Saturday, April 11, 2020

The case of the missing blog

A long time ago, my blog just vanished. In its place was a message that the blog "has been removed."

Nowadays the message would have been this one:

Blog has been removed. Sorry, the blog at has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs

There are many different reasons why this can happen. I hope it never happens to you, but if it does, and you do not know why, here is a guide.

You deleted it.

You might know if you did this, but it is possible to delete a blog by accident if (1) you delete the entire Google account (never do that) and (2) that account was the only account on the blog.

You might also delete a blog supposing that doing so would let you start a new blog at the same web address.

Wrong, you can't. But you can restore the blog, usually, and then scrub it clean by deleting all the posts and pages, and giving it a new theme and title and subtitle.

Your friends (or theirs) deleted it.

Anyone with administrative rights to the blog, and anyone who has access to an account with administrative rights, could delete the blog.

So if you have shared access, do not rule this out.

And remember that if you shared access, anyone you shared it with could have shared it with someone else.

Google deleted it.

Google sometimes deletes blogs that appear to be violating Blogger's content policies.

These include prohibitions against copyright violation, spamming, bullying, harassment of others, and posting personal information that is not yours and is not a matter of public record.

So, don't do any of that.

Here is one thing that Google does not remove blogs for, ever: inactivity.

Notice and appeal

If Google removes your blog, you will be notified, either in an email to your address of record (where it may get caught in spam filters, so look), or on your Blogger dashboard.

Most blog takedowns are subject to appeal. If this applies to you, the option will be available in some or all of (1) the notification, (2) the main page of your dashboard, (3) the blog menu on your dashboard.

A hacker deleted it

If your account was compromised, the person who gained access could have deleted any blogs in the account.

The more likely scenario is that a hacker gains access, steals the blog, uses it to engage in policy violations, and causes the blog to be deleted by Google (above).

There is a disturbance in the Force

Google is vast and sometimes experiences intermittent outages.

The key word is intermittent.

When my blog disappeared years ago, for no conceivable reason, I freaked out.

The earth opened under my feet, and I sincerely repented of my failure to back up my blog as regularly as I should have.

And then, just a few hours later, my blog was back. It has never happened to me since.

To this day, that is all I know.

What to do about it

I hope this never happens to you.

But if it does, and you are not sure what to do, take your problem to Blogger's online help community.

Not here.

This problem can have many causes and will require some investigation. There is no single simple answer here.

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