Unfounded porn complaints today shut down Just a Girl in Short Shorts Talking About Whatever

by CynthiaYockey on July 15, 2009

I came home from taking my father to the pool this afternoon and thought I’d see if there were any comments that I needed to approve before watering the tomatoes and starting dinner, when this urgent message changed my plans:

Look what’s happened to the Just a Girl in Short Shorts blog:

http://girlinshortshorts.blogspot.com

It’s not a content warning. You can’t get to the blog anymore. Based on the taglines I see here – http://www.mybloglog.com/buzz/community/beckyshorts/ – she believes complaints were made by conservatives. No way. This is the work of Obama’s people. They did it to Hillary last year. I think this may have been her fatal post:

http://74.125.113.132/search?q=cache:_TQpDQphysQJ:www.girlinshortshorts.blogspot.com/+girl+in+short+shorts&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Becky, the author of the Blogger blog Just a Girl in Short Shorts Talking About Whatever, is a lesbian, mother, lawyer and libertarian. She always has something worthwhile to say. Her illustrations are occasionally on the frisky side, but within the Rule 5 standards set out by dear Stacy McCain of The Other McCain, who provides advice on his blog on How to Get a Million Hits in Less Than a Year.

Come to find that Becky had no problems with censorship during the evil Boooosh regime — the harassment didn’t start until Obama became president:

This blog chugged along for two and a half years without any problems, but with the Dawn of the Age of Obama—nothing but trouble. The blog has never changed, and it certainly has not changed since May—the last time this happened, and Google, after an avalanche of complaints from my readers, decided that I am not really a purveyor of smut and removed the content warning splash page.

Please go there and offer her words of encouragement and support. Do not be deterred by the Google content warning page.

Update, 7/16/2009:

Here is the first of comments posted at Becky’s site from a Blogger representative:

Becky – I’m a product manager on Blogger, and would hate to see you stop blogging (here or anywhere).

I sent you an e-mail (to the yahoo.com address on your profile) back in May the last time this happened, and sent another tonight – I want to do what I can to make this right (starting with clearing the air about why the interstitial appeared today) and hope that we can keep you as an active blogger.

To be clear: at no time are any classifications applied to blogs because of their political views. That would be the antithesis of why Blogger was founded ten years ago, and is contrary to everything the team believes about giving our users a platform on which they can speak their mind.

I’m traveling today and tomorrow but hope that we get a chance to connect.

Rick Klau
Product Manager, Blogger
rklau@google.com

The second one is especially interesting because he explains why so many Hillary blogs disappeared during the campaign season — although Obama blogs did not, go figure:

@I R A Darth Aggie – last year’s issue with the Hillary blogs that were blocked was absolutely not politically motivated. There were a number of theories about the root cause, none of which were actually correct.

The actual explanation is far less exciting: one of the many signals used to inform our spam algorithm (not from Blogger, but from another internal system) had a bug introduced. That bug resulted in a batch of URLs getting added to a probable spam signal. This wasn’t exclusive to blogs that talked about Hillary – there were a number of non-political blogs as well – but because it was during the election and they were the most visibly affected blogs, that became the obvious (albeit wrong) conclusion.

It was not in any way influenced by end users attempting to game the system.

I don’t know that we’ve ever talked about that specific situation before (it happened before I joined Blogger, but was one of the issues I raised during my interviews internally – I was concerned there might be some truth to the rumors), so I’m not surprised to see this info persist. But I thought I’d just try and clarify that background.

–Rick
8:14 AM

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  • http://shakeypete.blogspot.copm Peter

    Becky had me at short shorts. Lets find out who did this and I’ll gather up a big crowd of rednecks and we’ll git ‘em. Us rednecks love us some Daisy Dukes!

  • apodoca

    I took a gander at Becky’s blog, and I’d like to share this point with you; perhaps you can pass it on to Becky, Cynthia.

    I read a lot of guy blogs: Ace of Spades, My Pet Jawa and others. Becky runs pretty much similar content. The difference is this: the guys REQUIRE you to click a link to see the nekkid pictures or the stuff that might be regarded as questionable for the purpose of harassment. Becky puts it on the main page itself. Advice to Becky, DON’T!

    Interesting that she took the side of the Mormons against the guys kissing in front of some place or other.

    Blog’s got some great content worth reading (says this heterosexual, Christian Conservative). A pity if she stops blogging.

  • I R A Darth Aggie

    Like Peter, Becky had me at shorts. That she’s a libertarian, oh be still my beating heart. *sigh*

  • apodoca

    Good news from Blogger. It would be interesting to find out how/why that “interstitial” appeared. Keep on blogging, Becky!

    Sorry, I have to send messages to Becky from here, Cynthia, but I can’t see blogspot from behind the Bamboo Curtain without activating a proxy which sometimes screws up other things. Someone must’ve told them about this very popular proxy!

  • http://shakeypete.blogspot.copm Peter

    Strange how there are only Cynthia, Cecillia and me, so far, complaining at the Blogger help site.

  • Embarassed Wolverine Dyke

    Cynthia -
    I found my way to your blog as I was grieving the loss of Becky’s eminently clear and rational, and thus radical webville voice. I found your link, and felt a glimmer of hope that yours might be a similar oasis in the desert that is American discourse. Alas, it is not, is it?

    It seems to this logical, hard-headed Michigan engineer, that with the exception of abortion policy, you have replaced lazy, irrational liberal thinking with the crazy gibberish of the right. My thinking was annealed in a very rigourous crucible in Ann Arbor. Would that yours had been too.

    While they are still available, please go back and read Becky’s archives. Calling yourself “conservative” without really understanding what it means destroys all credibility – even to someone (like a Wolverine dyke!) who really wants to agree with you.

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Embarrassed Wolverine Dyke,

      If you are so devoted to Becky and consider her the model of all things conservative — when she is a libertarian, and there’s a difference — yet the one area where you agree with me is abortion, where I am pro-choice — how could you not have noticed that Becky is pro-life?

      How utterly totalitarian lesbian of you to use name-calling, shaming, invalidation, domination and ostracism as your primary tools of discussion! But not a single point that you support with your own experience, evidence, facts of any kind or your philosophy. Since you don’t bring any of those to the table, you are welcome to continue your search for people with whom you agree.

      Cynthia

  • Embarassed Wolverine Dyke

    Cynthia said, “How utterly totalitarian lesbian of you to use name-calling, shaming, invalidation, domination and ostracism as your primary tools of discussion!”

    WOW! Now that made my morning! And c’mon Cynthia youz GOTZDA see the humor in that.

    Becky’s views are those of Goldwater (ie “Conscience of a Conservative” and all that) with a lovely daisy duke touch. Call me old skool, but where L. Benson had problems with D. Quayle’s comparing himself to JFK, I really grow tired of the Palins and other rapidly dwindling remnants of the GOP even thinking they represent the party of Goldwater or Reagan. And your blog, as it now stands, only perpetuates said representations.

    As to abortion, I know where Becky stands. She makes a logical (again, nectar in this land of parchment) case, with which I might or might not agree. Your point on abortion is also logical, nuianced, and one with which I might or might not agree. Becky rarely, if ever, veers from the road of clear concise argument. Cynthia, why not project less hyperbole and more developed arguments?

    Really, Cynthia, Im callin you out to raise your game. Youre capable of doing it (see: abortion), and Im thinkin with your educational background and willingness to admit a course change at 55, Im doin you a favor makin that call, that is if youre up to admitting it.

    Sincerely,
    Totalitarian Lesbian Who Cares NOt Always For Agreement But Rather Logical Discourse (why IS it so hard to find in early 21st c America?)

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Embarrassed Wolverine Dyke,

      You did not call me out. You just ranted again. I answer people who make their points and support them. If you think you have made and defended a point with “I really grow tired of the Palins and other rapidly dwindling remnants of the GOP even thinking they represent the party of Goldwater or Reagan,” you are wrong: that is a rant. The rest of your comment is just insults. You need to go find a blog where people don’t know the difference and there is a lot of heat, but no light. I’m going for the light, here.

      Cynthia

  • http://frizzensparks.org Graumagus

    This is exactly why I went with paid hosting instead of posting my twisted ramblings on a “free” blogging service.

    The problem with free hosting is that it’s free. The company providing you with that service has very little reason not to just erase your content if what you post offends someone (or if someone with an axe to grind makes themselves enough of a pain in the arse pretending they were offended). It’s not worth their time to defend you.

    Whereas with paid hosting, you have entered into a business contract with that company for services rendered. Since you’re paying them, they naturally wouldn’t just one-click that income into oblivion.

    As long as you read the terms of service VERY carefully. Many have clauses in the small print that you’ll find specifically ban the type of blogging you want to do. IE: some of the hosting companies recommended by WordPress and other blog software companies have no adult content (including profanity) clauses.

    I took exception to that, so I found a hosting company recommended by the online better business bureau and several online first amendment organizations, one that allowed anything that doesn’t actually violate the law up to and including legal adult material. This pretty much guaranteed I could do as I damn well please and not worry about my content evaporating (as lame as it is). With hosting and domain registration, this costs me less than $8/mo for more disk space and bandwidth than I’ll ever need.

    Worth every penny.
    .-= Graumagus´s last blog ..So THIS is how they planned on paying for that health care bill =-.

  • http://falkie2008.blogspot.com george senda

    When I grew up in the ’50′s, censorship was decried and said to be only practiced in dictatorships like the Soviet Union, Cuba, China or Nazi Germany. Yet a site that MILLIONS have read is shut down for ambiguous violations of service. – I am a Conservative Republican Straight male with Libertarian leanings. I enjoyed Becky’s site and thought her pictures were used for emphasis and sometimes were very tongue-in-cheek. I do not EVER recall seeing ANY nude photos on her site. So now a voice that says things that I could read nowhere else, is shut down because some clown in Podunkville is offended ?

    What happened to intellectual discourse Blogger & Google ? Not to mention free speech ? – One way to make our feelings felt would be to buy 1 share of Google and raise hell at a stockholders meeting. In a non-disruptive way, of course. — I have complained to companies like Citigroup, Bank of America and others as a stockholder when I got absolutely nowhere as a customer or account holder.

    I will miss Becky’s blog. And besides, she wrote a hell of a lot better than I do .

    I hope she starts it up again or puts it on a less restrictive blogging site.

    Falkie
    .-= george senda´s last blog ..Norman Chad, the WSOP & comedy commentators… =-.

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      george senda,

      Becky said she thought she was shut down for posts that were critical of Obama. The illustrations were just an excuse for a TOS complaint. I think she is right. So it wasn’t conservatives in Podunkville who were offended and shut her down, it was Lefties in ACORNland.

      Until Becky starts a new blog, she is microblogging on Twitter and you can follow her at @beckychr007.

      I don’t tweet very often, but you also are welcome to follow me at @conservativelez.

      Cynthia

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