Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Help us restore MJ's and Leni's missing comments by getting Blogger's attention

*Update: Thursday 15 July 2010 7:30 pm. Scroll to the end of the post please.

It's been two weeks since the surge got us a positive response from Blogger. Since then, Blogger has acknowledged that there is a problem with with Blogger automatically targeting and erasing MJ's and Leni's comments. And all old comments MJ and Leni have left on our blogs have been erased.

Since then, we've not heard anything else from Blogger, other than they are aware of the problem and working on it. Still, I've been monitoring the Blogger Help Forum for developments and I've learned something interesting. Blogger does acknowledge that there is a problem with MJ's and Leni's missing comments, and something needs to be done to prevent Blogger from erasing MJ's and Leni's new comments. However, they seem to classify this problem as a low priority!

So what does that mean? It means that we've made it on their "to do" list, but we're at the bottom. So, what course of action do we take now? Well, for one thing, we do need the Blogger team to solve this problem, so we've got to find a way to elevate the problem from low priority to high priority on their "to do" list. How do we do this effectively and keep their cooperation?

I've been thinking about this for a week now. And I've devised a two step strategy to help elevate this problem from low priority to high priority on the Blogger Team's to do list.
The first step is to start posting on the Forum at the thread that discusses the problem of MJ's and Leni's missing comments.

Starting Thursday, 15 July 2010 all through next week, to Wednesday, 21 July 2010, start posting at the forum thread to get the Blogger team's attention. The thread is here. (Right click on the link, then Open in New Tab or New Window to get to the thread and post your request).

Here's what we need to post. Feel free to edit these requests to fit your style:

1. Ask blogger what's being done to resolve the issue of all of MJ's and Leni's missing comments from our old blog posts. It has been a month since the comments disappeared on 12 June 2010.

2. Ask blogger what's being done to prevent the google/blogger bots from automatically targeting and erasing comments left by MJ and Leni using their Google/Blogger accounts. Why hasn't Blogger been able to stop the automatic erasure/censure of MJ's and Leni's new comments?

3. Ask blogger, what else is needed to solve this problem quickly and keep it from happening?

Then tell them we are looking forward to the Blogger team's response. Thank them for their assistance. Remember to be polite and respectful to them, so we can encourage their cooperation and their willingness to solve this problem quickly.

4. Please spread the word to let everyone know what we're doing starting Thursday 15 July 2010 til Wednesday 21 July 2010. The more people we have participating and posting requests at the thread, the more impact we'll have! The more of us who post there, the more power we'll wield in getting Blogger to respond quickly and effectively to our requests. There is a great power in numbers, and the greater our numbers, the greater our strength and power to bring about change!

The whole point of posting in the thread, is to get Blogger's attention so they can realize that this problem is not a low priority problem, but a big one. And by posting in the thread, we keep the issue visible and one of the first problems people see when they visit the help forum. All that attention will get us a response.

Remember, post in the thread to get Blogger's response.

After one week, and if by next Wednesday, 21 July 2010 that we don't get a response from Blogger, then we go on with part two of the strategy. A second surge!

We've all ready seen what the first surge did. All those multiple postings got Blogger's attention and we shook up the help forum to get some answers. They don't like it when multiple postings start showing up on the board, alarming the other bloggers and taking up most of the forum. All those multiple postings freak them out, which is why they asked us to cease and desist while they look into the problem. It's a heavy tactic that can cause chaos for the Blogger team, but it's one that's worked for us before. Hopefully, it won't come to that. But if it does, we do what we must to get to our goal: To restore MJ and Leni's missing comments and prevent their new ones from being automatically erased by Blogger.

So once again, I must ask for your help in this new strategy. Your cooperation and collaboration was successfully in getting Blogger's attention in the first place. And for that, I thank you so much for taking the time to work with us. You really made the difference. You are a truly astounding and genuine community who looks out for each other and comes together to protect and support one another.

Now, I call upon your strength and participation once more. Please spread the word. With your help, we can get Blogger to respond once again and help solve this problem. Apparently, until more people come forward and report that this is a problem, Blogger will not solve it any time soon. So please spread the word and join our efforts. The cease fire is off! We are back to posting requests on the Forum!

Remember, starting Thursday 15 July 2010 til Wednesday 21 July 2010, post here on the thread to request Blogger's help.

Ask blogger to restore MJ's and Leni's missing comments, and request that Blogger stop automatically targeting and erasing new comments left by MJ's and Leni using their Blogger accounts. Your cooperation and your support gives us incredible power to make things happen. Together, we can do amazing things. Together, we can reach the stars!

If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.
~Nora Roberts

********Update 15 July 2010, Thursday 7:30 pm*********

Something is going on at Blogger. In the post below, two of MJ's comments have briefly reappeared. This one was posted on 1 Jul 2010 11:25 am, and it vanished on July 2, 2010 4:45 AM. But it reappeared on 15 July 2010 at 7:30 pm when I went on line:

Blogger MJ said...

Test comment using my regular Google/Blogger log-in/username/avatar.

Posted on July 1st, 2010 at approximately 11:25 AM.

July 1, 2010 1:25 PM

This other comment was:

Comment deleted

This post has been removed by the author.

July 5, 2010 8:39 AM

It was the first of two comments to which I replied:
Blogger eroswings said...

MJ, I'm copying this for evidence.

Comment deleted

This post has been removed by the author.

July 5, 2010 8:39 AM
Blogger MJ said...

Ooops...trying again.

Here I am with yet another test comment posted on July 5, 2010 at approximately 8:41 AM.

July 5, 2010 8:41 AM

I was over at Nitecruzr's blog and it seems that he's forwarded further evidence to Gatsby about what's happening to the comments being erased automatically by Blogger. I imagine after the weekend holiday, they'll start working soon on it and let us know what's going to happen. I'm hopeful we'll get a resolution soon.

July 5, 2010 10:00 AM

I take this as a positive sign that Blogger really is working on solving MJ's and Leni's missing comments problem, and Blogger is looking for ways to stop MJ's and Leni's new comments from disappearing! Great work, people! Your polite respectful requests at the Forum are having a great impact! Keep up the good work. As you can see, it's working! Fantastic job, everyone!


  1. Hello Mr Swings, I saw the help thread in which nitecruzr once again asked for patience... and I also saw that this is on Gatsby's 'To Do' list - bob hope and no hope then... I haven't got a lot of confidence in Gatsby... but I do believe nitecruzr when he says: Noise and puffery doesn't encourage active involvement, by techies. because this is true. So I am in two minds about what to do next... I am angry that the comments haven't come back... but I'm not 100% sure that having a tantrum is going to make them come back any quicker - we may just get sent to the naughty step.
    I will think about this some more.

  2. Scarlet, Yeah, it's such a shame that it seems like we have to coddle Blogger to get any results. But I totally agree with you that throwing tantrums will not get us any quicker results. Which is why I had to think long and hard about how to speed things along.

    So that's why I figured, that since Blogger considers this problem to be a low priority because only a few of us have reported it, then perhaps if more of us went ahead and started reporting it, it'll raise the problem's profile and get more of the Blogger team to be involved.

    We don't want to be disrespectful and throw a tantrum--we just want them to elevate the problem up from low priority and have more people working to resolve it.

  3. I think it would only work if it was a massive surge - like over 100 reports by different people.
    I'm worried that we will piss them off and that they'll make it a lower priority.
    It's difficult.

  4. Scarlet, I've thought about that, too.

    I'm pretty sure that we can get well over a 100 different bloggers to report this problem in a surge. But I want that to be a last resort tactic.

    For now, I think that by posting in the thread, we raise the profile of the problem and keep it visible to all.

    And if Blogger wants to get all pissy and not do anything, then I guess it means that I start sending out alerts to a few gov't agencies and organizations and media outlets that have an interest in protecting freedom of speech and equality. If Blogger refuses to solve this problem, it'll only make them look like they promote discrimination and censorship, which will only harm Google's reputation (and their profits) once the word spreads.

    I'm hoping to resolve this issue soon and not get outside agencies involved. It would get very messy and damaging once larger powers get involved.

  5. Dear Eros.
    I will attempt to participate.
    however I have to agree with Scarlet in regard to the "Don't Piss Me Off" attitude from the Blogger team. Remember they have the power to click a button and delete anyone they dis/like at whim. I think an initial enquiry as to further progress is warranted given that the problem has not been rectified and that MJ and Leni's comments
    A) have not been restored and
    B) continue to self delete.

    The problems that everyone had with comments last week seemed to be a system wide phenomena and possibly resulted from an attempt by blogger to rectify the MJ and Leni comment issue that failed.

    As they are not big on giving helpful feedback other that platitudes in an attempt to keep the great unwashed pacified...

    I really dont know what else we can do other than take it external.
    They will possibly take the same line as last time in that "we" will only communicate with the "Specific Blog Owners" (an interesting term within itself... but i digress) and not their hoards of followers....

    I believe that Google have other bigger fish to fry ie. Re-signing China!
    There is no real income for Google from Blogger when it is a free community service. And cheap entertainment for the masses.

    And besides they are facing big questins around privacy regarding their Mapping and data collection with Google earth.
    So i guess that missing comments on users blogs are in their eyes low on their priority listing.

    But to continue to seek an answer and and explanation from the Team is an issue of Priciple. (If one can detatch oneself from the emotion that accompanies missing comments)

    So I will be joining you Tomorrow in a renewed effort to have justice prevail...

  6. Eros,

    Thank you for being so indefatigable; you're really not easily dismayed and I really appreciate.

    After he requested for silence and tried to diagnose MJ's problem, this Nitecruzr asked me to open a new thread -and I did-.

    But it was deleted when comments started massively vanishing from other blogs. And I never heard from him again, even though I'm one of those they call "Specific Blog Owners".

    I am very upset and disappointed and I totally agree with Princess:

    Google gets no income from Blogger. This is why MJ and I are 'low priority'.

    Google just fears what governments can do to them (i.e. Spain, France, Italy and Switzerland data protection agencies have sued Google and banned the Streetview cars, or of course China with censorship issues) because it has a huge public impact and their name may be damaged.

    I want MJ's and my comments back and of course, I will submit my request again to the Blogger forum, but I will never go back to Blogger. I just don't want to go through this again.

    I think you have been very patient and nicely mannered with Nitecruzr and Gatsby, who is surely not a person but a Google department of employees with a list of tasks that don't care a tiny bit about bloggers or disappeared comments.

    But I won't give up until i've tried everything possible to recover my comments, so tomorrow I'll be at the forum.

    Once again, thank you for everything.

  7. Oh lordy I am offline for a while and insurection is brewing in the interwebs.
    Ok I am a programmer by trade and have a feel for problems like this as I have worked in application technical support for the last 24 years .
    I suspect that what has happened is a vital database index of some description has been deleted(probably during a server failure or badly tested upgrade that resulted in the blogs originally dissapearing) relating to Leni and MJ's data. When the blogger system goes through its database verification to check all comment data elements match up to the blogger/google account that they say posted them (The systems usually check this sort of linkage via an index listing all accounts on the system) , I am betting the index item for Leni and MJ are missing.The system will then assume the comment information is corrupt and remove them.
    I am profering this theory with reference to some facts , such as the comments are there for a while and then dissapear which would indicate a regularly scheduled process within the database is looking at the comments and ditching them.
    I will say that these systems normally have thousands of these type of linkage indexes and it can be a bugger to find one of them out of sync.
    I think your right in not letting it drop until a reolution is found , but I am afraid to say that depending on the problem the comments that have thus far been deleted may not be recoverable.
    I would be wary of getting too excitable on the freedom of speech or censorship front when dealing with support as being frank they will think your marginally insane and this could adversely affect your prioritisation on the queue.
    One other point to mention is that they are completely correct in following the 'we only deal with the account owner' line , they are just applying the due diligence rules associated with data protection (dont laugh since a severe bout of technical buffoonery rather put paid to that!) and privacy.
    However the group effort of continuing to report this and ask for resolution will always be worth it :-)
    Since that explanation probably makes no sense at all I could prehaps apply for a job at blogger/google support :-)))

  8. Bravo Beast!

    I am thinking Beast's hosed db theory is probably close to the root of the technical problem with Leni's and MJ's disappearing comments.

    Working in IT is usually a worse than thankless job. Especially the help desk area. So, be polite, be patient, and be thorough in explaining the problem.

  9. @ Beast,

    Thanks for your explanation; and yes, it does make sense. The Googlebot visits my old blog every day and deletes my test comments, probably thinking they're corrupt, as you brilliantly explained.
    To find MJ's and my lost indexes and links in Blogger's database may be a nightmare for them. But a bit of communication would be welcomed.

    Your explanation about applying the data protection diligence rules and only dealing with the blog owner, also makes a lot of sense. The only thing is that they don't even contact the blog owners; maybe they're overworked or busy with more important issues.

    I'm sure things would work much better at Google/Blogger if you worked for them. :)

  10. I am not trying to excuse their woeful customer service skills and lack of communication just explain a very possible scenario for the technical problems . I doubt wether there is malice or censorship involved just good old fashioned ineptitude and sloth :-)

  11. Princess, You give very valid points in our discussion, which are welcomed and helpful. And you and Scarlet are right about Blogger having the power to just delete us on a whim. I've spent a good week weighing the pros and cons of several approaches to deal with how to move forward regarding the problem of MJ's and Leni's missing comments.

    But I'm going out on a limb and have faith here to say that I don't think Blogger will just delete us. Whether it's a free service or not, Blogger is a part of Google, and their actions do reflect greatly on the main business Google conducts. To just delete blogs they don't like would be bad for business, because word would get around real quick and damage Google's credibility. And Google needs a solid reputation and credibility to overcome its current challenges in the global marketplace.

    And I really do think that they are working on solving the problem of the missing comments of MJ and Leni, and I have faith that they're working to stop the new comments MJ and Leni post from being erased automatically.

    The reason why I keep believing that the missing comments are safe is because I've read archives at the Blogger Help Forum where people had their comments missing, and then they were restored about a month or so later. And the archives stated that comments are backed up and safe on their servers. So, I'm hoping the same has been done to MJ's and Leni's comments.

    Please join our efforts at the Forum. I look forward to your participation because you lend us your strength and enhance our collective power when we work together to bring positive change to the world.

    Leni, Thank you for hanging in there with us. Having you participate adds great credibility and enourmous strength to our collective power.

    While it may seem true that you and MJ's missing comments are a low priority right now, at least it's a priority that's made it on the "to do" list. The very fact that Blogger acknowledges that there is a problem and they are working to solve it is a great victory in itself. The first step in solving a problem is admitting that there is one.

    Now, we just have to find ways to work with Blogger to solve the problem quickly and efficiently. The fact that it took Blogger less than a day to solve the mystery of the massive, widespread disappearing comments fiasco that plagued the blogspot last week tells me of the incredible problem solving abilities of the entire Blogger Team when they work together. We just need a little of that Blogger Team effort to solve our problem of yours and MJ's missing comments.

    I have faith that it can be solved! We just have to keep working together to get it done.

  12. Beast, Your explanation is fantastic! It provides a good perspective on what could be the problem or at least how things are done behind the scenes.

    I'm very hopeful that the comments are still saved on a backup server somewhere. This issue of missing comments has happened before, and I read in the archives how people whose comments were missing eventually had their comments returned after a month or so. The archives stated that the comments aren't lost or erased; they are backed up somewhere by Blogger.

    I've noticed some tweakings going on, because before, all of MJ's and Leni's comments were visible briefly on my blog last week. And tonight, two of MJ's comments returned briefly and I've copied and pasted them to the end of this post as evidence.

    And I've figured that the best way to keep this problem visible and continue to work with Blogger is to be respectful and tell them that we are willing to cooperate fully with them to solve this problem. I'm aiming for kindness and respect on the forum. The rantings and ravings can come much later when all hell breaks loose ;) But I don't think it'll come to that.

    XL, Thank you for the sage advice. I had edited my post to reflect the ideas I've found discussed in these comments. Very wonderful, productive discussion.

    And you're right. It's always better to be respectful, polite, and patient when dealing with other people, esp those who do thankless jobs like IT and customer service. I'm hoping that the cooperative, polite approach we take on the Forum will encourage Blogger to continue working with us and help solve the problem of MJ's and Leni's missing comments. I've all ready seen some things that indicate that Blogger is working on the problem, as evidenced by the (brief) return of some of MJ's and Leni's comments to my blog. Let's hope all the comments return permanently, soon!

    Leni, You bring out wonderful points. It would make sense that Blogger is having a bit of a challenge tracking down in their huge database what went wrong. I have faith though that they'll solve it. We just have to keep working with them to encourage their efforts to solve the problem.

    Beast, And I'm counting on good old fashioned ingenuity and hard work to fix the problem. I've seen the Blogger Team fix massive problems, like the widespread comments disappearing conundrum of last week. I've got faith they'll be able to solve this problem of MJ's and Leni's vanishing comments.

  13. Oh no! I didn't mean that I thought that they'd delete us! I meant that I thought they might go on a 'go slow'! It's what British workmen do if you nag them too much. You ask them to speed up with something but instead they bugger off and have a fag and a cup of tea.

  14. YES!! I can see one of MJ's test comments in your previous post as well! How bizarre - but promising.

  15. Scarlet, Ah, people in America do the same slow tactics at times, too! Bastards!

    And the news gets even more exciting. I've been checking out my old blog posts, and some of MJ's comments have returned! Not all, but some. And even on her blog, some of her comments have reappeared as well. I'm taking it as a positive sign!

  16. ...I'm going to look through some of Mr Beastie's old posts...
    Maybe they'll all come back gradually like they did on Comment Disaster Day.

  17. Fantastic news, Scarlet! MJ's comments even reappeared on your I'm Two post!

    They really are starting to come back--or at least Blogger is working hard to make them come back. It's an excellent sign of things to come!

  18. Hello Eros, I'm late, sorry please. Post on thread or wait a bit?

  19. Coming in on Mago's tail. I'll pop over to the forum to see what's what.

    Your tenacity, like your wardrobe organisation, really is admirable!

  20. Guys, some of my comments - not all- are reappearing again. Still some of them are missing, but I hope this will be getting better.

    I've checked some blogs and i've also seen MJ's comments restored there.

    Yesterday I left a test comment with my username and it hasnt disappeared yet -more than 24 hours have passed and the googlebot visited twice, but hasn't eaten anything yet-. I guess it's a good sign.

    I'll wait to see if they're still there tomorrow and all of them are back. When things get back to their initial status for MJ and me, Nitecruzr and Gatsby -whoever they are- deserve a big thankyou.

    But all my gratefulness is for you; you're all a wonderful community.

    And Eros, again, you're my hero . ;)

    (Posting with my old blog's username). I hope my comment is still here tomorrow.


    Guys, some of my comments - not all- are reappearing again. Still some of them are missing, but I hope this will be getting better.

    I've checked some blogs and i've also seen MJ's comments restored there.

    Yesterday I left a test comment with my username and it hasnt disappeared yet -more than 24 hours have passed and the googlebot visited twice, but hasn't eaten anything yet-. I guess it's a good sign.

    I'll wait to see if they're still there tomorrow and all of them are back. When things get back to their initial status for MJ and me, Nitecruzr and Gatsby -whoever they are- deserve a big thankyou.

    But all my gratefulness is for you; you're all a wonderful community.

    And Eros, again, you're my hero . ;)

    (Posting with my old blog's username). I hope my comment is still here tomorrow.

  22. I think it really has worked! I've noticed the return of loads of MJ's comments on my blog. I thought it'd only just happened - I should've come here to check first though (I've been absent from blogging for a few days) - but it looks like you've had success since Thursday.

    Bravo, Eros and all your supporters!

  23. Some Progress!

    MJ's comments are returning to my blog!

    Leni's comments are still missing!

  24. Scarlet, Things are looking great!

    Mago, I think if any more of us post on the thread, it would be to let Blogger know that we're noticing some great progress and that some of the comments have returned! We just want to encourage them to keep doing what they're doing to fix this problem. Looks like it's working!

    Eryl, Thank you! I think that our new strategy to be respectful while encouraging the Blogger Team to fix the problem is paying off! And it's people like you and Mago and everyone else who took the time to support our efforts and post at the Forum who made all the difference throughout this entire ordeal.

    So Thank you, everyone! You're participation and support is really paying off! Y'all rock!

  25. Leni, It's wonderful to see some of your comments come back!

    I've been over to Princess's, where I saw one of your comments return here. And over on your old blog, I've seen a few more of your comments returning here.

    While not all of your comments have returned, it's a very positive sign that Blogger is working to start bringing them all back! I'm really ecstatic about the latest developments! Things are going great! I'm just really happy to see your comments starting to reappear again! So good work, everyone, for your participation, your support, and your willingness to do whatever it took to work with the Blogger Team to resolve this issue!

    Our efforts are really starting to pay off! The results are coming in, and they're good!

    IDV, It's a good sign! A few of MJ's and Leni's comments are still missing, but the majority of them have returned, so that's a really good thing! It looks like all our group efforts to work together and collaborate with Blogger has paid off! I'm just happy to get most of the comments back now. It's a positive sign that perhaps all of MJ's and Leni's comments may be returned soon!

    XL, It's a fantastic turn of events! It's a really good sign that MJ's and Leni's comments may all be returned soon!

    Seeing those few comments reappear again is great news! I have no doubt that Leni's comments will start returning, too. I've been to her old blog and some other blogs, like Princess's, where I know she commented on, and I've seen the return of some of her comments.

    I know that there are a few comments still missing from them, because a few of my posts comment count still don't match the number of comments that pop up. But I'm really excited by the latest developments. We may see all the missing comments return, and perhaps all the new comments MJ and Leni post will stay put!

    Thank you, everyone for your continued support and hard work in making this wonderful progress happen! You're cooperation and collaboration has generated amazing results!

  26. My comments are back! My comments are back!


    A special big hug and kiss to Eroswings.

    I shall thank you all in a post tomorrow but today is a wee bit hectic.


  27. Eros, ALL my comments are back now. It took some time for the last ones to appear, but there they are!

    And thanks to all those who participated in the surge, posted, commented and e-mailed about it. Without you it wouldn't have been possible!

    *blows a huge kiss* ;)

  28. Great Job, Eroswings!

  29. MJ, Fantastic!

    I was waiting on a few last comments to finally return. But it looks like they're all back! My comments count match the number of comments in the pop up box! Glad to have your comments (and Leni's) back!

    Leni, It's great to see you finally get all your comments back! They've returned to my blog, too!

    It took an entire community of people working together and finding a way to cooperate with Blogger to fix this problem. It just goes to show what amazing things are possible when people start working together to make positive things happen!

    Mago, This was a group effort. It took everyone working together with Blogger to make this possible. So thank you, and thanks to everyone who supported our efforts and worked hard to join our campaign. You all made a difference!

  30. In my case, my blog disappeared completely! But it turned out that there was just some temporary glitch in Blogger's system. Perhaps we have the same case? Read my story about what happened to my blog, and you might figure out what went wrong in yours. Thanks!

  31. kPg, That's great you got your blog back. It took a lot of hard work and communication with Blogger, but we got our two missing blogs back, along with the missing/disappearing comments.