Friday, 24 March 2006

Blogger: bookmarklet - flag Blogspot splogs hiding navbar or flag






[Updated 25 March 2006:]

Previously I posted about the Magical Sheep Firefox/Greasemonkey Blogspot Navbar Restorer script to get the Blogger navbar back so you could flag a spam blog (or "splog") hosted on Blogger's free Blogspot.com if it had cunningly hidden the navbar or flag, or made it non-clickable. Apart from being a nuisance to the rest of us, spam blogs hosted on Blogspot are in violation of Blogger's terms of service or TOS, which prohibits the use of Blogspot blogs for spamming, so Blogger will delete Blogspot splogs if they know about them.

Limitations of the Magical Sheep Blogspot Navbar Restorer script

Now that script only works if you are surfing using Firefox and Greasemonkey (though they're free, and Firefox beats Internet Explorer hands down in most cases), and of course you have to install the script.

It also only addresses certain methods of concealing the navbar or flag.

What if you're surfing using IE and come across a splog on Blogspot? Or what if the splog uses some sneaky method to delete or hide the navbar/flag which hasn't been picked up by the script?

Kirk and I have been discussing this, and it's impossible to anticipate all the ways to conceal or disable the Blogger navbar or flag that spammers could come up with (so please do let us know if you come across any that the script doesn't work for).

But - whatever method the spammers use - hopefully they won't be able to hide their blog ID.

The complementary solution: Magical Sheep Flag Blog bookmarklet

So, here's how to flag splogs that the Blogspot Navbar Restorer script can't reach - we've produced a free Magical Sheep "Flag blog" bookmarklet which you can save to your Favorites or drag to your Bookmarks Toolbar (more info and instructions on how to use bookmarklets) - quick and easy to do.

I won't post the favelet here because Blogger frequently messes up bookmarklet links with Javascript when I republish this blog. Instead, see this Improbulus bookmarklets page - it's no. 3. It works with Internet Explorer and Firefox, but sorry not with Opera. Don't have a Mac so if anyone can confirm that it works with Safari I'd appreciate it.

How to use the Magical Sheep Flag Blog favelet

After you've saved the bookmarklet, when you are viewing (via the browser you've saved the bookmarklet to) a Blogspot splog that you want to flag, just click the favelet link in your Favorites or Bookmarks, and it will automatically pick up the blog's ID and fill it in for you in the popup. Just hit OK to send a flag report to Blogger.

If for any reason it can't find the blog ID automatically, the popup line for the ID will be empty - just view source for that splog (menu View, Source in IE; View, Page source in Firefox), look for the blog ID by searching in the source for the text "blogID" without the quotes - it'll be the number after "blogID=" - and copy that blog's blog ID number. Then, in the popup just paste the blog ID number you just copied, and Roberta's your auntie!

You don't even have to have saved this bookmarklet to use it - if you prefer, just bookmark my Improbulus favelets page link. Then whenever you want to flag a Blogspot splog, find its blog ID via view source and note it or copy it, go to my bookmarklets page, click the "Flag blog"link on that page, fill in the popup with the blog ID you've noted and hit OK.


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13 comments:

kirk said...

Nice job Imp!

Howzabout adding an automatic search for the BlogID to the bookmarklet?

I got most of the stuff already, I'll add it to a bookmarklet format and send it.

jan said...

Haven't you people got better things to do with your time? I mean really.

phrebh said...

I wish I had seen this page before I wasted my time writing a PHP tool to do almost the same thing. I saw your other posts on the Greasemonkey script and since I usually use Navigator, I decided to write a tool that would flag or unflag a site by just submitting it's URL.

Thanks for the tools and for giving me a reason to spend an entire day writing a tool that I don't need.

Improbulus said...

Jan - probably, but if we all do a bit to help fight the spammers, it may all add up. Who knows. Too idealistic, maybe, but we can but try.

Phrebh, please do have youself a nice beer, I would!

Moh said...

[Added by Improbulus: note to readers, do NOT try going to that link below till I've ascertained whether it's legit or spam! See comment after this.]

my blog is being assaulted by a nuissance float from "http://www.affiliatis.com/redirection/affichage.php?data=225|111|1063" please help me get rid of it. Pleaaaase.
Moh

Improbulus said...

Moh I'm treating your comment as legit for now but you haven't provided a link to your blog and it's impossible to get it from your profile. Let me have the info and I'll see what I can find out.

Without that, though, you'll appreciate that I'll have to treat that comment as an attempt to get people to click that link, and delete it.

Nestor said...

this splog was posted in comment spam on one of my wordpress blogs (It got through because other legit commenters have blogspot blogs - free-ringtone-1185819.blogspot.com/ I tried the bookmarklet but it leads to a 404 page, it seems to have multiple instances of a fake blogid, and possibly the real one is encrypted somehow, it's all beyond me, but I thought you might want to give it a look.

Improbulus said...

Thanks Nestor, obviously the splogger has set the blog up to automatically redirect visitors to another site, so you can't stay on the blog long enough to flag it.

There are ways to find out the blog ID (for that blog it's 3870080204006557691) which you can then paste into the bookmarklet, but it's probably easier for most people to just report the splog to Blogger with a note about the automatic redirection.

Angel said...

I normally use Firefox or Safari, so I was surprised to see that my page was messed up in IE. I don't understand why. My test site (with technically the same layout but with less addons) display the top widebar and the rightsub1 the way it is supposed to be shown. Rightsub2 however is placed under rightsub1 when it should be beside it.

I need your help :( How do I fix this? Is there a code in my layout that made IE read it and display only the first post and not any of the sidebars?

Blog: http://flairinthecity.blogspot.com
Test site: http://flairinthecity-testsite.blogspot.com

Improbulus said...

Angel, did you mean to comment on this particular post??

I'm afraid I'm no expert on CSS generally still less the IE flavour of CSS. Have you tried the Google Help Group for Blogger?

Anonymous said...

How does this work exactly....? Since the large amount of blogspot abuse I've seen recently (see the following URIBL link....at the end of this comment) - most of these "splogs" are merely blind redirecting, either through META-REFRESH or obfuscated Javascript, to Canadian Pharmacy and other spammer outposts...

URIBL link:
http://rss.uribl.com/hosters/blogspot_com.html

Note, from http://rss.uribl.com/hosters/ you will be amazed, Blogspot has 4747 listed, 5142 "active" (possibly, still alive, the last time the administrator checked them).

Blogspot has THE MOST ACTIVE splogs out of all other "free hosters" (Geocities, googlepages, tripod, etc...

CastleCops.com/sirt has been on the ball. Letters have been flying to Google/BlogSpot/Blogger now to kill these splogs, and put in measures to "block" obfuscated javascript, and META-REFRESH.

Shaikh Izaj Ahmed said...

Very Interesting Article, by reading this article I activated my hidden Navbar in blog http://siaargroup.blogspot.com Thanks a lot for explaining the tos.

nanang said...

you have make me understand now. thanks