Google Will Censor Blogger Blogs

Google to Censor Blogger Blogs on a ‘Per Country Basis’

(Via Wired.com by David Kravets and The Blog Herald by James Johnson)

Blogger logoGoogle has quietly announced changes to its Blogger free-blogging platform that will enable the blocking of content only in countries where censorship is required.

Twitter announced technology last week addressing the same topic. It said it had acquired the ability to censor tweets in the countries only where it was ordered removed, instead of on an internet-wide basis.

Twitter’s announcement via its blog sparked a huge online backlash. The microblogging service was accused of becoming a censoring agent.

Yet Google’s announcement three weeks ago — buried in a Blogger help page — went unnoticed until it was highlighted by TechDows on Tuesday.

Google wrote Jan. 9 it would begin redirecting Blogger traffic to country-specific URLs, meaning whatever country you’re in, you’ll get that country’s domain for Blogger-hosted blogs.

TechDows reports that this is now happening in India, for example. So when you’re there and click on a Blogger blog, the URL will end .in.

Doing that, Google wrote, means content can be removed “on a per country basis.”

“Migrating to localized domains will allow us to continue promoting free expression and responsible publishing while providing greater flexibility in complying with valid removal requests pursuant to local law,” Google wrote.

By adding country specific URLs Google can censor a blog post in one country but leave it untouched for example in the United States.

In a Blogger blog post titled Why does my blog redirect to a country-specific URL?” Google explains that the program is meant to “limit” censored content:

“Over the coming weeks you might notice that the URL of a blog you’re reading has been redirected to a country-code top level domain, or “ccTLD.” For example, if you’re in Australia and viewing [blogname].blogspot.com, you might be redirected [blogname].blogspot.com.au. A ccTLD, when it appears, corresponds with the country of the reader’s current location.”

To see non-affected pages users can go to Google.com/ncr (no country redirect) which will place a short term cookie in the users browser to prevent country based redirects while allowing a work around against censorship.

Twitter did not announce how its new technology functions, but said Twitter has the ability to remove tweets only in countries where that content was barred.

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Now, I am a happy refugee from Blogger – although my departure was not voluntary at the time –  but to all you fellow adult or sex bloggers still hangin’ at Blogger, its time to get a move on. The writing’s on the wall.

If I can help you get started, send me an email through the Contact page and I am more than happy to share the benefit of my travails in starting the blog over, not on Google.

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