Sunday, May 01, 2011

SUNDAY BREAKFAST

















This is the second Sunday Doc40 breakfast partaken behind the iron curtain of a Blogger Content Warning. For those of you who are not involved, the topic is probably getting boring, but what-the-fuck? It’s pissing me right off. A couple of times this week I was about ready to quit the whole thing and find some other means to waste my free time. It wasn’t the simple matter of the actual content warning. As some well-wishers on Facebook suggested, it was something of a badge on honour. The real problem is that it royally screwed up search engines and consigned the accumulated Doc40 random data-fest to inaccessible oblivion – and there is some vitally arcane stuff in the Doc40 archive. Traffic dropped by 40% and I was at a loss. I had dug into the non-human circular labyrinth of Blogger and achieved nothing. No explanation or appeal was offered. I had considered restarting the whole thing on Wordpress or some other platform, but I had to ask myself just how much time could I really devote to what is, after all, a piece of unpaid internet performance art. But then I realised something. The traffic might be dwindling, but the readers who have stayed with me are the hardcore regulars and I value our mutually created virtual funhouse too much to simply dump it. Also I began to suspect that the content warning was somehow screwing up my tracker. I was seeing no referrals even from my own Facebook links and blogs in the same philosophical neighbourhood, when I knew that they existed. Thus I wasn’t even certain of the figures. I also became recalcitrant, because I strongly suspected that my troubles were the handiwork of trolls with a new weapon. They can flag as offensive anything they don’t like or with which they disagree, and create the kind of damage that has just caused me almost to quit the business. Then I saw a story on Dangerous Minds about how the mega-blog Ars Techina had been royally screwed on Facebook by what seemed to be malicious copyright complaints. The culture wars continue being fought in cyberspace and the trolls have found a new weapon. Unfortunately my moral scruples will not allow me to use it against anything I might find offensive. This whole business requires thought, discussion, and definite pressure on Facebook, Blogger and other providers to check more thoroughly that complainants are legitimate. In the meantime, I carry on while wondering what the fuck will happen next.

The secret word is Struggle  

23 comments:

UK Steve said...

It's happening everywhere Mick. Facebook have pulled countless anti-cuts pages just recently, with no explanation and no redress for those concerned. It's tempting to go on a web-trawl and try reporting every creationist blog (for example) as "offensive" but then again free speech should mean something, so I'm with you on the moral scruples front. In the meantime, I do what little I can by telling people to check out doc40 at every available opportunity. Word-of-mouth may be our only weapon here - let's all use it, eh?

thepinkspidercompany said...

Keep it up Mick.. freedom of speech is still a human right, no matter what FaceBurglars think. Xj

Aleleeinn said...

I'm with you here.
You've described the dilemma perfectly. We are shackled by scruples and a fundamental respect for free speech. That is the essential problem from personal activity up to politics.
The faithful find immoral (even in their ethical system) actions acceptable tools against "the enemy".
We are encumbered by both truth and logic. How do you enlighten those who don't want to open their eyes?

Aleleeinn said...

LOVE THE BACON AND EGGS PICTURE.

Ed Ward said...

Me, too!

Actually, migrating to another blogging platform is a matter of an hour or two's work if you're as completely incompetent as I am, less if you're more adroit. I contributed to a couple of Wordpress blogs when I was in Berlin, and although there are a few non-intuitive hoops to jump through, you figure them out pretty fast.

Just my two Euro-cents.

Drewsus said...

I do think censorship is a big problem. And I think most net sites live by the click as you implied. Don't stop the good fight, though. No matter how the man wants to shut you down, find another way!

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Similarly, Blogger Control has blocked my ability to post graphic content from the internet after five years of my doing just that. I would like to think there is a way around this but I am not savvy enough to figure it out.

Graeme K Talboys said...

This is one of the few blogs I visit on a regular basis as it's one of the few worth visiting and I'm not stopping now.

Keep up the good work.

George Tee said...

Is it a time for moral scruples, or is it a war we should fight By Any Means Necessary? (I'm not sure.) (I do still have a copy of the old Penguin compilation BAMN though.)

All other issues aside, you giving up would leave a big hole in my regular web visiting / online life. And hell, yes, it is a valuable thing you've created in its own right, regardless of whether the likes of me visit it.

I think self-hosted Wordpress is the way to go - get away from corporates like Facebook and Blogger - all their "hipness" and "don't be evil" bull is just that, bull.

George Tee said...

An additional thought; couldn't we between us manage to orchestrate / stoke up some kind of pressure on the corporates about their "censorship without appeal" stance?

RevQ said...

Breakfast at Lemmy's

stu said...

you`re a lot more gracious than me mick,my initial response was let`s do `em.but,if you say no...

Grubbermeister said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grubbermeister said...

(Maybe one day I'll learn to type properly on my phone, so here we go again... )

Keep doing what you and (cliche warning ahead!) damn the torpedoes!

Profound, I know...

M. Bouffant said...

Don't let the bastards grind you down, to coin another phrase. And don't give some troll an absolute victory for the price of one click.

It's not as if this has cut into your advertising revenue, & if it's cut down on weekend hippies & poseurs dropping by, their loss, eh?

Oddly enough, my bog-roll link to you, several yrs. old, works just fine, 'though if one makes a new link one gets "BLOGGER CONTENT WARNING" instead of the blog-title & feed. I renamed that one, but even it leads straight to you w/o the content warning page. Google Reader does go to the warning page, however.

Another coinage: The present-day blogger refuses to die!

Andy Jukes said...

How can I help remove this barrier? Who can I contact with my opinion?

Mal said...

Don't give up Mick, this place is too good to lose.
but........
Doc Fawlty
Doc For Tea
Doc Farty
Doc 4T

Y'know Nil Illigitimi Carborundum

Aleleeinn said...

Mal has a good idea. But cut and paste to multiple blogs. See how long it takes for all of the to be restricted.

Anonymous said...

It would seem that since the Content Warning was imposed, folks are leaving many more comments.

slinkymalinky said...

If it helps at all, I don't give a rat's ass about any warnings - I've been reading this blog almost daily ever since I first discovered it and recommended my friends and even my mum to do the same. It is always interesting, always entertaining and I hope you'll keep it up.

Kerry

Steeeeem said...

We still need you, Mick. Don't make us go it alone.

Ian said...

The only way to be sure is to take off and nuke them from orbit.

(Betcha getting less spam, though.)

Think I'll visit my own blog (wherever it is) and have a bitch about it.

seeformiles said...

Hi Mick - It's difficult to view your site on my machine since, when I enter, a "This Page cannot be displayed" error appears and requires some serious trickery to make it go away. Have happily succeeded now but it may explain the drop in traffic if it's happening to others.