The Infidel reprieved
Starting March 23, 2015, you won’t be able to publicly share images and video that are sexually explicit or show graphic nudity on Blogger.....If your existing blog does have sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video, your blog will be made private after March 23, 2015. No content will be deleted, but private content can only be seen by the owner or admins of the blog and the people who the owner has shared the blog with.
Or, as Faye Kane put it, "They decided to go the way of MySpace".
They also apparently sent e-mails to some bloggers who were especially likely to be impacted. I didn't get one, but of course that's no guarantee of anything. This blog currently has 2,936 posts on it, spanning eight and a half years, including a fair number of videos and images. How the hell am I supposed to remember whether any of them "are sexually explicit or show graphic nudity", especially by the standards of some prim, pursed-lipped bundle of disapproval hired by grey men in grey suits to review and judge borderline cases? One instance I do remember is the picture I used with this post, simply because a couple of commenters remarked on it, which surprised me a little. When I chose it for the post, the fact that the person in it is naked didn't register to me as especially important, because it doesn't come naturally to me to think of sexuality or nudity as distinct or problematic categories. Whether some pearl-clutcher would consider it "graphic" nudity, who knows? And I certainly don't have instant recall of every picture and video I've ever posted. Beyond that, I don't want to be constantly worrying about this kind of nonsense with everything I post in the future.
So I was faced with the prospect of having to find a new "platform" which would be acceptably hassle-free (some of them stink) and figure out how to transfer eight and a half years of stuff to it, which would have been a huge PITA -- I don't know much about the technical side of the internet, and it bores me. I was planning to do a post this week asking for recommendations from readers who use different platforms for their own blogs.
I should have known better. A few days later, an "update" appeared on Blogger Help:
This week, we announced a change to Blogger’s porn policy stating that blogs that distributed sexually explicit images or graphic nudity would be made private.
We’ve received lots of feedback [I'll bet they did -- Infidel] about making a policy change that impacts longstanding blogs, and about the negative impact this could have on individuals who post sexually explicit content to express their identities.
We appreciate the feedback. Instead of making this change, we will be maintaining our existing policies.
Faye Kane is probably right -- if I had left, I would not have been alone, but part of a mass migration leaving Blogger a ghost town enlivened only by occasional tumbleweeds. Bloggers being what we are, even many who would never post "graphic nudity" would likely have left simply due to disgust at a tightening of content-based censorship. And we tend not to be shy about giving our "feedback" on such matters.
So for now, the migration is off. This is still a bad sign, though. Whatever impulse prompted the planned change in the first place is still there, perhaps to surface again someday.