to find essentially my entire Flickr album obliterated. It deleted everything, and had maybe been slowly adding them back
To test my understanding: You mean the album at flickr.com has been emptied, right? But in LR, the corresponding published collection under the Flickr Publish Service is still completely intact? Did you double-check all your albums at flickr.com to see if the old version is still there?
The comments on the old photos should still be available in your LR catalog. If a photo ever received comments on flickr.com, they are available via the Comments panel in the right column of the Library when you select the published photo in the published collection. Unfortunately (and unbelievably) there is no way to search in LR for photos with comments from publish services.
Note that this problem may just as likely have been caused by issues with the Flickr service itself rather than LR. In the last year or so particular, Flickr has been very unstable, especially as accessed from third-party applications via its APIs.
Thanks for the reply. Yes, the album on Flickr.com has been emptied. I actually haven't fired Lightroom back up in case some recovery process required the crash state be intact. If it's safe, I'll open it back up and see what Lightroom thinks the album/publish status may be.
I'd be kind of surprised if it was on Flickr's end considering it coincided directly with a publish event, but perhaps. I'll contact Flickr as well to see what, if anything, they can find out about what happened and if it can be reversed.
Once you're on the CC plan, is it possible to go back to old versions of the software? Even if this gets resolved, I still have a copy of Lightroom that locks up when switching modules, browsing the library in Grid view, and publishing (I Hard Drive, and Flickr publish services, both affected). I've been using Lightroom since V4 and have never had so many issues as in 2015.2.x. I even went through setting preferences back to default and deleting/reinstalling the app without success.
I'd be kind of surprised if it was on Flickr's end considering it coincided directly with a publish event
If there is a bug in the server API that third-party applications like LR invoke, then it is entirely possible that the Flickr server deleted the photos in response to LR publishing a collection. It's also entirely possible that there is a bug in LR's Flickr plugin -- but to date I've only seen one verified report of such a bug in CC 2015.2.1, where LR uploads keywords incorrectly.
Once you're on the CC plan, is it possible to go back to old versions of the software?
Yes. Many, many people have reverted back to CC 2015.1.1, the last stable release. Even Adobe recommends that. See these instructions: How do I roll back to Lightroom 2015.1.1 or Lightroom 6.1.1? CC 2015.3 is rumored to be coming soon, but recommend waiting for a few weeks before updating -- let others do the beta testing.
Thanks. I have an email in with Flickr to see what, if anything, can be done on their end. Tonight I'll fire up Lightroom to see what it thinks the status of the publish is and decide how to proceed from there. Most likely that will result in a downgrade to 2015.1.1 (thanks for the link) unless it seems like Lightroom is in the process of fixing the mess it made/triggered Flickr to make.
Tonight I'll fire up Lightroom
That will be safe -- LR won't make any more changes to Flickr until you hit Publish again.
unless it seems like Lightroom is in the process of fixing the mess
If you hit Publish again, LR may re-upload all the photos that got deleted from Flickr.com. But I'm pretty sure it won't upload the comments (and certainly not the likes, since it doesn't download those).