Google docs kicks out 'romance' writer; Here's why every content creator should be WORRIED

Google Docs barred romance writer K Renee from accessing her documents due to vague 'inappropriate content' flags, leaving her with no response. This incident highlights concerns about content moderation and need for creators to back up their work.

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Top Indian News Desk
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Courtesy: Flickr/Ivan Radic

K Renee, a romance novel writer, recently had a nightmarish experience while she was enjoying a hockey game with her husband. A notification popped up, "You no longer have permission to view this document,” that she received from Google. 

Renee was infuriated upon receiving this message, as it meant that she would no longer have access to her Google Drive documents.

What did the 'banned' message say?

The message that Renee received stated, "If you believe this is an error, contact the document owner," and "Can’t share item" was its header.  The body text read that she could not share that item because it had been flagged as inappropriate.

Renee lost control over her valuable documents

This prominent romance writer got locked out of all her ongoing work, which summed up to over 222,000 words across various files. The message that she had received gave no further explanation or reason for locking her up. 

Frustrated by this uncertain incident, Renee tried to regain access, but all that ended in vain. Her multiple tries to resubmit her work turned futile. This lack of accountability and transparency on the part of Google has disappointed Renee, leaving her beta reader community feeling helpless. 

What could be the possible reason?

Renee believed that 'explicit content', which is the hallmark of her 'open-door spice' romance genre, could be a possible reason. 

The ambiguity of the notification has left her perplexed. She is trying to figure out other possible reasons behind this stringent content modulation attempt, which holds back the autonomy of creative artists over their content.

More incidents were reported before

Renee is not the only one to suffer. When she tried to figure out what had happened, she shared the anecdote on the writers' Slack channel, where she is usually active. From there, the message got circulated on Instagram, where other writers advised their fellow scribes to always back up their data to avoid any such incidents in the future. One of them even reported having faced a similar thing previously. 

A lesson for creators

This incident throws light on the power imbalance between creators and platforms that are popular among them, including Google Drive. 

Algorithms have now gained significant control over creative autonomy, undermining their control over their content. Renee's appeal to Google stands unanswered, leaving her in an unpredicted situation.

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