Blogger/Blogspot blogs lately?
For a start, there are still spam blogs (or "splogs") on Blogspot.com that have slipped through the net. Even worse, some of them now sneakily hide the Flag as Objectionable button at the right of the Blogger navbar at the top of the screen, to stop us from reporting them to Blogger.
They do this in several ways, but there's a common one I've noticed recently. I've figured out what they did and how, but I'm not going to spell it out here - you just shouldn't do it, it probably violates the Blogger TOS or terms of service, though unfortunately Blogger are far from clear about what bloggers using Blogspot can or cannot do regarding the navbar, see my post on that subject. (A revision of their TOS to clarify things like this is long overdue, but that's another post..).
However, if you really want to see an example, here's a post on a test blog I've done (opens in a new window) where the flag has been hidden.
And here's another post on the same test blog where the flag is still visible (again opens in a new window).
So, what can we do? Well I've produced a very very simple Greasemonkey script which will restore that flag in Blogspot blogs, so that you can then use the flag to report the spam blog to Blogger. (Yes, I've expressed concerns before about the possible abuse of the flag by people acting collectively to censor or delete blogs they just dislike, and more transparency on the part of Blogger as to how they decide what action to take on flagged blogs would be good - but hiding the flag has got to be a violation of the Blogger TOS, and unhiding it won't make a difference on the abuse front, I think, so I don't feel too guilty about providing a means to restore the flag in blogs that have hidden it.)
Get the script.
Spammers are cunning though. There are all sorts of ways to hide the flag, e.g. hiding the navbar altogether. My script only deals with one way, so it won't work with all spam blogs on Blogspot (and of course it only works with Blogspot blogs, as they're the only ones with the Blogger navbar and flag). Hopefully, as other ways emerge, the script can be expanded or other scripts can be written to shoot 'em down. Kirk will I am sure be coming up with some much more comprehensive and better scripts. [Updated 21 March:] yep, he's done it. For a script which tackles all manner of navbar hiding methods, see this post.
Here's an example of one spam blog which has hidden the flag in this way, where my little script will work to restore the flag once you've installed the script.
Go get them spammers!
(Separately, is it just me or is there much more comment spam on Blogger blogs lately, despite the word verification? I've certainly noticed it on my own blog. I do hope Blogger sort it out somehow, it's getting beyond a joke and I really don't want to have to turn on comment moderation.)
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