I’m an admin for a couple of groups on flickr. One small glasgow group recently had some photos added to the group that apparently one of the members didn’t like, because he sent me this email:
“Hi Gertie, Please have the Image of the two lads being intimate with each other removed from group and ask them, that if they wish to display that type of Image, they should start a new group dedicated to enable people to have a choice whither to join to view such Images. Rather than people being subjected to Images of that nature on a public group like [this one]. we have to remember that persons of an age ranging from child, teenager to young adult and beyond visit these public groups. I would also suggest that a group rule be introduced accordingly. I invite and look forward to your views/response.”
At this point I wasn’t 100% sure if he was objecting to the kissing, or the fact that it was two guys kissing. I sent the following reply:
I’m sorry that you are having an issue with one of the images in the group pool, however I don’t see anything objectionable and wouldn’t have a problem with my boss, a priest, my granny, or even a child seeing it. I am unwilling to censor or create rules of censor for this group. If you find that you cannot accept this decision, and wish to quit the group and perhaps start a new one, please know that while your participation here will be missed – you will have my full support. kind regards, Gertie”
I’d also thrown in an explanation of the ‘safe search filter’ that flickr has.
I got this as his reply, “Hi, Thanks for reply…..I guess I will just have to feel physically sick each time I see such an Image.”
A snarky reply was quick to the tongue, but I held it in check and decided to not engage with him further. Then, feeling pretty certain at this point that the man was a homophobe, all doubt was removed when he subsequently posted a photo to the pool of two zombies kissing. A hetero couple, mind you.
I know that people like him exist out there, but it stunned me to find out that someone I was associated with (even mildly through flickr) was one of those.