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Monday, 21 January 2013

Gates of Vienna Blog blocked

Earlier this month the Gates of Vienna blog was inaccessible for a time, and yesterday readers were once again denied access. At the time of writing a visit to Gates of Vienna (GOV) was met with the following notice: ‘This blog is under review due to possible Blogger Terms of Service violations and is open to authors only.’

The message is a little cryptic, but the fact that public access to it has been blocked, temporarily or possibly permanently, indicates that Blogger’s owners – Google – are susceptible to pressure to censor opinions that are deemed to upset some people around the globe. Given the content of the blog in question, it does not take a great deal to guess which particular ideological constituency will have demanded that access be blocked: an Islamic lobby group of one sort or another.

Some of the articles published on the GOV I have agreed with, and others I have not, but agreeing or disagreeing with a set of opinions set out on a platform such as a blog is no reason to have them either extolled by all as ‘virtuous’ or condemned and censored for whatever spurious reasons happen to be called forth by way of justification on the part of an ‘offended’ party. After all, to offend someone nothing more is necessary – at least in the case of those who will not brook any dissent from their perspective – than to disagree with their opinion.

Whether or not you happen to agree with the general thrust and tenor of articles published on the GOV is immaterial: the decision to deny public access to the blog strikes me as a violation of freedom of expression, and that in itself is a sinister move on the part of the internet giant. Although those who dislike GOV have attempted to smear it by association with Breivik, who happened to cite it in his largely unread rambling ‘manifesto’, GOV has not called for violence and in no uncertain terms condemned the actions of the psychopath Breivik as soon as his identity became known. The blog appears to be the latest high-profile element of the transnational ‘counterjihad’ movement to have been taken out. In the UK over the past 18 months we have seen Alan Lake/Alan Ayling dismissed from his job at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Chris Knowles sacked from his job with Leeds City Council for holding views deemed to be at variance with its ‘diversity policy’. More recently, EDL founder and leader Stephen Lennon/Tommy Robinson received a prison sentence for gaining entry to the US on someone else’s passport, and a little over a week ago his relative and fellow leading EDL member Kevin Carroll was arrested for what was alleged to be‘inciting racial hatred’.

As perhaps the best known of the ‘Counterjihad’ blogs, taking out GOV strikes a blow against the loose network and movement that it represents. It is a worrying development, for though it may be unpalatable to what is deemed to be acceptable opinion, the concerns that it articulates with respect to the various facets of Islamisation – particularly to the demographic Islamisation of many European societies – are legitimate. Much of what has been written on its platform differs little in its essential thrust from the argument and evidence presented by respected journalist Christopher Caldwell in his book ‘Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West’ published in 2009. Thankfully, unlike ‘Baron Bodissey’, Caldwell has yet to experience the chill winds of censorship, but Google’s latest exercise in apparent censorship poses the question as to how much longer such dissident opinions will be tolerated. In and of itself, the decision to block access to the Gates of Vienna would appear to bear ugly testimony to the blog’s protestation that Islamisation constitutes a genuine danger to the freedom of both speech and expression. We can only hope that Google relents, and allows the blog to once again reach a general readership as it has done over a number of years.

Note: thanks to Ivan Winters for drawing this to my attention.

Immediately after posting this piece I discovered via the Infidel Bloggers Alliance blog that the Gates of Vienna has moved to a new site that can be accessed here.

Gates of Vienna blog banner


  1. BigBlogger is watching you - i wonder who has put 'pressure' with regard to this blog? You can't inflame Muzzie sensibilities now can you?...

    Laurie -

    1. Generally speaking, those of an Islamic persuasion tend to be exceptionally touchy and cannot tolerate the least criticism. To describe them as 'uptight' doesn't really get anywhere near capturing the violent nature of their sensitivity.

  2. @Laurie, my thought exactly.

    I wonder how long it will be before Google/Blogger change their terms of service and actually state "any anti-islamic websites or those allowing such views will be closed down."

    I won't be at all surprised...


    1. They'll probably do it in rather a more roundabout way Rob, by branding all criticism of a certain ideology and its followers as 'racist' or 'xenophobic'. Gates of Vienna is now back up and running on blogger, but they have wisely migrated across to Wordpress. Blogger are now claiming that the GOV site was taken out by some sort of malicious code attack, but those behind the blog aren't taking any further risks.

    2. Oh, code attack was it, my arse it was.

      Still, if Google want to start sending all the traffic over to Wordpress blogs, then that's fine with me. I wonder what it does for advertising revenue.

      Personally, I think GOV should have done it about six months ago when Blogspot introduced its draconian T&Cs. As should you Duro, because you publish politically incorrect material that needs to be controlled.

  3. The claim by Blogger/Google that the GoV site was taken out by malicious code is just an insult to the intelligence. Anyone who attempted to access GoV during the 'outage' was met by a clear message that the site was not available while allegations of breach of 'terms of service' were being dealt with. Is Blogger/Google saying it's own internal disciplinary systems are malicious code ?

    Ivan Winters


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