I first noticed my blog had been flagged as "spam" by Google around the first part of June, and it continues to be under a "spam suspision" even though I turned in a review request weeks ago. So what is the background on this story?
According to Fox News and multiple other sources, anti-Obama and conservative Blogger blogs through Google may have been censored when Google froze their websites.
On July 15, Fox News reported:
Seven blogs run by Democrats who oppose Obama’s nomination for the presidency were incorrectly flagged as spam sites by Blogger, the hosting service Google has owned since 2003. Google says it was an automated response from a spam filter.I believe it goes further than just those sites. Using that loophole, it would appear liberal bloggers are "flagging" conservative blogs as spam, causing undue disruption.
But the bloggers believe that Web surfers who support Obama took advantage of a loophole in Blogger’s system that allows readers to report spam blogs, the artificial Web sites that abound on the Internet and are used to promote other sites.
"It appears that [Blogger's] policy can be manipulated by people determined to shut down the free exchange of ideas," said Carissa Snedeker, whose blog, BlueLyon, was among those that were frozen.
Currently, the SWAC Girl blog has to go through a series of "picture letter" word verifications in order to publish, something that has been going on for about six weeks. Google says they need to have a real person look at it to be sure it's not spam but my question is how many hundreds/ thousands/ millions of these blogs have been flagged, and how long will it take a "real person" to go through that backlog?
Blogger "GeekLove" wrote:
"Blogger’s 'guilty until proven innocent' approach is appalling."The American Thinker suspects Google of censoring not only the "anti-Obama" blogs that were shut down but also conservative bloggers:
From my own experience with Google and my website that was shut down three times, I believe that Google takes such action at times to annoy conservative bloggers and perhaps try and get them to quit. Other conservative bloggers who have used Blogspot could probably relate their own horror stories.Newsbusters has more.
Bottom line: Google is guilty until proven innocent in my eyes and whether they deliberately shut down some of these blogs knowing full well they were not spam is a question we will probably never know the answer to.
Another problem with the flawed "flag" program is the possibility of a competing blogger flagging someone's blog just to cause problems.
Meanwhile, I am still going through the "word verification" process before publishing until someone at Google decides my blog is not spam.