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Flickr Delete 4,000 Pictures "By Accident"

David Gilbert


Flickr Deletes 4,000 Pictures "By Accident"

Flickr officially calls itself: “The best online photo management and sharing application in the world.” Therefore you would not expect it to delete over 4,000 pictures from one of its most prolific users – but it did. Oops.

Flickr, which is owned by Yahoo!, did send photo blogger Mirco Wilhelm an apology of sorts but this did little to appease the suitably angry Zurich-based IT architect, who subsequently posted a blog titled: “You have to f**king kidding, Yahoo!” We added the asterisks, as Mirco was pulling no punches when venting his anger at the site and grammar aside, the message is pretty clear.

The issue arose when Mirco noticed another blogger using his photos and contacted Flickr to report the problem. Flickr, in its wisdom, “accidentally deleted” Mirco’s account without warning. Mirco only noticed the problem when he went to log into his account to find that he was being asked to create a new account. When he contacted Flickr again, he got this response:


Unfortunately, I have mixed up the accounts and accidentally deleted yours. I am terribly sorry for this grave error and hope that this mistake can be reconciled. Here is what I can do from here: I can restore your account, although we will not be able to retrieve your photos. I know that there is a lot of history on your account—again, please accept my apology for my negligence. Once I restore your account, I will add four years of free Pro to make up for my error.

Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do.

Again, I am deeply sorry for this mistake.


Flickr Staff

Suffice to say that this response was hardly going to appease the photo blogger and he went on to talk about his feelings through his blog. While he acknowledges the four free years of Pro are great, he wonders: “So how can this really compensate losing close to 4000 “linked” pictures from my web albums?” Mirco also points out that from his point-of-view as an IT architect, going from an active account to a deleted account "is pretty much a no-go in any enterprise environment." He questions why his account wasn’t deactivated first before the situation was evaluated, which to us seems like a very good point.

Flickr responded again saying they would be able to get him logged back into his account and they were “taking a look to see if there is anything we can do in this particular case to restore your content.” Flickr also told the New York Observer that they were working on a new system which would “allow us to easily restore deleted accounts and we plan on rolling this functionality out soon.”

Here’s hoping Mirco does indeed get his pictures back but it is a sharp reminder that storing data in the cloud with services such as Flickr is not exactly bulletproof.

Source: Mirco Wilhelm’s Blog

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