May 14, 2011

Patterico reassembles the Google support thread in which "nitecruzr" "kept taunting Ann, and then removing (memory-holing) his own taunts, but leaving her responses — making the thread an unreadable mess."

Original, unexpurgated forum thread here. Patterico reviews it with commentary here. Excerpt:
Oh, she was complaining about your helpful statement that you escalated your complaint to Blogger Support for her? Is that it, nitecruzr? Uh, sorry, that doesn’t pass the smell test. It’s just that, now that he has deleted all the abusive comments, that’s the last comment of his left standing.
Patterico does an excellent job showing what happened in that thread and how the power to delete was used for ass-covering and making me look presumptuous and thin-skinned.

But is nitecruzr a Google employee? He takes on a gatekeeping function in the forum, but he isn't designated as an employee like Brett — electrobutter — who finally shows up and treats me with some respect.

57 comments:

Dan from Madison said...

People like nitecruzr just don't understand that the internet is forever.

Fen said...

But is nitecruzr a Google employee?

Google has chosen him to represent their company.

"Nice blog you have there. Be a shame if something happened to it"

Fen said...

Google cannot be trusted to be a neutral broker of information. Dump them.

edutcher said...

I think I read somewhere in all the comments yesterday nitecruzr was a high school kid - he sounds like it.

Google has a lot of explaining to do since they had to know at some point how he was making the company look.

PS you can see in his comments a flavor of the retorts we also get from some of our trolls.

As I said, the user names are more writing styles than actual people.

Republican said...

The link to "electrobutter" on twitter goes to a page that doesn't exist.

I'm confused. Google had known issues with Blogger all week, and knew that many blogs were disabled.

Why wouldn't their representative assume althouse was one of those, rather than immediately assume it was deleted for spam?

Someone from Google needs to address these issues. They won't go away, especially if they keep memory-holing their conduct with one of their most popular users.

rhhardin said...

Google's product is eyeballs. They sell them to advertisers.

They offer you a blog and if you work at it you can bring them eyeballs.

In return you expect your work to remain online.

That sounds like a legally enforceable transaction to me.

Google took the eyeballs but then memory-holed the work through a technical decision (in my pretty good software problem behavior intuition) to ignore collateral damage in recovery that they ought not to have ignored, under a reasonably expected care doctrine.

Chug said...

You really need to move off blogger. Get someone like Stacy at Sekimori to help you move off blogspot and onto your own hosted WordPress blog. You will be much better served in so many ways.

A former MT user now happily on WP.

PaulV said...

WV: empered
Employee or not nitecruzr was empered as a servant of Google and Google is liable under the Master Servant doctrine.

AlphaLiberal said...

Ann, it was a system outage following a maintenance event. You immediately assume it's about you. Really, Ann, it has nothing to do with you. These are complex systems and things can go wrong.

Now would be a good time for a "my bad."

Republican said...

Reading through the snarky comments from the Google assistant--I'm having trouble understanding his reasoning that he will forward her request for help "IN SPITE OF" Ann Althouse's popularity.

What the hell?

AlphaLiberal said...

Yeah, I read these other comments. Look, people, Ann starts off making wild accusations that her blog was taken down -- without taking the time to learn there was an outage.

So, Ann is making all kinds of false accusations and demonstrates an inability to understand the situation.

So, after Ann's fuckup, you want to get someone fired.

There's only one word: Assholes.

EnigmatiCore said...

I'm telling you, Ann. Your readers had your back on this one. You need to have ours. It really needs to be highlighted how those who made comments, subsequently deleted by Nitecruzr, had their accounts flagged as needing 'verification' due to 'unusual activity'-- making it that we either had to give them our phone number, or lose access to our accounts.

It happened to several of us.

rhhardin said...

Google takes zero pains to explain the situation, is the starting point.

The popular magical view of software behavior takes over if they don't.

rhhardin said...

These are complex systems and things can go wrong.

It didn't go wrong from being complex.

It went wrong because they took a technical shortcut.

Namely if a blog contains a bad pointer, delete the blog.

Republican said...

Apparently Google isn't equipped to deal with major outages, as they seem to have NO system in place to address more than a few simple complaints.

How telling.

EnigmatiCore said...

I think I read somewhere in all the comments yesterday nitecruzr was a high school kid - he sounds like it.

He's not.

Original Mike said...

Wow. One person spending one minute lookong at this blog would tell them it is not a spam site.

Get your own Website, Ann. Have Meade administer it.

madAsHell said...

AlphaLib -

How do you manage to pack so much ignorance into so few words?

It's obvious you haven't perused the evidence.

Fen said...

had their accounts flagged as needing 'verification' due to 'unusual activity'-- making it that we either had to give them our phone number, or lose access to our accounts.

It happened to several of us.


It happened to me a few days *before* this site went down. I even posted here about it because I wondered if someone had been trying to hack my account.

MayBee said...

It really needs to be highlighted how those who made comments, subsequently deleted by Nitecruzr, had their accounts flagged as needing 'verification' due to 'unusual activity'-- making it that we either had to give them our phone number, or lose access to our accounts.

That really does need to be highlighted.
It's all pretty horrifying.

Original Mike said...

"Google takes zero pains to explain the situation, is the starting point."

IT/computer geeks are the most arrogant people around. They look down their noses at the rest of us. I used to think I hated computers, but have come to the realization that it's not the computers but the computer priests who are so annoying.

Jason (the commenter) said...

All nitecruzr had to say was, "Okay, I've sent your information along to the people who can restore it." And nothing else after that.

Fen said...

IT/computer geeks are the most arrogant people around. They look down their noses at the rest of us. I used to think I hated computers, but have come to the realization that it's not the computers but the computer priests who are so annoying.

People who spend their lives working the IT/computer side tend to respond to people the way they have learned to respond to machines.

edutcher said...

Original Mike said...

"Google takes zero pains to explain the situation, is the starting point."

IT/computer geeks are the most arrogant people around. They look down their noses at the rest of us. I used to think I hated computers, but have come to the realization that it's not the computers but the computer priests who are so annoying.


Some of them are.

You do get the customer support types with the "techier than thou", RTFM attitude who are basically insecure.

A lot of programmers and network support people realize customer support is a part of their job and behave professionally.

The ones to whom refers Mike are often part-timers or hobbyists like this nitecruzr guy.

Original Mike said...

"Look, people, Ann starts off making wild accusations"

Oh, bullshit.

rhhardin said...

IT/computer geeks are the most arrogant people around.

Someone actually good at software likes explaining it.

It's the script kiddies you're wanting to be complaining about.

Original Mike said...

"Some of them are."

There are always exceptions, but I think Fen is right:

"People who spend their lives working the IT/computer side tend to respond to people the way they have learned to respond to machines."

MayBee said...

I guess when Google can find some investors, they'll be able to afford to hire competent people.

Substance McGravitas said...

Patterico does an excellent job showing what happened in that thread and how the power to delete was used for ass-covering and making me look presumptuous and thin-skinned.

But you ARE presumptuous and thin-skinned. Read your blog.

Feel free to demand an apology.

Original Mike said...

What bugs me the most is when they are shocked, shocked that what they assured you would happen when you do "A" didn't happen. You'd think by the thousandth time it would occur to them that the situation they are dealing with is maybe more complex than they are assuming, but noooo.

rhhardin said...

There are always exceptions, but I think Fen is right:

"People who spend their lives working the IT/computer side tend to respond to people the way they have learned to respond to machines."


That's a bad reading.

You can make a living in computers without knowing what's going on, by carving out an area.

Nitecrawler is one.

Synova said...

Ate my comment again.

Paco Wové said...

'Now would be a good time for a "my bad."'

From Google/Blogger/Nitecrawlr? Absolutely.

Synova said...

It wasn't a long one.

Just that I felt that tagging nitecruzr's remarks as unhelpful was appropriate. They were not helpful. They were practically non-responsive.

And I thought that the remark about Althouse not having actually read the articles was outrageous for anything calling itself customer support.

Ann Althouse said...

"Yeah, I read these other comments. Look, people, Ann starts off making wild accusations that her blog was taken down -- without taking the time to learn there was an outage."

You need to take the time to learn how what happened to me was different from the more general outage. I'm tired of re-explaining it.

Rose said...

Brett is amazing - a welcome presence - and his response is the way the whole thing should have been handled from the get go - even IF you WERE a spammer.

Instead, nitecruzr took the guilty til you find a way to prove your own innocence and there's no way to do that approach.

brett, if you're reading - thanks, and you may be Blogger's savior.

Paco Wové said...

Althouse -- surely you have realized by now that 'AlphaLiberal' is either not interested in, or not capable of, learning. It's been issued its talking points and is sticking to them until reprogrammed.

Rabel said...

Here's your buddy. Doesn't seem like such a terrible guy. Maybe he was just having a bad hair day.

http://www.nitecruzr.net/

Rose said...

There's a 'chat with me' link at http://www.nitecruzr.net/

After watching this whole thing go down - I will be setting up back up blogs at Wordpress for all of the blogs I help with. It's as important as backing up our computers.

Will I switch entirely? Not necessarily, I still prefer Blogger's platform, BUT they have some serious need to improve their customer service. It's tough to get in touch with them, there's not an easy to find link to help, you have to go through 50 different and frustrating links. Would I pay for better access to help - maybe yes.

At any rate - I really hope Chuck/nitecruzr will admit that he should be looking at this as an offshoot of the outage FIRST and worry about spammers later. I'd rather wade through 1000 spam blogs than see one legitimate one get this treatment.

Palladian said...

"You really need to move off blogger. Get someone like Stacy at Sekimori to help you move off blogspot and onto your own hosted WordPress blog. You will be much better served in so many ways."

Or get your long-time, underemployed commenter Palladian to help. He does web design too.

Paul Zrimsek said...

One big point in nitecruzr's favor is that he seems to sincerely believe that a 7-year-old blog with a bazillion page views is just as likely to be spam as an unknown one that was just set up last week. Of course, it doesn't excuse anything he did-- but it does mean that when Google finally gets embarrassed and fires his sorry ass, he can get a job running the TSA.

Titus said...

nitecruzr sounds like some "old gay" guy.

Definitely not "new gay".

Titus said...

My husband is an IT guy. His specialty is Automated Testing, specifically Rational Robot.

He makes lots of money and comes from lots of money.

He also has huge arms. Yea!

erickbrockway.com said...

Behold, nitecruzr (seems to be a self appointed self-help kinda guy);

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/

erickbrockway.com said...

A reason for the outage given here;

Chuck said...
NYC,

I'd say that the Buzz post contains a good summary of the problem, and its resolution.

"Here’s what happened: during scheduled maintenance work Wednesday night, we experienced some data corruption that impacted Blogger’s behavior. Since then, bloggers and readers may have experienced a variety of anomalies including intermittent outages, disappearing posts, and arriving at unintended blogs or error pages."

http://buzz.blogger.com/2011/05/blogger-is-back.html
13/5/11 10:56

Fen said...

@ Patterico,

I enjoy reading your blog, I check it at least once a week. Thanks for your efforts on this issue.

/hat tip

Fen said...

Here's your buddy. Doesn't seem like such a terrible guy. Maybe he was just having a bad hair day.

http://www.nitecruzr.net/


He lost all credibility by deleting his trash-talk. He's simply not trustworthy, and Google should terminate their relationship with him before he damages their name further.

shiloh said...

Let's recap, shall we:

AA, your lemmings are behind you 100%! That and $2 will get you a cup of coffee.

nobodygivesacrap said...

This is Patterico. Could anyone who had their account flagged by nitecruzr please write me at patterico AT gmail DOT com?

I keep reading that this guy was just a volunteer and that Google shouldn't be blamed for his actions. Nonsense. Assuming that Ann went to the right place to raise her issues, a) he was the guy at a Google.com domain allowed to interface with her; b) he had the ability to escalate a support request; and c) we now learn he has the ability to flag your account.

Please write me if that happened to you.

Paco Wové said...

On the other hand, Mr. P, I reported one of Nitecrawlr's taunts as abuse, and I haven't been the recipient of any sort of retribution.

Gary Rosen said...

"You need to take the time to learn how what happened to me was different from the more general outage. I'm tired of re-explaining it."

Ann, you should have learned a long time ago that for asshole left-wing trolls like Alph it's not about what happened, it's about preserving their narrative. As Shiloh just proved again.

Christoph said...

Patterico's off on petty tangents that are going to go nowhereThey don't even convince DRJ and Beldar, his decided fans. They're complicated, probably wrong, and no way they are going to convince the public at large, or a court, however much you may wish otherwise.

However, Dustin, who I don't like but whatever, has the killer info and the killer point.

If this is a pattern of behavior from the volunteer, and Google was made aware of this bad behavior, and did nothing, then, yep, Google is responsible. Not liable, because their T.O.S. disclaim liability, not responsible in a legal sense, but responsible in a customer relations and public relations sense.

So go on Dustin’s info and nail them for it, Ann and Patterico. Put their feet to the fire and make them do something now. Get some retribution for yourself, Ann, and all three of you make Google eat some crow for the legitimate oversight Dustin brought up.

But drop the penny ante crap Patterico's been trying to sell.

nobodygivesacrap said...

Christoph is mad because he is banned at my site for other reasons, including calling a female guest blogger of mine the "c" word. I will not argue with him here but I state that so that people will know where he is coming from. That's the last time I will mention him. I have learned that ignoring trolls is best.

I received a second complaint from someone who had their Google account flagged because they crossed nitecruzr. This person could not open his Gmail without giving Google a cell phone number!

I am concerned about this and am wondering if I need to find an alternative to Gmail. It's a shame because I like it.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

"Anything free is worth what you pay for it." -- Robert A. Heinlein

"If you're lucky." -- Martin L. Shoemaker

vet said...

'Nitecruzr' is a frequent contributor to Blogger Help forums, but I can't find anything to suggest that he's in any way affiliated to Google. Google - like all software companies I know of who offer online support forums - encourages ordinary people to answer questions when they can, and some people spend a lot of time doing just that, for no remuneration whatever.

So he trolled you. Happens all the time. Seems to me the mature response would be to learn from it and move on.

Of course, if you want to dump Google, there's nothing to stop you. Perhaps you can find a host that accepts responsibility for what people post on its forums. You're a law professor, you don't need me to spell out what that would mean.

nobodygivesacrap said...

vet,

You don't know what you're talking about. Do some more reading.

1389 said...

FYI:

Do ONLY Harm: Google's True Motto

Gates of Vienna shut down by Google Blogger, moved to gatesofvienna.net