Flickr Safety Guide

Flickr (c) @nancybobancy1

Flickr is a photo and video-sharing community run by Yahoo. Millions of members from all over the world are uploading photos and video that they have created, each sharing their unique view of the world. They can post, sort, and share photos and videos that they have created with friends, family, and folks from across the globe! Flickr Help can tell you more.

What are some possible risks on Flickr?
Flickr members are expected to act in ways that build a great community. They have to follow the Flickr Community Guidelines and their country’s Yahoo Terms of Service. But things happen.  Just like in the real world, there are people online who may behave inappropriately. Check out our content do’s and don’ts. Be safety-savvy when you’re on Flickr and:

  • Protect your personal info. Remember, Flickr is for everyone to share photos and videos, so be cautious when you post personal info in your photos and videos.
  • Watch out for harassment. If people can find and contact you, through Flickr Mail for instance, they can possibly expose mean comments or other things against our community guidelines. Keep your guard up, and report anything that doesn’t feel right.
  • Flag this photo. When people join Flickr, they agree to flag their content appropriately. If someone is uploading photos that are inappropriate for all ages and not flagging them correctly, you could stumble across them. If this happens, let us know through the Report Abuse link found in the footer of each page.

How can you reduce these risks? It’s a no-brainer! Review Flickr’s safety features below, learn how to report abuse, and ask your family for help staying safer on Flickr.

What safety features should I know about on Flickr?
These are important:

  • Flag photos that aren’t for all ages. Flickr members are required to flag their content as “safe,” “moderate,” or “restricted,”depending on what the photo or video is about. Unfortunately, there are some people who don’t feel that the rules apply to them. If you stumble across something that you feel violates the Flickr Community Guidelines, we want to know. Click the Report Abuse link that’s in the footer of every page and select the appropriate item from the pull-down menu. We’ll take it from there.
  • Use a screen name.When you create your account, make up a screen name that’s not your Yahoo ID.To be extra safe, make up a screen name with no personal details. For example,instead of "tedjones1999dallas," use something that can’t identifyyou, such as "bluesky50." (You can change your Flickr screen nameanytime via your Account Page.)Find out more about choosing an online ID.
  • Use a buddy icon.This is an image that represents you on Flickr — like an alter ego. It doesn’t have to be your face—it can be your family pet. You can crop one of your photos already on Flickr, or select a photo from your computer and add it as a buddy icon.
  •   Make up your own Flickr web address. Create a unique, permanent web address that will look like  An alias can be used to avoid posting any personal, identifiable information. Remember, once you choose a web address, it can’t be changed, so pick carefully!
  • Privatize profile settings By default, Flickr community members under the age of 18 have hidden profiles that will not come up in people searches.
  • Mark your photos and videos as private Change the default photo privacy settings to control who can see your photos and videos. Default settings will affect allyour Flickr content no matter if you upload it from a computer or your mobile.To change the privacy level for a specific photo or video, click the edit link at the right.  Choose “Only You (private)” in the “Who can see this photo?” dialog.
  • Name your friends and family. You can invite someone to view photos, and then click the box to show “This person is a friend” or “This person is family.” Then change the photo privacy settings to allow only your friends or family (not the entire basketball team) to see the photos!
  • Decide who can comment on your photos and videos. You control who can comment on your public photos and videos. Just change your default privacy setting for comments. If someone leaves a comment you don’t like, click delete to get rid of it. You can also block people you don’t want commenting on your photos in the future.
  • Control who can see your geotagged photos and videos. Geotagging is matching photos to a location on a map. So if you take pictures while on vacation at the beach, each photo can be mapped to show where it was shot. But if you geotag your hometown hangouts and then make those photos public, it’s possible for strangers to figure out where you live. Not good. To prevent this,change the location privacy for your photos, or create a Geofence, a location with special privacy settings for private places like your home or your child's school. Check out Flickr’s video intro to geotagging.
  • Create your own group. Creating a private group is a great way to share photos and videos with friends and family. Only people you’ve invited will be able to view the group page. Check out Flickr’s tips for running a group.
  • Block another member.If these safety and privacy features don’t prevent inappropriate or unwelcome contact from someone, there are a few ways to block people or remove them as contacts.Take a look at the contacts section in Flickr help.
  • Filter content. Set your viewing preferences by using SafeSearch. To help people filter what they see, you can also flag your images and videos as you upload them.
  •  Opt out of third-party applications. Choose the option that prevents your photos from showing up in public searches or on other web pages.
  • Watch out for phishing. Some emails and websites try to get your private information without you even knowing it! Don’t click on links in your FlickrMail or in comments from people you don’t know.
  •  Report abuse. Report any content or contact you find offensive by clicking the Report Abuse link in the footer of every Flickr page.

How can I filter the content that I upload?
Flickr is a huge community of many different people. What's OK in your backyard may not be OK in theirs. To help everyone get along, we have content filters that let you flag your images and videos as you upload them. Everyone is responsible for labeling their own content. You can filter your content by safety level (safe, moderate, and restricted) and type (photos/videos, illustration or other non-photo images, or screencasts/screenshots). Putting your content in these categories means that everyone can use filters when they search, so they can see only what they want to see. Remember: All your Flickr content must meet the Yahoo Terms of Service and our Community Guidelines.
Read more about content filters in our FAQ.

How can I stop my photos from appearing in public searches or on other people’s websites?

There’s technology that lets developers create programs with material from Flickr, suchas letting you use your photos to make a calendar, or using new ways to showoff public photos. Learn more about the Flickr API here.
If everything works as it should, if your photo appears on another site it will link back to the photo page as it looks in your photostream. Your photo will be for non-commercial use. The actual image is not hosted on the other site, but the way it displays might be different from what you’re used to.
Other ways your photos might show up outside of Flickr, but still be hosted here, are through:

·       Blogs

·       Tag search applications

·       Web games (fun, memory-based programs)

·       Screensavers (displaying most recent uploads or photos from Explore, etc.)

·       Desktop photo display widgets (like Apple's Dashboard or the Windows 8 start screen)

It’s OK if you don’t want your photos shown on sites other than Flickr. You can exclude your photos from public searches on Flickr itself or through other software that works with Flickr. You can always opt out of applications that connect with Flickr’s database. Your photos will still be searchable on, and you will still be able to use other websites for your own stream if you give them permission.We also let you decide if you want others to share your content. This will change what’s available to others in the “Share” buttons above your images.
It’s possible that your image may be hosted on Flickr but someone has just linked to the static image element and not to your photostream itself. That’s against the Flickr Community Guidelines. If you have any questions, click Help in the upper right of any Flickr page.
How can I remove content from my search results that isn’t suitable for all ages?
Easy! SafeSearch is a tool that lets you control what comes up in your searches on Flickr. It's already turned on by default.
When you first join Flickr, your account’s SafeSearch default is “safe.” However,you can choose to see “moderate” content too. Moderate content may feature naked breasts and bare bottoms, but nothing more. Points to remember:

·       If you aren’t signed in to Flickr, SafeSearch is always on.

·       If you are signed in, you can change SafeSearch to include content that the community has flagged as “moderate.”

·       If you are signed in, you can also set a default SafeSearch level that you’d like to use.

·       You can change this setting for each search on the Advanced Search page.

You may only be able to view safe content based on your local Terms of Service;depending on what country you are in, you may only be able to view safe and moderate content.  
And just a reminder: Be sure to report abuse if you spot any photos or videos that you think are inappropriate!
A few more tips:

  • Upload what’s yours. You can post videos up to 90 seconds long if the content is categorized as safe or moderate. If you upload a video, it must be a video you created. If Flickr finds out you uploaded a restricted video or a video you didn’t create, or that contains content that you did not create (e.g.copyrighted material), the video may be removed and you may receive a warning.If you continue to upload content that isn’t yours, you may not be able to upload anymore or your account may be deactivated and your content deleted.
  •  Report copyright infringement.Let’s say you find photos or video that you’ve taken in someone else’s Flickr account. People often don’t understand copyright and may have uploaded your material in error. You can send them a FlickMail asking them to remove it, or you can click the Copyright link in the footer of any page to contact the Yahoo Copyright Team.

How can I report a problem on Flickr?
It’s easy. Use the Report Abuse link at the bottom of every page to report content that you find offensive,threats of violence, harassment, or anything that may violate either the Yahoo Terms of Service (“TOS” or the Flickr Community Guidelines. If you click the Report Abuse link on the page withthe offensive content, we’ll get the info we need to review the content andtake appropriate action pursuant to the TOS and/or Flickr’s Community Guidelines.

What else can I do to use Flickr more safely?
Start by checking out our general tips for online safety, which include protecting your online identity, keeping your passwords secret, being cautious about contact with strangers, and creating a family pledge for online safety.We also recommend adding a parent or another trusted adult as a Flickr Friend so they can see what’s up.

With all the Flickr ecosystem has to offer, we hope you take advantage of the safety and privacy settings to share your world in a way that makes sense to you.

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