Artist loses 14 years’ worth of work after Google shuts down blog without warning
A popular niche artist recently found nearly a decade and a half of his work completely erased.
Dennis Cooper’s blog, which he started in 2002, was suddenly removed without warning from Google’s blogging service Blogger and now he is considering suing the internet giant.
On June 27, Google disabled Cooper’s blog and email address, Cooper wrote in a series of Facebook posts. The France-based American artist said the only explanation he received was a “violation of (Google’s) terms of service statement.”
The majority of Cooper’s work was kept on the blog and no backups exist, Fusion reported. One trying to access the blog receives a message simply saying the site has been removed.
Among the works he lost were photographs and novels composed of animated GIFs, including an unfinished GIF story.
Google told the Daily News it is aware of the matter and unable to comment on specific user accounts.
Much of Cooper’s writing dealt with explicit material and someone may have reported the blog over its more lewd works, Artforum reported. However, blog visitors were greeted with an 18+ warning and Cooper had posted such content for years.
Google’s alleged takedown has also ignited accusations of censorship. Stuart Comer, a curator at the Museum of Modern Art and fan of Cooper’s work, condemned Google’s actions.
“It’s 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,” Comer told The Guardian.
PEN America, a civil rights organization protecting writers around the world, also expressed its concern over the blog’s removal citing trust issues between content hosting websites and their users, the group said in a statement.
With little progress having been made, Cooper is weighing whether or not to sue the company. Cooper has been in contact with a French lawyer that helped him reach Google’s own attorneys, but a lawsuit appears to be his last resort.
“This will not be easy for me for the obvious reasons, but I’m not going to just give up ten years of my and others’ work without doing everything possible,” Cooper wrote Tuesday on Facebook.
Cooper wrote early Friday that PEN America will intervene on his behalf, though it is unclear to what extent.