With the news of Microsoft possibly buying Yahoo! spreading around the internet, I've been hearing doom-and-gloom from people pretty consistently regarding their Flickr accounts. Left and right I see people lamenting that they'd JUST paid for another year, but now wish they hadn't because Microsoft is going to ruin Flickr.
To long-time Flickrers, this is nothing new. Yahoo! "ruined" Flickr a couple years ago, yet it is still going strong. I'm not sure how many of the complainers are pre-Yahoo! users, but their argument is pretty flimsy. "Oh no! A big evil company is buying the photo site I love from... another big evil company?" If you're fine with using a cool little photo site that's been co-opted by Yahoo! to make as much money off it as possible (by doing sleazy things like using its users's's photos in advertisements without asking), then you really have no reason to worry if some other company then wants to start making money off your stuff instead.
Look, I'm as anti-Microsoft as the next guy (OK, probably a lot more), but do I think they're going "ruin" Flickr more than Yahoo! already did? No way. So quit yer bitchin'. Chances are you already use Google Mail, Google Maps, Google IM, Google Documents, Google Analytics and Google Prostate Check and fully intend to buy a Google Phone as soon as they come out, so why all the worry about Microsoft getting into the mix? If Google bought Flickr the entire blogosphere would cave in upon itself under the strain of a bajillion bloggers rejoicing in unity, sending waves of trackbacks back and forth, obliterating Technorati's servers.
I've been a long-time flickr user, having signed up and paid for a pro account way back in the day, staying relatively happy most of this time. Now, though, I seem to be unable to access my account due to some malicious behavior on the part of one or more of your users.
It seems as if some jerk has hacked your site, and is currently engaging in some sort of "phishing" activity, because the site now requires me to give my personal information to them before I can access my account -- or any other flickr page, for that matter. Even pictures submitted by my friends and contacts cannot be viewed until I submit my personal information to them. They're going by the vaguely-insulting moniker "Yahoo!," which I can only assume means "Yahoo! All these people are giving me their personal information... muhaha. Now I'll pet my overly-furry white cat."
I figured that this is surely something you'd want to know about so you can take steps to ensure that this "Yahoo!" guy doesn't keep persisting with this identity-theft ruse. I'm not giving my information to "Yahoo!," so anything you can do would be appreciated.
Also: I was bothered enough by your seemingly lacking security (if someone can hack it so that everything a user does would require submitting information to a dubiously sketchy individual, it's sure not making me feel confident that my information is secure) that I was tempted to delete my account. Oddly, I discovered that in order to do so, I'd have to give my info to "Yahoo!" first.
Let me repeat that. I'm upset that I don't want to give this "Yahoo!" guy my info, so I decided to delete my account, but to do that, I have to give my info to "Yahoo!" first??!
This is just too much.
Oh, also: I could no longer find any kind of contact info on your site, so I just sorta guessed at an email address that seemed plausible. Just to be safe, I've posted this letter on my fairly popular blog so that you might find it in your referral logs in the event that it gets lost on its way to you.