Why Google shut down Linda Ikeji Blog

Linda Ikeji

Google, on Thursday, explained that it does not tolerate the violation of its Terms of Service, which include intellectual property theft, but declined to categorically say that was why  it shut down popular Nigerian blog, Linda Ikeji’s Blog.

The company said it  does not discuss individual accounts.

The company had on Wednesday removed the blog from its Blogger platform days after an intellectual property activist reported the site for copyright infringement.

The firm said practices such as plagiarism diminish the experience of its users but said it would not discuss individual accounts.

“Google is dedicated to offering users the best possible experience across our products,” said Kola-Ogunlade,  the company’s communication and public affairs manager for Anglophone West Africa when contacted over the deletion of the popular blog.

“We take violations of policies very seriously as such activities diminish the experience for our users. When we are notified of the existence of content that may violate our Terms of Service, we act quickly to review it and determine whether it actually violates our policies. If we determine that it does, we remove it immediately.”

Linda Ikeji Blog which was hosted by Blogger, a Google-owned blogging platform, was pulled down Wednesday following allegations of plagiarism and intellectual property theft.

On Tuesday, in a blog post, Ms. Ikeji accused “cybersquatters and hackers” of trying to bring her blog down.

She pointed a finger directly at Mukhtar Dan’Iyan, the Editor-in-Chief of US-based The 15 Past Eight Media Group, who uses the handle @AyeDee on Twitter.

Ms. Ikeji said Mr. Dan’Iyan was equally guilty of what he accused her of -lifting articles from other websites without permission, and alleged that he owned the domain name lindaikeji.net under an alias, Emmanuel Efremov.


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In an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday, Mr. Dan’Iyan said he had emailed Ms. Ikeji repeatedly about content she lifted from his site before filing a formal DMCA complaint to Google.

A Digital Copyright Millenium Act, DMCA, is an avenue to report content that you would like removed from Google’s services under applicable laws.

According to Mr. Dan’Iyan, Ms. Ikeji had used over 10,000 copyrighted pictures and stories over the past five years without the authorisation of the copyright owners.

He also said “Emmanuel Efremov” was one of the directors in his company.

“Emmanuel has never tried to sell anything to Linda, nor has he ever demanded any sort of money from her. In fact, I doubt he’s ever had any interaction with here even in passing,” Mr. Dan’Iyan said.

Meanwhile Ms. Ikeji is still working on re-launching her site, which by Thursday afternoon was still shut down.

Late Wednesday night, on Twitter, she posted to her over 400,000 followers, “Oh wow! Thanks guys for all the love and support. I’m overwhelmed. Trying to get a new site…please bear with me. Long live LIB. Kisses…”

In a previous tweet following the shutdown, she had informed her followers that the blog was still up on lindaikeji.mobi; apparently, a stop-gap arrangement.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post has been updated to reflect the fact that Google did not specifically mention Linda Ikeji Blog while responding to our question in compliance with its policy not to discuss individual accounts.


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