Thursday, February 02, 2012

are you a Koreablogger who uses Blogger?
then you'd better watch yer ass

This is double plus ungood.

Google has quietly announced changes to its Blogger free-blogging platform that will enable the blocking of content only in countries where censorship is required.

Twitter announced technology last week addressing the same topic. It said it had acquired the ability to censor tweets in the countries only where it was ordered removed, instead of on an internet-wide basis.

Twitter’s announcement via its blog sparked a huge online backlash. The microblogging service was accused of becoming a censoring agent.

Yet Google’s announcement three weeks ago — buried in a Blogger help page — went unnoticed until it was highlighted by TechDows on Tuesday.

Google wrote Jan. 9 it would begin redirecting Blogger traffic to country-specific URLs, meaning whatever country you’re in, you’ll get that country’s domain for Blogger-hosted blogs.

TechDows reports that this is now happening in India, for example. So when you’re there and click on a Blogger blog, the URL will end .in.

Doing that, Google wrote, means content can be removed “on a per country basis.”

“Migrating to localized domains will allow us to continue promoting free expression and responsible publishing while providing greater flexibility in complying with valid removal requests pursuant to local law,” Google wrote.

Twitter did not announce how its new technology functions, but said Twitter has the ability to remove tweets only in countries where that content was barred.



Charles said...

That is depressing. What sort of thing do you think the internet monitors in Korea might censor, though?

Also, since I do not use the Twitter, I will address a recently tweeted question here...

Gandalf's white staff is a new weapon. He only gets it after his resurrection. His former staff is more rustic wood with a gnarled bit on the end (in which he can lodge a handy, battery-powered electric light).

As far as Luke's lightsaber goes, I assume you mean the one he lost when dear old Dad chopped off his hand? I had always thought that he just made a new one.

Kevin Kim said...


re: Gandalf's staff

I don't know whether you've seen the Extended Version of Jackson's LOTR, but in "The Return of the King," Gandalf the White loses his staff in an encounter with the Witch King of Angmar during the battle at Minas Tirith. In an interesting parallel to what happens to Saruman's staff (in the same extended version of ROTK), the white staff is shattered, but when we see Gandalf at the end of the film, beckoning Bilbo and Frodo aboard the Elven ship, there's the staff again. (Maybe he had Jedi training and constructed a new one...?)

re: Luke's lightsaber

In "Return of the Jedi," Luke tosses his lightsaber aside when he renounces any intention to kill his father. The saber is presumably destroyed in the subsequent explosion of the second Death Star, but there it is, swinging on Luke's belt, when he's reunited with his friends on Endor.

(Perhaps there's a cut scene in which Luke abandons his dying father in the throne room, hunts for his saber, clips it back onto his belt, and then drags Vader to the hangar bay.)

re: censorship in Korea

I recall those dark days after the Kim Sun-il beheading, when the MIC blocked a mess of blogging sites in an effort to keep the beheading video from spreading in Korea. Those days could return more easily with this new betrayal by Google.

"Don't Be Evil," forsooth!

Charles said...

I had forgotten about those continuity issues in both of those films: LOTR because the film account doesn't jive with the books (which I still know better) and ROTJ because... well, I haven't seen that film in ages.

At least in the case of Gandalf, though, it's hard to believe that he would let that much time pass without getting himself a new staff, so I'm not sure if it really needs to be accounted for. The lightsaber thing, though, is a different story.

Sometimes I wonder if these things just end up getting left on the editing room floor.

On the censorship: ah, that's right, it was pretty much just widespread blocking out of blogs no matter what their content might have been, wasn't it? Yes, that would be bad.