Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Entertainment: Blogger Censorship Not The Same As Facebook Censorship

Google's newest ToS rewrite limits the explicit content that will be publicly available on its Blogger platform, and it has come under fire for Facebook's own recent censorship controls.

So many are comparing the two, except they're so very different situations.

Facebook is a social networking website. It is intended as a networking tool to connect people, not just through the vanilla website, but also through third-party content, which includes games, news agencies, and anywhere else you can find Facebook-integrated widgets.

The Blogger platform is a website-building website. While it can be used for social networking, its reach is so much broader. Where every page on or connected to Facebook is branded with some Facebook-esk insignia, individual websites using the Blogger platform are not. Blogger blogs are each as diverse as the diversity found between the whole range of social networking websites, from Google Plus to Twitter to Facebook to tumblr.

This distinction is important to understand because you can't build a pornography website on Facebook; you could build a tribute page to a pornography website on Facebook (or at least try), but you can't host the whole site there. With Blogger, it's not only possible, it's been done.

This is what the new ToS is intended to combat. It's not about censoring personal, educational, or artistic expression, it's about stopping the people and organizations who take advantage of the Blogger platform to run illicit services.

How do I know all this?

I went and read the fine print. I did that, not for this article, but because I received email from Google HQ warning me that one or more of the websites I run on their Blogger platform might be affected by this change. But I won't be; my mature content creation is limited to creative artistic expression, not to sell or publish illicit content and services.

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