back to article 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 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Zo, Herr Flickr vants to ztop me

    zeeing ze fotografs of ze Fallen Madonna viz ze Big Boobies?

    (I'll get me coat)

  2. Jollytwanger


    I live in Germany and I find this a bit odd considering

    'adult' magazines are sold on lower shelves of stores with the likes of FHM and Maxim, and anyone regardless of age is allowed to walk along Reeperbahn in Hamburg.

  3. daniel

    Wrong target?

    So some of the web community has passed judgement that Flickr is guily of providing localised content, and it is clearly immoral for the company to respect and uphold the law of the countries where they do business.

    Oh for christ's sake, come on.

    They are obeying the law! If you do not like the law of a specific country:

    A) Do not go there

    B) Complain to their embassy or the UN if you do not live there

    C) Compain to your local politician if you do.

    don't take it out on the companies that do business there and have to respect those rules otherwise they can either be barred from operating there, or be put in prison - or be sentenced to death in some mid-east countries for showing smut...

    It looks like some of the people baying for Flikr's blood are yanks... Have they not got enough to do to getting their own country up to international standards of tolerance?

  4. ReallyEvilCanine

    German law my arse

    What's considered "erotic" in the US and would get a picture tagged as "mature" is on display everywhere here in Krautreich. Naked girls aren't relegated to page three; they grace the front pages of our trashiest tabloid rags (e.g., Bild) and shining beacons of good journalism (Spiegel) alike. Newsagents have more melons on display than do greengrocers. Utter bollox.

  5. ian

    Yahoo strikes again

    Looks like another example of the growing yahooisation of flickr.

  6. Lord-a-miytee

    Re: Wrong target?


    Individuals do not affect government, commerce does. The only way for people to influence government is to put pressure on those who *can*. i.e. corporations, who can afford to 'lobby'.

  7. Jasmine Strong

    "Individuals do not affect government"?

    Certainly true in the USA, possibly true in Britain, not necessarily true anywhere else. In many countries, there are very strict rules on what a company may or may not do to try to influence the government. Germany is such a country.

  8. Gilbert Wham


    Dude, wait. What? The *same* Germany that produces the world's most alarming smut? Good lord. Are you sure?

  9. Eric

    It is not the German law

    Yahoo or Flickr didn't tell as yet clearly what it is about. It is a pr-desaster they are celebrating. In the end it affects all of us, not only Germans. Here is a good summary:

  10. Morely Dotes

    I understand...

    ..there's a thriving trade in knackwurst imported from France...

    Allo, Allo! This is Night'awk calling!

  11. John A Blackley

    To daniel

    Your comment about it being mostly 'yanks' who are complaining here may be right, daniel (I don't know). Not a 'yank' myself but a Brit who's lived here for decades. If the Americans on this site are the ones crying for Yahoo's blood, let me ask them this: Why aren't you boycotting NBC, ABC and CBS for censoring movies and speech on their media?

  12. Volker Hett

    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.

  13. Gerard van Wilgen

    Business opportunities?

    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.

  14. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    This is not journalism

    Where are the sources and references for this story? This article should not have been published without them. Sloppy, very sloppy.

    There have been some absurd decisions in German law - the most recent one relating to e-mail signatures springs to mind - but I am not aware of a great deal of new censorship rules apart from the ridiculous ones related to hacker tools. As for content censorhship: recent register stories on streetview but also on dropping bombs vs hostage executions highlight the difficulties involved when letting "users" become publishers.

  15. Dillon Pyron


    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.

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