Google has warned its Blogger platform community that all blogs containing sexually explicit materials will be made private on March 23. Google has recommended that blogs hosted on the popular free blogging platform with adult content either make themselves private or remove sexually explicit images and videos.

The new restriction will not delete existing blogs but only make them no longer visible to the public, according to a statement issued by the tech giant. New blogs, however, will be deleted if they contain adult material that is sexually explicit.

Blogs containing adult material that are not sexually explicit will not be deleted, but viewers will be sent to an adult content warning page before they can access the content.

According to the new policy terms, adult material will only be allowed on blogs hosted on Blogger if it "offers a substantial public benefit, for example in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific context". Google retains discretion for determining whether adult content offers enough public benefit to be remain visible to the public.

This marks a change from Blogger's longstanding policy that required adult content bloggers to use the "adult" tag. This tag triggered an automated warning page cautioning visitors about the presence of sexually explicit material. Google can add an adult tag even if the blogger disagrees under the old terms.

In 2013, Google banned blogs on its Blogger platform from displaying adverts for adult websites. Google also stopped advertising porn in its online advertisements in July last year.

The announcement, which was first made through an email to Blogger users, received mixed reactions. While some applauded Google for clamping down on an increasing amount of pornography on the internet, others said the tech giant was exercising undue censorship.

Google has said that anyone who is unhappy with the change can take use its Takeout service that allows Blogger users to archive the text and images on their blog, or export the entire blog as a .xml file.