German Flickr censorship causes web outcry
Flickr's introduction of content filters in Germany last week has provoked protests in blogs and web forums globally.
While in most countries the photo sharing site's "SafeSearch" function can be turned off by users interested in seeing all the photos available on Flickr, that option has been axed in Germany due to "stricter legislation and penalties in that country", parent company Yahoo! said in a statement.
Yahoo! says it isn't about censorship and that it is trying to improve the use of filters while still complying with German law.
The limitations were introduced because German law requires websites to verify that visitors are old enough to see potentially sensitive content, such as erotic photos.
Users are now calling for boycotts. One group, Against Censorship at the Flick, even created a pool of images that German users are not allowed to see.
The reactions have surprised both Flickr and Yahoo!. "We apologise that this happened in the first place, and we'd like to have more to say: there's almost nothing in the world that I'd enjoy doing less than deciding what grown-up Germans are or are not allowed to look at," one Flickr staff member said.
Flickr encountered similar criticism when some of its photos were blocked in the United Arab Emirates and China. ®
America has a big fetish about protecting us from our sexuality. In fact, they have a big fetish about protecting us from anything "naughty". Last night's episode of The Closer (America's most watched cable show, more than the Sopranos) featured several instances of "shit" and "bullshit". Real life words that we all use in certain situations. The "fuck" barrier will be a little harder to break, but I think that "standard" cable will do it soon. At which point the FCC will be crying for blood.
Tit's? Travis County here in Austin runs a nude beach. Maybe you've heard of it, Hippy Hollow.
it's just plain stupid!
I presume it is about the lack of any age verification system, on the other hand, you pay for your account with a credit card and they don't know how old you are?
I discuss pictures and photography with a couple of photographers I know for some five years now, last year we came to flickr for several reasons and most of us got payed accounts to store pictures at flickr. Now I can't see pictures because they are rated as a medium risk, i.E, they show a navel or a breast or something, and can't discuss those pictures anymore. What is left for me are kittens, pups and flowers :-(
I don't think flickr hosts what we consider hardcore porn here and they are far from any criminal content like child porn, bestiality and such. This would have gotten them in trouble in the US of A, too.
I think that by observing the laws in all the countries where they have a presence, the big Internet companies are involuntarily creating niches for small competitors that have the advantage of only being obliged to observe the laws of a single country. That is probably not a bad thing.