Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Damn Censors...(sorry about the length)

Okay, I'm not sure if any of you have noticed however there is a nice new feature added to the navbar across the top of blog pages. It is called the flag. This is to be used for the flagging of "possible" "objectionable" content. There are a few things wrong with this flag button.

First, it is anonymous. It should be tracked what a person rates as "objectionable" and quantitatively added into the formula for determining if something truely is objectionable. This whole idea stinks. If it is not illegal leave it alone.

Second, there is no accountablity for it. A person could get a perversive kick out of randomly flagging things.

Thirdly, the blog owner is not informed they have been flagged.

What does a flag do? From my understanding it removes the blog from the random "next blog" thing, as well as removing the blog from being featured on the blogspot site. Now neither of these are a large concern to me because I could care less if anyone else besides friends ever were to read this. However, it is the concept that I find deplorable. The mob mentality of judging the "objectionablity" of something within a personal blog is absolutly retarded. If something is not illegal it should be left alone. If you care to here is a way to remove the navbar from your blog.

To remove the navbar from your blog, copy and paste this little piece of code into your template somewhere between the style and /style tags and republish your blog:

#b-navbar{
height:0px;
visibility:hidden;
}

I'm going to attempt to figure out a way to remove just the retarded flag icon form the navbar though it may be beyond my coding skills. If any of you figure out a way please let me know. I am really moralistically, ethically, valueistically (these are all words now) oppossed to this mob rule censorship that blogger has decided to adopt.

Edit: Okay I have found a massively nasty way to fix this. Basically I hide their navbar and then create my own without the flag button. Here is what you need to do.

In your template between the style and /style> tags place the following. (I'm not sure if it is all needed but mine has it all and it works.) (More instructions follow.)

#b-navbar{
height:0px;
visibility:hidden;
}

#c-navbar
{
background:#111;
border-bottom:1px solid #222;
color:#999;
}

#c-search
{
background:#333 url("../../img/navbar/3/corner.gif") no-repeat left bottom;
}

#c-query
{
border:1px solid #555;
}

#c-this a
{
color:#ccc;
}

#c-this a:hover
{
color:#fff;
}


#c-navbar
{
width:100%;
padding-bottom:5px;
border-bottom:1px solid #111;
min-height:24px;
font:x-small "Trebuchet MS",Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif !important;
color:#47a;
font-size/* */:/**/small !important;
font-size: /**/small !important;
margin-bottom:10px;
position:absolute !important;
top:0;
left:0;
z-index:1;
display:block !important;
}


#c-navbar a img
{
border:none;
display:inline !important;
}

#c-navbar #c-logo
{
position:absolute !important;
top:3px;
left:5px;
width:80px;
height:24px;
border-width:0;
}

#c-logo img
{
display:inline !important;
}

#c-search
{
background:#111 url("../../img/navbar/corner.gif") no-repeat left bottom;
margin:0 0 0 100px;
padding:4px 7px;
line-height:1em;
font-size:85%;
text-align:left;
}

#c-more
{
float:right;
padding-top:2px;
display:block !important;
}

#c-more a
{
margin-left:4px;
}

#c-query
{
margin-right:.25em;
width:12em;
}

/* hide from IE5-Mac \*/
#c-query
{
font-size:x-small !important;
}
/* end hide */

#c-searchbtn
{
position:relative;
top:-1px;
margin-right:.5em;
vertical-align:middle;
}

#c-this
{
display:block !important;
}

#c-this a
{
margin-right:.5em;
white-space:nowrap;
text-decoration:none;
line-height:1em;
}

#c-this a:hover
{
color:#fff;
text-decoration:underline;
}

Now after your style tags in the template you should see the head tag and then a line or two later the body tag. At this point paste the following. (more instructions after)

<div id="c-navbar"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="c-logo" title="Go to Blogger.com"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/logobar.gif" alt="Blogger" height="24" width="80" /></a><form id="c-search" action="http://www.google.com/search"><div id="c-more"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="c-getorpost"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_getblog.gif" alt="Get your own blog" height="15" width="112" /></a><a href="http://www.blogger.com/redirect/next_blog.pyra?navBar=true" id="c-next"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_nextblog.gif" alt="Next blog" height="15" width="72" /></a></div><div id="c-this"><input id="b-query" name="q" type="text"><input name="ie" value="UTF-8" type="hidden"><input name="sitesearch" value="mattsasylum.blogspot.com" type="hidden"><input src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_search.gif" alt="Search" value="Search" id="c-searchbtn" title="Search this blog with Google" type="image"><a href="javascript:BlogThis();" id="c-blogthis">BlogThis!</a></div></form></div>



That's all you may need to adjust the background color in #c-search...as well as the border-bottom color in #c-navbar (the second one I believe). Hope that helps folks.

10 comments:

Lewis said...

Well done! Thanks! And thanks even more for posting it on Infinite Monkeys. Saved me the trouble.

:-)

Starting Over said...

Hi! I just wanted to let you know, as a total computer amateur, that I am infinitely impressed with your skills. I like what you have to say about the flag, too. It truly sucks. Thanks to you, we no longer have to tolerate it. Except for me because, while your remedy was written very plainly, it was still foreign to me! Oh well...

Barny Merman's Blog said...

HAHA! THat's freaking awesome. I'm still laughing at how easy it is to get rid of that thing. Well done sir! Love your blog, really do. Nice... Cheers man.

Crystal said...

Man did you get slammed with spam for the post! I had not herd about the flagging... I guess i think its pretty crappy mostly because it can silence something that is not at all offensive.

What about those who take offence to my Bush bashing? I will be blocked for stating a political oppinion? There needs to be some sort of guildlines and yes, atracking system too.

I however have herd rumors of people messing with their banners can get booted from blogger. But these are just rumors left over from when folk were removing the banner bar from the top of the page.

Graeme said...

There was a Blogger Buzz post clarifying the flag feature. It looks like one random kook flagging everything won't really cause a problem. With the whole blogging community out there to choose from, my guess it that it'll take a number of flags to make something stand out and get delisted or whatever, and they say they're preventing "ballot box stuffing" by IP address. The point about letting a blogger know how often his/her blog has been flagged is a good one, though. It would probably be reassuring to the people who worry about it.

Oh, and it may be in the Blogger TOS that you have to have the Navbar on BlogSpot blogs. Don't know what they do to enforce that, but it doesn't seem cool to go around telling people how to remove it. (You don't want to get other folks in trouble, even if this is something you do on your own blog.)

Matthew Robinson said...

Graeme, I understand what you're saying however, how could removing the Navbar be against the rules? It had a feature on it that I disliked so I removed that feature and shared the knowledge. Most likely that would have been considered objectionable by some people... In any case I do not command others to do as I have done I am simply sharing the know how so others can show their disapproval of the new flag feature (at least until a few things are implemented into it such as making the blog owner aware of the flags and also having accountibility of folks for stupid flagging). Once certain guidelines are in place I'd be happy to return the navbar with the flag...I'd still keep my little get Firefox button though I like that. =) I do still maintain a version of the Navbar so I am not removing the Navbar, simply altering it more to my liking. I could understand if it were an ad banner that helped pay for Blogger as Crystal said, but it no longer does this so. I'll look through the license agreement though.

Crystal, yes, some serious crap comments...I may turn on "no anonymous commenting" and even that new "word verification" feature for comments to prevent bots from posting ads into my comments...deleting them is becoming a hassle. Anyways, this whole flag button has me a bit upset so I may leave it off for a bit. What are your thoughts on turning those features on? Comments would be more of a hassle but I'd get less spam in them....things to think about.

Crystal said...

Well see I am surprised that your getting spammed here on blogger. I have gotten 2 spam notes I think on mine and I have had it for a while now (more than 2 years now that I look).

Nathan has also been getting spammed recently, but of all the blogs I watch all the time its just you and him that have been getting hit up as of late. As an obsessive blogger this is something that I wish to find out the cause for. I know I don't want spam on mine, and its a pain to sift threw it on yours (though you can deleate them now).

Do you cross post to some where else? I have seen cross posters get spammed from other sites. I have also seen increased spam coming from hosting your blog on your own site (though clearly you do not). I another way spam comes in is when you list your site with internet folk (yahoo! ETC...) as this lets all the bots find you.

But how your getting spammed aside, if you can curb it I like to see blogs with anonomouse posting. It allows other people to leave oppinions, and the random chance some one sees your blog and leaves a real message is always cool. But even blocking anonomuse (some day i will be able to spell that) posts you still get bots that can get around that, so have you really done anything?

Bah I have posted a post almost longer than yor original post, meaning I should shut up now. I guess its a personal choice really, and a balance between how much spam you get and how many occasional random comments you get. Give it a week and maybe the bots will lay off, if not... maybe try doing something about it.

magdala said...

Thank you

Al S. E. said...

I am putting together a separate blog on this particular topic.

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