Friday, February 27, 2015

Blogger Reverses Ban On Graphic Nudity After Backlash

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My heart skipped a bit when I read from a link at the top of my Blogger homepage that my account may be flout new Google Blogger content policies on nudity and sexually explicit material. In discussing with Atala, I said that it appeared that Google was extending the limits on Blogger about what they think acceptable freedom of speech and expression on their platform.

With the ban, bloggers would have stopped having the freedom to "publicly share images and video that are sexually explicit or show graphic nudity." The ban was to have taken place on March 23. Read the message below

This blog is general content and I try not to post graphic images or sexually explicit material, but I wondered if some of my more sexy posts about Maheeda's antics or Kim Kardashian or Amber Rose's backside may have put me in trouble with the more conservative policy. I imagined that I would need to go to self-hosting and I didn't really like the idea. But after backlash, Google and Blogger have reversed the ban.

Instead, Google said that the company would simply double down on its crackdown of bloggers who use their sites to sell porn.

Jessica Pelegio, Google's social product support manager, wrote in a post on Google product forums;

"This week, we announced a change to Blogger’s porn policy. We’ve had a ton of feedback, in particular about the introduction of a retroactive change (some people have had accounts for 10+ years), but also about the negative impact on individuals who post sexually explicit content to express their identities. So rather than implement this change, we’ve decided to step up enforcement around our existing policy prohibiting commercial porn.

Blog owners should continue to mark any blogs containing sexually explicit content as “adult” so that they can be placed behind an “adult content” warning page.

Bloggers whose content is consistent with this and other policies do not need to make any changes to their blogs.

Thank you for your continued feedback."

In July, Google stopped porn from appearing in its online ads that appear on Blogger. And in 2013, Google decided to remove blogs from its Blogger network that contained advertisements for online porn sites.

Blogger already restricts those blogs with content that might be considered "adult" or sexual in nature, by putting an age appropriate content warning in front of such blogs. The warning " that you are about to view may contain content only suitable for adults..." pops up as an interstitial and requires agreement that you're old enough before you can continue.

Such sites have loads of limitations on the kinds of monetization that is allowed. That will sure not work for me. Very glad for reversal of the policy, I can relax now.

Or do you think I should self censor more?

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