Google reverses decision to limit sexually explicit content on Blogger

Blogs with adult content will be kept in the public realm, Google said

Google will continue to permit sexually explicit content to be publicly shared on Blogger, reversing a policy change it announced earlier this week.

Instead of making blogs with adult content private, the search giant will "step up enforcement around our existing policy prohibiting commercial porn," Google said Friday in a post on its product support page.

On Tuesday, Google said it was adopting a more stringent stance in how adult content was shared on its blogging platform. According to the new policy, after March 23, blogs that displayed either sexually explicit images and videos or graphic nudity would be changed to private blogs. Access to these sites would be restricted to people who received an invitation from the owners. The content, however, would not be deleted. To keep their blogs in the public realm, owners had to delete the explicit videos and images.

Several Blogger users said they received an email from Google on Monday outlining the changes, according to support forum posts.

People questioned why Google would implement a retroactive change that could have an impact on older accounts, Friday's post said, adding that some blogs have existed for more than a decade. The policy change also drew the ire of users who express themselves by posting sexually explicit content, Google said.

Bloggers criticized Google's decision to modify its adult content policy. The writer and webmaster of an adult content blog said preserving content wouldn't help her site after Google killed off its user base. Sending out individual invitations would prove daunting, she said.

Bloggers with sexually explicit images and videos must still label their sites as containing adult content, placing them behind a warning page.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

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