German Outcry over Flickr Restrictions
German Flickr users have expressed concerns with viewing restrictions on the recently added German version of the popular online photo-sharing site. After last week’s announcement that Flickr would expand into seven languages other than English, Flickr
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June 19, 2007 – German Flickr users have expressed concerns over viewing restrictions on the recently added German version of the popular online photo-sharing site. Since Yahoo!-owned Flickr announced it is offering the site in seven languages, some international users have criticized the company for censoring photos. Flickr maintains it's complying with the countrys' laws.
With the addition of French, German, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese last week, Flickr has fielded complaints first from Chinese users and now German users.
Flickr normally has a "SafeSearch" option that can be turned on or off by users to block images that are flagged for offensiveness. German users, however, do not have the option to turn SafeSearch off. Yahoo cites the age-restriction laws in Germany for the photo viewing limitations, according to an AP report last week.
"We’re all getting really uncomfortable that the words ‘flickr’ and ‘censorship’ are being jammed together with increasing frequency because that is so far from the direction we’re trying to move in," said Flickr community manager Heather Champ in an Associated Press article published last week.
Flickr groups have popped up as a response to the censorship, including one group called "Against Censorship at Flickr," which has more than 11,000 members. Other online groups include "Say NO to Censorship," "Censor this Flickr," and "Think Flickr, Think!"
"We should have handled this differently, and have been exploring many possible approaches which would allow us to do what makes sense while still operating inside the law," Yahoo said in a statement to the AP.