Patterico's Pontifications

5/13/2011

PSA: How to Find Althouse’s Blog (Update: SHE’S BACK!) (Further Update: Her Archives Are NOT Back)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 2:21 pm



[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Big Update: It looks like she is back!  Yay!

Big Update/Correction: It turns out I spoke a little soon. Yes, she can post new stuff, but even though you can clearly see on the sidebar that archives know she posted a lot, you can’t see her old posts. Like you see this listing “April (360)” indicating that there are 360 posts listed in April of this year, but if you click on the link it claims there were no posts in that archive.

Update: And now we have a Facebook protest page: Save Ann Althouse’s Blog.  Of course I had my own issues with Facebook, but that’s another story…

As some of you noticed, Blogger has been having some trouble today.  That is Google’s excellent free blogging service.  And seriously on any other day I recommend using it.  The fact I created two blogs of my own on that site testifies that it isn’t hard to use…

But one person in particular has been getting it worse than most.  Ann Althouse’s blog has literally disappeared.

For now, you can go to her backup and get her continued wit and wisdom.  As for what is going on there, Insty writes:

THE FOLKS AT GOOGLE don’t quite seem to understand the Althouse blog. Hey, guys, it’s not a spam blog. It’s been in the New York Times and everything. You should put it back up.

Seriously, for their own self-interest given the lost ad revenue, if not on principle.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Some very important new information here.

UPDATE BY AARON: Well, lookie here.  I posted this complaint on their site:

And look now…  its disappeared.

UPDATE BY AARON: Below the fold is a screencap of a yahoo cache of one of the insults directed at Ann mentioned in Patrick’s post.  I suggest you right click on it, and open it in a new tab to view it.

Here’s another screencap from the Facebook page capturing the insulting conduct of this “technician.”  For some weird reason why i downloaded it, the picture only made it half way, thus the gray on the lower half.  But you can see enough.

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I have the full story including all deleted bits of the Google employee’s abuse towards Ann, here.

39 Responses to “PSA: How to Find Althouse’s Blog (Update: SHE’S BACK!) (Further Update: Her Archives Are NOT Back)”

  1. Reading the help forum discussion of this is pretty damn annoying. It makes blogger look terrible.

    Ann explains that her blog is obviously not spam, and the only response seems to be ‘we are the umpires and our decisions cannot be appealed, and you saying your blog is important belies the process!’.

    It’s one of their most major blogs, and they really ought to already have figured that out instead of pretending there is more than five seconds of analysis needed to see it’s not a spam blog.

    Sure, Blogger is free, but they probably make a lot of money from Althouse’s extremely popular blog. They should get their heads out of their asses.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  2. Boy I am glad I don’t use blogger for anything important, got an account there but not using it for anything, and I used to reccomend it to people not anymore

    Google should remover the Don’t in their Motto
    for Truth in Advertizing

    Dan Kauffman (623f5c)

  3. As best as I can tell, Google’s employees are saying they actually read Althouse’s blog and concluded it is spam, and now she can merely appeal their decision, and any decision from that point cannot be appealed further.

    That is nutty. And a lot of people have been quite aggressive and nutty towards Althouse ever since she reported on the teachers union debacle in Wisconsin. People even suggested businesses would no longer welcome Althouse.

    Is some kook who can’t tolerate Althouse’s blog working for Blogger now? Probably not… probably it’s just some lazy boob who didn’t really check her blog out before saying it’s spam, right?

    Dustin (c16eca)

  4. I’ve been a satisfied TypePad customer since 2003. Excellent platform, continually improved, with trouble-free continuous service at a very modest price. I haven’t had anything like the number of problems Althouse has had on Blogger or that many other bloggers (cough cough) have been using over time.

    And although there have been very few occasions I’ve needed their help, TypePad has hands-down the best customer service department I’ve ever dealt with. Not just among blog or internet companies — best I’ve ever dealt with, period.

    Beldar (7c0dd5)

  5. This is not legit. Someone or some villainous group is pranking Althouse via Blogger complaints and there may well be complicity inside Google. The culprits will be much too proud of themselves to keep quiet and we will eventually know who it is — when they start bragging about it and high fiving on blogs and tweets.

    elissa (310d0a)

  6. Actually Blogger just deleted a blog belonging to a long time Althouse commenter named Crack MC. His blog was called (IIRC) The Macho Response. I wonder if Ann tried to appeal on his behalf and that is causing this action. (I don’t know too much about the issue as I have only read her blog since the WI protests heated up. The only previous times I have really been aware were a few times she criticized Ace for his on-line persona and antics.)

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  7. As best as I can tell, Google’s employees are saying they actually read Althouse’s blog and concluded it is spam, and now she can merely appeal their decision, and any decision from that point cannot be appealed further.

    No, they’re not saying anyone human has looked at it. What they’re saying is that their function is not to look at the blog and determine whether it was rightly removed, but merely to help her jump through the hoops to ask for a review, and then if necessary an appeal. And they expect her to jump through those hoops, or she won’t get anywhere. Then, on reconsideration, as a huge favour the magnitude and magnanimity of which you clearly fail to appreciate, they escalated her case to that of “final appeal”, at which point, presumably, an actual human being deigns to actually look at the content of the actual blog and make an actual determination, which is not subject to review or appeal. (Except, of course, that it is, if you’ve got the sort of clout Althouse has. But the bureaucrat-in-the-box doesn’t seem to realise that.)

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  8. “Ann, I’m going to treat you with courtesy and patience, as I ask Blogger to review your blog. This is in spite of your huge blog with over 20M posts and over 25M visitors a day – not because of that.”

    The dismissive, even contemptuous way Ann is being addressed by the Google rep is disturbingly rude. It’s not friendly customer service, which certainly causes one to wonder what’s really going on.

    Laura (9d1bb3)

  9. In response to her blog disappearing, Althouse pointed out to Google that she’s a law professor with a very important, high-traffic blog. Interesting approach, although it doesn’t strike me as a very effective way to handle this.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  10. One of the interesting things is that one of Ann’s readers politely posted constructive criticism to the Google rep that he could easily have checked out her blog’s “non-spam” legitimacy with a click, in far less time than he’s spending typing out non-helpful answers and being defensive. Of course, that post was removed and a defensive post from the Google rep followed…

    Best wishes,
    Laura

    Laura (9d1bb3)

  11. Yes Laura. The ‘umpire’ called the helpful comment ‘hijacking the thread’.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  12. No, they’re not saying anyone human has looked at it. What they’re saying is that their function is not to look at the blog and determine whether it was rightly removed, but merely to help her jump through the hoops to ask for a review, and then if necessary an appeal.

    Well, that’s better, I guess. I was specifically referring to the one comment where someone says “this is not an automated response, and you should look at the rules so you can see what the problems are and work with me”. To me, that suggests someone is vaguely referring to an actual problem they saw.

    But the entire thread is asinine and I have no idea what they are saying the problem is.

    DRJ is right that Althouse’s explanation that she’s a law professor is probably not helpful, but I think her argument was actually pretty good. As far as blogs go, Althouse’s is highly acclaimed and important. I’d point that out as well.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  13. I would be very interested in knowing what other “spam blogs” they have shut down-not just today, but over the years.

    DRJ, I pretty much agree with your observation up at 3:45. But with no offense intended, most lawyers simply cannot help themselves from working it into the conversation that they are attorneys. :)

    elissa (310d0a)

  14. I think any of Ann’s references to her being a lawyer were simply by way of explaining what her blog *is*, since it’s not a spam blog…

    Best wishes,
    Laura

    Laura (9d1bb3)

  15. Has anyone actually seen their definition of a spam blog? (I may have missed it along the way.)

    elissa (310d0a)

  16. I was curious about that too, Elissa.

    They discuss spam here.

    Lamely, they define spam by merely linking wikipedia, but here’s the definition they linked.

    Link spam is defined as links between pages that are present for reasons other than merit.[6] Link spam takes advantage of link-based ranking algorithms, which gives websites higher rankings the more other highly ranked websites link to it. These techniques also aim at influencing other link-based ranking techniques such as the HITS algorithm.

    That’s not Althouse’s blog.

    Google goes on:

    Spam blogs cause various problems, beyond simply wasting a few seconds of your time when you happen to come across one. They can clog up search engines, making it difficult to find real content on the subjects that interest you. They may scrape content from other sites on the web, using other people’s writing to make it look as though they have useful information of their own. And if an automated system is creating spam posts at an extremely high rate, it can impact the speed and quality of the service for other, legitimate users.

    As far as I can tell, Blogger.com is getting in the way of me reading content I want to read, not spammers. Althouse’s blog is original content, and interests millions of readers, so I guess blogger really has their head up their ass on this.

    As far as whether or not a human being has actually read her work to see if it’s spam or not, I think by now, with so much attention on the screw up, someone has in fact done so and yet not restored Althouse’s blog.

    Here’s what that nitecruzr douche had to say:

    Factors may affect the review process.
    1. How marginally spammy any blog may be. Some blogs are determined almost immediately to be non abuse, and may be restored within hours of review / appeal requests being submitted. Other blogs may take longer to be reviewed, and may be examined in group discussions, over a period of days.

    Nitcruzr has already spent far more time linking his own blog and explaining blogger support’s decision cannot be appealed that it would take to realize that Althouse’s blog is “non abuse”.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  17. What I found somewhat amusing about her lately is that her husband, who did not vote for Obama, now says that given what a macho man was to order the death of Osama bin Laden, he’s sorry he didn’t vote for the little zero. I wonder if his new respect for Obama has something to do with his liberal professor wife having headaches at certain times.

    What is amazing is the yeoman’s job both Althouse and Meade did covering the Wisconsin state govt. workers protests in Madison. Where were the filthy rich talking heads of the lamesteam media, like Katie Couric, Chrissie I squat to pee Matthews, Olberdouche and Fox’s O’Reilly? Think it is Pulitzer Prize worthy, but of course libtards won’t do that. Just like Nobel Peace Prizes for the likes of Arafish, Carter, Gore and Obama but someone (Bush W) who actually did plenty for democracy in Iraq is a cowboy criminal.

    Calypso Louie Farrakhan (d36a3f)

  18. Ann Althouse is smart and pretty google is stupid and ugly.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  19. her husband, who did not vote for Obama, now says that given what a macho man was to order the death of Osama bin Laden, he’s sorry he didn’t vote for the little zero

    That was really surprising, right? The idea that we should vote for Obama because of an interest in assertive foreign policy is really pretty silly. This is the ‘surge can’t work, we already lost Iraq’ guy. Bombing Libya and finishing Bush’s success with Bin Laden are not what makes a real foreign policy.

    But regardless, it’s so rare to read from an Obama voter who lays out a coherent, sane case. And Althouse’s case does make a few great points. Mccain was a loser, and I do wonder what would have become of the right if he was its de facto leader. I just think Obama was clearly the wrong choice anyway.

    And I agree their work in Wisconsin was very high quality. This nitecruzr guy actually says he’ll refer her blog to support ‘in spite’ of it having a lot of readers, but blogger should think a little harder about that. She has a lot of readers because she has a valuable blog.

    It’s clear to me that Google just lost a very good blog just because they are pricks. And I wouldn’t be surprised if her blog was reported as spam by a bunch of the crazy people who want to censor her, and google’s hostile culture towards conservatism would have treated a major left wing blogger much better.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  20. google is a dirty socialist obamawhore company like General Electric there’s really nothing to be done for it I don’t think

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  21. That was my impression too. Althouse/Meade had several threats from the free of speech for me but not for thee asshole union thugs, which included what sounded like blackmail against some store owners in Madison by those gestapo union cops who work (supposedly) for the taxpayers.
    Correct about McCain too and I wonder what RINO GOP candidate the media will be temporarily fellating this time. Nearly all women I have spoken to now accept that Palin is the intelligence-challenged bimbo as portrayed by the media.
    Wonder who was upset with the black dude who did macho response. Really people, if some blog offends YOU, take your attitude somewhere else.

    Calypso Louie Farrakhan (d36a3f)

  22. That was my impression too. Althouse/Meade had several threats from the free of speech for me but not for thee asshole union thugs, which included what sounded like blackmail against some store owners in Madison by those gestapo union cops who work (supposedly) for the taxpayers.
    Correct about McCain too and I wonder what RINO GOP candidate the media will be temporarily fellating this time. Nearly all women I have spoken to now accept that Palin is the intelligence-challenged bimbo as portrayed by the media.
    Wonder who was upset with the black dude who did macho response. Really people, if some blog offends YOU, take your attitude somewhere else.

    Calypso Louie Farrakhan (d36a3f)

  23. Wonder who was upset with the black dude who did macho response. Really people, if some blog offends YOU, take your attitude somewhere else.

    This seems so basic to us, but then, we’re the real liberals of the classic variety. We don’t want to control other people who don’t conform on whatever the issue of the day is. We just want the government to let us be, instead of solve everything.

    People who think their POV is elite often fool themselves into thinking they can and should control others. If they get really carried away, they think people who don’t conform are actually evil.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  24. Oh, and now Google wants everyone to rely on their cloud for all their computing. You don’t even get a CPU.

    No thanks, Google. I actually rely on Google for mail and some word processing, but not anything important. Microsoft must really appreciate Google showing themselves to be utterly unreliable.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  25. The Nitecruzr guy has now removed the post I quoted above about helping her despite her large readership, and is taunting Ann about the number of people who voted that his reply was unhelpful. Meanwhile her blog is still down. This is quite unbelievably mean, impolite customer service.

    Laura (9d1bb3)

  26. Nitecruzr is going to discover that law profs have mad skilz. Now she’s got a screen capture showing him taunting her.

    htom (412a17)

  27. The Nitecruzr guy has now removed the post I quoted above about helping her despite her large readership, and is taunting Ann about the number of people who voted that his reply was unhelpful. Meanwhile her blog is still down. This is quite unbelievably mean, impolite customer service.

    Comment by Laura

    Wow.

    When I checked, he was mocking her because fewer than 100 people had found his moderation unhelpful enough to vote that way. Then, when it was over 100 unhelpful votes, he deleted that mockery and wrote another comment mocking her because it wasn’t 200 (as though his goalpost had not been met).

    And meanwhile, Althouse is just saying ‘hey, I would like some help please’.

    She’s being perfectly polite about it, even though Google’s representative is being a troll.

    And he’s demanding Althouse inform her readership of this and that, so he already knows, clearly, that her blog is not spam. There’s nothing automated about it at this point.

    I’d bet heavily that he is a democrat shill, and this is just his pathetic little version of liberal fascism. I also wouldn’t be surprised at all if someone spammed abuse reports to get Althouse’s blog removed.

    One thing is clear: you are an idiot if you rely on Google for anything that is critical.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  28. Hmmm, now Nitecruzr’s latest snark has gone down the memory hole — she has screen captures on Facebook — and someone else at Google who claims to “love your blog” is taking over.

    Just a little play by play for those who aren’t looking at the actual Google thread. :) I’ve just been gaping at my screen in disbelief this afternoon about how Google’s handled this.

    Laura (9d1bb3)

  29. Ann should take Google to task for enabling this employee of theirs. It’s an information monopoly that should be broken up. This is new ground in the world. The monopoly should be made competitive.

    jd (fc8318)

  30. UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Some very important new information here.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  31. Google isn’t shy about letting its political sympathies tilt left and I’m sure its employees realize that. Is it really a surprise that a junior Google/Blogger customer rep might not know or care about the Althouse blog or the Instapundit?

    DRJ (fdd243)

  32. I added to the viral nature of this news via three blogs, mine, adj-dana’s, and Caffeinated Thoughts, in addition to my FB and Twitter syndication and several Twitter posts, all tracking back to the 2 PP posts (and the three articles also to DRJ’s linkage).

    (And Patterico, I unblocked you. Not that that matters any.)

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  33. Oh, I see there’s a brand new update. Doesn’t change the fact they did what they did. Doesn’t change the fact honorable Conservatives should leave Google-run Blogger to protect themselves from elimination. Not everyone has the power of an Ann Althouse.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  34. a song for the unblocked

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  35. And Patterico, I unblocked you. Not that that matters any.

    Thank you.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  36. I found this thread interesting.

    This nightcruzer guy has been running people off blogger for some time.

    It seems he just hijacks lots of threads where someone asks for help with a removed blog, and acts like a dick. Someone posted a blog listing all the gay blogs he noticed had recently been removed, and nightcruzer called it ‘nothing but advertising for unconfirmed spam’. It sounded like the person who posted the list actually knew for sure some of them (perhaps all of them) were not spam.

    Nightcruzer described Blogger as though it’s infallible, and linked his blog a bunch of times as though it’s the authority on the subject with a summary of “learn to live with it”.

    Now, is this good or bad? It seems like people from the social left feel viewpoint discriminated against, so I guess it’s at least good that Google is screwing up on both sides of the aisle?

    On the other hand, the bottom line is that Nightcruzr’s behavior is not some isolated incident. Google has been letting this person be a jerk, in their name, for a while. They 100% own his reaction to Althouse, in my opinion.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  37. And I can’t really call his action hijacking, can I? I mean, sure, he changes the subject to the only thing he talks about, ever time, and spams his antispam blog nonsense. But he is given moderator authority to control the threads, so it’s not a hijack.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  38. I have the full story from Ann, back from the memory hole.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  39. OT @scrowder is having YouTube problems. Should check it out.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)


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