Monday, October 22, 2007

The Daily Annoyance, from Google / Blogger this time

Originally posted to my 360 blog at Yahoo Tuesday July 24, 2007 - 05:37pm (CDT)

As you may have noticed from looking at the feeds on my Yahoo 360 profile I have a place at Blogger, which I had been thinking of doing most of my posting at, henceforth. In theory, it is my main blog, even if I've been doing a lot more posting here in the last few months, so this didn't represent a change of plans, so much as it did a return to what my plans were, but sometimes plans need to be rethought, even over as little a thing as one's choice of provider. I find myself doing a little rethinking right now. I went over to edit a post, which is now a draft again and not because I want it to be. As I go to edit it, I see this notice atop the page:

This blog has been locked by Blogger's spam-prevention robots. You will not be able to publish your posts, but you will be able to save them as drafts.

Save your post as a draft or click here for more about what's going on and how to get your blog unlocked.

I was, to say the least, curious, as I've never attempted to sell anything in the brief history of my little place. This turned out to be a very good thing, because on clicking on "click here", I found myself presented with a notice that if I didn't notify Google / Blogger within two weeks, I think it was, that my blog would be automatically deleted! It had been flagged, apparently, because (according to Google) it displayed the "characteristics" of a spam blog. What those "characteristics" might be, I can't imagine, and if you look at the little thing, I think you might be a little mystified, too. I will say that this was definitely not cool, especially during summer when one should expect that people are going to be out. The only reason I looked is because, by pure chance, I looked at my most recent blog post, thought "OK, people aren't going to entirely get that I'm telling a joke because 'Dunphy' doesn't 'sound Jewish', as if such an expression even made sense since Jewishness is matrilineal and surnames are patrilineal, and how many of the ancient Israelites would have had names sounding like Abramowitz, anyway, such a headache I'm getting ... where's my iced coffee?" What was I talking about? Oh, yes. Blogs that people take time, good time, to put together, being put up for deletion while they're away, without any human being having so much as having taken the time to look before they were put up for deletion. This is a breaking of faith with the user who, reasonably, expects that his work will not evaporate without reason. Far from living up to that trust, the company has squandered it through an act of sheer recklessness. As Google itself writes

"Since you're an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive."

"We apologize for having risked putting your time and effort to waste, by having oversight on our system being done by what we know is an inherently unreliable piece of artificial intelligence software" ... and thank you for being our guinea pig, I guess. I am, to say the least, very disappointed with Blogger and Google, at a time when I was already busy enough being disappointed with Lycos.