May 14, 2011

"If Ann wanted to sue people who falsely reported her blog as a spam-blog, could she make Google cough up their information?"

"I think the answer is yes."

Says lawprof Glenn Reynolds, contemplating the possibility that Google removed my blog because, as a longtime reader/former Google employee wrote:
Blogger lets users report spam blogs here...

so one possibility is that people who don’t like Ann’s blog launched an astroturf campaign to get her marked as spam.

59 comments:

etbass said...

And I think she should go after the perp.

Pogo said...

Just wait until they control your healthcare, and not just your blog.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Yes, some sunshine seems to be in order here.

bagoh20 said...

Cruel neutrality is a triple edged sword.

America's Politico said...

Prof., I have mentioned this before. How do you archive? This issue (with a bad person - a liberal hypocrite - who led the spam) created your blog problem. In future, there can be a disaster (let us hope not) and you lose everything. Then in future there will be a Women's Studies Student at UW wanting to study/re-interpret a famous professor of using a blog, then she will not have access to your blog/data/records. This will prevent you from becoming famous like Susan Sontag. I suggest you make a plan on records-management of your blog. UW library people may have tips.

But, this helpful advice does not change the fact that there is no way in hell that Obama/Biden will not easily win everywhere in 2012. GOP is a losing party due to lack of vision, lack of deliverables, lack of diversity, lack of everything....

EnigmatiCore said...

By the way, Althouse, if this 'transcript' that Patterico put together from what you got at gmail (link) has every comment that was mailed to you, then Google's gmail service did not mail you every one of the comments that he was squelching. Perhaps if he nuked them fast enough, you would not get a mail sent?

edutcher said...

Keep in mind the little twerp that said he was going to run Ann and Meade out of Madison for reporting the truth during the union protests (it may be no accident the archives aren't back, although I think Insta copied the post).

Somebody could have taken him up on it.

Brennan said...

This is basically the problem with anonymous reporting of anything that can lead to any change. There is no accountability for a false flag?

Digg, Reddit, or Google: it need not matter the host, they all use a zero accountability approach to groupthink or the organized efforts to supress the views of people they disagree with.

It is science fiction come to life.

AllenS said...

The astroturfer campaign would be just another version of Journolist. They're the same type of people. Maybe the same people.

AJ Lynch said...

Check to see if Ritmo and Kloppy and Mary and the WI Union protestors have alibis....jeesh come to think of it, you have a lot of possible enemies.

windbag said...

I'm not usually conspiratorially minded, but the thought did cross my mind that this was the proverbial baseball-on-the-front-lawn.

Shouting Thomas said...

Doesn't blogger have a backup feature that allows you to download all your postings to your desktop?

Typepad does.

Of course, backing up is something people kind of neglect to do, little realizing that that once in a lifetime disaster will inevitably strike.

It's like backing up the hard drive of your computer. Nobody thinks of doing it, because the hard drive works perfectly until it fails about 3 to 5 years into the life of the computer.

laddy said...

I still think the blog was disappeared mainly due to the maintenance update fiasco. There were lots of other bloggers complaining in the help forum about their missing blogs at the same time. Our lovable nitecruzr was only parroting his usual replies for bloggers complaining about their missing blog. He likely was clueless about anything actually going on in the cloud. Would you trust nitecruzr with real information? Didn't think so.

victoria said...

NO, i just think it was an functional error. I know of at least 2 other blogs, one devoted to fashion and decorating, that went down the same time. Ann, if you think a New York decorator with ties to LA fashion is subversive, well OK.

Vicki from PAsadena

Brennan said...

The cloud is supposed to be the earth mother gaia end all maximum collaboration minimal carbon impact free speech mecca. The backup is "trust us".

We're all Flounder now.

Henry said...

I suspect that there are people who report Althouse as spam. Probably every major blog gets reported sooner or later by disgruntled losers.

But I also suspect that Althouse went down purely from technical issues. Apply incompetent Google admins facing a system-wide failure to the recovery of a single blog with huge archives and it's easy to see how they screwed up getting Althouse back online. (My reading of the idiot forum guy is that he was repeating boilerplate "help" with no analysis of the actual problem.)

This is all supposition. But if I'm correct and Glenn Reynolds is correct then Althouse could make Google cough up information on any losers who attempted to shut her down even if Google never acted on that information.

And Google deserves it. They have granted themselves authority for shutting down "spam" blogs (for justifiable reasons) while distributing responsibility for identifying such blogs to weasels and screws.

Time for a new host.

AlphaLiberal said...

Wow. This is some paranoid stuff. You do know there was a widespread Blogger outage, right? Eschaton was also knocked out for two days. A lot of blogs were knocked out so why assume a conspiracy?

There are news stories about how other blogs were knocked out. The cloud failed.

A widespread blogger outage is not a ruse to "Get Althouse." I'm a little worried for you, Ann.

No, I know nothing about Blogger spam reporting, let alone a campaign. People do have lives...

Oligonicella said...

I've been rabid anti-cloud /. commenter from the start. Trust your data to someone else and it gets trashed. Not just Blogger, but other high-profile cloud failures recently. Bad idea.

Take your data into your own hands, folks.

Fen said...

Alpha, how would you know if other people have lives? You spend your days in your mommy's basement trolling Althouse.

AllenS said...

You need to at least kick nitecruzr in the nuts. Blogger sucks. Google isn't trustworthy.

PatCA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shouting Thomas said...

I hate to sound paranoid, but...given the fact that the law school has already made a statement condemning you (not by name but everybody knows it's you) and given your involvement in the Battle for Madison, I think someone is out to get you, or at least your job.

Link please!

Too many jims said...

I wonder if Prof. Reynolds gives "yes" or "no" questions on his exams. I realize that is his blogging style but it is why I prefer Prof. Althouse's place to his; she often gives a reason for why she believes somethnig.

Also, I think a reference to Hanlon's Razor (never ascribe to malice that which can more easily be explained by incompetence) is in order. Which isn't to say one shouldn't look for and expose such malice if it exists.

edutcher said...

Alpha needs to shut up and do some reading. The blog was down far longer than just about anyone else and the archives are still missing.

He also conveniently forgets all the threats made against Ann and Meade.

But, of course, those were all Lefties doing that.

EDH said...

File suit to obtain discovery. RIAA established one methodology.

EX PARTE DISCOVERY -- THE "JOHN DOE" PHASE.

Procedure...

A lawsuit is brought against a group of "John Does". The location of the lawsuit is where the corporate headquarters of the internet service provider (ISP) is located...

The "John Does" may live -- and usually do live -- hundreds or thousands of miles away from the City where the lawsuit is pending, and are not even aware that they have been sued.

The RIAA is aware that most of the defendants do not live in the state, and are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Court, but bring the case anyway...

The only "notice" the "John Does" get is a vague letter from their ISP, along with copies of an ex parte discovery order and a subpoena, indicating that an order has already been granted against them: i.e., instead of receiving notice that the RIAA is applying for an order, they instead are notified that they have already lost the motion, without ever even having known of its existence.

They are not given copies of (i) the summons and complaint, (ii) the papers upon which the Court granted the ex parte discovery order, or (iii) the court rules needed to defend themselves, all of which are normally provided to defendants in federal lawsuits. Most recipients of this "notice" do not even realize that it means that there is a lawsuit against them. None of the recipients of the "notice" have any idea what they are being sued for, or what basis the Court had for granting the ex parte discovery order and for allowing the RIAA to obtain a subpoena.

They are told they have a few days, or maybe a week or two, to make a motion to quash the subpoena. But if they were to talk to a lawyer they could not give the lawyer an iota of information as to what the case is about, what the basis for the subpoena is, or any other details that would permit a lawyer to make an informed decision as to whether a motion to quash the subpoena could, or could not, be made. What is more, the lawyer would have to be admitted to practice in the jurisdiction in which the ex parte case is pending, in order to do anything at all.

In other words, except for lawyers who are knowledgeable about the RIAA tactics, no lawyer could possibly have any suggestions that would enable "John Doe" to fight back.

So "John Doe" of course defaults. Then the John Doe "case" may drag on for months or even years, with the RIAA being the only party that has lawyers in court to talk to the judges and other judicial personnel.

The RIAA -- without notice to the defendants -- makes a motion for an "ex parte" order permitting immediate discovery. ("Ex parte" means that one side has communicated to the Court without the knowledge of the other parties to the suit. It is very rarely permitted, since the American system of justice is premised upon an open system in which, whenever one side wants to communicate with the Court, it has to give prior notice to the other side, so that they too will have an opportunity to be heard.)...

The "ex parte" order would give the RIAA permission to take "immediate discovery" -- before the defendants have been served or given notice -- which authorizes the issuance of subpoenas to the ISP's asking for the names and addresses and other information about their subscribers, which is information that would otherwise be confidential.

In the United States the courts have been routinely granting these "ex parte" orders, it appears. (Not so in other countries.)...

Once an ex parte order is granted, the RIAA issues a subpoena to the ISP, and gets the subscriber's name and address.

Oligonicella said...

Actually, I just think Althouse's blog was simply caught up in a grand feminist scheme to shut down Dr. Helen's blog.

AlphaLiberal said...

I rediscovered this blog from a post at BalloonJuice about Althouse assuming the Blogger was out to get her. Ann's becoming a spectacle with this persecution complex.

Maguro said...

I would think that if there were an organized spam campaign to shut down your blog, someone would be bragging about having done it by now.

"Look how badass we are, we took down Althouse's free speech cesspool with spam reports! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!"

There's little point in pulling such a stunt unless you take the credit as well. After all, the real point is not so much to shut down you as it is to intimidate others. Remember how proud they were when they shouted down Sarah Palin in Madison? Surely if a group of anti-Althousians did this on purpose, they'd be spiking the football somewhere on the internet by now.

Shouting Thomas said...

Ann's becoming a spectacle with this persecution complex.

You are such a complete asshole, Omega.

You have no redeeming human qualities.

Original Mike said...

"I've been rabid anti-cloud /. commenter from the start. Trust your data to someone else and it gets trashed. Not just Blogger, but other high-profile cloud failures recently. Bad idea."

Bad idea is putting it mildly. It is a bone-crushingly stupid idea.

Fen said...

FIRE

"The mission of FIRE is to defend and sustain individual rights at America's colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience — the essential qualities of individual liberty and dignity."

http://thefire.org/

EDH said...

Ann's becoming a spectacle with this persecution complex.

Which explains why Obama has a retinue of people in the media to invoke the racist motive to his opponents lest he, as the elected President of the United States, become a "spectacle with this persecution complex"?

Fen said...

AlphaLibtard, from your own link:

"To be fair, Althouse’s paranoia has its roots:

Apparently Ann Althouse posted an item on her blog about the three finalists for the dean job at Wisconsin Law School, asking for comments regarding them. According to someone who saw the thread it didn’t turn out too well:

quick thought on Althouse’s post on the Wisconsin Dean finalists: the comments not only were negative on the candidates (as you note), but degenerated into a cesspool of vile misogyny and homophobia (not only multiple calling Margaret Raymond a token “diversity” candidate, but multiple posts opining that she should get the job only if she has “big tits” and speculating that she’s a lesbian). Isn’t Althouse at risk of letting her blog turn into AutoAdmit? She has the free speech right to run whatever cesspool she wants, but is she prioritizing her desire for a widely read blog over her obligation to be a responsible member of academia? I’d prefer not to say this for attribution…only because I’m a prof at [another law school] where Margaret Raymond was named a Dean finalist too – but that’s part of why I’m so offended on her behalf; she’s a fantastic and impressive woman who deserves far better than a professor (Althouse) at a school where she’s a finalist (Wisconsin) hosting this sort of festival of misogyny and homophobia.


Now Blogger claims that Althouse (the site) no longer exists."

AlphaLiberal said...

If anyone is sued, Google should sue Ann Althouse for her lies that the outage was a plot to get Althouse. How irresponsible.

OMFG.

Ann starts a Facebook page, Save Ann Althouse's Blog

Look at this wild and ignorant charge from her first post!

The staff at Blogger have dumped Ann Althouse's blog. If you are one who look forward to their daily dose of commentary, wit, and photography from Althouse and Meade, then like this page and let's put some pressure on them to put it back up.

And other people repeat Ann Althouse's fabrications:
Unbelievable! The Wisconsin debacle has poisoned everything. She's not even widely identified as a "right-wing" blogger! But since she was key in the union fight, now she's been targeted by Google. The idea that they'd read her blog and conclude that it's spam is stark raving mad.

AlphaLiberal said...

Ann, you also owe an apology to the people protesting in Wisconsin whom you have lied about here, accusing us of going after you.

Now other people are repeating your lies and slander.

Yeah, the Wisconsin protesters are allied with Google to Get Ann.

Please seek counselling.

edutcher said...

Before he makes a complete (instead of the near total) ass of himself as he usually does, Alpha might want to consider the headline of the topmost post here,

"'Althouse appeared to have fared the worst, with a number of missing entries and comments — and a full 24 hours offline.'

You could say that... if by 'a number,' you mean 23,850 missing entries and — what? — a quarter million comments!"

Little Miss Attila has some stats for those interested and made the first quoted comment above, Ann the second.

So maybe she's not paranoid, after all.

AlphaLiberal said...

Better comments at Ballon Juice, including:

She needs to think outside the wine box.

Yeah, have another box of whine!

AlphaLiberal said...

That does it. I'm powering up the black helicopter and going to spy on Althouse. The Secret Conspiracy to Silence Brave Blogger Ann Althouse demands it.

We will stop at nothing to silence her cursed blog, a.k.a. "cesspool of vile misogyny and homophobia."

p.s. How much do you pay for this service, Ann????

AlphaLiberal said...

Edutcher, that was a comment on someone page with no link to an actual system report. It's one blogger's opinion, not a factual report.

But what's your argument, even if you had a factual basis for the assertion? That they took all those blogs down just to "Get Ann?"

And there's a Google-labor movement conspiracy?

That's crazy!

edutcher said...

Alpha doesn't want to face the possibility somebody was giving Ann a hard time (at least) because it may have something to do with her telling the truth about what happened in Madison this winter.

She may have lost all the posts about her romance and courtship, all her road trips, things about her sons.

I know, Uncle Saul says the end always justifies the means and all the little Lefties fall into lockstep. I'm sure Alpha thinks this is all vital to Glorious World Socialist Revolution.

He must be soooo proud.

EDH said...

What makes AL say "Ann starts a Facebook page, Save Ann Althouse's Blog"?

For one, she would not use her first name.

Largo said...

Please ignore the sand trap trolls.

Titus said...

I will be willing to testify on your behalf in a court.

I will be dressed exquisitely and will come clean about my tit postings.

EDH said...

And there's a Google-labor movement conspiracy?

Which reminds me, what did James O'Keefe ever do against organized labor?

So, does a critique of any faction on the left mean you gain the ire of the entire left?

EDH said...

I will be dressed exquisitely and will come clean about my tit postings.

Does that mean Titus will "take the Fifith" on his "loaf" and "loaves" postings?

J said...

Reynolds is full of sh*t as per usual.


Google owns blogger. IN theory they could just delete everything. Would be nice to have a heads up.

Or rather, the Net should be run primarily on state-owned/operated servers, not subject to the whims of corporate barons and their inept techies.

Titus said...

I will be wearing gigantic Jackie O sunglasses, natch.

EDH said...

Speaking of paranoid... Blogger is getting ridiculous.

Blogger just deleted my answer to AL's "Google-labor movement conspiracy" comment.

I linked to Seth Meyer's White House Corresponents Dinner where he made the assertion that James O'Keefe "hated organized labor."

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

My comment @11:23am has been restored... for now.

Issob Morocco said...

Can we report Http://www.Google.com as a spam and have it shut down?

If HAL was in charge I bet we could gin the system to do so.

Alex said...

Alphalibtard should get sued for the serial slander he engages in.

Alex said...

so much for Google's "do no evil" mantra from years ago. That's become a very sad joke. They are just about the MOST evil tech company in existence.

Fen said...

J : Or rather, the Net should be run primarily on state-owned/operated servers, not subject to the whims of corporate barons and their inept techies.

J prefers the China model. No surprise.

Doug Wright said...

This has probably been said elsewhere but Google has so many interesting yet now apparently questionable software products, such as blogger and of course its search engine and now the Android operating system for cell phones and other such devices. While Google is massive, and grew so darned fast, it can shrivel up into a bad memory very quickly too.

Kind of does remind one of what government run health care would become once people like Herr Commissar El Leader Chairman nitecruzr take charge.

Professor Althouse, hang in there and continue your good fight. We've got your back.

shiloh said...

Check to see if Ritmo and Kloppy and Mary and the WI Union protestors have alibis....jeesh come to think of it, you have a lot of possible enemies.

Indeed, be afraid, be very afraid as one of the reasons I stopped posting a couple weeks ago was C4 had disappeared ie this blog had become a total :::zzz:::

btw, Google's lawyers are "probably" a lot better than any you could come up with ;) and did you read the fine print of your blogger contract! :-P

The Grand Inquisitor said...

Again, this is clearly Google's fault then. Even if this didn't happen to Althouse (And I bet we never find out), this does happen on youtube and blogger all the time.

People can exploit Google's lazy system to deny public participation.

Hell, nitcruzer was almost certainly the guy who disabled a bunch of gmail accounts (until you provided your phone number).

It's just not a reliable company. It's a lazy high volume company that profits from getting people to info they didn't make. Google is a crappy middle man.

David R. Graham said...

You and Meade singlehandedly set the course of the nation in a direction bad people despise. I doubt you intended that going in, but I am sure that, after conducting your AAR, you know that's what you did. I am grateful you did.

Freder Frederson said...

If you did sue, what exactly would be your damages? How much income did you lose? Seems to me with your blog knocked off the internet you would have had more time to devote to your real job.

And since you have apparently pissed off all three finalists for the new law school Dean, you might remember which is your hobby and which is your job.