Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Roy Batty writes ...

It's official - I am not a robot. Blogger's team of blade runners has given my blog a Voigt-Kampff test and determined that it is indeed the work of a human being. This verification was necessary because last week Blog*Spot put me under an Anti-Spam-Blog Order. Their anti-spam bots ( ASbots???) had locked my blog as it has "characteristics of a spam blog." Hmmpfff. So what are those characteristics?

"spam blogs ... can be recognized by their irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text", which is possibly the rudest thing anybody has ever said about Radio Free Tooting. It was the other characteristic which rang a bell: "...along with a large number of links, usually all pointing to a single site." The opening paragraph of my last post before the ASBO descended contained three links to pages on BCS SPA web-sites so I guess that's why the ASbots suspended my posting rights. This seems a rather tenuous reason but it's the best I can find. The ASbots don't have to offer explanations.

Spam blogs or - ugly neologism alert! - splogs are an increasing nuisance[1]. Given the number of sites which require monitoring it was inevitable that the task of policing Blog*Spot would be delegated to automatons. Still it seems strange that the giant brains who invented page-ranking can't come up with some better heuristics: perhaps checking the Google Analytics reports and my Technorati rankings, or even just looking at my posting history. On the bright side, I was only off the air for a day or so, and it's not like I had anything I needed to say.

One final thing. The ASbots don't send an e-mail. I suppose this is because most of the sites they bust really are sploggers, so notification would just generate a wasteful amount of spam e-mails. You only find out you've been ASBO-ed when you sign in to post something. The order includes this sentence:
"If we do not hear from you, though, we will remove your blog from Blog*Spot within a few weeks."

Another good reason to have a backup of your deathless prose.

{1} - Especially for Blog*Spot. Apparently it's not such a big deal for WordPress. Although whether this is due to WordPress's superior technology or just because Blogger has the biggest mindshare is open to question.

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Blogger Gints Plivna said...

>Another good reason to have a
>backup of your deathless prose.

Google cache for some weeks and
http://www.archive.org/web/web.php until this site will be maintained might sometimes also help.

24 July 2007 at 06:15:00 GMT-7  
Blogger Peter K said...

APC, that was hilarious so basically Blogger has their automatons suspend your blogger and then have some human audit to check the site to confirm whether you were spouting "irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text" (Hmmp, remind me of someone's blog who should remain nameless).

Good to have you back on the air again.

24 July 2007 at 07:57:00 GMT-7  
Blogger Paweł Barut said...

I had the same problem with my blog few weeks ago. I've reported it to google and they manage to verify my blog in less than 24 hours.

25 July 2007 at 10:14:00 GMT-7  
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