Google Suddenly Realizes That Maybe It Doesn't Need To Ban Adult Content On Blogger

from the oh-look,-we-have-policies dept

Earlier this week, we wrote about a really dumb move by Google to effectively kick out all of the bloggers who use its blogger platform to post "adult" content -- either text or images. Google gave such bloggers just 30 days to find a new home before it would make all their blogs private. It insisted that, going forward, the content police at Google would determine what photographs were "artistic" and allowed, and which were "dirty" and not allowed. As we noted, this move seemed particularly tone deaf and problematic, and could lead to other problems for Google. And a lot of other people agreed.

And... just like that, Google appears to have reversed course. Over in its product forums, someone from the Blogger Team announced that they had realized they already had policies they could enforce and didn't need to implement these new rules:
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.
So, kudos to Google for at least hearing the feedback and rolling back the change -- though it's still unfortunate that it even had to come to that in the first place. It seems likely that many of those bloggers may go looking for alternate hosting anyway.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: adult content, blogger, policies
Companies: google


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread


  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 10:14am

    Boobs

    Somebody looked at the (ahem) 'revenue' they'd be leaving behind and reconsidered. Victory for the boobs!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gracey (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 2:03pm

      Re: Boobs

      They don't get any revenue from adult content because Adsense is their revenue, and it doesn't accept adult content.

      Blogger doesn't make revenue from any other advertising that's displayed on blogger. Google makes a share of the AdSense advertising.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Angel (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 11:46am

    Well at least they realized it before it was too late.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 11:50am

    Legal again..

    Someone from Legal probably ran through the building screeching how they'd be on the hook for billions for hosting porn, and it took a week for cooler heads to prevail.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 11:59am

    Prudes..

    Marking all content that has any nudity as 'porn' is pretty idiotic and shortsighted. Most especially if you consider that there are those with art history blogs that feature nude art from famous renaissance painters and things of that nature.

    I'm glad they finally came to their senses - this time...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      PRMan, 27 Feb 2015 @ 12:25pm

      Re: Prudes..

      Artistic nudes were already exempt. Especially those that are historical and not likely to be confused.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 5:11pm

        Re: Re: Prudes..

        Well yes, but if some sexually insecure group reports your blog then I would 'imagine' that said blog would be converted to private. And if they're using detection software, well...It just makes matters even more convoluted.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Vidiot (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 12:14pm

    Sounds familiar

    Hmm... realized they already had appropriate rules in place, and didn't need to create new rules.

    Lawmakers, take note. Once again, private enterprise modeling better, more efficient ways to run things.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 12:43pm

    It would have been hilarious if they hadn't backpedaled.
    Imagine what the future books would be about.
    "Google's Downfall Due To Adult Content Removal"

    All the adults would have taken their pr0nz elsewhere.

    Kind of like the people who say children shouldn't use adult language, then when the child is an adult, the language is called juvenile.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 2:37pm

    People should move anyway

    Although it's good that Google backpedaled, that doesn't change the fact that Google has shown (yet again) their willingness to make arbitrary, apparently offhand, decisions that harm people foolish enough to rely on Google services.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    That One Guy, 27 Feb 2015 @ 2:40pm

    Yeah... they realized that half the creator community and 70% of the user community would have deserted them in a heated heartbeat.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Reggie, 27 Feb 2015 @ 4:49pm

    Here's what goog figure out

    A lot of the anti-pr0n heat is coming from feminists. The "feedback" counted and analyzed, they concluded that there are more men and their supporters who like porn than there are feminazis who want the exclusive monopoly on human sexuality.

    that is all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 2:04pm

      Feminists?

      Not the feminists with whom I hang out.

      Sure, old school (circa '70s women's libber) feminists did object to porn on the grounds that it might cause guys to objectify women, but that was a moral panic. Currently the issue is that porn stars and porn sex is too homogenous, which is being changed in some markets. More reasonable feminists may object to specific issues about porn, but are okay with the concept of depicting sexuality on media and are often consumers of porn, themselves.

      And granted, some extremists versions of feminism (mind you there's a wide gamut) may hate porn just because. But the conservative religious sector has been raging against porn (and all things prurient or regarding human sexuality) for far longer with greater numbers behind them.

      So...not really.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 8:02pm

    .... So because it's only targeting people trying to make money off of erotic material... it's now okay?

    No.

    No it is not.

    Is it against policies to commercialize violent games, movies, stories, pictures and so on as well?

    I somehow doubt it (not that it would make it acceptable to me to ban such things anyway).

    Sexuality is not something to be repressed, stashed away and made taboo, nor should people helping others embrace theirs be punished or discriminated against.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 5:49am

    Sexuality is not something to be repressed, stashed away and made taboo

    Yes, yes it should! Sex is gross! Sex causes rape! Sex is anti-god! No one should ever have sex, including my parents!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    blogagog (profile), 1 Mar 2015 @ 7:24am

    So if I'm reading this correctly, there is porn on blogspot.com? That's fantastic news. Porn is so difficult to find on the web.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
.

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.