05 August 2008

Killing The Messenger

By a show of hands, how many of you read Drudge Report? Okay, that's what we thought.

If it weren't for Drudge Report, we wouldn't have known why it was we received the following email last week:
Hello,

Your blog at: http://onlifeandlybberty.blogspot.com/ has been identified as a potential spam blog. To correct this, please request a review by filling out the form at [suppressed]

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: [suppressed]

Thank you for your understanding and for your help with our spam-fighting efforts.

Sincerely,

The Blogger Team

P.S. Just one more reminder: Unless you request a review, you won't be able to use your blog. Click this link to request the review: [suppressed]
Despite what the haters may tell you, we don't think we have the type of content that would normally spur a spam-review of this blog. Like you, we've run across those types of blogs in our interweb surfing, but this one doesn't look anything like those. Heck, we don't even have any ads.

So, when we received this email, we were mystified. And then we saw this article on Drudge:

On Thursday, hours after publishing a post about an online petition demanding that Mr. Obama publicly produce his birth certificate, an associate professor of business administration at Brooklyn College, Mitchell Langbert, found that he could no longer access his Web log.

Google's Blogger hosting service had suspended "Mitchell Langbert's Blog," which Mr. Langbert describes as "two-thirds academic stuff I'm working on and one-third politics," until it could verify the Web log was not a "spam blog," or a site designed solely to increase the page views of associated Web sites.

A day later Google lifted the block on the account, but the incident and earlier Web log freezes in late June have led Mr. Langbert and other anti-Obama bloggers to accuse the Illinois senator's supporters of intentionally identifying their blog addresses to Google as spam blogs. They also say the company has reflexively suspended the sites.

There was nothing "coincidental" about the suspension of lybberty.com's privileges and despite the irony, it shouldn't surprise anyone.

What's worse is we frequently defend Google against those who say their "monopoly" should be broken up. We remind people that they used to say the same thing about Microsoft and AOL (remember AOL?). Our line has been to have more faith in the market than in government regulators. We stand by that and our defense of Google.

That said, the anti-speech Google employees targeting us Obama-deniers are a bunch of idiots. They're trying to kill the messengers who doubt the unassailability of JFK II, Obama, Guitar Hero*.

*Over-the-top performance, no real skill or experience.


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