How to avoid being censored by Flickr

“The Net treats censorship as damage and routes around it.” John Gilmore


Flickr users from certain countries have been automatically blocked from seing images of naked flesh – or miraculously from seing images of flowers…

But it is very easy to escape this cenbsorship.

* Create a new Yahoo!-ID

* Claim you are from another, free and unscensored country. Like Irak or Iran 😉

* In your flickr account switch the yahoo-ID from the old to the new one on

Your Privacy-Panel now shows that you are no longer in filter mode 😉

Flickr, again

As The discussion over at flickr is rather crowded and as it is hard to refer to certain postet I’ll do it here.

heather says:

The decision to change the Flickr experience in Germany was never about censorship – it was made to try to ensure that Yahoo! Germany was in compliance with local legal restrictions. In fact, we’re all getting really uncomfortable that the words “flickr” and “censorship” are being jammed together with increasing frequency because that is _so far_ from the direction we’re trying to move in.

The central problem is that Germany has much more stringent age verification laws than its neighboring countries and specifies much harsher penalties, including jail time, for those with direct responsibility (in our case, it would be our colleagues in the German offices and we’re not willing to make a call that has that kind of consequence for them).

Up to the point of launch we had been exploring every possible approach which would allow us to do what makes sense while still operating inside the law. Unfortunately, the solutions did not come together in the way we thought they would.

I know people would like to know exactly what is going on, have a chance to evaluate the internal back and forth, and know all of the reasoning. Unfortunately, that’s just not possible. In the end, some of you will trust that we are doing our best and are confident that we’ll have a workable system in the future and some of you will not. We’d love to be able to change that reality, but we can’t. We’ve made and admitted to a couple of big mistakes lately, and as many of you have commented, we should have handled this issue differently.

Believe me when I say that we’d rather not make mistakes in the first place, but when we do, take hope in the fact that we always listen, always respond, and often change the system as a direct result of your input. That’s the way Flickr rolls, and we never want that to change.

So again, we’re not perfect (as much as we’d like to be), but everyone on the team is resourceful, fair-minded and determined to find the solution to this. You’ll be the first to know the outcome.

That is culture for you.
Internationalization is about more than about weak translations by college sophomores.

If a German company believes that they do the right thing, they fight it out in court. For their customers. (It’s cheaper in Germany, too 😉 )

Several companies have done this in the case od responsibility for comments. (So we can’t see the pix cause flickr is responsible for what we say in the comments?)

Hostees need to react when they are told that illegal content, may it be hate speech, or porn, or libel is on their pages. That is the law. I am not really sure in what way your current actions prevents that problem in any way. Just close flickr to all German users if you are too afraid to do whatu you think is right.

My pro account is running out tomorrow and I have backed up all images that are currently on flickr. It’s kinda sad that flickr does not tell it’s users how to do that (I was told by support to download them one by one, wow).

Think, flickr, think.

Germans like to complain. About lost wars, silly US WWII TV series and stuff like that.

And they used to have censorship while they fought to be one country in the 19th century. And between 33 and 45. 1933ff that is.

So they don’t like to be censored. Calls up bad memorioes.

Flickr now is playing them a double trick:

– doing bad translations into German (hey, there are a lot of fresh Germans over there, so ask them, not some German minor… I taught some of those, they don’t know ther der die das… believe me.)

– telling Germans noit to look ar dirty pics. (How ironic 😉 )


My Flickr account runs out in 2 days. I backupped all my pics today and am in the process to upload them to a European hoster, a German hoster.

I asked Flickr how to backup. They suggested to do it one by one. Their FAQ does not tell you how to download all your pics.

I blogged about this in my German blog.

The Babelfish translates it like this. (This is how interantionalized ‘low budget’ US-services sound to us 😉 )