Flickr founder Stewart Butterfield
Sheperd Johnson is a Flickr user that 1,200 uploaded graphic images of Guantanamo Bay prisoners as comments on the White House Flickr photo stream. Yahoo! Flickr quickly removed the images and told Johnson that his images were gone forever. They offered him $25 as compensation and blocked all of his messages. Flickr founder Stewart Butterfield even called Johnson “a dick” for doing what he did.
Yahoo! VP of Customer Service Heather Champ told Johnson that his photos were deleted because he was considered a “spammer” for putting all the images as comments. Johnson’s account was also deleted without a warning. Champ also told Johnson that his images were way too graphic.
Johnson was doing this as a way to get attention over President Barack Obama’s support for a controversial bill that suppresses government torture pictures. To compensate for the lost images, Champ offered Johnson a Flickr Pro account and a $25 gift card.
“She tried to shower me with platitudes like ‘Oh I know you are passionate about this issue,'” stated Johnson in an interview with Valleywag. After dealing with Johnson, Champ uploaded a picture that indicated her day wasn’t going well. Johnson commented on that picture stating “this is like watching a slow train wreck.” Champ blocked him.
Johnson then decided to contact Flickr founder Stewart Butterfield, who had left Yahoo! last year. After the jump is an e-mail conversation between Johnson and Butterfield. The e-mail from Butterfield calls Johnson “a dick” among other things.