Blogger Cannot Provide Advance Warning Of Deletion

One of the more intriguing tales, in the never ending saga of malware and spam interdiction, would have to be the confusion about the proper procedure for deleting or locking blogs, when suspected of hosting malware or spam. We periodically see, as part of a "Please unlock my blog!" request in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, the naive suggestion.
It would be better if Blogger Support had immediately alerted me of this problem, before deleting my blog!
The irony here is that, from a purely "customer service" viewpoint, I have to concur with the principle here.

It would be better, if Blogger Support could do this. Like many "it would be better" observations, this is probably never going to happen.

What would happen, if Blogger were to provide advance notification of any malware / spam classification? Many spammers would certainly appreciate this option - to remove the dodgy content, before the blog is deleted or locked. The typical spammer would have several options.
  1. Remove the dodgy content, immediately.
  2. Copy the entire blog to a second blog in the spam blog farm, and wait until receiving advance notification for that blog. Lather, rinse, repeat.
  3. Possibly, do nothing. Later, claim indignantly
    I never got the notification!
    and hope that the kind souls at Blogger Support would give him another chance, since he had not been properly warned.

Option #1, used wisely, could even be used to "map" out the current spam mitigation strategy, and let spammers publish hundreds of spam blogs, staying below the radar. Essentially, we would see self whitelisting of spammy blogs. What spammer would not go for that, in a second?

Besides the spammers benefiting hugely from advance notification, not all genuine blog owners would benefit. Not every blog owner uses a properly registered Blogger account, or will read email from Blogger Support.

So, we have two downsides to the option of advance notice.
  • Spammers would love it.
  • Not every non spammer would appreciate it.
I, for one, don't see an upside - or certainly not any upside with benefit to counter the downsides.

In Utopia, there would be no spammers, and no need for any of this. Unfortunately, the Internet will never be part of Utopia.

Comments

D.B. Echo said…
Sounds like a good reminder for everybody to be backing-up their blog content. It seems like, given sufficient time, every blog might eventually be declared (rightly or wrongly) a malware or spam host. I suppose ultimately the problem could be eliminated by deleting every blog, everywhere.
Chuck Croll said…
D.B,

If the blog content is all that comprises the blog, then a simple backup is a good solution.

But backing up the entire blog - including the accessories, layout, and URL - is another task. Don't make a backup, without knowing how you will use the backup.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2006/03/backup-your-blog.html