According to Flickr Street photography is voyeuristic! No. Honestly. (This rant was originally posted on my Gemini Miscellany Blog)
My second love after astrology is photography, it’s a recently acquired hobby in relation to astrology but it’s grabbed me. A friend persuaded me to join Flickr and I soon discovered that there is a wonderful group of people there. Indeed I have made many friends there.
For just over a year now I have become fascinated with the genre of street photography and recently enjoyed the exhibitions put on by the London Street Festival Organization. http://londonstreetphotographyfestival.org/
It's an addictive pastime and indeed I have friends and contacts at Flickr who also class themselves as street photographers – one of whom recently had his account deleted by Flickr with no warning whatsoever, there one minute and gone the next! I found this extremely worrying as in many ways our street photography was of a similar style. The only way he could get support was to re-join under a different name (this in itself is bad practice, why is there no support email address at Flickr?)
It’s taken my friend 4 days, countless emails and numerous posts on the help forum in order to get an answer to the one question he asked “why?”
Finally it seems he got an answer, his photos are deemed ‘voyeuristic’ by Flickr? Hang on….? He’s a street photographer and so am I? Does that make me a voyeur too? Does this mean that the British Library who hosted one of the London Street festival’s exhibitions encourage voyeurism?
It appears he broke the community guideline that states
“Don’t be creepy.
You know the guy. Don't be that guy.”
Now if that isn’t a vague guideline I don’t know what is, who at Flickr (and its parent company Yahoo) defines creepy? – but on the strength of that Flickr can do the following
Flickr expressly reserves the right to immediately modify, delete content from, suspend or terminate your account and refuse current or future use of any Yahoo! service, including Flickr pro, if Flickr, in its sole discretion believes you have: (i) violated or tried to violate the rights of others; or (ii) acted inconsistently with the spirit or letter of the TOS, the Community Guidelines or these Additional Terms. In such event, your Flickr pro account may be suspended or cancelled immediately in our discretion, all the information and content contained within it deleted permanently and you will not be entitled to any refund of any of the amounts you've paid for such account. Flickr accepts no liability for information or content that is deleted.
So the photo uploading site, used by many professionals and used by the BBC and the American Government amongst others can just delete your account, with no warning and no reason given whether you are a paid member or not. I’m sorry Flickr this is entirely unacceptable behaviour by you. In fact I find that creepier than any street photographer’s photo stream.
Oh and please don’t think this is an isolated case, here are a few more:
Yahoo 'censored' Flickr comments
Flickr Accidentally Deletes a User’s 3,400 Photos
What Would Happen If Your Pro Flickr Account Was Deleted?
One final note: It seems that you can post all sorts of pornographic images to Flickr without being considered creepy (and there is a hell of a lot of it there) yet street photography images are considered creepy and voyeuristic!
I will be uploading my last ever picture to Flickr soon, it will be a street candid so no doubt will be considered voyeuristic. I'll miss all my contacts, (whom I want to thank here and now for their support, comments and encouragement) but never again will Flickr have a penny of my money or a moment of my time.
Read more here: http://funkdooby.blogspot.com/
Meanwhile my photos will continue here: