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Dennis Cooper’s blog re-launched after Google censorship criticisms

Artist and author writes that tech firm will provide all Gmail correspondence and gif novel he was working on, and post data from site to new domain post-by-post

Artist and author Dennis Cooper re-launched his popular blog on Monday after months of legal disputes with Google, who many accused of censorship.

The artist posted a message on the blogs Facebook account on Friday to explain Googles reasoning for erasing his 14-year-old blog, which housed a gif novel he was working on.

According to Cooper, someone had reported a post on DCs Blog, which was hosted on the Google-owned Blogspot, from 10 years ago as they felt it constituted child abuse images, and Google immediately deactivated his account.

The post was part of a Self-Portrait Day series in which Cooper asked users to send him things related to a topic he selected.

In 2006, I did one of those posts where I asked people to send me things they thought were sexy, he wrote on Facebook. Cooper said he placed the post behind an adult content warning after seeing some of the responses.

Coopers DCs Blog had been a prime destination for fans of experimental literature and avant garde writing. It was updated six times a week, highlighting film, fiction and music he enjoyed. Coopers work often depicts sexuality and violence in graphic terms, and some of the writing and images dealt with similar themes.

When his blog was removed without warning, it raised first amendment concerns in the art community, and many were worried he may have suffered censorship at the hands of Google.

Its just yet another means by which certain members of the government or certain internet conglomerates have decided to make it impossible for culture to be produced, Stuart Comer, a curator at MoMA and a longtime fan of Coopers work, told the Guardian when the site was first taken down.

Coopers troubles started two months ago when his Gmail was disabled without reason. He later attempted to log into his blog and received a notice saying it was suspended due to a violation of Googles terms of service. Cooper lost 10 years worth of correspondence in his emails, all his blogposts, and a gif novel called Zacs Freight Elevator, which was slated for release in the coming months.

Cooper told the Guardian that Google originally provided no explanation for taking down his site and didnt respond to the lawyers he enlisted; even Google employees who were fans of his work were unable to uncover what happened.

Cooper received an outpouring of support from fans of his work which resulted in several articles on the issue from international media outlets, a statement of support from PEN America and a petition to recover the blog.

According to Coopers Facebook post, Google began negotiating with his lawyer on 15 July and eventually agreed to provide all the data from his disabled blog, the data from his 10 years of correspondence in his Gmail account and his novel. The data from his site will be put up on a new site, post-by-post on a new domain, starting on Monday.

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