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How Google is censoring Blogger content

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Is Google trying to carry out localized censorship?

The search engine giant is now redirecting some Blogger visitors to specific top-level domains (TLD) for their respective countries. For instance, if you visit Blogspot.com from India, you’re likely to be redirected to Blogspot.in.

Much like Twitter’s new geographic tweet-censoring capability, there’s a good reason for this move, according to a support post first spotted by Techdows.

Google says the move towards localized domains will help it protect the notion of free expression and publishing on the Web, while at the same time helping it carry out valid requests for content removal as required by local laws in a specific country.

Through the use of these localized TLDs (country-code top level domains or ccTLDs), Google will be able to remove posts that don’t comply with a specific country’s laws on publishing on a per-country basis.

That means that if you’ve created a post that’s not tolerated under French law but is compliant with laws in the rest of the world, Google will only block it on the French version of Blogger—ensuring the rest of the world can still see your post.

Other than the possibility of one of your posts being hidden in a specific country, the only real difference you’ll see is the website address changing slightly (from Blogspot.com to Blogspot.in, for example). Your blog’s search-engine optimiziation (SEO) won’t be affected either.

If you’d like to view a country-specific version of a Blogger post, there’s a simple workaround. By adding “/ncr” to the end of the URL, you’ll be able to view a Google site as though you were in a different country. For instance, if you input http://[blogname].blogspot.com/ncr, you’ll be taken to the U.S English version of the blog, even if Google thinks you’re in another country.

The reasoning behind the overally move is actually positive for most Blogger users. In essence, Google is ensuring your blog posts will be hidden from as few people as possible.

Google is rolling out ccTLDs to more countries over the next few months.

Photo by janoma