An Important Update

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If you did not use a Blogger / Google account when you Followed this blog, years ago, you are probably not Following now . During the past...

Monday, September 07, 2015

Interstitial Warnings Limit Research Options

Besides the problems discussed, when trying to research ownership or retrieve content from deleted and private blogs, we have problems researching ownership and retrieving content for blogs published behind an interstitial warning.

The interstitial warning is actually one reason why private blogs are so hard to research and to retrieve. Any blog, published behind an interstitial warning, becomes a challenge - both for ownership research, and for content retrieval.

Both ownership research, and content retrieval, are a challenge for deleted, locked, and private blogs.
  • Examining account / blog recovery options.
  • Identifying / verifying blog theft.
  • Analysing objectionable content (adult, malware, spam).

Account / blog recovery options.
Account / blog recovery, in many cases, starts with identifying the current blog owner.

The person claiming to be the owner may complain that the blog has been deleted, but there is no "Restore" option on the dashboard, and no email was received. This happens, many times, because the person reporting the problem is either not the owner - or is logged in using the wrong Blogger account.

Blog theft.
To verify blog theft, one must identify the current owner. In cases where a blog has been stolen, then deleted, historical examination is necessary.

Objectionable content classification.
To diagnose or verify objectionable content, we must examine the blog in question. Adult content can be examined or verified by direct content examination.

If a blog is deleted or locked because of malware or spam classification, this too requires historical content retrieval.

All research starts with content examination.
Examination of content is the key.
  • Direct content examination, in a browser (proxy or text browser, generally).
  • Historical content examination, using a cache retrieval service.
  • Feed examination, for issues involving post content.

Direct examination.
With content that is immediately available, we have several options for viewing. We can use a normal browser, a proxy server, or a text browser. When it's necessary to examine code, the normal browser using the "View Source" option, or the text browser, are useful.

Neither a proxy server or text browser will support the interaction with the interstitial warning. Both the proxy server and text browsers will display the warning - but that's as far as you can go. Clicking on the "Continue" button, no more detail is provided.

When an interstitial warning is present, only direct examination is possible. For hazardous or offensive content, the remaining option of direct examination is not desired.

Historical content retrieval.
When a blog has been deleted or locked, direct examination is not possible. For a deleted / locked blog, or for researching ownership history, cached content retrieval is useful. Old copies of blogs can provide useful clues in researching ownership, and in examining content.

With an interstitial warning involved, many cached images consist only of the interstitial warning. Clicking on the "Continue" button, no more detail is provided.

Feed examination.
For issues which involve post content, and with no other option available, we can sometime use posts feed content, using an in browser feed reader like Feedly. Both offensive content, and spam, can sometimes be viewed in a feed reader. In some cases, this may be the only option available.

There are various interstitial warnings.
An interstitial warning comes from several sources.
  • Content Warning (hazardous / offensive content).
  • Offsite Redirect Warning (incorrectly setup custom domain).
  • Private Blog Warning (limited reader audience).
Each of these warnings present different challenges - but all, when present, affect possible success of ownership research and content retrieval.

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