Blogger censorship

Two of my favorite bloggers — Paragraph Farmer and Joshua Pundit — got “spam blocked.”  Their blogs are still accessible, but they can no longer post.

The way spam blocking works is that someone who doesn’t like the content on your Blogger-hosted blog clicks repeatedly on the little “spam” button up in the corner.  This flags Blogger that there’s bad stuff there, and Blogger then reviews the blog content to make sure it doesn’t violate company policies.

It sounds like a good thing, doesn’t it?  You can see how it will be used to prevent people from using Blogger sites for pure commercial junk or, worse, form setting up sites that advocate pedophilia, that host child pornography, that organize assassinations, or that do other horrible and possibly illegal things.  What’s happening, however, is that liberals are trolling Blogger for conservatives sites and then harassing them by tagging them as “spam.”  Once this happens, the conservative blogger finds himself caught in a two or three day review process.  And if he’s away on vacation (God forbid) and can’t make a protest, the blog can vanish.

Patrick forwarded to me Blogger’ss form letter:

Your blog at: [site] has been identified as a potential spam blog.  To correct this, please request a review by filling out the form at [site].

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:  [site]

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


The Blogger Team

I’m all for fighting spam, but it’s horrible when people who oppose a non-extreme political ideology hijack a system to impose corporate censorship.  Blogger needs to come up with a better system.

And in a couple of days, be sure to check out Paragraph Farmer and Joshua Pundit, just to make them feel welcomed back into the blogosphere.

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  • Ellie2

    Voltaire: I may disapprove of what you say but I will fight to the death for your right to say it (paraphrase).

    Lib/Progressive: Shut the f**k up!

  • Ymarsakar

    As far as I know, anybody can click on that thing for as many times as they want. That’s like American Idol.

    Look, you need people to have registered accounts and only allow them “ONE” fracking vote.

    If these were the people that had wrote the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, we’d still have women beaten by men and blacks in cages.

    Although if you look at Democrat policies, that’s not too far away from what I just said given their support of Sharia and attempts to make blacks into second hand citizens.

  • Mike

    I’d imagine it’s also because the blogger accounts are free and after-all the company that is supplying the free accounts does have to enforce some policy. I have to pay for my web site and blog but then I get tech help and storage space and other perks. It’s only about $80./year and that’s cheap and includes a blog and a web site.It also has free email using pop3 and can be accessed from anywhere and with the cable company I can even forward all my email to that account. That’s a pain in the butt to set up but it CAN be done.

  • Bookworm

    You’re right, Mike. I think Blogger needs to tighten the system to prevent this type of abuse, but I don’t disagree with its having such a policy. I disagree with the wingnuts who abuse it.

  • Helen Losse

    This is clearly very wrong. But the internet allows crimes – and that’s what this is, a crime – of a new nature to come into being. The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature was hacked and defiled (yes, I know it’s different) a few years ago. Now, who cares if someone posts poems and short stories? This was a paid site. What happened to these bloggers Bookworm mentions illustrates the reason we must all support net neutrality. And since that’s in today’s news, perhaps this is a reaction. Just a thought. Nothing to parse me for. If you don’t like what someone writes on a blog, get your own and write the exact opposite. It’s the world wide web, for heaven sakes.

  • SJBill


    Mosta the blogs I read are impacted, except for you. Lex, Chap, Phib, Michelle, ‘Hook, Blackfive, OpFor, HotAir, etc.

    So I went over to the Fever Swamps and mosta those blogs worked just fine: Kos, Firedoglake, etc.

    But Wonkette is down. I feel better now. 😉

    LGF says the problem appears to be related to Sitemeter.

    I do hope it blows over shortly and is no converted attack on bloggers.

    With best regards-

  • suek

    Apparently there is also a problem with and Internet Explorer…

    If you use Foxfire, you won’t have a problem – if that is the problem. If you have IE, you have to go to tools and block, and apparently that will also solve the problem…_if_ that’s the problem. Some sites have apparently disabled their sitemeter link in order to solve the problem.