Saturday, November 8, 2008

A letter to flickr

Hello flickr help,

My account was deleted today without any type of warning or even an e-mail to let me know. I actually found out by trying to check my activity and not being able to log in, then got a worried and very emotional call from my best friend, who, by the way, I met through your site.

I know there were some violations on my page, I also know I have, over the past 3 or 4 years drove over a million people into my photo stream, got at least a 100 people to flickr most of which probably got pro accounts, I've gotten numerous amount of e-mails telling me my art and photography is inspiring and that it encourage them to take picture, or make art or express themselves in other means.

I'm not writing this to beg you to give me my account back, I know I bended yahoo rules or whatever more then once, by following what I consider proper flagging and probably not what yahoo think is proper tagging, I'm very aware of flickr being a privet site and that you don't really owe me anything. I'm mostly writing this in hope that somehow this e-mail make it past one of you probably-part-time-flickr-worker-part-time-student or whoever work in there in the deleting account department, or maybe I just write to get this off my chest.

In the past few years of my life flickr played a major role in my life. I met my husband on my blog in in the year we spend apart, me in Israel and him in NY, flickr was one of our main arenas of communication as wall as a way for use to express our love publicly and share things. I've met a lot of my current friends on flickr and got involved in a couple of art shows through it. more then the practicality of keeping in touch and sharing art, it became my community, I'm very socially anxious and being able to take part in people's life and sharing my own life with them really gave me a window into the world. I now, because of flickr take interest in the lives of people I never even met, and people who never met me take interest in mine.

For me, having my account deleted and especially in the way that it happened - with no warning or even an e-mail telling me about it, feels very much like coming home to realize that my keys has been changed and not only I'm not allowed in my own home, I've never even lived there. I have a history that has just been erased, a million comments, interactions, people, images, feeling, thoughts, and emotions, that were documented this afternoon and are now gone for good. I feel like my home burnt down and I'm left with nothing.

Your site gave so much and by my account being deleted, took so much from me.

I'm thinking back on my photo stream and remembering so many important moments of my life, which the documentations and interactions of are now gone and all is left in my own memory.

I'm angry, and sad, and I want to never go on flickr again, and at the same time open a new account now.

Maybe I will, maybe I won't. Maybe I'll be more careful about flagging and nudity and paintings and whatever, maybe I'll just have an easier time next time I get deleted.

Flickr - you used to rock and now you suck. I know it's probably not the fault of whoever is reading this e-mail, but still, that's what I feel.

I had an opening of an art show I was in today, I took my camera and took some photos, it really hurts me not to have my way of sharing it with the supportive flickr community who's been following and encouraging me through my artistic career, I feel a great sense of loss, not so much as if someone in my life died, but as if I died, and am now buried and isolated from my world of the living. It's really a horrible feeing.

I know that my best case scenario now is getting some stupid form answer and my worst case scenario is not getting any answer. I don't really think this will help anyone, I guess i just wanted to have the final word or whatever, a closure of a sort.
It's really sad to me how a site and an organization that was so much about community and self expression became so much about restriction and obedience to the rules. I'm really sad about the loss of the people I've had on flickr and my own personal documented history. I feel like I just got deported from one of the only countries I actually felt at home in.

Aya Rosen \ Lilly1975


greygoat said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your account. I like to see your new work and inspirational photos!

I have no idea why this sort of action is taken without warning. I hope you have everything backed up. Considering one of Flickr's selling points is meant to be online storage and archiving of your photos, it is worrying when this functionality is removed with no warning period. What if you had no other record? Let alone all your contacts, chat, groups, etc.

Best of luck with whichever option you go with.

Fact and Fancy said...

Oh Aya! I recently dug through your Flickr account and felt like I got to know you more than I could ever in our short chats! Which is completely bizarre but wonderful.

I am very sad you no longer have a Flickr account and I hope this letter makes its way to someone with authority who also is sensitive to the Flickr community!