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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ridicule By Friends Does Not Justify Blog Removal

We see occasional tales of woe, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
My friends are making fun of me, because my name, when searched in Google, comes up on a non complimentary blog. The owner of the blog has forgotten the password, and can't recover control. How do I convince Blogger to have the offending blog removed?
The answer, here, is not promising.
You can't. No laws have been broken, nor has Google TOS been violated.
That's harsh reality, that is going to happen, a few times.

One cannot judge a blog, based on humourous remarks from one's friends.

The owner of a blog, who lists public details such as name, address, and educational status, has not broken privacy laws. A blog that lists your name, and other public details, is not unlawful.

If the owner has not broken any laws - and if he is truly unable to recover access to the blog, it's probably going to stay there, for a long time. Blogger will protect that blog from theft, to their best ability - just as they protect all of our blogs.

Google can't legally censor such a blog, or delete it, because it's content is not unlawful.

We get reports daily, from people who published a stupid blog years ago - where they now need to remove the blog, because it comes up in a name search, and subjects them to bad reputation. We also get posts by people who find their blogs offline, because somebody has claimed they are illegal.

To protect against the latter, there will be more of the former.

If you feel victimised by these circumstances, you will probably need a court order, issued by a sitting judge. That will require that you hire a lawyer, and that you prove that the blog is injurious to you.

Barring a court order, Google is unlikely to do anything, because they have no way of verifying your status.

There have been too many blogs stolen from their rightful owners, or deleted by Blogger unfairly, for them to simply act on your complaint without investigation. I'm sure that this is not a pleasant reality for you to face - but that's one of the problems.

You may have to endure the ridicule of your friends, until somebody else does something stupid, when you will be ignored - and hope that your prospective employer has more business smarts than to judge somebody unfairly, based on a stupid prank, from 10 years ago.

Dude, hit me with a comment!