Friday, August 01, 2008

Maureen, The Evil Spammer


Just in case any of you are wondering, I am not an evil spammer.
I was locked out of my blog last night by Blogger because, well, here is what they said:

Hello,

Your blog at: http://maureenwittmann.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.g?lockedBlogID

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

I went to their Help section to see if I could figure out why my innocent little homeschool mom blog would be targeted as a spam blog:


What Are Spam Blogs?
As with many powerful tools, blogging services can be both used and abused. The ease of creating and updating webpages with Blogger has made it particularly prone to a form of behavior known as link spamming. Blogs engaged in this behavior are called spam blogs, and can be recognized by their irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text, along with a large number of links, usually all pointing to a single site.

Spam blogs cause various problems, beyond simply wasting a few seconds of your time when you happen to come across one. They can clog up search engines, making it difficult to find real content on the subjects that interest you. They may scrape content from other sites on the web, using other people's writing to make it look as though they have useful information of their own. And if an automated system is creating spam posts at an extremely high rate, it can impact the speed and quality of the service for other, legitimate users.

What We're Doing About Spam
Needless to say, we do not approve of spamming here at Blogger. Below are some of the things we've implemented to remove and reduce spam on our service. We will update this list as we continue our efforts.

Automated spam classifying algorithms keep spam blogs out of NextBlog and out of our "Recently Published" list on the dashboard. The same classifiers are used to require an extra word verification field on the posting form for potential spam blogs. This makes it harder for spammers to set up automated systems to do their posting, since a human needs to complete this step. The Flag as Objectionable button in the Navbar lets you notify us of problem blogs that you find, so we can review them and take appropriate action.

Click here to report spam.


". . can be recognized by their irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text, along with a large number of links, usually all pointing to a single site." Uh? I don't recall posting irrelevant, reptititive, or nonsensical text. And I certainly don't have a large number of links all pointing toward one site.

Ummm, could it be a conspiracy? Personally, I don't think it's a conspiracy by Google but instead more likely it's one kook (perhaps with a few friends) reporting Catholic blogs as spam to Blogger. I'm just glad I'm back up and running!

7 comments:

adrienne said...

Every once in a while, my blog will tell me I can't post a comment, which always makes me laugh. It would be really annoying if it happened a lot, though.

Jeff Miller said...

It's looking more like a glitch. This has happened across blogspot to all types of blogs.

Maureen Wittmann said...

Thanks Jeff. I am relieved that I was only locked out less than a day. It could have been a lot worse.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

I was locked out last night and I'm still off-line.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Maureen Wittmann said...

Barb, did you go to your dashboard and click on the Request Review button? I did that last night as soon as it happened. It may take longer if this is a huge glitch and you didn't report it until later. Praying you're up and running soon!!

TMRFiles said...

I was locked out of my blog also with the same message from Blogger, but I did not receive any email from them, and I am not a "catholic" blogger. I discovered by taking "sitemeter" off of my blog via Firefox, I was able to get into my blog as usual, so I attributed the problem as something to do w/sitemeter. I originally thought I had been hacked as I have been before, as I am a Christian blogger who writes on a variety of topics from politics, to Jesus to Israel as they relate to the Bible as I see it, and other newsworthy events happening relating to the Bible. I then checked the sites of other Christian bloggers, and some had the same "aborted" message up and I could not get into their blogs, the same as mine, and a few didn't. Strange indeed.

JoAnna said...

My blog had the same thing happen, Maureen. I don't use sitemeter, either (to my knowledge). Glad you're back up and running!