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Team Blog Ownership Causes Risk, To All Members

Some blog owners setup blogs, then casually make their friends administrators, without considering the potential risk to their blogs.

From time to time, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, we see reports by former blog owners, who have lost control of their blogs. There are several risks - and not all risks are apparent.
  • Aggressive takeover of the blog, by one administrator.
  • Unintentional self deletion or demotion, by the last active administrator.
  • A team member, causing locking of a team blog.
Any of these scenarios can result in inconvenience to the remaining administrators.

Everybody who is a member of a team blog is at risk from action or misaction by other blog members.

Aggressive takeover of the blog, by one administrator.

One of the saddest cases involves former friends, where one former friend just took over a blog, having been given control of the blog by the other former friend. When somebody willingly gives up control of a blog to somebody else, and is treated rudely by the new owner, the former owner is out of luck.

Blogger will treat the new owner as the rightful owner of the blog - and can do nothing, legally, to assist the former owner.

This scenario can be avoided by only giving trustable friends control of the blog.

Unintentional self deletion or demotion, by the last active administrator.

The former owner may lose control of the blog, accidentally, by misusing the Permissions list. Blogger protects against most accidental loss of control, by having the Permissions list only accept intentional demotions or removals from the list, when there is a second administrator.

If the second administrator is in active, the blog becomes one with no active administrator. The former administrator will still be instructed to contact the other administrator - active or not - to become re instated as an administrator.

This will be the case, too, when the owner (one person) has multiple Blogger accounts - whether intentionally or non intentionally setup.

Blogger cannot distinguish between a team blog, with multiple people involved - or a one person blog, with multiple accounts. Nor can they detect a corporate blog, owned by a recently departed employee. All of these cases are the responsibility of the person(s) involved - intentionally anonymous, or not.

This scenario can be avoided by keeping the Permissions list trimmed, and only include administrators who can serve, actively.

A team member, causing locking of a team blog.

A blog may be deleted or locked when a team member (administrator or author) has her / his Blogger account locked, because of repeated and non repentant abusive action. This may also happen if the team member has his / her Blogger account hacked, whether successfully or not.

In either case, any blogs to which an abusive owner, or a hacking victim, contributes, can be vulnerable to being locked. And all team members will see their dashboard affected - and be able to do nothing, to recover control.

This scenario, too, can be avoided only by being very selective, about team memberships.

In all of the above scenarios, Blogger will be unable to correct the problems for the individual blog owners. It is the responsibility of each blog owner / administrator / author, to be aware of the exposures created by team blog membership - and to take the necessary steps to avoid any problems.

Blogger concentrates on identifying the problem cases, in general - and in developing safeguards which prevent each scenario from causing future problems. They can do nothing about past problems - those can only be resolved by the blog owners, when all relationships between accounts and blogs are considered.


Marsha Savage said…
I read this, but was still unsure what was being said without clicking many other links. If my friend gives me admin duties/abilities on a blog, a particular blog she started but wants to change to a 2-team blog, I felt like you are saying it is not just that one blog she is giving me admin duties on. Am I reading this correctly or not?
Chuck Croll said…

Unwise granting admin access only risks theft of that one blog, regardless of what blogs are owned by other team members.

The multi blog risk involves security lock or maybe spam classification, where a team blog with a hacking victim / spammer can lead to locking of other team member accounts - and blogs owned by other team members.

Some people may report deleted blogs, where they have no "Restore" / "Review" button - because the blog may be locked from another account being security locked / spam classified.
I have a situation like this where I cannot recover the Blogging rights. I had asked a contractor to implement it but he did not use my gmail account and then he dissapeared and I have been unable to recover the URL though the normal recovery tools.

I have a full verified gmail with analytics, webmaster etc.etc. relating to the URL that is relevant for the blogging site. Are there anyone inside Blogger who can help me regain control.
Chuck Croll said…

You are going to need a court order - that you get after you convince a judge that you are (should be) the legal owner. The contractor is the current blog owner.

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