Friday, August 01, 2008

Google Blogger on a rampage

Your favorite blogs strangely silent? Several bloggers found last night they were shut out of their blogs with this at the blogger dashboard:
WARNING

This blog has been locked by Blogger's spam-prevention robots. You will not be able to publish your posts, but you will be able to save them as drafts.

Save your post as a draft or click here for more about what's going on and how to get your blog unlocked.
and an email:
Hello,

Your blog at: (your blog here)blogspot.com/ has been identified as a potential spam blog. To correct this, please request a review by filling out the form at http://www.blogger.com/unlock-blog. (etc.)

Your blog will be deleted within 20 days if it isn't reviewed, and you'll be unable to publish posts during this time. After we receive your request, we'll review your blog and unlock it within two business days. If this blog doesn't belong to you, you don't have to do anything, and any other blogs you may have won't be affected.

We find spam by using an automated classifier. Automatic spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and occasionally a blog like yours is flagged incorrectly. We sincerely apologize for this error. By using this kind of system, however, we can dedicate more storage, bandwidth, and engineering resources to bloggers like you instead of to spammers. For more information, please see Blogger Help: http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=42577

Thank you for your understanding and for your help with our spam-fighting efforts.

Sincerely,

The Blogger Team

P.S. Just one more reminder: Unless you request a review, you won't be able to use your blog. Click this link to request the review: http://www.blogger.com/unlock-blog.g?lockedBlogID etc....
I realize it is a free service, but anything like this that suddenly silences voices makes my hair stand on end and I reach for my tinfoil hat.

SteveAudio has been blocked as has Sinfonian of Blast Off who cleverly could fix his template to post this on the sidebar:
Thursday, July 31, 2008
10:00 pm EDT

Blogger has seen fit to lock this blog, thanks to spam-prevention robots, until a human can review it. I'll be back posting soon. Thanks for your patience.
Updating as I collect shutdown blogs:

Libby of The Impolitic


Fourlegs at Plush Life


Dr. Dawg at Dawg's Blawg

skippy of skippy the bush kangaroo

Guys from Area 51

Elayne of Pen-Elayne

Hoots at Hootsbuddy's Place

Blue Gal has more.


Update: Blogger apologizes:
Spam Fridays
August 1, 2008permalink
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 few 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.
Well... Thanks. And hurry up, would you? We have a lot of people going through withdrawal.

20 comments:

Libby Spencer said...

My blog The Impolitic also mysteriously locked late last night. Hmmm, they do all seem to be DFHs.

Reaching for my tinfoil.....

Dr.Dawg said...

Mine's down too (Dawg's Blawg). I cannot believe that a splog-detecting bot could have found anything remotely spammish at my place. I suspect Blogger simply gets complaints, triggering an automatic shutdown, and then gets around to a manual review after a few days. If so, they really ought to review first and take action as required later.

skippy said...

i too could alter my template to leave a message in my sidebar (stupid bots, shut down the posting but not the template! i should write 'BLOGGER SUCKS' in my side bar).

as i said in my note to my template, i am working now on skippy junior.

mapaghimagsik said...

Well, that's freaking brilliant.

A smarter move would have been for Blogger to send out a "ping" to the human owner, and after a period of silence *then* lock it down

Jeebus.

Father Ted said...

This has been happening to some of the more popular Palestine-related blogs since about April. I don't know exactly how many were affected, but from memory I'm sure it includes Steve Amsel at Desert Peace, Mary Rizzo at peacepalestine (locked out twice at her own blog) and Laila al-Haddad at Raising Yousuf. It's difficult to see how any of those blogs could be mistaken for spam. I think at least some of the bloggers affected assume that what really happens is nothing to do with a spambot, but someone comes across their blog, doesn't like their pov, and makes a malicious complaint to Blogger that the blog is spam.

campskunk said...

yeah, all the pro-hillary blogs were attacked last month using the same chickenshit technique.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,382452,00.html

Agi said...

The Guys from Area 51 was hit last night too. I smell a conspiracy!

Libby Spencer said...

Notice, I was just unlocked within the last couple of hours. Locked out bloggers, check your dashboards....

Thanks Ellroon for putting this up. I'm betting it helped speed up the fix.

Bryan said...

Elayne's Journal is also down - well comics is pretty close to communists.

Hoots said...

You may add Hootsbuddy's Place to the list. I got the same message and my blog is locked, too.
First time I ever received an apology from a robot, but it's not cute.
In light of your collection here it seems more like a deliberate attack on this group (and who knows how many more?).

I haven't checked out the others, but I have been an enthusiastic Obama supporter. If this turns out to be a coordinated effort to silence a political group, crap like this makes me want to dig in my heels and hit the streets again.

Andrés Duque said...

As I told Joe.My.God this morning, this also happened to me as well as "A Jihad for Love" documentary director Parvez Sharma back in May. I first got the your blog might be 'spam' message and then a 'possible content violation' message which indicates that it might have been 'flagged' down by homophobes.

I got access back within 24 hours. Hopefully all you guys will as well.

Dr.Dawg said...

Whew--I'm back up. My withdrawal was only mitigated by the offer of temporary shelter at Canadian Cynic's place.

Thanks for keeping track of all this.

Anonymous said...

a whole bunch of sites are now down, including crooks & liars and first draft and avedon carol's the sideshow (though that may be a different problem, something to do with british recording industry association).

michelle malkin's down too. i suppose there has to be a little ray of sunshine in the dark.

ellroon said...

The spamblog shutdown seems to be across the board, or should I say, on both sides of the aisle.

But, I'll take any ray of sunshine in these gloomy times..

Hoots said...

I'm back.
They finally pulled me out of the weeds.
One silver lining: for some reasong IE7 can't open my site so I finally downloaded firefox. Damn! I should have done this years ago.

ellroon said...

Looks like they've released most of the blogs, although I wonder how many overall will be lost just because the owners have not posted for a while.

I've been having a weird problem with Firefox lately, but overall I really like the browser. (I think it may be malware or a spybot or something.)

Hoots said...

Trouble with firefox? That's interesting. A couple of times I had trouble reaching a connection and I knew were not bad links... Google and my home page, for instance. I thought it might have been the local DSL service, but your note makes me wonder. After a restart of both computer and DSL modem things cleared up.

I did delete the IE7 icon so our granddaughter would be sure to use firefox, so I got suspicious that when I put it to bed it did something malicious. Surely not.

ellroon said...

I don't think it's firefox at all, but something on my computer. Will try a reinstall and the usual corrective efforts, but the problem appears as an error and tosses me out.

Distributorcap said...

i hate IE, but there are sights that are totally aligned with IE and have issues with firefox

that being said -- i am glad this blogger thing was really nothing more than a glitch (or was it, tin foil hat on) ---

ellroon said...

I hate the fact we are suspicious the minute something like this happens, but not even the craziest tinfoil hat wearer in 2000 could have predicted all the shit that has happened on so many levels in so many departments of our government since Bush invaded the Oval Office.

I wonder if it was a test run....