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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Spam Review Requires Ownership Verification

Part of the spam review process involves verifying that a spam review request is needed.

Not every blog owner understands the reason for not requesting spam review, needlessly. A blog has to be owned under the Google account being used, and locked as a suspected spam host, for a spam review to be useful.

A spam review, when properly conducted, starts with the "Restore" / "Review" buttons, in the "Deleted blogs" section of the personal Blogger dashboard. As of December 2014, the "Restore" / "Review" buttons are not working for everybody - and this is causing some confusion.

Dashboard restore / review requests, when submitted by the owner using the buttons in "Deleted blogs", provide two functions.
  • They provide some level of convenience, to the owner.
  • They provide some level of assurance, to the owner and to Blogger Support, that the blogs need spam review.

The buttons provide convenience to the blog owner, because the owner can initiate a restore (for a blog that they was previously deleted, within 90 days), or request automated review (of blogs deleted by Blogger, for suspected TOS violations). This allows the owner to recover a deleted or locked blog, without spending time in Blogger Help Forums.

The buttons provide assurance to the blog owner, and to Blogger Support, that no blog deleted, by Blogger or the owner, will be released by request of someone other than the owner. The appropriate button, for any deleted blog, is only present on the dashboard of the legal blog owner, who can then initiate restore or review.

There are several cases, which don't require a spam review.
  • The blog was deleted, as a suspected spam host, but under another account.
  • The blog was deleted, because this account was locked, as a hacking victim.
  • The blog was deleted, because another account was locked, as a hacking victim.
  • The blog was deleted, because another account was locked, for a TOS Violation.
Only one specific case requires a spam review.
  • The blog in question was deleted or locked as a suspected spam blog, and is owned by the Google account being used to request restore / review.

All other cases, which involve deleted or locked blogs, result in the owner waiting for Blogger Policy Review to return a verdict that they can't review a blog that was not deleted as a suspected spam host. Blogger Policy Review works from a long queue - and if we refer problems to them, that they cannot resolve, their queue gets longer.

Ownership verification starts with the owner supplying a screen print of "Deleted blogs". The screen print is inconvenient for the owner - and for the helpers in Blogger Support Forum, who must carefully verify that spam review is required - but it's a necessary inconvenience. This happens only when the owner is able and willing to cooperate, and provide a usable screen print.

Verifying ownership is a righteous task - even if it makes the spam review preliminaries longer, and seemingly pedantic.

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