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Weird: Blacklisted From Google Notebook

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, January 22, 2008
16 years ago2,547 views

Ran B. writes:

<<Back on December 20, I wrote about my frustration with Google Notebook, which I use every day as a way to archive much of what I read online (description of this here). For some off reason, it seemed like Google Notebook was down, and yet I could find no other description of the issue online, which made me think I must be mad.

When I came back to my email after my Christmas holiday, one of the emails waiting for me was from Google ...>>
http://rbiii.wordpress.com/2008/01/08/google-notebook-blacklist/

From Google's mails, according to Ran:

<<I work for the Google Notebook team, and it's recently come [to] our attention that your account was accidentally blacklisted from Google Notebook. If you've experienced difficulty using Google Notebook recently, we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. We've corrected the problem, and you should now be able to access your notebooks.>>

And later, Google clarified:
<<Your account was accidentally blacklisted by a blacklisting heuristic that looked at total size of notebook information.

We've revised the heuristic, so you shouldn't be accidentally blacklisted again in the future.>>

Huh? Is that blacklist to defend against spammers or...?

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

It'd interesting to know some metrics of Ran. B.'s gNotebook usage; like:

• how many notebooks he maintained in toto; total size, and whether they were private;

• how often he posted/ added to them;

• what kind of «blacklisting heuristic that looked at total size of notebook information» were used by Google;

The only hard datum I could find in the Notebook FAQ was this:

http://www.google.com/googlenotebook/faq.html#33

[Q]: Is there a size limit when creating a new note?
[A]: Currently, new notes are limited to 64KB or less.

Ran Barton [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

I am the blocklisted notebook user.

I have about one notebook a month, into which I toss a copy of almost every article I read in the day – several dozen. These are just text, and not scholarly article but newspaper length – ~2-4K/each is my guess, 10-20 at the outside.

I add to them 5-6 days/week.

No idea on the third point...

Cheers,
Ran

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Thanks, Ran. I expected text sizes larger by order of at least few magnitudes, and perhaps even so high frequency of saving, that it could be flagged down as "automated" (for whatever purpose – there is always the first time for new [e.g.] spam delivery mechanisms....). So I'm quite surprised at what then transpired.

Indirectly, however, that tells us something about The Google That Be's PREVIOUS (framework of/for that) heuristically-derived blacklisting:

- if you pasted in mostly newspaper articles of ordinary length, then the algorithm probably flagged them down as copyright violations. The Notebook apparently keeps track of the point-of-origin, or source page on which the paste was executed, and compares each new saved snippet to that (=in your case near-equal to content of the page). Or something.

?Why? would Our Google Who Art In Mountain View, Calif., do that, one might ask. Alas, here end my homegrown Sherlock-Holmes Powers of Deduction. Next hypothesis, please.

Ran Barton [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

When Notebook was new, I remember thinking I could share my notebooks and that they would include things like the full text of NYT articles that were meant to be behind a subscriber wall. One of the things I read at the time was that users would be held responsible for copyright abuse. For that reason, I have always kept all of my notebooks private to prevent any fair use issues.

I have found that having a (nearly) full-text copy of what I read on the web can be very handy – a lot of news vanishes of URLs change after the fact, and being able to run a keyword through just what I've read turns up some very interesting connections.

Anyway, I find the service very valuable and I am glad I was let back in to use it.

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