Http://hestia.blogspot.com Is Not Owned By Kathryn Petro Anymore

I am learning a major lesson about the disadvantage of the Internet. There is no person or place to go to when one has a problem, so one’s ability to get results is nearly nonexistent. It’s like getting caught on automated phone hell, only without the crappy muzak.

Case in point: I once had a blog called The Hestia Chronicles on Blogger. When I started my practice, I realized my real life name associated with the blog would be confusing to clients. So I deleted that blog and requested the archives be deleted. Supposedly this was done (although I now see that a link to an archive still appears in a Google search). What I was not warned about, however, was that by deleting my blog the url would be made available to someone else to use. Blogger help (FAQ) said nothing about this, leading me to believe that deletion would be complete — that the url would be retired and made unavailable.

Imagine my outrage and dismay when I did a Google search for my name, Kathryn Petro, and discovered that the the first result was the old url, and that it had been hijacked by porn spammers. My name is printed in huge letters, and beneath that are a number of links for X-rated sites. There is no email address or other means of identifying and communicating with the hijacker.

So I emailed Blogger — twice — about this. Today they responded as follows.

Thank you for your note. When you deleted your blog, you essentially made it available to be registered by another user. Blogger is a provider of content creation tools, not a mediator of that content. We allow our users to create blogs, but we don’t make any claims about the content of these pages. In cases where a contact email address is listed on the page, we recommend working directly with the author to have this information removed or changed.

-Blogger Support

In other words, too bad so sad. My name can now be bandied about in connection with pornography, never mind that my name and reputation are my stock in trade. Gee, thanks Blogger! I really appreciate your assistance and your attitude.

So, for the record, I am writing this post to clarify that I no longer own the content at http://hestia.blogspot.com. The name, Kathryn Petro, has been taken against my knowledge and will by someone anonymous and misused for their purposes. And Blogger will DO NOTHING about this.

Beware of Blogger! You should probably beware of any content management system and any urls you create through them. Had I known about the policy of making it available to whomever, I would have kept the url and simply redirected seekers to my website.

Update, 4:32 p.m.:

I am very grateful to a friend, Chip Rosenthal, Dave Haxton, and Tony Petro (my blogless brother) for their advocacy and advice on how to handle this. It was determined to be in violation of Blogger’s terms of service. I also thank Evan Williams, co-founder of Pyra (the company that started Blogger), for responding with alacrity. The situation has been corrected. Blogger Support responded with:

Hi Kathryn,

Thank you for writing back. We have investigated further into the account you reported and concluded that they are violating the Terms of Service as you have indicated. We have removed the specific blog that you inquired about. It should no longer be viewable although may remain in search engine’s caches for a short period of time.

Thank you for using Blogger,
Blogger Support

I hope that this doesn’t happen again, but my faith in the possibility of resolving such problems has been restored.

Update, 6:05 p.m.:

At Chip’s suggestion, I tried to re-register the url and succeeded. So I now have control over the content, although I don’t know what I’ll do with it. I’m sure I’ll come up with something, someday.

Explore posts in the same categories: Miscellaney

7 Comments on “Http://hestia.blogspot.com Is Not Owned By Kathryn Petro Anymore”

  1. Carl Webb Says:

    Well that’s how capitalism works. The only care about profits.

  2. Dave H. Says:

    Hi Kathryn:

    I just left the comment below to Blogger support. I would suggest to all your readers that they leave a missive there as well. The URL for those without Blogger accounts is:

    http://www.blogger.com/user_problem_new.pyra?noauth

    Good luck, and I’ll be spreading the word about this outrage.

    Dave H.

    **************************************

    You’re Screwing Around with Identity Theft

    Dear Sirs:

    A friend formerly had a blog at http://hestia.blogspot.com : she got concerned over confusion betwixt her personal and professional lives and removed the blog from your service. She has not posted anything to it – it’s not her account.

    It’s back up – with her name directly above some porno links, giving the impression that the blog is hers.

    This was obviously done to associate the links with her good name in the search engines, and drive traffic/links.

    I can understadn how the name (hestia) was made available for reuse after her departure, and would have expected to see another blog at that site at some time. But to allow such an obvious subturfuge to continue is just despicable. You should at least force the current owner to remove the name of the former owner.

    As a blogger myself, who’s reccommended blogger (and blogspot.com) to several friends who wished to get into the scene without an investment in service space, I must tell you that such reccommendations will cease immediately. Furthermore, although IANAL, I’m going to advise Kathryn to call one. I think this is a clear case of negligence on your part.

    Thank you,

    Daithi M Haxton

  3. Ferro Lad Says:

    Hoo-boy (straining to avoid using vocabulary appropriate to the situation but not necessarily this forum), and I thought *I* had issues with those guys…

  4. kat Says:

    wow, that’s wild. i’m so glad it got resolved. i’m also glad i no longer use blogger! sheesh!

  5. Kate S. Says:

    Hi, Kathryn!!! I’m soooo happy to see you again!

    I did not know what had happened to you, now I see you decided to split up with Blogger (wise choice, I never got anywhere with their tech dept. or a human response to my queries on how to delete an old blog,) and create both a professional and a personal blog. Please let me encourage you to continue your personal blog! Yours was a never-ending source of inspiration for me: you had the best coverage of books, culture, insight, POETRY, … just good, clean writing that always left me refreshened after I read.

    How the heck are ya? 🙂

  6. Kay Harper Says:

    Kathyrn,

    How upsetting! I am glad you were able to resolve the problem quickly. In your profession your good name is extremely important. I have never checked out what our names call up on Google. Maybe I will do that now that I finally have a few minutes to deal with e mail.

    Love,

    Kay

  7. mea Says:

    hey…:-) i wanted to thank you for this post of yours..i hurried to blogger to “undelete” my blog..i could do this because no one had decided to use ignispati.blogspot.com, thankfully. now, it’s bare except for redirect.

    i was wondering why, when i would google my blogspot name, i would still find my blogspot site with the archives intact, after deleting the blog. weird.