Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Wrath of Blogger

Dymphna and I were cut off from posting for about eighteen hours, having been designated a “spam blog” by the Powers That Be.

We were unable to consult the Oracles, but someone else must have done so on our behalf, because we have just been released.

This may have been the result of a deliberate malicious action. A disgruntled reader or troll probably notified Blogger that we were a spam site. Siggy of Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred knows more about these matters than I do; here’s what he says:

Turns out all that has to be done to get the ‘spam’ designation for a particular blog is to make a complaint to the blogger powers that be. The same applies to having google bury direct links to a particular blogs.

What happens is that one troll may use different emails/IP addresses to build up a series of complaints to which google will respond.

By the way, don’t forget that google owns blogger — and no doubt, they may have synchronized some of this stuff.

Pamela has a much more serious problem than we had: she lost her Google ranking very suddenly, for no apparent reason. See her post on the topic from last night.

So we’re back for now. But it’s important to remember: We are only here for a little while.


[Nothing further]

19 comments:

Foehammer said...

I just cross-posted R. Hartman's article about your being blocked. I will update my posting now. I'm also going to comment over at Atlas.

Be sure to check this out, too:

How to bury Digg.com

Archonix said...

I did wonder where you'd gone. My first blog got locked up as a "spam blog" after about 6 months of use, so I simply moved off to my own server and set it up again.

Incidentally, around the same time, the google ads account I had on that blog was also suspended for 'invalid clicks' or some other crap, denying me access to a large sum of money I'd earned. Seemed like a coincidence at the time, but now I'm not so sure. Frankly google are... well I won't say what they are, because they have their little bots monitoring for such things.

And of course that's half the problem. The spam blog classification is usually brought about entirely by automated procedures. If enough complaints come in, or if their algorithms decide that a blog is spammy, they automatically lock it and then a human is notified to check. Guilty until proven innocent is the phrase that springs to mind.

I don't know what sort of bandwidth you go through but I'd be willing to host you away from here if you're looking to move off blogger.

Carl in Jerusalem said...

Archonix,

Google AdSense did the same thing to me. I described it here.
And I discovered tonight that my Google ranking is 0, although I have no way of knowing that it was ever anything else since I don't know those rankings existed until tonight when I read Pamela's blog. It does seem kind of strange that my ranking is 0 since I know how often my own stuff comes up in searches....

Tapline said...

I have tried to post comments on one of the articles and they never got posted. I just assumed you had edited them out for some reason. Glad its fixed.Asside from the problems. I find this one of the most informative blogs I have read. Thanks for the streight forward reporting......

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Welcome back.

It feels like the electricity has been restored.

Going 18 hours with no GOV makes one appreciate you all the more.

Dymphna said...

tapline--

We only delete for foul language (home-schooled kids read our blog), really extreme ad hominem attacks, or when someone doesn't know how to put up a link and just pastes in a large, long URL.

On the last, the width of the URL exceeds the width of our post page and it messes up the post so that it can't be viewed easily. However, in that case, the Baron makes a live link and re-posts.

Lots of people have complained about not being able to put up comments since we switched to "new" blogger. Not sure, but I think that old nics don't work on the new version. You probably have to re-register and supply them with an email. That seems to work for some, anyway.

Blogger can be tiresome, but what can we do? Ask for our money back? Before google bought out the old group, the people on the help desk were actually helpful and you could make direct contact with them. One guy patiently led me thru the concept of cookies and how they affected my blogging...I offered to bake him a batch in return for his help...

...those were the good old days, before google.

SJ Reidhead said...

I've had problems before, trying to bring up Gates of Vienna. I don't think it is anything new.

SJ Reidhead
The Pink Flamingo

MC Snidely Whiplash said...

Glad to have you back, Baron & Dymphna. If you all eventually decide to relocate perhaps to your own domain, or at least to a host that is less susceptible to bogus lockouts, please be sure to let us know where to find you.

turn said...

Well now it's just a pain in the buttock (I only have one) to hafta go back and update my post at RR but I'm sure glad you're back.

Crusader Coyote said...

Glad to see you back! I don't know if it helped, but I did manage to navigate to a "help" form on Blogger, and sent them a message saying that your account had been blocked and that you were most certainly not a spam blog. Other probably found their way there, too.

(They must have caught hell from somewhere. . .)

Thunder Pig said...

Yay!
You guys have a lot of friends, because this is the fastest I've ever seen a restoration of a blog from being blocked. It usually takes a couple or three days.

In my mind, I see the emails spewing forth on a darkened starship bridge as bolts of unleashed fire hammer them from the outside. And Khan screams, "The override, where is the override!"

Good to have you both back!!!

Michael said...

After the announcement on Instapundit I tried to figure out a way of contacting Blogger. Unfortunately one of my stupider ideas was clicking on Flag Blog, figuring I'd get a chance to leave a message saying Yo, Blogger, unblock GoV. No, of course not; this is a content free, instant smear machine with no nuance. So I added to your troubles (which, I remind you, were already under way, however).

Then I found a Blogger bulletin board for trouble reports and said hey, Instapundit is about to open a can of whoop-blog on you for blocking GoV. So that at least was a positive step, and maybe I was a net benefit last night, or even the reason Blogger acted quickly for once. Hope so, anyway.

Larry said...

I don't know if it is relevant, but this message in USENET group news.admin.net-abuse.email might be interesting:

<1184804076.702257.159520@g12g2000prg.googlegroups.com>

El Jefe Maximo said...

This is very sinister. At least you knew what to do when this happpened. Glad you are back.

Profitsbeard said...

Baron & Dymphna-

Congrats!

I've had BLOGGER blogs comments filled with spam emails to effectively preventing any further commenting (done by little cyber jihadis), and got no useful responses from their help staff about blocking and deleting such nonsense en masse, so it's nice to see that someone there still listens and responds.

Check out archonix's offer, just in case.

Redundancy is a natural good.

Keep up the fine work.

Dave said...

Turns out all that has to be done to get the ‘spam’ designation for a particular blog is to make a complaint to the blogger powers that be.

Sorry, but that is totally untrue. Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred have no idea what they are talking about here.

It's all automated, it wasn't just you but many people over the past days....the spambots work in cycles. Some real spam blogs and always some false positives. You can think you were singled out, or targeted because of your content or someones complaint but that's a fantasy.

It's just a false positive from the spambot, you got unlocked in 18hrs, not bad in my opinion. If that's the price of free hosting, then I'm willing to pay it.

And you said yourself that you submitted the form to be unlocked in a comment, that's what unlocked you once you were reviewed.

1389 said...

At least for now, you can contact Google Blogger at support@blogger.com

I've blogged about what I think we need to do to resolve this problem, at

Blogger.com Makes It Too Easy to Censor Blogs - What to Do?

Also see:


Vigilant Freedom/910 Group Blog

Foehammer.net

Jawa Report

Blackshards

Atlas Shrugs

Blogjunkies

DH Chaos

Keep the pressure on Blogger.com to do something to safeguard their blogging system against being hijacked by the same "bury brigade" that has rendered Digg.com all but useless! And for what to do about THAT, see How to Bury Digg.com.

Douglas V. Gibbs said...

Nice your back, my first thought was that it may be the result of malicious activity by members of the Left.

David said...

just discovered your site, and Baron, your writing is so very good and so VERY on target. Morning Sedition indeed... what a great analysis of NPR.