This story came in on an anonymous comment.
TAP – Using blogger, Google’s blogging service, is not ideal. There is nothing you can do to control the basic appearance of the blog, other than select from their templates. Their gadgets are fairly limited, and Google messes around with hit numbers to try to keep ‘inconvenient’ stories from appearing in the Top Ten.
The reason people use blogger is traffic. Google search brings in readers in good numbers. The Tap is roughly a 75% new traffic blog, getting thousands of page downloads each day from people searching a topic that interests them on Google. That makes us unusual, as most blogs get the majority of their readers from returning readers. We would be getting a lot less traffic if we quit Google.
The problems with the attempts being made to control and sideline bloggers are only really starting now. Anyone following the Levenson Enquiry will know that the daily business is currently all about blaming bloggers for releasing private information, which newspapers dare not do, if that puts them in breach of court orders and the like. Newspapers in the Murdoch stable steal private information from mobile phones every day of the week, and publicise it, and corrupt police forces to get stories. They don’t give a dam who they hurt, as in the Milly Dowler case. But if a court has ordered a halt on a story, or they fear a legal consequence to making a revelation, they withdraw. Bloggers see themselves as readers commenting in a conversation with each other about about what the powerful are disseminating, and many will breach court orders. On The Tap, I try to comply. Usually that means a name cannot be given, while, otherwise, the story can be told.
The discussion about, and the desire to control bloggers is growing on all sides. Murdoch’s proposing that a charge be made for any news that is copied from his titles, and an internet crawler be set up with this purpose in mind. That wouldn’t bother us much, to be honest, as rarely do we parrot the falsifications of the Murdoch media, as what’s the point of trading in falsehood? Most of his stories are untrue, and replicating the deceptions that have been established to persuade people that the political system is genuinely operational, which it isn’t. Here at The Tap, we prefer to go straight the nub of the real matter, rather than quote people who are part of the system of deception. Murdoch’s crawler wouldn’t bother me unduly.
Here is the real threat. What if Google don’t just mess with the hit counter, suppressing stories as they are doing by keeping them from climbing the popularity ladder, so people have no idea which stories are getting read. What if they just remove stories they don’t like? That is exactly what is being proposed.
In fact that is what Murdoch was having done a few years ago on the quiet. I had written a piece criticising the Murdoch system of powerplay, pointing out that he was highly influential over Blair’s policies, not just reporting them but controlling them. The post was removed, and the blog wasn’t accessible for six months. I set up an alternative blog on WordPress. But when this blog reopened, I returned. A careful examination of the blog should reveal the dates this closure occurred.
(In fact there was another reason I came back. My ID was stolen, and someone had attempted to defraud my credit card. The fraud was prevented, by good luck or good management, but the credit card company then stopped any online payments for the next two years. I couldn’t easily find a way to pay WordPress and the blog lapsed. It was easier to reopen on Blogger. The WordPress blog was called Tapestrytalks.)
The new threat to bloggers and blogging I think will be serious. It is that Google will start removing blog posts as requested. They have agreed to do so.
Here is the METRO link, sent in by the anonymous commenter.
EXTRACT – The online giant said it would start blocking access to its Blogger service to take account of the law in different nations, including repressive regimes.
Blogger users will now be sent to a country-specific web address depending on where they are based so content can be removed ‘on a per country basis’, the company said.
The move would allow it to continue to promote free expression as removals would not be made worldwide, which ‘will limit their impact to the smallest number of readers’, Google added.
But the changes to its blogging platform leave the company open to charges of hypocrisy.
Google covered the logo on its homepage as it joined protests against proposed US anti-piracy legislation that it claimed would censor the internet. Wikipedia also staged a one-day blackout last month.
Twitter has already said it would block tweets on a country-by-country basis to comply with local laws.
‘If more and more companies follow the lead of Google and Twitter, as seems quite likely, it could represent the beginning of the end of the truly global internet,’ said the Techdirt technology website.
‘In its place will be an increasingly balkanised online world subject to a patchwork of local laws.’
Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/tech/889266-google-accused-of-censorship-after-agreeing-to-remove-blog-posts#ixzz1lSch4M4g