Objectionable Content

Blogger has implemented a number of new features recently including the word verification for comments and now a new item in which you can flag objectionable content.

“This feature is called “Flag As Objectionable” and it’s accessible via the Blogger Navbar. The “Flag?” button allows the blogging community to easily note questionable content, which in turn helps us take action when needed. So we’re relying on you, the users, to be our eyes on the web, and to let us know of potential issues that are important to you.

It is our strong belief that blogs help make the Web an important medium of self-expression; Blogger has given a voice to millions of people. Our users gossip, joke, rant, publish, share, and on occasion might post potentially objectionable stuff. We generally do not review the content posted through our service but our responsibility extends beyond Blogger users to casual readers of Blog*Spot.

The “Flag?” button is a means by which readers of Blog*Spot can help inform us about potentially questionable content, so we can prevent others from encountering such material by setting particular blogs as “unlisted.” This means the blog won’t be promoted on Blogger.com but will still be available on the web — we prefer to keep in mind that one person’s vulgarity is another’s poetry. Or something like that.

For more serious cases, such as spam blogs or sites engaging in illegal activity, we will continue to enforce our existing policies (removing content and deleting accounts when necessary).”

Objectionable content is so very subjective. What I find offensive may not be seen as such by another and vice-versa. I am not sure that I like this. I am a very big proponent of free speech, especially within the blogosphere. I haven’t decided if I believe in any limitations, but those would be very limited. Off the top of my head I have to say that it is probably what you would call hate speech. I am not interested in helping racists promote their ideas.

Blogger also referred to The Wisdom of Crowds which I think is interesting but I am not sure that I buy into. I haven’t read the book, but I did read the entry. I don’t know that I accept the premise that crowds of people will come to smarter conclusions than individuals. There are far too many variables for this to make sense to me.

But this does provide good food for thought.

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