Flickr: not love, but censorship – German users highly annoyed


For the PR department of Flickr, this morning could be a bitter one. You would think that having suddenly a German interface (other languages startet as well) would give Flickr like a home run in the German sphere when it comes to userbase. Aditionally when you know how many user accounts Yahoo has.

Well kind of. To say they screwed it would be an understatement.

Because besides languages they also switched something on which puts Germans in the same bucket with other, very liberal countries:

If your Yahoo! ID is based in Singapore, Germany, Hong Kong or Korea you will only be able to view safe content based on your local Terms of Service so won’t be able to turn SafeSearch off.

SafeSearch of course is one of the wonderful results of Flickr now being in the hand of an american company and their vision of what is suitable for children or not.
(I did not bother with doing a setting on any of my pictures because I do not post pornographic material to my standards. )

Would like to see some reactions?

The tag thinkflickrthink is heading for a thousand entries in only a few hours (and mine is coming as soon as I finish this entry and this is the favorite photo:

This users does know why Flickr does it:

flickr, I need guidance! I mean, let’s face it: Being German, I just can’t depend on my own judgement, right? If history has shown one thing, it’s that us guys can’t be left to our own thinking, agreed? So: Thank you, flickr, for taking global responsibility in making a choice here for me as to what content is suitable for me. If it weren’t for you guys, I just might start looking for images I’d rather not be given access to, such as images their respective stream owners have tagged ‘moderate’ or even – huh! God forbid! – ‘restricted’. It’s just not a good idea to expose me to such materials and I would like to express my deep gratitude in you making a choice for me. Censorship rules! Right on, flickr!

Now why bother you could say. Perhaps because some users are quite pissed about having paid for a pro account and now not being able to use it they way there where able to?
As Sebastian Nohn puts it in “My photos are unavailable to Youhoo!“:

Flickr is one of the few web sites, I’m paying for. However, my Pro Account expires 2nd July, 2007, and I’m not going to renew it. Flickr once was a cool web site, then it got bought by Yahoo, then it got slow and now it patronises me. It may not be Flickr‘s fault, that Germany is close to Singapore, Hong Kong or Korea when it comes to freedom of information and censorship, but I’m not going to pay for being restrained.

Btw, the business modell of Flickr is to have paying customers – and having a German interface is of course one reason to gain a userbase. But for that you’d have to be cool – that is gone now.

Additional links:
Thread in the forums: “flickr now censoring all moderate and restricted photos from Germany
Digg entry: Flickr access censored in Germany


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