Nobody likes spam. We’ve heard it loud and clear from our Flickr community—and we feel exactly the same way. It’s an unfortunate reality in modern times online, and it can be particularly challenging when you have a free website like Flickr. Still, we’ve been fighting spam for some time now. And thanks to our recent acquisition by SmugMug, we have new resources that are helping us take stronger action and make significant progress on this front.
Turning things around.
Right after we joined SmugMug, our new CEO introduced us to a helpful new partner called Sift—a company that’s uniquely equipped to track spam-like behavior. We’ve been working together for months now, complementing our team’s personal reviews of suspicious activity with Sift’s 24/7 machine learning to identify and stop activities that aren’t appropriate for our community. Our system is getting smarter over time and allowing us to not only take action against aggressive spammers, but also to clean up our search results by deleting accounts that violate our community guidelines.
We’ve thwarted several major spam attacks in the past few weeks alone, but we know that spammers are relentless, so we’ll continue working at this as their techniques evolve. Spam is a problem that may never be completely solved, but we’re confident you’ll be seeing far less spam on Flickr in the coming months.
More ways we protect our members.
Spam prevention is just one of the ways we keep you safe online. We’ve also partnered with cybersecurity company HackerOne to allow security researchers to constantly test the strength of Flickr’s defense systems. When they do discover a weakness, they tell us right away so we can address the issue. We then pay generous bounties to these researchers for helping us keep Flickr shipshape.
Keeping our focus on photography.
Flickr has always been a vibrant, photographer-focused community. And we want it to always be a safe place for our members to share and appreciate images they love. Flickr is not a place for people who have nothing to do with photography to sell things or otherwise influence our members. Our goal with all of the efforts described above is to create the best experience possible for you on Flickr.
Your help can make all the difference.
Our supportive community has been great at reporting spam and other abuses of the Flickr site. We know that our new partnerships and tools will make a big difference on this front as well. At the same time, if you happen to see members or content that feel wrong for the Flickr community, click on the Report Abuse link at the bottom of any page to report it immediately. Our Trust and Safety department will investigate and take action right away.
As always, thanks for all you do to make Flickr great. Ideas or suggestions? Share them here.