Friday, 28 April 2006

Blogger Censorship

I got an email this morning, from Blogger and it said:


We'd like to inform you that we've received a complaint that your blog contains confidential information. Please note that our Terms of Service prohibit posting confidential items on your blog. Accordingly, we have had to remove the content in question. Please refer to our Terms of Service for more details:

Thank you for your understanding.


Blogger Support

I then checked my blog and discovered that my post of the 24th April, A Strange Distraction, had been removed (you can see a cache of the post in question here). I can only presume that it was the inclusion of an email address that led Blogger to take such action.

I have returned the post in question, minus the offending information, to its rightful place and we'll see what happens next...

Well, what happened next was the post that you are now reading was deleted (as I linked to the email address of the person in question, this has now been removed) and I was threatened with the closure of my Blogger account. So I have had to prostrate myself before the faceless Blogger lords and hope that linking to cached web pages is not an offence.

Rehearsals are going well by the way.


  1. That's what you get for being slave to the system. Be like me and go independent. (But seriously folks, you have to be careful about posting email addresses and misquoting people as you can find yourself in all sorts of hot water).

    You have been warned...

  2. Let me not dismiss the interests of the child, which, as a starting point, I will assume is the reason you were stabbed in the back. This foregoes a detailed outline of a conspiracy wherein the American element which unfortunately inhabits the Web is paying you back for not rolling over and playing dead on the scarf thing.

    Before commenting, I also would like to state that the Net is the real world, as, created by millions of real-world inhabitants, it reflects the same kinds of problems and benefits one finds on the street. Therefore, I will resist saying, "In the real world this wouldn't happen."

    It happened, now we deal with a question of censorship.

    The child in question left a stupid remark on my blog. I pointed out that he was a stupid kid, because I'm not one to mince words.

    Daniel commented on the kid's "writing," which was so fucking terrible, because first of all it was plagiarised from common sources, and read more like a stupider, dumbed-down series of rip-offs of actual writing.

    Should Daniel have written something like, "Holy fuck, I was gonna eat some soup, but now I gotta gouge my eyes out because your writing is worse than evil, it's downright ugly," he would only have dented the grille on how bad this kid's writing was.

    It was so bad, his mom should have done a number of things, none of them worth mentioning here, as I'm sure that like all goomah hen squatters, she'd squabble her ass back to Blogger and get my friend Daniel in more trouble.

    So I leave what she should have done about her son's horrible writing to your imagination, if in fact what you ideate about on your own time isn't being policed by this Boticelli bitch.

    Ms. Botts, or whatever the hell her name was, plainly ignored the best interests of her child when it became apparent that the little thieving bastard was stealing science fiction, reinterpreting it as a half-retarded kid's version of the real thing.

    She might as well have let him play in the freeway, as let him roam on the Net, but then she had to be a goomah asshead and attack Daniel for his restrained honesty.

    And I mean, Daniel couldn't have hoped to really put how terrible the butchery was. You'd have to create an entirely new lexicon of language to properly describe how badly it sucked. But there was Ms. Buttwrinkle, mouthing off like there wasn't I don't what, attacking Daniel for being right.

    But, I can see Blogger's point in removing the post and talking to Daniel like he's the nine year old twerp here--but in the same spirit of blaming the wrong people, I expect the heads of every State Highway Patrol to begin removing people's cars from their driveways, because Ms. Bralucci's kid might be out running around on the freeway near their house.

    Why, there might be knife manufacturers, school officials with thread in their pants which could be wound into a ligature, pedophile priests with very sharp crosses, or a million dangers which Ms. Bunglicker, in her unholy terrorising of everything that's to blame for her kid being a no talent little fool, all of them just waiting to be culpable of harming her kid because she's too fucking negligent to keep him from running wild.

    I think we should not hate Ms. Bitchiamyouknowit, but rather embrace her proactive approach to blaming people for her idiot son's hurt feelings.

    You there, reading this. You're the reason Billy (name changed to protect Daniel from another visit by the Blogstapo) is in danger. You breathed today, you heartless monster.

    And you over there. Stop blinking. Have you never heard of the Butterfly Effect? What's to stop all that eyelash action from taking down the West Coast, and Billy along with it, which would only really be a threat if it knocked over the nuclear-powered wind turbine he's playing in while his mom's at the movies, but nevertheless, you're to blame.

    And God. What the fuck is God's problem, making the earth and everything in it? Doesn't he know how dangerous everything is?

  3. What's so bizarre is that the email address is still available on the cached pages' although Darren is very right in terms of getting my own space so I'm my own boss and I can do as I please (within reason).

  4. Also, you have to be careful how you deal with the kiddiwinks online. Remember, not everyone is a big strong bloke with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek. The Americans, in my opinion, are also a touchy bunch of bastards with little or no time for irony, wit or fun.

    So I don't tend to have much to do with the other denizons of the Weird Wild Web. I keep myself to myself and just prattle on alone. If you do want to stir the shit, adopt an alias, get a gmail account and become a troll like the other 99% of the folks out there.

    Over and out,


  5. Jesus Christ, if parents don't want their kids exposed to the big bad world, they can step in with some basic responsibility.

    You wouldn't let your kid play out in the road, and if you would, you're an idiot.

    Neither should a child be left alone to surf cable TV, or satellite radio, or the neighbour's boobs, or the Internet.

    People should learn either to suck it up, or stay away. Look how we handled those Nazi fellows during that World War. Second one, if I remember. Jesus, if we'd payed them half the attention they demanded we'd have been fighting from 1933 until sometime in the mid '60s.

    Thankfully we ignored them long enough to put a few sticks together and fuck them up within five or six years, with lots of time left over to make sure the Edsel failed completely.

    Long story short, Rita the Wop should keep off the blogs, and she should sure as hell keep her bambino off the computer.

    In fact, her being offended at being called a big fat dago with no sex appeal means she's haunting the blog in the first place, which means Daniel is just the victim of a bitter woman's scorn, and is being made to pay for some shortcoming another left on Ribucinni's psyche. Unfair, I say.

    Let the sexy be cool, and the trolls be kept in their place--not dictating Blogstapo policy.

    Heil Freedom, in all its ugliness!

  6. Um, did you delete my comment in the interest if irony?

  7. Denise: I haven't deleted your comment, the post got deleted and I restored it, so Blogger deleted your comment and not me!

  8. Oh, that's what I thought. I didn't think you'd delete me, then come to my blog and compliment me!

  9. I think that publishing the name and email address of someone who simply sent you a private email is generally not a good idea. In this case, blogger overreacted, and was forced to follow their own (somewhat vague) rules, because of a complainer. That prevented a balanced view, which would have seen you were in fact publishing the name and email address to illustrate that the email address, while composed of a person's name, was a different surname than the one they signed. You were not putting an address out to tell everyone to spam and flame them, just to show the first red flag you saw, to diminish the complainer's credibility.

    I suppose that by now some blogger employee is getting a promotion for suggesting a new administrative feature to automatically remove "offending" material from the google cache as well as from your blog. After all, google owns blogger, and some nerd could parlay this and get promoted out of the blogger backwater into the nirvana of working for google itself.

    Then they have a new feature to build in to the chinese version of google. They already have the censor option, so that terms offensive to the chinese government are redirected to their own propaganda sites and only those sites. Keeping the cache nice and "clean" would be a saleable upgrade.

    Despite refusing to give surfing statistics to the US government, they provided a censored search version to the chinese government. They say that they did this because the alternative was being blocked by "the great firewall of china" (it's actually called that!). The chinese border gateways to the internet do packet sniffing on outgoing requests and drop any packets with offending words in them. One countermeasure was for users to set the "MTU" for their connection to a small value so the offending words would usually be split into two packets and the packet sniffer would not register a hit. That greatly slows down the connection of course, though the dropped packets slow things down even more, as your browser times out waiting.

    On the slightly brighter side, google is not offering blogger in china, because then they cannot be ordered to provide personal information of users to the government.

    The sad part is, once these features are developed and tested, they never really disappear. It stops being a techical question, and simply a political one, how to find an excuse to sneak this into all versions of google.

    Slightly off topic, but still dealing with freedoms:
    If you do only one politically active thing in your life, it is this: oppose all forms of election ballot counting where you can't see the votes being counted. i.e. voting machines with no printouts. Manual counting of physical ballots allows representatives of each party (scrutineers) to see the count and see if it is fair. Without the secret ballot, fairly counted, all other freedoms are an illusion.


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