Posts Tagged ‘Flickr’

Another Flickr Spam Commenter

August 18, 2009
Another Spam Comment on Flickr

Another Spam Comment on Flickr

This appeared as a comment on one of my pictures as soon as I uploaded it. Again I deleted it and blocked the user.

Take care what links you click in Flickr photo comments.

I first noted the problem here.

Flickr Listened to Me!

August 18, 2009

I got another “Hold Your Clicks” error page from Flickr just now.I wrote about how annoying and often incomprehensible it is here.

But now they have added an update explaining the problem. It’s dated 9am PDT – one hour ago.

Hold Your Clicks

Hold Your Clicks

The explanation is a bit wordy but it mostly avoids the false informality of the old page. The “drinking a cup of water upside down” will be lost on many but the message should be clear: adding load to our systems only makes the problem worse.

It says that Flickr photostreams are hosted on 62 database clusters. That’s one heck of a distributed system.

American family’s web photo ends up as Czech advertisement

August 14, 2009

American family’s web photo ends up as Czech advertisement | Media |

This is why I don’t put high-resolution pictures onto the internet. Everything I post to Flickr and Picasa Web is 96 dpi and 900 px on the longest edge (thanks to Lightroom). If you try and blow it up to poster size it will look unacceptable.

I also do not post pictures of my family – just in case.

(Actually – there is another reason: I am kee-niaw and have free accounts. Posting small pictures makes it easier to stay within my bandwidth / storage limits set by the services.)

I Will Block You

August 14, 2009
I Will Block You!

I Will Block You!

You see this graphic quite a lot in Flickr users’ photostreams. I haven’t thought about it, but recently my alternate Flickr account: GB-in-TH has been getting many favourites from users with no buddy icon and nothing to share. They don’t make comments either.

I am curious about people who like my photos and feel a little disenchanted when I see that. But not to the extent of putting up a big red warning and blocking people who’ve done nothing active to annoy me or others. It’s far too aggressive for my Thai-influenced sensibilities.

The only time I have blocked a user on Flickr was in the case of “comment spam“. Occasionally I delete a comment that is clearly stupid – maybe a kid playing around. But I won’t block the user for stupidity.

Two Annoying Flickr Errors

August 14, 2009

1. Flickr Has the Hiccups

Flickr Has the Hiccups

Flickr Has the Hiccups

A silly error message from Flickr. It’s funny the first time you see it, but on repetition it gets stale. They’ve been showing it for years.

More seriously, many non-native English speakers who use Flickr in English won’t have the foggiest idea what it means. “Hold your clicks?”

Their intent is, I’m sure, to decrease the load on their servers. I very much doubt any human is “looking into it”.

But if the reader doesn’t understand this usage of the verb “hold” it won’t work. They’ll click anyway.

Why not write something informal but in English everyone can understand?

“Flickr is overloaded at the moment. Please wait a few minutes then try again. Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for being patient.”

I wonder how they render this page in other Flickr languages. They support 繁體中文, Deutsch, English, Español, Français, 한글, Italiano and Português.

2. Be More Specific

Flickr Add to Group Error

Flickr Add to Group Error

I sometimes get this error when I try to add a picture to a Flickr Group in the Organizr (organizer). Why can’t they give the correct reason and not leave me to guess from three possibilities?

Surely it does not add too much complexity to their protocol to have three error codes rather than one? It seems like laziness.

This is the 21st Century! Don’t leave it to users to figure out what they have done wrong.

In my case I’d already added the pictures to the group. The bulleted list was irrelevant.

Lightroom Export Confusion

August 12, 2009

A quick note as a kind of warning.

I opened a photo on Lightroom’s Loupe View and decided it was worth exporting to Flickr.

I set everything up and pressed the GO button (figuratively) in Jeff Friedl’s excellent plugin.

Then I saw it was exporting four pictures – not one. I’d forgotten I had four pictures selected in Library Grid view. That’s what drives the Export process.

That could have been a disaster as a photo is visible in Flickr as soon as it arrives (if it is a Public photo). But I never intended to export the other three.

I think Lightroom should check with the user if she exports in Loupe view to be sure she wants to export the entire selection or just that picture.

Warning : Spam Comments in Flickr

August 7, 2009
Flickr Spam Comment

Flickr Spam Comment

Somebody commented on a photo I uploaded to Flickr about a restaurant (La Boulange on Convent Road) that’s recently changed to a 24-Hour Italian Restaurant.

The comment said “U WILL SURPRISE, CLICK HERE …” and gave a compressed URL.

Naively I thought someone was telling me that La Boulange has opened elsewhere. So I clicked on the link. But no, it was some kind of bad site. I closed the tab as soon as I saw it wasn’t relevant. I think Firefox is resilient to such things.

But I am pissed off.

I deleted the comment and blocked the user who put it on the post (probably something automated). I have used Flickr almost since they started and this is the first time it has happened to one of my pictures.

If you see a comment on your Flickr photostream from rekha1987 I suggest you delete it without clicking on anything and block that user. Of course that user has nothing in its profile and no pictures.

Mini 50th Anniversary

August 6, 2009

0022 on Flickr – Photo Sharing!.

Yes, the original Mini was introduced in 1959 – I was three years old. My first car was a T’reg Mini 1200 in Surrey in the early 80s.

I still see quite a number of original Minis in Bangkok. Every year there is a gathering of them outside Robinson’s, Rachadapisek.

The new (BMW) Mini is very popular in Thailand. I love that the variant with the Union Jack on the roof is popular.

There was a party for the anniversary at the British Ambassdaor’s Residence on the 1st of July. I’m sad I wasn’t invited. But the Embassy posted some pictures of the event as Flickr User “Ukinthailand“.

I wish that the person who posts to Flickr could spell-check the captions and perhaps clean up the pictures a bit. I wonder if I could volunteer to be the Embassy’s Flickr-master. I would like to help my native country present its best face to the world.


August 5, 2009

Bus Sleepers

The windows of a non-air conditioned Bangkok bus are a great frame for street photography (which I believe is a respectable term for the looked-down-upon candid genre). One day all Bangkok buses will be hermetically sealed air-conditioned Euro-4 engined machines such as can be seen anywhere.

I love the old buses notwithstanding the driving style and the pollutants. And yes, I travel on buses regularly and will choose an open one over an air-con bus every time if it’s an option. The view is better.

I took my courage in both hands and posted some more pictures to GB-in-TH on Flickr today. One thing I like to do is tell a story with each of these photos. Perhaps a joke, perhaps an observation or a question. I hope when done honestly that keeps me well out of the “creepy guy” category in the views of others.

Banned from Flickr!

August 4, 2009

Not me, fortunately.

I got a message yesterday from a Flickr friend saying Flickr had closed his Pro account with no refund. They told him he was in violation of their Community Guidelines for posting “voyeur” pictures.

Their message said:


Voyeur content is a violation of the Flickr Community Guidelines.

# Don’t be creepy.
You know the guy. Don’t be that guy.

Read the following help forum discussion below about the definition of voyeur content on Flickr.


It looks like the subject has been debated endlessly. A few thoughts of my own:

  • I think Guidelines are different from “rules” or “regulations”. Breaching a guideline should not be the cause for instant termination withiut a refund. Flickr says though: “Don’t forget that your use of Flickr is subject to these Guidelines and our Terms of Use.” So in their interpretation a Guideline is the same as a Rule.
  • According to Mirriam-Webster the word “voyeur” means: “ one obtaining sexual gratification from observing unsuspecting individuals who are partly undressed, naked, or engaged in sexual acts.” My friend’s pictures were candid photos of beautiful women on the public street. No undressing, nakedness or sexual acts.
  • The Wikipedia definition here gives a similar definition but goes on to say that “In popular imagination the term is used in a more general sense to refer to someone who habitually observes others without their knowledge, and there is no necessary implication of any sexual interest.” But the article doesn’t cite a reference for this assertion (which is against Wikipedia’s own guidelines. Smile.)
  • My biggest “legal” problem is that Flickr say in their Guidelines “What Not to Do. Here’s the deal: In most circumstances, we like to give second chances, so we’ll send you a warning if you step across any of the lines listed below. Subsequent violations can result in account termination without warning.” As my friend explained it there was no warning or chance to remove or restrict objectionable pictures. If Flickr is not following their own Guidelines I think my friend has cause for compensation. Of course having cause and it being worthwhile to engage an attorney and sue are completely different things.
  • Of course the Guideline he breached is so nebulous: “Don’t be creepy. You know the guy. Don’t be the guy.” Creepy is an idiomatic term – it has no meaning in law and to a non-native English speaker it may be confusing or meaningless. I wonder how Flickr translates it to other languages? Also, are women never creepy? Does it mean that women do not have to follow the guideline? Surely not. From reading the discussion thread it seems Flickr decided to write idiomatically as the alternative to complex.
  • He said his “account was reviewed as safe by Flickr staff” (just like mine). Of course that was a one time review when he opened the account – but still, it seemed to give him some sense that what he was posting was acceptable. he said he had over 3,000 photos in his account when it was closed.
  • I think Flickr relies on the community to enforce the Guidelines. If someone complains then the customer service people take action. But it does seem that they did not follow their own Guidelines in their enforcement.

I am concerned because I have posted a lot of similar content. It’s stil there but I guess it could go at any time. Fortunately I am too kee-niaw (Thai for tight-fisted) to pay for an account so I won’t lose any money.

But I also thought – what if the world was different? What if 50-something Western men were considered subjects for candid photography and posting on Flickr. (I have not looked but I am convinced there are no Flickr groups called anything like “Farang Men in Bangkok” whereas there are so many around tghe theme of “Street Photography”, “Asian Girl Next Door” and my favourite “Thai Students”).

How would I feel if a photo of me showed up on Flickr without my knowledge?

Maybe I’d be a bit pissed off and complain.

We live in an ultra-sensitive time, especially in the US and Europe. People are more concerned about their privacy than ever before.

I believe that in Thailand people are less concerned (sophisticated?) I get many requests for photos from stranges in the street. People here thank me for taking their photo without asking what I’ll do with it.

“I should be thanking you!”.

When I post pictures I try to post pictures that are flattering to the girl and omit those few where she is clearly annoyed at the intrusion. Maybe 10% of them are the opposite – cheery waves, big smiles and the like.

I am wondering if I should

  1. Delete all my “candid” content apart from that where the subject clearly welcomes the photograph. (In which case it isn’t candid).
  2. Delete all candid content where the subject can be identified.
  3. Retain the candid content but label it “friends and family” and not post it to any groups. (Group posting ignores those flags). That should eliminate any complaints as people opt-in to see that type of photo. Notwithstanding professional complainers, however.
  4. Be Thai: don’t think too much. (But if somebody complains about my photos and Flickr deletes my account without warning then it will be too late.)

What do you think?



Maybe Not OK

Victory Monument Bangkok