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Flickr Installs Filters In Germany

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Earlier this week, we learned that Flickr had started supporting seven new languages.  Unfortunately, news has now come that Flickr is “filtering” – not censoring, mind you – content in several of those tongues.

Flickr Says No To German Photos
Flickr Says No To German Photos

Flickr, which is owned by Yahoo, is using the same defense its parent company used regarding China: Don’t blame us, we’re just obeying local laws.  And, as you might have guessed, Flickr’s blocks are in effect in China.  Korea, too.  Yet, according to the LAist’s Malingering, some unexpected examples of filtering have occurred.

“Flickr’s filtering system has now prevented users from Singapore, Germany, Hong Kong or Korea from viewing any photos considered ‘unsafe,’” she writes.  “Compounding this problem is the fact that the filter system has so many glitches in it, that even photos of dogs and kittens can be considered ‘restricted content.’”

A bit of humorous commentary then follows: “Oh Germany.  Here we tried so hard to get past the whole ‘Hitler’ thing and then we were so proud of you for tearing down your big ol’ wall, but now you come up with this and we have to be worried all over again.  You can’t spit in public in Singapore, so they’re obviously more easily offended, and we won’t bug Korea because they might nuke us, but come on, Germany.  Really.”

Those countries’ governments do indeed deserve part of the blame.  As for how whether Flickr should be held responsible for this mess . . . opinions vary.  One thread in the Flickr Forum has over 2,000 responses, some of which are very energetic.  But Flickr representatives have assured users that the company is working to make its censorship and/or filtering less intrusive.

Flickr Installs Filters In Germany


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  • FedUp

    We saw on CNET that Flickr gave instructions on how to bypass filters in China. Why not do the same for Germany? Hope Yahoo won’t decide to turn chinese users in later for taking their advice. Just seems a bit strange that they have such different approaches to these two areas as far as filtering goes. What of that content anyway, is it actually so adult oriented that we here in America should worry about our children too? David Pogue just called Flickr a great family oriented photo sharing site in the NY Times, and it says nothing on their front page about porn in there. What’s up with that? If this whole thing is based on a lie about Flickr’s true nature, then maybe these germans are really on to something. Either way, Flickr saying they just worry about their own people going to jail doesn’t really say much about how they treat users. Then again, being that Yahoo still spies on everyone for the NSA, who are the real chumps in this sad story of censorware and porn? That filtering is so Yahoo can hide stuff for China in that dirty deal.

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