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Flickr now limits NSFW photos to paying members only


 

Since it was acquired by SmugMug, Flickr has undergone a bunch of changes. In my opinion, mainly positive ones. The company has now announced another big change – and I’m not sure how to feel about it.

From now on, the ability to share restricted and moderate content will be reserved for Flickr Pro members only. In other words, if you share NSFW work that would be banned from other platforms, you’re welcome on Flickr, but only if you pay.

“Until now, photographers have faced bans and deletion from nearly every online photography community, or at best operated in an ambiguous grey area, including on Flickr,” the company writes in a statement. But from now on, photographers who create work that might otherwise be considered risqué can share it on Flickr without any issues. There’s a catch though – this kind of work is only available to paying members.

See, Flickr has three levels of image safety: safe, moderate, and restricted. From now on, only Pro members will be able to upload content that falls under Restricted or Moderate categories. A month of Pro account costs $8.25, or you can pay $72 for a year of Pro.

“This move will enable more photographers to practice their craft fully,” says Don MacAskill, CEO of Flickr. “To us, that means they’re not just creating photography that can only live on their camera, but that they also have a home and a community to share those photographs with. By asking members with this type of content to subscribe to Flickr Pro, we can devote more resources to ensuring that their communities remain safe and well-regulated.”

I have to admit that I am a little confused, and I’ll tell you why. One of the things I hate most about Flickr is a bunch of pornographic content. It happened to me a bunch of times that someone follows me, I visit their profile to see their work – and it’s just a bunch of pornography, no “artsy nudes.” So I’m wondering what is going to change with the new policy.

On the one hand, this could reduce the number of pornographic pictures on the platform as they will only be reserved for Pro members. But on the other, free members will keep uploading their 18+ photos and just mark them as “safe.” I do hope that moderation will do its work and ban wrongly marked photos, because some of us still love Flickr for photographic art, with emphasis on art.

Another change Flickr has brought upon non-paying members is the limited amount of non-public uploads. From now on, you’ll only be able to upload up to 50 photos you mark as non-public. As for the overall upload limit, it’s still 1,000 for non-paying members, after which your old photos get deleted. As before, Pro members get unlimited upload and a bunch of other perks.

“Flickr is a community-first platform, not just a storage solution,” MacAskill points out justifying the changes. Still, Flickr notes that they haven’t deleted a single photo over the limit since the new policy was applied.

The new terms of service will become effective in the second quarter, Flickr notes. I personally hope that we’ll see less tasteless and tacky porn on the platform, and start enjoying more artistic, high-quality content, whether it includes nudes or not.




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