Friday, August 01, 2008

More conservative blog sites shut down by Blogger/Google

Concrete Bob reports through the United Conservatives of Virginia blog that his DC Protest Warrior blog has been flagged by "someone" as a "spam" blog. He reports that a fellow conservative blogger has been hit, too. This is a continuation of what I talked about before ... Blogger/Google shutting down conservative websites because they have been flagged by some unknown people. My site has been under "review" since early June although I have not heard from them, as they said I would, and I cannot find a way to directly reach them to ask what is going on.

Here is what Bob said this morning:
At 10:33 PM last night, I received an email from Boston Maggie, saying that her blogspot site had been locked due to a spam report. She had posted some things about Jawn eF'n sKerry, (who served in Viet Nam, BTW) and she assumed it had upset some Taxachusetts liberals, who responded by hitting the "Flag This Site" button.

At 10:34 PM I received an email from Blogger telling me that MY blogspot site had been locked for the same reason. Someone had hit the "Flag This Site" button on my site as well.
Bob concludes hackers are flagging their blogs because they are part of a group that wants input on the 9/11 Flight 93 memorial in Pennsylvania. He wrote:
After a few email exchanges with people OUTSIDE the blogspot community, we came to the conclusion that someone was targeting sites with one similar theme:

The meeting on Saturday in Somerset PA regarding the Flight 93 Memorial.

This attempt to silence our opinions on the proposed design is disturbing. It means we have struck a nerve and upset some people and they believe we are making a difference.
Blogger sent a message of the review process necessary and said satisfactory results could cause the blog to be deleted in 20 days. Read it all here.

If all conservative blogs move away from Google/Blogger, it will leave it completely left-leaning. Is that what Google wants?

I am still under review after being flagged as a spam blog and it has now been almost two months. All I can say is, "Good luck, Concrete Bob. Here's hoping they are faster with your results than they have been with mine."

So what did Bob say on his website about the Flight 93 memorial? Here it is:
On Saturday 2 August, at 1000 hours in Somerset PA, a hearing will held on the proposed design of the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA. We are encouraging all Americans who oppose the design as submitted to be in Somerset on 2 August to lend support to Alec Rawls in his effort to eliminate all aspects of Islam and muslim symbology from the proposed design.

If you watch the video I have linked above, you will see the current Flight 93 Memorial as it was in 2006. This memorial is being built by freedom loving people who understand and appreciate the heroic efforts made by the passengers on Flight 93 that bright September morning.

No matter where you were, or what you were doing during those three hours, the events of that day affected you. Nothing since has been the same. To even consider a design that looks remotely like it contains islamic symbols is spitting on the memory of the 41 ordinary Americans who became extraordinary heroes in the space of hours. Faced with the certainty of their own death, they acted to save the lives of tens of thousands of Americans.

Their memory should be preserved with a design befitting their sacrifice.
Thank you, Bob. As I have written before, Flight 93 holds a special place in my heart. I will repost this separately....


Writer said...

switch to wordpress

Dr.Dawg said...

We're all going to have to eat crow on this one. I run a staunchly left-wing site in Canada, and the same thing just happened to me. I guest-blogged somewhere else about conservative dirty tricks.

Maybe a lot of folks are submitting complaints for whatever reason, triggering an automatic response until the Blogger team gets around to reviewing manually. I still find it hard to believe that it's a splog-detection glitch, because the blogs that have been hit don't have any splog characteristics at all.

If it makes you feel better, the only Canadian blogs that have been hit that I'm aware of are left-wing or no wing at all.


Anonymous said...

Bob concludes hackers are flagging their blogs because they are part of a group that wants input on the 9/11 Flight 93 memorial in Pennsylvania.

First, thats not what he said and second, you dont know what a hacker is, do you? A hacker is someone who goes into your files in order to do something with them, either a) read them or b) screw with them.

Someone hitting a "Flag This Site" button is not a hacker. Ooo, look at that. I just hit the button too. I'm not doing it because you're a republican (I'm kinda apolitical), I'm doing it because you're stupid. Post this, dont post this. I dont care. You'll have read it either way.

Lynn R. Mitchell said...

Grozet, thanks, I'm looking into that and other options. This problem is becoming more widespread as the campaign season heats up.

Lynn R. Mitchell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn R. Mitchell said...

Dr. Dawg, thanks for the additional information. My original post about this in July was about the anti-Obama sites that had been frozen by Google/Blogger, and that generated responses from conservatives who had been shut down.

For whatever reason, it would be nice if everyone respected the freedom of speech for each other, ratcheted down the screechiness and coarse words, and allowed opinions to be expressed openly and without fear of censorship.

Thanks for stopping by, and thank you for your rational debate. It is much appreciated.

Lynn R. Mitchell said...


As usual ... negative comments from an anonymous source.

You can decide on your own what Concrete Bob's conclusion was. I stand by what I wrote.

I well understand what a "hacker" is. I used the term because, to me, a hacker is more than just someone who physically invades your files. It is someone who is out to disrupt in anyway possible. Flagging innocent blogs as "spam" so they will be frozen or censored is another form of hacking, in my opinion.

Come on back when you can respond as yourself and not "anonymous."

Anonymous said...

I will do what I damn well please, thank you. I couldn't care less if you actually post what I send you.

You can say you believe that brown cows give chocolate milk; its still wrong. I am telling what a hacker is. But have fun looking like an asshat, you "hapless technoweenie (a quote from the movie "Hackers" in case you didnt know, and it is intentional irony that I pick that movie to quote)

Lynn R. Mitchell said...

"Give 'em enough rope...." Heh.

alan james said...

I recently started a new "conservative" blog on blogspot, and was "under review" for potential splogging within 48 hours. Here's the kicker - I hadn't even put any content on my blog yet. The only content on the blog were 2 gadgets (newsmax video feeds and fox news headlines) provided by blogspot.

Oddly enough, when I learned I had been placed under review, it wasn't hackers I suspected of foul play, but the political leanings Google/Blogspot themselves. Call me narrow minded, but Occam's Razor seems to work here. It's not hard to imagine the simplicity with which Blogspot could flag conservative blogs from the outset and place them under review.

In my case, with no content to speak of, it would be a simple matter of flagging blogs based on the gadgets the user suscribes to. On the flipside, what tools would a hacker have to employ to weed through 10's of thousands of blogs? Keywords aren't going to be a big help, since you're as likely to find the words "conservative" or "republican" on a liberal blog as you are on a conservative one.

You'd need an organized (keyword being organized) effort by a large group of experienced web hackers in order to do this with any sucess, and considering the amount of forum threads a simple google search turned up on this problem, I'd say there are far too many affected blogs out there for this to be the case (again, unless it's an insider job).

Frankly, I find it hard to believe that anyone would deem Google/Blogspot to be above such a tactic. If the mainstream news media outlets are willing to contort their news coverage (in plain sight no less) in order to swing an election, I don't why a left-leaning web media outlet wouldn't be willing to participate in similar and more masked effort to do so. Just one would-be blogger's opinion.

P.S. - I've since removed my blog from Blogspot. It seems to me that by allowing potential readers to view the review warning and then go on to see the actual blog content, they're actually doing us more harm than they would if simple locked out the blog altogether. I know that if I went to 3 dozen conservative blogs and saw they were flagged for splogging violations, I'd start to form a fairly negative opinion about conservative bloggers as a whole. God bless all...