Friday, August 1, 2008

Caveat Bloggers?

Both CMR and The Curt Jester are posting some warnings: apparently, people are using Google's "Flag Blog" button to shut down both Catholic and anti-Obama blogs at random, though whether this is somehow corporate censorship or just a bunch of assorted jerks taking advantage of Google's mechanism for reporting objectionable content remains to be seen.

I'm a bit surprised that this blog hasn't been hit, since I write quite a bit about Obama, and not in a flattering way. But I can guarantee that if I do get locked out, I'll probably move this blog to a censorship-free zone, as, I suspect, will many of those who are targeted in this way.

Blogger, and Google, ought to be proactive on this if they're not condoning it. They need to make it just a little bit harder for someone to freeze a blog--a single unverified report of possibly objectionable content shouldn't be enough automatically to remove an author's access to his/her writing. And if they don't want bloggers abandoning their service in droves in favor of Wordpress, Typepad, Vox, or any of the other available blog-hosting platforms out there, they need to get on this, pronto.

UPDATE: Please see this update at CMR.  Apparently, this is a widespread problem that Blogger is working to resolve.


Oremus said...


Thank you for giving me the heads up.

Matilda said...

Here is what Blogger says about the flag button. Their lack of specifics coupled with their "in your face" attitude really doesn't make them seem all that interested in fairness and slightly unstable instead of balanced.

Red Cardigan said...

Thanks, Matilda. Blogger's attitude toward this is starting to make me consider going with one of the other providers.

Matilda said...

Then again, maybe it wasn't Blogger. From their help blog:
Some blogs have been mistakenly marked as spam. Affected users are not able to post to their blog and received an email indicating Blogger classified their blog as spam. We are actively working to correct the issue. — latest update on Friday, August 01, 2008

Red Cardigan said...

Thanks again, Matilda. To tell the truth, I've been pretty frustrated for a couple of days, now, but I think it's a Firefox issue--I'm having trouble accessing this blog sporadically with Firefox, but not with any other browser I've tried.

Maria said...

Wow! This just happened to me last week and I can't believe anyone would find my blog worthy of shutting down. I'm feeling a bit honored.