Fortunately games are for children
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 July 2013, 10:56 am
This blog is about games. And games are for children. So this is definitively not an adult blog. Lucky me, because Google closed down adult blogs yesterday if they have any links to commercial adult websites. Curiously there has been no public announcement of that on Blogger or Google+. People with adult blogs got an e-mail instead giving them just 3 days to remove all links to commercial sites or get deleted. And the discussion then happened on Twitter, not on a Google social network.

Being European, what strikes me the most about this is the prudery. Even the e-mail sent out didn't use words like "sex" or "porn", but said "If your adult blog currently has advertisements which are adult in nature, you should remove them as soon as possible as to avoid any potential Terms of Service violation and/or content removals.". That is a very strange definition of "adult", which probably is only comprehensible to Americans. Presumably a blog with a very adult discussion about let's say global warming will not be deleted, because for Google something is only "adult" if it relates to sex.

As a blogger I frequently get mails asking me to put up some banner advertising in exchange for money. I decided to run this blog without advertising. But I observed that the people who ask me to promote their products usually want me to promote a game or game-related product. Because my blog is about games. I very much doubt that a blog about sex is getting anything but "adult" advertisement offers. So unless somebody had a sex blog with no advertising at all, he'll either get his blog deleted, or will run into trouble with whoever paid for the ads.

Now of course there are a lot of fake blogs only used for search engine optimization, and I very much support deleting those. But they aren't necessarily all "adult", and not all "adult" blogs are such fakes. Having a banner add to a commercial porn site isn't sufficient proof that a blog is not written for a valid discussion about sexuality. And, again as a European, it appears rather strange to me that you would be allowed to discuss anything including ultra-violence on a blog, but not sexuality.

Ultimately the problem is one of freedom of speech. The first amendment is not of much use to anybody if the right to express whatever you think is only theoretical, and in practice a private company can limit your freedom of expression to whatever they think is inoffensive. And if the law decided to allow to limit freedom of expression, then why would you even want to start with porn? Isn't there a lot far more harmful content around, like hate speech, cyber-bullying, or instructions on how to create illegal weapons?
Tobold's Blog

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