image finishes uploading (only the image, remaining on the upload page) almost all tags disappear suddenly. Only three are left. Clicking the blue upload button in the upper right corner publishes the image with just 3 tags.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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German Vogel says:

I'm having the same problem. All metadata entered via RawTherapee is being stripped when uploading. Only the title and 2 or 3 tags remain, out of some 30 tags. Descriptions are also stripped.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Torben* says:

Slightly different again here:
- I see all tags (from image IPTC keywords)
- Tags with blank in them (e.g. "OLYMPUS OM-D E-M10" are split into multiple tags (for the example I get "OLYMPUS", "OM-D", "E-M10")
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Thomas Hawk says:

Flickr Uploader Broken

If you look at the first photo in this batch you will see that when you first place it in the uploader it includes all the tags and keywords.

Before pressing the upload button though you will see it changes to this (see first photo in batch of uploads)

Flickr Uploader Broken

It would appear the only three keywords it is willing to accept are Chicago Illinois and United States. It seems to be the same for about 60% of the uploads in this batch. It always seems to keep three and they seem to be location based. Even if I open a new upload session and try the same photo all by itself it strips out all but those keywords 100% of the time. It's as though it is impossible to upload this particular photo with keywords.

I suppose the only thing to do is to delete all the photos that it is stripping keywords for from the batch upload and then just hope that Flickr fixes this issue someday.

You might be able to copy and paste the keywords into Flickr after the fact but because flickr requires quotes around multiple word keywords this becomes problematic.

Not sure there is an easy workaround to this problem until Flickr decides to fix it.

[edit] Just a hunch here but I think the issue may be related to embeded geotag information. It seems as though all of the images that are having keywords striped are geotagged images. If an image is not geotagged it seems to be keeping the tags as embedded. i think Flickr may be reading the geotag and then deciding to replace the tags you embeded with three location tags based on your geotag. I don't mind flickr adding in those three location tags based on my geotag, but not if they are going to strip out all my other embedded the process. I wonder if they turned off autotagging based on embedded geotag if this might fix the problem.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )
Thomas Hawk edited this topic 8 months ago.

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Melissa Maples says:

For me it has always autotagged duplicate location information into the keywords though, so that's not a new thing that's happening. It's just that before, it never stripped out the other keywords as a trade-off - that's the only new behaviour.

It seems to be copy/pasting that info from the manually-entered location metatags rather than from the actual GPS geotag.

In any case, I got a response back from Flickr support and they asked for additional info so they could look into it; I sent them screenshots very similar to the two you posted above, and I also pointed them to this forum thread, so hopefully they're actually going to fix it.

To be clear, in case anyone from Flickr is actually reading, if this issue is not fixed it's a complete dealbreaker for me. The ability for myself and others (especially potential clients) to search my photo catalogue by keyword is the main thing I use Flickr for, so if the tags are no longer showing up automatically then I have very little use for the service. I'm certainly not going to spend the extra hours it would require manually tagging everything twice, especially given the issue Thomas pointed out about not being able to copy/paste tags as a set due to Flickr's proprietary tag formatting requirements.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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blazer8696 says:

I'm seeing the issue regardless of if the image is geotagged or not. I add tags with GeoSetter 3.5.0. Flickr is stripping all the tags except for IMG_5042, Brookfield, Connecticut and United States.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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blazer8696 says:

A little more info. If I manually add tags using GeoSetter, those tags appear in the uploader and attach to the image properly. If I then add Lat & Long coordinates to the image it still uploads properly with the tags intact.

However, if I then add location information, (Country code, country, state/province, city & sublocation), the tags no longer transfer over.

For an instance, the uploader initially shows all the tags but then all but a few disappear before the upload is complete. The only remaining tags are those for Country, State and Sublocation.

I have GeoSetter set to automatically add location information to the keyword list.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Rex Block says:

The keyword issue persists this morning. I don't use anything geo-related so I can't address that. But I can report some findings.

As recently as Sunday 4/14, uploads were reading the IPTC:keywords EXIF tag properly, and copying those values to the Flickr tags set.

As defined, IPTC:keywords is a list of zero or more keyword tags (not one single tag with multiple words). Flickr was interpreting this properly, but something broke on 14-15 April.

In the EXIF, there is a Keyword being shown, but it is only the first keyword in the list. This behavior goes back years and is confirmed on older uploads of mine.

This needs to be reported as a defect. I'll be happy to do that as I rely on this feature. Is there a bugtraq process here?
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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blazer8696 says:

In case it might help, this album of three images attempts to describe the behavior as meta data is added using GeoSetter. It have GeoSetter set to add location data, (Country Code, country, state, city and sublocation), to the keyword/tag list.

www.flickr.com/photos/blazer8696/albums/72157677747174737
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Melissa Maples says:

Okay so, Flickr support just got back to me on the follow-up.

They were aware this was an issue with iOS, but didn't know that it had broken on the web uploader, as well, so it's good that I brought it up. Apparently it's related to the AWS move (of course) and they're actively looking into it now, i.e. it's not just being added to the bottom of the endless to-do list. That said, they noted that they couldn't give an exact timeframe for when it would be sorted, but that they 'hope to have a fix rolled out shortly. We sincerely appreciate your patience in this as we dig into what could be causing this issue.'

So there you go, that's all I know for now. Fingers crossed someone finds and rectifies the problem quickly.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )
Melissa Maples edited this topic 8 months ago.

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Rex Block says:

Melissa Maples:

They were aware this was an issue with iOS, but didn't know that it had broken on the web uploader, as well, so it's good that I brought it up.


Excellent work Melissa. If they are aware of the issue, that is fine with me for now. I'll keep an eye on it and start rumbling again in another week or so if nothing happens.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Dell Deaton says:

Noticed a *second* problem that occurred at the same time for me.

I use "Photonic Gallery & Lightbox for Flicker [et cetera] to show a dozen or less images from my Flickr Pro account to my Wordpress-enabled website. A day or so ago, I noticed that instead of a new image appearing in the feed on my website, all that showed was a box with a "?" mark in it. Curiously, the link itself works just fine.

Additionally, previous images show and link as they always have.

I've tried uploading different images, and even uploading new copies of old images since this problem first appeared. Nothing works: Not the new variations, nor the old that used to upload fine -- even though I can scroll down the feed and see the exact same image showing with its link as it always has, no problem.

So, the problem in this thread with the tags not coming through, and the feed problem for me.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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fozbaca says:

My photos keyworded before uploaded don't display tags on flickr but do after downloading.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Thomas Hawk says:

It's still borked tonight. Screw it. I guess I'll just stop uploading to Flickr until this gets fixed.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Thomas Hawk says:

Stephen Shankland pointed me on Twitter to Jeffrey Friedl's Lightroom Flickr Uploader which seems to work without stripping out the keywords.

twitter.com/stshank/status/1118182748542226432

You just have to import the photos you want to upload into Lightroom and then send it from there. I just tried a batch and they seemed to make it with all keywords intact.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

Norby says:

Thomas Hawk:

If you can give us a sample of the same image uploaded via both methods, that would be great (and will give us a clean baseline, since the metadata on both originals should be identical). I am aware of subtle Unicode issues that existed only in upload-by-email (which was a slightly different path), so this might be something similar. It may be that the web uploader is trying to "help" but actually doing harm. For a third point of comparison, you could also try uploading the file using the basic uploadr, which should very closely mimic what any other API-based uploadr would do.

Since a lot of internal plumbing was re-routed to make uploads smoothly transition from going from one place to another, the fact that this may be the worst thing that got jumbled during this transition is somewhat heartening.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Thomas Hawk says:

Norby:

Sure. Here is a photo uploaded using the Flickr uploader: www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawkblog/46711313025/in/datep...

And the same photo uploaded using the lightroom plugin by Friedl: www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/33749104198/in/dateposted/

You will see the photo uploaded with the Flickr uploader is missing some of the tags.

It only seems to strip keywords for me when there is location data embedded.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Thomas Hawk says:

Norby:

and here is the photo uploaded by the basic uploader which is also stripping keywords out: www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawkblog/47626839961/in/datep...
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

Eric Willis says:

Hold tight, feeding the magic donkey ...
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Thomas Hawk says:

Eric Willis:

hot donkey.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

Eric Willis says:

As everyone here may have heard, we’re migrating Flickr out of Yahoo! I thought I knew pain (I mean, not childbirth pain but regular pain) and yet, here we are.

A fix is being deployed from CST right now, aka 11:59pm on a Tuesday. We love all of you but please be patient with us. This would have only affected photos over the last few days.

I really appreciate all of the debugging help and tons and tons of details ya’ll posted :)

If you want to have your tags auto-extracted from EXIF after already uploading, you will have to re-upload your photo (not replace) and you'll have the greatest of luck. The kind of luck that a magic donkey has after eating a bowl of homemade guacamole. Imagine all those healthy fats coursing through your system? Those are really high quality calories.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Thomas Hawk says:

Eric Willis:

Aisle 5

I think I just uploaded a photo and it worked. All the metadata seems intact. Thankfully the entire world will now be able to know all of the intimate details of the cheeseburger I had for dinner tonight. ;)

Thank you. :)
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

Eric Willis says:

Fix is out to 100%. Please post photos of happy things in this thread for the engineers and Heroes in the CST and MDT time zones that diagnosed and fixed this on a Tuesday night when they should have been sleeping because 6am comes quick. Migration has us all working 10+ hour days and large parts of the weekend.

We don't deploy any changes to flickr.com without code review so everything we do is a multi-person change and deploy. We're here for you all :) but sometimes we're tired and need caffeine oh no wait we should go to bed.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

Eric Willis says:

Thomas Hawk:

Thankfully the entire world will now be able to know all of the intimate details of the cheeseburger I had for dinner tonight. ;)

I think you should change this photo to moderate or possibly restricted. Remember, Flickr is a family place.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Thomas Hawk says:

Eric Willis:

if that guy who thinks the bird eating the fish is unacceptable violence, then you are probably right. ;)

I am surprised San Francisco / Oakland have not banned cheeseburgers yet.

Thank you again for the fix.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Melissa Maples says:

Haaaaaaaalelujah! That was quick! You weren't kidding when you said you were actively on it!

A million thanks to Richard, Cheyenne, Norby, Eric, and everyone else who worked to get this fixed quickly. Your Tuesday night sacrifice is my Wednesday morning joy. Please accept this delicious plate of beyti sarma with a side of keyword tags as a token of my eternal gratitude.

Beyti sarma by Melissa Maples

Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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fozbaca says:

Anyway to get photos with embeded keywords uploaded during the bug to display the embeded keywords on flickr without manually adding or reuploading?
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

Eric Willis says:

fozbaca:

Anyway to get photos with embeded keywords uploaded during the bug to display the embeded keywords on flickr without manually adding or reuploading?

No, sorry. You'll have to re-upload. The keywords will be in the EXIF of the originals uploaded but the only way to reprocess the data is by new upload.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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Rex Block says:

Eric Willis:

Thanks Eric. This confirms what I suspected, which is that a replacement of a photo takes a different route and does not cause the magic donkey to reprocess the EXIF data.

Thanks for getting the keywords fixed; haven't tried it yet but will shortly.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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