Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More computery fun - Now Flickr gets banned at school.....

Which is a pity really because I use Flickr to host images for the school website, since the council provided website we use doesn't cope well with images.

Yep, this morning I was attempting to show a teacher examples of our pupil's work. And up comes the big access denied black and red screen. On Flickr.
So I phoned up our service provider and they told me it had been flagged up for adult content. What adult content?

Obviously I checked it when I got home. Now I don't know that much about Flickr. I always mean to get around to it, but never find the time. But I'm pretty bloody sure it's got a good policy on this sort of thing and it's just not where people put those sorts of pictures. So, purely in the interests of research I've just spent a little time trying to get dodgy photo results from it. And when the worst I can get is a couple of bikini shots, a couple of topless MySpace self portrait type of things it really isn't the sort of thing we need to crack down on is it?

But, after consultation with Mr Ashton (He's a proper businessman now, so it's Mr Ashton to us folks!) it seems this is merely an automatic content filter thingy.

Of course, the big problem with all this is that things like photo sharing, blogging, social networks and online communication, all of the things most likely to be banned at a school are specifically mentioned in the new ICT frameworks as one aspect that we should be looking at.
HOW? You've banned them all.

One answer, in a typical, completely the wrong way round has already happened with blogging. They block the legitimate apllications like Wordpress and Blogger and then spend time creating their own version. I'm going on a course later this month to learn how to bloody blog because of this. Silly.


  1. Actually there is some adult content on Flickr, but it normally warns you if a site or group pool falls outside the 'safe' settings. There's no outright ban on it as long as its filtered to warn folks, although in certain countries, like Germany, bizarrely, which has an open sex movie industry, there was a lot of controversy among Flickr users the other year when they deleted accounts with adult content because of local laws.

  2. Yep, fair point about adult content on Flickr, but my thinking is that it all hinges on the idea of accessibility, especially at primary school level.
    I wouldn't expect even our most tech savvy pupils to be surfing Flickr to deliberately find adult images. (and we'll not get started on the idea of adult images. Violence? genocide? legitimate reporting? or more likely, thse that complain are just complaining about a pair of tits and a bit of sex. Far more troublesome).

    And certainly, if, like Joe says, it is filtered and a warning is given there is very little chance of getting to it by accident I certainly feel that they have no good reason to ban it.

    This is something I may pursue on Thursday at the East Riding ICT conference. Maybe a big arguament will make the day less boring?