It appears that our friend Dennis Mangan has run afoul of Google’s guidelines for acceptable content: as of late afternoon yesterday his blog’s homepage has been replaced by the dreaded Blogger Screen of Death.
This happened also to Jeffery Hodges a while back, though in that case it appeared to be some sort of mistake: it was hard to see how anyone, even a Bay Area leftie, would have been offended by Jeffery’s amiable blog, and as it happened a friend of mine at Google was able to get his site restored. In Dennis’s case, however, I think this was probably a deliberate move on Google’s part. Mangan’s had been attracting a lot of attention lately (and, presumably, links and traffic), and Dennis writes frankly on matters of social and scientific controversy. In particular Dennis often discussed the dangerously radioactive subject of “human biodiversity”, a.k.a. “HBD”: the radical notion that there may indeed be systematic genetic differences of various sorts between human populations, that these variations are a suitable and important topic for scientific inquiry, and that there should be no taboos against such research, or against free discussion of what research already exists. (It is worth noting that an article on the subject was also removed, recently, from Wikipedia.)
In addition to his writings on HBD, Dennis also writes, from a conservative viewpoint, about other contentious topics: multiculturalism and the general decline of Western culture; immigration; religion and atheism — and, as a scientist himself, he often writes with caustic tone about the resistance of the scientific “establishment” to the presentation and discussion of heterodox ideas, particularly in the medical and climate sciences.
In other words: Dennis hasn’t got a P.C. bone in his body. He is always civil, always reasonable, and is motivated only by his sincere concern for ailing Western culture, and by a desire to get at the facts, however “inconvenient” they may be — but I have no doubt that as far as many people are concerned he is quite beyond the pale. His site had also become rather a rallying point for like-minded discontents, and I imagine he became conspicuous enough that someone at Google decided to declare him to be in violation of their terms of service.
I can tell you from personal experience that for a dedicated blogger, having one’s website go down is profoundly disconcerting; I don’t think it is an overstatement to say that it feels like a sudden existential amputation. My advice to any of you out there who have blogs on Blogspot: do yourself a favor and get your own site, especially if you have anything pungent or controversial to express. The cost is trivial — I pay $8 a month for hosting, and registering a domain is even cheaper — but most important of all, you own your content, and for now at least, you cannot be silenced. Blogspot is a free service, and as we have seen you run the risk of being taken down at Google’s merest whim, without even a word of warning.
I have no doubt that Dennis will be back; look for updates here.