Flickr, Scientology and Censorship

ml99

Patron
17 December 2008 - Flickr deleted my photo sharing account without notice today. I had over 500 photographs that I took relating to Scientology including photographs of special events in Los Angeles, Sea Org members and staff members.

One of my photographs was the lead photo in a Los Angeles Television broadcast on Scientology street closures and another photograph of shipping containers stacked along Sunset Blvd made into Radar Magazine's website.

I have received several thank you messages from family members and former Sea Org members who have seen photos of long lost family members and friends who have been cut off from them because of Scientology's Disconnection policy. I have also received thanks from current Scientologists who have appreciated seeing photos Sea Org members who were served with their founder L. Ron Hubbard during the early days of the Sea Org.

In response to my email inquiry, a member of Flickr's Customer Service Team replied, "Flickr account "ml_99" was deleted by Flickr staff for violating our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines". I deny violating any of Yahoo's Terms of Services and I have asked them for clarification and to restore my Flickr account. Flickr has yet to respond to my request for clarification.
 

Div6

Crusader
Wow. Business as usual at Cult Rock. Suppression of free speech goes against the "Code of a Scientologist." Please keep us updated on this.

And you DO have good backups, right?
 

Pixie

Crusader
My god! Sorry for your trouble mI99, one could smell a rat here for sure. Can't be a coincidence. You were right to post this, post it all over the place, if this is what Flikr are going to do to their customers and protect a scam cult then it needs to be known about. I do hope you have copies like Div6 said, but thanks for letting us know about this.
 

Dulloldfart

Squirrel Extraordinaire
So post them somewhere else! The CofS will be the CofS. Flickr is a free service, so you can't really expect them to be interested in getting in a legal fight over one person's pix. Also, I'm not so sure that you do have a clear legal right to post pix of people like that who are not public figures. TV stations and the like do blank out "innocent bystanders".

Get your own domain and find someone (not me!) to host it, then you can post them at www.seaorgpix.com or something, and have far more control over the presentation. I believe also that by using Flickr you also give THEM the copyright to do what they want with. Read the small print.

I appreciated seeing them too, by the way. Saw some people I hadn't seen for a decade.

Paul
 
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chipgallo

Patron Meritorious
A few corrections:

Flickr has a "free" and a paid service. They do NOT own your photos after your upload them. You can choose one of several licenses on each photo but Yahoo/Flickr does not take ownership. Having your own domain doesn't protect you or your hosting service from frivolous attacks by the cult. TV shows hide people's identities for a variety of reasons such as underage, not convicted yet, won't sign a release, law enforcement person, etc.

Check around for a book on Intellectual Property and privacy law as they pertain to photography. Non-trivial topics which vary based on country and setting of the photo (public space or private).
 

byte301

Crusader
That sucks. Photobucket did the same thing to me. I didn't have that much on there though. I immediatly set up a new account under another name. :p
 

Been Done Had

Patron with Honors
Have an attorney send a letter certified mail. It won't cost much and they'll respond. Once you understand the specific TOS violation (alleged) you can respond from there.

In the future imagine a whole new realm of caselaw based on cyber rights, as internet sites such as Youtube, Google, Flicker, become part of daily business, the damages incurred from being banned will become substantial. People will start suing to clear their cyber names!

Don't roll over, ML99. The precedents are being set now. Also, can you get credentialed as a photojournalist? I would research that, there are very easy ways. It help your cause immensely and provide you all sorts of protections.
 

Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
Wow. Interesting. Sorry you had to go through that. It's appalling how chickenshit a lot of sites and site admins are re CofS. They seem to crumple like wet tissue every time the cult so much as says boo.
 

Pixie

Crusader
Wow. Interesting. Sorry you had to go through that. It's appalling how chickenshit a lot of sites and site admins are re CofS. They seem to crumple like wet tissue every time the cult so much as says boo.

Exactly! Chicken shit for sure, and whether it's one person or a thousand, it's disgusting and should not have happened.
 

Lynn Fountain Campbell

Silver Meritorious Patron
Exactly! Chicken shit for sure, and whether it's one person or a thousand, it's disgusting and should not have happened.

Not only disgusting, but totally ineffective. I wonder if they think this is some sort of victory. Do they honestly think they've won someone over to their side? Flickr might have cancelled his account, but I can just picture them sneering in contempt as they did it. :yes:

Lynn
 

Pixie

Crusader
Not only disgusting, but totally ineffective. I wonder if they think this is some sort of victory. Do they honestly think they've won someone over to their side? Flickr might have cancelled his account, but I can just picture them sneering in contempt as they did it. :yes:

Lynn

Exactly! Snidy Flikr, people shouldn't use them anymore, particularly when they are so obviously on the side of a scam cult.

It does appear that there are ronbot scilons working for 'Flikr', they ought to be boycotted.
 

chipgallo

Patron Meritorious
From the Flickr Terms of Use, which since Yahoo acquired Flickr include the Yahoo legalese (which are incorporated by reference). See http://www.flickr.com/atos/pro/ for the complete mumbo jumbo.

"5. FLICKR'S RESERVATION OF RIGHTS

Flickr expressly reserves the right to immediately modify, delete content from, suspend or terminate your account and refuse current or future use of any Yahoo! service, including Flickr pro, if Flickr, in its sole discretion believes you have: (i) violated or tried to violate the rights of others; or (ii) acted inconsistently with the spirit or letter of the TOS, the Community Guidelines or these Additional Terms. In such event, your Flickr pro account may be suspended or cancelled immediately in our discretion, all the information and content contained within it deleted permanently and you will not be entitled to any refund of any of the amounts you’ve paid for such account. Flickr accepts no liability for information or content that is deleted.
6. INDEMNITY

You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Flickr, and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents, or other partners, and employees, from any claim or demand, including reasonable attorneys' fees, made by any third party due to or arising out of your use of and access to Flickr pro, your violation of the TOS, these Additional Terms or the Community Guidelines, your violation of any rights of another person or entity, or your violation of any applicable laws or regulations."

I let my so-called "Pro" account lapse and will not be adding any photos. To me it seems to be the perfect haven for covert cult operatives; social veneer covering legal BS.

Oh yeah, and I dumped Amazon after a decade when they refused to acknowledge their manipulation of negative reviews on cult books. E-Bay doesn't get any of my business either.
 

Lynn Fountain Campbell

Silver Meritorious Patron
Exactly! Snidy Flikr, people shouldn't use them anymore, particularly when they are so obviously on the side of a scam cult.

It does appear that there are ronbot scilons working for 'Flikr', they ought to be boycotted.

Wait... that's not what I meant. I was thinking their actions might be completely different than what they think about the scam cult. I think they have to take these actions to cover their a**es, even though they may be thinking something entirely different.

I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt and keep working on putting an accurate picture of the cult into their minds. Pretty soon the cognitive dissonance will get to be too much, and their actions will change to match the true picture of the cult.

Even if there are a few ronbots in there, they'll be out-voted and have to conform (to cover their a**es), or lose their jobs and go back to Sea Org pay or collecting unemployment or whatever.

In the meantime, yeah... have the pictures pop up somewhere else, and have them mirrored in lots of places, just like the Tom Cruise video was. Let OSA run themselves ragged trying to stop that. It's an impossible task.

Lynn
 

Pixie

Crusader
Wait... that's not what I meant. I was thinking their actions might be completely different than what they think about the scam cult. I think they have to take these actions to cover their a**es, even though they may be thinking something entirely different.

I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt and keep working on putting an accurate picture of the cult into their minds. Pretty soon the cognitive dissonance will get to be too much, and their actions will change to match the true picture of the cult.

Even if there are a few ronbots in there, they'll be out-voted and have to conform (to cover their a**es), or lose their jobs and go back to Sea Org pay or collecting unemployment or whatever.

In the meantime, yeah... have the pictures pop up somewhere else, and have them mirrored in lots of places, just like the Tom Cruise video was. Let OSA run themselves ragged trying to stop that. It's an impossible task.

Lynn

:omg: Lynn! You're a bloomin' genius!! :thumbsup: Now how utterly sane are you! You go girl!! :thumbsup:
 
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