Flickr has been the subject of heavy criticism for its past policy of deleting accounts with no way to undo its action if it turns out to be a mistake. This issue reached a boiling point earlier this year when Mirco Wilhelm’s account was “accidentally deleted” due to a mix up by a Flickr staffer.
After repeated demands for a better system, Flickr has finally relented and “instituted a 90 day delay in deleting the content, including the photos, metadata, comments, and all the bits of an account, after it’s deleted.” (Flickr blog)
Flickr’s official FAQ notes the following new policy with regard to deleted accounts:
When an account is deleted, the content including the photos, metadata, comments, and everything else will stay on the servers for 90 days, but is no longer publicly accessible. After that period, we erase it from our servers, ensuring a clean wipe of your information. If an account is reactivated within 90 days of deletion, the content will still be in the account when it is restored.
If you deleted your account yourself you can write in and, if we can verify you as the account owner, we can restore the account. If it has been less than 90 days, the content of the account will also be restored.
If your account is deleted/inactive but you didn’t delete it, it’s likely that it was deleted for violating the Flickr Community Guidelines and/or Yahoo! Terms of Service. Accounts in violation of the Community Guidelines will not be reactivated. Before deleting an account we review the content and activity against the Community Guidelines and delete only when that is the appropriate action according to our policies. However, if you believe that your account was deleted in error you can write to us using Help by Email.