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

by 1389 on January 17, 2013

in blog censorship, Gates of Vienna (colleagues), Google Blogger

Gates of Vienna blog not found

From facebook.com/Gates.of.Vienna:

Public message:

Please note: Google has pulled the Gates of Vienna blog. It happened suddenly, around 6-7 hours ago. The Baron is on the case.

I don’t have any further information apart from that, but am sure GoV will be back better than ever before we know it.

Email update from Baron Bodissey:

I apologize for replying to all of you with this mass email, but I have no other way of responding in a timely manner.

Blogger “removed” our blog suddenly last night. One second it was there; the next it was gone. If we had violated their terms of service, we should have received an email, according to their own established procedure. But we received no email.

I retain my “dashboard” account, as does Dymphna. And, as you can see, I still have the gmail account.

There is no “deleted blogs” link on our dashboards, as there should be if the blog had been deleted deliberately through a normal procedure.

For those of you who wrote about your own experiences connected with giving Google your cell phone number: this can’t be an issue, because I gave Google our landline number several years ago, when they would not let me into this gmail account without my giving them a phone number.

Late last night I began the process that one always goes through with Blogger: I posted a request on the help forum. That’s really all that can be done; you can’t talk to human beings where Google is concerned.

Henrik Raeder Clausen is our technical guru. He also posted on the help forum, and has actually received a response, which is unusual with Google. Based on the replies, there seems to have been a major problem with Blogger last night. Many other blogs disappeared in the same fashion.

I anticipate that this is most likely a technical glitch on Google’s part, based on the number and types of blogs that had the same thing happen to them last night. But we should know for certain within another day or two.

It’s also possible (but far less likely, in my estimation) that we were taken down for political reasons. If it was a deliberate take-down, we will migrate to another platform with our own domain name. We back up the entire blog frequently, and the last backup was on Monday. So only a few posts will be missing when we restore.

This is all that we know at present. I’ll send out more emails if I find out anything else. Dymphna will also send out Twitter messages.

Thank you all for your concern and support.

Second email update from Baron Bodissey:

I apologize for replying to all of you again with this mass email, but I have no other way of responding in a timely manner.

Our blog has now been returned to us!

Blogger “removed” our blog suddenly last night. One second it was there; the next it was gone. If we had violated their terms of service, we should have received an email, according to their own established procedure. But we received no email.

Now it has reappeared just as mysterously as it disappeared. No message, no explanation.

I think this was a technical glitch at Google, given how many other blogs were affected, including lots of non-political ones.

We will continue with our “disaster preparedness” policy, with an eye towards a migration to a secure platform that we have complete control over.

Update January 20, 2013: Google Blogger shuts down GoV again

From: Gates of Vienna
Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2013 9:34 PM
Subject: Another one

Sorry to hit everybody en masse, but Blogger has taken us down again.
This one is different:

———
Hello,

Google has received a Terms of Service complaint regarding malicious
code on your blog. After conducting our review, and in accordance with
Google’s Terms of Service, we have removed the content at issue.

Terms of Service: http://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/terms/
Content Policy: http://www.blogger.com/content.g

The Google Team
———

That’s all I know at the moment. We are backed up, so we are OK for a
new start somewhere else.

Baron Bodissey

Thank you all for your concern and support.

Update January 21, 2013: GoV has MOVED

From: Gates of Vienna
Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 3:32 PM
Subject: Gates of Vienna has moved

Gates of Vienna has moved. Our new location is:

http://gatesofvienna.net

Previous content is in the process of migrating to the new site. Most is already in place.

I owe a big debt of gratitude to Henrik Ræder Clausen, Vlad Tepes, and KGS for their help setting up the new site and tutoring me in the nuances of WordPress.

We will shortly have the archives and the comments, but the new template hasn’t really been established — just the bare minimum to get us up and running. The rest of the process will take a while.

The old site at blogspot will not redirect to the new site, because Google has locked the blog. We have filed a request for a review of our status, but there’s no telling whether that will work — Google has not communicated with us except for the initial notice, which was:

Hello,

Google has received a Terms of Service complaint regarding malicious code on your blog. After conducting our review, and in accordance with Google’s Terms of Service, we have removed the content at issue.

Terms of Service: http://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/terms/
Content Policy: http://www.blogger.com/content.g

The Google Team

In the meantime, if everyone could change their links to us on their sites, as well as their bookmarks, that will help the search engines find the new URL and give us back some of our ranking.

If I have any other important news about all this, I’ll send out another mass email. Otherwise, check in at the new URL for information on the situation.

Thank you all for your interest and support.

Baron Bodissey

Also see:


1 Grumpy January 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Let me know if I can Help

2 Jim Campbell January 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Gates of Vienna up and running 1-16-13 at the site….http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/
Google Blogger has removed Gates of Vienna

by 1389 on January 17, 2013

in blog censorship, Gates of Vienna (colleagues), Google Blogger
Gates of Vienna blog not found
From facebook.com/Gates.of.Vienna:

Public message:

Please note: Google has pulled the Gates of Vienna blog. It happened suddenly, around 6-7 hours ago. The Baron is on the case.

I don’t have any further information apart from that, but am sure GoV will be back better than ever before we know it.

Email update from Baron Bodissey:

I apologize for replying to all of you with this mass email, but I have no other way of responding in a timely manner.

Blogger “removed” our blog suddenly last night. One second it was there; the next it was gone. If we had violated their terms of service, we should have received an email, according to their own established procedure. But we received no email.

I retain my “dashboard” account, as does Dymphna. And, as you can see, I still have the gmail account.

There is no “deleted blogs” link on our dashboards, as there should be if the blog had been deleted deliberately through a normal procedure.

For those of you who wrote about your own experiences connected with giving Google your cell phone number: this can’t be an issue, because I gave Google our landline number several years ago, when they would not let me into this gmail account without my giving them a phone number.

Late last night I began the process that one always goes through with Blogger: I posted a request on the help forum. That’s really all that can be done; you can’t talk to human beings where Google is concerned.

Henrik Raeder Clausen is our technical guru. He also posted on the help forum, and has actually received a response, which is unusual with Google. Based on the replies, there seems to have been a major problem with Blogger last night. Many other blogs disappeared in the same fashion.

I anticipate that this is most likely a technical glitch on Google’s part, based on the number and types of blogs that had the same thing happen to them last night. But we should know for certain within another day or two.

It’s also possible (but far less likely, in my estimation) that we were taken down for political reasons. If it was a deliberate take-down, we will migrate to another platform with our own domain name. We back up the entire blog frequently, and the last backup was on Monday. So only a few posts will be missing when we restore.

This is all that we know at present. I’ll send out more emails if I find out anything else. Dymphna will also send out Twitter messages.

Thank you all for your concern and support.

Google Blogger itself might not be to blame for this. I wonder whether pro-jihadi hackers could have found their way into Google Blogger and compromised one or more servers.

3 Jim Campbell January 17, 2013 at 3:16 pm

It’s running on facebook as well todays date. May have been a technical issue. As I’ve mentioned here in the past, I’ve been blocked and kicked off Face Book for mentioning Islam and Muslims. J.C.

4 Grumpy January 17, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Every now and then Blogger has an issue like that– One of the reasons I moved to self hosted to self hosted– If sumptin ain’t rite- I pick up the phone and call my host..

It would probably be worthwhile to set up a back up acct; A free account on Wordpress.com would work. Just copy everything over, then update it every few days.. Keep it blocked , unless something like this happens, worst case you won’t lose much if any content and you can take the site live in a matter of minutes. A mass email and you’re back in business

5 Hesperado January 18, 2013 at 1:23 am

Glad to hear the Gates of Vienna is back up and running. So too is Jihad Watch — sort of; it still seems to have some hiccups, likely due to the hack attack they suffered (are continuing to suffer).

Interestingly, a very similar thing happened to my Hesperado blog a couple of years ago. It just vanished one day. I panicked and started to piece together essays I found through Google cache. Then, while I was painstakingly rebuilding my blog, it suddenly reappeared one day.

It could be just a glitch.

6 Hesperado January 18, 2013 at 1:24 am

P.S.: When I lost my blog that time, 1389 graciously invited me to join the team here; so there was a silver lining!

7 Hesperado January 18, 2013 at 1:39 am

P.P.S: I was surprised to learn, when this happened a couple of days ago, that GOV is just a Blogspot blog. All this time I thought it was a unique domain, because it looks so professional and doesn’t seem to have a trace of the quasi-cheesy Blogger trappings. I guess I wasn’t paying close enough attention.

8 bob January 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm

I now receive this for any attempt to read Gates of Vienna:

“This blog is in violation of Blogger’s Terms of Service and is open to authors only
http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/

If you are an author of this blog, tell us who you are! Sign in using your Google Account.”

9 1389 January 19, 2013 at 10:24 pm

I’ve sent GoV an email offering to help.

Thanks for your information. Update has been added to the post.

10 Hesperado January 20, 2013 at 3:07 pm

I think this is more than, or in addition to, a problem of “malicious code”.

As of Sunday morning, January 20 (today), when I try to get into Gates of Vienna, I get the following error message:

“This blog is under review due to possible Blogger Terms of Service violations and is open to authors only”.

And what “Term of Servcice” did Gates of Vienna likely “violate”? No doubt this one, found under their “Content policy” page, in which with one hand they claim to support freedom of speech, but with the other — just as the Constitution under the totalitarian Soviet Union in large print guaranteed rights but took them away in the fine print — they provide themselves with a broad loophole to arbitrarily invoke the irrational paradigm of PC MC in order to trample that right:

“Hate Speech: We want you to use Blogger to express your opinions, even very controversial ones. But, don’t cross the line by publishing hate speech. By this, we mean content that promotes hate or violence towards groups based on race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity. For example, don’t write a blog saying that members of Race X are criminals or advocating violence against followers of Religion Y.”

This does not necessarily mean that Blogger/Google decided on its own to censor Gates of Vienna: it could mean they received many complaints from Leftists/Muslims about Gates of Vienna, and on that basis concluded it was promoting “hate” according to its vague terms by which it could then arbitrarily decide that Gates of Vienna violated those terms. It would be this sudden spate of complaints that would constitute the “jihad of the pen” in this instance. Why now, and not last month, or last year, or three years ago, is the question.

11 Incognto January 21, 2013 at 2:45 am

“For example, don’t write a blog saying that members of Race X are criminals or advocating violence against followers of Religion Y.”

What?? Claiming Race X is advocating violence against followers of religion Y is considered hate speech? Good grief. So truth means nothing. Sad days to come.

Was shocked when I clicked on a link to GoV and I saw it was down. They’re pretty tame.

I should probably back up my blog, but have no clue how I would even do that.

12 Grumpy January 21, 2013 at 8:00 am

Incognto – it’s been a couple years, things might have changed, but the last time I did it was fairly easy to copy content from a Blogger Site to a Wordpress site.. I lost most of the comments and video but the majority of the content copied without a problem. Go to Wordpress.com. set up a free WP site.. then go to tools on the dashboard. and select Import and follow the instructions..

When I did it – it caused no harm at all to the Blogger account.. It would be advisable to ask the question on the Wordpress Forums just to be sure that nothing’s changed.. That’s the only way I know- and it gives you the advantage of having a back-up site ready to take live if Blogger does something strange-

Just did a quick search and found this- it will tell you how to back up blogger to your computer.. Before you do that you might want to consider how much content is on your site and how much space you have on your computer.

http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com/2012/09/how-to-back-up-wordpress-blogger-blog.html

13 1389 January 21, 2013 at 8:03 am

I think it would be even better to lease your own domain name and your own hosting, and download the free (open-source) Wordpress software from Wordpress.org.

If you’re using someone else’s free hosting service, then they can still shut you down.

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