Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why Creeps Are Ruining Flickr

I love using Flickr. I have used it to house my photos for almost 4 years. I love the fact that I can share photos with family and friends scattered all over the world. I am also happy that I can upload good quality pictures and video and store them on Flickr. I never keep my photos on my laptop, I keep everything on Flickr. It saves me hard drive space and I can access pictures from anywhere.

Over the years I have been charmed by the fact that people all over the world have favourited, used, and commented on photos I have put up. I have had really good conversations with people I have never meet about the slave cabins my mother and I saw on a plantation tour we took while in New Orleans. My pictures have shown up along side recipes and articles in online magazines in a number of different countries. In fact, a few years ago a Brazilian reporter found the pictures from the Divorce Party I hosted for a girlfriend and I ended up being interviewed on the topic.  All these things have proven the value of Flickr to me.

However, there are also been a couple of truly creepy things that have happened as well. Two years ago pictures of me snowshoeing were added to the favourites list of a S & M dungeon master in Germany. Yes, you read that right - snowshoeing. I really don't know why such a person would need this type picture of someone they don't know. But I'll let your imagination take fill in the blanks. Today, something even creepier. I get an email from Flickr that another person I don't know has favourited a bunch of pictures of me. Pictures of me on vacation, sweet pictures of me smiling in a pretty dress or bathing suit on the beach. These are not torrid pictures by any stretch of the imagination. But when I go to check out this person's photostream it is full of pornographic pictures. I am so not cool with this.

My first reaction was f%cking anger. Do I now have to remove these perfectly innocent photos because some creep I don't know has added them to their photostream? Then, why can't Flickr monitor this sort of shit better? I mean there is a warning right not this jerk's page before you enter his photostream. If users are hosting this type of content, why can't Flickr restrict their ability to favourite photos without the owner's permission? Then finally, so much for Creative Commons. I like to put content up for people to use and to share. This is one of the best things about Flickr in particular, the ability to share work with people all over the world. But if this kind of disturbing shit keeps happening, well then I am going to restrict all personal content to family and friends.

Now maybe this is something I should have done a long time ago. Maybe I should have just figured there are creeps all over the world and that it was foolish to think you can put a picture of yourself snowshoeing without them being added to an S & M photostream. But the lesson has been learned. Every single photo of a person I put on Flickr will not be restricted to family and friends. And this is why creeps are ruining Flickr.

Posted via email from Completely Barking Mad

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