an open letter to Flickr users

Dear Flickr pals,

Because I am a wizened OLD blogger I feel the need to dispense with the occasional bits of incredibly useful knowledge.

While I certainly do not expect everyone to be as, um, paranoid as I am about photographs of their children, I do wonder if you people realize that photos on Flickr can be locked so that the public cannot see them.

Picture 3

See this precisely cropped photo of me and my pal Irene?
See that little red box?
I made that photo private - so wackos who want to figure out my exact latitude and longitude can't see that photo.
Some of you might want to try this with photos you upload of, say, your wee toddler boy with no pants on. You might not want the whole world to be able to see that photo.
And I'm only saying this as a photo of Middle's left hand ended up on a very strange website.
You know, one of those pervy websites dedicated to people who love teenage hands. You don't know? Maybe that's better.

Picture 4

And see? Here's a photo of my feet, at the auction (you can still make a donation!).
I deemed it appropriate that the photo of my feet at the auction (nagging away at you) be seen by the public. See how that little box is green?

In closing:
Use the little box fellow Flickr users.
Use the little box or wacky people may find you - or worse, that picture of your four year old daughter the day she decided to dance topless in your driveway.

All best,



tut-tut said…
teenage hands??!!? I just today posted a lovely photo of L's hand . . .
Anonymous said…
I've been thinking about this for a while. it sucks because a lot of people I know (including my mom and my in-laws in Korea) do not have a Flickr account and wouldn't be able to see photos of my boys otherwise. and you know how grandparents LOVE to see pictures of their children's children...
Sarah said…
Just de-blurking today!
Badger said…
It never ceases to amaze me, the photos people are willing to post of their kids for EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE WORLD to see.

The hand thing, though -- that's new. Or maybe it's not. I don't want to know.
islaygirl said…
irene -- i know g'parents aren't always the most teh-savvy, but they can sign up for flickr, and thus get to see private photos if you include them in your family list. we have far away g'parents, too, and that's what worked for us.

and bb, you're so right.

islaygirl said…
err, TECH-savvy.
Mary said…
Yes - I think about this when blogging - as you know I do post pictures of the kids there but not naked ones. Not even sure I have naked ones. I have decided to remain relaxed re the blog and whilst I have posted some photos of the kids to flikr i use that largely for travel photos etc.

Mmmm - off to think a little more re the blog.
Lisa said…
Or send the pics through e-mail to the grandparents..

I used to post pics of my kid on my blog, but stopped a couple of years ago, removing all the evidence thereof, and locking down my Flickr.

It occurred to me that some wierdo didn't need to be looking at my kid.
MizMell said…
You never know what might wind someone's watch. I'll take your words to heart.
Uh... thanks.
Anonymous said…
How sad that this is a legitimate concern. Thanks for your view, bb. Definitely worth pondering.
Terese said…
The boundaries of public life vs the private identity are definitely blurred online. It is a very new medium and a lot of blogs and bloghers are experimenting with the way they create their self expression. Thanks for pointing out all of the tech savvy aspects of Flickr.
Sarah Louise said…
THANK YOU for saying something that has been on my mind for a while. While we're on the soapbox, this is also why I blog anonymously and mostly use pseudonyms for people. Because you would be surprised at how many of your exes are googling you.

Don't ask me how I know,


p.s. this might switch me to Flickr from Picasa.
Annagrace said…
It's true--I even freak out sometimes that I'm showing Pea's face on a public blog. But bath pics and hopefully anything else that could be obviously sexualized is private and will of course stay that way. The scary thing is all a true perv needs is the IDEA of a child...
Caterina said…
Oh dear. I don't know what to do. I post pics (public ones) on Flickr and my blog. And although I do not use names or put any tushys, I worry about what I upload a lot. I think of deleting it all the time. Ugh.