It is not the purpose of this post to refute the MAIN subject of the article which is linked at the bottom of this post. The main point is a valid issue. The purpose of this post is to demonstrate a lack of sufficient restraint in the reporting of the issue.
Flickr has only been purchased a few times. In 2005, it was purchased by Yahoo! In 2017, Verizon purchased Yahoo! and thus Flickr and less than a year later SmugMug purchased Flickr.
By my count that is THREE times. Personally, I don't consider Oath to have been a separate acquisition but simply an establishment of a new adminsitration. If anyone can come up with more examples, please mention it in a comment below. A quotation from an NYT article:
Flickr, which was bought and sold by many companies over the years and
is now owned by the photo-sharing service SmugMug, allowed users to
share their photos under what is called a Creative Commons license.
This is one example of how this article "oversells" its message.
Another example in the article is by reading the sixth and seventh paragraphs without reading the rest of the article. In the sixth paragraph the phrase "used without their consent" occurs at the end of the paragraph. Then the next paragraph tells us about Brett Gaylor.
BUT, Mr. Gaylor gave his permission for his photographs to be used!
Near the bottom of the article, we read:
Mr. Gaylor is particularly disturbed by what he has discovered through
the tool because he once believed that the free flow of information on
the internet was mostly a positive thing. He used Flickr because it gave
others the right to use his photos through the Creative Commons
Both Public Domain and Creative Commons are available to be used. Although some CC licenses are more restrictive than others, if someone allows their photos to be used under a CC license, those pictures will eventually be used in a way which is out of the control of the photographer.
If you are an ardent Democrat and you release a photo under a CC license, don't be surprised if an ardent Republican makes use of your photograph.
Is facial recognition a troubling issue? Yes, it is. Was it going to be developed eventually, anyway? Probably.
For a very long time, I have felt that certain news outlets try to promote certain issues while maintaining a facade of neutrality. The NYT has behaved like this for decades.