Today this blog was suspended by WordPress for what might have been half a hour to a couple of hours. Readers have, I believe, not noticed anything, but I found access to the blog blocked with an ominous message stating my blog was suspended because of violation of the user’s agreement, and WordPress takes violations very seriously.
There was no indication of which one the alleged violation was, nor was there any email in my postbox (which you haven’t, but they do) stating the problem they had.
The oldest readers of this little effort will remember this had already happened once, in January 2011, when the PR man of an English Bishop (Good Lord, the English bishops have money for such things? Will such waste survive the new wind of “Francistroika”?) threatened legal action against WordPress when I, if memory serves, published by mistake the photo of the wrong bishop. This “incident”, besides making me aware of people of astounding pettiness, and probably without anything sensible to do to justify their wage, also showed me a couple of things of how WordPress works: they are fairly rapid in blocking a blog for new messages as soon as someone threatens with legal action, but will rapidly “unblock” the blog when the problem has been resolved.
This time, though, it was different; there was no indication of where the problem was, and normal service was resumed fairly rapidly without the need for me to make any change to the blog.
Not knowing anything of these technical matters, I dare to think only one of two must have happened:
1. The blog was blocked due to a technical mistake, seen and remedied within a short time.
2. Some genius complained about the content of the blog (“hater?”; “homophobic?”) and threatened legal action. WordPress blocked the site as a matter of course, someone gave a good browsing, and then decided everything is all right.
The blog has been working all right for some hours now, and I might (or not) receive an email from WordPress explaining what happened (technical mishap, or third party complaint). Still, this was a wake-up call.
This little blog is not so little anymore, and Google & Co. (I think Google is absolutely dominant, though) spread the word everywhere in the blogosphere. With the number of those who chance to read this blog, the number of homosexualists will grow, and the latter category is the only one some of whose elements may well desire to silence this little effort.
I do not have great resources of time, money and technological prowess to dedicate to the setting up and operation of an autonomous, self-hosted blog comparable to the old “Kreuz.net”, and for little blogs like mine in danger of hacker attack a hosted solution with a big blog provider is at the same time the most practical, most efficient and only feasible solution.
This means that, should WordPress one day decide my blog is “homophobic” or “hater”, I would be in front of the alternative between stopping my little effort or switching to Blogspot; but as to my knowledge Blogspot belongs to Google and is sure to be more politically correct than WordPress every day of the week, I am at a loss to think how I would react to a situation of Gaystapo intimidating WordPress to the point of wanting to “moderate” blogs like mine.
I have, therefore, an urgent appeal to all Catholic bloggers out there, to spend some time to tell me what other feasible options are available out there. What I would be looking for would be an organisation:
1. Allowing anonymous blogs.
2. Big and professional enough to withstand hacker attacks.
3. Taking freedom of expression very seriously and therefore legally located in jurisdictions with a reputation in the matter (like the US, or Sweden, or Switzerland; you can forget Germany, where the Gaystapo is clearly in power).
Again, self-hosted solutions would not work, but the aesthetic factor is secondary.
I will continue to use WordPress, with which I am very satisfied in the end; but today’s experience showed me every day can be the last day here on WordPress. Therefore, I’d like to have a “Plan B” ready to go, but to be used only in case of need.
Every input, with or without personal experiences with the relevant provider, would be very welcome.
This beggars belief, but is apparently true. Some of the American Cardinals in Rome had already started to organise daily briefings with the US press.
So, before the election of a Pope the Cardinals take a short rest from their daily activities to have a chat with their buddies, the journalists, and keep in touch with the folks at home.
Cool, man. Or, as Cardinal Dolan would say, “that's a biggie, dude”.
One cannot escape the suspicion the Cardinals are talents stolen to the stage. I'd have thought better of Wuerl, but not after the matter with Father Guarnizo after all.
The impression remains of people interested mainly in a stage, and unable to resist the temptation of the media circus of the year.