Google Admits To Blogger Snafu, Restores Blogs Marked As Spam - InformationWeek

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Commentary
8/4/2008
03:45 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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Google Admits To Blogger Snafu, Restores Blogs Marked As Spam

Late last week, a system bug marked numerous blogs -- even legitimate ones -- as spam. Blogger's servers then sent the publishers of those blogs nasty-grams telling them to stop spamming and suspended the activity on those blogs. Google quickly issued a mea culpa and worked over the weekend to get it fixed.

Late last week, a system bug marked numerous blogs -- even legitimate ones -- as spam. Blogger's servers then sent the publishers of those blogs nasty-grams telling them to stop spamming and suspended the activity on those blogs. Google quickly issued a mea culpa and worked over the weekend to get it fixed.Thankfully, none of the blogs I publish using Google's Blogger tool were affected by the system error. Turns out I was one of the lucky ones.

In a post on Friday afternoon, the Blogger team said, "We've noticed that a number of users have had their blogs mistakenly marked as spam, and wanted to sound off real quick to let you know that, despite it being Friday afternoon, we are working hard to sort this out. So to those folks who have received an email saying that your blog has been classified as spam and can't post right now, we offer our sincere apologies for the trouble."

Google worked well into Saturday to have the issue resolved. After everything was working hunky-dory again, it offered more apologies:

We want to offer our sincerest apologies to affected bloggers and their readers. We've tracked down the problem to a bug in our data processing code that locked blogs even when our algorithms concluded they were not spam. We are adding additional monitoring and process checks to ensure that bugs of this magnitude are caught before they can affect your data.

At Blogger, we strongly believe that you own and should control your posts and other data. We understand that you trust us to store and serve your blog, and incidents like this one are a betrayal of that trust. In the spirit of ensuring that you always have access to your data, we have been working on importing and exporting tools to make it easier to back up your posts. If you'd like a sneak peek at the Import / Export tool, you can try it out on Blogger in Draft.

Our restoration today was of all blogs that were mistakenly marked as spam due to Friday's bug. Because spam fighting inherently runs the risk of false positives, your blog may have been misclassified as spam for other reasons. If you are still unable to post to your blog today you can request a review by clicking Request Unlock Review on your Dashboard.

In order to quell the ranks, Google makes things right, and offers the olive branch of an advanced look at some new services.

I decided to check out the new services. The Dashboard has been revised slightly, though most of the Blogger tools remain unchanged. The Import/Export tool has been altered somewhat. Not that it was difficult to use before by any stretch of the imagination, but now it is slightly less cumbersome to add content to your blog.

I am just glad that Google was able to restore usability to the blogs quickly.

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