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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Spam Review Requires Triage

If you are a fan of any TV medical dramas - or if you have any medical background, you probably know the term "triage".

In a medical setting, triage is applied to conditions where multiple patients are present, and far outnumber the medical staff available to provide immediate treatment. When a "triage" technique is needed, one doctor examines each patient, briefly, and places each in one of three categories.

  1. Immediate care needed, and beneficial.
  2. Immediate care not needed. Treat when cases of #1 priority are complete.
  3. Immediate care not needed, or useful. Treat when cases of #1 and #2 priority are complete.

We have a "triage" dialogue, for spam review. The dialogue uses 3 progressive screenings, to place a blog in one of three Categories.

  1. Spam review needed.
  2. Spam review not needed.
  3. Spam review not beneficial.
Each progressive reply determines what succeeding reply is appropriate.

Prescreening: Request automated spam review.

The triage process, and manual spam review, is most effective when preceded by an owner requested automated review, using the dashboard "Appeal" / "Restore" / "Review" buttons. This is most likely to happen when the blog owner is able to login, using the right account - and will be possible only when the owner account is not deleted or locked.

Category 1: Spam review needed

This category includes blogs that were deleted by Blogger as suspected spam hosts, are being reported by the owner, and are likely to be restored by Blogger Policy Review staff, when presented to them. Blogs in this category will pass all 3 forum screenings.

Category 2: Spam review not needed

Not all deleted blogs were deleted by Blogger, as suspected spam hosts. Blogs may have other status.
  • Deleted by Blogger, for other reasons.
  • Deleted by people, not Blogger.
  • Not deleted, at all.
None of those blogs will benefit from spam review. The 3 forum screenings help us identify blogs in this category.

Category 3: Spam review not beneficial

Not all blogs, deleted by Blogger, will be restored - even if reviewed. The 3 forum screenings help us identify blogs that will not pass review by Blogger Policy Review staff, and give us the clues and details that can help us convince the novice spammers that continuing to publish a given blog - or requesting review of a righteously deleted blog - will not benefit them.

Screening #1

The first screening helps us establish 3 details.
  1. The blog was deleted by Blogger.
  2. The blog is a suspected spam host.
  3. Review is being requested by the owner.
We can deduce these 3 conditions, given two crucial details by the owner.
  • The BlogSpot URL.
  • A screen print of the dashboard "Deleted blogs" list.
A thoughtful blog owner, including both details in the opening post in the topic, will avoid the first screening altogether.
I am sure that this is a frustrating experience - and I thank you for writing here, for advice. Impolite treatment of genuine blogs, however, is an unavoidable side effect of Blogger protecting all Blogger blog owners, against people who will try to misuse the Blogger service.

Please, read the linked articles, and help us to help you. This will give you a better idea of the basic requirements for abuse / malware / spam review.


[FAQ] Does The Blogger Abuse Mitigation Policy Violate The Rights Of The Blog Owners?

Screening #2

The second screening gives the blog owner a chance to review the blog in personal memory, and decide whether the blog may have actually been righteously deleted. It uses a set of FAQs developed jointly by Blogger Support, and Top Contributors.
Malware / Spam Appeal Guidelines - January 2015

If your blog(s) have been unfairly classified as a hacking / malware / porn / spam host, we apologise. Nobody gains, with genuine, non spam Blogger blogs being deleted or locked falsely. Given the fact that automated malware / spam detection is not yet a perfect science, Blogger Support is always willing to investigate any reports of false positive reviews, politely posted here in the forum.


That being said, before you request an appeal, it's worth describing a few examples of what Blogger regularly removes, as part of its zero tolerance policy to abusive / inappropriate content: Read the FAQ, for a list of examples.


[FAQ] What Blog Content Is Considered Abusive, By Google Spam Mitigation Policy?

Done honestly and properly, Screening #2 helps everybody avoid any unnecessary third screening and subsequent review request - and Blogger Policy Review staff, Blogger Support staff, Top Contributors, and blog owners can all spend their time more productively.


Screening #3

The third screening - when content from the blog can be found in search engine cache - gives the helpers and blog owners a chance to jointly examine blog content, structure, and style. We try to determine why the blog may have been deleted, and whether it will be useful to continue - and what details to provide to Blogger Support, that might encourage Blogger Policy Review staff to favourably review the blog, and restore it.
I found a copy of the blog, in cache.


Please examine the copy, by clicking on the link above - and examine screen prints, below. Is that typical blog content?

The Review Request

Having passed all 3 screenings, the blog is passed to Blogger Support with documentation - and subsequently, to Blogger Policy review for final evaluation. Following favourable evaluation, the blog is restored.

This is a long, and seemingly ceremonial process. In reality, it enables best use of available time, with all 4 groups of people involved.

  1. Blog owners.
  2. Blogger Policy Review.
  3. Blogger Support.
  4. Top Contributors.
The triage process will be the most successful, when everybody is polite, prompt, and responsive.

Dude, hit me with a comment!

Angelina Lenahan said...

this is a good read...a medical background; great analogy.

Jim Barton said...

I mistakenly deleted by old blog with nearly 2 million page views without first introducing my new one. I would like to temporarily restore the old one and direct my readers to the new one. There is no link on my dashboard to restore deleted blogs.

I deleted the old blog just a few days ago.

Thanks, Jim