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Flickr not fond of screenshots

Annoys Second Life fans.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Photo website Flickr has become a target for criticism after it emerged that one of its community guidelines renders it impossible to search archives that consist of more screenshots than photographs - but there may be light (and screenshots) at the end of the tunnel.

The guideline, which is public without being that easy to find, states: "Flickr is for photos. With some exceptions, it's OK to post other images, but if the majority of your photostream contains content other than photographs (like illustrations, screenshots, diagrams, etc.) it's very likely that your account will be marked Not in Public Site Areas (NIPSA). NIPSA means your photos won't show up in photo searches, but they will still be visible in your pages, your groups and contacts."

Although that's been around for ages, it's attracting increased ire from fans of not-a-game MMO Second Life, with Wired and others highlighting their concerns - that with so much going on in Second Life it's a bit unfair to prevent people searching for shots of it.

Apparently Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield is sympathetic, but despite archiving Second Life screenshots himself he doesn't come out and say a change is on the cards - at least not explicitly.

And of course it's not just Second Life fans who find themselves penalised - if you want to take advantage of Flickr's tools (something most of our staff already do) to show off things you've done in a game, you're also going to struggle to be found.

Fortunately, that might not be the case forever. Flickr's always made a big deal of trying to keep its users happy, and Butterfield insists that's still the case, adding that updating NIPSA rules is "in the top 10 percent" of things the site needs to work on. As far as our Counter-Strike-playing pal who posts shots of spray-painted willies on the back of terrorists' heads is concerned, a change can't come too soon.

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