You go to the park on a beautiful day. You go to the beach at sunset. You go to dinner at quaint restaurant by the lake. You go to your best friend’s bridal shower. You take some amazing photos. But, since they are not amazing enough, you decide to perform plastic surgery on them- or in this case, technological surgery on them. You take the time to upload and edit them on Flickr. There! Now they are perfect. You can print them for a photo album or scrapbook or picture frame. You can use them as the background for your computer or you can customize a gift with one of them online. You can even try to make earn some money off of them.
But you are too tired of editing the photos to worry about any of that right now. Besides, they will be still be there in a couple of days, or a couple of weeks. So, you come back all ready to work again. But wait? You just saw your photos last week, a couple of days ago even. Where did they all go? No, it can’t be. No, they can’t all- all– be gone?!
Well, this is what Flickr did (accidentally) to one photographer Mirco Wilhelm. The site designed to allow users to share their photo creations deleted 4,000 of Wilhelm’s photos. Flickr’s response to this crisis? The company, owned by Yahoo!, offered to let Wilhelm use Flickr Pro free of cost (24.95 a year) for three years.
While Flickr originally said that they could not restore the lost photos, now the company is claiming to be working on a program to retrieve deleted accounts. They hope to have it up and running as soon as possible.
My questions for Flickr are only a few, really. How did this mistake even happen? Why was Mirco Wilhelm the only one who lost this many photos? Were there any other occurrences similar to this? Shouldn’t there be some type of archive to store the photos in case of an event like this? Needless to say, Flickr might be facing some backlash after this situation. The good thing about a crisis like this is that it is small enough that it will not necessarily drive away all of the costumers, but it is big enough that it should cause changes for the better to be implemented to the site.