Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blame It On The Fuzz

Every day in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, we see the demurrals.
Having read the definition of a spam blog, I fail quite to see how my blog can fall into this category.
and
My blog is not spam! It is nowhere near spam!!
all reports, such as these, are coming from people who don't know about fuzzy logic.

You spend a lot of time publishing, and publicising, your blog. You want a blog that's interesting, innovative, up to date, and / or useful - and you want readers who appreciate your effort.

Spammers are very innovative, and they constantly adapt their product.

The police cannot stop arresting people - for fear that they might arrest innocent people. Similarly, Blogger cannot stop classifying blogs - even given the possibility that some blogs may not be righteously classified. The general real world population deserves to live in an environment with lass criminals - and the general Internet population deserves to surf in an environment with less spam content.

The typical spammer doesn't worry about content that's interesting, innovative, up to date, and / or useful, he just wants content that looks like it's legitimate. All that the spammer has to do is find your blog, scrape the content and put it into his blog, and then add the spam to his blog. Voila! A splog that looks legitimate!!

To keep up with the ever changing splog tactics, Blogger has to constantly adapt their abusive blog detection process. Blogger finds a typical malware / porn / spam host, extracts the content - which may include content stolen from your blog - and adds the content to their database. Then they look for more blogs like the one just detected.

Along with finding other blogs from the spammer, they are going to find your blog. And they will label your blog as a suspected abusive host - and there is another false positive.

Some splogs won't be detected by Blogger. If the splogger just scraped content from a new blog, with totally different content or style, Blogger may not notice the spam inside the content. They will overlook new content - and there is another false negative.

The more Blogger reduces false negatives, the more they will increase false positives. That's without any additional effort from the spammers.

If the successful fuzzy detection interferes with the spammers bank accounts, the spammers simply activate more botted computers, re double their publishing activity, and there will be more splogs - and more false negatives - for a while. The spammers like their jobs, and their paychecks. You don't want them to take a cut in pay, do you?

The fuzzy detection process, plus ever increasing spammer activity, ensures that there will always be more false negatives and false positives. The "My blog is not spam" forum reports won't be going away, within this lifetime.

>> Top

15 comments:

The Job Seekers Union said...

"there will always be more false negatives and false positives". So why the shoot first, ask questions later approach? If the Google Robots are unable to identify spam blogs with any degree of accuracy they should not be relied upon. Genuine bloggers should not be treated in this manner.

Abhinav the Prince said...

but how to reduce such false positives?
plz help

Chuck said...

how to reduce such false positives?

Considering the numbers, the FP rate really is not all that bad! The only real way to reduce the FP rate would be to kill all of the spammers.

Chuck said...

So why the shoot first, ask questions later approach? If the Google Robots are unable to identify spam blogs with any degree of accuracy they should not be relied upon.

From my participation in the spam review process, I have noted the initial classification process as being at least 98% accurate. Adding in the review process, it's better than 99% accurate.

I'm sure that the folks who make up the 1% or so, from 98% to 99%, are justifiably frustrated. Considering the fact that, for every dissatisfied 1% genuine blogger, there are 99 spam blogs successfully terminated, that's not really a huge price to pay.

And many genuine bloggers are benefitting from spam classification, as their blogs are now able to be indexed in the many search engines outside Google, and to have their URL sent through many email systems without being filtered as spam.

And finally, I have noted that much of the griping about spam classification and interdiction comes from confirmed spammers, who are lamenting the rude termination of their trips down Easy Street, made on the backs of genuine bloggers. Gobble, Gobble.

Poep Sa Frank Jude said...

So where the hell do I find how to actually get my blog back????? I am not spam! It says there's a four-step process, but I read the articles and do not see any clear instructions!

Faisal said...

Dear Chank,

My blog was hit by false characteristics of a spam blog on 28 Sep 2010 I put one review request on same day but no action was taken by Blogger on 5 Oct I submit my question on blogger help desk and get reply how to restore my blog and put one review appeal with another review request but still did not get any response from Blogger my blog still unaccessible. I will very appropriated if you help me out and get my blog back.
my blog ID is www.freeclassifiedlinks.blogspot.com Please Help me

Chuck said...

Faisal,

Spam deletions / locks have to be reported and processed in BHF: Something Is Broken.

Have you posted there? If so, do you have the URL of your post?

Randizzle14 said...

Can somebody please help me my Blog was blocked for no reason - I do not spam all i do is post Sports info : URL: Gamblersfinalword.blogspot.com

theanythingplace said...

Good helpful post, thanks for the information!

Don Fox said...

@altafox
Tks for the information but I still do not see anyway for a person to correct the problem? We have to trust our Advertisers Adsense included and articles are all received Private Label Rights which I leave intact with author posted...

Filomenasblogs said...

How do I know my blog have spam? my blog don't have any flag or sign that says spam so I dont know if was taken by spamers or got deleted (www.weddingideasbyfilomena.com

Chuck said...

Filomena,

You have to post your report in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, so your blog can be reviewed. That's the long and short answer.

AiresOFwar said...

Haha never a dull moment with spam blogs! I swear one of these spammers will hunt you down one day :P

Dr Sonia S V said...

Such a useful article which helps the lay man understand things so well. Thank You

forecastball said...

Good helpful post, thanks for the information!