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Google's Blogger cracks down on users profiting from porn ads

Published: Friday, Sept. 4 2015 9:46 p.m. MDT

Starting June 30, Google's blog-hosting platform Blogger will no longer allow users to place advertisements on their blogs that link to adult pornographic websites. (Shutterstock) Starting June 30, Google's blog-hosting platform Blogger will no longer allow users to place advertisements on their blogs that link to adult pornographic websites. (Shutterstock)

Starting June 30, Google's blog-hosting platform Blogger will no longer allow users to place advertisements on their blogs that link to adult pornographic websites.

News of the change in policy broke when blogger Violet Blue posted an email to her Twitter feed that was sent to Blogger users who label their blogs as "adult" in nature. The email, as reported by The Verge, said: "Please be advised that on June 30th 2013, we will be updating our content policy to strictly prohibit the monetization of adult content on Blogger. After June 30th, we will be enforcing this policy and will remove blogs which are adult in nature and are displaying advertisements to adult websites."

The last sentence of the email was ambiguous about whether Blogger would remove all blogs that are adult in nature or just those that display advertisements to adult websites. However, Blogger clarified its position in a statement to VentureBeat. “We will be updating our content policy to strictly prohibit the monetization of adult content on Blogger. We will remove blogs that are displaying advertisements to adult websites,” said a Blogger spokesperson.

As a result, while blogs with adult content will still be allowed on Blogger, those that host advertisements to commercial porn sites will be prohibited. This is a change from Blogger's current content policy, which allows sexually explicit content marked as "adult" and permits some leeway in the hosting of pornographic ads. "Do not use Blogger as a way to make money on adult content," the current policy reads. "For example, don't create blogs where a significant percentage of the content is ads or links to commercial porn sites."

Last month, Slate reported that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer would allow adult content to remain on the blogging platform Tumblr. “It’s just the nature of user-generated content,” Mayer said. “On Tumblr, there’s actually less of that than on almost any of its peers. That said, we do think it’s really important to have good community tools like ‘Not Safe for Work’ that Tumblr already has in place, so people who are looking for that content can find it, but users who aren’t looking for that content don’t just stumble into it.”

WordPress, another popular blogging platform, has a stricter policy on sexually explicit content. Its terms of service restrict users to posting content that "is not pornographic."

Google's change comes on the heels of an effort it is undertaking to stop the spread of child pornography on the Internet.

EMAIL: dmerling@deseretnews.com

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