ELLO Pornography

Porn and social networking seem to be the two biggest drivers of both traffic and commerce on the Internet. So let’s talk about where they intersect. That’s right, it’s time we discuss Ello Porn.

 
would you rather listen?

The two most prominent articles we’ve run here on the subject were this one on Microsoft’s position regarding nudity in Skydrive, and this one on the impact that Tumblr pornography might have on Yahoo!, in general. Microsoft and Yahoo! took diametrically opposed positions on the topic, and I hadn’t given this much thought in a while, until, in this order over the span of a few days:

Bullet point two is the most interesting of the three.

I can make a case either way for whether you should allow controversial content on a site you run. Is censorship ever a good idea? Not in a socially-connected Internet-obsessed world, no. On the other hand, you don’t need lawsuits—or worse—from people who live in places where the accepted norms are different than yours.

Ello is … well, I’m going to discount them as little more than cute. When Ello burst on the scene last year they got a lot of attention as sort of an anti-Facebook, and since then have all but disappeared. Want proof of the latter? The link we use above to the subject of the Ello position on “ello porn free speech” brought up the Burlington Free Press in Google’s #1 search position. Seriously?

In between, though, is the fact that Google did a complete about-face in the span of just a few days. Blogger was about to get censored, and then … not so much. What happened in between?

Here’s my guess: Google is afraid of WordPress.

They should be. It was over three years ago that WordPress decided to stop letting Google sell their advertising. Google is still Google; at most levels they need fear nobody. But WordPress is huge and getting bigger by the day. Remember that WordPress was actually created to give its CEO an alternative to Blogger, and connecting the dots gets easy, and fast. Ello porn may not matter at all to pretty much anyone, but Blogger’s continued viability in the face of the WordPress onslaught certainly does to Google.

Didn’t see that one coming, did you? Neither did Google.

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