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Why I'm Off Facebook, and How I Plan to Make My Blog GDPR Compliant

Thursday, May 17, 2018

One of my friends gave me this birthday bouquet.  I will be sharing other birthday surprises and niceties at a later date.

GDPR Compliance

Hello, My Lovelies!  

I have been busy with birthday, Mother's Day, and other family activities lately, and now I have to worry about making sure my blogs are GDPR Compliant.

Disclaimer:  I am in NO POSITION to give legal advice.  I'm strictly sharing what I'll be doing to update my blog and sharing a resource or two for your benefit.  I don't know enough about GDPR to give advice, I'm mostly sharing my frustration!

This hasn't made blogging particularly fun for me, and leave it to the Europeans to screw everything up for the rest of the world.  ;P   Although a pain for bloggers, I understand some of the benefits for European consumers, however I don't for the life of me can see how bloggers can be in compliance with this law because it's way too muddy and confusing.

What is GDPR?  It's a new EU law that goes into effect May 25th.  The purpose of the law  is data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union. It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU.  According to the MOST HELPFUL ARTICLE I've read so far about this topic, the aims of the GDPR are:

1. To reinforce data protection rights of individuals
2. Facilitate the free flow of personal data in the digital market
3. Reduce the administrative burden.  (on the reader, obviously, NOT the blogger....)

You may be asking, how does that affect me?  I'm American.  Well it does, and you need to protect yourself and update your blog. This is even true if you do not make money from your blog.

Jennifer Priest from Smart Creative Social has written a comprehensive post about steps she's taking to make her blog GDPR Compliant.  I highly recommend that you read Jennifer's post.

The first thing you should do is make sure your blog has a security certificate.  Blogger has made it easy for us to get security certificates with literally two clicks, so I suggest you get one ASAP.  The next important thing to do is write a privacy policy for your blog.  I plan on writing one and posting it via a page soon.

The second thing is adding a cookies consent bar if you haven't done so already.  Here is a resource for adding it to the html of your template.  UPDATE: Make sure your cookies bar won't  be outdated on May 25th.

Another important element is to make sure everything has an "opt in" button.  Blogger is supposedly working on one for the comments section of Blogger blogs.  I'm hoping that it will we available by May 25th, if not, I will temporarily disable my comments.

Under GDPR, personal data can mean almost anything, like blog post comments, Google analytics, third person hosted services like Bloglovin', and social media buttons and "likes."  

Do you have a headache yet?

Here is a free tool to help you write your privacy policy.  Also, you'll need to send emails to your email lists to re-request consent, including your RSS feed (honestly, this is what gives me the biggest headache; this alone makes me want to make my blog private).  You'll also need to confirm privacy policies about all third party services you use and disclose in your privacy policy.  I've read that email services will have a function for this, but I have not tried this yet for my Tiny Letter newsletter.  If you have not subscribed to my newsletter and you want to keep up with me, I highly suggest you subscribe because I will be sending out updates via my newsletter.  The form is at the top of my sidebar.

I'm seriously thinking about making my blogs private (if I can't figure this out by May 25th), or making one private (this one) and keeping my art journaling blog public, and here's why:

I own the domain for this blog.  If I have a private blog, then when folks read my blog they are consenting to read it because they will have to enter their email every single time they read my blog.  I can write in my privacy policy that they are knowingly using their email as the password to read my blog, and explain that I will not share this information to a third party entity.  Also, I'm hoping this will help with comments as well because so many fewer people will read my blog if I take it private.  But I'm still planning on using Blogger's opt-in box on comments once it becomes available.  Also, the RSS feed issue I mentioned, above, is another reason I want to switch to private.  I'm planning on contacting Google about my idea and see if going private will help with this issue.

If you want to read my blog, I will need your email so I can add you to my blog reading list once I take it private.  I can also add you to my Tiny Letter list if you want, but you MUST give your consent to both when you email me.  

My email is rickijill@gmail(dot)com

My art journaling blog is not owned by me, it's owned by Blogger.  I'm confident that Blogger will provide us with tools to become GDPR compliant, so as of the writing of this post, I'll probably keep it a public blog.

Another tip if you're blog is on the Blogger platform:  Read some of the posts on the help forum.  I found them very interesting.


I was reading about GDPR Compliance on the Google Help Forum, and this is the biggest problem, and I do not have the skills to address it.  This is a direct quote from the forum posted by "Gracey":

It isn't really a matter of updating the cooking notice with an opt-out option. 

The requirement is that they must actually opt-in before any cookies are loaded. 

And in order to opt-in to all the different things on a site that requires the user is aware of ALL the cookies that will be encountered when they visit your site, and must be given the choice to opt in to individual services ... like analytics, and ad cookies, and anything else that uses cookies, like email subscriptions or follow options.

That means all of the cookie choices should be listed so they can opt in individually to each service, or opt out of each service.

Honestly, I can't imagine that most bloggers will do this.  So I'm wondering if this is intended to be more of a revenue stream for the EU rather than simply "caring about the consumer."  You must ask yourself, "What is the EU's agenda?" because if it were about protecting the consumer, the law wouldn't be so muddy, and it would be simple and easy for bloggers to comply.  THIS POST explains a lot about GDPR, and how expensive it is for UK bloggers to register with the Information Commissioners Office.  Also, I can't imagine readers willing to "click all the boxes" required to "opt-in" to all the individual services.  What a fun suck! 

However, I do care about privacy.  I care about my own private as well as the privacy of my readers.  Please read my updated privacy policy posted on the legal page.  Click on the link on the tool bar at the top of the blog.  I've worked very hard on this policy, and I hope at least it's a good start.

Why I'm Off Facebook

I'm now off Facebook, although for the moment it's only a suspension of my account.  However, once May 25th rolls around, it will be much easier to delete my account which I plan on doing then.

I never was a fan of FB, and I only opened an account for a book club I belonged to which is now disbanded.

The things I don't like about FB are numerous, but the one thing I don't like is it's a time suck for me.  Since FB quit using a chronological feed, my feed has been problematic.  Lately, I have the same three people's posts, followed by TONS of ads, only to then repeat older post by the same three people before I could scroll down, WAY DOWN, to new posts.  For the most part, if I wanted to catch-up with a friend, I'd have to search for them and then click to reach their wall.  This is a lot of time-consuming work, and yes, I know about the "three dots" but it did not work in my case.

According to AdSense, FB does NOT have an accurate assessment of me.  I am NOT alt-right, and I can't help but wonder if FB doesn't like me for this reason.  After all, they deemed Diamond and Silk as a "threat to the community," and I wouldn't characterize either of them as "alt-right."  Now I know I'm not a household name like these ladies, but keep in mind that FB conducts social experimentation on users without their knowledge not to mention the selling of friends' information of millions of users to third party entities.

I'm also NOT A FAN of the FB privacy policy.  I don't like that FB followed me on the web when I left the platform, and that's not the only policy I don't like.

Another reason is this is one less third party entity I'll have to worry about on my blog.

However, I do like Instagram, and honestly the fact that FB owns IG might be the one thing that saves the company from ruin.  I will continue enjoying IG until I don't like their policies; I do love how much more POSITIVE IG seems over FB.

So far, I have not missed FB at all.  It has given me more free time to pursue more interesting things, like figuring out the GDPR.

I guess that's all for now.  I'll be working on my Privacy Policy most of the weekend.  This is not how I'd like to spend my time, but I want to make sure my blog is compliant only because I've meet so many sweet friends via blogging.  I hope you will take the extra step to enter your email in order to read my blog.  I know it's a pain, but for the moment it's the best plan for me until I'm certain my blog is GDPR Compliant.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. yes, I have a headache, holy wow, I don't think I can do all this! I don't like facebook either, I have an account but rarely eveer get on facebook. Thanks for the info!

  2. I sent you and email for you reading list. WOW, did not know about this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I totally have a GDPR headache! I have been working on my privacy policy and email compliance all day. Yuck. And if I could get off FB I would in a heartbeat. I just get a lot of my blogging news from blogging groups there. I think I would miss that...but nothing else!

  4. What a ROYAL pain in the butt! I don't think I have to do anything until blogger puts the squeeze on me, do I? I am blogging under the Blogger format. Hope you have a really great weekend in spite of having to do all the work for your blog. I am doing less and less on FB. xo Diana

  5. I had no idea all this was happening. I just started blogging again after about a year absence. I wonder now if it is worth doing it at all if I have to go through a big mess just to blog. As far as FB...I hate it and always have. To me it feels like high school all over again, and that was before they messed up the chronology of the posts. I still have my account, but I don't post anything. I use it to get info no some art groups I belong to that still use it a lot. Oh well... Thanks for all the great info. Hope you have a great weekend.


  6. I am so lost with this GDPR stuff! I added a privacy policy to my blog but am clueless with the email things that I need to do.

  7. My brain is exploding but till blogger tells me what to do or not, I'm not going to worry about it. As for FB, I'm OK with it. I go when I can, try to check birthdays and just plan on not seeing stuff from certain folks unless I visit their pages because of how the newsfeed is coordinated. I probably spend a good ten minutes a day on it collectively unless I'm really bored or updating the pages I manage for the theatre and a chamber music series. I don't click on political or "social" links and only do quizzes now from PBS. I pick up decent blog traffic there, according to my insights and it's how I learn people died. I have ad block so I never see the ads. I can't say they have the world's best business model but who does? I have gone through and blocked people whose posts I don't want to see and never accept friend requests from someone till they are "vetted" -- either by asking someone else who is their friend or that I know.

    Any social media is as good or bad as the time we spend with it. Since I don't have a smart phone or tablet (yet) I will look at others' instagrams but not post, so FB is a good link. Also doing a little more on twitter, at least following.

  8. I deleted my Facebook account after I realized I had hidden the majority of my "friends" because all their posts were ridiculously annoying! I don't want to see pictures of food, and I despise political opinions being shoved down my throat, so it really wasn't a huge loss to say goodbye to FB. I like Instagram so much more, and all of those "friends" who eventually found me over there just don't get a follow back!!

  9. This was a really, really good post, Ricki Jill, in spite of it being the pain in the ass that it is. Thank you.

  10. I am absolutely, totally confused by all this and could never figure out how to do all you've listed for my blog. I don't make money on my blog and it is with blogspot so not sure I have to do anything? What happens if I don't do anything? I do receive your blog through my email now so I have to re-sign up to keep getting it?

  11. Oh, dear, I can barely wrap my head around the GDPR thing. Regarding the "opt in" and RSS/email list issues - I have no clue what to do. I'm a " blog," so I'm at their mercy. I don't have an official newsletter, though some folks subscribe by email to receive posts which is a Wordpress feature, so yeah, I have no clue!

    I gave up on Facebook a while back, and I don't miss it. It just made me sad or angry or annoyed. I do like Instagram though! :-)

  12. I will confess that I haven't paid any attention to this issue at all. I guess it's time to get in gear!

  13. This article might help you.

    If you are on blogger, your blog already has a notice written by Google. You can see it above.

  14. Ricki Jill,
    Here I sit, weeks and weeks after learning about the first news of GDPR, but still have not done anything. I have been reading about it on two FB groups for Blogger platform bloggers. I am getting close to beginning to try to become GDPR compliant, but still waiting for my two FB groups' gurus to give us the latest news about how Google Blogger is handling this.

    Hang in there...


  15. Wow, this is all greek to me! Maybe I can pay Linda to get me compliant - sounds crazy! I don't ever go to FB either, unless I need to post something for the Young Single Adults for our church. I never see anything but ads and garbage and rarely any friends, but I am now seeing so many ads on IG that my heart is sinking, as I have loved it!

  16. Hi,
    No clue what so ever! I get your blog posts on e mail, do I need to re sign up?
    I am going to hang in there with my blog and hope all works out on my end. Let me know after 5/25 if you are seeing my posts.
    Thank You,

  17. You have my email 8f you go private I would love to be included


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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