We're able to publish again!
Blogger: "Oops! We did it again!"
Last week, we published Babba Zee's Anti-Obama Blogs Shut Down by Google, Obamabots. Thurday, Blogger locked our original (and still quite robust) site, DBKP at Blogger for being a spam blog.
One would think Blogger would have a system in place before shutting down blogs with any kind of Google Page Rank. After all, your average spam site doesn't acquire much of a page rank.
But, apparently, one would be wrong. Our original site is PR5.
In Obama's Netroots Supporters Continue "Blog Burning", Confederate Yankee isn't happy:
"Tell me once more how progressives love free speech. Online activists thought to be loyal to Barack Obama are once against using Google's software tools to target rival political blogs for elimination as spam blogs. This occurred earlier this year when Democratic bloggers with a preference for Hillary Clinton also found themselves locked out of their own blogs, all because of spurious and apparently orchestrated claims that these blogs are spam blogs. Pro-Obama activists were blamed for those attempts at censorship as well."
Blogger Buzz at Blogger had this to say:
We've noticed that a number of users have had their blogs mistakenly marked as spam, and wanted to sound off real quick to let you know that, despite it being Friday afternoon, we are working hard to sort this out. So to those folks who have received an email saying that your blog has been classified as spam and can't post right now, we offer our sincere apologies for the trouble.
Of course, it may have been, at least partially, a response to a comment I posted in the Blogger Help Forums Thursday night that began, "ARE YOU HIGH?"--or was that in one of the letters that Blogger written to Blogger
While Confederate Yankee offered an apology, we're still in no mood. Blogger's "powerful anti-spam fighting tools" apparently begin with a goofy Captcha box--many times it takes 5-6 attempts before it will allow a post to be published--and ends with shutting the blog down.
Good to know that human judgment plays such a large part in the decision-making process before Blogger will shut a blog down.
Libby, at liberal-left NewsHoggers, insists being pro- or anti-Obama had nothing to do with it.
Following up on yesterday's Blogger lockout, it appears that the problem was wide-spread and not confined to one category of blogs, so it wasn't that you were posting any particular content. However, the lockdown does remind me this morning about the importance of internet neutrality. If we lose it, this sort of thing could happen all the time and it could easily be content related.
Blogger problems update
I don't know enough yet about the category, numbers, etc. to disagree--at the moment. She also updates with, "Update: This is amusing. A lot of rightwing blogs were also affected and shockingly, immediately blamed the vast left-wing conspiracy and/or Obama supporters."
Only amusing, Libby, if you're able to write your updates and publish about how amusing it all was.
On June 30, Miguel Helft of the NY Times, wrote in the paper's Tech section about the Obama supporters shutting down anti-Obama blogs: [Google and the Anti-Obama Bloggers]
>Did Google use its network of online services to silence critics of Barack Obama? That was the question buzzing on a corner of the blogosphere over the last few days, after several anti-Obama bloggers were unable to update their sites, which are hosted on Google’s Blogger service.
The bloggers in question, most of them supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and all of them opposed to Senator Obama, received a notice from Google last week saying that their sites had been identified as potential “spam” blogs. “You will not be able to publish posts to your blog until we review your site and confirm that it is not a spam blog,” the Google e-mail read.
Many of the bloggers were affiliated with JustSayNoDeal.com, a Web site that opposes Senator Obama. They include http://bluelyon.blogspot.com, http://comealongway.blogspot.com, http://hillaryorbust.blogspot.com and http://mccaindemocrats.blogspot.com.
We agree with one angry blogger, cited in the Times' story, GeekLove:
“Without any notice, apology, or explanation, my posting privileges has been reinstated,” wrote the author of the blog Come a Long Way, who identifies herself as GeekLove. “Blogger’s ‘guilty until proven innocent’ approach is appalling. As bloggers, it is a good thing we still have choices, and I have exercised my choice to leave Blogger and establish a new home at WordPress.”
"Without any notice, apology, or explanation" covers our experience as well.
Bloggasm relates anti-Obama bloggers (again, former Hillary supporters) have also been the target of more than just having their Blogger blogs shut down. [Who’s responsible for shutting down a number of anti-Obama Blogspot accounts?]
When it comes to butting heads with Obama supporters, perhaps nobody has more experience than Larry Johnson. If his name rings a bell, it’s because Johnson, who worked for the CIA in the ’80s and now does military consulting, was the origin of the famous “whitey” claim. Not long ago he reported on his website that people connected with the McCain campaign are in possession of video footage of Michelle Obama saying derogatory things about white people. However, he admitted that he hadn’t actually seen the video and his two sources hadn’t seen it either. He quickly became a target of bloggers from both the right and left.
“The problem with these people who had their Google accounts shut down, they’re intimidated by it,” Johnson said. “They don’t want to get themselves in a situation so they would be identified. Some of these people who get identified, the Obama folks start picking up the phone and calling. I had phone calls into my office, threatening me, saying that you’re going to be fired, let me talk to your boss. I told them to go fuck themselves, because I am my own boss. It helps to be self-employed.”
If readers are interested in reading more, Google (with an ironic, bitter smile, perhaps?) "obama shut down blogs", and any the articles on the first three-four pages should bring them up to speed.
Did Obama supporters shut us down?
Can't say with certainty at this point. We can say that it all may have been a coincidence this time. But, the previous spate of blog closings weren't.
In light of their previous actions, we'll take a page from Blogger's flawed spam policy: Obamanation is guilty until proved innocent.