Nearly two months after Google removed Dennis Cooper’s 14-year-old Blogger site and Gmail account without explanation, the novelist and performance artist has been officially ejected from the platform. According to Cooper, a post he wrote 10 years ago, which he had placed behind an adult content warning due to pornographic material, was flagged by a recent visitor and reported to Google.
“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,” Cooper said in an update on his Facebook page. He claims the post did not contain any child pornography but Google was unwilling to show him the image in question. After three weeks of discussions and negotiations, Cooper is now in possession of his archive.
“I have the data for the archive of my disabled blog, but it’s not something that can be uploaded into the new blog intact,” Cooper said. “I will need to restore each post by hand, and since there are many thousands of posts, that restoration will happen very gradually over time.” He was also given the data for 10 years of correspondence in his Gmail account, along with his yet unreleased animated GIF novel.
Today Cooper relaunched his blog on WordPress at denniscooperblog.com. The site is currently using the Hemingway theme by Anders Noren and it seems that comments from the previous blog are being included in the import. Posts are being gradually added to the archive.
Self-hosting a site with controversial subject matter doesn’t automatically guarantee Cooper won’t have it taken down again, especially if visitors perceive the content to be illegal. However, should a similar incident happen where his hosting company takes his site offline, Cooper should still be in possession of his content without fear of it being erased. After the experience he had with Google, it would be surprising if he didn’t get his new blog immediately hooked up to a backup service for peace of mind.