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Abuse Reporting Is Not For Deleting Your Lost Blog

Sometimes, people lose control of their blog, with no ability to regain control - and simply want the blog deleted.
How do I have Blogger delete the blog, for me, since I can't prove ownership?

When advised that Blogger does not delete blogs on behalf of former owners, the next thought by the former owner is to have the blog deleted as abuse.
What category of Abuse should I use, to have a previously owned blog, deleted?

While not intentionally fraudulent, this approach is still misuse of the Abuse Reporting process.

The Abuse Reporting process is properly used to report blogs owned by another party, for TOS Violations.

Abuse categories are pretty complete, and specific.

Blogger currently provides the Blogger Help: Report inappropriate content form, which has specific categories of abuse.
  • Someone is copying my content or other legal concerns
  • Promotion of regulated goods and services
  • Hate speech, violent, or crude content
  • Harassment or bullying
  • Child safety, nudity, or adult content
  • Someone is posting my private information, or explicit content of me without my consent
  • Someone is pretending to be me
  • Someone is pretending to be a company or organization
  • Spam
  • Phishing
  • Malware
All of those categories refer to content published by another person. Nothing there is for reporting a blog previously owned, with control lost by negligence.

"Lost control of blog" is not abuse, it's negligence.

Whatever the loss of control, it's yours to correct.
  • Corporate blog, control lost.
  • Personal blog, control lost.
  • Team blog, control stolen.
None of these scenarios warrant abuse / TOS violation reports.

Misuse of DMCA violation process has financial and legal penalties.

Note a very specific warning, about misuse of the DMCA Violation complaint.
Please note that you will be liable for damages (including costs and attorneys' fees) if you materially misrepresent that a product or activity is infringing your copyrights. Indeed, in a recent case (please see for more information), a company that sent an infringement notification seeking removal of online materials that were protected by the fair use doctrine was ordered to pay such costs and attorneys fees. The company agreed to pay over $100,000. Accordingly, if you are not sure whether material available online infringes your copyright, we suggest that you first contact an attorney.

You need to accept responsibility - and not abuse the abuse mitigation process.

If your company publishes a blog, you are responsible for retaining control of the blog, as with any corporate asset. If you lose control of a corporate asset, you don't contact the vendor, and demand that they delete the asset that you lost. Your problem is with the current owner - whether it's a civil or criminal issue, it's not the responsibility of the vendor to correct an ownership problem.

If the blog was personally yours, and you forgot the account name and / or password, it's your responsibility to regain control.

If the blog was under team ownership, and another team member stole the blog, your problem is with the former team member. If the team member was (righteously or spuriously) classified as a non repentant spammer, you may have to get the blog reviewed, to regain control.

Improper abuse reports are not useful.

Bogus abuse reports accomplish nothing. Blogger Policy Review team members verify abuse reports, as submitted, in an ongoing effort to avoid falsely accusing righteous blog owners of publishing abusive content.

When you misuse the abuse reporting process, as you fraudulently try to get your non abusive blog deleted, all that you are doing is delaying a righteous policy review. Somebody else has to wait, yet one more day, for their non abusive blog to be restored - or to have a genuinely abusive blog deleted.

Since the spam filters are heuristic (learn as they go), your fraudulent spam report, if successful, may cause an improper filter update. Somebody else, righteously publishing a blog similar to yours, may be falsely accused - and may suffer a side effect of bogus spam classification.

Your final recourse is legal - and requires financial involvement.

If you believe that you can prove your right to control (or delete) the blog, you may hire a lawyer, and have a judge certify your identity. None of these cases can be resolved, using abuse / TOS violation reporting.

Just please, don't misuse the "Report inappropriate content" form!


Rebekah said…
I'm sorry to be a bother, and I swear I've tried to find the answer online by searching the blogger help forums and this blog (which is super helpful). I would be so grateful for a reply. This post states that group blogs and the control of them aren't the problem of Blogger, and I understand that. I don't want control. However, having just been 'kicked out' of a group blog, I've asked the authors to remove my posts, which are also on my personal blog. These posts are duplicates of my own blog. The authors declined to remove my posts. Is this not copyright infringement? They do not have my permission to keep my writing on their blog. Thank you so much for all of this helpful information and for taking the time to read this. If this question has been answered elsewhere, I apologize.
Chuck Croll said…

I am not a lawyer, but if you published content, willingly, on somebody else's blog, then your having simply been "kicked out" probably does not entitle you to claim copyright infringement.

That's MHO - but a good lawyer might have some ideas for you.

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