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Beating flickr's censorship

NOTE: This is a cross-post of my article from the group "Against Censorship At Flickr". I have cross-posted it here so it is out of the reach of flickr and Yahoo employees (just in case).

First of all, read what Cornelio (cgc0202) has said. His two threads are here, and here.

Cornelio uses figures from Yahoo's reports to show that even if every single pro member of this group refuses to renew, that will NOT affect Yahoo much - they have revenues of over US $6 BILLION a year, and they have over US $ 1.5 BILLION of cash on hand.

However, as Cornelio also points out, Internet giants can fall.

It seems to me that we need people to commit to a long-term campaign of spreading doubt about flickr.

The reason I originally joined flickr is that when I finally got regular Internet access at home (about 1 1/4 years ago), flickr was the site that kept being mentioned as the place to store and share photos. It was the 'market leader', so to speak, the site that first came to people's minds.

So the first obvious thing is that flickr needs to be criticised whenever there is a chance to do so. Say you see an article on Digg that links to a discussion on flickr. You could put a comment on Digg and on the story that Digg links to saying "Flickr has some good features, but ever since they starteed censoring users, I have not trusted them - I moved my account to X".

Or, if you like flickr and want to stay, you could say "flickr has some good features, and I am still there, but you might want to be careful and make sure they don't censor you".

You could link back to this group so that people can see more.

So, we need people who are ready to start watching parts of the Internet. Any volunteers? You could watch digg, or create a Google Alert, or anything like that.

Do you have a blog, or do you comment regularly on a blog where you might be able to raise this issue. Please speak up and say what you are willing to do.

I am willing to create a simple blogger/blogspot website that can be a discussion place for these ideas. We have to assume that this group might be closed down by flickr.

Someone has already created a story on Digg that links to this group. If you are willing to help in a campaign, please go to Digg and digg the story. If you are not a member of Digg, then join.

This will be a useful way to see how many people are willing to spend a few minutes helping a campaign. At the moment, the story has 37 diggs. With 10 000 people in this group, if the story can't get at least a few hundred diggs then I would think we don't have enough serious people to put up a fight.


Solidarity and discipline will be crucial. To me, 'solidarity' means that we unite around a publicity campaign to create doubt about flickr, and we do NOT attack other members of the campaign for their decision to either leave flickr or stay.

I plan to scale back my flickr presence a LOT, and will not renew my pro account. If you agree not to call me a 'Rat', then I will agree not to attack you for making a different decision to me.

'Discipline' means that we do not do stupid, counter-productive things like flooding groups or going off on crazy rants. Anyone who does will be helping flickr and yahoo, and should not be trusted.

Anyone who says 'but it's the fault of the German laws' should, the first time, be pointed to the reasons as to why this is incorrect. On the second time, they should be treated as someone in the pay of flickr or yahoo, and not trusted.

Please speak up now and say what you are prepared to do to help.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia License.

This means that you may use any work by me, David Jackmanson, that you find on this site for any purpose at all, as long as you give credit to Let's Take Over and include the site's web address.

It's your responsibility to check that the work is created by me and not somebody else. Accounts on sites like flickr or Odeo that are listed as belonging to 'Let's Take Over' or 'djackmanson' will probably be mine.


Apprentice said...


Yes I agree with all that. I've been a Flickr user since 2005 and for just under a year now I have been voicing my concerns about it whenever photohosting has been mentioned, and I do not recommend people using it for a host of reasons including, but not limited to the censorship issue. I am more than happy to continue to do this, and no I won't be renewing my pro account.

Thanks for doing this!

brendadada (on the internet)

kiff ta race said...

thank you for doing this

Anonymous said...

As a Flickr member I think it's an interesting wake up call. Flickr are supberb at the Bodyshop school of capitalism - we are just doing it for love and to help people and our ethics are beyond reproach.

So you get endless naive posts by people very politely taking up customer sevice issues on forums.

It's time people realised they are just like your phone company - you pay them for a service, they do as little as they can get away with and make a bundle off you - your attitude to them should be the same.