Flickr Photo Pools: Hacked or Just Gone Mad?!

Something is wrong when ball sack replaces rail track

a new kind of foamer
That’s foaming all right
a new kind of foamer
A better breakfast than babes?
a new kind of foamer
Helmets don’t help choking
a new kind of foamer

Nice legs, but not mine
This morning I was looking to add a post to Metroblogging DC, the hyper-local view of Washington DC that I love. But when I went to my DC Metroblogger Flickr account to find the transit foamer image I wanted, my web wanderings took an unexpected turn.

When I clicked on my Transit Foamer photo pool, where I have images of public transport options worldwide, I found a whole different kind of foamer staring back at me. Shocked, I refreshed the page, thinking it was a temporary error, but the new “foamer” was still there.

To my relief, when I clicked through, it was my original photo, but back at the photo pool page, the foamer only shifted locations.

Wondering if this was just an isolated glitch, I looked at my other pools, and the beauty of Computex Sales Girls was replaced by a two-egg breakfast. Tasty, for sure, but not like an Asian booth babe matrix.

Quickly, I scanned my other Flikr Photo Pools, and yes, errors there too, like WMATA images replaced by random girls and fruit and San Francisco photos invaded by Tibetan monks and a woman’s legs. Annoying, but at least not as shocking as a man’s package in panties.

I clicked through on each corrupted image, just to check, and the original photo was there. Somehow, when displaying photo pools, Flickr is mixing up others photographs with my images. Kinda like your peanut butter in my chocolate, but in this case, without the edible result.

So is this a harmless Flickr glitch, to be resolved by lunchtime, or a serious hacker intrusion lasting to sundown? No matter which, who’s lewd photographs are corrupting my Flickr pools?

I don’t know, but I sure don’t like seeing ball sack instead of rail track!

Update: Here is Flickr’s official explanation:

Tonight’s problem was a result a few of the photocaches going berzerk and instead of returning the correct image file when a particular photo was being requested, it just returning some random image that happened to be in the cache. […]

We want everyone to understand that there are no permanent problems with any data, we have not been “hacked” and you don’t need to do anything in order to have your photos return to normal. In particular, you do NOT need to delete, replace or reupload any photos.

Whew! It’s a relief to know people can again safely enjoy way more Wayan on Flickr with only my crazy antics to shock them.