Flickr User Protests Deleted Pro Account

Flickr member Deeepa Praveen 4-year-old pro account was deleted recently without any warning or explanation, and in response she created this graphic showing what she lost in the blink of an eye. While Flickr is undoubtedly one of the best photo-sharing services on the web right now, the fact that pro accounts can be permanently deleted without any warning doesn’t sit too well with many users. Even if the deleted accounts deserved to be removed, it would be much nicer if they followed a notice and were temporarily removed at first.

What are your thoughts on how Flickr handles account deletions?

(via Thomas Hawk)

  • Sagar Heerani

    how can they do this…without any warning
    i should start backing up my pictures from flickr and stop uploading on their website..
    at least give some reason…

    i just can’t understand what’s the problem….i think we all should start donating hard disks to flickr :P

  • Uninhabited Images

    Stuff like that is why I’ve never used any Yahoo service, and never will.

  • Purpleface

    But why was it deleted in the first place? They must have had a reason? I agree with that they should have warned first though.

  • sky

    In reality, flickr is a terrible lousy service. if you got baby photos to share, I’m sure they’re great. If you value your work, stay away. Yet another perfect example as to why.

  • Jamie

    Wow this is scary. We have 20k images uploaded and I am sure not all of them are backed to disk. Have to get on that. What a nightmare.

  • Jamie

    Wow this is scary. We have 20k images uploaded and I am sure not all of them are backed to disk. Have to get on that. What a nightmare.

  • Kelly Knights

    This is why, when my Pro account expired, I decided not to renew it. While It sucks to lose the community, Id rather host the images on my own server and have complete control over how my content is dealt with.

  • Nicholas Erwin

    I just don’t see Flickr doing this. What if they made a mistake, I thought this site is suppose to be photo sharing site? I been using it for around two years and it has totally improved my photography skills and I don’t get big of Flickr and they just take my account down for reason. That’s just not right, I hope she gets some justice! I would be upset my self if it happened to me. Hopefully it’s just a big misunderstanding. What they need to do is remove these unused accounts so other people who want to use them can.

  • Paka65

    They do warn you when they are deleting. But if you miss the email or don’t pay attention to your email, you’ll lose the site. However, the photos are not lost. You simply need to re-up your subscription. The photos will all reappear. Nothing is actually deleted.

  • Michael

    I had Pro Flickr account once. It was also deleted. No exact reason, but from what I could gather it was because I had stamped my logo on to my photos… I didn’t loose much, but that’s not the point.

  • Sander Rijken

    Being a pro flickr user for 4 years now, I think this is really scary. The fact that deleting the account can’t be undone (even when they make a mistake) is unacceptable. I’m looking around at alternative sites, but the thing that flickr does provide is a wide audience.

  • Kurt765

    So when your pro account expires, they just delete everything? It doesn’t even just revert to a normal flickr account?

  • Kevin Thom

    The moral of this story: don’t put anything you think is important in “the cloud.”

  • NavinB

    Compensation. Maybe a lifetime Flickr Pro membership or something like that.

  • Ahershey11

    Any suggestions on an alternative site? That’s scary!

  • Ahershey11

    Any suggestions on an alternative site? That’s scary!

  • Phil Carlos

    I’m not sure I completely understand this… Are you saying Flickr has a habit of randomly deleting pro accounts just because…? Which means my pro account might just be gone for no reason, other than it’s a victim of randomness, much like an electrical failure or a stray bit corrupting a file? Or am I missing something, and there is some policy violation involved? Certainly random pro account deletions are not acceptable, and Flickr should be held liable for damages if they do that, and if that’s not the case and it’s because of violations of terms of service, then a notice should be given several days before account deletion so the account holder can move things if they want to. The whole thing sounds and smells fishy…

  • Michael

    I had no warning. Just one day my pro account was gone. Trust me they don’t warn, just delete. I had no proper reason, they could give me no reason.

  • Gordon Haff

    1. There should absolutely be a notification/dispute process before anything gets permanently deleted (although it may be appropriate to hide an account–at least from anyone but the owner). This is generally handled badly by many online consumer-oriented services.
    2. I suspect more “serious” services, for which you will pay more, are better in this regard.
    3. That said, I would NEVER trust any single online service with the only copy of any important data. Unfortunately, when you start talking social networking, it’s not always going to be possible to export the entire context. Obviously services don’t devote a lot of energy to making leaving easy and neat but it’s also a complicated problem if you start talking about exporting content that others have created.
    4. But seriously, have a backup. Even in the absence of account deletion, data loss can happen for any number of reasons.

  • Uninhabited Images

    Screw Yahoo. They won’t even let me sign in with my old flickr account to comment on their stupidity

  • Todd Walker

    That’s ridiculous and completely not true.

  • Michael

    i was told i’ve violated a policy, but when questioned they couldn’t / wouldn’t tell me which one.

  • Punker

    I have long maintained a pro account on Flickr. Lately, I’ve been hearing many stories about pro accounts being deleted without reason, and it scares me. I began backing up my photos and plan to delete the account myself when I’m done. I know A LOT of people who are doing the same thing. Flickr has become a risk to use.

  • Anonymous

    Deleted for watermarking your photos? Was your logo a man raping a puppy or something? Because there’s totally an entire realm of flickr that’s strictly porn/jackoff material that I’ve stumbled across recently which somehow wasn’t deleted.

    Just weird.

  • Anonymous

    Points aside, who the hell uses flickr for backing up?

  • susan sabo photography

    Never depend on Flickr. Any time I’ve had to deal with someone, they’ve been an asshole. You can upload as much as you want (even non .jpg files for a small fee) at Smugmug. I would love to see more people use the community functions on that site.

  • Uninhabited Images

    No, it’s absolutely true. Flickr stinks on ice.

  • Kara

    I’m baffled by the people saying that they keep everything on flickr and don’t have backups. Um … what? Are you saying that you upload your high res files to flickr and don’t keep ANY copies locally? Anyone who does that, quite frankly, deserves what they get if an account is deleted or there’s a server issue. The only image in my flickr account are low res copies for viewing purposes. Hi-res files are ALWAYS archived on external drives (multiple copies). Anything else is just stupidity.

  • Sascha Vogt

    One more incident in that row. I allready read and heard about other cases. I dont expect myself to be a potential victim of this misbehavour, but I allready decided that I will not prolonge my pro account with flickr.

    For one I have my own server on the net and there are other (free) community sites.

    I love the big and active community, and I could accept if they handle abused free accounts like that. But if they take my money, I’d expect at least a reason why they would cancel my account.

    And the worst thing I learned, if they make a mistake, flickr has no way to restore a deleted account.

    That’s so lame.

  • Anonymous

    To me, the value of the service isn’t the photos, it’s the networking and community. I have all the originals of my photos and local backups, that part is easy. This is basically deleting a (very) small part of your identity. I don’t have a backup of my identity on Flikr, I don’t know how to back up the comments, contacts, etc.

  • Chris

    Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. I don’t think they can legally delete a paid account without an explanation or warning.

  • Ppsucks

    Back up your work dumbass!

  • sky

    well, why? very true. Everything from censorship scandals ranging from individual a/c vs whole countries, plus let’s not forget several upgrades that left many photographers high and dry by exposing large image resolution files, to giving out API keys like candies that allow anyone download your whole stream within seconds (e.g. FlickrDown that took them how long to ban? and Bulkr app bugs that allowed to do the same), and I could go on and on and on… And oh yes, the unwarranted deletions. There are few testimonials in this thread, but I assure you, it’s not even the tip of the iceberg.

    I don’t mean to jump to conclusions for this particular case because that flickr user clearly stated that she’s still waiting for the explanation, and by the very least she deserves one. But in all seriousness, I don’t really have to. It’s evident.

  • Eric Spiegel

    I would like to hear Flickr’s side of this story.

  • Paka65

    If that’s happening, maybe messages going in to spam? THey’ve always warned me though the one time I missed the warning – been a member since the beginning – I was deleted, Paid my dues and it was all put back.

  • MJO

    Are you saying that you saw no email or that they sent you an email that did not describe a reason?

  • Mj

    Was there a reply like “we don’t have that information” or “we cannot be specific” or did they just stop responding?

  • Chaz

    For this reason and that now Yahoo “owns” my photos now are why i will be not renewing my pro account. peace out Flickr.

  • HappyTinfoil Cat

    One of my biggest fears. I have over 55K photos and have been warned twice before. Once, I reported a site for stealing my originals and dispensing them on something like FREEBACKGROUNDS or some such (DCMA notice). The website owner apologized and removed it within the hour. It took six weeks for Flickr to respond and when they did, they deleted _my_ photo and warned me that next time my account would be dust. I followed the procedure to have it restored, mostly because I want that off my record, but got no response. I’m afraid to ever report or even follow up on on this kind of thing for fear they’ll toast my account. The other warning was for a bikini shot that showed too much butt apparently. I have two strikes now.

  • HappyTinfoil Cat

    The “impossible to restore accidentally deleted accounts” is absolute bullshit. If the FBI walked in, flashed a badge and said they wanted the deleted account of a pedo, instant restoration would take place. It’s the law. (CALEA among others)

    All those asking for a reason why, Flickr just says, “See ToS”

    I suggest you all check out the Flickr group “Adult Flickr Members: How NOT to get Deleted!” here:

  • SrisonS

    Not too long ago, I heard of a user getting banned; for initially, not real apparent reason. He eventually contacted Flickr, and received a response. They said something about him violating terms in regard that he was promoting himself (I guess putting links to a different website, in the caption sections of his posts. Now i know that many many people do this; but not all are caught. I know they can’t easily track all activity like that. So other than someone reporting him (but why???), I’m just curious to how Flickr may otherwise decide to after certain individuals.

    Just looking at a recent screenshot post of this user here, it looks like she possibly could have been kicked off for the same reason. A crappy policy by Flickr though.

  • Wing Wong

    I have a pro account on Flickr, but have been reluctant to use it for various reasons. This is just another issue that makes me wondering if I should keep my account there. I have a SmugMug pro account that I have thousands of images on and am thinking I’ll just migrate everything there.

  • Wing Wong

    What’s the point of a Pro account, which supposedly targets more professional photographers if you aren’t going to be watermarking your images? I’m guessing the no-watermark or no-self promotion has more to do with their agreements with Getty and the free-for-all micro-stock pick-n-choose they are doing with Flickr.

  • David Reid

    Yet another reason why Yahoo! sucks and destroys the value of everything it owns. Flickr could handle these matters in a much more user friendly manner. Where there is a problem with an account they could prevent new uploads and switch all the photos to private while the owner of the account is warned and given time to make any necessary changes. Unfortunately the present situation is one of guilty without trial and no chance to prove your innocence. Yahoo! is truly pathetic and irresponsible.

  • Steven Vance

    This isn’t a case of the user not renewing her Pro subscription. Her account was removed and is in accessible. If you access her original account you will see a message saying, “This user does not exist.”

  • Steven Vance

    This story is not about an expiring subscription.

    If you do not renew your subscription, your account will revert to normal, showing only the 200 latest photos.

  • Richard

    I’ve been a flickr user since it was a small Vancouver concern (that means I’m very old skool), have lots of work up there (all copies of things I have locally), have started and run numerous groups including some very large ones, have had work stolen, reported it, had resolution, etc.

    And, I’ve been through the various bumps as flickr has evolved (or devolved depending on your opinon).

    When a user has their account suspended it’s usually because they’ve violated flickr’s terms of service. Does flickr always get this right? I’m sure they don’t but they generally do and folks who get suspended generally deserve it. Here are flickr’s terms of service for those of you who may not be familiar with them:

    If it was as bad as many of you are saying few folks would be using the service, but in fact, even though it may have peaked and even though Yahoo has less than a clue about its value and how to run it, it’s a decent service and works well as a way to share work and as a cheap way to get work online for embedding elsewhere.

  • Dq

    Same thing happened to me. Disgraceful

  • Michael

    That’s what I’m saying yes. I always make a habit of checking my spam folder before deleting it. I had no warnings, just account deleted.

  • Michael

    they kept replying, but i gave up in the end because it was going nowhere. they were not able to give me an answer.