Friday, August 6, 2021

Grownups only

Hello, young bloggers, go back up your blogs.

Like smoking, drinking, and electing leaders who are warming the planet to the boiling point, blogging is about to become an adults-only activity.

Three young people in red polo shirts at a table with microphones

That is to say,

After September 1, students designated as under 18 in K-12 Edu domains will lose access to the Blogger service.

That is from Keerthana V, a Google staff member, posting in the Blogger help community on August 2.

A similar change is coming for under-18s in family plans.

These are part of more-sweeping changes (for instance, access to YouTube will be restricted too) based on age. 

Google has published a little more information about the change in a blog post about Google and Education.

September 1

Young bloggers should take steps to backup or preserve their blogs without delay and certainly before the end of the month. September 1 is a key date. But here is some other information.

Affected blogs will be deleted, not just taken offline. The web addresses for these blogs will become permanently unavailable.

Users will be able to restore their blogs from backups, to a new web address, when they turn 18. But they must make the backups now in order to have that option later.

Team blogs will remain active as long as one administrator is 18 or older. So one strategy to preserve a blog might be to add an older team member before September 1.

Blogger cannot read the files available from Google Takeout. These are not the functional equivalents of the backups you can make from within Blogger.

Nonetheless, if you miss the September 1 deadline it is worth running Takeout to preserve the blog data as a last resort. I would. It may be possible to convert these files to something Blogger can read.

This option will remain open until at least December 1.

Education administrators have options to extend Blogger to under-18s. It's not entirely clear what form this flexibility will take, but for these accounts the restrictions are a modifiable default.

If administrators do so, teachers will be able to continue to use Blogger as a teaching tool.

December 1 is the absolute point of no return. On that date, the blogs will be purged from Google's servers and not even the education administrator will be able to bring them back.

Young users who are on the platform "illegally" (with a false age) will not be affected.

Do you know any students or parents or teachers? Please spread the word about this!

Young reporter Lya Ferreyra answers a question in today's photo. Thanks to Scholastic for making this image available under a creative commons license, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. The image has been cropped.

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