Thomas Hawk
Flickr is such a disappointment. The only thing more disappointing is that Zooomr never quite made it over that last hump that could have made it a real alternative. - Jeremy Brooks
talking about the group deletion in the FF DMU group right now: - Thomas Hawk
care to explain for those unfamiliar with DMU what it was all about? - Michael Bravo
"Flickr just nuked deleteme uncensored. A group with a long tradition on Flickr with over 5,000 posts and 3,000 members all gone, instantly. Flickr objected to discussions in the group which they said violated Flickr’s TOS. This was done without warning. Rather than delete a single offending thread or offer any type of alternative arrangement flickr simply nuked the group. It is clear to me now that an uncensored internet discussion forum is not possible on Flickr. In light of Flickr’s decision to nuke DMU I’ve set up (for now) a temporary arrangement where the game can still be played here. This new group will have no forum associated with it. Instead the forum has been moved to FriendFeed, a site much more open to free speech. I would encourage any of the DMU members to join the new group on FriendFeed here where we can discuss what went down more specifically. " - RAPatton from iPhone
Micheal DMU was a very popular group on flickr. It was an uncensored forum that had lasted about 4 years. Many of us spent hundreds if not thousands of hours in there. It had a rich and unique history. It was one of the most active forums on flickr and they just nuked it out of existence. It was also one of the few uncensored forums on flickr. It's a sad day actually. - Thomas Hawk
wow that's disturbing - See-ming Lee 李思明 SML
I was one of the founders of the group and shared admin responsibility with three others. There was no warning given to me. Poof. One minute it was completely gone, obliterated, followed by a notification that it had been deleted and the following note as explanation from Heather Champ: "Unfortunately, recent events in DMU have escalated to such a point that we can no longer host your group and it will be terminated shortly. If you elect to begin again, you must take a firmer hand in ensuring that activity within the group abides by both the Y! TOS and the Flickr Community Guidelines." - Thomas Hawk
@jeremybrooks "... The only thing more disappointing is that Zooomr never quite made it over that last hump that could have made it a real alternative ..." Disagree. Zoomer is always going to be an alternative when flickr keeps deleting without transparency and without a restore. I'm just kicking myself I didn't consider zoomer when I added flickr redundancy at smumug. - Peter Renshaw
and just like that flickr locks down the thread in the help forum complaining about the group being nuked. - Thomas Hawk
@Peter: Don't get me wrong. I love Zooomr -- I post everything there as well as to Flickr. It showed so much promise at first though, and some of the features have not been developed fully. They still have some features (like Portals and SmartSets) that Flickr does not have. - Jeremy Brooks
Heather Champ's (the community manager who deleted the group at Flickr) tweet within minutes of the time she nuked the group: "I hate your freedom." - Thomas Hawk
the problem is though Luke anything can be deemed to violate Flickrs TOS/CG. You can have your account deleted or your forum deleted on Flickr for being "that guy." - Thomas Hawk
What kind of posts or comments led to breaking the ToS? Just curious. - Sally Church
killing over 5,000 conversations in a forum with over 3,000 members, many hours long, built by people who put an *enormous* amount of energy into them of which 99.9% had no violations of any measure is overkill of massive proportion. Flickr could have easily killed any individual thread that they felt violated their TOS. This, compounded with the fact that there was no warning given nor any previous violation on the part of this group is a massive overreaction on Flickr's part. - Thomas Hawk
I'm not sure 100% Sally, I suspect that it was the post where a user made threats of violence yesterday in the group. Still Flickr could have warned or deleted that user account if that was the issue, they did not need to nuke 5,000 conversations permanently and irrevocably. Many of these threads contained specific information about photography, gear, cameras, etc. - Thomas Hawk
Pat there were not vulgar personal attacks on flickr staff in dmu. Why would you say that? There are a few in the new dmu now (none by me) but that's because people are really pissed off about having their group nuked after investing thousands of hours in it. Why would you say that there were vulgar personal attacks on Flickr staff in dmu before flickr nuked it. That's simply not true. - Thomas Hawk
Pat that email was sent *after* the group was already nuked. Obviously people who put hundreds of hours and an incredible amount of energy and emotion into an online group were upset when flickr nuked it. They didn't have to nuke it. They could have, for instance, locked it down and removed whatever offended them at least leaving a rich archive that was largely inoffensive. That link you post was someones extreme *reaction* to the nuking. There were no vulgar attacks on flickr staff ever in DMU at any time prior to the warning you link to now given in regards to a new group that's ben set up. Where is a single vulgar attack on a flickr staffer made prior to them nuking the group? That was not why flickr nuked the group. - Thomas Hawk
I would comment on this, but I don't want Flickr to nuke me. - James Myatt
WTF? - Tyson Key
@Pat: did somebody mention the First Amendment (before you did?) How exactly does that fit here, in light of actions taken by a private party? - Anthony Citrano
Pat indeed. Nobody is saying this is a first amendment issue except you. I've never said that flickr is not within their legal rights to delete whatever content they want. I've said it's bad business practice, reflects poorly on Yahoo and is in direct opposition to their current multi-million dollar marketing campaign. This is not a first amendment issue at all. Given that you know little of the facts involved and have your timeline regarding what went down completely out of whack I'm not sure you have all of the facts to look at the situation as it happened. - Thomas Hawk
and how is my saying that there were never any vulgar attacks on flickr staff an admission that flickr warned us to "play nicely" prior to nuking the group? There was never any warning from Flickr to the admins of the group that was nuked regarding it's deletion of any kind before Flickr nuked it. That's a fact. After the group was nuked, a new group sprung up (that I'm not a member of) that was issued a warning. That has and had nothing to do with the original act of destruction by Flickr. You're confusing things here. - Thomas Hawk
Pat the *only* communication between Flickr staff and the admins of the group prior to the group deletion is below. The group was completely destroyed within seconds of receiving this email: "Hi Thomas Hawk, ** This warning is being sent to all admins of DMU ** In joining Flickr, you agreed to abide by the Yahoo! Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. Specifically, you must not abuse, harass, threaten, impersonate or intimidate other Flickr members: As an admin of a group on Flickr, it is your responsibility to ensure that all of the activities within your group abide by the Yahoo! Terms of Service and our Community Guidelines. Unfortunately, recent events in DMU have escalated to such a point that we can no longer host your group and it will be terminated shortly. If you elect to begin again, you must take a firmer hand in ensuring that activity within the group abides by both the Y! TOS and the Flickr Community Guidelines. Regards, Heather Heather Champ Director of Community, Flickr" - Thomas Hawk
Forgive me for just making the connection now, but this is obviously a direct result of the Thomas <-> James swordfight, no? - Anthony Citrano
I believe it is Anthony. I was never informed by Flickr as to the exact issue that they had with the thread though. - Thomas Hawk
Why did you opt to leave that out of this story? Not picking on you, but now that I'm aware of that situation, the context it adds seems conspicuous by its absence. - Anthony Citrano
Anthony, first off, I'm not even sure that's what it is. The email nuking the group was vague and ambiguous. They've never communicated with me the reason. I'm speculating on my part. It would assume that it was related to that. But I'm not really sure "why" the group was deleted is so relevant. If you have two people who have an issue (one of whom is making threats of violence which is deplorable) then deal with those two people. Don't nuke a group that is home to 3,000 people 99.9% of which is inoffensive as a reaction. James has subsequently had his account deleted on Flickr. I'm not really sure the subject matter of exactly what caused the groups destruction is as relevant. Not purposely leaving anything out though and happy to talk about any facts related to the case. - Thomas Hawk
Thomas, I know how hard (impossible) it is to see something objectively when you're right in the middle of it - but from where I sit, here on the outside, there's no real doubt that your and James’ horseplay was the catalyst for the group deletion. You said it's not relevant, and perhaps you're right, but to me it seems like an important part of the story. - Anthony Citrano
It's certainly been reported many places Anthony, including my own blog prior to the group being nuked and as linked to in the help forum where I'm still banned in my post yesterday. It certainly was not omitted purposely. This post here is actually very short and was written quickly after the group was nuked. I followed up with a more thoughtful post yesterday. But sorry if you felt all of those details should have been in this story as well. Happy to discuss any of them. - Thomas Hawk
I would still maintain though that a skirmish between two members of a group (no matter *what* the skirmish) ought not to result in a group of 3,000 members being nuked without warning. If anything delete the accounts of the two individuals. Don't punish 2,998 members for the actions of 2. That said there were a lot of ways that Flickr could have handled this better including locking the group down but maintaining the 99.9% of the threads which were in no way considered offensive. - Thomas Hawk
I didn't think it omitted maliciously; was just curious the logic behind the omission. But you've answered. To the second point, people need to separate two things: A: the action (the monkeybusiness b/w you two) and B: the reaction (by flickR). I know they are inextricably tied, but each do deserve discussion. The 2998 members were “punished” by both A and B. Just because B is idiotic doesn't mean A doesn't warrant discussion. Again, I am offering all of this within the narrow context of just this one article... merely because it occurs to me that if someone is researching the issue they might only happen across this one. Using my own reaction as an example: when I first saw your piece here, I had no other context and thought, (for probably the third or fourth time this year), “WTF, flickR, WTF?!??” but then, as I read the other articles and discussion about what transpired between the two of you, I have a (slightly) more balanced reaction. - Anthony Citrano
Flickr's behaviour was a bit abrupt, but DMU being deleted was an accident waiting to happen – the admins were never really entitled to host an 'uncensored' group, as they were always subject to Flickr's rules. And although the deletion related to one incident, DMU always had a very antagonistic atmosphere that had the propensity to give rise to abusive discourse. Also, this isn't the same as deleting someone's work; the only thing lost is old discussions that almost no one would have read again anyway. - sally white
Oh Sally, you are so wrong. You were not a part of that community. We had a nine page thread called listen to DJ Mo. It was full of great music links. It was frequently accessed, it may sound stupid but we had a significant thread of gifs that we were all collecting together. Mo's stupid photography questions was a frequently accessed thread full of great photo advice for people, accessed regularly. We had long detailed debates and conversations and frequently accessed old threads to reference what people had said before. It was a living vibrant archive that didn't need to be nuked. At a minimum it could have been locked and that rich archive been allowed to exist for all of us who ha created it. - Thomas Hawk