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Non Existent Blog Feeds, Replaced By Mysterious Content, On Our Reading Lists

Periodically, we see reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about hijacked blogs. Sometimes, the reports come from blog owners (or former blog owners) who cannot now control (or publish) their blogs - or maybe who report mysterious content on their blogs. Other times, the reports come from people who report mysterious and unwanted content in their Reading List (Google Reader) displays.

Of the latter group, many are being found to have earlier Followed blogs owned by people who are naively trying to attract random readers to their blogs, and who overlook the reason for having blog feeds in general. Different Followers would report seeing multiple streams of randomly changing content in their Reading Lists.

Recently, we've gotten reports from people who are seeing a single, and unique hijacker in their Reading Lists - producing consistent streams of duplicated, repetitive content. This does not appear to involve blog owners, naively misusing the Post Feed Redirect.

Some time ago, we explored a mysterious scenario, of people unsuccessfully trying to setup a blog feed gadget, who reported a mythical "Net-Temps Job Search Feed" displayed in their "Configure Feed" display. It appears that Blogger fixed the condition which caused the "Configure Feed" gadget to display the mythical "Net-Temps Job Search Feed".

Now, people who Follow blogs lacking a feed, or who Subscribe to blogs with no feed, are not seeing an error message - they are simply seeing an unwanted feed in their Blog Feed gadget or Reading List / Google Reader displays.

If you are seeing mysterious, repetitive, and unwanted content in your Reading List / Google Reader display, take some time and diligently check each individual feed. Instead of finding one or two blogs which are using an inappropriately redirected feed, you may find multiple entries referencing non existent feeds. Blogs that you were legitimately Following may now be producing no feed.
  • Blogs that have been deleted.
  • Blogs that are now private.
  • Blogs that simply have the feed disabled.
Any of these blogs, viewed en masse, may now be producing a single, repetitive stream of mysterious and unwanted content. This will possibly be more likely with homogenous and large Followed communities.

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