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Sunday, September 11, 2005

BlogCruiser Rant

What is the "Flag" button? Oh No!

Who is going to use a blogging system filled with spam, hate speech, adult pornography, child pornography, etc. Yes, the blogspot.com policies are already to take off illegal material. How though is blogger supposed to police a system of this size of all the spam and illegal blogs without some type of organized assistance? I think that is what most people will use the flags for. That is not the only thing blogger has stated as the use for the flags but I think that is more of the intent. Will there be people to abuse it? Of course there will be, is there anything that some people don’t find a way to abuse?

Blogger Help Paragraph:

Here's How It Works

When a person visiting a blog clicks the "Flag?" button in the Blogger Navbar, it means they believe the content of the blog may be potentially offensive or illegal. We track the number of times a blog has been flagged as objectionable and use this information to determine what action is needed. This feature allows the blogging community as a whole to identify content they deem objectionable.”

The flag concept doesn’t really bother me a whole lot. The warning title pages don’t thrill me but I can understand the thought behind them. The traffic advertising from being unlisted at blogspot.com page bothers me the least. If they want to do this I can understand. Who is going to use their random search bar system if they feel they will have more harmful material, spam, illegal material then content? There are already many other web systems that will not add blogspot blogs because there are too many spam and other items in this system. The needed resources to pick and choose through the quantity of them for many businesses even using bots and technology just isn’t available, so they block them or don’t even bother to crawl them.

Unfortunately, I think the system concept is rather simplified and “objectionable” or “offensive” are really too subjective to render any meaningful system of marking a blog with a warning page.

I have a few suggestions:

How about using a system of sort that has self identification and viewer’s identification?

One with items listed that can be checked and ratings that can be checked by both the bloggers and visitors. A comments system that is available for the visitors and the bloggers. I’m not saying add star ratings and I like this blog system but one that identifies the content for its age group to its concepts. State if it’s a liberal, adult, right, teen, left, children or none of the above type blog. Have a place where the bloggers and viewers can state why they find it objectionable seems much more useful then just anyone tagging it objectionable.

Make it all very user-friendly, simple, fast and non-obtrusive as possible. This could actually build a magnificent a la carte system for all the bloggers and visitors of blogs at blogger.com.

I don’t like censorship but I am about respect for others. I don’t really call what they are doing censorship though. They are not saying they are going to remove objectionable material just add warnings. Illegal material is another subject that they state in the policies they will remove.

The bottom line though is Blogger is a privately owned business and can censor all they desire, it is their right. There isn’t a thing anyone could do about it except complain. I don’t really get the impression that censorship is their intent. My impression is they are trying to improve the systems usefulness for more people and at the same time not advertise and promote spam and illegal material.

Feel free to comment if you have an opinions or thoughts you would like to add.

Feel free to FLAG this blog if you find this blog “objectionable”. However, I don’t truly promote flagging this blog because I think it defeats the real purpose behind the idea of the flag button.

blogged by BlogCruiser @ 9/11/2005 Links to this post

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