One ex-user of Flickr, the original online photo sharing service now owned by Yahoo, claims that his account was terminated without notice or reason because one of the Flickr staff took offence at a photo in his collection. The photo in question was of his young children “in their birthday suit”.
At least, that’s what he believes as he says he was given no warning or explanation as to why it had happened. After numerous unanswered emails, a terse one-liner arrived “Your account was terminated for containing illegal and/or prohibited content.”
He’s started a blog, and some controversy, at Badflickr.
Of course, it’s vitally important that children are protected online and one could argue that posting pictures of a young child on a public site is a little foolish. The company have every right to interpret their own acceptable use policy and handle user accounts as they see fit. The bigger issue here is how they’ve handled it – rather poorly, by the sound of it.
A decent exchange of communications wouldn’t go amiss. There should still be a thing called customer service in Web 2.0 companies, shouldn’t there? Particularly as there is a paid service on offer.
Other people are seeing this as a problem with social sites getting popular and being taken over by the corporate greed machine.
Whatever the rights, wrongs and facts of this case, one thing is certain: don’t entrust your personal digital media solely to an online service. It could go belly up, delete your account, be hacked, or impose storage limits without making it plain to you.
What do you think?