Flickr deletes 5 years worth of photos

I wouldn't be best pleased if Flickr nuked my account out of orbit...

Imagine, for a second, that you have a Flickr account. Then, imagine you've posted more than 4,000 photos to it, and that Flickr deletes it by accident.

Next, imagine that you contact Flickr to find out what the hell is going on, only to be told that 'whoops, yeah, we did that by accident. We'll re-instate your account, but your photos are gone'.

That's what happened to Mirco Wilhelm, in an absolutely cruel mix-up. He had, in fact, been in touch with Flickr to report another user who had been posting photos that were infringing on copyright - and he included his own Flickr name in the E-mail as well.

A stupid mistake

"I did report on a user account only containing obviously stolen material", says Mirco.

Flickr, in their haste to delete the offending material, managed to delete the wrong user account - a move that is non-revertible, apparently.

Mirco's plaster on the wound? 4 years of free Flickr Pro.

"Since Flickr had deleted the account", Mirco writes, "they cannot reactivate anything more that the account itself, leaving me with an empty shell of what I did during the last 5 years. This would be acceptable, if I had a free account." - but he didn't - he's a paying customer.

I'm not being funny, but Flickr don't have to pull many stunts like this before I stop recommending them on my blogs, in my books, and to all my friends and family. Absolutely appalling. Sort your crap out.

Restored after all

Update: Yahoo just tweeted that Flickr "restored a mistakenly deleted member’s account. We regret the error, reloaded all photos, and gave 25 years free Flickr Pro".

I guess the media shitstorm forced them to do what they said couldn't be done... I just hope they address their routines after all this...

Backing up your Flickr photos

If this story has scared you sufficiently, perhaps it's time to download FlickrEdit, a tool that enables you to take a back-up of all your Flickr photos, at least. It woudn't stop you from losing all your comments etc, but it's better than nothing...

On that note, when did you last take a back-up of your photos? Here's some more about why and how.

Read Mirco's full account on his blog (via PetaPixel)


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