Software Fail: Photo Tagging

I use Flickr as my primary image hosting. I like the Flickr UI, I like their tagging, I like pretty much everything about it. However, after years of using Flickr, I got sort of tired of always seeing “Photos of You (2)” on Facebook: The fact that there was some indication that there were no pictures of me always kinda peeved me for no sane/logical reason.

So, a couple years back, I wrote some software that let me copy photos from Flickr to Facebook. Over the years, I had been relatively consistent in tagging my photos with the names of people who were in them, so I was able to map tagged photos on Flickr to people tags on Facebook. There were some limitations to this, of course: flickr tags are whole-photo tags, while Facebook tags are a specific spot in an image. To get around this, I just tag the middle of the photo.

Generally speaking, this works relatively well — it’s certainly not perfect, but it works well enough that I haven’t run into serious problems… until last night, when I uploaded a few pictures of Alicia to Facebook.. and realized that because of how the pictures were taken, every picture was centered on her breasts. It’s a bit weird to visit your daughter’s Facebook profile and find that the person posting suggestive pictures of her on Facebook is… you.

I quickly retagged the photos, and now know to be more careful when uploading pictures of females — with an automated selection of tagging, it’s easy to have… unintended consequences when uploading pictures.

3 Responses to “Software Fail: Photo Tagging”

  1. John Cowan Says:

    I don’t think any of those are one bit suggestive, for what it’s worth.

  2. crschmidt Says:

    John: Oh, the images themselves aren’t — but when you tag someone on facebook, it crops that area and displays that. Which means that the picture on the top of her facebook wall was this one:

    And while it’s certainly reasonable in context, out of context, it was a bit jarring 🙂

  3. Kevin Reid Says:

    I’ve seen similar effects from when images are automatically cropped to change the aspect ratio (usually to square).