Restricted access to flickr for users from Singapore, Germany, Korea and Hong Kong - flickr censorship discussion 
Thursday, 14 .June, 2007, 08:07 - English Entries, Online/Blogs, Politics
Flickr introduced a new service: they localized their site for different languages. Part of this service is, that pictures that are marked as "medium" or "restricted" will not be displayed anymore to users who indicate that they are from Germany, Singapore, Korea or Hong Kong.

That kicked off a huge debate about censorship and especially the Germans, regarding themselves as citizens of a free country in which people and arts are free, raise their voice.

It is not clear yet, why these restrictions have been applied. The flickr staff made a statement, that brought as much light to the discussion as a broken lamp during a Finnish Winters night. There are assumptions, that the restrictions in Germany apply due to a German law that forbids showing of so-called "Nazi-Symbols", i.e. symbols that are related to the third reich. Other people speculate that the German government might have had a say in that.

It is all speculation. It is not known why these restrictions are applied. Most likely flickr just wanted to be super-save and put the new mechanism there due to anticipatory obedience. One can understand that, but it could have been made clear from the beginning that this will happen and what are the reasons.

I would not go so far as to call this censorship - not yet. Give flickr a few more days to get themselves informed and to clear things up.

This discussion already hit German newspapers (at least heise and Spiegel), but it seems no English / American paper so far has woken up on this. This shows where the focus is.

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