Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yahoo Flickr Censorship

Yahoo Flickr Censorship.

It is not clear that Shepherd Johnson broke any rule other than the unwritten one of "Do not annoy the White House".

I have a Flickr "Pro" Account. If Yahoo can make my pictures disappear because of my political opinions, I see no reason to continue to pay for that account. It will make my blog suddenly lose all its photographs, but that is life.


This is what Yahoo says to my concerns:

Hello Arun:

Thank you for contacting Flickr Customer Care's Abuse and
Advocacy Team.

Despite however much I personally might or might not like
to discuss this issue with you, our Privacy Policy precludes
us from sharing any member information with third parties.


1 comment:

Thomas Hawk said...

There are three basic problems with this incident.

1. Obama campaigned on a platform of new Govt. transparency. The White House deleting critical comments made on Flickr is not in this spirit of transparency. They should not delete critical comments. It's important to note that this account is not an Obama campaign account, but an official account from the White House, supported and paid for by our tax dollars.

2. Shepherd Johnson posted critical comments that were deleted and then his entire account was nuked by Flickr. It is important to note that this deletion is permanent and irrevocable. There is no undo button when Flickr deletes an account. This is bad customer service. Flickr should suspend potentially offensive accounts prior to deletion and allow for an appeal as well as an opportunity to download your photos before the account is permanently wiped off the server.

Especially because the rules on Flickr behavior are quite ambiguous in many cases (Johnson's account was allegedly deleted for "spamming" flickr and yet flickr won't define what they consider spam), it makes sense to have an opportunity to revisit a deletion case made by some underling lackey in the Flickr censorship bureau before it is instantly made permanent.

3. Flickr should not have deleted Johnson's account over these critical comments. There is nothing wrong with criticizing the President of the United State.

More on that story from CNN, the SF Chronicle, the NY Post, Techmeme, CNN, etc.:,,,,

You are right to be concerned with this Arun.