Loosing My Flickr Innocence

We all produce lots of online content these days; photos, videos, blogs, microblogs, status updates, Tweets, that sort of thing. Most of the pictures I produce go up on my Flickr account and there’s a lot of photos, almost 3.5 thousand at the last count. Most of these almost 3.5 thousand photos are of my family, my wife, my children and last year I changed my default upload model from “anyone can see this” to “only friends and family can see this” and I went back and changed permissions on those photos I’d uploaded. On all of them. Or so I thought.

I’m writing this in my hotel room in New York, where I’ve been taking part in Yahoo’s Open Hack NYC event and I’ve been taking a lot of photos which I’ve been posting to Flickr. Some people seem to like these photos and favourite them; each time this happens I get a nice friendly mail from Flickr telling me this.

So this morning I went and looked at all the photos of mine that had been added as a favourite and I didn’t like what I found. There was a photo taken last year while on holiday; a photo of one of my children, a photo which I thought was “friends and family only“. I didn’t recognise the Flickr account name of the person who liked this shot so much, so I took a look at their profile. One of the things in your profile are the groups you belong to … I belong to two, both tech related. This person belonged to a lot and I had to scroll down a page to see them all. They were all of an adult nature, seeming to be centred around sharing snaps of other peoples spouses; you know the sort of thing.

This was creepy. Very creepy.

So I blocked the user and went through all of my photos to ensure that nothing else was inadvertantly exposed to public view that I didn’t want and luckily nothing was. I checked the Flickr Community Guidelines and one of them seemed to fit the situation really well.

So if you previously used to watch my Flickr account for photos, you’ll be a little disappointed as they’ve vanished from public view. I’m sorry about that. If I know you and you’d like to see them, just add me as a Flickr contact. If you don’t have a Flickr account and don’t want one, then please drop me a mail and I’ll send you a guest pass link to use. I probably shouldn’t be shocked or surprised by this but I am and today it feels just a bit like my Flickr innocence was lost. I’ll get over it and be a little bit older, a little bit wiser and just a little bit more careful in the future. 

Posted via email from Gary’s Posterous

Written by Gary

A self-professed map addict, Gary has worked in the mapping and location space for over 20 years through a combination of luck and occasional good judgement. Gary is co-founder of Malstow Geospatial, which provides handmade, professional geospatial consulting. A Fellow of the RGS, he tweets about maps, writes about them...
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I guess the screencap you showed is not the one you talk about in this post…I don’t see Tom (your colleague at Yahoo’s Fire Eagle) belonging to any of those adult groups 🙂


Err, yes. That was supposed to illustrate a friendly Flickr notification mail, not to imply any group membership!

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