Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Blogging While Black-Doll Collecting


The recent occurrence of white people calling the police on black people for basically attempting to enjoy life has led to monikers, memes, and social media shaming for these 911 callers.  A few of  the monikers are described below:

  1. Barbecue Becky:  Called police on African American people for barbecuing in an Oakland, California park.
  2. Golf Cart Gail:  Called police on a father for cheering on his son at a soccer game (the claim was that he yelled at the referee).  Insert a pair of rolling eyes here.
  3. Permit Patty:  Called police on a young African American girl for selling water on a hot summer day in San Francisco.
  4. I am not sure if this one was memed or monikered, but social media shaming ensued for the woman who called the police on an African American man who was attempting to enter his own apartment. 
The memes and monikers might be funny to some but the act of calling the police on black people in America for doing trivial, nonharmful things, or for just going about their daily routine of living is no laughing matter.  Ask the countless loved ones who still grieve the loss of their unarmed family members who lost their lives at the hands of police.

The title of this blog results from an email I received from Google claiming that a page of my blog is in violation of one of their policies and therefore this [particular feature] has been suspended from the page in question until I "fix" it.  The URL they provided of the page in question is the home page of my blog, where in my opinion, there is nothing to "fix"!  But maybe they feel the entire blog is in violation.

They described the violation as follows:

Dangerous or derogatory content
As stated in our Program policies, Google ads may not be placed on pages or apps that contain content that:
  • Threatens or advocates for harm on oneself or others;
  • Harasses, intimidates or bullies an individual or group of individuals;
  • Incites hatred against, promotes discrimination of, or disparages an individual or group on the basis of their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.
Home Page Image by Son of Ellis
In light of the most recent Gucci sweater blackface insult, could the little boy doll above with the wide smile and red lips be considered offensive?  He obviously wasn't offensive in the 1940s when his image and similar black dolls' images were printed on fabric and sold for consumers to cut and sew.  I am sure that nine out of ten of the people who cut and sewed this character were not black.
For the past several years, my home page has contained the above graphic art headshot image of me surrounded by a selection of vintage-to-modern black dolls from my collection.  Yes, these are actual dolls that I own.  The title on the home page, "Black Doll Collecting" has never changed.  The last three published blogs, the first of which was Simple Justice at the time the violation notification was received, are also always visible on the home page.  The sidebar feature is visible to those who view the blog on nonmobile devices.  It contains my notice of copyright, a search feature, a translation feature, tracking for recent blog visitors, links to previous blogs, links to a featured blog post, popular blog posts, and other doll-related links.

I immediately thought the offensive matter was my coverage of the movie, Simple Justice, which is a detailed account of Justice Thurgood Marshall's Brown v the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas defeat. This case ruled that school desegregation was unconstitutional.  I felt coverage of the documentary was blogworthy because dolls were used to prove that segregation made black children feel inferior to white children.  The post was all about the dolls.  My posts are always all about the dolls that I love that just happen to be black like me.  If this is deemed offensive, I need to find a new blog host because I will not be censored.

This has made me feel like a victim of blogging while black-doll collecting.  Just like the unjustified 911 calls on innocent people should end, this sort of nonsensical reporting and restriction should, too.  Twice before, specific posts on this blog were cited for nudity or sexual content because the posts included photos of undressed dolls.  The dolls were nude only to better illustrate their articulation.  Whoever reported the posts probably did not read the content before the report was made.  Had they done so they would have understood the reason the dolls were unclothed.  Google cited the pages for containing sexual content.  I requested reviews for both those posts.  Those reviews ended in my favor.  So why was a warning issued at all?

I requested a review of this most recent citation and now await their decision on whether or not they continue to feel my blog or a specific page of it is dangerous, derogatory, or any of the other reasons outlined in the bullets above.

Here's hoping that the review of whatever has been deemed inappropriate this time results in my favor.  If not, I'll explore other blog hosting sites.  Please stay tuned.

__________

2/13/2019 10:44 a.m. CST  The results of the requested review of this violation citation can be read here.

dbg
There is always something to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

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24 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your personal experience, blogging while Black Doll Collecting. It seems that there may be some unfairness growing on here and a bit of Becky-ness is happening. I see an apology coming your way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sandy. I will update this post with the results of their review.

      dbg

      Delete
  2. Hi. Too bad this happened to you. I believe this happens because a robot "scans" the pages and certain things or words can be taken out of context. I really hope that a human reviews it and finds out there's nothing wrong with this blog.
    I once had a photo flagged on Tumblr. It was nothing, just a photo of DC SuperHero Girls Starfire, and she was dressed. I asked for a review and I think they found out there's nothing wrong with it.
    I really hope you don't have to leave Blogger because of censorship. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sorry your photo was flagged. If these unwarranted inconveniences stem from robot scanning, the use of bots needs to be fine tuned or replaced with humans. There is a very unlikely chance of this occurring, unfortunately.

      😢

      dbg

      Delete
  3. Debbie, I am still picking my jaw off the floor as this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. My eyes see nothing that could remotely be seen as offensive to anyone. Dolls don’t have genitalia so how could anything be deemed “nudity” much less “sexual.” I don’t know if it’s bots or humans but there’s something definitely wrong here especially when I think of how I could not get Google to act after I complained repeatedly about being comment spammed by a company selling sex dolls! This is crazy. Since I do tutorials using “nude” doll bodies, I guess I’ll be hearing a knock on the door next!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. April,

      I hope there won't be a knock at your door for this silliness. If you are not enrolled in Google Adsense to get paid for clicks on ads that appear on your blog, you probably won't be bothered. The things they should be worried about, such as the sex doll comment spams you reported, fall on deaf ears. I was also receiving an increased number of spam comments which forced me to place all comments on moderation. The spam continues but at least I am able to see and delete them before they publish to the blog.

      The strange thing about the nudity complaints that I received last year from Google Adsense on two separate occasions is that they were about posts that are several years old.

      Their blog trolling practices really do need to be fine tuned. I hope others who are wrongfully cited will speak up. As they say, "the squeaky wheel gets oiled."

      I decided I would be a squeaky wheel while awaiting the results of their review.

      dbg

      Delete
  4. Oh dear, right down the Rabbit Hole of Absurdity. I don't know how you manage to wrap your head around this nonsense. Nothing you publish is offensive. NOTHING. Please keep being the squeaky wheel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Gini! I appreciate you!

      I woke up with a headache as a result of this, but I won't let it get the best of me.

      I'm keeping hope alive that they'll realize this blunder.

      dbg

      Delete
  5. It is sad that we have gotten to the point where there is so much detrimental material that finds its way into public forums that we have to have content that is both informative and fun edited by algorithms. We as a society have gotten so busy being offended that we have forgotten how to talk to one another. I have seen doll blogs doing reviews and comparisons that actually feel the need to warn and apologize for showing comparisons of unclothed dolls. And I love your Home Page picture. The dolls there always make me smile. I hope that they straighten this out soon, and if you go to another platform, I hope you will continue to share your amazing collection with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Pam for your encouraging words.

      It is very sad that the human factor has been removed from things that only require common sense decisions. Hopefully, the powers that be at Google, Google AdSense, and/or Blogger will realize the error of their ways.

      If I move my blog, my final post here will share the link to the new location.


      dbg

      Delete
  6. I hope things will get solved fast and in real fairness. There is nothing wrong with the content of your blog or the header. If you ever have to move your blog to another platform. I will be sure to subscribe there as well.
    Arlette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Arlette! Your support is greatly appreciated.

      dbg

      Delete
  7. Hi Debbie,
    I don't even understand how a robot could be offended by a long standing picture. I hope you don't move because it takes a long time to figure out new systems and It could be someone with a chip on his shoulder or a robot. Google should have a list of sites that have been deemed safe and may have naked dolls. I don't want them to win. I did not know you get credit when people look at your ads. I love the sites on yur page and I will start visiting them from this page. I am praying that you stay and help Google do better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about this unfortunate incident. I'm still waiting on the results of their review to try to determine whether I stay here or not. I did receive an email from them today letting me know the review is in process.

      I added the Adsense feature to this blog maybe a couple of years ago. It's a feature that puts random, usually non-doll-related ads at the bottom of my blog posts or in the sidebar. When people click on the ads, I get credit for the clicks. It's only a couple of cents per click, but it eventually adds up.

      Thanks again for commenting, for your well wishes, and for following this blog.

      dbg

      Delete
    2. Hi Debbie, I don't know why my name did not appear in the above comment. Do I have to register? Thank you for explaining. Bev Flowers

      Delete
    3. If you do not have a Google account, your comments to this blog might be shown as "unknown." Thanks for letting me know this comment was from you, Bev.

      dbg

      Delete
  8. Unfortunate. Too many people do not know their history or American History which includes Black history for all the contributions people of color have made to America. Dolls are part of that legacy as well including dolls that today could be deemed as derogatory for those who don't truly understand what people of color had to endure before and after the Civil Rights Movement. Dolls help people endure tough times and lend an ear for the voiceless that's just the nature of dolls and they come with a history and therefore a story. Maybe if the person who reported you knew the true history if dolls of color they would think twice. You provide a fraction of our true history just by blogging and unfortunately too many people feel that a book is too much literature to digest so instead they take a fraction of something and blow it out of proportion . But history doesn't work like that it is long and very complex especially when you throw in race. This is our history and I am proud of it and your blog. Please reference Topsy Turvey dolls and the book Hitty and how those items are part of the American Experience. As a black woman I am proud not ashamed when I see the dolls my great grandmother saw and played with because that was all they had as part of growing up "colored." That is what she was called and will never be called again...because we know better so we ask that history be remembered and respected. Your blog allows us to remember and honor what once was.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you Ticia for the depth of your insight regarding American history, Black history, and how historically, dolls serve as man's perception of man. Sometimes man's perception of black people in doll form has been in a negative light and this history cannot be ignored. It pleases me that images of black people in doll form have evolved into more appropriate reflections.

      I am still not certain what triggered the so-called violation, whether it was an actual (obviously embittered, misinformed person who can hide behind a computer screen or other device and cause bumps in the road for people they don't even know) or if it was a trolling robot looking for catch phrases that might be deemed as racially inappropriate.

      Thank you for being proud of our history and of this blog, which is our blog, because I write not only for myself but for the readers who share my love for black dolls and love for dolls in general, who understand the importance they play in the lives of those who appreciate them. They are not just playthings.

      dbg

      Delete
  9. I am dumbfounded...To charge a page as informative and pride-inducing as yours as being offensive or anything else derogatory is ridiculous and totally tone-deaf. Whoever made this biased complaint against your excellent and exceptional blog is indeed the one who needs to be reading it, in earnest, so that s/he can get a better understanding of what’s art and what’s not. They need educating as well as a deep purging of their misinformation.
    Be encouraged and know that your work is not in vain. Prayerfully, those sensors will also learn right from wrong. Shame on them!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Sometimes expressions of loving your culture can be misconstrued as hating others. This is so far from the truth. Unfortunately, it is difficult for people with fragile egos to understand this. If they are not being glorified, they feel hurt and want to hurt others in return.

      Because our culture is so often vilified, especially where the Black male is concerned, it has been my goal through dolls to illustrate that there is nothing wrong with being Black or loving dolls that illustrate Black beauty.

      Thank you, Brenova, for your continued support and words of encouragement. It helps to know my work is not in vain.

      dbg

      Delete
  10. That either a computer or a person has deemed any part of this blog as combative or incites anything beyond being insightful is preposterous. Hopefully Google will once again find in your favour. However beyond either a technical glitch or an actual person making a claim it is how you have felt at the other end that is more the point, in this day and age of Becky’s, Gail’s & Patty’s the concern is valid and in a culture of outrage anything even the simple act of collecting of dolls can unfortunately be a lightening rod for bigotry. Crossing my fingers & toes that you don’t have to work out how to navigate migrating all your work to another platform!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you so much Julius for pointing out how this has made me feel. It was like a stab in the back for doing something as innocent as enjoying "black-doll collecting" and sharing my passion through images of the dolls I love and the written word.

      Hopefully, Google will understand the depth of this insult and make the necessary changes to prevent this from happening to anyone else by reviewing reported content first and using a diverse panel of humans to form an intelligent decision about what is actually appropriate and inappropriate content before immediately issuing citations with an offer for a review. Stabbing a person in the back and asking if they want the knife pulled out doesn't work well.

      dbg

      Delete

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