Monday, 6 September 2010

The Photo Problem - Chapter 2

All i really need to do is reprint my restrained rant to the Picasa help forum tonight:

There appears to be some conflict either between Blogger and Picasa over content considered adult

Level 1
7:28 PM
Last week all the pictures on my blog (including the header) disappeared suddenly. Eventually I contacted the Blogger help forum who investigated and advised me to check that I'd set the feeder albums on Picasa to public. I thought that strange because obviously I had, knowing that that is where they're automatically put by Blogger and it would be pointless to mark them otherwise, which was also why I hadn't checked that before as surely only I could do that. Anyway I checked the relevant Picasa albums and sure enough someone had changed the settings on two of the four feeder albums to 'only those with the link' which is completely irrelevant/useless for a blog.

I remembered getting an email last week about unsuitable content on Picasa and correctly guessed that an adult picture set I'd really only used as an experiment was the culprit. Fair enough I thought as that was the only one that had adult content in (though having seen other users' albums which do manage this it is confusing). It dawned on me that whoever did that was the prime suspect for sabotaging the Blogger albums, but as Blogger had advised me I changed them back. Blogger does not rate me as an adult site and neither do I - I am careful not to include full frontal nudity or anything else directly that I'd associate with an adult site or blog. As both Blogger and Picasa are owned by Google I'd have thought they would have similar policies, but it appears not. Since I don't choose to put my blog pictures in Picasa (Blogger does automatically) and they don't work if those pictures are marked other than public it was infuriating to find the two albums had again been censored back again, though oddly it only affected random pictures which included completely innocent photos like a promo shot for the "Merlin" TV series.

I'm sort of assuming Blogger may have a more European mindset, while Picasa is more North American and conservative. As I live in Europe I go by what is acceptable pre-watershed on our TV and what can be seen in our tabloid and broadsheet newspapers, If anything, I'm more circumspect as broadsheets here and certain TV programmes have no problem showing full frontal nudity. But even then I can't see why someone has specifically gone into those folders as the only place I've 'advertised' them is on the blog and even then only when last week's problem occurred. Also the two previous feeder albums contain much the same mix/strength of imagery but were not censored. I'm just at a loss to know what is going on.

Even if I were to suddenly make my blog an adult one and ask for a content warning to precede entry then Blogger would still automatically upload anything to Picasa unless I specifically used another photo hosting service in advance. There's a fundamental conflict here, not just between Blogger and Picasa but possibly a cultural one between what is acceptable in the UK and what is acceptable elsewhere. I'm sure the Taliban would probably manage to censor almost everything if we go on some sort of zero tolerance for content likely to offend any one person anywhere in the world. Though I'm aware that even the land of the free has many highly shockable religious types too.

It's possible that whomever at Picasa did this to me didn't realise that those folders were blog-feeders (though the folder does basically explain that) but any complaint against content in them must have been to specific photos rather than the entire contents, so that also just seems heavy-handed.

What should be my course of action? What was the nature of the complaint? Have you liased with Blogger?




well, if your photo albums on picasa are public, anyone can randomly find them. and they can be searched, for content or copyrighted material, two causes for suspension...

Graeme said...

Then why do Blogger put them there?

Haven't had a quick reply this time.


picasa comes with your blog. that's why most of my albums are opened only to those who have the link as i then know they access them through my blogs. it restrict the access from the mainstream and insure the traffic comes from my blogs and not vice-versa.

Graeme said...

They didn't originally when I started the blog in 2006. Not sure Google had bought Blogger let alone Picasa. I didn't even know of Picasa's existence and when I found it in my account I wondered why I already had a folder in there as I'd just found it.

Anyway, as you can possibly see, it's got more complicated than that as the pictures affected are completely at random in the folder, despite the whole folder being marked a certain way. Even more inexplicable is that they are different random pictures than were affected yesterday.

I really don't think this is an issue with content or copyright any more, though I still haven't got a reply.


sounds oddly familiar...
it may sound silly to ask, but have you cleared your cache, cleaned up your disk, defragmented it; are you missing some plug-ins or extensions on the browser you're using?

Graeme said...

I only got this laptop in June, and have upgraded Safari as bidden even since then.

What pictures are missing for you? They should all be given that the folder has been marked as 'only for people with link' yet again.

If you look at my upcoming TV post from Saturday the missing pics are completely random. Some from the same source are affected differently, notably the Eastenders pics.

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