Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Good morning loyal readers!
Doubtless many of you have been wondering where this site went to over the last couple of days, indeed I have received a number of worried emails from some of you expressing concerns about the site's unexpected disappearance from cyberspace.
Well, here we are again, I will now relate to you what happened.
Google's (the owner of Blogger) spam bots claimed that Nanny Knows Best was a spam blog and, believing in the principle of shooting first and asking questions later (instead of the more sensible reverse policy), disabled it and asked me to prove it wasn't spam.
Wouldn't it have been more sensible to ask me first if it was spam, and to say if I don't come back in 3 days or so they will then disable the site?
Having deactivated the site without any warning, I was told by Google that I would have to wait several days for them to reactivate it:
"Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. (What is a spam blog?) Since you are an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy and we sincerely apologise for this false positive.
We received your unlock request on 09 May 2010. On behalf of the robots, we apologise 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 decided that being asked to wait for such a long period of time was not very satisfactory, given that this site has been going for many years and has a real human following etc. Therefore I enlisted your help and asked (via my other sites) for people to drop Google a note prodding them about this.
Oddly enough, for a leading 21st century web company, Google is rather hard to contact directly via email.
Nonetheless I found a number of access points:
- Phone: +44 (0)20-7031-3000
- Fax: +44 (0)20-7031-3001
I also faxed the CEO (Eric Schmidt) in the USA (+1 650-253-0001) about it. Oddly enough, within an hour or so of faxing, the site reappeared as if by magic.
My heartfelt thanks to all of you who wrote in, and helped restore this site.
It is ironic that NKB was shut down, as it campaigns against censorship etc.
To add further irony to the story, my HMRC site (www.hmrcisshite.com) which is also on Google was also temporarily out of action on Sunday. However, it restored itself within a few hours.
However, what was really odd was that my gmail account (another Google product) was disabled by Google on Sunday. They asked me to email them my mobile phone number in order for them to send me a reactivation code.
Is Google trying to tell me something?
Once again many thanks for your support and help during this period of stupidity by Google.