AND NOW WE ARE ONE!

Visions is one year old!


Here’s our very first post:

The Coming Flickr Scandal

I fear a major scandal may be about to overwhelm Flicker. If I am right the site may be crippled and left much less vibrant and useful than it is now for many of us who see ourselves as “serious” photographers. The name of the scandal I worry about? Pornography.

There is a rising mountain of porn on the Flickr landscape. Right now you can view images of everything from relatively tame nudes to images of explicit sex acts (gay and straight). No sexual fetish is left undocumented on Flickr. While most of the pornographic images on Flickr are clearly amateur, and of low quality, there is also seemingly professionally produced porn.

Let me say I am not personally offended by the vast majori of the sexual material on Flickr. I will even admit I look at some of it (well, maybe a lot of it). And, of course, if I didn’t want to see it I could use Flickr’s filtering scheme.

Here is what I am afraid of: what happens when the hue and cry comes about the site’s “flood of filth” and Yahoo finds itself in the crosshairs of some right wing Christian group’s attack? Like all large companies Yahoo, I fear, will not want to take any heat. Rather than defend the way it runs Flickr it will want to come up with a quick fix to the porn problem to end the wave of bad publicity.

Given the huge number of images uploaded to Flickr every minute its clear the site cannot prescreen its content. So what will it do? It may well decide to make Flickr a “G” rated place. Anyone will be able to complain  another member’s images are too sexy or just not “right” for a family friendly site and Flickr will remove the offending image and warn the offending member. Two strikes and you’re out. Context won’t matter; the seriousness of the work won’t matter. Your image showed a naked breast. It’s gone and so are you…

If Yahoo takes this course Flickr will no longer cater to creative photographers. Those Flickr members with artistic pretensions will leave for more hospitable, smaller sites. Artistic freedom will die.What worries me most is I can’t think of a solution to this problem. When, and if, this scandal hits I just can’t see Yahoo standing with the few and risk losing the thousands and thousands of folks who just want to post pretty snapshots of their nephew’s wedding for the rest of the family to see.

Posted November 14, 2008

As with most dire predictions, this one hasn’t come true (yet). Despite the failed prophecy, it remains one of the more popular posts on Visions. I’m sure the fact it talks about porn has utterly nothing to do with that…

One Response to “AND NOW WE ARE ONE!”

  1. Congratulations on your first year of blogging. I enjoy reading your posts. I subscribe to your rss feed in bloglines. Looking forward to seeing more of your commentary and photos.

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