Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tool of Tooldom

This morning when I went to post something here, I found this:

It offered a link to more information, which led to:
Your blog is locked

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.
The question, "What's a spam blog?" linked to a description of them which I no longer can access.

So, robots detected -- how we are not told -- that my blog had features of a spamblog robot. Robots, detecting characteristics of robots, robotically blocked my blog. I was given an option to enter some code (similar to the comment protection codes), and told that if I complied, a human from Google/Blogger would review the situation. Apparently someone did, because later in the day, there was this:
We received your unlock request on July 18, 2007. On behalf of the robots, we apologize for locking your non-spam blog. Please be patient while we take a look at your blog and verify that it is not spam.

Find out more about how Blogger is fighting spam blogs.

Odd, the apparent willingness to allow that my blog is a nonspam blog before even taking a look at it.

At no point in this intervention was I offered the option to say anything, or to ask any questions, to email or otherwise contact any human. Therefore I'm entirely in the dark about robot detection methods, techniques, and causes. I'm curious to know what suggested to Google/Blogger that my blog was a spambot, given that I moderate comments and do not spam. What sorts of events trigger blocks? One false report? Many? Some algorithmic number? What methods were used to determine I am not a bot? How do they know they were right?

Google/Blogger should take steps to counter robotic blogs. But as in the republic of Venice, which stationed special letter boxes for anonymous accusers to accuse anyone of anything, the robotics of blogware seems a bit obtuse if it can't determine whether a blog is produced by a human or by a robot that often doesn't even use human languages.

Enough about the sorry state of these inhuman speech enabling machines. I'm going to return to the world to revel in authentic lived human experience while I can.


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