Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Google not making me happy

I got this email today from our friends at Google:

"Please be advised that we have recently received reports that inappropriate content has been posted to your Picasa Web Albums account. One or more photos displayed in your gallery violates our Program Policies and has been removed.

Our Policies state that images displayed on cannot contain obscenity, pornography, promotions of hate, incitement of violence, or spam, malicious code, or viruses. Please note that if you continue to violate these Program Policies, we may suspend your Picasa Web Albums account.

To read more about our Program Policies and Terms of Service, please visit

Thank you for your cooperation."

Of course, on the face of it, nothing I have posted even remotely comes under the heading of "obscenity, pornography, promotions of hate, incitement of violence, or spam, malicious code, or viruses". But as it turns out that doesn't matter. They have taken down pictures without telling me which ones they took down. And I fear I'll never get them back.

This is pretty dangerous for those of us who thought that Picasa could be our primary storage for images. Obviously, it can't. I really hope they didn't destroy any unique images I deleted from any hard drives.

I wrote to them using their hidden contact form. We'll see how that works:


I just got an email saying that one or more of my pictures has been removed because they violate the TOS.

I sincerely do not believe that ANY images I have on Picasa actually violate the TOS. They are neither obscene, pornographic, or hateful. This seems somewhat arbitrary and it's very upsetting to me.

Can I at least be told which images have been deleted?

I wish that instead of deleting the images they were simply made "unsearchable" or set to private.

Do I have any redress in the determination that my pictures violate the TOS? I appreciate any help you can give me in this matter.

Thank you for your time,


As far as I can tell, Picasa won't let you download your own pictures when they've decided they violate their TOS and the pictures are gone forever. We'll see. They immediately sent be back an automated form letter. I'm sure their actual response will be something on the order of a link to their TOS, as though that explains everything.

This is Claire Sommer's dog Kenny.

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