The nation’s favourite search engine – unless tax is mentioned in the same sentence – has come under fresh criticism, this time for an unexpected change of policy when it comes to its free blog-publishing service Blogger. The popular service’s change of heart when it comes to the monetisation of adult content on Blogger has resulted in many hundreds of Blogger’s bloggers receiving notices which state: “Please be advised that on June 30, we will be updating our content policy to strictly prohibit the monetization of adult content on Blogger. After June 30, we will be enforcing this policy and will remove blogs which are adult in nature and are displaying advertisements to adult websites.”
The notices from the Blogger team continues: “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.”
The notice was publicised by popular columist and blogger Violet Blue and soon picked up on by the media, both mainstream and adult. To be clear about the situation, under existing Blogger policy adult content is fine so long as a ‘significant percentage’ of the content isn’t linked to commercial porn sites. The new rule will effectively reduce this significant percentage to zero, while allowing users to continue to blog explicit content. The only difference is, Blogger will no longer allow users to make money from that explicit content via ads or affiliate links. The changes are in line with a developing trend at Google to target adult material. As well as this policy change to curb profiting from porn via Blogger, earlier in June the firm updated developer policies for its Google Glass ‘wearable interface’ product to specifically exclude all sexually explicit content.
In response to this latest move by Google, some bloggers have already posted their less-than-happy thoughts on Google’s Product Forums, while some are planning to jump ship to the Yahoo-owned Tumblr blogging site, with Yahoo publically stating there are no plans to restrict porn or its monetisation via its Tumblr service.