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Flickr Relaxes Filters In Germany

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In recent weeks and months, I’ve noticed that the Internet seems to have its own c-word: censorship.  I’ve also noticed that, like most companies, Yahoo wants nothing to do with this word.  So it wasn’t a huge surprise when Yahoo’s photo-sharing service, Flickr, relaxed its filters in Germany.

Flickr has one of the most vocal user bases I’ve ever seen – a single thread discussing the site’s filters/censorship received almost 5,000 replies before it was locked.  (The c-word was not at work here; the conversation was just redirected to a fresh thread.)   Flickr’s staff is also good at communicating its thoughts, and, after a tip from the DPA, it’s one of those employees who we have to thank for the following explanation.

“As of a short time ago, we changed the way the content filter setting works for German members, allowing them to turn SafeSearch off to allow photos flagged as ‘moderate,’” writes “Stewart.”

Yet, “In Germany, local law (Jugendmedien-Staatsvertrag JMStV) requires stringent age verification in order to display online content that could be considered harmful to minors,” so, “[w]e are still limiting access for users in Germany to the ‘restricted’ category on Flickr, which applies to pictures not considered appropriate for kids and teenagers according to local law.”

The end result of all this, according to Stewart?  “At this stage, pictures rated as ‘restricted’ can only be uploaded and viewed privately, but not displayed publicly.”

That’s an improvement, but you’ll note that there is no mention of Singapore, Hong Kong, or Korea – the other places in which Flickr’s filters have been installed.  Flickr and Yahoo still have a ways to go before that c-word is out of sight.

Flickr Relaxes Filters In Germany
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