Editor Goes With A Flickr, Pin-up Girl Nips ‘Em

    June 11, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

There are two Flickr tales today so you know what that means: combo article! Woo hoo! A veteran newspaperman is out of a job, announcing his plight via the very medium that pulled the rug out, and an online pin-up girl has her account reinstated after a nasty spat over how much breast, exactly, makes a photo obscene.

Editor Goes With A Flickr, Pin-up Girl Nips 'Em
“Editor Goes With A Flickr, Pin-up Girl Nips ‘Em”
Editor Goes With A Flickr, Pin-up Girl Nips 'Em

The New York Times highlights the end of John Curley’s 25-year run with the San Francisco Chronicle. Curley, who was deputy managing editor for the paper, was a casualty of the decreased demand for print news – especially in an area that has gone almost completely digital.

Curley placed a photo on Flickr of himself, office box in hand, along with an announcement:

We all know what is happening to the newspaper industry, and it is not pretty…. I am surprised and dismayed that the organization thinks it can have a future without me. To be honest, I thought I’d get the chance to help lead the paper where it needed to go to compete successfully in the digital age. But instead, off I go.

That well-framed shot on Curley’s Flickr account is near a photo of the other subject of this article, Violet Blue, whose recovering from a temporary restriction on her account.

She posts the text of her letter from Flickr cofounder Stewart Butterfield on her blog Tiny Nibbles, which tells the tale quite well:

I’ve set your account back to ‘safe’…. Some of it is just a side-effect of the nuances and
complexity of issues we’re trying to address — it’s hard to be explicit about *exactly* how much breast being visible marks the difference between safe and moderate, and most people are able to make a general distinction along the lines of, say, G, PG-13 and R — but we also have real problems with the way this is communicated and the way it
is implemented: you should not have to wait 30 days…

So, rest assured, Violet’s Flickr account, straddling the line between art and smut (our favorite, right?) is back on the photo-sharing site. Violet, not ungrateful but still irritated, gives this advice to Flickr (and other Web 2.0 startups) in response:

Their rules need to be clear, and they need to be fair, and they need to be evenly distributed. So please, entrepreneurs; if you’re going to build a 2.0 social networking site, start with the way you want to serve the communities, and make one of the first decisions specifically how you’ll handle the way people are going to express themselves in that context. Sexually, and otherwise (like politically and artistically). Make room for us to do so. Let the porn sites be the porn sites, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s a black-or-white issue.