Flagging Blogger pages with a hidden navbar

You tend to come across these types of blogs on Blogger quite a bit lately. Sometimes they disable it for appearance sake, other times it’s for more nafarious purposes. The toolbar contains the “Flag Blog” option which allows visitors to notify Google of any inappropriate content on blogs. Of course, if this is disabled…

It’s no secret that Blogger is one of the worst services when it comes to the proliferation of spam, porn, viruses etc… This is mostly due to the lax templating practices allowed by Blogger. You can do whatever you want to the CSS and even insert JavaScript. While this gives a great deal of control to the blogger, the result is usually mayhem.

To disable the Blogger toolbar/navbar inserted on the top of each blog, it only requires a ridiculously simple hack.

#navbar-iframe {
	display:none !important;

…And consider the toolbar killed.

If the blog contains offending content, then flagging it is a bit of a chore. But it’s still not impossible.

If you look at the sourcecode for the blog page, there’s usually a set of stylesheets inserted by Blogger for widget functionality. Look for one that has the “BlogID” in it.

To make this easier, I created a small utility that will both extract the ID and the URL from any Blogspot page and create this link for you. Note: This utility is experimental and is not guaranteed to work for all blogger pages.

How to find the BlogID

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="http://www.blogger.com/dyn-css/authorization.css?targetBlogID=0000000000&zx=xxxxxxxx"/>

Notice the part where it says “targetBlogID”. This is the first part of what you need to flag a blog. The other part is the URL itself.

E.G. http://site.blogspot.com

By combining the two into one URL, you can flag the offending blog.


Update 29th

Following Jorel’s suggestion (see the comments), I included a small extension you can add to the browser to allow instant flagging of a blog. The utility page has been updated with instructions on how to use it.

Here’s the sourcecode for the extension.
function report()
var h = document.getElementsByTagName(“html”)[0].innerHTML;
var r = new RegExp(“targetBlogID=([0-9]+)”);
var m = r.exec(h);
var id = null;
var u = document.location.href;
var ht = “http://&#8221;;
if(u.indexOf(ht) < 0) u = ht + u; u = ht + u.match(/:\/\/(.[^/]+)/)[1]; if(m != null){ alert("You are about to flag a blog"); id = ''; for(var i = 1; i < m.length; i++) { id += m[i]; } window.location.href="http://www.google.com/support/blogger/?action=flag&blog_ID="+ id +"&blog_URL="+ u; } else{ alert("No blog ID detected. Are you sure this is a Blogspot page?"); } }[/sourcecode]

Google Groups = Blogspot

And here’s the proof…
Google Groups spam

What’s really sad is that they’ve even managed to spam the Web Archive
Archive spam

This proves, once again, my point about building a thought archive. The much overlooked resource in building any sort of archive are the people. The Web Archive is far too automated and this shows the result of such automation. Nusance sites that were taken down are still available thanks to poor filtering.

Until truly intelligent machines are invented, a human review system is absolutely vital for any mass collective. I.E. Open directory.