Monday, 19 October 2009

A "False Positive"

"Robot Boy" (found on Flickr Creative Commons Licence Content)
I had never heard of this terminology before. Something positive which was false? Something false which was positive? With sinking heart and a feeling of shock, my blog was deleted from the blogosphere by a Blogger robot a week ago. Eleven months of personal work vanished into thin air - into the ether. Just as my blog had started off, out of nothing, so my blog literally disappeared and became nothing once again.

An Encounter of a Robotic Kind
Blogger robots had decreed that Janet's Abruzzo Edublog could be a "Spam" blog. I had had a foreboding message come up on my dashboard warning me of impending doom. "Your blog will be deleted in 20 days unless you submit a report". Now, to tell you the truth, it was pure fluke that I had actually gone into my Blogger "Dashboard" area. I never go into it. There is usually no need for me to be there. So, I pressed the "submit report" button. A message came back to me saying that Blogger robots would be investigating my blog to check whether it was spam or not. They apologised for the inconvenience caused by the "false positive" and I was duly asked to wait 2 days for the human verification process. I waited 2 days. Nothing. I waited 3 days. Niente. I waited 4 days. Nichts. I waited 5 days. Nada.
Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa
Those 5 days were long ones. Very long ones indeed. I had messages of support and sympathy from my Twitter stream, my colleagues and friends. I was going to wait for 7 days and then start a new blog from scratch. This thought filled me with some sadness at the loss of my blog and also some sort of unknown emotion at the thought of a completely new venture. Luckily, as swiftly as it had been "locked", my blog was "unlocked" overnight and it suddenly reappeared, with no explanation. The relief I felt was instant and joyful. It has taken me a little while to get back into the swing of things and write this post. But it's here now and hopefully I have learned a big lesson. Don't mess with the anti-spam "captcha" letters!!! If like me, you fail the test several times, then your blog will be investigated and possibly deleted.

The Robotisation of our Lives?
Are we heading for the robotisation of our lives? Everything we do seems to be pointing in this direction. What on earth would we do if our lives became governed by robots? My blogging life this past week depended on a "BOT" to verify me as a human. This was a bit scary.

Thank You
.........for persevering with my blog during the days of uncertainty. I will pay much more attention now to the anti-spam measures which are there for a purpose.....
Larry Ferlazzo has just posted some excellent links to the "Best Sites to Learn about Robots". Robots have been on my mind a lot recently, so it's a coincidence to have all these links in one convenient place.

My Word Mosaic
I have just learned about this fabulous tool on Jane Hart's excellent E-Learning Pick of the Day.
I have made a mosaic of my blog in the shape of a heart.


popps said...

It's good that you are back.
Do you want us to start a boycott of Blogger and all switch to word press?
Just say the word.
ps - how's the Olive Oil?

Janet said...

Thank you for your kind message.

I take full responsibility for what happened. "Mea culpa" entirely for being too careless with the captcha readings. I will be much more wary in future. An apology from the bots at Blogger after the event would have been nice, but hey, I can't complain. My blog is back! I will be sticking with Blogger for the moment. I am happy with its features.

Olive trees are waiting for me to get back to Abruzzo at the end of the week. K and I will be picking the olives by hand as soon as weather conditions are favourable. I can't wait to be at one with nature!

Will keep you duly posted.

popps said...

so what exactly did you do, put the wrong word in?
Or put nothing in?

Janet Bianchini said...

I put the wrong letters in. Quite simply, I made some of the attempts without my glasses - a very bad move! On other occasions I do remember having problems reading the obscure letters, tapping the letters in very quickly and not getting it right straightaway and then trying again.

Word for word this is what Blogger wrote after they locked my blog:"On behalf of the robots, we apologise for locking your non-spam blog. Please be patient until we verify it is not a spam blog".

popps said...

very polite robots then, that's good.
Now, where are MY glasses?

Natasa said...

Wow, this is scary. A bot had to verify that you were human? And then the robots apologised? I agree, that was nice of them. So if our world gets to be governed by robots one day it is nice to know that they are so polite.
We can laugh now, but I know how you must have felt. I don't know what I would do if someone threatened to erase my blog. And I do have a problem with captcha readings. I have astigmatism and they get kind of blurred.

LLJB said...

Natasa - I'm sure it'll be ok as long as you take care with the letters. I find other sites have captchas which are much easier to decipher than Blogger's. I am ultra careful now and not as slap-dash as I was before, so I suppose this narrow escape has taught me a good lesson. Don't mess with bots!!