Notice anything different?
Being completely oblivious to detail, or as I prefer to say, totally focused on what is actually important, I somehow over looked the expanding blogger navbar at the top of this blog. What? You don't see the navbar at the top of my blog? That's because I just finished adjusting my template to "hide" it. Why would I rid my site of such a simple and benign tool? Because of a little button called flag. Lewis, at his new collective rant space, Infinite Monkeys, pointed it out.
In case you are short on time and can't follow the links, I'll tell you how this works. People who read your blog and find it objectionable can click the flag button to alert the good folks at blogger. A site receiving a number of "flags" will be reviewed and dropped from bloggers listings. They are quick to insist that this is in no way censorship because they won't shut your blog down, they just won't list it. Unless that is, you say something really offensive, "Hate Speech" as they call it, then they will post a warning that will be shown before your web page.
The question, of course, is who makes the final judgment call? What guidelines are in place for this plan to monitor our writing? Exactly who or what do I have to hate or not hate for my words to be deemed "Hate Speech." What if I want to go on a tirade about how I hate pedophiles? Is that ok? Afterall, some would argue that pedophiles are people too and assuming they aren't on parole or locked up they have the same rights I do. What if I tell a racist joke? What if I use terms like spick, honky, towel head or porch monkey? Would that sort of trash talk be so dangerous that a warning would be needed? Call it what you want, but the whole plan is one big slippery slope to controlling what we post and how our material is presented.
At best this tool is just flat out unnecessary. It's so very very simple people, if you stumble upon a blog that offends you, click the little X in the top right hand corner of the page. It will go away and you can avoid all future contact by not clicking the link that got you there in the first place. If you stumble upon something you fear is illegal, report it to the authorities. They can traverse the proper legal channels and get the info they need to shut down and punish the alleged criminals. If you have kids and are worried that they'll find my sexually explicit stories then password protect your computer. They shouldn't be blog hopping in the first damn place! Get one of the many monitoring programs available and keep track of where they go and who they talk to online. What, you aren't computer literate enough to find and use such things? Then go take some classes at your local vo-tech school.
Hiding the navbar is an easy solution to this and it involves just pasting a little sniplet of code into your template. You can find directions here. Or e-mail me and I'll walk you through it.