Saturday, March 05, 2011

Conflict Issues Won't Always Be Resolved In Your Favour, Nor Immediately

Recently, we're noting a few angry complaints from people who may or may not be "bloggers" (owners or readers of Blogger blogs).
I reported blog "xxxxxxx.blogspot.com" for impersonating me repeatedly, but Google is ignoring me!
and multiple complaints about the same blog
Why is blog "xxxxxxx.blogspot.com" not being removed by Blogger? We demand its immediate removal!
These bloggers show no understanding about the need for jurisprudence, nor for the concept of two sides to every story.

If you report a problem blog to Blogger, using either the "DMCA Violation" complaint form, or the "Report Abuse" wizard, you are creating one half of a legal conflict. The other half of the conflict is the target of the complaint, or the publisher of the offending blog. In a legal description, you (and others agreeing with you) become the "prosecution", and the target of your complaint becomes the "defendant".

Blogger / Google becomes the equivalent of the "court" or "judge". Blogger / Google, as a USA Corporation, is bound by several legal principles, in deciding a dispute which you originate.
  • Due process of law.
  • Freedom of speech.
  • Innocence until proven guilty.

Blogger and Google are concerned with your well being, and they are equally concerned with the other guys well being. They can't take immediate action, without examining both sides of the issue. They may start from your complaint, but require more than your word, before attacking a possibly innocent blogger. If you were being Joe Jobbed by another blogger, you would appreciate the same attention to your rights.

With a DMCA Violation Complaint, for instance, there is the "DMCA Counter Claim" procedure, where the owner of any blog faced with a DMCA complaint is guaranteed the right to respond, and / or to make things right. If Google Legal decides that your complaint has no standing, they will probably ignore you. If Google Legal decides that your complaint has standing, they will inform the defendant, and give the defendant an amount of time to respond / resolve the problem. In the latter case, you will have to wait, patiently, for a response / resolution.

A Blogger in house Abuse Report will be handled similar to a DMCA Violation Complaint, except that it's scope is more versatile - there are several categories of Abuse, none equivalent to DMCA Violation - and its processing is less formal. In house Abuse Reports apply only to Blogger blogs / Google hosted content, and the resolution procedure probably does not involve the formal procedure which governs DMCA Violation Complaint resolution.

In both cases, though, Blogger / Google / external organisations will impartially decide the merits of your complaint, and give the defendant an equal say in the matter. You will not see any change immediately (if the ruling is in your favour), or at all (if the ruling is not in your favour). And accumulating mass volumes of complaints, from other people who agree with you, won't necessarily influence the decision.

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5 comments:

Holly Ruggiero said...

I just sent in request for action. I sent one last week, but changed my blog URL this week so I sent in a second request, telling them why I sent another request.

This time I received an automated response to request, last time I didn't. I’ve sent in another request (different problem) but no automated response.

So, here is my question. If I didn’t get a auto-response does that me the form didn’t go through?

Chuck said...

Holly,

It's marginally possible that the form did not go though. It's also possible that the form did go through, and it's sitting in another queue, which is managed by a different Blogger / Google staff member. A third, less tasteful possibility is covered by this article - your request may not be actionable.

For my money, it would be "b" or "c".

Holly Ruggiero said...

Since the email they sent for the first one said “got it and you may or may not hear from us again depending on who we handle it” I suspect A or B as well. I'll give a day or two to see if it got stuck in queue then try again.

Thanks.

cookie said...

Google is really getting me upset it's unfair that someone must write all kind of nasty things and google won't do anything about it.

Chuck Croll said...

cookie,

With all due respect to your being offended, if Google was to delete a post every time somebody got offended by that post, there would be a lot less Blogger hosted content - and Google Legal would have to employ a lot more people to evaluate the complaints and submit the deletions.

This is what governmental courts are for. Google is not a governmental court.