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Malware Classification, And Country Code Redirection

We're seeing a few complaints, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about overly aggressive malware classification.

Many of the complaints are from blog owners who only want to publish their blogs without fear of side effects from the latest controversial feature, Country Code Alias Redirection.

Spurious malware / spam detection is a painful topic to discuss - and it's even more so when the question of country code alias redirection is discussed. Like auto pagination long ago, country code alias redirection appears to be another case of Google manipulating its customers, maliciously. If you consider this issue from the viewpoint of Blogger blogs in general, though, you may see the full picture.

Blogger blogs, like the Internet, need to be available to all countries in the world, without fear of censorship.

Redirection allows specific blogs to be blocked in specific countries.

Country Code Alias Redirection allows Blogger to selectively disable any single blog, in any single country. This selective disabling will, eventually, eliminate the need of any country government to block the entire Blogger service, in their country, because of a few culturally or politically insensitive blogs.

Country Code Alias Redirection is a righteous feature in Blogger blogs. Like many new Google features, it was added before every Internet service was made able to support it. Country Code Alias Redirection uses an Internet standard - not a Google proprietary feature - the canonical URL tag.

If you look at the header in this blog, you can see an example of a canonical URL tag.

<link href='' rel='canonical'/>

That's the tag for this article, for instance.

Some non Google features and services don't support Blogger Redirection.

Some Blogger blog owners find that Country Code Alias Redirection causes problems, with some accessories on their blog. Some owners have added anti redirection code to their blogs, so the accessories on their blogs continue to work.

Country Code Alias Redirection may not work with every third party provided blog accessory or Internet service - because all Internet services, and third party accessory providers, do not support canonical URL tags.

Just because some services are not up to date with all Internet features (like Country Code Alias Redirection), this does not mean that it should not be used. The delinquent services need to be encouraged to update their code, as necessary.

Blogs which block redirection are classified as malware hosts.

Some blogs, which block Country Code Alias Redirection, are being spuriously detected as malware hosts - and this is more controversy.

The anti redirection code looks like malware - because that same code is used by spammers, to abuse the Blogger service. To not classify blogs attempting to disable Country Code Alias Redirection, would require the malware classifier to identify the intent of the blog owner - and would make malware detection more complicated.

Since Country Code Alias Redirection is a righteous feature, it's possible that anti redirection code actually should be treated as malware - even though the blog owners, adding the code to their blogs, may not consider this to be the case.

We need to discourage blocking of redirection, for everybody's benefit.

Those of us who are concerned with detection and removal of malware and spam from the Internet, in general, know that malware and spam is like a cancer - if you don't remove what you see, it's only going to get worse.

To allow anti redirection code to be installed in some Blogger blogs, will encourage other blog owners to do the same - and will inhibit the effects of Country Code Aliasing. Also, it will allow some hackers and spammers to do likewise, without fear of detection. None of these possibilities is good for Blogger blogs, in general.

Your blog may now be locked, because of redirection blocking code,

If you installed anti redirection code in your blog some time ago, your blog was just locked as a suspected malware host. and you are now anxiously waiting for malware review while your blog remains offline, we're sorry for you. But you are not being abused by Blogger - nor is your malware classification unfair.

Remove the anti redirection code, on your blog - now, while you are able. Encourage the providers of third party accessories and Internet services to update their code. And don't allow or encourage hackers and spammers to abuse Blogger blogs, or the Internet in general. Please.


I had added this code, having been unaware of the implications, but removed it a little while ago. However my UK blog is still showing as .com

I have checked my template code and can see nothing remaining there that might be causing this.

Please can you advise what I should do next. Thank you.
Chuck Croll said…

Your blog needs the "all-head-content" entry, for many different reasons. The canonical tag is just one.

What your blog does not need is scripts which cancel the CC redirect.
Thanks Chuck :)

I'm still learning here. I have removed the script as I say, but I still seem to have the CC redirect cancelled. I've seen others reporting the same. It's all very confusing.
Chuck Croll said…

What country do you live in - and what's the URL of the blog?
Andrea Borman said…
There is one other way round this. That is if you type in your Blogspot URL then add/ncr at the end it redirects you to not which I hate.

Then you don't get that problem. You can also do this on your Facebook profile ETC and no one will see the ncr at the end and it goes straight to Blogspot.Com.
Problem solved!
Andrea Borman.
Chuck Croll said…

Using the "/ncr" suffix is an interesting alternative. However,
1. Your readers may not know about that choice.
2. If you understand the purpose of CC alias redirection, you'll see that blocking redirection is not actually a good idea.

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