Romance author gets locked out of Google Docs for “inappropriate” content

Anurag Singh
Image showing Google Docs logo with ban logo on it against a purple background

Aspiring Author K. Renee was reportedly locked out of her own content on Google Docs after Google flagged it as “inappropriate.”

As reported by Wired, Renee is an author who writes about Hockey romance and has saved over 222,000 words across multiple files and folders on Google Docs. However, Google barred her from sharing her own content.

“You cannot share this item because it has been flagged as inappropriate,” read a pop-up when she tried to share her work. Those who already had access to Renee’s work on Google Docs were told “You no longer have permission to view this document. If you believe this is an error, contact the document owner,” through a pop-up message.

Renee describes her work to Wired as “open-door spice” meaning it’s explicit or “spicy”. Google mentions that files containing violence, abuse, CSAM, and gore violate the terms of service for Google Drive and its associated products, like Docs and Sheets. However, exceptions are made, for educational, artistic, and journalistic purposes.

google building

Since Renee’s work is for artistic purposes, it shouldn’t technically go against Google’s guidelines. Wired also reports that Renee is not alone in getting blocked from sharing her work.

Fantasy Romance author Courtney Whims shared on their Instagram that Google Docs blocked them as well. Whims said her content is explicit, but Google blocked them after concluding that they were spamming people (which Whims claims they were not, according to an Instagram reel).

Similar incidents were reported back in 2017, when Google started locking users out of their content for violating its policy.

Many Google Docs users, including a former National Geographic editor, claimed they were not able to access their Google Docs, even though their content did not violate Google’s policies. However, Google later clarified in a statement to Mashable that these lockouts were made in error. It remains unclear if authors in particular will be able to use Google products in the future if the material they are writing is deemed inappropriate by the company.

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