Patrice Riemens on Tue, 12 Aug 2008 14:46:08 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Flickr vs Maartin Dors (Felix Stalder on Clay Shirky's Web 2.0 book)

Just a point of detail about Felix Stalder's otherwise absolutely
excellent review of Shirky's book. But here again, the world comesin all
shades of grey:

Felix wrote:

> For example, Flickr recently deleted a picture by the Dutch
> photographer Maartin Dors that showed a Romanian street kid . Why?
> Because it violated a previously unknown, unpublished rule against
> depicting children smoking! What's the rational of this rule? As a
> spokesperson explained, Flickr and Yahoo! "must craft and enforce
> guidelines that go beyond legal requirements to protect their brands
> and foster safe, enjoyable communities

However, Flickr relented, as can be seen from the whole correspondance (on:

 Maarten Dors   Pro User  says:

This Was Today? (100)


Today should be a happy day, number 100 in my 365 days set. But it all
turned out so different. Flickr decided out of the blue that smoking
children can't be photographed. Ofcourse Flickr can show hardcore porn,
violence and poverty .... but smoking, ofcourse not!

I got this e-mail yesterday:


Hi Maarten Dors,

Images of children under the age of 18 who are smoking
tobacco is prohibited across all of Yahoo's properties.
I've gone ahead and deleted the image "The Romanian Way"
from your photostream.
We appreciate your understanding.


They appreciate my understanding? Wich understanding? I just want my
photo back! It was my most interesting photo and has been on Flickr
for almost two months. Why delete it all of a sudden. I didn't upload
it because I thought it was a pretty sight to see a small boy smoking.
I uploaded it because I wanted to tell something. I wanted to show the
world how living in poverty can be, what it does with small children
and wanted to start a discussion about it (and they deleted that very
good discussion too!).

Of course Flickr doesn't mind children doing drugs, because the photos
I took of small children inhaling glue are still there. Is that the
Flickr message ... Smoking is very bad, but hey .. you can always use

Tommorrow about this time I will decide if I will continue posting on
Flickr. Posted 11 months ago. ( permalink )

heather (Flickr staff)  says:

Maarten, We messed up and I'm very sorry that your photo, "The
Romanian Way" was removed from your photostream. It should not have
been and I'm working with the team to ensure that we have a better
understanding of our policies so that they are applied correctly.

> Maybe flickr staff should consider giving people a chance to download
> their photo's before they remove them, after all there is a good chance
> people don't have all their photo's on their hard drive...

One of the next items on the job board is a sort of holding pen for
photos so that in issues like copyright and such as what happened to
Maarten, the photo could be put back with the associated meta data in
place. Posted 11 months ago. ( permalink )

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