As an active Flickr member I am always dismayed when I come across an account belonging to what I call a collector. This is someone who has created a free account, not added a custom icon or profile details and has posted no photographs. They simply collect huge numbers of favourites, usually of a narrow set of subject matter, often of the eye candy variety.
This morning such a person added some of my photographs of female surfers to their favourites. I found that this person has almost 8,000 favourites but that gathering favourites is their only activity on Flickr. As someone whose images have been targeted by this person I am curious as to what the purpose of the collection is. In the case of this person, the favourites are largely photographs containing women wearing tight clothing. Among the targets are surfers, triathletes, women swimming with dolphins and women dressed as superheroes. It almost conjures up visions of some socially inadequate guy living in his Mom’s basement, sitting in front of his computer wearing women’s underwear and a leather mask; frantically rubbing himself while scrolling through his thousands of favourites, deriving sexual pleasure from images that are not sexy at all to the average person. Freaky!
As Flickr is a photo sharing site, I am certainly not in favour of these collectors and tend to ban them when I find them targeting my images. This doesn’t mean I ban everyone with favourites but no images of their own. If someone has a varied, and reasonably small collection of favourites, that’s fine. It’s the creepy ones with the huge, narrow and vaguely fetishy collections that I object to.