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Google’s on a quest to kill sexually explicit content on Blogger

If you use Blogger to post dirty pictures or smutty video, your days are numbered. The Google owned blogging platform will no longer allow its users to post sexual explicit content, it has announced.

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Previously Blogger touted itself as a platform allowing for freedom of expression, stating on the Blogger content policy that “censoring this content is contrary to a service that bases itself on freedom of expression”.

That said, it did ask users to be explicit in how the labeled such content:

Adult Content: We do allow adult content on Blogger, including images or videos that contain nudity or sexual activity. If your blog contains adult content, please mark it as ‘adult’ in your Blogger settings. We may also mark blogs with adult content where the owners have not. All blogs marked as ‘adult’ will be placed behind an ‘adult content’ warning interstitial. If your blog has a warning interstitial, please do not attempt to circumvent or disable the interstitial – it is for everyone’s protection.

It has since made a serious about-turn on its policy.

Every Blogger user with a blog containing an “adult content warning” received an email on Monday announcing the new adult-content policy. In the email sent to the users, Google details the change to its policies, stating that it will no allow longer sexually explicit content, graphic nude images or video on the platform. It further states that it will allow nudity if it is presented in a new presented in an artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts. It is not clear how Blogger will make this distinction. More than anything, this will lead to users complaining about being censored.

Read more: Facebook launches anonymous chatroom app called Rooms

The ban will start on 23 March 2015. After this date, any existing blog that has sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video will be made private and will only visible to the owner of the blog or its admins and the people who the owner has shared the blog with. No content will be deleted, Google says.

However Google spins this move, it comes down to that it is censoring users, and in an age where users are looking for more freedom to express themselves, there are many for whom this will seem like a step backwards.

Anyone wishing to take down their blog can export it as a .xml file or archive their blog’s text and images using Google Takeout.

This move by Google might drive people away from its Blogger platform and right into competing platforms like Tumblr. With Tumblr showing growth off late, this could be beneficial to it.

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