February 25, 2015

Censorship - A Follow-Up

It was just after noon on Monday (just two days ago) that we received the notification from the blogger group at Google announcing their new policy regarding the display of adult photos and videos, specifically "no longer allow blogs that contain sexually  explicit or graphic nude images or video"  Our post in response to their announcement contains the full text of their new policy.

Yesterday I spent some time on the blogger forum and found a flood of inquiries regarding this issue. Its obvious that their announcement stuck a nerve in many of us who post adult material.  Unfortunately there is very little specific answers to the questions posted.  Most importantly, the issue of what constitutes 'sexually explicit or graphic nude images'.  And who gets to make the decisions.  Instead, replies from the blogger representatives like, "Worry about what happens, when it happens.  The fact is, nobody know what will happen - because you have one month, to clean up your act.  And nobody knows what will happen, during that month." and "All of these blog owners have different questions - and not all of them have been answered, yet."

Perhaps the level of frustration was coming out from one of the reps when trying to answer what was the meaning of the terms as addressed in the new policy and the FAQ's came out with the following reply: "Unfortunately, too many people object to the FAQ, as "vague and useless", among other less objective terms.  Unfortunately, it's what we have to work with."

In many ways I felt sorry for the reps trying to answer questions beyond the resources available to them.  Obviously they were left with nothing but chaos and whomever made these policies did not provide them with details of how it was intended to be applied.  Indeed, "Unfortunately, it's what we have to work with"!!!???

I submitted my own question on the forum.  Hoping to elicit a real answer I held back my frustration and submitted a question with a positive attitude.

me  Level 1 (Spankedbywife)
Feb 24
Today is the fifth anniversary of our blog, SpankedbymyLady.blogspot.com.  We have been hosting a blog that encourages people to adopt a Female Led Relationship (FLR) lifestyle.  We don't consider our content (all generated by us) to be graphic in nature however we do post photos of my wife spanking my bare bottom.  No genitals are displayed in these photos.
Your new policy does not well define, "sexually explicit or graphic nude images".  Also your new policy indicates that you'll still allow nudity presented in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts, or   where there are other substantial benefits to the public.
Which is it?  We like to think that our blog fits into some of the exception categories.
We have enjoyed five years of you providing a wonderful tool for us to use and all for free.  However, if we would be in violation of your new policy, its likely that we would go elsewhere.

Apparently it worked as later that evening I received the following reply:

B. YeeExpert - Google Products10 Best Answers
Feb 24 (12 hours ago)
Hi Ken,
Thanks for taking the time to post here. Just to let you know, while I'm not sure about your specific case the general guidelines are here: Blogger Content Policy
I'll also mention Blogger content policy change - porn is going away which is where we'll be posting updates/answers about common questions that users like you have.
From the information that you provided (I have not visited your blog), as long as you maintain the adult interstitial you probably can continue without needing to set your blog to private.  This is not a guarantee that the Blogger Team will take no action concerning your blog.
If you do decide to move to another platform we respect your decision and hope that you'll continue to freely express yourself.
Hope this helps you understand more, and sorry I can't offer more clarification.

(Note that the Bold Blue were hyperlinks in the forum reply but don't work here).

So I did receive a reply but it really didn't answer my questions.  The good news is that he did indicated that we can PROBABLY continue without being set to private.  However, later in the reply, he mentioned that "this is not a guarantee that the Blogger Team will take no action concerning your blog."

So at this time we plan to continue with our blog.  My bare bottom and all.  I guess that bare bottoms are not as bad as other parts of the anatomy.  After all mainstream TV sometimes shows the bare bottoms of babies.  Is my bottom that much different.  Well maybe a few pounds and that red color.

However just to have alternatives, we have secured 'WWW.SpankedbymyLady.Com'.  So we will be prepared to set up a website there and continue.  Or we could rely on Tumblr to post our more 'offensive' photos.  At this time it appears that almost anything goes there, but its still under control of someone else.

I've seen this issue pop up in several places including Hermione's Heart blog and a topic on FetLife.  I would invite any other bloggers to chime in.  Also the blogger forum is located here:

Watch this space!

We now return this blog to its regularly scheduled program!


Ethan James said...

Hum that's not very reassuring but i'm encouraged that they are taking heat for this. Google occupies a rather expansive position on the web and as such has great responsibility when it comes to upholding freedom of speech and expression. This decision effectively stomps all over that and represents a huge reversal of their previously stated position on such issues. For adult orientated bloggers it's a huge betrayal and sets a dangerous precedent. Google has destroyed a massive amount of trust and goodwill.

Susan said...

Thank you for doing all the research you have done on this issue. I have also received the notice from Blogger that my blog is at risk.

I am assuming that this policy will take effect as planned. If it does we will all be isolated. Do you have any thoughts or information about other hosts we could use? I have thought about WordPress, but have not researched it.

How do we all regroup on a different host.