At some point “over the coming weeks,” Google’s Blogger will begin redirecting users to country-specific domain names — think Google.fr in France rather than Google.com — to avoid universally removing content that would not be tolerated in specific jurisdictions.
A Blogger support post, “Why does my blog redirect to a country-specific URL?,” last updated Jan. 9, explains that Google is using the method to limit the impact of censored content.
Readers will be redirected to sites with their own country’s domain name when they try to visit blogs recognized as foreign, as determined by their IP addresses.
“Over the coming weeks you might notice that the URL of a blog you’re reading has been redirected to a country-code top level domain, or “ccTLD.” For example, if you’re in Australia and viewing [blogname].blogspot.com, you might be redirected [blogname].blogspot.com.au. A ccTLD, when it appears, corresponds with the country of the reader’s current location.”
If you would like to see a non-affected page, you can direct to google.com/ncr (NCR stands for “no country redirect”), which places a short term cookie that temporarily prevents geographical redirection.
Google says migrating users to local domains will help promote the freedom of expression while allowing the flexibility to abide by local law.
Do you think censoring content by specific countries is a good move for freedom of expression? Let us know what you think of Google and Twitter’s moves.