[Added 29 March 2006:] For a simple bookmarklet or favelet you can click to flag a Blogspot spam blog that you're viewing (e.g. if the script below doesn't work to bring back the flag), see this post.
Previously I'd blogged about spam blogs ("splogs") hosted on Blogger's free Blogspot, which cunningly hide the flag in Blogger's navbar (that you see along the top of the page on Blogspot blogs) so that you can't report the blog to Blogger as spam. I wrote a simple Greasemonkey script for the free Firefox browser to restore the flag in the case of one specific way used to get rid of the flag.
But of course there are many ways for splogs to stop people from reporting them, by hiding not just the flag but the entire navbar itself, etc - which is in fact against Blogger's TOS (terms of service), and could in itself expose the blog to deletion by Blogger.
Well now the incomparable Kirk has greatly enhanced that Greasemonkey script so that it restores the navbar/flag for 6 hiding methods seen, as Kirk puts it, "in the wild":
1) Flag button hidden with script
2) Navbar hidden with CSS
3) Navbar hidden with noembed tags
4) Navbar flag/"Next Blog" links overlaid by banners or other content, so you can't click on them (like the "Make Poverty History" banner) - the banner is still there but you'll now be able to click on Next Blog
5) Navbar commented out
6) Navbar hidden with noscript tags.
Magical Sheep Blogspot Navbar RestorerSo, I now give you the Magical Sheep Blogspot Navbar Restorer script, version 0.7 beta (direct link to script).
(How to install Greasemonkey and its user scripts. NB - if you were using my original Blogspot flag restorer script mentioned in my previous post, it's best to uninstall it first in Firefox (menu Tools, Manage User Scripts, click on the name of the Blogspot Flag Restorer script in the list on the left, then click the Uninstall button and OK) before you install this version).
The script restores the flag or navbar in all the situations listed above. Of course it can't deal with every single sneaky method used by spammers to hide the navbar, but it addresses the ones which are the most common at the moment (March 2006). If you come across any other naughty hiding tricks by spammers or have any other feedback or comments, do let Kirk and me know, and the script will be updated to deal with them if possible.
This script could be useful not just to flag spam blogs but also to go to the Next Blog, e.g.if you're surfing Blogspot blogs and want to move on to the Next Blog, but can't because the current blog has removed or hidden the navbar.
The script shouldn't interfere with any Webpages other than loading back in the navbar or flag, but if you have a blog-related problem you can always try disabling Greasemonkey in Firefox (menu Tools, Extensions, scroll to find Greasemonkey in the list, rightclick on it, choose Disable), just in case... though that's do with Greasemonkey generally, rather than this particular script. We don't think there is anything in this script which would mess up a page, it hasn't yet done that or crashed Firefox during the time we've been testing it privately, but you never know - so if you use the seript please note that you do so at your risk.
NotesRed border. When this script restores the flag button which has been hidden by a script, or when it adds the whole navbar back after it's been hidden, you will see a red border around the flag or navbar to show that the blog has tried to hide the flag or navbar. In rare cases the navbar may be restored without the red indicator border, but most likely this is due to coding errors rather than mischief.
Formatting. Sometimes the restored navbar may have some "gaps" or funky formatting. This is usually due to sloppy coding in relation to the original blog (some people leave out the closing </style> tag which keeps the imported Blogger CSS from functioning). In those cases, the Navbar Restorer script reloads just the minimum CSS to get the bar back in place, but nothing more on the formatting/looks front.
Exclusions. If you're using the script but don't want it to restore the navbar on certain blogs, you add those blog to the exclude list as with other Greasemonkey scripts. (To do that, in Firefox go to the Tools menu, Manage User Scripts, click on Blogspot Navbar Restorer in the list on the left, then on the right by the box headed Excluded pages click the Add button and type in the URL of the blog you want to exclude, and repeat the Add process for each blog you want to exclude.)
Trying it out. If you want to test this script out, try looking at these blogs before installing the script (or look at them in Internet Explorer, where the navbar or flag will still be hidden), and then again after installation. Note though that these splogs may not be there forever as no doubt people will now be flagging them!
Script hiding of flag:
CSS hiding of navbar:
There are noembed ones and Make Poverty History banner ones but most aren't spam so I won't list any, I'm sure you can find a few.
So you can now go forth and flag more splogs!
Technorati Tags: spam, splogs, spam blogs, anti-spam, fighting spam, flag, navbar, Blogger, Blogger.com, Blogspot, Blogspot.com, TOS, Firefox, Greasemonkey, Magical Sheep, Phydeaux3, Improbulus, A Consuming Experience, Consuming Experience