23 March, 2009

flickr block feedback

"DUBAI - A censorship watchdog is encouraging the public to give feedback over the blocking of photo-sharing web site Flickr.
Last week Internet provider du joined rival Etisalat in blocking the web site to thousands of homes across the UAE. A statement by the Telecommunications and Regulatory Authority (TRA) said that “technical difficulties” had prevented du from following the ban two years before.

“Flickr breaches the prohibited content categories of the Internet Access Management (IAM) policy regarding sexual nudity,” the statement said.

“It does not have the technical facility of blocking prohibited contents, and it cannot be partially blocked; where such facility is available on YouTube, Facebook and other similar sites.”

Users of Flickr said the site contained images of ‘artistic nudity’ which could have been construed as pornography. du and Etisalat have been asked by the TRA to allow customers to give their thoughts on whether the level of censorship is appropriate."


more here

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here are some thoughts for you.

Censorship watchdog is a load of bull. Etisalat/Du have no business deciding for people what websites to access. Don't treat people like retards.

Internet value-for-money in Dubai is amongst the worst in the world.

Jay said...

Hey what happened to Dubai Eye? Swan and Wes just said "out of respect we have to go to classical music, our news team will update you" Did someone die or did these two cross the line in discussing "Flickr" ?

Daniel N. said...

Sorry but it's all a bunch of crap.

Treating people like retarded children not capable of taking decisions for themselves? If they want to boast about their values, educate people and let them have the right to decide which website they want to view or not.

I guess those people banning websites / confiscating magazines are amongst the happiest people with the largest collection of porn in their hands, right?

Every popular ART site is being blocked, I recently found out that the website I sell my photos has just been blocked too.. redbubble.com.. WTH?

Sad...

Anonymous said...

exactly! 101% i agree with you anonymous 5:30

Rami said...

In before the usual calls of 'you expats have no say on the laws here'.

All censorship is bad. I can understand outright banning of porn movies/magazine etc, because those would then be generally easily accessible.

Websites and movies though? If you don't like the content of a website, don't visit it. Be a good parent and learn how to block your kid from visiting it (or even better, teach your child why it's not a good idea not to see that kind of thing).

To echo the commenters above me, people need to make their own choices. The idea of big daddy government deciding what we can or can't see is just plain lazy.

Censorship rant aside, there's a far more dangerous side of this. By blocking sites like Flickr and other photo-sharing sites(and potentially Youtube and Facebook), the government here is placing the Emirati (and expatriate) youth at a tremendous disadvantage. No one can argue that the Internet is the new platform for art and creativity. Blocking these sites deprives the people growing up here from being a part of the technological and creative explosion that is taking place all over the world.

Photographers and artists now have very limited (and in many cases outdated) methods to showcase their work. Web developers will avoid creating technology that targets the region out of fear of the seemingly random blocking criteria applied by the authorities.

Innovation never thrives in an environment of censorship.

Anonymous said...

Hey it's their culture!!!, value it and appreciate it.

Although normal people can decide which sites to visit and how to react to semi-clad nude women or pictures of violence, most Locals and Muslims would go crazy and run around killing people and raping women. They are just not hard wired to make decisions for themselves and require their wise and benevolent leaders to tell them what they can look at and what is forbidden!

As ABIT or Proud Emirati (not quite sure what he's proud of) would say, if you don't like it go back to your educated, civilized countries and leave us to our Camel's and tents!

Media Junkie said...

@jay:
Shiekh Ahmed bin Juma Al Maktoum, cousin of the Dubai Ruler, passed away.

Proud Emirati said...

spot on Rami, expatriates have no say.

Alla said...

I don't think they care about our opinion. that bull sh. about feedback was just for the tick. But what to do now with Pro accounts? flickr won't possibly care too, what do you think?

Rami said...

And Emirati, here's the fun part.

Neither do you.

Proud Emirati said...

but it was an Emirati who made this decision as the result of what Emiratis think in this issue :D

lollipop said...

And Emirati, here's the fun part
.........
the real fun is reading your comments :D, keep making fool of your self plz :D

rosh said...

Someday, everyone's going to grow up, learn about 'the birds and the bees' and ways of life.

P Emirati, the post says, "encouraging the public to give feedback" (not Emiratis, not Expats).

Perhaps people may have no say, however, you saying that phrase over and over again, shall not deter debate on this forum or anywhere else. And please, for the record, there were plenty of Emirati folk on Flickr.

Rami said...

...there were plenty of Emirati folk on Flickr...

Exactly my point.

PE, I half agree with you. The decision was taken by an Emirati. I agree with that part.

I don't agree with the rest of it. I don't claim to know what the Emirati population wants, and neither can you. You are representative of the more conservative part of the society, which is great; every society needs a conservative as well as a progressive front. Unchecked change is not a good thing. But there is a progressive side to this society. The point is, no one, not expatriates, not Emiratis.. no one is ever asked for an opinion when laws are made. The laws are made by a few select people who do not actually represent anyone. Thus, the laws are made based on these people's own opinions, not yours. It just so happens that, in some cases, their opinions mesh with yours.

Keep in mind that I'm not complaining. This is the country I live in, the country I've called my home for my entire life. I abide by its laws. But I do disagree with some of these laws. And, as framed in the constitution of the UAE, I am exercising my freedom to express that opinion.

Ali said...

I have been using flickr.com for years as a paid up pro user, purely for sharing photographs with friends and family and for sharing photographic critques with other keen amateur and professional photographers.

I respect that living in the UAE there are certain rules to be abided by, but I think if someone is really desperate to look for 'improper' websites and magazines etc they will find a way anyway.

It is partially up to Flickr to protect their users in terms of quality and morality, so that the majority don't have their experience ruined by those that abuse their freedom, but I find it very frustrating not to be treated with having the intelligence to police my own morals too.

I look forward to either Flickr responding in a positive way on this issue, especially for their pro account users, or for someone to find an unblock solution again shortly.

Yours Truly said...

Well guys i really dont know why you all are wasting your precious time on ranting about such a trivial issue. Folks just download and run "HOTSPOT SHIELD" and voila! end of stone age!

samuraisam said...

"but it was an Emirati who made this decision as the result of what Emiratis think in this issue :D"

Oh. Sure.

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