13 May 2010
Today, possibly around noon or so, my blog was removed. It turns out that Blogger, owned by Google, decided that it was a neat idea to block access to my Gmail account and my blogger account at the same time, while also blocking everyone else's access to my blog that I've been faithfully contributing to for years. A damaging message was placed on it to the effect of "This blog has been removed." Obviously, it's not... now.
At the time all Google told me is that it was due to a "violation". Violation of what? From me? How on earth?? I maintain a mundane linguistics blog. How did this become too X-rated to handle all of a sudden? Sufficed to say, my heart dropped and I was completely floored that Google's system could really be this asinine. Yet it is. And it gets even more suspect as I was to soon discover.
I was given only two options to remedy the situation. The first thing I tried was to use their contact form. But let's face it. We all know that the Google Team would take their sweet time responding because I, you and everyone else is just a number in their overblown bureaucracy. By that point, all my readers would be completely gone and my blog effectively destroyed just by some retarded technicality. And keep in mind, Google was just not telling me what the "violation" was! Why the secret?
I was leery of the second option that Google provided. Supposedly, my account could be "immediately" unblocked if I simply provided them one teensy thing: my cellphone number. Excuse me? That's really getting personal. I don't hand my cellphone to everybody because I don't want jerks phoning me or advertisers harassing me with their wares. But Google had me by the balls and was essentially holding my blog and email account for randsome until I divulged my personal info which may or may not be compromised in the future. I caved in, shelled out the number, and magically, the block was lifted and my blog restored.
WTF IS GOING ON?!!!!
Checking into my gmail, I noticed a message in my account that I never wrote. Now I had the disturbing answer. Apparently some jackass hacker from Russia had cracked into Google's servers and used numerous accounts just to spam some stupid site of theirs to each victim's contact emails. Swell! So basically, my worst fears realized: Google, not being able to keep my email, my blog account or even its own server secure now has my cellphone number to be abused too. Hooray!
I'm so turned off with Google at this point, I mean war. I'm thinking of ways to wean myself off of Google products quickly and Wordpress is looking good now. I'll be looking into that shortly. I expect better handling of the problem than this from a legitimate "service" but it seems that nowdays "service" has become a jaded term designating its complete opposite. Freedom is slavery; war is peace; service is random.