Petition update

3,000 Signatures--Google, We Want DC's Back!

Mark Doten
United States

Jul 24, 2016 — The petition has been up for one week. We’ve past 3,000 signatures in a week. That is a big milestone, and I thank everyone who has signed and shared (Dennis also sends his gratitude). It’s hard to know what’s going on inside Google, given their continued radio silence, but we’ve heard that the media coverage of the blog’s deletion, coupled with this petition, have caused serious concern at Google. A must-read piece just came out in the New Yorker that’s sure to increase the pressure on the company. (“In the course of a decade, the site became a kind of compendium of experimental culture, created and built by a motley collective.”) But still, there’s no action. Tomorrow is the one-month anniversary of the blog’s deletion, and Dennis has had no response or explanation from Google.

Google wants the power to wipe out a decade of work—many thousands of hours of Dennis’s labor—without notification or possibility of appeal. And just as importantly, they want to do it in silence. If reasons were given, then there could be a discussion about it—one could talk about the norms on Blogger, and what in particular caused Dennis’s blog to be deleted. That would be a reasonable discussion. A valuable discussion. But that’s not what Google wants. Their clear position here is to cut off speech, to wait it out, to hope it goes away.

This is not going away.

Google, give it back. We want all of it, the thousands of posts about art and literature, about roller coasters and defunct amusement parks, about haunted houses, optical illusions, and indie rock. We want the galleries of Halloween Masks and the tour of the Winchester Mystery House and Thomas Bernhard Day and the annual Bûche de Noël Beauty Pageant. Google, we want it all back, and we want it now.

This is an issue that should concern everyone—when a handful of massive corporations control the vast majority of our experience of the Internet, the potentials for abuse are endless. Or, as Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director of PEN America put it more eloquently in the New Yorker piece linked above, “Internet companies have found important ways to monetize that creative output and staying power. Implicit in this exchange is that people like Dennis Cooper are trusting a platform as the keeper of their creative work‎. If that trust can be betrayed, especially summarily and without expectation, it breaches the bond.”

Please help keep the pressure on: share this petition on social, tell your friends about the blog’s deletion, write about it online—spread the word in any way you can.

Many thanks,

Mark


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