Monday, September 01, 2008

This Blog Isn’t Spam!

While I was posting my recent editorial about John McCain’s choice of picking Sara Palin to be his vice presidential running mate, I noticed that I had to place a word verification code in order to post my editorial.

I thought this was odd and I clicked the “Why Do I Have To Do This” link, which took me to a page where Blogger explains to me that someone marked The Times Observer as a spam blog.

Needless to say, I was angry and insulted. When I write an editorial or column on here, I spend about a good two hours or more creating it. Writing takes time. I just don’t write whatever comes to my head. Most of the time is spent on researching the topic by reading various news stories from different media outlets. Then I try to find objective news articles or sources that are hyperlinked within the commentary to backup my opinions or just to inform you, my readers, of what is happening in the news. The remaining part of the time is dedicated to writing and editing the commentary and finding the right picture or video.

But who could have done such a thing? Why would someone think that my blog was spam? More importantly, why didn’t I receive an e-mail notice from Blogger explaining to me that I’ve been flagged? I would certainly like to have detailed information, such as who flagged me (or at least their IP address), and the date and time I’ve been labeled a fraud.

But then I remember reading something awhile ago. Allegedly, a lot of Obama supporters would flag people’s Blogger blogs if the blog was against the Illinois senator in anyway.

Of course, it makes sense, because my last post (not counting my vacation notice) was an editorial about Joe Biden and how his 30 plus years in the Senate puts an uncomfortable spotlight on Barack Obama’s inexperience.

Sadly, if it is a case of a die-hard Obama supporter, then this person clearly has never read all of the columns and editorials that I have written. Because if this person took the time, he or she would realize that I have written in support of Obama and I have criticized McCain. In fact, the most recent editorial is how McCain picked Palin simply because she’s a woman, even though I mention other credible attributes that she can bring into Washington. Of course, it’s true that I’ve written things that praised McCain and attacked Obama, but a little more on that later.

Now, if it is an Obama supporter wearing rose-colored glasses, and it’s a strong possibility that this person is a Democrat and liberal, then this person certainly blast the stereotype that liberals embrace freedom of speech. By flagging my blog as spam, this person started the process of restricting my right to free speech. And I would imagine that Obama certainly wouldn’t want a supporter to stop an American’s right to freely speak his mind, even if it is against him.

Yes, I’ve both blasted and praised many Republicans and Democrats (including presidential candidates and presidents) because I’m an independent voter. I just can’t root for one party and turn a blind eye to their shenanigans. It goes against my grain. And I call them like I see them. If an Obama supporter really did flag my blog, hopefully he or she will read this and follow some of my hyperlinks to other pieces that I’ve written, which will support what I’m saying.

And more importantly, a human from Blogger will be reviewing The Times Observer soon after I sent a request to have someone look at my blog and realize it’s not spam. I feel sorry for Blogger that they have to waste their time with such childish acts by closed-minded people, if that is the case. But I do appreciate that they gave me the benefit of the doubt and allowed me to continue to publish my commentaries with the word verification code. It maybe a pain, but at least I can work on my blog.

Hopefully, this will be the last flag-spamming incident for me, because this has left me with some bad heartburn and bad puns.