I had a blog hosted at bluehost.com. The company have removed the site because of the use of 'vulgarity' in the comments on one of the few posts. The comments include people dropping the 'F bomb', but the site was not porn neither was it violent or inappropriate.
I just spoke to Bluehost and they state to me that "over and above their legal obligations they adhere to their moral obligations."
A little closer inspection finds that Bluehost are based in Utah, home of the Mormon church, and while the company isn't expressly Mormon it would seem that they adhere to Mormon moral standards and expect all of their customers to do the same.
I put it to Tom from tech support that the use of vulgarity was commonplace in a contemporary society and that individuals should be entitled to make their own judgments regarding this matter. He re-stated that the company impose a moral standard upon their customers.
For your amusement and for your awareness of religious moral standards being applied, this is the transcript of my initial web chat with Tom from tech support. It starts after I ask why the blog was removed:
[10:26]: vulgar comments need to be removed - Ticket #734230
[10:26]: Vulgar comments?
[10:27]: Please can you be a LOT more specific.
Tom [10:27]: Please submit the last 4 digits of your Credit Card for verification purposes and/or the full Cpanel password. We will activate Cpanel only for you to remove all vulgar or profanity in the account.
[10:27]: No, before I do that I would like you do be VERY VERY specific as to your definition of vulgarity
[10:28]: and I am stunned that a blog host would seek to censor bloggers in this way.
Tom [10:28]: That is our policy.
[10:34]: OH MY GOD, foul language is prohibited?
[10:34]: Wait a second....
[10:34]: I just noticed, you guys appear to be in Utah
Tom [10:34]: Yes
[10:35]: I only conclude this because are you really serious about the profanity thing?
[10:35]: Freedom of speech isn't important in the United States then I suppose?
Tom [10:35]: Religion is not a factor, it is our moral.
[10:35]: That is our policy.
[10:35]: your moral?
[10:36]: Okay Tom, what if I post a blog post saying I think President Bush is a "horses ass", you would take my site down?
Tom [10:36]: That is a policy, you can take it up with our Abuse Department if you want; but botton line is, we do not allow those.
[10:37]: Yes we would take that site down for doing that.
[10:37]: Okay, how do I speak to someone at your ab*se department
[10:37]: You will have to call the Direct Line, they are not available on chat.
[10:38]: number please Tom
[10:38]: Outside the U.S: 801-765-9400
[10:39]: I'll be reporting 6 bluehost sites that I have found via your users forum in the last 3 minutes which use profanity
[10:39]: can I expect these all to be removed too
[10:39]: I mean heck, the world might fall into moral decay if we don't get on top of this!
[10:39]: Yes of course, that's good, we will take action on those too.
[10:40]: Oh damn, just looking at the bluehost forum I see that you actually link to several abuse ridden sites from your own sites, and they are all hosted by you guys!
[10:40]: Tom, I am worried for you, moral decay looks like it is running ride there at bluehost!
[10:40]: I'm about to start praying for you!
Tom [10:42]: Thank y ou, I'll pray for you too. Thank you for changing your moral views today. Start by saying something good about a person, that is a step towards peace. Have a nice day.
[10:42]: YIKES!!!!! Tom, it's worse than I thought, there are girls in bikinis on Bluehosted sites!!!!
[10:42]: This is really awful!
Tom [10:43]: Ok You can report those to abuse too.
[10:43]: Thank you
So there you have it folks, Bluehost will only host your site as long as you don't say anything nasty about anyone or use vulgar language.
As much as I respect the religious views of anyone, I feel that Bluehost should make their moral code a LOT clearer.
Needless to say the blog will be moved to a host that doesn't care to impose strict religious morals. California pumps out the majority of the immorality in the world, so I am looking for a host there! :-)