So I'm new to Blogger (my other site is at Blogdrive.com), and I've been prowling around, looking at all the different set-ups folks have going on here. It's very interesting. That little Blogger bar they put at the top of each site is quite handy--I'm especially a fan of the "Next Blog" function. But notice how, just to the left of "Next Blog", there's a link labeled "Flag"? Hmm, I thought, I wonder what that's for--so I hovered my mouse over it and, instead of finding a bookmarking tool or something helpful like that, I learned that to "flag" someone's blog means to rat them out to Blogger for hosting "objectionable content."

Wow. Nevermind all the hassle of lodging an official complaint with Blogger, thereby discouraging the troublemakers who might be tempted to flag someone's site just for the hell of it--no, apparently all you have to do is flag the site, Blogger hears about it, and there you go.

Probably someone will flag me now, just for complaining. But seriously. This reminds me of these signs we have on I-5 that proclaim, in large letters, that it's something like your duty to report single drivers who've snuck into the carpool lane. They post a number, too. I think it's 1-800-HERO, or something close. It also reminds me of the signs that showed up in select Bellingham neighborhoods after 9/11, urging people to "report suspicious behavior to the authorities"--as in, "spy on your neighbors, it's your patriotic duty."

I think it's a damn shame we're being encouraged to snitch on each other--especially because having such a convenient snitching function like that implies that this is a big problem for Blogger, that people are posting objectionable content all the time, but in the embarrassingly many hours that I spent rifling through Blogspot sites, I found nothing one could deem objectionable (unless you count a site devoted to Hilary Duff "objectionable", which it just might be).

At any rate, I mean no slight to Blogger, because I've thoroughly enjoyed setting up shop here, with their studly templates and easy-to-use manager--I only wish I didn't feel like I was being encouraged to rat on my neighbors, based on the sheer convenience of the "Flag" button.

(Ahem. Before you get too worked up, you might read The internet is a strange place, a later entry of mine that eventually addresses this same situation. In a much more, ah, humble way. -Thea)

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