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Flickr Censors Egypt Police Photos

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the state-of-de-nile dept.

Censorship 163

An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday Flickr removed a photoset of Egyptian Secret Police photos which had been posted to an Egyptian journalist's Flickrstream. The photos were obtained when the journalist acquired them from what he called 'one of Mubarak's largest torture facilities.' Flickr cited the fact that the photos 'were not the user's own work' as justification for the censorship, even though Flickr staffers themselves frequently upload work that is not 'their own' to their personal photostreams."

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Shame (5, Interesting)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468762)

Shame on you Flickr, they're not even explicit.
Hope someone has a mirror, and this time posted elsewhere on another site. Let's not reward them with more traffic.

Re:Shame (3, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468786)

I grow tired of the evil enabled by fools. Let us together remove it, and breathe once again the fresh, honest air.

Re:Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468870)

Quite right, my brother. Let us bust through [the] Gates with Richard Stallman pulling up our rear.

(plug inserted here: http://wiki.debian.org/FreedomBox )

Re:Shame (5, Interesting)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469000)

Shame on you Flickr....

Shame indeed. I live and work and write occasional newspaper columns in the tiny nation of Vanuatu, Last week, our Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities arrived in the offices of our national newspaper with a gang of 8 thugs and proceeded to beat the crap out of the publisher [aut.ac.nz] . His sin? Telling the truth about a litany of crooked dealings the Minister was involved in.

This prompted people from all walks of life in the Pacific Islands region to stand up and make themselves heard. The staff of the Daily Post newspaper - and contributors like myself [imagicity.com] - were defiant in the face of overt coercion and threats.

Why, I would like to know, is it easier for pipsqueaks like us to stand up to government coercion than for large corporations with a stable of capable lawyers on hand and not a fear in the world for their own safety?

Of course, we already know the answer.

Re:Shame (2, Funny)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469114)

Why, I would like to know, is it easier for pipsqueaks like us to stand up to government coercion than for large corporations with a stable of capable lawyers on hand and not a fear in the world for their own safety? Of course, we already know the answer.

The CEOs of all of the world's great corporations are scaredy-cats?

Re:Shame (2)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469334)

Why, I would like to know, is it easier for pipsqueaks like us to stand up to government coercion than for large corporations with a stable of capable lawyers on hand and not a fear in the world for their own safety? Of course, we already know the answer.

The CEOs of all of the world's great corporations are scaredy-cats?

Well, not to put too fine a point on it: Yes.

The column I wrote on the topic (and linked above) makes pretty much exactly this point. Once introduced to the corridors of power, people suddenly become controlled by their fear of being cast out again. This explains the corrupting influence of both Washington and Wall St.

Re:Shame (2)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469392)

You know they brought a lot more attention to it by trying to hide it. I never would have known otherwise.

Re:Shame (3, Informative)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469444)

Congratulations. You've just defined the Streisand Effect [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Shame (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469414)

And also shame on the journalist who believes that a third party host is the good place to put political pictures.

let us switch to more ethic sites. (2)

davFr (679391) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469540)

I urge people to switch away from FlickR, to other photosharing sites like SmugSmug or others.

IPernity is a community-oriented photo-sharing site, with an interface similar to the original flickr interface.
Here is a Monkeygrease script to automatically import your flickr photos to Ipernity :
https://www.ipernity.com/apps/gm [ipernity.com]

I am uploading my new photos to both site, and when Ipernity community is large enough, I will definitely close my Flickr account.

Re:let us switch to more ethic sites. (1)

davFr (679391) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469568)

Also just found this other photosharing site : http://www.23hq.com/ [23hq.com]

Re:Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35469626)

I have the feeling they will be rewarded with more traffic, more than they can handle...

Tough call actually (1)

kylemonger (686302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468810)

It's hard to comment without knowing what we're talking about. If those were pictures of people being tortured, then if you were one of those people would you want your suffering and humiliation shown around the world? There are ways of getting the word out without harming the torture victims again.

On the other hand if the faces were blurred, or the photos were just of implements of torture, than I don't see the need to remove them.

Re:Tough call actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468894)

They should blur and get permission. I would actually want my face on there so others can see, without obfuscation, every emotion in the scene.

Re:Tough call actually (4, Informative)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468920)

No, they weren't torture photos. Some were photos of empty jail cells, some photos of bags of shredded documents, others were stacks of VHS tapes with some 'explicit' Arabic writing (they had sex tapes of some Egyptian and foreign celebs, likely as blackmail). I'd show you, but of course they're down. I'm sure some news articles and twitter posts mirrored a few of them.

Re:Tough call actually (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469040)

"I'd show you, but of course they're down."

Nothing on the intartubez is ever lost - or that's what I've heard. I'll bet some geek or another saved all the good stuff, and he's busy putting it back up somewhere. If I were interested enough, I'd Google around - alas - I only read the summary to get an idea what the censorship was about. As usual, it's a story about corporate douches lacking balls. Phht. Nothing new here.

Re:Tough call actually (4, Informative)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469106)

Quite right. Gawker has some [gawker.com]

Re:Tough call actually (2)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468938)

It's hard to comment without knowing what we're talking about. If those were pictures of people being tortured, then if you were one of those people would you want your suffering and humiliation shown around the world? There are ways of getting the word out without harming the torture victims again.

On the other hand if the faces were blurred, or the photos were just of implements of torture, than I don't see the need to remove them.

They were photos of the torturers themselves [arabawy.org] . All you had to do was visit the guy's site to find this out. But now that you know, how tough does the call feel to you?

Re:Tough call actually (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469294)

If those were pictures of people being tortured, then if you were one of those people would you want your suffering and humiliation shown around the world?

Of course!

Hah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468818)

Who has a copy of these photos? Time to widely distribute them!

How many services are this misguided lately? (3, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468820)

I grow weary of this. PayPal, Amazon, card companies, and others over their BS decisions regarding WikiLeaks. Flickr protecting despots in Egypt. Where will it end? How many services am I going to have to boycott before they get a damned clue?

Re:How many services are this misguided lately? (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468850)

Pick one. Destroy them. Let the rest learn from the example. We can most certainly do this.

Re:How many services are this misguided lately? (3, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468868)

How many services am I going to have to boycott before they get a damned clue?

Unfortunately, unless you're particularly rich and/or politically influential, you're going to end up living in a cave and they still won't notice.

Re:How many services are this misguided lately? (3, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469216)

I dunno. Live in a particularly nice cave and you might be good for a reality tv show.

Re:How many services are this misguided lately? (1)

UBfusion (1303959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469288)

What? Do you really mean that we are not qualified to be called human beings unless we are using Twitter, Facebook, and web services?

By the way, where I live it sure is illegal to live in caves. It sure raises more suspicions than boycotting services endorsed by Adjustment Teams (great film).

Re:How many services are this misguided lately? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35469368)

I know it's not as feature rich as Fluckr, but there is always http://bayimg.com/faq ...

Re:How many services are this misguided lately? (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468880)

Damn, Damn, damn. Posting to undo the redundant mod. I meant to mod you Insightful.

Sorry, I need to get some sleep.

Re:How many services are this misguided lately? (2)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468966)

WTF am I doing replying to an AC at 5 A.M on a Friday night?

5 AM is no longer night time.

Re:How many services are this misguided lately? (1)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469198)

Welcome to the Cloud (TM)

Re:How many services are this misguided lately? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35469298)

Don yer Guy Fawkes masks, friends, and get down to business.

Re:How many services are this misguided lately? (0)

Asaf.Zamir (1053470) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469526)

It will end when the masses will rise, just like in Egypt, understanding that the American democracy is a sham.

Re:How many services are this misguided lately? (1)

Memroid (898199) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469590)

Well Flickr is owned by Yahoo!, so don't forget to boycott them too. This is basically a story of yet another search engine company censoring content...

Not censorship, clear TOS violation (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468824)

Flickr is very clear that you are sharing your OWN WORK. These are images taken by someone else.

Regardless of how you feel about breaking into government files and sharing things you find there, a place like Flickr with a very clear TOS about not publishing other people's work has every right, and should be expected to take these things down. Flickr is not Wikileaks. Find somewhere else to put the images.

Re:Not censorship, clear TOS violation (-1, Troll)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468840)

People were being tortured to death you iredeemable pleb.

Re:Not censorship, clear TOS violation (2)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468892)

Which makes Flickr a really lame place to showcase that info, doesn't it? Where's Wikileaks on this? They should be scrambling to offer a place to host such images, since they are dedicated to ignoring things like copyrights ... whereas Flickr must honor them, or lose everything. I suppose we'd see more action on it from Wikileaks (or at least public pleas from them to have someone provide them with the material) if there was a better US-bashing angle to it.

Re:Not censorship, clear TOS violation (1)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468910)

I have doubts that the person who took the pictures (assuming the uploader is not the same person) is going to file a copyright claim against Flickr for hosting the images without his or her permission.

Flickr made an internal decision to take these images down. Considering what they are images of, this was a politically unwise move.

Nice FUD, though.

Re:Not censorship, clear TOS violation (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468962)

It isn't about weighing the odds of being sued in a particular case of infringment. It's about knowing that highly visible, talked-about, and linked-to material on their site is ripped off, and that the person putting it there lied. It makes it a lot harder for them to stick to their guns about licensing models for their millions of other users if they are seen as being capricious on the subject.

"Ripped off", he says (5, Insightful)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469008)

This is what happens when you love rule of law so much that you follow laws, rules, policies, terms of service, and end user license agreements over basic ethics.

Whether or not Flickr is justified in removing the images at all, the manner in which they did it is unacceptable. It would be very easy to accuse them of using their TOS (their rule of law) to hide behind the fact that they just don't like the content of the photos themselves.

As TFA points out, this is selective enforcement.

Re:"Ripped off", he says (3, Interesting)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469080)

As TFA points out, this is selective enforcement

And the selection criteria is: the infringing posts were very high profile. It rises to the level of being noticed by not just a few people following some guy's Flickr stream, but by possibly very large numbers of people.

Double standard (1)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469702)

If Flickr honestly cared about upholding this policy, would they not take down every instance of its violation they found, rather than only going after the low-hanging fruit?

Flickr staff members often upload content that is not, by strict definition, their original work. They may be justified in doing so as it is their service, but not abiding by your own rules undermines your authority to enforce those rules on others.

Re:"Ripped off", he says (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469434)

I agree, no law should be absolute. They codify acceptable behavior in common circumstances, but fail to properly address the extreme ones. A common problem exists in physics...

Re:Not censorship, clear TOS violation (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469630)

It's about knowing that highly visible, talked-about, and linked-to material on their site is ripped off,

"Ripped off"??? The torturers weren't selling the photos and lost a potential sale. They were government servants; in some countries these photos would be public domain.

Flickr should have waited until they received an official complaint from the Egyptian government. If that's what they did get, they should say so.

Re:Not censorship, clear TOS violation (2, Insightful)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469274)

Right. Remember when wikileaks was supposed to be an actual wiki? They used to host leaked information from many sources regarding other nations. Go to their site now and none of that is to be found. Their agenda has changed and it is clear to those who've been online since 2007...

Re:Not censorship, clear TOS violation (1)

indiechild (541156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469370)

Sadly, I'm not surprised you've been modded down to 0 -- nobody is allowed to criticise WikiLeaks here. And just look at the front page of WIkiLeaks with Julian's ugly mug staring at you in the banner. I mean, seriously? They've sunk to a new low.

Re:Not censorship, clear TOS violation (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469482)

Sadly, I'm not surprised you've been modded down to 0 -- nobody is allowed to criticise WikiLeaks here.

Or it could be he got modded "Off Topic" because his post is, you know, completely OT. "Troll" or "Flamebait" would also have been appropriate (for your post as well).

Re:Not censorship, clear TOS violation (1)

kylemonger (686302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468904)

I get the feeling that this decision wasn't made by someone high up in the Flickr food chain. Someone higher up would have looked at it and thought "we can benefit from the positive publicity of this like Facebook and Twitter did, or we can quash this and look like cowardly ass-lickers of a regime isn't even in power anymore", and then made the obvious choice.

My own only concern is for the dignity of the torture victims. If I'd been in those chambers, I don't think I would want photos of my agonies being shown the world over.

Re:Not censorship, clear TOS violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35469206)

"we can benefit from the positive publicity of this like Facebook and Twitter did, or we can quash this and look like cowardly ass-lickers of a regime isn't even in power anymore"

You can't benefit from the publicity until there is some. If I were more cynical I would look at it this way: They take them down, wait for the outcry, then blame some low-level decision. Then they put the photos in a prime place with a bold statement about human rights, and bask in the publicity of looking like the good guys.

Re:Not censorship, clear TOS violation (1, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469594)

You idiot, I'm not saying they shouldn't be seen, just that Flickr is the wrong place to put these. It's not Flickr's job to share random photos from other people, there are plenty of other places you can go for that.

Flickr is not CENSORING them, if you can get that through your thick head (doubtful).

Re:Not censorship, clear TOS violation (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468848)

Yes.

Oh, I see (1)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468896)

So just because a corporation's terms of service were allegedly violated means it's not censorship to take down someone's speech. Particularly as it pertains to a government.

Okay.

You don't have free speech on a corporate website (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468930)

Here's reality, you don't have free speech rights on some corporation's website. If you want to host your own site and put your free speech up there, don't think anyone's going to interfere.

This could have been handled a bit more gracefully. I am defending the right for an individual or business to be able to dictate the terms of content that is hosted or stored on their property. Call it whatever you want. There's a multitude of sites that will host those images no questions asked. So, why not do it?

Re:You don't have free speech on a corporate websi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468970)

I agree. If the company allows this publishing, it can wreak havoc on the company in terms of being the host of those pictures. Many here do not understand what they speak of and the ramifications that are a result of it. It is called LIABILITY people. They can be sued here in the U.S. for it. Duh!

Flickr pulled a dick move (3, Interesting)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468980)

You're the one who brought up free speech, not me.

Their policy might be fine when it comes to actual creative works. Deleting pictures like these based on the justification that you must upload your own work is valuing the letter of the rule above its spirit.

They will now get the backlash they deserve.

Re:You don't have free speech on a corporate websi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35469398)

yes but large media corporations have veto power on A LOT of expression.. this is no good either..

Re:Oh, I see (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468992)

Ah, so if I taped the photos all over your car, you'd be obligated to keep them there permanently? After all, removing them would VIOLATE MY FREE SPEECH AMENDMENTS! OMG YOU CENSORIAL WHORESON!

If I had a dollar for every libertard who though that freedom meant "I can do anything I want and everyone else must bend to my desires"...

lol libertard (1)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469012)

Come back when you can provide an argument that doesn't rely on personal attacks for support. Or at least don't randomly throw epithets at people about whom you know nothing.

Re:lol libertard (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469108)

Censorship is an attempt by a controlling body to actually prevent information from reaching the public. If Flickr broke into the guy's house and stole his originals, or contacted the operators of every other file hosting service and threatened to break their legs if they put the images up, then Flickr would be censoring this guy.

But they aren't doing that. They're just choosing what goes on their own web site, and in this case enforcing their own TOS. Was it a bad decision? I'd say so. Was it censorship? Absolutely not. They have every right to decide what goes on their web site, just as you have the right to control the content of you own.

What bothers me is the attitude of entitlement from so many people who claim to be libertarian yet are happy to take everyone else's rights away for some perceived greater good. Sorry, but in a "free" world nobody has to do what you want them to do. Web sites don't have to post your images, gadget makers don't have to cater to the FOSS crowd, and movie studios don't have to give you their latest $100,000,000 film for free. Those are the breaks, kid.

Re:lol libertard (4, Insightful)

Bobakitoo (1814374) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469188)

What happened here is censorship. What you describe is merely legal censorship. Because it is legal, it dont mean it is the right thing to do.

There is no recourse against legal corportate censorship. But peoples are free to complain and presure them anyway they see fit. Bloging, writing articles, posting comments are all acceptable way for the public to communicate its disagrement. It is up to them to see if, considering the shitstorm, that unpopular move was worth it.

No one sued Flickr over some "VIOLATE MY FREE SPEECH AMENDMENTS! OMG!" claim, WTF is your problem?

Re:lol libertard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35469246)

What bothers me is the attitude of entitlement from so many corporation who claim to be capitalist yet are happy to take everyone else's rights away for some perceived share value. Sorry, but in a "free market" nobody has to do what you want them to do. Web sites has all right on your images, gadget makers get to use but dont contribute back to the FOSS crowd, and movie studios get to extort you $100,000,000 un chanllanged. Those are the breaks, rich kid.

Here, i fixed that for you. Fuck off!

Re:lol libertard (2)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469672)

> Censorship is an attempt by a controlling body to actually prevent information from reaching the public.

Your definition of censorship happens to differ from mine. If someone with power (Flickr) blocks the speech or expression of someone relatively without power (a random Flickr user), it is censorship.

Also, this is the second time I have to tell you this: I made no claim of being libertarian, so the final paragraph of your post is either a very misguided personal attack or a completely off-topic angry rant. It certainly has nothing to do with me or my arguments.

Re:lol libertard (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469602)

Come back when you can provide an argument that doesn't rely on personal attacks for support.

Actually he relied on very clear points for support, and then threw in the personal attacks as a bonus.

In his defense, you are rather stupid on this subject, and totally lacking in understanding about what public speech is and what Flickr posts are in relation to that. So basically he had you pegged there,

Ad hominem (1)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469692)

His points were not clear. He misrepresented my position with exaggeration, hyperbole, and caps lock. Then, rather than offering counterarguments, he insulted me (albeit inaccurately, as I am not libertarian). The personal attacks are not a "bonus" - they do not contribute anything meaningful to the discussion. Posts like that are what the Troll mod is for.

Additionally, the fact that I disagree with you does not make me stupid, and does not mean I lack understanding on this subject (such a premise assumes you are objectively correct in the first place).

Re:Oh, I see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35469574)

"so if I taped the photos all over your car, you'd be obligated to keep them there permanently? ... [some all caps shouting nonsense] ...
... libertard ... "

Sorry, you have raised a ridiculous strawman argument that makes it easy to think that you are just looking for an excuse to blast anyone who comments about free speech.
Unless there are some important things that I don't know about, I'd guess that you don't invite anyone, including your most trusted friends, to tape photos to your car-- even if they were pictures of a picnic with your kids.
Flickr's whole reason for existence is public posting of pictures. Your car's reason for existence is not.
You are describing a situation that almost no one would be happy about, whereas Flickr was deviating from business as usual.
 
Try again...
    but maybe you shouldn't be so quick to spout off at people who feel strongly about protecting your rights.
    From here it looks like you are exercising those rights -- to make yourself look both ridiculous and possibly uninformed.

Re:Oh, I see (3, Insightful)

Draek (916851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469020)

Flickr isn't part of any government, and I see nothing that suggests they took the photos down under the orders of one. So, dick move? yeah, reprehensible? sure, but censorship? not really.

Re:Oh, I see (4, Insightful)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469172)

I don't understand why censorship is always seen as something only a government can do. If you alter or remove something based on it's content (i.e. not because you need the disk space or similar) you are literally a censor. That's the definition of censorship.

Re:Oh, I see (3, Informative)

toriver (11308) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469694)

Because the censorship covered by the First Amendment deals only with the Government.

Your right of free speech does not imply that any third party has a duty to help you spread it. E.g. Hustler can print porn but Wal-mart are free to choose not to sell it.

Private censorship (2)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469720)

If you are invited by a private party to speak or otherwise express yourself, and your speech or form of expression is removed after the fact due to its contents, this is censorship.

Unfortunately you're wrong... (1)

UBfusion (1303959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469302)

Flickr (or Twitter or Facebook or gmail or any web service) "isn't part of any government" until the moment it is considered to contain evidence that are being used against you.

Re:Oh, I see (1)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469718)

Well, but chinese stile repression yes though...

I read somewhere that in China there's a law to throw you in jail for anything you could possibly do. None are enforced and repression systematically turns a blind eye on all; while conveniently taking note - just in case they need to nail you sometime later.

This works well because it lets those in power give an impression of freedom, sometimes even showing off to westerners how all this chatter about human rights violations in China is just opposition propaganda.

Then, you cross them... and you're fucked. Big time. :D

Re:Not censorship, clear TOS violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468934)

99% of pictures i see on flickr don't meet this so called "own work" requirement.

Re:Not censorship, clear TOS violation (1)

penguinchris (1020961) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469110)

People who say this clearly don't actually use flickr. Most of the content on there is actually the users' own work. Most people actually use it for its intended purpose (sharing your own photos).

That's not to say there aren't a significant amount of users posting other people's stuff, but it's easily under 5%, and most of it is mundane or innocuous (such as re-posting random photos of girls they probably got from 4chan or wherever else you might find random photos of girls).

Typically flickr doesn't take action on these accounts, because no one at flickr ever looks at them. When flickr receives complaints (particularly from the actual copyright holder) then they do take things down and ban users and so forth. It's not at all unprecedented or overly selective enforcement as other comments are implying.

There is plenty of stuff like this on flickr. The reason all that isn't removed while this was is because the actual people who took the photos (journalists mostly) post them to flickr themselves.

Re:Not censorship, clear TOS violation (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469064)

Rat's ass. TOS's are very often stupid and overly restrictive. Some idiot typed up what he thought was a good TOS, a committee was appointed to approve it, and this is what you get. If my wife takes a photo of our grandchild, and I post it - the photo will be taken down because it's not my own work? How freaking STUPID!!!

Re:Not censorship, clear TOS violation (5, Insightful)

penguinchris (1020961) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469154)

You're being disingenuous. They would never take down a photo in a situation as you described. They don't normally take down people's stuff that isn't their own anyway, because no one complains about it. They only look into these situations if they get complaints (typically), and usually those complaints are from the copyright holder. Presumably, your wife wouldn't complain to flickr if you posted her photo to your account.

Seriously, flickr is not the place to host the photos you found on a CD you stole from the secret service headquarters. Flickr is not Wikileaks and doesn't want to get involved in that sort of thing. Flickr regularly takes down photos that are "stolen" in the sense of being blatant copyright infringement. In this case it's both copyright infringement and legitimate theft.

Flickr *does not* remove politically charged, graphic (sex and/or violence), etc. images, either - they're neutral on such issues. You can find tons of stuff like that on flickr, including photos from protests around the world showing government officials committing crimes and violent acts against unarmed citizens (as an example). But typically you should have taken those photos yourself, or gotten permission, before posting them to flickr.

As for the examples in the second FA of a flickr staff member posting things that aren't his own work - they're a huge stretch. It's FUD.

Cite? (1)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469708)

> As for the examples in the second FA of a flickr staff member posting things that aren't his own work - they're a huge stretch. It's FUD.

How do you know?

Re:Not censorship, clear TOS violation (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469644)

However, if anyone on the Flickr payroll posts anything that isn't theirs and it isn't taken down, then they are committing a civil rights violation.

You can refuse service to anyone for any reason. However, you may not lie about the reason. If they have any employees (and from the posts here, there have been confirmed cases of that being done) that do it and don't have the images pulled, then they are selectively enforcing a rule. That's not a crime, but it is the basis for an actionable tort.

Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468826)

Corporate is as corporate does.

Re:Nothing new (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468986)

I think you just misspelled "stupid."

Who Still Has Them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468846)

So where else were those photos hosted?

Stop whining. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468902)

Whining "oh, but other people break the rules" is just pathetic.

Re:Stop whining. (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469406)

Opinion in of itself != whining, get a dictionary and shut the fuck up.

News? Olds. (1)

crudd (1893782) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468948)

Big business protecting big government...protecting big business...protecting.... Nothing to see here. (big) business(/government) as usual...

Re:News? Olds. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35469256)

Exactly, and now it's not even big business, it's just business. Gone are the days of the "military/industrial complex". Now it's just about any business. Profit is king, and anything that doesn't result in profit is just serfdom. Censorship is the policy, not the exception. Where does it stop? The answer, sadly, is it won't stop. When it comes to corporations, the laws protect the perpetrators, not the victims. When injustice becomes the law, then resistance becomes a duty.

NGO black sites? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468956)

Is it possible that these facilities were sites used in the war against terror?

Re:NGO black sites? (1)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468990)

My Guess? B I N G O!

Re:NGO black sites? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469340)

Well, let's just say that some snazzy looking CIA dossier folders(gold embossed on dark blue, very classy. Not your basic cheap folder here. Looks like something you'd get a diploma in...) somehow ended up being stored among the assorted paraphernalia there...

Don't be suprised (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468996)

Flckr IS yahoo, so you shouldn't be surprised. What is surprising is that Yahoo didn't give up all information about the Journalist. Maybe they since Yahoo enjoys having journalists killed and not protecting free speech.

Well, you just (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35469044)

earned the photoset a much larger viewing audience than it would have had if you'd done nothing.

Et tu, Flickr (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469056)

And you, Brutus, I mean Flickr!

Where's the masturbating dinosaur? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35469086)

Flickr boss seems to have protected his cosplay photo. Maybe the dinosaur turned out to be a Secret Service agent?

Photos have been republished (4, Informative)

Thomas Hawk (796343) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469090)

It looks like Anonymous has republished the photo and has tweeted that they are a gift to the Egyptian People. You can see the photos here: http://www.pdf-archive.com/2011/03/13/egyptofficers-rev-840/egyptofficers-rev-840.pdf [pdf-archive.com] and Anonymous' tweet on the subject here: http://twitter.com/#!/Anony_Ops/status/46799870304071680 [twitter.com]

Way to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35469122)

Seems to me that this is more likely to draw attention to it than leaving it to be.

So should you be:

  • cheering flickr for bringing it to light?
  • condemning flickr for hiding the truth?

Should we be surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35469222)

Flickr is just another company. It has no purpose other than to be profitable. Companies are not concerned with freedom, morality or social responsibility, no matter how they care to portray themselves. Do I disagree with what Flickr did? Yes. Am I surprised? No. When it comes to profit, corporate censorship is the policy, not the exception. Don't expect anything less.

Not censorship (2)

Quixote (154172) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469276)

Flickr just removed the photos from its own site. The people who uploaded the photos are free to host them on Picasa, Imageshack, Yfrog, etc. etc.
This is not censorship. Flickr is not saying that they (users) can't host the photos anywhere; they're just saying that, for whatever reason, these photos are not welcome on Flickr.
When we throw words like "censorship" around willy-nilly, we weaken the real meaning of the word.

Re:Not censorship (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469416)

They are free to upload it to other sites. It doesn't suddenly mean that - in he scope of their website - the textbook definition of censoring, or censorship suddenly doesn't appliey [since things are being edited, removed, or otherwise blocked from display on that site]... it just means that it may be an ACCEPTABLE FORM of censorship.

What a coward you are (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469480)

No it isn't censorship if I ban you from posting on my commercial service because any other commercial service is still available to you. Oh they censor too? Not my problem.

you are the kind of person who thinks signs like "Geine Juden" or "Whites only" are perfectly okay because they can go somewhere else don't they? You disgust me.

Re:Not censorship (2)

Spooky Action (2015322) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469514)

So your saying that Flickr is completely free of any and all content that doesn't violate copyright or it's own policies? According to Flickr's Wikipedia entry, "In September 2010, it (sic Flickr) reported that it was hosting more than 5 billion images." Over 5 billion images and not a single violation of copyright or Flickr's policies? Let's say Flickr had 100 employees verifying images for policy violations 40 hours per week at a rate of 100 images per minute, which of course is a gross exaggeration. It would take a little over 17 years to go through 5 billion images, but somehow the images in question were singled out and deleted almost immediately. Now either Flickr has one hell of a crack staff monitoring those policy violations or the images were censored. Censorship "Censorship is suppression of speech or other communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship [wikipedia.org]

In two minds about this. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469286)

On the one hand, journalists have a responsibility to report the truth (even if they rarely do) especially in matters of corruption. On the other hand, they also have a responsibility to the public interest (even if they usually ignore it) and tensions in Egypt are sky-high right now.

It is right and proper that the public have evidence of torture by the former Secret Police, and that documents are being destroyed, as this puts pressure on the military there to crack down a bit harder on said Secret Police. However, it's got to be done with an eye to not provoking mindless violence - something Egypt has been fortunate to avoid so far. This isn't about the fringe groups - they've never mattered. Rather, it is about the attitude of those participating in general. What you do during a regime change is usually a good indicator of what you will do afterwards. Thus, keeping your cool and helping others keep theirs is probably a good policy.

I am bothered by the fact that the military even allowed anyone near the Secret Police buildings - including members of said police. Given how much potentially incriminating evidence said police will have on the military and any budding politicians, you'd think that allowing the former regime access to such material might not be the smartest move. Even if the military didn't particularly want a fair democracy, they'd probably want something less likely to take reprisals for the military's inaction in the uprisings.

That the military are relying heavily on the police is less surprising. Absolutely no military is trained in law enforcement, the Egyptian army is way too understaffed to manage something the size of Egypt even if they had the training, and shutting down a heavily armed organization that is used to having power is not for the faint-of-heart. Especially if said organization likely outnumbers and out-guns the army. The options were always going to be limited.

That the police are using their reprieve to shred everything and anything that can be used against them (unless they can use it for them) is no surprise at all but makes it more and more likely that all the options left will be bad ones.

Should we be surprised? (1)

Spooky Action (2015322) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469366)

Flickr is just a business, like any other. Profitability is it's motivation...nothing more, nothing less. Freedom, morality or social responsibility are meaningless to a company like Flickr. Companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google, Yahoo or Facebook are no different. Corporate censorship is a policy, not an exception. Flickr is full of images that are not "of the users own work" or contain copyrighted content, but the photos of the Mubarak regime's torture of it's citizens is singled out and deleted immediately. Why? Political controversy is unprofitable, but violating copyright laws, when it can, is profitable. Even though Flickr would have been protected under the DMCA act's "safe harbor" provisions, which is how it gets away with it's current copyright violations, the company chose to remove the images even before a complaint was lodged. What Flickr did was deplorable from a human rights standpoint, but business as usual from a corporate standpoint. You shouldn't be shocked or surprised by Flickr's response. If you were, your faith was misguided. This is the reality of the world now. Now that corporations control the vast majority of communication on the Internet, come to expect censorship as the norm. People used to say the revolution will not be televised, but in today's age, it won't be posted, emailed, blogged or tweeted. Welcome to the 21st century.

Fortunately.... (1)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35469402)

....the photos have been republished in several places, which the Piggipedia author, @3arabawy, has seen fit to broadcast on his Twitter feed [twitter.com] . The URLs for these are as follows:

http://anonymiss.imgur.com/ [imgur.com]
http://ge.tt/4LaxiU0 [ge.tt]
http://cryptome.org/info/eg-ss/eg-ss-01.htm [cryptome.org]

The dude behind this is one of the main voiced of the Egyptian revolution. History will not look kindly upon Flickr for their cowardice here.

flickr is lead by morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35469464)

This site is totally fucked up. Rather than censoring, Flickr should better fix their javascript-bloated interface which never worked since it was forced online, despite the users' negative feedbacks.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/we_want_our_old_photo_page/

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