Friday, December 16, 2011

Abuse Reporting - Precision Is Required

Every day, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, we see the complaint
I've been reporting this abuse to Google for a week, and I have yet to see a reply - or a result. What is up with that?
This is possibly somebody who does not know what abuse category to use - or who maybe can't find the right category.

Over a year ago, we learned the difference between Defamation and Impersonation.
  • Defamation (ridicule, slander, trash talk) is a civil offense, and requires that you hire a lawyer.
  • Impersonation (identity theft) is a TOS offense, and can result in termination of an offending blog.

Impersonation is one of eight categories, each well defined. When you report a serious offense, that can have legal consequences - such as Impersonation, which can result in Google terminating an offending blog - your report has to be carefully scrutinised by Google Legal.

Similarly, if you report a blog for publishing private information, the nature of the reported "private" information will be verified. DMCA complaints are handled outside Google - and must be reported with absolute precision, and attention to detail.

If you report one category, because "it was the closest choice that I could find", and Google Legal finds no cause for action, your report gets ignored. If you report the same problem repeatedly, you may go onto a list that you don't want to be on.

The bottom line here - if you have a problem, make sure that your problem fits the chosen category, accurately. Don't just guess, here - you won't get anything out of the experience, except frustration.

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