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Essay: The Importance of Censorship for Blogging

Blogging can be a wonderful way to express ideas. When bloggers attract traffic to their sites, it is often a monumental accomplishment for them. This means that the content that they are putting out there into the world is valuable to others. Often bloggers write with the intention to monetize their work. This means that they can now market their blog to advertisers, who will pay to put their products and services in the sidebars of the actual content. It seems like a win-win for everyone involved, except there is one big problem.

When blogs are driven by a purely commercial drive to succeed, then the actual content of the blog can become diluted. Writers may decide to write for a good SEO rating, which basically means they include a certain percentage of keywords to ensure that when the keyword is searched, their name will come up. While there is nothing wrong with focusing the blog on certain content, sometimes the authors can write simply to become searched. They may not even care if their blogs make valid points regarding an issue or contribute to a conversation surrounding the issue. When this begins to occur, the major search engines like Google take notice. They do not think it’s fair that just because someone puts a keyword the most frequently in an article, that it will suddenly pop to the top of the list when the word is searched. This is why Google has started to censor blogs that contain a keyword too frequently. For example, a 1.5% rate of keyword usage in an article is fine, but adding it to 40% of the text is just unnatural. That would mean every sentence has the same word repeated, and the quality of the content is sure to be lacking.

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Also, there is the issue of people hiring academic ghostwriters for content. Ghost writers are wonderful, and can bring new concepts to the table that the blogger simply does not have time to research. However, some ghost writers try to beat the system by handing in the same articles to multiple sources. The articles may be sloppily written and contain a multitude of grammatical errors. These ones are usually easy for the bloggers to fish out as not worthy content for their blog’s site. However, it is the ones that copy really well written works, or have been purchased by one really great ghost writer that can pose more of a potential problem. The person buying the works might have gotten a really great deal, and decides to capitalize by selling the work to 100 vendors. Of course, the original article was great, but the fact that bloggers may not understand that the middle man is just out to make money, is not. This means that there will be copies of the same article on many different blogs and no way to track this. This is where censorship by third party technological devices on sites that sell ghost writers works, like Copyscape, help nip this problem in the bud.

Many people are coming to view blogs as a new wave of citizen journalism. There are advantages to this, such as a creation of a new market for written work. However, sometimes when savvy business people take up this endeavor, they find ways around the system to make sure their blog will be the most sought after when certain words are searched. This is why Google and other search engines have stepped in to sensor the frequency in which bloggers use keywords. If the blogger ignores these rules, then the consequence is that the blog might be banned from the search engine altogether. Also, some writers prefer to be ghostwriters, maybe because they do not have the confidence, time, or business savvy to own and monetize their own blog. But middle men can take advantage of these unnamed authors and set up a system where they are the ones profiting off the works. This becomes unethical when the middle men ignore the rules of plagiarism, one journalistic and academic standard. Also, these middle men can inflate the price of written works in a way where the authors make a pittance for all their hard work. Sites that sell ghost writers’ work for use in blogs have tried to safeguard this process by ensuring that the writers’ works are only sold and published once. A blogger can also lose all their credibility by hosting work on their site that has already been claimed by another site. In these instances, censorship is important in blogging to keep the trade of this new emerging market alive and well.

Censorship sounds like a nasty word. However, in the arena of blogging, certain regulatory sites only do so into order to protect the copyright of the original authors. When the content of blogs are censored by search engines, they are only trying to ensure that the public gains equal exposure to blogs on the same topic. This creates an atmosphere of healthy competition among bloggers to come out with excellent content. Also, since blogs can be monetized through advertisements, it is only fair that authors have a chance to make money the right way- through producing interesting content to attract an audience. Also, censorship is even good for ghost writers. They don’t want their work copied 10 times on the Internet.

When they sell their work, they want to be able to get a fair price for it. People who buy it in order to cheat the system also drive up the price of these goods- but only in a way that profits them temporarily. When a third party steps in with technology to check the originality of the work that will go into the blogs, it profits everyone. The bloggers get excellent original content for their blogs, and their ghost writers can rise in their careers demanding fair market value for their time and effort. The Internet is a vast new territory that needs policing, and censorship in the areas discussed above, is one way that a fair free market continues to emerge for bloggers and their affiliates.

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