Google hit the "adult" community with a big post-Valentine's day surprise this year when they announced that all Blogger sites with sexual content would suddenly be switched from publicly-accessible to private, viewable only to the site owner and people they gave the URL to directly.
We, like others, were outraged. In addition to writing about it here, we closed our AdWords account and spoke with our Google account representatives about that decision. As we wrote in our previous post, we felt like it was a direct conflict to the Google mission to make information accessible, and it also seemed a little hypocritical that Google would profit from this content on the one hand while restricting it on the other.
We weren't alone in our outrage. In fact, just as our last post was about to go live, Google took notice of the many voices protesting the proposed changes and decided to hold off on implementing them.
The jury's still out on the future of these kinds of conversations online. It's great news that Google has reversed these planned policy changes, but the overall trend over the past five years, as noted by Violet Blue in her recent post on ZDNet, is towards restricted personal expression on sexual content. We applaud the work of the community in speaking out against this and we hope that with the eyes of the world upon them, Google will return to their "don't be evil" roots and "make information accessible" mission.
As we've discussed many times, we want more places for people to have important conversations about sexuality, not less. We will keep doing our best to support that cause.
Photo credit via Creative Commons