Censorship of Blogger makes it clear Google is clearly no longer a champion of Internet freedom

In its corporate infancy, Google was known as a champion of both Internet freedoms and individual expression, but it looks like cold, hard cash is more important to those who run Google today than abstractions like an individual’s right to express himself/herself freely regardless of whether it offends the narrow-minded keepers of personal correctness.

Google Inc Bans Porn On Blogger

Google announced on Monday, February 20th that users of its Blogger platform must remove all graphic images and videos or face having their blog blocked from public view, even if the blog is already clearly marked as adult content.

Before this new policy, Google allowed adult content on Blogger as long as the blog is clearly marked as such, and the content can’t be viewed unless you click “yes” on an “adult content” pop-up warning

Analysts note there are literally millions of Google blogs, with topics ranging from auto repair to makeup tips to alternative lifestyles or erotica.

Details on the change in Google policy

According to today’s announcement, as of March 23rd, “you won’t be able to publicly share images and video that are sexually explicit or show graphic nudity on Blogger.”

Existing blogs with explicit images won’t be deleted, but will be permanently set to “private”, meaning the blog can only be viewed by the owners or if you’ve been specifically invited. New blogs with explicit images could be completely taken down.

The new policy does make an exception for content that “offers a substantial public benefit, for example in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts”.

Comment from Internet Archive

Jason Scott of the Internet Archive notes that his organization will attempt to preserve as many blogs as it can, but says it will be tough given that Google doesn’t announce in advance what blogs it is planning to take down..

“It is entirely possible Google will censor/disconnect websites over a decade old because of an arbitrary policy change. Guess we’re grabbing,” Scott tweeted Tuesday. “So archive team and other entities can’t know what Google is disappearing,except when it disappears. What a ridiculous approach. What shame.”

He closed with: “So, Google – what are the community standards for nudity in Blogger now? California? Tennessee? Finland? ISIS?”