aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, June 09, 2007
It’s time to stop using your Flickr account
Violet Blue, after receiving a vaguely worded email and a 30 day account suspension, has declared that she’s no longer a Flickr fan:
[U]nless you’re a member of the site, my account has been erased. Except, confusingly, right now you can go to my page and see *only* the nipple-tastic photos I removed form public searches. And if you’re a member but unaware of the changes Flickr has quietly made (and unevenly enforced) to their users’ search levels, my photos look like a fuzzy TV screen. This means that without a Flickr account you cannot see the photos, and even if you have a Flickr account, the thumbnail is all snowy until you decide that you will break the “safe” barrier and click into “unsafe” territory to see what is behind the fuzz. (Where is that in your account profile? Good question.) [...]
I want to play by Flickr’s rules—I’ve been doing so to the best of my knowledge all along. But Flickr isn’t telling me how I broke their rules, just that I broke them. They won’t even tell me what the rules *are*. I don’t know which photos I need to amend to get back on their good side—they’re not telling me. So, I visit the Community Guidelines link Terrence sent me to see exactly what those guidelines are, to understand how I broke them and what photos I might have overlooked somehow (or what has changed). I find out, well, nothing except vague wording about being responsible to who might see my photos, and that nudity is forbidden in my “buddy icon”
Next, I want to see how I violated, or screwed up, use of their safety filters. And I get more vague language about self-policing the filters…
But then I get my answer—in “how do I know I’m doing the right thing?” the answer is basically, “never"…
And then, when I sign out again and search for my own name, I get the same front page result I’ve been getting for a year, of an image I’ve been trying to have removed for—over a year. It’s the woman who’s been using my name to make porn, with her tits out…
Thanks, Flickr. Tonight I’m downloading all 1800+ of my images (only 152,307 views because I don’t blog my stream very often) and moving them to Fotki, where I know they’ll be visible. I really want to be able to share my silly cat photos with friends. And I’m sick and tired of these social networking sites screwing everything up for individuals within communities with their latest thoughtless, user-inconsiderate policies. Consider me no longer a fan, Flickr.
Read the whole post; clickthrough to the links. Flickr’s got more than just a little explaining to do. They’ve got to articulate and guarantee their community some specific rights before I will use them again.
RELATED: The SFChronicle reports today that Flickr’s being blocked in China. Flickr, whose parent company, Yahoo!, has cooperated with the Chinese government in implementing a system of internet censorship in China, is careful not to blame the Bejing government.
The phrase “Citizen Journalist” should go
Steve Boriss at The Future of News says it’s time we name ourselves:
“Citizen journalist” implies that the truly legitimate position is “journalist” with the adjective “citizen” used as a qualifier to diminish status, as in Vice President, Lieutenant Colonel, or Assistant Professor. Come to think of it, “Citizen journalist” sounds like a phrase invented by a mainstream journalist — one who clings to the belief that, in the future, journalists will still hold the same, lofty status they enjoy today, but just with the additional burden of using, taming, and managing a swarm of pesky news “wanna-bees.” Maybe it’s time for news bloggers to take responsibility for naming their own specialty — ideally one that would distinguish them from social bloggers on one hand and mainstream journalists on the other.
Boriss hit that nail right on the head! My suggestion, keep it simple: “News Bloggers” is a good start.
Via Martin Stabe.
TANGENTIALLY RELATED: A podcast by any other name would be much sweeter.