Saturday, August 02, 2008

Blogger Problem Resolved

Yesterday, blogger flagged my blog as spam as they did to a number of other blogs from around the web:

While we wish that every post on this blog could be about cool features or other Blogger news, sometimes we have to step in and admit a mistake.

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.

We hope to have this resolved shortly, and appreciate your patience as we work through the kinks.

So, hopefully, Blogger has been fixed but it makes me wonder if I should move this blog to another hosting source at some point. I like Blogger for the most part but there is probably a reason so many bloggers don't want to use it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to take a politically leaning head count of the flagged blogs. I'm sure some innocent ones were tossed in to fog the picture. I'm having a tough time believing it is a coincidence - with the lights going out in the chambers.

Since I'm a private citizen, not Hillary Clinton, and not interested in running for office, I don't care if someone thinks I'm off my rocker for mouthing off about a "vast left wing conspiracy". At least as long as it keeps other people's gears turning. There are millions trying to take this country to places other millions don't want it to go. And seemingly, at any price. I find it very interesting that Saul Alinsky's name is popping up all over the internet and talk radio these days (finally).

This post is not necessarily the opinion of the Dr. Helen Blog. But is IS my opinion.

8:25 AM, August 02, 2008  
Blogger Sassenach said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:49 AM, August 02, 2008  
Blogger Sassenach said...

I've been having trouble with Blogger for months, and their help forums are less than....helpful. I finally figured out a way around the problems with posting images.

Now my innocuous high school music boosters site gets flagged by Google's fuzzy logic.

I recetly built a weblog for a local museum on Wordpress. It's far superior, with my only gripe being that I can't load flash-based widgets in the sidebar (I'm using the free app -- you can do it if you host it elsewhere).

The only thing keeping me on Blogger now is inertia. It won't take much more to push me into exporting all my stuff to Wordpress.

Hmm -- so far as conspiracy theories go, maybe it's WORDPRESS that's flagging all these blogs!

8:52 AM, August 02, 2008  
Blogger Tom Royce said...


By staying with Blogger you place your ability to post and your history in the hands of others.

With the polarization of the web and the active role your husband plays, odds are you will be a target. Add to that your pro male stance on some posts, there could be another group that will target you.

I would move to a self hosted situation if I were you.

9:38 AM, August 02, 2008  
Blogger Mark K. Sprengel said...

I suppose I can now be happy that my blog doesn't get a lot of traffic ;)

Glad you're up and running again. I hope this is just a tech glitch alone and not dorks taking advantage of a flawed system and/or flawed people within google/blogger enabling that.

9:56 AM, August 02, 2008  
Blogger Ann Althouse said...

Helen, I hope you stay with Blogger, since they did jump on this very quickly, and they have continually worked to improve things. The key is to keep pressure on them: We know we can leave, and we insist that they meet our standards. It's not as though the other services you'd have to use never have problems. There are some benefits to our problems being Google's problems, aren't there?

9:58 AM, August 02, 2008  
Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

"I like Blogger for the most part but there is probably a reason so many bloggers don't want to use it."

Blogger is a fine bit of work, especially for a free service, but as you've noticed, when someone else can decide whether your words are fit to be accessed by others, you don't possess the freedom of expression you thought you had.

All the big institutions in Blogdom have policies that permit them to suspend or terminate a blog they host, with no recourse on the part of the operator. Given that the Left and the Muslims have no compunctions about exploiting those policies to their advantage, it would be well for all conservative, libertarian, Christian, and Jewish bloggers to secure hosting from an ideologically neutral server.

First they came for the Stormfronters, but I wasn't a Stormfronter, so I kept silent. Then they came for the porniacs, but I wasn't a porn consumer, so I kept silent. Then they came for the anarchists...and the potheads...and the E-golders...and the barter clubs...and the libertarians...and the conservatives...

When do you suppose they'll come for you? And on that day, will there be anyone left to speak up for you?

10:07 AM, August 02, 2008  
Blogger nk said...

I probably would not be blogging if not for Blogger. I started my blog in order to have an internet ID and hardly post at all. I appreciate it despite its shortcomings. And ever since I learned to tweak the template I'm even happier with it.

Today, I'm angry with both by IE7 and Firefox which are both doing half the job they're supposed to.

10:18 AM, August 02, 2008  
Blogger Teresa said...

Every blog platform has issues. Every one of them. If blogger had dug in its toes and not fixed the problem immediately, then I would say certainly jump to another platform.

The best thing to do is to create a backup schedule of your posts (once a week, once a month, whatever). Then if something catastrophic happens you can easily pick up another platform and get going again.

It's lots of work to move a blog - unless they give you more reason than a few hours of no ability to post - I'd say it's not worth the move.

My .02 FWIW

10:31 AM, August 02, 2008  
Blogger binks webelf said...

Dr. Helen:

I've been on WordPress for 2 years, with no problems, outages, blockages, and all the other problems associated with Blogger. Of course each platform has limitations, but given that blogger has (currently) a less than stellar record on so many fronts, you might want to experiment with a demo blog on Wordpress or whichever software you find most convenient.

10:58 AM, August 02, 2008  
Blogger amy said... - inexpensive, reliable and good support. Worth a few bucks a month to control your content.

11:46 AM, August 02, 2008  
Blogger Hucbald said...

I've been on Blogger for over three years and hundreds of posts now, and for a free service, it rocks. I've never had a problem - ever - and I've put so much work into my blog now, I'd hate to have to move it.

However, since Blogger IS free, spam blogs are a real problem for them. Is it really surprising, then, that some blogs are getting inappropriately flagged as spam? mmmmmNo, inevitable is more like it. You'd have to be a real "maroon" to believe there's something sinister here.

Sorry you had a SNAFU, but judging by the response you got, I think you ought to be satisfied. I would.

Glad you're back. I need you and Ann to provide me with my daily forehead-slap exercises.

2:35 PM, August 02, 2008  
Blogger Liberty said...

Its not really blogger thats the problem it is blogspot Blogger doesn't care what youre blog is a bout and doesn't attempt to control what you post. They do worry about what they host on blogspot though, and any efforts they make are likely to be error prone. Getting your own domain while continuing to use Blogger is the easiest method. and you still czn use blogger as a backup.

Good Luck with any choices you might make.

4:34 PM, August 02, 2008  
Blogger observer said...


You need not do much to overcome that inertia, really.

It's actually quite easy to import a blog from Blogger to WordPress: WP has a built-in function ("Import") that can automatically import Blogger posts, comments...just about everything text or embedded image...except the Blogroll (links), which must be done manually.

I am working on doing just this with my Blogger blogs (need to finish the "clean-up" and haven't had time to do it). I am not sure what would happen if you decided to go to WordPress dot com and use their free hosting, but I bet the Import function can be used for blogs being imported to WP's service.

I would recommend one pay for hosting, though; provides the best control and administrative access with the fewest headaches if the host is competent. Or host it yourself if you are that much of a geek... :D

8:11 PM, August 02, 2008  
Blogger Attila said...

My blog on Blogger was blocked, too, and like yours, was just freed. Mine is pretty low in traffic, so it's certainly not just big blogs that were caught up.

It's pretty annoying. I've been blogging for nearly four years, and while my blog might legitimately be characterized as "immature" -- check the Pillage Idiot Advisory System at the upper right -- it is obviously not spam. It's hard to see how they could have screwed up so badly -- but I'm certainly not suggesting anything deliberate.

The way I look at it is, I get what I pay for. Hard to complain TOO much when it's free.

9:50 PM, August 02, 2008  
Blogger vbspurs said...

Dr. Helen, this spam-reporting seems to have been a recent concerted attack targetting blogs which post Obama frequent critiques.

My own blog, Sundries, as I informed Glenn privately, was one of the blogs so targetted late 31 July. I asked for a review on August 1, and it was unlocked the same day as your own.

A fellow blogger left a comment that his own blog experienced the same problem, and only on Googling, did he realise it might be Obama-related.

You can read the June blogpost here:

Blogger Banning anti-Obama Sites

There are also serious repurcussions to one's blog, if one doesn't ask for a review of the situation within 20 days (say, for example, you go on holiday and don't log in during that time -- your entire blog would be summarily deleted!).

This is more than just an inconvenience. It's intimidation.

As I wrote Glenn, I'm willing to form some kind of coalition of bloggers who have been targetted because of perceived or genuine anti-Obama posts.

Glad you and others are up and running again, too.


2:11 AM, August 03, 2008  
Blogger Jack Steiner said...

I have a blog on Blogger and one on Wordpress. It works out to four years and almost 6,000 posts on Blogger and two years and 700 posts on Wordpress.

They both have their pros and cons. Unless you truly control the Net you're at risk for technical issues.

My Blogger Blog was flagged last year as Spam. It took them half a day to fix it, but it was handled.

I am not sure that we are going to find an easy solution.

2:48 AM, August 03, 2008  
Blogger Teresa said...

I see many people touting Word Press as being wonderful. It's a decent platform certainly, but their latest upgrade has left many Word Press regulars having tremendous problems that have not yet been addressed, even though the "upgrade" has been out for quite a while. I know a few bloggers caught in the fall out of this mess.

The WP bulletin board is full of unanswered requests for help and/or clarification of these snafus. I don't know if they don't plan on answering or if they don't have an answer.

So, while I know many people love WP - it pays to remember each platform has its problems that could catch you flat footed at any time. Or that an upgrade to a platform people love, may bring many to a screeching halt while they figure out why nothing works the way it should.

2:12 PM, August 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

teresa - XP professional, service pack 3 comes to mind. I have had my copy of Windows XP Professional, purchased direct from the shelves of the now defunct Comp USA back in 2001, for quite some time. With the advent of the latest and greatest Service Pack 3, my copy is now illegal, according to Microsoft, and no matter what I do, and whose advice I take (including Microsoft's), cannot make it again "legal". Is anyone else out there having this problem?

2:35 PM, August 03, 2008  
Blogger Casey said...

vbspurs has dipped one toe too many in the paranoia pool. This post over at Castle Argggh! explains what happened quite lucidly.

There are three major no-sweat blog hosting systems. One of them is Blogger. Another is Wordpress, and until I read some of the comments here, I had heard few negative comments. The third is Typepad, by the same folks who brought you Movable Type (what I use).

All three offer simplicity and a "free" blog. All three similarly suffer from a common issue: if there's something wrong with the main server, everyone's out of luck, as reflected in Bloggers' new hyper-sensitive filter.

I would say the major difference is that Wordpress and Movable Type offer the ability to run a blog on one's own domain (c. $25/year to maintain the name, $5-$10/month for a base web-host package), offering a great degree of self-sufficiency. Not that much money, really.

On the other hand the blogger is obligated to install and maintain the software on their own, although many major hosting companies offer support. I know that Hosting Matters has been quite helpful to me, figuring out the occasional glitch.

I suppose the first question is: is this recent snafu a good reason to move off of Blogger? Professor Althouse (for example) seems content with her setup.

If you do migrate, both Wordpress and Typepad seem to offer good service. I lean to Typepad mainly because I'm use to Movable Type.

I agree very much with Teresa. I had been having problems with my MT 3.3 setup, and tried to upgrade to 4.0 in April. Utter and complete disaster, even though the scripts should have made it "automagic." Feh.

br549: I avoided that by not installing SP3 when the upgrades wizard offered it. I had already heard too many horror stories. Is it possible to uninstall it via Start/Settings/Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs/Windows XP software updates? Don't know if that would fix it, but I thought it might help.

1:18 AM, August 04, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well rats, casey. You are just no fun like other conspiracy theorists.

I have done everything but uninstall SP3. I have things going on that are saved in "event viewer" that I have forwarded to Microsoft that they have no answer for, having never seen the problems I'm having either.

If it weren't for the many years of info on my computer, and the fact I'm a big chicken, I'd switch to Linux of one sort or the other in a NY second. I build my own units but am a total retard at software manipulation and understanding. Thank God I can sing.

7:24 PM, August 04, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call me paranoid. But I'm not the only one. Seems the verdict may still be out as to whether or not the mass blog spam flagging was a mistake or not. The NY Sun has a piece on it.

7:06 PM, August 05, 2008  
Blogger clyde said...

i've read several accounts similar to yours, and also writings by folks that went to wordpress - and something from WP itself. the issue seems to be this - the blocking mechanism on blogger is software driven. given the correct inputs - complaints, etc. - blogger automatically blocks a blog, and THEN introduces a human to see if it was an appropriate action. WP claims that they do not block any blog except by human action.

perhaps it is just the subset of blogger-blocked folks that scream loudest, but the common thread i discern is blogs that have not eaten obama's wafer.

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5:04 AM, June 08, 2009  
Blogger Serket said...

Another blog that I used to visit thought he was being targeted for his political views, but eventually it was resolved. I was sent an e-mail about my own blog about movies, but I just had to click on a link and it was fixed.

8:38 PM, September 28, 2009  

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