Flickr have, without warning, deleted the account of Gail Orenstein, one of the few genuinely interesting and unique individuals I have had the pleasure to bump into on there (oh yeah, and also the only person to have written me a Flickr testimony).
For those unfamiliar with Gail, she is a working photojournalist, who has covered conflicts around the world, but more recently has turned her attention to the sex industry in London. Her photos, usually of London sex workers, are invariably accompanied by headlines, plucked from global newspapers or websites, which at first seem to bear no relation to the image. However, the photos of semi-naked women draw the crowds in, and the headlines get them talking (usually) about current affairs. Gail’s photos are, with the exception of Shhexycorin, probably the hottest talking points on Flickr. Her 3,451 photos have had over 1 million visitors served, and she herself had 150 testimonials. 40 of her pictures had over 1,000 comments.
So last night, I got this email from Gail:
:: Flickr has taken me down
Flickr took me down in the middle of the night without warning and without ability to retreave my work.
Please alert others I have already restarted my site at:
We are going to rebuild very quickly.
Please spread the word and let other know
Please join this group on my coming back to life
Please check out Gail’s photos, join the group, and cast disapproving glances in the general direction of Flickr, for their daring to try to silence one of the heros of the Internet in such an underhand way.