Flickr and Censorship

Although I'm not a major user of Flickr (preferring to host my photos elsewhere for less money), I'm a big admirer of the service. Many of my friends swear by it, and not many other photo sites can make the claim that they are best in class.

So I was astonished to read this story. A photographer called Rebekka Gu├░leifsd├│ttira discovered that a gallery had been ripping off her work, complained about it on her Flickr blog (with photographic evidence), and received hundreds of supportive comments.

The kicker? Flickr decided to delete the photo and all the comments, citing that:
Flickr is not a venue for to you harass, abuse, impersonate, or intimidate others. If we receive a valid complaint about your conduct, we will send you a warning or terminate your account.
Amazing! No trial, no jury. Didn't Flickr realise there would be a backlash? Haven't they learned anything from the recent Digg debacle? In this day and age, you simply cannot and should not try to silence people who are simply exercising their right to free speech. It should be supported and celebrated - to a point, of course.

I now sincerely hope that the photo and comments are reinstated - you can check yourself here to see if it has when you read this. And Rebekka herself has blogged about it, so at least her voice (and those of her supporters) are being heard.


Anonymous said…
Came across this initially on and it's going to be very interesting to see how it plays out. The issue with unauthorised use of images on Flickr and similar photo-sharing sites is becoming more and more prevalent and is one that these sites need to address..
Anonymous said…
Hmmm. Couldn't she just have pursued this in the courts? If her aim was to embarrass the naughty thieves then this is getting more airtime than the original comments/photo anyway.
It's not so bad...