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By Rady Ananda

Without prior warning, on Friday, Sept. 23, Google took down the popular site, ActivistPost.com, as well as their back-up site, also located on blogger.com.

Co-founders Michael Edwards and Eric Blair are working closely with Google to restore their access to the site, at least “long enough so we can access all of our data, but we’ll see,” Blair told COTO Report.

The site has not been hacked, he assures AP readers. This was a deliberate move by Google.

Founded in June 2010, the site had a meteoric rise, as the visitor stats from compete.com reveal in the graph below:

AP saw 17,462 visitors in its inception month. The next month, and ever since, the number of visitors did not drop below 100,000, with a peak in January of 253,016, nearly equaled in May when it saw 247,000 visitors.

Its immediate popularity can likely be explained by its close association with InfoWars.com, which sees over a million visitors a month.

AP provided news from Agence France Press as well as independent bloggers. Work submitted to AP was cross-posted at numerous sites including InfoWars, as well as Before Its News, SHTFPlan, Intel Hub, and Blacklisted News.

Close to 2,000 sites link to AP, according to alexa.com, which has ranked AP in the top 10,000 of most visited websites in the U.S. for the past several months.

When trying to access AP on Friday, people landed on a 404 page with no explanation. Earlier today, the AP URL, activistpost.com showed a site called “le news” with the WordPress logo.

Blair explained, “They are testing now, so things are just a bit goofy,” referring to Google. “We’re trying to get them to test offsite so people aren’t confused.”

If that test page is any indication, the new site will be more interactive with rotating headlines and a much cleaner and crisper look.

Since the take-down, BeforeItsNews has been hosting recent AP content. AP managed to upload four articles on Saturday morning, but has not posted anything new as of this writing.

AP often provided well-sourced articles exposing government corruption and encroachment on civil liberties, and has taken a strong anti-Empire position.

In June, AP gave me an honorable mention in its 10 Most Influential People in the Alternative Media (all men), calling me a “brilliant investigative journalist.” As kind as that is, of course I’m not even in the same league as the top ten men listed.

Later, though, AP rejected two pieces promoting militant strategies  – one discussed the Second Amendment in protecting our food supply from armed government raids, and the other reviewed Deep Green Resistance, a book that lays out effective resistance strategies which sometimes require defensive violence.

Despite AP’s timidity with posting anarcho-libertarian views, it has done much to unite mainstream populists and has amplified the views of writers otherwise ignored by other sites, including yours truly.

Blair reported that they expect to open a new site soon. He did not disclose Google’s reasons for taking down the old site.

Both Food Freedom and COTO Report have often reposted the work of Activist Post, so we look forward to their newly reconstituted site. We’re still nudging them to provide a wider diversity of political views. 8)