“Flickr” Deletes/Censors User Content at Will, “Street Photography”

Flickr Deletes User Description Content at Will.

As most people interested in Photography might well know, Getty Images and Flickr have reached a deal for image licensing for Flickr user images. The British Journal of Photography, in amongst others, reported the news both online and in print, the June 2010 online version of which can be read here: http://bit.ly/b8QGKW

The Latest update on the deal, is also reported in the July issue of the BJP, which at this very time is not available online yet (or I couldn’t find it) and I’m sure it will be soon.

The Article in the July issue, gives details of the mechanics of the Getty/Flickr deal and is informative and offers notes of consideration.

I eventually, found the time to read the article ( on a train journey) and emailed a letter to the BJP and afterwards, uploaded an image (Kick Ass, above), to Flickr with the same words words as my email letter to BJP referring to the article in BJP with my own views and thoughts and ended me words with: Kick Ass!

I thought the move/deal (flickr+Getty) was in fact good news for small time photographers, amateurs, and alike.

Flickr ( or maybe Flickr and Getty) in the wisdom, deleted, censored my words. This Giant company obviously felt, censorship was in order. They type of reaction that you would hear about in places like the Middle East, China, Africa or locations where people might be oppressed expressing themselves but oh no… Not Flickr.

I then wrote back to BJP letting them know what happened, and needless to say that I have Tweeted the censorship. BJP kindly have tweeted back that they have contacted Flickr for comments.

So, here is what I wrote to BJP and used as image description on Flickr which Flikr Deleted:

Sent July 14th 2010, July 2010 Issue BJP.

“Sometimes you cant have the cake and eat it:

The world of photography foolishly and without choice in the matter (in my view), turned their back on film and praised what I call “The digital invasion” age.
So with the birth of billions of digital photographers, (and flickr would have never existed otherwise), why now the Getty licensing deal with flickr the death of professionals most of whom have already been killed!!!
It wont effect the top layer and its the birth of millions of small time professional and a handful who will make to the top layer!! All good news really if you are a digital victim (me included who has just purchased a phase one P30+), but the advice for amateurs to know the value of their images, is a great one. Sell nothing for less than $400. Kick Ass.”

So, the above is what I wrote to BJP and what I uploaded to Flickr which is what they deleted.
it was here: http://bit.ly/bevf4j

its is now also blogged at Tumblr http://bit.ly/bR9P4F

Now, you may or may not agree with what I wrote, there maybe some elements of Truth or otherwise, but is it right that Flickr should just delete it at will. in reality censoring user content in this manor?? even without reading it, I’m sure they may be legally entitled to do it somewhere written in the small “user agreement” print but, were my comments Pornographic? Violence encouraging? really damaging to Flickr and or Getty? threatened the security of either businesses? starting a revolusion? or anything like that at all!!!
So, how many people might have read my words? out of those how many might have done anything other than go… Yeah Right! and how many might have turned down a Getty offer for an image purchase price less that $400??? one? two? non?

So, all in all, I think it was foolish to delete my micro blog, Flickr should have been a bigger boy with all the millions of users and billions of dollars in the bank! its like BP banning people who comment ( not even criticize) them for the Oil Spill from using their Gas Stations!!

Shame on you Flickr!!! you many be a few years old but not a baby!!!

Hell…. for All I know, this might get deleted too!!!

Update: As of July 26th 2010. I have been emailed by Flickr users that they can NOT add comments to the Flickr image.
I know that BJP had emailed Flickr for comments and as of July 22nd there had been NO response from Flickr. I gather that this is NOT the first time that Flickr has DELETED user content!!!
And what threat is that to Flickr?
Update: Thanks to the “British Journal of Photography” My letter of July 14th 2010 re “FlickrLicencing deal is published in the August 2010 issue.


  1. by Andrew Gould on July 20, 2010  3:31 pm Reply

    Yes, Johnny, shame on Flickr. As you would know, this is not the first time they've exhibited this sickeningly prissy attitiude.At least we're free on our own websites...

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