I tried to find the original South Africa Sucks blog, but it was taken offline many times by Google. Since I have never read the blog, I can’t tell you what content the blog contained, but apparently it violated Google’s terms of service, and for this reason was taken down. What I have managed to find is vast amounts of forum posts and comments, scattered around the internet where people have been discussing this SA sucks blog in great detail.
Here are my thoughts.
According to the posts I’ve read, the original SA Sucks blog, hosted on Google’s BlogSpot contained over 3000 posts and had millions of reads and a huge subscriber base. For what ever reason Google shut it down. So what do you think the authors decided to do? I would imagine they were infuriated, but they decided to open up a new blog under a new name, which slowly gained momentum and once again the fan base grew, the problem is the twits decided to open up the new blog once again hosted with Google’s BlogSpot.
You can imagine what happened next? There is a saying in SA that only a donkey hits its head twice, well clearly the twits who authored the blog must have been donkeys, Google once again shut them down.
So what do you think they did. Infuriated, the twits decided to once again “teach Google a lesson” and opened up attempt 3. You would think by now they would have got a clue, but no once again using? Yup you guessed it (sigh) Google’s BlogSpot. I can imagine it must have taken a lot of energy to author the new articles for site no.3. Clearly these guys can type faster than me.
Well its a no brainer what happened next? Goggle once again decided to shut them down.
Now I have no problem with people venting about the situation in SA, I think online blogging of current issues, especially things that annoy you can be a great way to channel frustration and at the same time bring to light problems that lead to change. What I am still thinking about is what possessed the original blog authors to open 3 versions of the blog with Google if the blog clearly violated Google’s TOS?
Do I agree with Google for banning this blog? No, I don’t, however not having seen the exact content, I can’t say forsure, but I would imagine the blog entries would be mainly about the typical issues facing SA as a whole, something I believe bloggers have the right to blog about. Bloggers after all provide a “street view” of current affairs. At the end of the day, we’re not really bloggers, just people expressing ideas and sharing information. Google should really be agnostic towards the information being blogged about, naturally unless these blogs are of a criminal nature containing taboo topics like child porn etc. However, at the end of the day this is at the discretion of Google, and ultimately the blogger who is not paying Google to use the free blogging application should respect that.
Did these guys respect Googles TOS? No, instead they got infuriated and decided to try tackle the bear. This was pointless, at the end of the day they wasted their own time and energy, on the other hand the whole Google ban was more than likely automated.
What would I have done, I would have used WordPress which is a good free option, or self hosted my own blog. Since being with WordPress I’ve blogged about a lot of issues, and tackled a lot of controversial subjects. I’ve always tried to maintain my dignity, but I’ve never left my readers with bitterly politically correct content. I’ve experienced freedom of speech using WordPress.
Anyways, I sincerely hope that the authors of the original SA sucks blog do open up a new site, hosted with a provider who allows them freedom of speech, hopefully their 4th attempt will be slightly more permanent than their last 3 feeble attempts. Come on guys grow a brain will ya?