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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Flickr Censorship Standards = Gay Bashing?

Cross-posted on SML Pro Blog.

Earlier this year, Flickr popped my account to "restricted" status, resulting in a 3000 to 30 daily stream views.

SML to Flickr: Why is my stream flagged as moderate? = Severely diminished traffic volume (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

It took me 6 months to figure out what the hell was wrong. I didn't get a reply from the official staff despite several attempts to contact them. Eventually I got so pissed off that I did a Twitter stunt and posted a long-winded outcry on That appears to help, I got a reply from the Flickr staff within one day.

Apparently, according to Flickr standards, the image below is to be treated as moderate / restricted.

An R-rated image as according to Flickr Censorship standards / 20070624.10D.43162.BW.SQ / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Personally I do not understand why this image is moderate. Afterall, don't you see guys like this *all the time*?

Flickr replied by saying that the image needs to be moderate because the person is wearing "skin-tight" clothing. I then asked them if I took photos at the Olympics or at the beach, do I need to mark them as moderate as well, to which they reply, that "regardless of where they were taken, they need to be moderated."

In other words, according to Flickr Censorship standards, this will only appear in an R-rated movie. Meanwhile, the Yahoo Pride page during 2007 happily use my photos on their site, so WTF?!

As such the image above is flagged as moderate as well. Even though I disagree with Flickr's standards...

Anyhow, SML Flickr is now "safe" after flagging all these images to moderate to restricted status, but this standard appears questionable.

Related blogosphere
+ Now Public: flickr: Racist and Homophobic, or Scamming?
+ Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection: Someone's started a Flickr Is Fascist Blog, Accuses Flickr of Anti-Gay Censorship Policies

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