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Google Puts a Ban on Adult Content

Blogger is an open blogging platform, originally developed in 1999 by Pyra Labs. The service was then purchased by Google in 2003 where it truly started making its rounds amoung the internet. In 2006, blogs associated with Google Accounts were then migrated to Google servers. This particular  service is a very popular platform for Adult content of all types, including video games, hentai, artwork, comics, and pornography.

However on the 23rd February 2015 Google updated their Blogger Adult Content policy to ban the sharing of images and video that are sexually explicit in nature. The full wording of the new policy is shown below. This policy update take affect from 23rd March 2015.

The adult content policy on Blogger is as follows:

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.

Note: We’ll still allow nudity if the content offers a substantial public benefit, for example in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts.

Changes you’ll see to your existing blogs

If your existing blog doesn’t have any sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video on it, you won’t notice any changes.

If your existing blog does have sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video, your blog will be made private after March 23, 2015. No content will be deleted, but private content can only be seen by the owner or admins of the blog and the people who the owner has shared the blog with.

Settings you can update for existing blogs

If your blog was created before March 23, 2015, and contains content that violates our new policy, you have a few options for changing your blog before the new policy starts:

Remove sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video from your blog

Mark your blog as private

If you’d rather take your blog down altogether, you can export your blog as a .xml file or archive your blog’s text and images using Google Takeout.

Effect on new blogs

For any blogs created after March 23, 2015, we may remove the blog or take other action if it includes content that is sexually explicit or shows graphic nudity as explained in our content policy.

Jennifer McEwen, developer/cofounder of the adult android app store Mikandi, shares some major disappointment in this development. Which she agrees is harmful to the adult industry as a whole.

It’s disheartening to see Google yet again further villainize creators and fans of legal adult entertainment and sexual expression. It’s very troubling that one of the most powerful companies today, whose mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” is censoring legitimate and legal content, expressions, and ideas. 

Some might argue that there are many other options for creators to express themselves. Of course this is true, but Google isn’t just another technology company. When a company as powerful as Google takes these moral stances, it’s telling the world’s citizens that sexual expression is shameful and wrong.  Many parts of the world, USA especially, have unhealthy views on sex and sexuality. As the world’s search engine, Google has the opportunity and thus responsibility to make a positive difference here. Instead, by blocking one of our most basic human desires, it chose to devolve and perpetuate the war on sex.

Seemingly the only Adult Content not affected by this change would appear to be written erotica, except in case where it has artistic, educational, documentary or scientific context. This vague definition leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation and could lead to users— working within the policy as defined, having their work hidden when it should remain publicly visible.

HentaiWriter, writer of the adult platformerFuture Fragments, on Tumblr  received a direct from Google relating to his Blogger. This email restates the new Adult Content Policy, and warned Hentai Writer that his blog may be affected by the changes.

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Very little information about this is currently available, however LewdGamer is attempting to reach out to Blogger users affected by this change in policy. While the situation is pretty abrupt and also very surprising, this is not the first time Google has attempted to remove Adult Content from the Blogger platform. In 2013 Google attempted similar tactics to remove Adult Content, in June 2013 they gave users 3 days to remove any Adult Advertising Content.

You would think they would learn by now…

This is a massive change in content policy for Blogger, which will have an effect on many independent artists and developers who rely on Blogger to reach out to their audiences. Make sure to stay tuned as we are currently looking into the most recent developments and gather feedback from those effected.

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