The Wrong Kind of Fans

Hey everyone! I wanted to share a really excellent post by the Slapdash Sewist with you today. If you use Flickr for photo sharing, then keep reading! I never knew about activity feeds until yesterday, much less the danger of creepos saving my photos to their favourites folder. (Yes, there are people out there that use these tools for unsavory purposes. Gross, I know!)

Take a look at her tutorial on:

  • how to find and check your Flickr activity feed
  • how to spot the creeps,
  • and how to block them.

A must-read if you post photos of yourself on Flickr! Click here for the full post and her awesome step-by-step photo guides.

First off, I didn’t know there was an activity feed! It’s a great way to see comments on your photos, and see if anyone’s added you to their contacts. So my apologies if you’ve commented and I missed it! Sorry!

Second, EW. My photos were added to all kinds of gross collections! I’ll spare you the worst of it, but it appears that certain people ‘collect’ photos of girls, usually based on a theme. Skirt photos, back-view photos (to put it nicely), and much, much worse collections. It’s kind of like a train wreck! When you find a potential creepo and click their name, Flickr warns you that the person’s collection isn’t Safe, and yet I still clicked.

On a funny note – Flickr does realize it’s sent you somewhere disgusting! There’s an escape button that says “Seen enough? Take me to the kittens!” Which pulls up a ton of kitty photos, and you can rest your eyes on cute fluffy kittens after all that grossness.

But really, I’m a little frustrated! I worked on Sunday, trying to get caught up on things. It’s been really hectic, what with school, and the Crescent Skirt launch, and balancing the rest of life. The last thing I want to spend a morning on is protecting my photos from the creeps out there – and yet I had to! I ended up blocking 9 Flickr users, all with varying degrees of offensive material. Ew.
Overall, I really like Flickr. I like that I can post lots and lots of photos there. You’d be bored if I started posting 25 garment photos in each post. But this way, I can post them there if you did want to read more and see more of the details – back views, close-ups, and more. I like that you can comment directly on photos, and I like how you can search to find finished project photos of patterns I’m thinking of making. Oh, and I love that we have a Sewaholic Patterns Flickr Group! And it’s all free – or low-cost, if you do decide to subscribe.

One other tip to add to the Slapdash Sewist’s post: you can subscribe to your Flickr Activity Feed. At the bottom, there’s an option to subscribe by RSS (and add it to your Google Reader). For me, I like to have all of my updates in one place, so that’s what I did!

Take a look at where the black arrow is pointing in the photo below:

Now I’ll be able to spot and block the creeps sooner, without having to constantly check my Flickr account. I was really bothered to discover my sewing projects were being collected and stashed in creepy folders. So I had to tell you about it, in case you use Flickr too!

Take a minute and check out your activity feed. Read the Slapdash Sewist’s post. Let’s keep the creeps away from our sewing project photos!

Happy Monday, everyone! Don’t let a few gross individuals ruin your day.


26 Responses to The Wrong Kind of Fans

  1. Marie March 28, 2011 at 6:37 am #

    Gosh, some people are disturbingly creepy and it must have been quite unsettling to see your pictures being used in an un-savoury way! Great that there’s a way of preventing this though, thanks for sharing!

  2. Tasha March 28, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    I have definitely blocked creeps before on Flickr. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a group is innocent in how narrow the focus is or not. I’m going right over to read that post, I’m sure there’s more to learn.

    By the way I completely love that one of your tags for this post is ‘creeps’. Too funny!

  3. tia dia March 28, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    Hi, Tasia – I’ve noticed the creepies flagging some of my photos, too, and really appreciate your link to the tutorial for blocking them!

  4. Corinne March 28, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    Well there we have it, the wing-nuts are out there invading our sewing domain. Makes me sick. In my professional world, I have dealt with all kinds, but can’t say I ever met a turtleneck or fetishist with interlining proclivities. Where do we go from here? Protect your information and photos as instructed by those who know.

  5. Val March 28, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    Oh that IS creepy! I don’t use Flicker and just post directly to Blogger… But I do wonder if people are saving my pics for any reason…

  6. CGCouture March 28, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    This is why I never post pictures of our faces and try to keep the photos of my son to a minimum. I’ve always been a bit paranoid about this sort of thing, but it sucks to see that you were a victim of this kind of crap. :-( Good to know that you can block users though. I keep mine on Picasa in a private folder setup so that no one can see them unless I post them somewhere. You can also make it so that anyone who has the link can see them too. I’ll look in to see if there’s a way to track the people who save my pictures and such like there is for Flikr.

  7. alice March 28, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    i know it’s distressing and ick-inducing to have one’s likeness used in a unsavory way. but on the lighter side, if i may,

    i just check my flickr… the only garment photos i have up are my muslins and muslinettes of the colette negroni for my big barrel-chested burly bear of a boyfriend. (whose face i also cut out of pics, like cgcouture.)

    they’ve not been tagged by creepos yet.

    and after reading your post, i thought that there just might be a group for big bear men in ill-fitting garments. stranger things have happened.

  8. Amanda March 28, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    I have been wanting to write a post about this for awhile now after I discovered this myself!! Literally every sentence in this post struck a chord with me! I became part of a group of women’s legs (um, thanks for the creepy compliment, I guess…) and when I learned you can block creeps I started doing that. I was originally hesitant to post photos on Flickr because I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of having photos of me on the internet (with the idea creeps might be seeing them), but then I thought maybe I was overreacting. I agree, I do think it’s a great way to share inspiration, especially since pattern companies have groups (an easy way to see different versions of a particular pattern!).

    I thought of just posting my photos to BurdaStyle and the Sew Weekly Sewing Circle in the future (sewing specific sites) and maybe just posting my garments on my dress form to Flickr. You can set your photos to private so only people in groups you post to can see the photo (so if I posted the Pendrell blouse to the Sewaholic Patterns group, only members of that group can see it). Eek, creeps! I could go on and on about this subject.

    P.S. I also like the fact you tagged this post “creeps”! Let’s hope you don’t have to use that one in a post again! :)

  9. Amanda March 28, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    Oops, my comment was long. I guess I did write a “post” about this after all :)

  10. Emer March 28, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    The same thing happened to me on flickr. Some of my pictures were added to a group of unsavoury pictures. But worse was when someone added my daughters picture to a group. So I blocked all her photos to be only private. It was scary at the time to know creeps were looking at pictures of her.I actually stopped using flickr then. I must go and read that post now you linked to. Thanks.

  11. The Cupcake Goddess March 28, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    I have noticed that many of the creeps try to be my friend, but I didn’t know that they are hoarding my images in a folder of their own! Yuck. Am off to check out Slapdash and get my flickr straightened out. A big thank you for the heads up!


  12. Rachel March 28, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    I read her post too, and realised my photos had been added to yuck galleries. It made me feel really gross. I’m so glad I saw her post!!

  13. Cherrypix March 28, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    sigh…a(nother) downside of social networking.

    The same thing can happen on Facebook..even if you try to restrict access, if one of your friends doesn’t, ‘other people’ can access your posts and pictures. That was enough to make me close down my FB acct (I never was a big fan of it…and keep in touch with the friends I had on there in many other ways…)

    This whole issue makes my skin crawl…I appreciate the ‘heads up’ from you and The Slapdash Sewist.

  14. Caro March 28, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    Don’t want to be a downer but in reality, if you have any photos on the internet, anyone can save them to their hard drive or whatever by using by just a simple right-click and save. And for websites who disable right-click, you can use the “print screen” function to get screen captures. It’s super easy to use and not really much of a hassle. I do this often myself to get screen captures of hilarious things on the internet (such as hilarious MSN conversations with friends, etc).

    But by all means, any new information and tips for other less tech savvy people are always appreciated. Informing people is definitely a good thing. And I’m sure doing this does disaude some of the lazier creeps. However….it’s the internet. And the internet is basically the wild west, there’s no policing at all really. Sure there are some admins on certain bigger websites but in general, they’re pretty ineffectual. And there are some other really, really unsavoury parts of the internet that Flickr creeps in comparison are just the “wimps” of. The only way to be completely safe is to stay off the internet completely.

  15. Kristen March 29, 2011 at 2:03 am #

    I blocked 2 after reading the post you shared! Its really unsettling to know that people are invading (I guess since it’s public it isn’t really invading but it feels as such) and seeing images you’ve posted for crafting/blogging reasons but saving them for very unsavory reasons. Yuck. Thanks so much to you and to Slapdash Sewist.

  16. jadestar March 29, 2011 at 4:43 am #

    Yay! My sewaholic patterns have just arrived. So excited. :)

  17. Lisette March 29, 2011 at 6:18 am #

    Hm! The only flickr nasties I ever had were strange, Nordic cross-dressing men who liked my clothes. Probably harmless but I blocked them anyways. I must not have enough turtleneck photos! Lol.

  18. Peter March 30, 2011 at 5:33 am #

    Just to echo what Caro said, anybody can save a pic by taking a screen shot — it’s easy as pie. The only way to truly protect yourself is not to post the photo.

    We can NEVER really know what people are doing with our images — many of which may seem to us as innocuous as can be. Provided the image can’t be traced to our home or work address, I don’t really see the harm. I think as I guy I may feel less threatened by all this, but it’s a fact of life: the Internet is the Wild West. Where our images may end up is beyond our control.

  19. Casey March 30, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    ACK!!! I am so sorry you’ve had to deal with the creeps that lurk on places like Flickr. I’ve been fending them off and blocking such “delightful personalities” (and I say that with a large dose of sarcasm) for age (I think last count I had four pages of blocked users). It’s really quite disgusting, I agree. Though as many others have pointed out, it does come with the territory (in this case the internet and blogging). Unfortunately, I’ve had to deal with my fair share in the 7+ years I’ve been blogging!

    ‚ô• Casey

  20. Jen March 30, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Yuck, I don’t even LIKE thinking about this, and I’ve come across some of those creeps myself! Bleah! Of course, as a sewer, I do occasionally favourite photos of others’ dresses/DIY outfits, but only as inspiration or for tutorial purposes. It does come w/the territory, though.

    Thanks for the tips, will have to go read that post. Ew ew ew.

  21. Megan April 2, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    Well Tasia, the day you published this, I followed the advice and started tracking activity on my flickr page. Today, someone invited me to join a group with a name that I’m not even going to share. Ew! I totally blocked this person. Thanks for your advice!

  22. Tasia April 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    Thanks everyone for your comments, tales of creepies on your accounts, and cautionary tales. I know that by putting photos out on the internet, anyone can right-click and save my images, but that’s a chance I’m willing to take in order to share sewing knowledge! But when I can clearly see the photos being used for unsavoury purposes, I’ll do what I can to block them!
    I’m glad that this news was helpful to you guys – it’s more of an awareness thing than anything! It’s just a reminder to think about what we as a group share, what kinds of personal info and photos we put out there, and to remember not everyone is nice, but then not everyone is a creep. Food for thought, anyways!

  23. Ava Trimble April 7, 2011 at 2:39 am #

    I suppose I’m in the minority with this but I have to say…what’s the harm of a turtleneck fetish? Or a satin lining fetish? A little unusual, perhaps, but pretty harmless, I should think. Obviously, everyone should have the right to decide where and how images of them/their work appear. So block whoever you want from using your images in ways you’re not comfortable with – I support that 100%.

    But do all of these people favorite-ing images necessarily deserve all this contempt and revulsion?

    (and, yes, I just posted the same thing on the Slapdash Sewist post linked to here….the comment threads read similarly…)

  24. Tasia April 10, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    @Ava Trimble: Hi Ava! I know exactly what you mean – what’s the harm in collecting turtleneck photos? Unfortunately, when I clicked on some of the people that had collected my photos, there were a lot more graphic photos in their collections. I didn’t feel comfortable having photos of my legs in a collection along with explicit, graphic photos! How can I type this that won’t attract spam comments.. what I mean is, if their collection is full of nudity, then I don’t feel like I want my body parts included in their albums. Not everyone deserves contempt, you’re right! But the things I saw were really graphic, and quite beyond the average fan of turtlenecks. I hope this clarifies what I mean! I’m not condemning everyone out there, just the ones that are obviously using it for questionable purposes.

  25. Tasia April 10, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    @Ava Trimble: Trena said it much better than I did – it’s using our images without consent, with the purpose of making us feel uncomfortable, that’s the problem! I’ve seen girls collect my dress pictures and add to their favourite pretty dress photos, that’s totally harmless! Even if someone wanted to sew turtlenecks and was saving them for inspiration. Nothing wrong with that – just when it’s intentional creepery does it cross the line.


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