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Blogger removes all that icky adult content

UPDATED 25th Feb – jump to why the Reddit image cull is not the same.

UPDATED 27th Feb – well, what do you know? Google’s reversed the decision and has now said it won’t delete adult blogs. However, given that Google could change its mind at any time, and given that it has a long history of trying to rub out anything sexy, I’d still be really wary if I were you, and much of what I’ve said below still stands. Beware omnipotent companies with the power to delete chunks of the internet. 

Another day, another pathetic attempt to remove bums from the internet. If you’re a sex blogger and you’re hosted on Blogger (so if your url is or or whatever) you need to either scrub your blog shiny-clean and start focusing on tulips or chilli recipes or something, or you need to migrate it to another site. Best to go self-hosted, although beware your host: I once had a heart-stopping 24 hours during which Bluehost decided that my site was too disgusting for human consumption and shut the whole thing down.

Advice, info, and all that stuff on the Blogger issue can be found over on Write Sex Right.

I know loads of people are still using Blogger for their sex blogs, and others are using WordPress. I’d advise you to get off both of these if you want to make sure you’re safe, and go self-hosted. Even if you don’t post pictures. Even if you think your blog is relatively tame compared to others. Even if you don’t run ads or use affiliate links or have much traffic: move it or lose it.

Which I hate saying, because Christ – who has time to do all that bullshit? Self-hosting, fees, buying domains and pointing the DNS at the right place and all that arse. I hate it. And unless you’re a web developer, or know a friendly web developer or two, it’s fucking hard. But have a bash – that link above points you to some good places for help – because otherwise Google will shut you down.

Google: what the fuck are you playing at?

Ultimately Blogger is a private enterprise and can (in theory) do what it wants. It can choose, if it wants to, to remove any blogs about cupcakes if it decides it doesn’t want cupcakes associated with the brand. Likewise it can remove porn. Blogger (owned by Google) is not a charity, or an arm of the government: it has no legal obligation to be fair, or to support your free speech, or whatever. Just as I have no obligation to publish your comments – if I wanted to I could delete any comment that I didn’t like (I won’t, though, obvs), so Google can refuse to host any blogs that give it a shudder of post-wank shame.

Because that’s the closest analogy I can think of for what this actually is: that post-wank misery that creeps over you when you’ve cracked one off to a fantasy that took you by surprise. The dirty, miserable feeling that you get when you’ve rubbed yourself dry over the course of a fetid three-hour binge. Google’s built Blogger up from a small blogging platform to something which millions of people use. It’s allowed you to host adult content there for a while, as long as you have a content lock, and now it’s pulling the plug. It’s had the binge, collected the users, and now it wants to purify itself: a corporate wipedown that’ll get rid of all your icky unpalatable bits so as not to scare the children.

Fuck it. Fuck it utterly. Google isn’t compelled to host your content, but I’m going to go out on a pretty solid limb here and say that I think it should.

Google isn’t the government, but that doesn’t mean it has no moral obligations. Just as I don’t have to host all your comments, but I think I do have a moral obligation not to delete all the criticism I get and leave only the shiny ‘I had a lovely wank’ notes.

There are plenty of services that won’t support (or won’t be seen to support) adult content: Paypal, for instance. Amazon, if you’re on their affiliate scheme (even though you can buy dirty book porn from them). Loads. But when it comes to the prudish removal of all adult content, I have more of a problem with Blogger than any other service, because it’s Google. Google’s business model relies on it owning your online identity: we all know this, right? Not just in part, but totally. Google’s dream is to have as much data about you as it is possible to have, and for every element of your life to be in some way touched by, hosted on, or enhanced by its tools.

You can see where I’m going with this, can’t you? Not a primary-coloured boot stamping on a human face forever exactly, but something along those lines. Not government control, but corporate ‘recommendation.’ A boss who insists on you living near the office and moderating your behaviour 24/7 in case you ‘harm the company’s reputation.’ A company with shiny desks and high ceilings and a brand that can’t be seen to associate with anything that isn’t family-friendly.

I have a massive problem with governments trying to dictate what kind of porn we can and can’t watch/produce/read/etc. But that’s a fight for another day. Right now, my main concern is with a company that has combined a desire to touch upon the lives of every human with a belief that it can influence which life activities are appropriate.

I know this sounds like I’m wailing ‘ARMAGEDDON’ in the face of what is, ultimately, just one company making a decision about a platform I don’t use. But my point is that it doesn’t matter if I use Blogger or not: I use Google. We all do. Google has, quite deliberately, made it virtually impossible not to. I’m not arguing that it’s a slippery slope, or that you should worry about what’s next (no more adult content on Google Plus, which might cause problems for the four people who actually use it), I’m saying you should worry about what’s happening right now.

Even if you don’t write on Blogger, you probably read blogs on it, or blogs that have been influenced by blogs that are on it. So to a certain extent what you see will be shaped by what Google is willing to support. In a month’s time, explicit content will be made ‘private’ (meaning you have to be specifically and personally invited by the author if you want to read it) and nudity or sexual expression will only be allowed if it:

“offers a substantial public benefit, for example in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts.”

Google decides that: the company which wants to own everything also wants to decide which bits of that everything you should not be allowed to see.

If you’re on a Blogspot or a WordPress blog and you want to migrate, I can’t help you with the details (because I’m rubbish – there’s a great guide here on Molly’s Daily Kiss), but I can help give you a bump after you’ve migrated. Email me, link to this post, or leave a comment when you’ve switched over and I’ll add a follow link to your shiny new self-hosted blog on this page. You’ll get traffic and stuff, which might make up for what you’ll lose if you have to spend ages faffing around with the transfer. 

UPDATE: The Reddit decision is not the same as the Blogger decision


Today Reddit announced something regarding nude images too:

“No matter who you are, if a photograph, video, or digital image of you in a state of nudity, sexual excitement, or engaged in any act of sexual conduct, is posted or linked to on reddit without your permission, it is prohibited on reddit.”

Lots of people (most notably the Telegraph) are talking about it in the same breath as the Blogger cull, saying that Reddit is also ‘clamping down on nudity’ and ‘censoring naked pictures.’ I do not think this is the same at all. Reddit itself talks about ‘protecting your digital privacy’ and that’s exactly what this is – privacy, not censorship. To spell it out clearly: Reddit has not announced that it’ll remove all images, or images of particular acts. Reddit doesn’t care how explicit your image is: only that you have consented to its publication.

Removing nonconsensual images and abuse images is not censorship any more than it’s ‘censorship’ for you to decide to keep some parts of your life private. If you’ve ever sent a nude pic to someone you know, but not stuck it up on your facebook feed, you’ll understand what this difference is.

As with any rules governing content publication, obviously we need to be careful not to use a sledgehammer approach, so if Reddit had announced it’d remove all naked pictures in order to be sure it got rid of all revenge porn? Yeah, I’d be waving my placard along with everyone else. But they haven’t. All they’ve said is that if you’re the subject of a naked picture posted on Reddit and you ask them to take it down, they will. If you genuinely believe that this is wrong, then please feel free to upload all of your personal data – images, emails, texts, Twitter DMs – to a public repository on the internet for us all to have a good look at. You wouldn’t want to censor it now, would you?

I think it’s really important to draw the distinction between removal of abusive pictures and censorship. Most reasonable censorship campaigners are never campaigning for the open publication of *all* content, and there are always exceptions (for example: child abuse pictures). It’s especially important to draw this distinction in this case, where we have two companies which are both removing naked images. If we lump both of them in, then the arguments to support Reddit’s (totally valid, imho) stance on privacy can and most certainly will be used to justify Blogger’s totally invalid approach to naked pictures in general.


  • Erica Jagger says:

    Thank you for this. I do have a small google blogger erotica site that for now remains untouched. But I use WordPress for my sex blog. I’ve never had any problems from them but this article has me worried that I might. I’m going to be making changes to my site in the next year and you have me wondering if I should migrate the blog onto a new platform. I had to change hosts a few months ago because iPage kicked me off. GoDaddy was happy to host me.

    • Girl on the net says:

      It looks to me like your sex blog is self hosted because your address isn’t a ‘’, although I’m not an expert in it so it might be that there’s still a link? I use the WordPress platform, but because it’s self-hosted I don’t think I’ll ever get shit from WP itself.

      At the moment Wp does allow some adult content, but it’s one of those ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ things, I think – at some point they’ll decide to have a crackdown, and then it’ll be up to the whims of whoever enforces their rules to decide if any content is OK or not =(

      • AkaiHebi says:

        The blog in the link points to a GoDaddy hosted :) But it’s true can provide domain registration in their premium service, effectively hiding the “” from the address (and also removing the ads).

        To make sure people don’t mix, I use “” to refer to the blogging platform operated by Automattic, and “WordPress” to refer to the free software blogging tool edited by Automattic. So GotN you’re pretty safe from complaints of Automattic and/or since you installed the tool on your own custom web hosting service. Automattic goes “the software is provided ‘as-is’ without warranties and the Company declines all responsibility for the use of the software”, and everyone’s happy !

        And yes for now seems cool for sex bloggers as long the blog is marked mature and bloggers don’t make money, but that’s already a cut in the freedoms. Well, at least you already know how t use the tool and have a backup copy of your data for when you start your own WordPress blog. That’s basically how I started too :)

        • AkaiHebi says:

          .. that’s nice autocorrect, WordPress xD Fucked up my emphasis.
          Damn… and WordPress. Just in case:
          W-o-r-d-p-r-e-s-s.c-o-m for the platform
          W-o-r-d-P-r-e-s-s for the software

      • Stephanie says:

        WordPress topic: My husband does hosting, and says that the is the one that you download and run on your own server. is the one where you have to abide by their rules.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Great blog post! For the avoidance of doubt: The rather good software is free, open source and copyright free (GPL licensed). You can host, copy, share, fiddle and generally do whatever you like with it, free, forever. But you must pick your host carefully if you dont have your own server. is a piece if shit hosting site who will sell you down the river if they catch a whiff of porn.

        • Rapunzel says:

          In fairness to, i just saw this today. An unusual move deserving of credit. Fake DMCA requests are rarely challenged because the risk of loosing is costly.

          WordPress in court victory over blogger censored by ‘Straight Pride UK’

  • When we first heard of this potential threat last summer, we moved over to self-hosting. Certainly not as convenient, easy, or cheap, but the peace of mind makes a huge difference.
    Thank you for supporting the blogging community.
    And I agree totally with your points about Google.

  • I remember the big stonk this kicked up about 3 years ago, it’s stupid. No one is (unwillingly) getting hurt :(

    I am hosted via hostgator, domsigns has been a major savior for me. I agree, self hosting is the way ahead, you don’t get bothered by all this bs x

  • Phaedra says:

    I am sorry this has happened I hate it when they try to dictate what I read, share or like we are in America for crying out loud.

  • Kayla Lords says:

    When WordPress went through a purge of sex blogs a couple of years ago, I went self-hosted then. For anyone who thinks this doesn’t affect them today, just realize that these businesses can (and will) change their mind about what they deem offensive and your content isn’t automatically safe. I highly recommend going self-hosted. I make the same offer – share your link with me once you change over and I’ll help pimp you out, too.

  • Finally, someone who talks sense!

    I think this is a good move from reddit, although I can see why they are doing it, could stop any possible law suits heading their way

  • D. says:

    Ooh, I hadn’t heard about the Reddit thing – that’s a really positive move, well done them!

  • nidge says:

    My lovely, what can I say, I agree to with you totally about the insane censorship of Google but I must say that I think you can certainly argue that your website is both educational and therapeutic. I came to kink at fifty after many years of bewildered vanilla sex. I met a man who led me into a dark and exciting world and for two years I lived in confusion and excitement. I was ashamed about my reaction to where he led me and there was nobody for me to talk to. Your website has been a lifeline. You make me feel that I am not alone, that it is okay to be different and that embracing my own deeply horny and kinky nature
    was a positive thing. I love to read your posts,it’s like having a friend sharing with me. I am sick of the world that seems to think that we are pitiful or dangerous. Thank you for helping me to embrace my deeply passionate nature and giving me so many sublime fantasies to wank to.

  • pir says:

    Looks like they’ve taken the feedback and reverted the decision, thankfully.!category-topic/blogger/jAep2mLabQY

    • Girl on the net says:

      You beat me to it – thanks for posting the link! I’ll add a quick update in the blog above, although to be honest I am still *really* sceptical about it, and quite concerned about Google as a whole. It’s good that they’ve reversed this decision for now, but I don’t think this is the last we’ll hear of Google’s anti-sex attitude, not by a long shot. So I’d still advise people on Blogger to go self-hosted if they can, and I’ll still sit in the corner looking angry about Google. Will write something a bit longer on this when I have the time =) Thanks again!

      • pir says:

        As someone who worked at Google for 7 years I don’t think the company as a whole has an anti-sex attitude. While I was there bad decisions like this were immediately followed by a lot of internal outcry about it (the Googler who pointed me at the reversal link said something along the lines of “I think you can imagine how this went” and he was right, I can) and either never made it to the public eye or were reversed quickly.

        Sometimes these bad decisions get kept even though most of the company disagrees with them (this happens occasionally on technical decisions too), the whole thing about real names on G+ and Google accounts in general was being argued vehemently by people internally but the people in charge of that product kept to their bad decision for several years before being reversed. It happens.

        A lot of this is simple; Google is an American company. The US has some real problems in general with attitudes towards sex and problems with attitudes about many things where opinions in the country are pushed to one extreme or the other that stops any reasonable discussion about middle ground. Their politics are also, as much of the world is sadly going, more and more right wing. Decisions are made to not offend the masses too much (presumably why adwords/adsense won’t let you do anything too pornographic, wouldn’t want to kill the golden goose).

        In the environment of an American company if the higher ups in charge of a particular product get a bee in their bonnet about something then bad decisions get made. This doesn’t always reflect the views of the company as a whole (they’re largely a pretty left wing bunch, as US politics go, but the tiny proportion of Republicans in Engineering do exist), though I understand why it appears that way… especially from the outside.

        Personally I don’t trust any third party company to keep doing something or not do something longer term and I am very lucky to be able to run all this stuff myself (my own web servers, mail servers, etc, hosted in multiple countries and not reliant on any one company). For profit companies are there to make money and if they decide that something isn’t worth running any more it will go away (still annoyed about Google Reader dying) so I think you’re right in suggesting self hosting.

        I’d also suggest keeping good offsite backups in case that hosting company decides to turn your stuff off (a real turnoff) and maintaining DNS and webserver stuff separately so that if they decide to disable your account, because you write about sex or any other reason, you can migrate elsewhere easily.

  • So glad they reversed this…for now. My blog is pretty new and hosted on Blogger. I’m not looking at making money on anything, as it is just an outlet to my experiences out, so self hosting is an expensive alternative for me. I also completely agree with nidge, so thanks!!

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