Adios to NIPSA Scarlet letter From Flickr (but wither simplicity?)

It’s been almost a year since I had a bone to pick with flickr regarding their less visibly known process of stamping accounts consisting of their definition of screenshots as NIPSA (Not In Public Service Area) (the whole story is serialized.)

The issue for me was I had set up a pro account to house just images from Second Life, yet with this stigma, they never show up on searches or in public tag sets.


I argued to no avail that the process of taking photos in a virtual world with a virtual camera, one that involved framing, lighting, composition, everything but freaking f-stops was far from a “screenshot”.

So I shrugged my dog shoulders and moved on– we could still publish slide shows and syndicate images to our NMC Campus Observer site.

But I got word, the rules are changing with some new features introduced on flickr called “filters” .Not sure I fully get all of this, but it means:

* flickr account owners can indicate if their content is categorized as mostly “photos”, “art/illustration/cgi”, “screenshot” (and can be over-ridden per photo
* flickr account owners can mask photos from showing up in public searches (so you can self-NIPSA??)
* And when you search, you can indicate whether you want to include “hotos”, “art/illustration/cgi”, “screenshots” , and some level of “safeness” so you can exclude those nasty nudie photos in your search results

see more on filters

Their definition of “screenshot” is very clever, a link to wikipedia, and never really answers the question as to what the ^#&#* is a Second Life photo.

But if you have a NIPSA account, you can update this content filter (I did ours to “screenshot” since flickr thought before they were “screenshots” and arguing seemed mostly futile). I then requested a review of the account, and as advertised, they did it within 2 days, and took away our NIPSA status.

In the end, I guess I gained what I wanted all along; the ability to have images we load into this account (images that are all original, BTW) be publicly available in flickr. The steps of these filters, setting preferences for your content, having to go in and manually set search preferences to include all types which required a logout/login), seemed creepily Microsoftian in complexity.

And I know plenty of others out there are unplugging form flickr and feel like the whole Yahoo account requirement was a low blow that is most unflickerian.

I’m not ready to jump ship yet at all.

And we dropped our NIPSA flag. Yippee…. er… I mean, “Yahoo”?

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


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