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[ NNSquad ] Tracking Google's New "Short Fuse" Blogger Shutdown Policy

            Tracking Google's New "Short Fuse" Blogger Shutdown Policy


Yesterday, in "New Info About Google's Blogger 'Adult Sites' Deletion
Notification" ( http://j.mp/10qf5vV ), I attempted to provide some
clarity to concerns about Google's sudden announcement that
adult-content Blogger sites containing ads or other monetization links
to commercial porn sites were subject to shutdown starting only a few
days later, and I mentioned that apparently all (not just
adult-oriented) Blogger sites could be affected.

I noted at the time (based on what I've been told by Google) that the
short notice will likely (somehow) be taken into consideration, but
there is no formal grace period, and no promises about what will
actually happen after the deadline hits this Monday.  Nor is there any
explanation for why this incredibly short notice is in effect, given
the logistical issues involved for users forced to alter their sites
in such a rush.

It's the point about all Blogger sites being affected -- not just the
adult sites -- that appears to have triggered more panic among some
Blogger users, judging from my inbox this morning.  So below are a few
suggestions and a request.

I don't really think the panic is necessarily justified, but frankly
there are more questions than answers about this situation overall.

In a nutshell, Blogger users are asking me if their non-adult sites
are vulnerable to shutdown under this new rule if any of their ads
and/or affiliate links (perhaps served by ad networks that they don't
directly control) happen to ever display porn-related monetization
materials?  And does this apply only to current content, or also to
their older pages and accessible archive materials, which in some
cases reach back for many years.  Users are asking me how they're
expected to "cleanse" all of those pages and links in a practical
manner, especially over the course of just a few days.

And they're very concerned that their blogging work of long duration
may be suddenly wiped out by this new Google initiative, with limited
avenues for appeal.

These are all good questions.  I wish I had good answers.  But as I
mentioned yesterday, Google is being uncharacteristically opaque about
what is driving this sudden change and how it will be implemented.

When real data is lacking, one is forced to rely more on speculation,
and that's the realm we move into right now.

My assumption is that since the initial notice about the Blogger
content policy change was sent to adult content Blogger sites, not all
Blogger sites, we can probably assume that the self-identified adult
Blogger sites will be the focus of Google's initial enforcement

So if you run a non-adult Blogger site, I'd recommend that you start
cleansing your ads and affiliate links as soon as possible, but don't
go crazy trying to get it done at warp speed.

If you run an adult content Blogger site, I suspect you're much more
likely to be in the bullseye rapidly, so I'd suggest you start
cleaning up your ads and links (or get to your webmaster in a hurry if
you don't maintain the site yourself) and meet the new guidelines as
quickly as practicable.

I'm also assuming, based on the rather cloudy info I have from Google
about this, that nothing is likely (emphasis on the word "likely"
since we don't really know) to happen immediately on Monday or the
next few days at least.  Again, this must be considered speculation

Complicating the situation (beyond those questions related to the
effective timing of enforcement) are unanswered questions like whether
major or minor "offenders" will be the focus of initial enforcement
efforts, whether any site-specific warning notices will be sent out by
Google prior to actual specific shutdowns, what appeal procedures
might be in place, and whether or not Blogger data will still be
available for owner download via Google Takeout after a site is
terminated under this new policy (Blogger data is normally available
through Takeout).

I don't really have more to add right now, other than a request.

If you receive a notice from Google that your Blogger site is being
shutdown under this policy, and/or if it actually is shutdown --
whether it was an adult site or especially if it was not an adult 
site -- please let me know with as much detail as you're comfortable
sharing with me, via:


I'd like to track the deployment and evolution of this policy and
situation.  Hopefully together we can better understand what is
actually happening, and why.

Thanks very much.

Lauren Weinstein (lauren@vortex.com): http://www.vortex.com/lauren 
Co-Founder: People For Internet Responsibility: http://www.pfir.org/pfir-info
 - Network Neutrality Squad: http://www.nnsquad.org 
 - PRIVACY Forum: http://www.vortex.com/privacy-info
 - Data Wisdom Explorers League: http://www.dwel.org
 - Global Coalition for Transparent Internet Performance: http://www.gctip.org
Member: ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com
Google+: http://vortex.com/g+lauren / Twitter: http://vortex.com/t-lauren 
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800 / Skype: vortex.com
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