Sunday, 24 October 2010

You dirty old man

I've always been a bit lazy with the content filters on Flickr, for two reasons:

(i) the internet is full of explicit porn... in case you hadn't noticed. If you're worried about your kid seeing photos which contain mind-warping atrocities like a woman's nipple, then your best bet is probably to keep him away from a computer, full stop.
(ii) Flickr doesn't allow you to set a filter up before you upload images.* So even if you're quick and well-intentioned, you can't help but corrupt some poor innocents during that brief window between your shots becoming visible on the site, and you getting to the page that allows you to adjust the various settings. My personal record was 25 views on an image in the few seconds before I could lock it down, which frankly was a compelling motivation to not self-censor.

(* I now think this isn't true, but as a function it's hidden away somewhere, and you have to go looking for it. Which is almost as dumb as not having it at all)

Anyhoo, someone at Flickr finally noticed that a few of my pics weren't 100% kiddie-friendly, and reset the permissions on them to "moderate". Hey-ho, that's the way the cookie crumbles. I think I got lucky; I've heard stories of entire accounts being marked as restricted on the basis of one complaint about a single shot. Clicking on my own "nude" tag reveals 24 shots, and only five were moderated, so I can't complain.

However, what amuses and perplexes me is the randomness of the censorship. Of the two below, the top image was restricted, the bottom one left unfettered:

For a while I wondered if it was something to do with the pubic area. In the case of the two black & white bodyscapes, if the model had a fluffy ladygarden it would be visible in the top shot, but possibly not in the bottom one. Then again, both this shot and this one have her bajingo visible, and neither was censored.

Furthmore, both pictures of Karen1985 (below) show her foo-foo. Well, just about. In the largest versions. If you squint. Yet while the colour shot on the left was moderated, the black & white version wasn't:

No clue about those two at all. They're right next to each other in my photostream, are in pretty much the same groups, etc. Is there some kind of complex formula involved? Or was a Flickr staffer halfway through censoring me on a Friday afternoon when it came time to go home, and he never finished the job when he returned on Monday morning?

Addendum: Following an alleged complaint, my entire photostream was moderated in early December. Only took a couple of hours to resolve things, and their actions this time round made more sense; a bit heavy-handed given that nude images comprise only 5% of my stream, but not unexpected given Flickr's history in this kind of thing. I've marked everything as moderate that needs to be, although I think I'll have a second look at some of them; interpreting the big F's filtering instructions literally, I think I'm entitled to disable my self-censorship when nothing incriminating (e.g. breast, buttock) is actually visible.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

With apologies to Ingmar

I had a hoot-and-a-half at Dunure with Roxy Stardust and Karen B on Thursday, putting together a little spoof-cum-homage to the 1957 Ingmar Bergman classic The Seventh Seal. My first attempt at this shoot last month with just Roxy was curtailed by a lack of time and some heavy winds, so we planned to return when there was more daylight, and once I'd recruited a suitable assistant (i.e. Kazza).

Three bods, three rucksacks, three poly bags, two tripods, a portable studio lighting kit, and Mr Bones himself meant using my wee Arosa as transportation was out of the question, so I hired a Vauxhall Zafira. Brand spanking new: a 60-plate with only 300 miles on the clock, and a lovely set of wheels it was too. Although I suspect the fact that I'm singing the praises of a diesel people-carrier means I am truly, incontrovertibly middle-aged. Boo-hoo...

Anyhoo, because it was the October week, there were more people around than I'd planned, but they didn't really affect us. I left my phone in the car as well, which was a bit daft since I'd copied the movie onto it so I could crib from it as required. D'oh! Still, looking through the shots I think everything went ok regardless. The only real trouble was the very rapid rise of the tide, which forced us to move onto an elevated rock for the games themselves after the introductiory pictures were taken. But even that wasn't too bad, since the new location was quite grand. My only regret is that I didn't get an out-take snap of KB and Roxy with Mr Bones once the shoot was done. Hey-ho.