December 10, 2009 10:30 PM

Blogger: censoring conservative sites?

[Update: As of 12/12, Blogger still has not given Rachel access to her site. Rachel is up and running at Wordpress: Thoughts from a Conservative Mom - but has no access to her archives. Shame on Blogger!]

Blogger appears to have shut down a blog without warning for political reasons.

The blog is Thoughts from a Conservative Mom http://thoughtsfromaconservativemom.blogspot.com/

Sue noticed the site was down December 4 and emailed me. I emailed Conservative Mom and got this response:

Hi Barbara!

I haven't been able to access my blog for the past two days. It appears that their automated system flagged me as a possible "Spam Blog" (assuming a critic didn't report the blog to make trouble).

Here's the message I'm currently getting when I try to access it:

"Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. 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 received your unlock request on December 6, 2009. On behalf of the robots, we apologize for locking your non-spam blog. Please be patient while we take a look at your blog and verify that it is not spam."

I hope this means that they will be restoring it soon.

Please tell Sue "Thank You" for her readership and concern. I'll do my best to get back online as soon as Blogger allows!

Thanks, Barbara!

She certainly took it a lot better than I would. I got busy and didn't check the situation until today, and was shocked to find it still down. I emailed Conservative Mom again and she replied:

Hi Barbara!

After a week, it appears that Blogger is in no hurry to restore my blog (and if they did, I'm sure it wouldn't be long before their "automatic software" shut me down again.)

It might be best for me to move it. Would you mind me asking what web host and software you use to produce your blog?

Thanks!

Wow, this is a patient woman! But me, not so. I decided to do a litte research and found that Blogger has a history of shutting down conservative blogs:

More conservative blog sites shut down by Blogger

Censorship in the blogosphere

Goggle Shuts Down Anti-Obama Sites on its Blogger Platform (Blogger=Google? Who knew?)

Conservative Mom's reaction:

Wow! I suspected it might be possible, but naïve me...I didn't like to jump to concluding the worst in people. Ugh.

Looks like "waiting it out" is pointless. I'm only glad I found out now, before months went by!

Thanks for the info, Barbara!

Conservative Mom is going to find another platform - but she does not have any access to her archives.

Can you think of any way to put pressure on Blogger to give her back her blog?

Any ideas on how to pressure Blogger to give her back her blog and stop censoring people for political opinions?

If they don't want to carry conservative bloggers, then they should state so in their terms of service. What they have done to Conservative Mom is outrageous!

Love,
signature.gif

Posted in Blogging, Liberal Hypocrisy | Permalink

Comments

Any chance the issue could get exposure via someone like Beck or O'Reilly? It seems that conservative free speech is increasingly under attack from every angle possible.

Posted by: Marian | December 10, 2009 11:53 PM

Seems like I read something on the Hillbuzz site about their previous blog being shut down for the same reason. Back during the campaign, I think...

Posted by: Shelly | December 10, 2009 11:58 PM

I can see your posts on my google reader, including several for Dec. 6. I'll try to copy for her.

Posted by: Paula | December 11, 2009 7:39 AM

Here are a few posts in Google cache:

http://74.125.93.132/search?q=cache:hKZlIA42Eh4J:thoughtsfromaconservativemom.blogspot.com/+http://thoughtsfromaconservativemom.blogspot.com/&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca

and all the caches here
http://www.google.ca/search?q=http://thoughtsfromaconservativemom.blogspot.com/+site:thoughtsfromaconservativemom.blogspot.com&hl=en&rls=com.microsoft:en-CA:IE-SearchBox&rlz=1I7GWYE&num=100&filter=0

http://www.google.com/reader/view/feed/http://thoughtsfromaconservativemom.blogspot.com/#stream/feed%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Fthoughtsfromaconservativemom.blogspot.com%2Ffeeds%2Fposts%2Fdefault

Posted by: Carol | December 11, 2009 8:30 AM

Send a tip to Michelle Malkin at writemalkin@gmail.com.

Put TIP in the subject line.

Posted by: Deb | December 11, 2009 8:40 AM

Amazing. I thought it was interesting that they closed a blogger with the word "conservative" in the title. This blog is really really good. I checked it several times a day and found articles that I didn't see in the TOM (tired old media). I don't know how she does it.

Thanks for letting us know, Barbara. It's scaring me how they are working so hard to shut us down.

Posted by: Sue from Buffalo | December 11, 2009 10:22 AM

My guess is it is probably a reader that reported the site as spam to get it shutdown. I don't think blogger is necessarily evil, just a bit on the inept side. If she can get logged into the interface and dump a backup, she should have no problem moving to any number of blogging software options.

Posted by: King of Fools | December 11, 2009 11:47 AM

Dear Barbara,
I am the mother of "conservative mom". I appreciate your support of her. I heard Lord Christopher Monckton tell on the radio of Google redirecting searches of him to other bogus sites. It wasn't until he threatened legal action that they corrected the problem. Blogspot is affiliated with Google and Al Gore is on their board of directors. Is it any wonder conservatives are having difficulty here.

Posted by: Glynna Stone | December 11, 2009 12:50 PM

A similar thing happened to me last May. I traced it back, though, to posting about my new domain and an autoforward script I entered. Google saw the re-direct and flagged me as spam. It took a couple of weeks for my blog to come back up; but by that time I had already committed to never being on Blogger again!

It did kind of stink, though, since I had years of archives on the blogger site which I just made available to readers last month - though I'm trying to slowly move them over to my new site so I can ditch Blogspot altogether.

I know that blogger has a new blog - marybaker.com, perhaps that's the problem - a forwarding/new site URL?

Posted by: Milehimama | December 11, 2009 3:58 PM

I use Bluehost and Wordpress.org.

Also, for other bloggers - you can download your blog to your harddrive, which will let you save all of your posts.
http://www.geckoandfly.com/2009/05/29/how-to-download-or-backup-blogger-blogspot-posts-and-comments/

And I made a mistake in my previous comment - I got two similar sounding blog names confused!

Because I am terrible at cleaning out my RSS reader, I have Rachel's last 95 posts, if she would like them to rebuild archives. I don't have her email, though, but feel free to pass mine along to her.

Posted by: Milehimama | December 11, 2009 4:05 PM

Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement!

I'm afraid I don't remember as much from my HTML classes as I wish I did, and I have a choice between using my limited computer time to learn new website management skills or simply get back to blogging.

So I decided to purchase a domain name and just use WordPress for now.

Here is the new site:
http://www.thoughtsfromaconservativemom.com/

The breathtaking speed at which this administration is trying to deconstruct our nation requires citizen journalists to get the word out as quickly and accurately as possible, no matter how austere the format.

Milehimama, your offer is very generous, and I'd love to take you up on it (if I can figure out how to import archives without WordPress automatically doing it for me). Right now blogger is blocking any attempt to access them.

Thanks again!

Posted by: Rachel | December 11, 2009 5:15 PM

Just as clarification, Al Gore is a senior advisor for Google, not on their Board of Directors.

I wonder how he's advising them? Grrrr.....

Posted by: Debra | December 12, 2009 12:00 PM

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