Dennis Cooper's Blog Returns!

Dennis Cooper's Blog Returns!

About six weeks ago, we reported on the disappearance of Dennis Cooper's blog. The entirety of the work, 14 year of stories, works in progress, and GIF novels was taken down by Google without explanation or warning.

It was a scary time, but we are happy to announce that Dennis Cooper' has discovered the root of the problem.

What happened?

For years I used to do these posts on my blog that I called 'Self-Portrait Day'. I would present a theme or topic and invite everyone who read or commented on the blog to send me related things -- writing, images, video, sound files, ... really anything that could be uploaded onto a blog. I would assemble what people sent, attribute each entry to its sender, and that would constitute the post. Ten years ago, in 2006, I did one of those posts where I asked people to send me things they thought were sexy. I had forgotten all about that post until the other day, and I don't remember what was in it. I do remember that, upon assembling the post, I realized there was some rather pornographic things therein that could potentially get my blog in trouble. So I set up that Self-Portrait Day on a separate page off the blog that could only be accessed on the blog through a link with an adult content warning. According to Google, around the time my account was disabled, some unknown person came across this ten year-old page, thought one of the images on it constituted child pornography, and reported it to Google who immediately disabled my account. Now let me just say that I know there are people who don't know me or my work well and think I'm some kind of ultra-transgressive shock-creating monster, but I completely assure you that if someone had sent me an image that I thought was child pornography, I would never have uploaded it, period. Anyway, Google says some unknown person's flagging of one image on a ten year-old group-curated page that wasn't even technically on my blog is the reason they disabled my blog and email account.

Discussions went back and forth for several weeks, Cooper asking to be shown the offending image and being denied. Cooper asking that the offending image be removed and that he be allowed back into his account and being denied. Cooper asking to enter his work from the back end and export it and being denied.

But finally, after weeks of appeals, lawyers, and a few famous names rallying to his aid, Cooper's back. He has been given all of his blog material. He will relaunch his blog in a new, non-Google spot this coming Monday, August 29th. It may take some time to replace the old material as it has been given back to him as posts and will require manually posting each piece, but it has to be a sigh of relief for Cooper, and it's a semi-happy ending to the cautionary tale for users of Google's blogging platform.

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Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel August 26, 2016 - 11:42pm

Glad to hear that's "resolved."

helpfulsnowman's picture
Community Manager
helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman August 28, 2016 - 2:54pm

I agree with your quotation marks there, I think. Dennis Cooper's got his stuff back, but there's nothing agreed upon with Google that they need a better system for this stuff. There's exactly nothing preventing this from happening again in the same way, and next time it might happen to someone who does not have any powerful friends or advocates to help them out.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami August 28, 2016 - 8:46pm

Well yea, that's why I back up my work on Wattpad and Google. I also don't do self-portrait day. Wattpad hasn't done anything so--blantantly--stupid.