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PROBLEM with 403 and 404 error viewing albums with friends.

Henry Barnett says:

I have made all my 40k images in 450 albums PRIVATE
I have 62 albums of mountain trekking in the Pyrenees.
I have created a one-page website - TREKS - with an icon (small image) from each album and created a link copied from the link opened with the share button on the album page.
I have sent the address of the website to them and told them to click the link under the image to see the album/albums they want to view, on Flickr.

Flickr clearly states that images marked PRIVATE can only be seen by me AND anyone with the link, so making a GROUP should not be required, neither should changing the permissions in these albums to FRIENDS and inviting them to be a FRIEND be required.

There is no specific way to “send” a link and I will presume all methods are valid.
Send by email
Send as a link in a website.
Send in FB or Messenger

Using SAFARI, when one of our fellow trekkers clicks on a link, the first time in, they see the album. When they click on another link, they get a 403 - You do not have permission to see this album.

Using CHROME, when one of our fellow trekkers clicks on a link, first time in, they see the album. When they click on another link, they get a 404.

When I do the same (being logged in Pro account) the links are correct.

I have made a small test website with 4 albums, each with 3 images.
The links are taken from the album’s share button.
That one works as required.

It may be that the links get outdated. But as the two websites are identical - one is a lot longer but the same nonetheless, I am at a loss.

The HTML is identical on both web pages.

The Head/ Footer are identical.

I also have a website ( where there is a link to ONE Flickr album to showcase some of my images. This is inside an iframe. I’ve checked that the link opens the correct album page on my computer, and it does, but on a guest, it gets a 404 error.

I would add that my wife has a free Flickr account and she is having the same problem. Some links work, some don't.

To me, this points to an error with the links and permissions.

Can anyone help me understand what is wrong, (and I’m sure I am not alone)
Posted at 6:33AM, 30 April 2021 PDT ( permalink | reply )
Henry Barnett edited this topic 3 weeks ago.

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mag3737 says:

Have you tried putting a link to the same album on both web sites to see if it breaks in one place but not the other?

At the moment it looks like the album on your StB web site is a different one than the 4 on your test site.

FWIW, I see the same thing you see -- the 4 albums on your test site open for me, but the one on the StB site does not. This suggests we can rule out anything to do with you yourself doing the testing (and being logged in or not).
Posted 3 weeks ago. ( permalink | reply )

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Henry Barnett says:

Hi Mag3737,

Although the two websites: - the real page, and - the test page, are on different domains the HTML code is identical in both cases.

The real page does not work properly on either my wife's account. She has a free account. Nor on a friend's (not a Flickr friend!) who is testing for me.

All the albums are listed in the guest passes.

So I agree that it must be linked to the links, which are all taken from the share button on each album's main page.

I have contacted Flickr with the problem and hopefully, they will shed some light on it.
Posted 2 weeks ago. ( permalink | reply )

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Flickr Staff

katie_ko says:

Henry Barnett:

I see you've made contact with Ryan from our Support team-- he'll be able to continue assisting to help you get to the bottom of this!
Posted 2 weeks ago. ( permalink | reply )

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Henry Barnett says:


I hope so too. I feel that the whole subject of sharing is not at all well documented. There are too many options and combinations and yet Flickr says, "Only you and those that have the link can see private images" but there's certainly a but as always.
Posted 2 weeks ago. ( permalink | reply )

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Henry Barnett says:

I finally got the right answer.

Linking albums on a webpage:

1. Albums must not be "Friends" or "Family".
2. They should be Private (I've not tried any with "Public")
3. The share link must be obtained from Albums/open Album/click "Share". This is the only share that creates a Guest Pass.
4. Do not use the share link from the Album selection page. (to be tested)
5. Do not use the URL in your browser.
6. I also think that the share link from Organize/albums... does not work.

I was referred to a Help article but none of this was mentioned.
Posted 2 weeks ago. ( permalink | reply )

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mag3737 says:

Technically there is no such thing as "friends" or "family" or "public" or "private" with respect to albums. All of these designations apply to photos only.

However, it is true that albums can contain any mixture of all these types of photos, and the photos that any particular viewer will see in an album will vary according to the various combinations of these factors, plus who that viewer is.

Also, note that the designations "friend" and "family" are actually sub-categories/types of "private", AND they are also designations that you can apply to people who are among your Flickr contacts (meaning it only applies to other Flickr users, not people in the general public).

A "guest pass" on Flickr is a specially-formatted URL for either an album or a photo.

Anyone (including the general public) who uses the guest-pass URL to access a photo will be able to see the photo, regardless of all the privacy settings.

Anyone (including the general public) who uses the guest-pass URL to access an album will be able to see ALL of the photos in the album, regardless of all the (photos') privacy settings.
Posted 2 weeks ago. ( permalink | reply )

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