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Google reverses ban on explicit Blogger content

The tech giant makes a hasty U-turn on its decision to ban sexually explicit content from Blogger blogs.

Google has reversed its decision to ban explicit sexual content on Blogger.

The tech giant said it decided to reverse the ban in light of feedback and concern related to the "retroactive enforcement of the new policy" that would impact bloggers who have held accounts for over 10 years, according to an update Friday by social product support manager Jessica Pelegio on Google's Product Forums.

In addition, Pelegio said the reversal is due in part to the potential "negative impact on individuals who post sexually explicit content to express their identities."

Instead, Google will "step up enforcement" around an existing policy that prohibits commercial porn.

Earlier this week, the online search giant informed users of the Blogger network who ran blogs behind an "adult content warning" page that all adult blogs would be removed from the public eye on March 23, leaving access only granted to registered users. The notice to Bloggers behind the "adult" door read:

"In the coming weeks, we'll no longer allow blogs that contain sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video. We'll still allow nudity presented in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts, or presented where there are other substantial benefits to the public from not taking action on the content. The new policy will go into effect on the 23rd of March 2015. After this policy goes into effect, Google will restrict access to any blog identified as being in violation of our revised policy. No content will be deleted, but only blog authors and those with whom they have expressly shared the blog will be able to see the content we've made private."

In order to prevent their blogs from being removed from the public arena, users were told to delete "sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video." According to ZDNet's Violet Blue, blogs under the "adult" label are wide-ranging and include LGBT diaries, transgender activists, romance book writers, sex toy reviewers, art nude photographers and sex news blogs.

Google said that bloggers should continue to mark blogs which contain explicit content as "adult" so they can be placed behind a suitable "adult content" warning on the network.

This story was originally published as "Google backtracks on 'explicit' Blogger content ban" on ZDNet.