Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
x_6985381

Google in brouhaha with anti-Obama bloggers

Recommended Posts

Spam filters of Blogger subsidiary erase posts by accident, stirring up a political uproar

  Google Inc. has found itself immersed in a blogger brouhaha after its Blogger subsidiary shut down the postings of several political bloggers opposing the election of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president.

At least seven bloggers who use the Google self-publishing blog service noted that their sites were shut down last week. The blogs were reinstated by Monday, and some of the bloggers posted an e-mail apology from Google.

Carissa Snedeker, who blogs about her support for Sen. Hillary Clinton for president at a site called Blue Lyon, posted the e-mail apology sent to her by Google. In the note, Google said that the Blogger spam filters caused some accounts "to mistakenly be blocked from creating new posts."

Google went on to note that the company believes that the mistake may have been caused by mass spam e-mails mentioning the Just Say No Deal network of anti-Obama blogs, which caused Blogger's system to classify the blog addresses mentioned in the e-mails as spam.

"Well, don't you think your system should be able to tell a blog with nearly 700 posts and that's been around for oh, say, three years, from a 'spam' blog?" Snedeker noted in her post, which she moved from Blogger to competitor WordPress after the incident. "And in the absence of that sort of flagging on your end, how's about a little benefit of the doubt for the next set of bloggers that get caught in your 'automated spam detection' maze?"

Snedeker went on to note that whenever the Just Say No Deal group sends out e-mail, it doesn't list all of the blogs, but merely directs people to the Web site where all the blogs are listed.

In a statement sent to Computerworld, Google echoed the reasons noted above for shutting down the blogs, noting that the spam e-mails from the Just Say No Deal network of blogs caused its system to classify the blog addresses mentioned in the e-mails as spam.

"We think blog spam is a serious problem and we have spam detection software to try to eliminate it," the statement said. "We have restored posting rights to the affected blogs, and it is very important to us that Blogger remain a tool for political debate and free expression."

Other political blogs using the Google service that were shut down and subsequently restored include Hillary Or Bust, McCain Democrats, No Obama and Come a Long Way.

Danny Sullivan, editor in chief of blog Search Engine Land, which follows Google, said that the incident shows that Google probably needs to do more to ensure its Blogger spam reporting tools are not being abused, "especially given how it says these can't be manipulated by angry mobs. Right now it looks like they can."

He went on to note that it is unusual that seven different sites on the anti-Obama topic were frozen. However, because Google's e-mails did not say that the blogs were shut down for their political bent, there is no "smoking gun" linking the move to political motivation, Sullivan noted.

However, he added that the company would not likely make these same types of mistakes with its search tools.

"In part, Google has more signals to help keep it straight on the Web search side," he noted. "Plus, you've got different teams looking into different spam reports. Just because Blogger's spam tool might be messed up doesn't mean the Web search tools are. But still, a valid point to raise."

Source: http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9105418&intsrc=hm_list

Oh wow, LOL. Now were monitoring blog posts.

[geek-small]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that happened with myspace too over ron paul...anyone that posted a bulletin about ron paul, their post just disappeared...poof gone...and if u googled "myspace blocking ron paul" u'd get all these results "proving" they weren't but if u yahoo'd the same thing u'd get both sides...er vice versa...i can't remember which...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...