Flickr, currently a darling of the web 2.0 boom, which was bought out by yahoo a few years ago, is threading on dangerous ground with a recent censoring of an artist photo.
The story starts with Flickr user _rebekka a popular user based in Iceland that is well known for her picture that include self portraits and landscapes. Even though certain parts of flickr a ridden with semi naked chicks taking saucy pictures of them selves and getting a huge number of hits via titillation and not quality. _rebekka is not that un good looking but it isn’t the self portraits that have caused woes but her landscapes. It turns out some crowd in england downloaded some of her photos and sold them on as their own. No permission from _rebekka and certainly not paying her either.
Things got warmed up when she found out and contacted the English company, Only-Dreemin, informed them of the violation and tried to resolve it. She wasn’t lucky
Things got even more interesting when yesterday she post a commentary on what happened, she uploaded the picture above and in the description she detailed all that happened. The internet found it and were disgraced and comments pored into her flickr page denouncing the company and her treatment.
That was until flickr pulled the image leaving behind the following message
That’s all! Flickr have use _rebekka as a poster child for flickr. The content of her post may be viewed as inflammatory by some, and flickr trying to run damage control did the easiest thing and pulled the image. But she at the very least deserved some behind the scenes contact from flickr. She’s popular and the images themselves came from the website. Flickr run the dangerous risk of becoming like it parent company and lose sight of what made the site successful in the first place and remembering to respect the users.
Digg got taught this lesson last week with the whole AACS fiasco, they sided with the lawyers over the users and got punished fast. The backlash to flickr may not be as extreme but this may be the start of a run of these new web 2.0 companies which are now trying to turn a profit losing sight of priorities and alienating their unrealised asset, the users.
Rebekka story needs to be heard so she’s moved it to her own blog, outside flickr’s censor space keep an on on this link for future details.
It turns out Flickr came to there sense and issued an apology to Rebekka_ for censoring her picture see here maybe there is hope for flickr yet and they have learned from the digg example, don’t mess with you assets.