Monday, June 19, 2006

Blogger: How do I loathe you ... Word verification requests require a rapid response

If you are using Google’s Blogger, the world’s most dysfunctional blogging service, you may suddenly find your posts require “word verification”. You have to decipher a graphic and type in the letters.

Beware, if you make too many errors Blogger will decide you are a robot — and your blog will be shut down.

The moment this pestiferous thing you must immediately request a human review of your blog. Trust me, you’ve no time to waste.

Look at your blog in Blogger to figure out the ID number of the blog. Then go to this URL http://www.blogger.com/unlock-blog.g?blogID=123454 where the 123454 should be the ID of your blog. There you will see this page text:

Your blog requires word verification

Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. (What's a spam blog?) Since you're an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive.

Before we can turn off mandatory word verification on your posts we'll need to have a human review your blog and verify that it is not a spam blog. Please fill out the form below to get a review.

Google's splog detection is every bit as awful as their Gmail spam filtering. They miss most of the splogs but this is the 2nd or 3rd time they’ve hit me. Does this look like a splog to you?

I am starting to put Google in the Microsoft class of things …

Update 6/22: It took about 3 days for Google to review the blog and mark it as non-splog.

Update 9/18/06: Now they've marked my special hockey blog as a splog. The above tip no longer works. This tip suggests clicking on the question mark next to the evil word verification captcha:

You can however request Google to turn off mandatory word verification on your posts and have a human review your blog and verify that it is not a spam blog if it is incorrectly classified as spammy. Just click the "?" (question mark) icon next to the word verification on your posting form. That will take you to a page where you can request a review for your blog. A human being at Google will verify that your blog isn't spam, and then whitelist your blog so it no longer has the word verification requirement.

I'll try that next time I get the mark of evil notification.

Update 9/19/06: Interesting. As noted yesterday the form seemed not to work because it didn't do anything, but immediately after my submission the CAPTCHA went away. Maybe Google is doing what I'd posted on somewhere, immediately clearing the splog flag on notification pending human review rather than waiting for review before clearing the flag.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I was reading your page to fix my problem, and it seems that now the ? button just takes you to the help page about word-verification. there is no form for requesting a review... (though the help page says the ? button takes you to that form). Did you have this problem?

John said...

The last time I looked at this, the URL for the question mark contained the string "unlock" and clicking it seemed to cause a rapid review and unlocking of my blog. Weird indeed, since the only user visible action is displaying the help screen.

I've read that the false-splog detection bug has been fixed in the new blogger, but my blogs are too big for me to move them. I have to wait ..

Yanto said...

I also received this just now. I felt quite annoyed with the remark that my blog was a spam. Don't know why. Do free web submissions affect my blog so it became like this? Hope it can back to normal again.