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ErosBlog: The Sex Blog

Sex Blogging, Gratuitous Nudity, Kinky Sex, Sundry Sensuality
 
 
February 27th, 2015 -- by Bacchus

Google/Blogger’s “Existing Policy Prohibiting Commercial Porn”

Now that Google is spinning down the porn raid sirens and walking their shit back from last week’s announced intention to forbid “sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video”, it’s worth paying some careful attention the language used today by Jessica Pelegio, the social product support manager at Google. From her title, this sounds like the woman who is the boss of the people who will be enforcing the policy, so her understanding of the policy is likely to be supremely relevant. And in her announcement, she writes:

“We’ve decided to step up enforcement around our existing policy prohibiting commercial porn.

The emphasis is mine. “Our existing policy prohibiting commercial porn.” What, what? Does Blogger even have an “existing policy prohibiting commercial porn”? Quick, let’s go look, and snap a screenshot before it changes:

blogger adult policy on commercial porn 5:30ish AM 02-27-2015

The key sentences for our purposes are:

Do not use Blogger as a way to make money on adult content. For example, don’t create blogs that contain ads for or links to commercial porn sites.

Strictly speaking, this is not a “policy prohibiting commercial porn.” One of the biggest categories of adult blogs on Blogger/Blogspot used to be a (what we would now consider to be Tumblr-style) constant flow of commercial porn, posted without links and purely for the amusement of the poster. You could squint and interpret the URL watermarks on commercial porn photos as “ads for…commercial porn sites”, but Google never did this (that we know of). The existing/current policy simply doesn’t prohibit commercial porn, though it might be said to prohibit porn posted with commercial intent. Does Jessica Pelegio think about the policy with that much nuance? Her phrasing today suggests: not so much.

But while we are parsing words, let’s fire up the Wayback Machine and have a look at how this “existing policy prohibiting commercial porn” has been phrased and characterized by Google since June of 2013 when Google dreamed it up.

Stepping back through time, we discover that between October 23, 2014 and November 6, 2014, they added one clarifying word: “ads or links to commercial porn sites” became “ads for or links to commercial porn sites.” Ads (in general) became ads (for commercial porn sites) so this narrowed the scope of Google’s prohibiting examples. Trivial, but cool. (At the same time as this wording change, Blogger added the current stern language prohibiting attempts to circumvent the interstitial adult warning.)

That takes us back (without any other changes I can discover) to the infamous June 30, 2013, when the current policy was implemented. (Here it is in the Wayback Machine on July 5th, 2013, so you an see for yourself.) Here’s the big announcement from then:

blogger-adult-policy-06-30-2013

What Pelegio now calls a “policy prohibiting commercial porn” was then described as a new policy prohibiting blogs “which are … displaying advertisements to adult websites” or “currently has advertisements which are adult in nature.” That seems quite a bit narrower than the “policy prohibiting commercial porn” Pelegio now considers it to be.

For completeness, let’s compare the language before June 30, 2013 to the current policy. “Do not use Blogger as a way to make money on adult content” has not changed; that was been the policy since the earliest appearance of the policy page in the Wayback Machine on January 7, 2012. But before June 30, the prohibited example was “For example, don’t create blogs where a significant percentage of the content is ads or links to commercial porn sites.” The big policy change in June 2013 was going zero-tolerance on the ads and links to commercial porn sites — no more insignificant percentages allowed.

So, just to be clear: up until today, Google has always allowed commercial porn on Blogger/Blogspot, as long as that porn was not posted “as a way to make money on adult content.” Noncommercial use of commercial porn was fine, and before June of 2013, so too were de minimis links to commercial porn sites.

If the social product support manager is planning to “step up enforcement around our existing policy prohibiting commercial porn” when there currently is no such policy, for safety you should assume that either the policy will be changing or that the enforcement will hew to the manager’s view of what it means even when that’s not what it actually says. Neither is good news for the future of adult blogs on Blogger/Blogspot.

Sure, let’s all heave a sigh of relief that the March 23rd deadline is no longer looming. But don’t get complacent. If you’ve still got adult content on any Google property, get it out while you still can. Verbum sapienti satis.

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February 27th, 2015 -- by Bacchus

Google Porn Raid Drill: Over For Now

Shortly after midnight last night, Google’s Social Product Support Manager Jessica Pelegio posted this semi-retraction of last week’s equally quiet announcement of the #Pornocalypse come to Blogger (Blogspot) blogs:

Hello everyone,

This week, we announced a change to Blogger’s porn policy. We’ve had a ton of feedback, in particular about the introduction of a retroactive change (some people have had accounts for 10+ years), but also about the negative impact on individuals who post sexually explicit content to express their identities. So rather than implement this change, we’ve decided to step up enforcement around our existing policy prohibiting commercial porn.

Blog owners should continue to mark any blogs containing sexually explicit content as “adult” so that they can be placed behind an “adult content” warning page.

Bloggers whose content is consistent with this and other policies do not need to make any changes to their blogs.

Thank you for your continued feedback.

The Blogger Team

This is good news. You might even say it means Google is listening. But I think we can all take away from this a much clearer sense of Google’s corporate direction on adult material.

Smart people who are still using Google’s services for adult content distribution will now, of course, stop doing that. The next time, consequently, there will be less outrage and less backlash. Which means that when Google finally does move to delete the tens of thousands of moribund adult blogs that it threatened to delete this time, only cranks like me who see that material and the links to it as socially valuable will complain.

Note also that this announcement’s breezy summary “our existing policy prohibiting commercial porn” is substantially more broad in scope than the actual policy as of today, which prohibits making money on adult content but which is fine with just posting (for your own enjoyment) as much commercial porn as you want:

Do not use Blogger as a way to make money on adult content. For example, don’t create blogs that contain ads for or links to commercial porn sites.

Don’t be surprised if that wording changes, or if blogs full of commercial porn posted for fun start to disappear. Bets on whether the URL watermark on a commercial porn photo will start being treated as “ads for” commercial porn sites? Of course we’ll never know, because these deletions will not be accompanied by specific reasons, fleshed-out policies, or any meaningful human review or appeal.

But yeah. The Google porn raid siren has gone quiet again for now. Come out from under your desk, breathe a sigh of relief that the bombers aren’t coming on March 23rd, and then move your shit somewhere safe before the next time the damned porn raid sirens go off. Or as A.V. Flox puts it rather more eloquently at Slantist:

We tell ourselves “once on the internet, always on the internet,” like maintaining content is a trivial thing. But it isn’t a trivial thing — at any time, the company that you rely on to keep your content for free could change their policies, or get bought out and change their policies, or decide they want to go public and change their policies, or simply go under and take your content with them.

The longevity of data requires more intent than this. My advice is to seriously consider migrating to a self-hosted site if you can. If you can’t, make sure you export your data with some regularity.

Think of this as your 21st century reminder of a duck and cover drill. DEFCON has gone back up, but the Cold War on adult is far from over.

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February 26th, 2015 -- by Bacchus

Your Sexually Explicit Blogger/Blogspot Blog: An ErosBlog Recommendation

Subtitle: How To Tweak Your Robots.txt File So That The Wayback Machine Will Show The World What Google Refuses to Display

One of the reasons the adult internet will take such a hard body blow when Google makes sexually explicit Blogger (Blogspot) blogs forcibly private on March 23 is that in a single moment they will break millions of links around the web. As Violet Blue puts it:

When Google forces its “unacceptable” Blogger blogs to go dark, it will break more of the Internet than you think. Countless links that have been accessible on Blogger since its inception in 1999 will be broken across the Internet.

What’s your reflex response when you follow a link and find it broken? If it’s like me, you immediately click the link on your bookmarks toolbar that takes you to the WayBack Machine at the Internet Archive: https://archive.org/web/

The Wayback Machine and the Internet Archive’s crawling robot are powerful tools. Like all powerful tools, exactly how they work is sometimes obscure. Here are the basics: The IA crawler bot crawls the web, visiting as many pages as it can manage. And it stuffs those pages into the huge databases of the Wayback Machine, where the pages are preserved for all time, or anyway for as long as the Internet Archive can manage).

Preservation, however, is not the same as sharing and display. Some of the pages the Wayback Machine has in its databases are not displayed to the public. The reasons for this are covered in a complex FAQ, but for our purposes it’s enough to understand that sometimes when the IA crawler bot encounters a robots.txt file on a domain, that robots.txt file in effect tells the bot to go pound sand while pissing up a rope. And when the bot finds such a robots exclusion request, the bot politely backs away from the crazy person and (supposedly) refrains from capturing the current version of the pages. (See also: ROBOTS.TXT IS A SUICIDE NOTE)

In such a case (for reasons) the Wayback Machine will stop displaying any of the pages “protected” by the robot exclusion request. Any user requests will get this ugly red error instead:

wayback-robot-error

That’s so even if the IA bot has been to these pages a hundred times and has years of history in successive snapshots of the pages. If the robots.txt exclusion is present, the Wayback Machine refuses to display any of that old crawl data.

But note carefully what that explanation (and the Archive.org FAQ) does not say. The Wayback Machine does not display those old pages it still has in its database — but it certainly does not delete them from its database, either.

The Internet Archive and The WayBack Machine are not in the business of deleting shit. I take it as an article of faith that they for damned-skippy-sure never delete anything just because of a few lines in a robots.txt file.

Nothing on a website is there forever. That includes obnoxious robots.txt files. And when the robots.txt files go away, suddenly those old crawled pages become visible again. I actually saw this happen after Tumblr reversed itself in 2013 and at least temporarily stopped forcing a hostile robots.txt file onto its adult bloggers. The hostile robots.txt files stopped being so hostile, so the Wayback Machine could once again display the old pages that it had crawled and displayed upon request prior to Tumblr imposing the robots.txt files.

Consider now an adult Blogger (blogspot.com) blog that’s already private, because the owner chose to make it that way. Here’s the robots.txt file that Blogger displays by default:

blogger-private-robot-sample

There’s a good chance (if only because Google hasn’t telegraphed any planned changes to the functionality of its private Blogger blogs) that this same exclusionary robots.txt will appear for every sexually explicit Blogger blog that is forcibly flagged “private” on March 23.

So, if you have a sexually explicit Blogger blog right now, there’s a good chance it’s in the Wayback Machine already, in whole or in part. (You can check: go here and paste your URL in the box.)

Now let’s fast forward to March 24th. Suppose I notice some old ErosBlog post that links to your Blogger sex blog. I click the link and it’s now broken, because Google has forcibly set your blog to “private”. If I ask the Wayback Machine to show me the old page for the broken link, I’ll get the ugly red error. But the Internet Archive still has that old page in its database. And someday, when things change, the Wayback Machine could theoretically serve the old page once again. (Google might change its policy. The Internet Archive might change its policy. Google might have gone bankrupt, or sold the Blogspot.com domain to America Online. The Internet might have changed beyond all recognition. The horse might even learn to sing, we can’t know.)

From a practical standpoint, this fact that the old pages of your blog are still in the databases of the Internet Archives — but barred from public display — doesn’t help us much. But if you feel that your sexually explicit blog is a legitimate part of the cultural history of the early 21st century, it matters rather a lot. Because your blog is not lost to history — it’s just lost to those of us who are interested in it right now.

(Yes, I am assuming that the Internet Archives will be successful in preserving and transmitting its data — our data — into the deep future. That’s by no means assured. If you have oodles of spare money kicking around, giving them some of your oodles would no doubt help assure it.)

Thus this post is, in part, a “don’t panic” message about all the sex blogs that are about to disappear from the internet. I called it a “hard body blow” at the top of this post, and it is. But it’s not a fatal blow. Yes, it will break a ton of our links and create a big dark hole in our adult internet. But it won’t, if the gods keep smiling on Brewster Kahle and his people, disappear those old blogs forever.

But I wouldn’t be well over a dozen paragraphs into this huge wall of text if all I had to say was “don’t panic.” Here’s an interesting thing that I just discovered about a blog on Blogger: Google currently allows blog owners to set the contents of their own custom robots.txt files, even on blogs flagged as private.

You can log into your adult Blogger blog right now and set a custom robots.txt file. If you want the Internet Archive to keep displaying archived pages once Google breaks all your inbound links, set it like this under Settings – Search Preferences – Crawlers and Indexing:

blogger-open-robots

It can’t hurt anything, and it might mean that all your broken links can be “repaired” by people who encounter them. They will just paste the broken link into the Wayback Machine and be served a copy of the page as it used to be before Google went insane.

Will it work? Well, we don’t know for sure. Google could easily impose a uniform and restrictive robots.txt file on its adult bloggers after it forces them into “private” mode, by ignoring the custom setting or by removing it from the Blogger interface altogether. But — by design or oversight — Google might not do that, either.

If this trick does work, it means there will more traces remaining available to the public of your years of explicit sex blogging. And people who are bitterly disappointed by broken links to your stuff will have at least one useful thing to try.

Hopefully you’ll be taking more direct action too, like migrating your blog to private hosting. But if you can’t spare the resources to do that, this custom robots.txt change is a little thing you can do that may help a little.

P.S. If you have some technical skill and want to take a more proactive approach to saving our erotic cultural history, Archiveteam (these are the folks who saved Geocities, who also want you to understand they are not the Internet Archive) seems to have taken the news about Google’s erotic blog freakout as a sign that Blogger in general is no longer to be trusted. Because they have now announced they are “downloading everything”. This is great news, but it’s a project of epic size, and they can always use more help.

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February 25th, 2015 -- by Bacchus

Pussies In Mirrors

Since the heyday of American feminism at least, women have been encouraging other women to inspect themselves with a small mirror. But long before that became trendy in progressive US circles, some unknown Japanese shunga artist was imagining what it must look like when the ladies in the bathhouse undertook the experiment;

shunga art of three pussy self-inspections

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February 24th, 2015 -- by Bacchus

#Pornocalypse: Blogger/Blogspot Second Round

This is huge:

blogger-pornocalypse

Violet Blue has all the details at ZDNet:

Every Blogger user behind an “adult content warning” page was told Monday by Google to delete sexually explicit content, or find their blog removed from every form of access except registered users.

Until today, Google’s Blogger platform previously allowed “images or videos that contain nudity or sexual activity,” and stated that “Censoring this content is contrary to a service that bases itself on freedom of expression.”

That changed on a whim Monday when Google ripped the rug out from under its previously-compliant Blogger users, who were told they’d be disappeared if Google decided their blogs contain “sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video.”

Rather than leave its already-restricted adult content alone, Google has told Blogger users it will be eliminating all adult blogs from public access on March 23, 2015, (and taking them out of all forms of search).

Blogger blogs with adult content which — at this time — are findable in search will be deep-sixed from the Internet once the changes take effect.

It’s worth noting that the vast majority of adult blogspot/blogger blogs are, at this time, moribund. Which means that nobody will be bring them into compliance. And when they go dark in a month, a huge proportion of the links in the sex blogosphere will break.

I have said it before. I will say it again. Anything worth doing on the internet is worth doing on your own domain that you control. If you use a free service to post adult material, that free service will, eventually, fuck you. (Not in the nice way.)

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February 23rd, 2015 -- by Bacchus

She’d Rather Be Riding

Over the years I’ve assembled a nice little collection here at ErosBlog of testimonials to the erotic joys of the Hitachi Magic Wand. (New in 2013: now with less Hitachi in it!) The latest of these is an artwork by Amanda Manitach from her Tee Shirt Girls collection:

riding-her-hitachi

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February 22nd, 2015 -- by Bacchus

Bathhouse Fun

Russia in winter is notoriously grim. But there are some notable exceptions, and this bathhouse is one of them:

women in rural russian bath house

Photo by Sergey Vasiliev.

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February 21st, 2015 -- by Bacchus

Topless Tennis

 
February 20th, 2015 -- by Bacchus

1970s Girlfriend

I was too young to have a girlfriend in the 1970s. And I was definitely too young to get stoned and fuck on an old plaid couch:

get high and then we can fuck

But that doesn’t mean I can’t see the appeal.

Via Kinky Delight.

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February 19th, 2015 -- by Bacchus

Nursing Home Revenge

The sex comic Beware! Old Folks imagines a nursing home where the inmates decide to turn the tables on their sadistic and unpleasant nurses:

nursing home nurse captured by rampaging lecherous senior citizens

The sexuality of older people gets short shrift in our cultural depictions of sex. This comic is interesting because it credits its senior-citizen characters with the same rough sexuality that characterizes every other comic in the typically-brutal Dofantasy line.

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