Protest around Flickr “censorship” increases


Yesterday night when I wrote about Flickr “enhancing” the German Service, the tag thinkflickrthink, it had 850 picture. Some 12 hours later, it is already at over 5400. The Flickr group “Against Censorship at Flickr” has over 2500 members already.

In case you are wondering how safe search looks like, “How Not to Launch a Multilingual Website: Think Flickr, Think” has a great comparison of the two.

You would assume, that Flickr actually comes out with a statement by now? Of course they have – just saying nothing at all. As quoted in the forum discussion “Statement by Flickr management” flickr has offered the following “explanation” in one of the forums (not on the blog btw, which I found interesting):

We really apologize for the delay in responding to these threads. The whole Flickr team has been in ongoing discussions, trying to hammer out a solution.

We have absolutely no intention of censoring the content on the community’s behalf. It is always been our intention that Flickr members participate to whatever extent they want and are as free as possible create their own experience. Currently, switching the SafeSearch function off is not available for German members. It is a really complex situation — we have been in deliberation on this for a while, and we had to make the decision whether or not to leave Germany and the German language out of the international launch.

The decision came down to the wire, but we decided to include Germany. We’re still hoping that that was the right decision. It definitely was not a decision that was made lightly and there is no intention to annoy, frustrate or inconvenience Flickr members in Germany. Rest assured, we do hear you loud and clearly (painfully loud, even) and are doing our best. We hope to have more to say soon.

I still can access those pages, I am with a german paid account, coming from an IP in Germany – so either way you put it, they screwed it.

Think you can silently move around and change things to avoid more trouble? Think again:

Note: We have added the Flickr legal documents (terms of use, privacy policy, etc.) to our GooDiff project. They are now being actively tracked for changes and modifications.

And why should you care? Because of this:

Some nice quotes from “Censorship on Flickr! The Community fights back!“:

“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.” –Abraham Lincoln, from the April 6, 1859 Letter to Henry Pierce

With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.

Star Trek TNG S04E21

(btw: thinkflickrthink is now 30 min later at over 6200 photos.)

Update: Read also Dirk Assbach’s text “The flickr censorship drama – my personal view
thinkflickrthink now has 8500 photos.


2 Responses to “Protest around Flickr “censorship” increases”

  1. greynine says:

    hm. this kind invitation there “You! Join My Community” made me interested in who’s standing behind your community. and guess what I’v found on the privacy page ( – Yahoo! seems to recently have bought that community as well.
    I’m surely not going to make the same mistake twice.

  2. net_efekt says:

    If I am a German using a (US) id, then the new filter doesn’t apply to me. So why do they apply for those who are registered with (Germany)? We’re all Germans and the same law applies to us, so, if jail were a real threat, then surely the service would have been sued ages ago.

    It seems that to avoid the new filter a lot of people have to pay twice – ie. to create a new registration via the US site. This certainly doesn’t help.

    Furthermore, why has it taken flickr such a long time to answer the protesters? It took days for the first (very weak) reply, and only now some clearer responses.

    Why not be a champion of the people (and out freedom), rather than a slave to Governments? It hardly gives me hope that services such as flickr won’t one day be used by Governments to keep a tab on us… Big Brother 2.0?