Picasa Web Albums vs Flickr

I have been using Flickr for about nine months and it is a great way to share photographs. However, I have been dismayed by Flickr’s acceptance and actual encouragement of pornography, as I, as a grandmother, want to share grandmotherly photographs with my friends, family and young grandchildren. Flickr has privacy levels that work quite well as a manner of keeping my photos unseen to the public, if I choose, and I do for most of my personal photographs of family events. However, when my viewers and young children come to visit my photographs they very well may be exposed to tasteless and downright pornographic content from others without my being able to control it, as Flickr allows pornographic content.

Following are Flickr policies, which I can assure you are not followed by members, as I have been exposed to disgusting and explicit “genitalia” and pornographic “intimate moments” a number of times in the public groups and pools. As anyone with a brain knows by now, those who upload pornography to the Internet are not content to have it remain behind privacy screens, available only to those who share a fetish for such things. No, pornography spammers are always “hell-bent” on having everyone and anyone gaze upon the creations of their warped minds.

FLICKR Policies

DON’T – Upload photos that include frontal nudity, genitalia and/or “intimate moments” between consenting partners in public areas of Flickr

If you do we’ll make your photostream private and remind you of this Guideline. If you don’t heed our warning and continue to make similar content public, we’ll terminate your account without warning. This applies to your Buddy Icon as well.

Swearing. People ask if it’s OK to swear. It is OK to swear so long as you’re not offending, insulting or harassing anybody.

Porn. Porn, nudity and other such content is not disallowed on Flickr, but it shouldn’t be posted in public areas. (Here’s a link to the more general Community Guidelines.

Although Flickr even bans “frontal nudity” I am not including it in my complaints, as firstly, “frontal nudity” is found everywhere on Flickr and no one seems to mind in the least. Secondly, I am not quite sure what is “frontal nudity” as Flickr describes it as displaying parts of the body which are usually covered by a bathing suit, but they do not explain what is a bathing suit. I am left to assume that they mean the popular one-piece bikini. Although I wish there were a way to avoid seeing “frontal nudity”, at least most of those are not pornographic. Anyway, the most popular photographs on Flickr, the ones with more than 9,999 public views illustrate well the photographs that Flickr users like to look at, and it is mostly photographs of “partial nudity”. Cats seem to come in second.

Now, with Google’s Picasa Web Albums, the new kid on the block, there may be hope for the more mundane and boring photographers of the world, like me. We are the amateurs; the ones who like to photograph grandchildren playing soccer, or landscapes or garden flowers. Perhaps we will find a welcome haven at Picasa Web Albums if it is able to live up to its stated public policy, which, bans pornography outright, unlike Flickr.

Picasa Web Album Policies

As set forth in the Terms of Service, … Picasa Web Albums may refuse to host content that violates its policies including:

  • illegal content
  • invasions of personal privacy
  • violations of copyright. Please see our DMCA policy for more information.
  • spam and malicious code or viruses
  • pornography or obscenity
  • promotions of hate or incitement of violence

I like Google’s straightforward stance on “pornography or obscenity” violating its policies, in contrast to Flickr’s weasel words: “Porn, nudity and other such content is not disallowed on Flickr, but it shouldn’t be posted in public… .”

I have accounts at both services: My Flickr Albums and My Picasa.

7 June 2007 UPDATE: Picasa Web: Program Policies


5 Responses to Picasa Web Albums vs Flickr

  1. Paul says:

    Hey, this was insightful. I have been a Flickr user for some time and I am dismayed for the same reason that you are. I’m going to give Picasa a try, and then see what works best.

  2. growthumbs says:

    I had no clue of Flickr allowing that on their servers. I have been thinking of going to Picasa because of the 200 viewable photo limit by Flickr.

    But with what I hear now, I might go to them and stop using flickr all together.

  3. picOrFlick says:

    Picasa does not allow for enough privacy of your photos. All that one needs is your url to see your album – ‘unlisted’ or not. What if you send an ‘unlisted’ URL to your friend who then forwards it to someone else who you didn’t want to be able to see the album ?

    That way, flickr has given an additional level of privacy – one where you can restrict viewership to those flickr ids that YOU choose. They have to log in and see it. In addition to that, flick has the ‘unlisted’ and public options that picasa offers.

    Would picasa add that level of privacy in the future ?

  4. Neddy says:

    Since writing the above article in August 2006, I am no longer recommending Picasa Web Albums. Beginning in November 2007, it has not lived up to my basic expectations for paid photo storage. I have returned to using Flickr.

  5. Nick says:

    While I certainly understand the concern about seeing inappropriate material, I am also always concerned about censorship. Who gets t decide what is inappropriate? I like Flickr’s policy better than Picasa’s in that it lets you post what you want, yet has restrictions on what should be in public areas. The problem for me is not Flickr’s policy, but rather that it does not seem to be well enforced.

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