February 27 (2am PST) Update to all news about Google’s Blogger listed below: Google reverses porn ban on Blogger after backlash (VentureBeat) /end update
Until Monday, Google’s Blogger platform previously allowed “images or videos that contain nudity or sexual activity,” and stated that “Censoring this content is contrary to a service that bases itself on freedom of expression.”
That changed on a whim yesterday when Google ripped the rug out from under its previously-compliant grownup Blogger users, who were told they’d be disappeared if Google decided their blogs contain “sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video.”
Google says, “We’ll still allow nudity presented in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts, or presented where there are other substantial benefits to the public from not taking action on the content.”
Google’s new terms make sex for reproduction okay, but sex for pleasure totally not okay. Sound familiar, sex educators?
I wrote about it for ZDNet yesterday, and put all my Google sex censorship research into this article and timeline; it’s all over the news now. Google hasn’t commented, and this is a strategy which expects it all to just go away by saying nothing, and not acknowledging the problem. (Hey, it works for great companies like Snapchat.) I mean, we can all say things about Google and censorship, but now we have a very concrete, public and well-documented example of the company saying one thing and then doing exactly the opposite regarding content censorship and its platforms.
You know what’s really stupid here? I’d bet that if given the option, tens of thousands of people would pay Blogger for a premium account to avoid the hassle of packing everything up and moving out by March.
In the meantime, I know a lot of people who have been using Blogger – since 1999! – to post their lives, and everything that encompasses. If you’re (rightfully) worried about how Google’s automated system will most likely screw you without recourse the minute someone who doesn’t like women, or gays, or trans people, or BDSM, or sex for pleasure, or sexual expression in Western countries decides to report you… Here are a few solutions where writers, artists, LGBT people, and yes, the porny people can move to slightly safer free platforms or not-free but self-hosted solutions, with somewhat minimized headaches.
- You don’t need to hire movers or buy me beer (but I’ll drink it!) — pack it up for moving by following these easy steps.
- I don’t recommend moving to WordPress.com itself: It has a lot of stupid restrictions on “mature” content (including no affiliate links – so erotic writers, this is not an option if you plan to link to your books on Amazon). WordPress’s own rules feel like an afterthought from a system that doesn’t want to deal with communities it doesn’t really understand. Seriously, what idiot lumps child abuse with erotica in a terms sheet? Gross.
PS – hi to new TinyNibbles visitors thanks to AFP wire news!