Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Flickr the Censor

1635 words

This sounds a bit melodramatic, but the story which has been getting German Flickr users quite enraged in the past week – and probably went unnoticed in most other places (as the images vanished from Flickr’s overview and interesting-whatever places fairly quickly) is about the following: Flickr decided to remove the ability to see all photos on the service from their German users. All photos which have been marked anything but ‘Safe’ cannot be seen.

Obviously this is idiotic. Probably not just idiotic, but much more than that. It’s so bad that I don’t even know where to start bitching about it. So I’ll try to keep this short and just put up a few points.

All right, that’s about it. I fail to see the point, I fail to see what exactly they actually do, I fail to see why they do it. They just do it.

Perhaps it’s a good thing that this happens. Good to bring a bit reality into that overly cheerful web2 world. Good to be reminded that the big (and small) corporations running this game are in it for your amusement only if it happens to align with theirs.

While I enjoy things like the Black and White groups on Flickr, I have always been weary about putting my data on their servers. As those just don’t provide sufficient control and my data aren’t actually mine anymore once they are with them. The same is true for any other ‘social networking’ site of course. And I have been wondering a bit recently to which extent such networking sites could work in a decentralised way. A way where I store all the relevant data on my server with some of standardised information file and a search engine will just pick things up and provide ways to syndicate images or comments just as sites like Flickr do today.

All that said, just look at this photo. It may sum up things sufficiently. And don’t forget: Flickr loves you!

June 20, 2007, 0:32

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