August 4, 2008

The Lock Out - What Happened

I’m tempted to concede that my first impression was clouded by a report from Rosemary that Concrete Bob had been blocked because of his participation in the Stop the Flight 93 Memorial project, of which I am also a member.

When I found out to my dismay that I had been locked out, I went with the bug planted by Concrete Bob and sent out the mass-email, linking it to Obama supporters. Why? Well the article at the NYT's helped re-enforce that thought: Google and the Anti-Obama Bloggers
Late Friday I eventually learned that literally thousands of blogs being hosted on Blogger were being listed as SPAM, and that the problem might be internal to Blogger.

Did I jump the gun? Possibly.

Would I do it again? Yes.

And here is why. Was this simply the result of a malfunctioning bot or was it a concerted effort by persons as yet unidentified? Blogger seemed rather quick to just reset everyone and claim responsibility, but was any investigation undertaken to determine who had been flagged by the supposedly malfunctioning bot and who had been physically flagged by someone as spam?

It seems to me that Blogger staff would be able to let each blog owner know how their blog was flagged; they have our contact information after all. Furthermore, why haven’t all concerned been contacted by Blogger staff directly to let them know exactly how their blog was flagged and the steps taken to resolve the issue? I have yet to receive an email from Blogger about this, as I noted yesterday, I had to log in to my blog and find out for myself that the flag had been lifted.

If this wasn’t a concerted campaign, to silence blogs that stand in opposition to Obama, and support a victorious outcome in Iraq, then how about printing a list of every blog that had been flagged and let us review it for any inconsistencies or trends. While many rather mundane blogs have been locked out, a good portion of these I was in contact with all are right of center blogs. So how about it Blogger, how many pro-Obama blogs were locked out?
Here is just a partial list of blogs that had also been affected…
Concrete Bob
Princess Crabby
Information Dissemination
Flag Gazing
Joshua Pundit
Blue Lyon
Come A Long Way
Nobama Blog
Hyper Educated Uppity Woman
Reflections in Tyme
McCain Democrats
Hillary Or Bust
Florida Voters
Political Lizard
Deacons Bench
Paragraph Farmer
Happy Catholic
Vita Nostra in Ecclesia
Catholic Fire
Dr. Helen
Organized Rage
Puma PAC
America for Hillary
Political Discontent
Caucus Cheating
Rapture Alert
Right on the Left Coast
Tiger Hawk
Eye on Miami
Mitchell Langbert
Beers with Demo
Purple Avenger
A Catholic Mom in Hawaii
Red Maryland
Canterbury Tales
LA Catholic

Do you see any trends?

Bob Owens’ of Confederate Yankee who published my first email indicating that I had been locked out is hesitant to ask for any further investigation and is willing to agree that Blogger was at fault for this shutdown, but he also notes that Obama supporting bloggers had done this same thing a month ago and further notes that Google was and still is very reluctant to admit that it had been duped. If Google/Blogger could be duped then, why not now? And if they were duped again, that certainly would explain their super quick response of simply resetting thousands of blogs that suddenly were being flagged as SPAM.

For most people this incident is over, but for some of us the experience will be leaving a sting that will take a long time to go away, and until Google/Blogger thoroughly investigates this matter and makes a full and public accounting of it, there will continue to be suspicions.

Cross posted at: Castle Argghhh!

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