Tuesday, 24 February 2015


Unless you've been hiding under a rock this morning (or don't follow certain people on Twitter, which I'm fairly sure amounts to exactly the same thing), you may have noticed that Blogger are updating their terms of service and are banning certain adult content for public blogs.

Private blogs are excepted, but it's still a form of censorship, in a way.

Some bloggers have received a missive in some form or another, but I haven't gotten one. Still, I looked up the policy and it reads thus:

Starting March 23, 2015, you won't be able to publicly share images and video that are sexually explicit or show graphic nudity on Blogger.

Which sounds awful. There are a number of bloggers out there who use Blogger and, if they want to continue, they'll need to export everything into an XML and transfer over to another service, like WordPress, which I'm sure is perfectly possible. There was a certain amount of hysteria last year on the assumption that WordPress itself was ritualistically deleting adult blogs - which it wasn't; it has an issue with certain affiliate links, though, which also sucks - but I do credit bloggers with the requisite nous to be able to host their writing somewhere safe.

Still, I do support - and will continue to support - bloggers, wherever and however they host their stuff, because it's there to be read, right? I mean, that's what a blog's for... right...?

This brought up the question of what happens to my blog. I've been downloading XMLs of my blog every month since 2012, so that if something does go wrong, I have a backup and will be able to somehow get my writing somewhere. However, having read the new Blogger policy carefully, I'm noticing this carefully-worded bit of prose:

In the coming weeks, we'll no longer allow blogs that contain sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video. We'll still allow nudity presented in artistic, educational, documentary or scientific contexts, or where there are other substantial benefits to the public from not taking action on the content.

There's very little actual nudity on this blog; the most explicit thing you'll get is the occasional snapshot from soft porn and that is for illustrative purposes (which I think falls under the banner of 'artistic'), never mind not actually ever showing any genitalia (that's part of the soft porn regulations to get an 18 certificate, in any case). Words haven't been mentioned at all, and although my writing can be explicit, I don't think I've ever set out to be genuinely offensive.

Blogger haven't actually defined what they (and/or Google) define as 'sexually explicit or graphic' imagery, which is more of a cause for concern, as it's easy for a censor to suddenly turn around and say "well, that's a nude breast, that's clearly graphic; take your blog down, boy!". But, since there isn't really anything on this blog that you won't find on television (sans digital), I am assuming that it will continue to stay where it is.

But I'll keep an eye on events as they unfold...

...if they unfold!

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