Over the past weeks I have become acquainted with Google’s Help Forum, and the issues fellow bloggers have been facing EVERY day with the continuing and unrelenting attack by Google on the blogging community. The attack is not just focused on the gay community, but to all of us in this community, the havoc being wreaked is particularly evident, and stats are being tracked.
I have also become aware of just how much Jeff and Brent do for us through their blog Google/Blogger Closes Gay Blogs. Jeff started this blog as a result of his own blog closure and his ensuing battle in the help forum to have it reinstated. He has since been a very lonely voice of advocacy in the forums for accountability and change. When he started speaking out there was no review process at all, and there was little visibility about the extent to which all these closures affected the gay community. Since then, the review process has been adopted (albeit just a sham at this stage) and there is growing awareness in the help forum about how much this happens to gay blogs. I am trying to lend my support to all that Jeff has done by speaking up in the forums as well. Jeff has accomplished a great deal with his one voice, but he needs a lot more support in there, if enough of us speak up against this ludicrous system, then we can force Blogger to become accountable and to adopt change.
We can get more voices by raising the awareness level within the gay online community to how much damage is being inflicted. If you are under the belief that this is only happening to porn blogs, you are sorely mistaken.
As bloggers, we can help to raise awareness, support Jeff and Brent’s efforts, and hopefully encourage others to speak out. I created the widget below for that purpose and to highlight the number of blogs that have been closed. When I made it two weeks ago, the number was at 1,055. At the time of this writing another 49 bloggers have had their blogs closed since, and that is ONLY what gets reported. I don’t just see a number when I look at the counter, I see a 1,104 blogs just like mine that have been closed without reason, and without due recourse. This blog may be another number in that total next week, and yours might be too.
The gadget is easy to set up, fully configurable, and works on any blog platform. I submitted it to Blogger for inclusion in their Gadget directory early last week, lol, I have heard nothing back.
Let’s show Google Blogger that we are aware of what they are doing, that we think the closing of so many gay blogs is shameful, and that we support the efforts of Jeff and Brent by displaying this counter on our blogs. It is updated twice weekly with the latest casualty figures.