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KTC
04-03-2017, 08:01 PM
I have a WIP where one of the main characters jumps off a highway overpass in chapter one.

Scheduled blog posts then begin to appear on his blog. They reveal reasons, they point to people, he reveals feelings for people he left behind, etc.

His posts become part of the narrative of the story, interspersed with that of the main character...his best friend whom he leaves behind.

My QUESTION is...how viable is this? Will the blog company be quick to shut down his site? Would it go unnoticed if it isn't reported?

There is the potential for it to AT FIRST spread quickly throughout his group of friends, etc...but then it builds up and slowly becomes viral. Would the blog be taken down before this is able to transpire? Would his parents or others have to intervene to get it taken down? Or would the blog company close it the second it starts to make waves publicly?

Any insights would be helpful. I'm looking at the story taking place over the course of 2 weeks...with some flashbacks. The blog posts would drop once a day for just over a week and they would appear as chapters.

cornflake
04-03-2017, 08:12 PM
The... blog company? Eh?

I'm lost.

Where is the blog? Whose server is it on? Whose domain is it? Is it private? Hosted? Who has access to the passwords? Confused as to what you're asking.

KTC
04-03-2017, 08:19 PM
The... blog company? Eh?

I'm lost.

Where is the blog? Whose server is it on? Whose domain is it? Is it private? Hosted? Who has access to the passwords? Confused as to what you're asking.

It would be like WordPress only fictional. Blogger, etc. I'm asking if the owner of the site would remove it. I didn't think it was a confusing question? Would WordPress not be correctly identified as a blog company? Domain owner? Am I using the wrong terminology?

cmhbob
04-03-2017, 08:34 PM
I get what you're asking, Kevin.

Remember that Automattic, who owns WP, has both WP.com and WP.org. The .com is the free blogging platform where the URLs are typically myblogsite.wordpress.com. The .org is the software the you run on your server.

If you want the blog to stay up, it'd be easier if he's hosting it on his own domain.

I can see your fictional Blogger/Wordpress organization pulling the plug under pressure from parents (especially if the blogger was a minor). Blogger has shut down blogs for less. Cops might put pressure on them too, if they think there's something being instigated or incited by the posts. Cops probably would not be able to force access to scheduled posts without a warrant though. And any 'net company would probably want a court order before shutting down a blog that was as well. You might have your character set things up, then change the password right before he dies, so the password dies with him.

If he's hosting it on his own domain, I can see the hosting provider being much less interested in cooperating, especially if it's a smaller host. My host and I are on a first-name basis, and chat about things here and there. She'd tell the cops to stuff it.

But consider this: many small hosts are just resellers. They rent server space from a larger company, and run their hosting operations from there. Pressure could be applied to the upstream host, if that makes sense.

What do you want/need to happen?

KTC
04-03-2017, 08:39 PM
I get what you're asking, Kevin.

Remember that Automattic, who owns WP, has both WP.com and WP.org. The .com is the free blogging platform where the URLs are typically myblogsite.wordpress.com. The .org is the software the you run on your server.

If you want the blog to stay up, it'd be easier if he's hosting it on his own domain.

I can see your fictional Blogger/Wordpress organization pulling the plug under pressure from parents (especially if the blogger was a minor). Blogger has shut down blogs for less. Cops might put pressure on them too, if they think there's something being instigated or incited by the posts. Cops probably would not be able to force access to scheduled posts without a warrant though. And any 'net company would probably want a court order before shutting down a blog that was as well. You might have your character set things up, then change the password right before he dies, so the password dies with him.

If he's hosting it on his own domain, I can see the hosting provider being much less interested in cooperating, especially if it's a smaller host. My host and I are on a first-name basis, and chat about things here and there. She'd tell the cops to stuff it.

But consider this: many small hosts are just resellers. They rent server space from a larger company, and run their hosting operations from there. Pressure could be applied to the upstream host, if that makes sense.

What do you want/need to happen?

Thanks so much. This is awesome help. I need for the duration of the posts to be posted. I would want it to be plausible that they would. I wouldn't want a reader to think it's inauthentic because the blog would be shut down before the 6th blog posted...no matter how viral it happens to go.

cornflake
04-03-2017, 08:41 PM
I've never heard 'blog company;' it's a CMS, it's a site... anyway, presuming it allows for automatic timed uploading of posts, I don't know why it'd be taken down at all, save non-payment, or exceeding bandwidth, if they charge and have limits (I've no idea about wordpress' specifics). If they don't charge or have limits, it's likely up until someone sends a request or, depending on their policies, submits whatever documentation to have a dead person's removed, gets an order, whatever. Check their policies, or make up your own.

Old Hack
04-03-2017, 10:24 PM
Years ago, there was a case in the news where a young woman escaped from a man who had held her hostage for some years and repeatedly raped and abused her during that time. The man was swiftly arrested. And then someone sent me a link to his blog.

It was an odd blog, full of very odd rants. He claimed to be a born again Christian, and so there was a strong religious slant to it. But it was clearly the work of someone who was very troubled. And lots of people had found it, and the comments on the blog were open, and so there were thousands of comments telling him he was a pervert, and disturbed, and all that: but also lots of comments congratulating him, lots asking horribly intimate questions, people being abusive towards his victim, posting pornographic photos in the comments: it was truly nasty.

I reported it to Blogger at the time. I know many other people also reported it. Nothing was done.

It was still up, and attracting comments, a year later, after he was convicted and jailed. It's probably still up now.

I suspect that the only way a blog will be taken down is if the surviving family find the passwords and so on and do it themselves.

Roxxsmom
04-03-2017, 11:02 PM
I suspect that the only way a blog will be taken down is if the surviving family find the passwords and so on and do it themselves.

This is my suspicion too. It might also depend on how many regular followers the blog had and how many of them even know what happened to the author of the blog and complain that something odd is going on. There's no reason why Word Press or Blogger would have any idea what happened to the person. Most suicides are only local news (if that), and even if it was lurid and well known, whoever moderates their blogs wouldn't likely connect the dead person in the news with a particular user account (out of all the hundreds of thousands, or millions, they likely have).

The only exception might be if the blog owner was famous, or had had thousands (or more) followers who kept telling the site managers that this person is dead and none of their surviving friends or family have the password or are posting on it.

cmhbob
04-03-2017, 11:09 PM
Thanks so much. This is awesome help. I need for the duration of the posts to be posted. I would want it to be plausible that they would. I wouldn't want a reader to think it's inauthentic because the blog would be shut down before the 6th blog posted...no matter how viral it happens to go.


It was still up, and attracting comments, a year later, after he was convicted and jailed. It's probably still up now.

I suspect that the only way a blog will be taken down is if the surviving family find the passwords and so on and do it themselves.

Happy to help, Kevin. You've got my email if you want to bounce more ideas off of me - at least I think you do. PM is fine too.

As Old Hack points out, it may well stay up, even when reported. But then I think of Dennis Cooper's situation (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/31/dennis-cooper-dcs-blog-relaunched-google-censorship), where his BlogSpot blog was taken down with no warning. It's plausible to me that it could go either way.

stephenf
04-04-2017, 01:06 AM
Hi
A blog is just a web site. The control would belong to the sites owner. Personally, nothing is posted on my site without my permission first. If I sould die, the site would shut down when I stopped paying the hosting company. I pay annually , so it could stay live for 12 mounths max .
It is possible to turn any web site off, if you have access to the right pass words . All mine are written down and could be used by anbody that had access to them .

cornflake
04-04-2017, 06:42 AM
He's talking about a blog running on a CMS though, I believe.

M Louise
04-04-2017, 09:41 AM
A myriad of intriguing possibilities here. Even if you have a free blog with WordPress, you can set dates and times for posts to appear in the future or in between past posts. And if the blog is anonymous, it might take longer for people (even when named) to work out who is posting and the import of what is being said. You also have the option of password protection so that perhaps just a few specified friends would be able to read certain incriminating posts. I doubt WordPress would act quickly to close the blog -- not before the damage had been done. And the MC might have chosen a 'next--of-kin' person to administer the blog -- suppose that person kept making posts appear and disappear? Or moved the blog to mirror sites to stay ahead of the law? Those who had subscribed to the blog feed might go on receiving posts nobody else could see.

KTC
04-04-2017, 04:32 PM
Thanks to all...you've been very helpful. I may have had some new ideas ignited, too. Much gratitude. (-:

Twick
04-04-2017, 05:47 PM
To my knowledge there isn't any housekeeping rule that a blog must be taken down if the owner dies. (Think of Facebook's issues with dealing the with pages of deceased members.) I would expect it to be taken down only when (1) a huge public outcry occurs (and I'm not sure if this is part of your story) or (2) the blog's bills come due, and there's no one to pay them.

Otherwise, I wouldn't expect the blog site to go "Oh, this person is dead. It's morbid to keep their site up, so we'd better get rid of it."

M Louise
04-05-2017, 10:51 AM
I'm slow on the uptake and only thought about checking WordPress policy this morning, as an example of a blog hosting service.
Th uncontroversial WordPress policy for Deceased Users is this:

Deceased User (https://en.support.wordpress.com/deceased-user/)

When a WordPress.com site owner passes away we like to help the family or estate determine what happens with their loved one’s WordPress.com site.

To notify WordPress.com about a deceased user, please email passwordhelp @ wordpress.com and include the user name or e-mail address for the account (if known), the URL/site address, a brief explanation of the situation, and the desired action for the site (making it private or transferring it to another owner) in your message.

If you would like to transfer ownership to another account please attach the following:

A copy of the deceased user’s death certificate.
A power of attorney or legal document stating their authority to act on behalf of the deceased, or a signed,notarized statement including:
Their first and last name
Their current contact information
Their email address
Their relationship to the deceased user
The action they’re requesting (e.g., “Please deactivate the account.”)

Does 'deactivate ' mean take down? I doubt it.

Nothing happens fast as far as I can tell, even in the case of an emergency, dealt with here (https://en.support.wordpress.com/report-blogs/emergency-requests/) involving the release of user information. 'This process is for law enforcement and government officials only — all other reports will be ignored.' Nothing about taking the blog down.

WordPress takes down content in a blog when copyright is proven to be have been infringed or when requested by a court to remove defamatory content. Otherwise not, and this is the relevant clause:

Requests for Takedown of Other Content

WordPress.com strongly believes in freedom of speech. We have a vast audience spread across many cultures, countries, and backgrounds with varying values and our service is designed to let users freely express any ideas and opinions without us censoring or endorsing them. We review and investigate all complaints that we receive. If we determine that reported content violates our Terms of Service, we will take action as appropriate. Regardless of whether or not we take action, we may forward a copy of the complaint to the site owner.

If we receive a complaint and are not in a position to make a determination (for example whether something is defamatory or not), we defer to the judgment of a court.


So the process of removing content would need more than outraged family or media. A legal process would be required.

Underdawg47
04-05-2017, 10:05 PM
A few years ago a good friend of mine had died from a hepatitis infection. After his death, his immediate family went about the task of taking down all of his internet profiles and asked my boy friend at the time to help them. I personally hate the idea of being erased from history once someone has died. I reluctantly helped him by telling him most of the sites I knew my friend to have had a profile, except one obscure site that had fallen in popularity. I would go to this site ever so often just to see his profile. In some ways it felt as if he were still alive on the internet. About a year and a half after he died, I accidentally spilled the beans to my ex boy friend that my friend's profile was still on this old site. he said, "Oh, I forgot about that old site. Thanks I will inform his mom." If I had kept my mouth shut, his profile may have stayed there till the death of the site.

DarienW
04-06-2017, 01:20 AM
KTC, a thought I had was maybe the laptop is given to the friend who tries to figure out how the blogs are being published, or the password, etc.

Sounds like an interesting story, and based on the comments, I'm sure you can make it work.

Best of luck with your story!

:)

KTC
04-07-2017, 02:58 PM
I'm slow on the uptake and only thought about checking WordPress policy this morning, as an example of a blog hosting service.
Th uncontroversial WordPress policy for Deceased Users is this:

Deceased User (https://en.support.wordpress.com/deceased-user/)

When a WordPress.com site owner passes away we like to help the family or estate determine what happens with their loved one’s WordPress.com site.

To notify WordPress.com about a deceased user, please email passwordhelp @ wordpress.com and include the user name or e-mail address for the account (if known), the URL/site address, a brief explanation of the situation, and the desired action for the site (making it private or transferring it to another owner) in your message.

If you would like to transfer ownership to another account please attach the following:

A copy of the deceased user’s death certificate.
A power of attorney or legal document stating their authority to act on behalf of the deceased, or a signed,notarized statement including:
Their first and last name
Their current contact information
Their email address
Their relationship to the deceased user
The action they’re requesting (e.g., “Please deactivate the account.”)

Does 'deactivate ' mean take down? I doubt it.

Nothing happens fast as far as I can tell, even in the case of an emergency, dealt with here (https://en.support.wordpress.com/report-blogs/emergency-requests/) involving the release of user information. 'This process is for law enforcement and government officials only — all other reports will be ignored.' Nothing about taking the blog down.

WordPress takes down content in a blog when copyright is proven to be have been infringed or when requested by a court to remove defamatory content. Otherwise not, and this is the relevant clause:

Requests for Takedown of Other Content

WordPress.com strongly believes in freedom of speech. We have a vast audience spread across many cultures, countries, and backgrounds with varying values and our service is designed to let users freely express any ideas and opinions without us censoring or endorsing them. We review and investigate all complaints that we receive. If we determine that reported content violates our Terms of Service, we will take action as appropriate. Regardless of whether or not we take action, we may forward a copy of the complaint to the site owner.

If we receive a complaint and are not in a position to make a determination (for example whether something is defamatory or not), we defer to the judgment of a court.


So the process of removing content would need more than outraged family or media. A legal process would be required.

Thank you SO much! The answer was there if only I had dug for it. This is so helpful. Thank you, everyone, for your responses. I feel I can move forward with my intended plot. You're all the best. (-: