Much Adu About Flickr

Since I was given my first DSlR several years ago, I’ve been an enthusiastic Flickr User. For my needs, it balances features, usability, and workflow. I have always been especially appreciative of the integrations with both Aperture and Lightroom, which has made uploading images straightforward and simple. I’ve also found Flickr to have a amicable community of users who provide encouragement and feedback on the work published to the site.

Unfortunately Flickr is owned by Yahoo — a company which, last week, was reported to have created an NSA backdoor to read every email on its system. This betrayal of their users was both so risky and egregious their Chief Information Security Officer resigned from the company after discovering this program had been implemented. Yahoo’s security team initially believed they’d been hacked.

People who rely on Yahoo as their email provider really should abandon the service.

This leaves me in a dilemma regarding my use of Flickr, which ties me to a Yahoo account. I don’t use Yahoo’s email system, and my uploads to Flickr are all Creative Commons 1, so I’ve not been spied upon. After all, I want my photos to be seen by the world.

But I’m also not certain I can continue to make use of a Yahoo service in good conscience. In bowing to an NSA directive which subjected everyone one of it’s users to a warrantless seizure of data, Yahoo betrayed the trust of those users. It doesn’t matter if the vast majority of users had “nothing to hide.” Directives like this reveal how the NSA and other security institutions show how they view the American populace little more than a potential threat, a reality I find chilling. Yahoo should have fought it with every legal means at their disposal. Instead, they implemented an internal security breach without letting their chief security officer even know about it. This was flat-out wrong.

So I’m seriously considering shuttering my Yahoo account, but am at a loss finding a service which could replace it. I’ve tried 500px, but found their Lightroom plugin to be frustrating and the community to be hostile to “hobbyists 2.” I’ve toyed a bit with Adobe’s Bēhance but, ironically, it lacks any integration with Lightroom at present 3. Other than those two services I’m at a loss for options, and suggestions would be most appreciated.

Here are my most look-ed for features:

  • Adobe Lightroom integration.
  • An iOS app.
  • The ability to set Creative Commons as a default license for all uploads.
  • The ability to easily search and filter for Creative Commons images.

At this point I don’t mind paying a reasonable amount for a service, but I’d like to stay away from Google because they gobble up enough of my data already 4.

Any suggestions?


  1. Because I rely on Creative Commons images for my preaching and other work, I feel a community obligation to release my photos with the same license. 
  2. They also have bad habit of playing fast and loose with their user’s photos. 
  3. They are supposedly working on a new plugin. 
  4. I’ve even moved away from gmail as my primary address. 
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