What if Google Blocked Your Site?

“Yet, Google’s system makes no distinction between people who have malsites and people who get hacked and then fix their sites. Neither Google nor Twitter notified me at all, despite the fact that both have my email address via my respective accounts at those services, nor did they give me any fair warning to remedy the problem before they took action. Instead, they just treated me like a cybercriminal.” – Ian Bogost

While net neutrality advocates are focused on the bandwidth side of net neutrality, this is the fourth instance in the past couple months of Google causing collateral damage in the name of safety, and not-being-evil.

I’ll agree that malware is an issue that should be stopped early.

I’m just not sure how far away malware is from communism.

Ultimately, issues like this are why Google (and Twitter) needs a number of viable competitors.

Wanted: Bud Nippers

I took a long walk yesterday, and on Dave’s recommendation, listened to the great Skepticality interview with Pro. Philip Zimbardo (Stanford Prison Experiment, The Lucifer Effect, etc) on how “normal” people turn “evil”.

Answer: Baby-step by baby-step in an environment encouraging exclusion.

While my initial reaction to the blogosphere drama of the last couple weeks is to ignore it in hopes it’ll go away, right when I think it does….it morphs into something even more fucked up.

Zimbardo’s recommendation to prevent bad things from progressing: the bystanders (there always are some) are responsible to stop it. Immediately and continuously.

“To defend the people who no one wants to defend. That, imho, would be a very positive first step.” – Dave Winer

Yes, this means you. And me.

Elsewhere:
J’s 5-word code of conduct

FCC’s Current Stance on Internet Censorship

This topic came up in a lunch conversation today, and I wanted to confirm I still accurately understood the FCC’s current position:

“That being said, the F.C.C. has no jurisdiction over what content an individual broadcasts over the Internet, assuming it is legal.”

Looks like the recently ratified Cybercrime Treaty is the closest to internet censorship.

The treaty requires the U.S. government help enforce other countries’ “cybercrime” laws – even if the act being prosecuted is not illegal in the United States – EFF

Seems consistent with the previous statement…if only that it extends to the following 15 countries; Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Norway, Romania, Slovenia, Macedonia, Ukraine.

Tasteless Art Affecting the Tastebuds at Holy Land Deli

I was introduced to the Doner (Gyro or Kabob) during my time in Germany. The Turkish immigrants brought it with them. Aside from the thinly-sliced lamb, the rest of the ingredients were German; cabbage inside stuffed in a quarter of the circular flatenbrot.

In Minneapolis, there’s only one place to get a good gyro – Holy Land Deli over at 2513 Central Avenue NE. They stuff the pitas to their breaking point as they should. My personal favorite is their lamb kabob with hummus. While you wait, admire their grocery – great selection of olives, teas, and meats you won’t find at Cub or Rainbow.

Via this week’s Sunday Strib, I read Holy Land’s owner Majdi Wadi has banned all products made in Denmark until the Danish government apologizes for something tasteless the Danish free press published months ago.

I’ve seen the cartoons. If you haven’t, just ask some angst-ridden teenager to draw some up for you. Cliché-ridden, cheap, and heavy-handed.

From what I glean from On the Media, the newspapers in the Middle East are controlled by their respective governments. In that environment, putting the blame on a national government makes complete sense. I’m not sure what editorial control the Danish government exerts over the press, but I suspect it’s nil. It’d be convenient if the US Government could simply apologize for Fox News or insipid letters to the editor. But that’s not how things work here in the US or in northern Europe.

I’m not sure what Danish-made products the Holy Land sold, I haven’t purchased anything other than lunch and olive oil from them, and the Strib article didn’t list them by name.

Is that list offensive?

Wadi’s decision to ban Danish-made products would seem better directed if the Danish manufacturers had advertising or in some other way financed the newspaper in question.

Since that’s most likely not the case, the Strib article – just like this post – is an advertisement for the Holy Land Deli (mmmm tasty gyros). Would you like a Carlsberg to wash it down?

Blogger Forces Company Blogging Policy Issue

Update: 9 Mar 2005 9:04 am

…we do not censor people’s blogs, and we take the censorship allegation extremely seriously. I actively encourage our employees to blog, and to express their opinions. However, many readers do not make as clear a distinction between personal and work lives as many experienced bloggers do, and will view a provocative image on a blog in the worst possible light…

Everyone, send good vibes Dave Sifry’s (Technorati CEO) way.

Niall, perhaps this would be helpful to remember in your position as Technorati Community Manager:

“Provocation and controversy are good for building hype, bad for building community”
“Being provocative or negative is one way to generate traffic, but it doesn’t generate culture.”

I’m googling for the author of this quote, if you know please drop it in the comments. I think it was said in the context of podcasting. Thanks.
Found it, 15 Mar 2005 11:30 pm, credit for this quote goes to Mark Vandewettering via Dan Lyke of Flutterby (see the comments. Thanks Dan!)

Update: 8 Mar 2005, 11:30 am

Jason Kottke is a smart person. He changed the title of his original post because as more information came out, Technorati was not at fault. I agree and have followed suit.

Frankly, I find the entire situation artificial and awkward. As it turns out, Kennedy set himself up. I saw nothing wrong with his original post. Poor taste or otherwise. He then went around and basically asked his employer to find fault with it. Quid pro quo, he proved his own point – when given the chance, employers are happy to say no. Blah and now I’m out of coffee.

Original Post

The last couple days, I was thinking about exploring integrating Technorati’s Tags into WordPress. Then I read Technorati censoring employee blogs? over at Kottke.org.

I concur with Jason, if I ran a company that aggregated weblogs, the last thing I would do is piss off webloggers.

The post in question was on Niall Kennedy’s personal site. Niall was comparing employer’s desire to restrict employees blogging to wartime propaganda.

Last night I modified a few propaganda posters from the 1940s to express how corporations would like to control what their employees say on a weblog, at a bar, or even to their families.

Cue Technorati being, um, ironic (Employer commands employee to pull down blog post commenting on employers restricting employees weblog posting). It’s funny, cause it’s true:

No, this post was not a joke and it was a post meant to generate buzz about a topic. Technorati executives are concerned about how employee weblogs expressing opinions may be interpreted as an official Technorati position. All Technorati employees have been asked to review weblog posts with staff members before posting. I reinstated my original post this morning and I am ready to willing to hear the community’s response to my individual voice.

Will opinions expressed on employee weblogs be considered official company positions?
Unless the weblog is http://Technorati.com/OfficialTechnoratiWeblog and has a big Technorati logo on it, NO!

Just 2 days earlier, Steve Gillmor commented on the Google’s new Autolink “feature” and offered this advice:

Who cares if you can do it because. Forget the stuff about do no evil. Do no stupid.

Technorati Bloggers and companies should follow the same advice. or I say we stop pinging them. I’m holding off digging into their tagging until they do.