Today I took the liberty of going through my entire link list in an attempt to reveal who was still linking back to me. The usual delete-blog-link-swap suspects were among the group (you may have received an email this morning about it), but something else I noticed were a string of blogger hosted blogs removed and some common themes i remember about them all.
First it may be handy for us to refer to bloggers own terms of service which apparently set out the guidelines governing which content is not able to withstand the crushing force of corporate moral judgements.
- Do not use Blogger as a way to make money on adult content. For example, don't create blogs where a significant percentage of the content is ads or links to commercial porn sites.
This is (purposefully) very broad and ambiguous and could be the easiest excuse at Google's disposal when looking for a reason to remove a blog they don't like. The first sentence plainly states that you may not use your blog as a vehicle for income. However the example given throws the directness of the policy into question. On one hand they say you can't make any money yet on the other they direct you not to make monetize a "significant" percentage of the content. Who decides how many ads create a significant percentage? Are "insignificant" percentages of ad links compared to content -permissible?
The answer to that is unclear. In a very narrow context it would be argued that you cannot use any advertising. But that isn't the reality of most adult blogs, the majority of which are still hosted by blogger today. A more reasoned approach to looking at this particular point is in google taking offense to affiliate hosting (posting previews of porn-site videos and linking to the full versions that you then have to buy). Blogs who use affiliates as a vehicle for income don't seem to last as long as those who simply whack a few ads across the sidebar. I have been approached many times in the past by companies wanting to promote their content with nude straight guys and have respectfully declined.
- Pedophilia: We do not allow content that encourages or promotes sexual attraction towards children. For example, do not create blogs with galleries of images of children where the collection of images or text accompanying the images is sexually suggestive.
Essentially this prevents adult themed websites from posting any images that depict anybody under the age of eighteen years old. An innocent picture of Justin Bieber would fit this description if there were any links or posts surrounding it that are of an adult nature. Yes, it is arguable that what popular law defines as "child pornography" is arbitrary, but that isn't google's place to question.
Frankly the way the laws are written I am surprised at the amount of blogs which still exist that over-use the term "boy" and "boys" rather than the more mature sounding "guys' or "men". Many of the blogs which I had to remove from my list for being inactive used varying degrees of "boi" in their URL's. Probably not the smartest idea to be naming your blog "In search of boi's" in the current social climate when anything dealing with under eighteens is seen as suddenly predatory and unhealthy.
- Personal and confidential information: It's not ok to publish another person's personal and confidential information.
This one is clearly a clincher for many amateur focussed blogs, such as this one. Again with word play, can the term "information" include anonymous amateur photos, and if so is such information regarded as "confidential" in this context if it was already available online and has just been re-posted for an unintended audience? Even though bloggers own terms state that information found online can't be held as confidential, my own experiences hint otherwise. In April this year, nude straight guys suddenly vanished with all but a message that the blog had been closed and its name was not available for new blogs. (What? But Nude Straight Guys is here now under the same name, how? --more on this later).
This deletion occurred about two weeks after I received a message "Hey, fucker that's my photo your using," to which I simply asked "Which photo is that?" only to get some kind of warning back "Doesn't matter I have your I.P. address now." From what I can gather somebody saw themselves on here, got pissed off, and instead of working with me by simply asking for the offending content to be removed decided to go on a warpath against my blog and complain to Google. Google reacted in their favor and closed the blog down.
Nobody really knows exactly why blogs are removed. But I think the above three examples make up a large part of the deleted masses, in varying amounts. The only solid way to have a delete-proof blog is probably not to post adult content at all, but failing that, to just take care around the flimsy terms of service blogger offers and not blatantly skirt them like some of us have done in the past.