Friday, August 1, 2008

Why We Need to Read Items Written by Complete Dunces

I first heard the news via a Blogger Status post this afternoon.

Some blogs have been mistakenly marked as spam. Affected users are not able to post to their blog and received an email indicating Blogger classified their blog as spam. We are actively working to correct the issue.

Then I read something from Blogger Buzz:

We've noticed that a number of users have had their blogs mistakenly marked as spam, and wanted to sound off real quick to let you know that, despite it being Friday afternoon, we are working hard to sort this out. So to those folks who have received an email saying that your blog has been classified as spam and can't post right now, we offer our sincere apologies for the trouble.

A couple of hours later, I was able to successfully post in both of my Empoprises blogs, so I thought nothing of it.

Tonight, after theatre, I was checking my Google Reader feeds, and I ran across two very similar posts. The first post I read was written by Syd of Front Sight, Press. Let's just say that Syd isn't heading up his local Obama for President office.

A number of gun bloggers have suddenly found their blogs locked to new posts and then they receive a form letter from Blogger saying that they are suspected of being a “spam site.” (This is kind of funny to me since there are thousands of real spam blogs on Blogger that they never seem to do anything about.) Anyway, this has resulted in a mass exodus of gun blogs off of Blogger to other hosting options.

Meanwhile, Sharon Cobb wrote a post that also landed in my Google Reader feed. Let's just say that Sharon isn't heading up her local McCain for President office.

On Thursday China announced it would unblock the blocked sites on the Internet. To do that, they needed Google's help, because Google helped them block many sites to begin with. Then the next thing we all know, thousands of sites are down, many of them political or controversial websites.

It was only later that Syd discovered that his initial assumption wasn't correct:

Say Uncle pointed out here that a number of lefty blogs have also been locked by Blogger, so it seems to be an equal opportunity screw-up rather than a focused effort to silence gun blogs.

But why did Syd and Sharon come to the initial conclusion that this was not an accident?

Possibly because of what they read. Maybe not, and I'm maybe reading too much into this. But it's human nature that we read things that we like to read. So I bet that if I had heard about a lot of Christian blogs being tagged as spam before I had read Google's message, I probably would have come to the conclusion that Google was serving their master Satan. You know, like that other company was alleged to have done.

And, my friends, this is yet another reason why we absolutely must read blogs that we don't agree with. Heck, when my Google Reader feeds include both America Needs Fatima and Canterbury Tales from the Fringe (both, incidentally, Blogger blogs), then you know that anything that happened to both blogs would probably not be because of their (in this case religious) views.

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