Pharyngula

ERV is down!

Lots of you have noticed that the ERV blog is currently inaccessible. Abbie can’t get to it either, and something is very, very wrong — either a random glitch or some peckerwood reported her site to the powers-that-be at google and a kneejerk pulled the plug. She is going to be trying to get it reinstated, so be patient for a little while. I’ll let you all know if any news develops.

Comments

  1. #1 Colin J
    April 28, 2008

    What bunch of idiots. If you can’t win the war of words and logic, then just take away the right of the other side to try. Jerks. I hope she finds a better host ASAP.

  2. #2 Lev
    April 28, 2008

    It’s slightly premature to smear google before we know any relevant facts.

  3. #3 UprightAlice
    April 28, 2008

    Just for my own information, does anybody know how many times you can call a state Senator a putz and a grade-A moron before a blog will get pulled? Purely hypothetical, you understand.

    Hope Abbie is back soon.

  4. #4 synthesist
    April 28, 2008

    Just noticed ! I usually eat my lunch at my desk and read the latest at Pharyngula, ERV, Black Sun, bad science etc etc, and found she’d vanished ! – hope its a glitch rather than an actual attack. ERV – see you soon !

  5. #5 Matt
    April 28, 2008

    I just looked at their Terms of Service, and they say they only take down blogs if they promote hateful material or spam.

  6. #6 Damian
    April 28, 2008

    It isn’t registering on Google, either, but apparently it has been like that for a couple of days.

    Does anyone know if you can access a cache of the blog using another search engine, or something similar? Abbie says that she really wants to save some of her posts.

    I’m crap with this computer stuff. Any help would be appreciated.

  7. #7 Jeb, FCD
    April 28, 2008

    If teh google did pull the plug, bring her over here.

  8. #8 O-dot-O
    April 28, 2008

    Define peckerwood.

  9. #9 UprightAlice
    April 28, 2008

    The only other way I know to access a cache of a site is through http://www.archive.org

    It’s certainly not comprehensive, though.

    Seems to be down at the moment.

  10. #11 alias Ernest Major
    April 28, 2008

    If ERV hadn’t keep copies of her posts, she really ought to have done so.

    To reclaim posts I would suggest trying the Way Back Machine at Internet Archive (www.archive.org), but that also seems to be down at the moment.

    Apart from that, I seem to recall that some of PZ’s posts on the Warda & Han paper were republished on other sites. If the same happened for any of ERV’s posts then feeding suitable keywords into Google may do the trick. If you want to try another search engine, then, assuming my web site is typical, Google, Yahoo and MSN are the big three spiderers.

  11. #12 Dan
    April 28, 2008

    I just looked at their Terms of Service, and they say they only take down blogs if they promote hateful material or spam.

    Posted by: Matt

    In the eyes of the god-soaked rubes with their endless whimpering and persecution complex, everything that does not directly kiss their self-righteous asses is considered hateful.

  12. #13 Vole
    April 28, 2008

    I found a couple of pages cached on the Clusty search engine – “Second EXPELLED Copyright Case ‘Resolved'” and “Michael Behe, please allow me to introduce myself”.

  13. #14 Ted D
    April 28, 2008

    @#6

    Does anyone know if you can access a cache of the blog using another search engine, or something similar? Abbie says that she really wants to save some of her posts.

    Alas, only one rather old result on the Wayback Machine, but at least it’s something. http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://endogenousretrovirus.blogspot.com/

  14. #15 Dana Hunter
    April 28, 2008

    @#7, motion carried!

    Abbie, we love you and we miss you and we wants you back!

  15. #16 Damian
    April 28, 2008

    We’ve managed to use Yahoo to find cached versions of the site. Hopefully some of the content will be saved that way, if Abbie cannot get it restored. Bugger!

  16. #17 Nerull
    April 28, 2008

    ERV at antievolution.org:

    I was going to wait until school was over to move to SciBlogs, but now Im going to ASAP. I wouldnt have deleted my goddamn Blogger ERV, though– I want my old posts!

    I think we will be getting a new scienceblogger soon.

  17. #18 Penny
    April 28, 2008

    To Matt #5 – my blog vanished mysteriously, almost certainly because it got pulled.

    It’s been explained to me that Google will pull a blog if they receive a small number of complaints, and that they might get round to investigating whether the complaints are justified eventually. I heard of one blog being reinstated months later, with no explanation from Google. I switched providers, lost all my past posts, and started again.

    I have no idea who I pissed off and how. I’m just an ordinary atheist, evolution-touting homeschooler, who slags off McDonalds and plastic toys regularly, and manifestly annoyed some Middle-Easterners by giving a positive review to a child’s animated movie, set in Tunisia! Who could hate me?

  18. #20 Dan
    April 28, 2008

    Can someone send O-Dot a lesson on simple HTML?

  19. #21 J-Dog
    April 28, 2008

    If the Creo’s (William Effin’ Wallace) ARE responsible, then good on Abbie – More proof that she is doing something right.

  20. #22 Karen James
    April 28, 2008

    Yoo-hoo ScienceBlogs: invite ERV into your fold, and do it now. *frantically scrambles to back up The Beagle Project Blog*

  21. #23 Taz
    April 28, 2008

    So the creationists may have had ERV expelled? That figures. Should we start an email campaign?

  22. #24 NoAstronomer
    April 28, 2008

    Just a shot-in-the-dark, but I wonder if Mark over at Good Math, Bad Math can find out anything?

  23. #25 wheatdogg
    April 28, 2008

    Time for Abbie to find another host. If ScienceBlogs doesn’t take her on, I know of hosts that charge fees low enough that even a grad student could afford them.

    Maybe we can blanket Google with a barrage of emails supporting her.

  24. #26 Kseniya
    April 28, 2008

    Has anyone noticed that, since the ramp-up to and premiere of Expelled, there’s been a real spike in the number of threads that have fallen prey to “link too long” syndrome? Eighty percent of the time now, I have to scroll down five or six pages just to get to the top of the post. This is particularly inconvenient when I’m trying to traverse a series of posts, either backwards of forwards, to find a particular entry.

    On the list of Things That Are Wrong With The World, this is pretty much at the bottom, but still – it’s easily remedied. A long URL can be contained thus:

  25. <a href=”http://www.somedomain.com/somepage.htm”>A link to some page</a>.

    Which shows as:

  26. A link to some page.
  • #27 raven
    April 28, 2008

    Another creo persecution victim? Probably. ERV has been Expelled from the blogoshere. Previous victims are listed below. She got off easy so far. One guy was knifed to death. It is a fundie Death Cult thing. You wouldn’t understand. Or want to.

    The real story is the persecution of scientists by Fundie Xian Death cultists, who have fired, harassed, beaten up, and killed evolutionary biologists and their supporters whenever they can.

    This is, of course, exactly the behavior of zealots who long ago forgot what the Christ in Christian stood for. These days, fundie is synonymous with liar, ignorant, stupid, and sometimes killer.

    http://www.sunclipse.org/?p=626
    [link goes to Blake Stacey's blog which has a must read essay with documentation of the cases below.]

    As usual the truth is the exact opposite. The creos have been firing, beating up, attempting to fire, and killing scientists and science supporters for a while now. They are way ahead on body counts.

    Posting the list of who is really being beaten up, threatened, fired, attempted to be fired, and killed. Not surprisingly, it is scientists and science supporters by Death Cultists.

    I’ve discovered that this list really bothers fundies. Truth to them is like a cross to a vampire.

    There is a serious reign of terror by Xian fundie terrorists directed against the reality based academic community, specifically acceptors of evolution. I’m keeping a running informal tally, listed below. They include death threats, firings, attempted firings, assaults, and general persecution directed against at least 12 people. The Expelled Liars have totally ignored the ugly truth of just who is persecuting who.

    If anyone has more info add it. Also feel free to borrow or steal the list.

    I thought I’d post all the firings of professors and state officials for teaching or accepting evolution.

    2 professors fired, Bitterman (SW CC Iowa) and Bolyanatz (Wheaton)

    1 persecuted unmercifully Richard Colling (Olivet)

    1 persecuted unmercifully for 4 years Van Till (Calvin)

    1 attempted firing Murphy (Fuller Theological by Phillip Johnson IDist)

    1 successful death threats, assaults harrasment Gwen Pearson (UT Permian)

    1 state official fired Chris Comer (Texas)

    1 assault, fired from dept. Chair Paul Mirecki (U. of Kansas)

    1 killed, Rudi Boa, Biomedical Student (Scotland)

    Death Threats Eric Pianka UT Austin and the Texas Academy of Science engineered by a hostile, bizarre IDist named Bill Dembski

    Death Threats Michael Korn, fugitive from justice, towards the UC Boulder biology department and miscellaneous evolutionary biologists.

    Death Threats Judge Jones Dover trial. He was under federal marshall protection for a while

    Up to 12 with little effort. Probably there are more. I turned up a new one with a simple internet search. Haven’t even gotten to the secondary science school teachers.

    And the Liars of Expelled have the nerve to scream persecution. On body counts the creos are way ahead.

  • #28 O-dot-O
    April 28, 2008

    My apologies.

  • #29 firemancarl
    April 28, 2008

    My money is on Behe and Dembski being the responsible parties. Ya how they just can’t take being out classed by a woman

  • #30 tincture
    April 28, 2008

    I like ERV. Stop jumping at shadows. Cock up before conspiracy etc.

  • #31 MH
    April 28, 2008

    Pretty much all of Abbie’s posts are cached at Yahoo, so any losses are minor. If she does come over to SciBlogs (which I think would be excellent) she could import them too, perhaps even with comments intact.

  • #32 Moses
    April 28, 2008

    It’s slightly premature to smear google before we know any relevant facts.

    Posted by: Lev | April 28, 2008 8:29 AM

    Not really. It’s what Google does. Some crank complains, lies on the complaint and Google just kills the blog because it’s easier BECAUSE THEIR CUSTOMERS DON’T MATTER to them.

    ERV isn’t the first, ERV won’t be the last.

  • #33 Tim Fuller
    April 28, 2008

    You can host your own blog for under ten bucks a month. I have a few blogger accounts from when they were Pyra Labs! I never rely on any single host. I pretty much abandoned my blogger accounts and use my own site now. I also comment all over the blogosphere, leaving a lot of electronic errata in my wake. Bad sign of the times however. This is the danger of the Christian Reconstructionists in our midsts.
    Enoy.

  • #34 Michelle
    April 28, 2008

    Well let’s be fair: It’s a free service. You can NEVER trust free services because they are well… free and you’re not in control. So pretty often you get knocked dead by ‘em with a couple lies. There are so many accounts that you just can’t look in depth at each little complaint. So frankly, I’m not sour at Google.

    If you don’t want such accidents… Think about putting a few bucks into a real server.

  • #35 Mark
    April 28, 2008

    Google has its faults, but I really don’t see them intentionally shutting down a Blogger site in this manner.

    There was an article on Slashdot just yesterday, lamenting how much trouble people are having with Blogger as of late. I’d have to assume that this is just a bizarre error until we find evidence to the contrary.

  • #36 MH
    April 28, 2008

    I’m inclined to agree, Mark (#35). If Blogger deleted it for a reason, they would have informed the blog owner. This looks like it’s a glitch. Unless we have evidence of wrong-doing, we should leave the paranoia to the pseudo-scientists.

  • #37 Nemo
    April 28, 2008

    Kseniya:

    Has anyone noticed that, since the ramp-up to and premiere of Expelled, there’s been a real spike in the number of threads that have fallen prey to “link too long” syndrome? Eighty percent of the time now, I have to scroll down five or six pages just to get to the top of the post.

    Eh? What browser are you using? For me (with Firefox 2), the long URLs just run out of the box to the right, creating a bottom scrollbar, but not messing up the formatting of the rest of the page.

    Of course, I agree with your suggestion; I’m just curious.

  • #38 toomanytribbles
    April 28, 2008

    i can read quite a lot of her posts on my google reader. want me to copy/paste them somewhere?

  • #39 Chris Hall
    April 28, 2008

    There’s 60 odd posts cached at *spit* Microsoft’s search engine:

    http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=site:endogenousretrovirus.blogspot.com&lf=0&rf=0&FORM=MSRE

  • #40 PhysioProf
    April 28, 2008

    Why anyone would use Blogger rather than WordPress is something I really don’t understand.

  • #41 PhysioProf
    April 28, 2008

    If she does come over to SciBlogs (which I think would be excellent) she could import them too, perhaps even with comments intact.

    ScienceBlogs would never bring in someone like ERV. Never gonna happen.

  • #42 PZ Myers
    April 28, 2008

    Yeah, and PhysioProf would know — loud, profane, passionate people are discouraged from joining the Sb community.

  • #43 MH
    April 28, 2008

    PhysioProf wrote “ScienceBlogs would never bring in someone like ERV. Never gonna happen.”

    Abbie wrote “I was going to wait until school was over to move to SciBlogs, but now Im going to ASAP.”

  • #44 PhysioProf
    April 28, 2008

    I snuck in under DrugMonkey’s hem! He’s a sneaky fucking bastard!

  • #45 joebob
    April 28, 2008

    Hey I got bored at work and wrote a script that ripped the ERV stuff out of cached yahoo.. I have it all zipped up. If Ms. Smith would like it just drop me a line at kingjoebob (a.t) gmail (d.o.t) com Ill be happy to email it its not everything but its probably about 90% what yahoo said they had.

    Later and hope you get back soon.
    Thanks and Regards,
    kjb

  • #46 PZ Myers
    April 28, 2008

    I’ve forwarded your message to ERV — if she can’t get it back otherwise, i’m sure she’ll be in touch.

  • #47 laserboy
    April 28, 2008

    Well actually we can start jumping. When you access it from the Netherlands, Blogger responds with the message that the blog has been deleted. I think that probably says it all.

  • #48 Reginald Selkirk
    April 28, 2008

    Yoo-hoo ScienceBlogs: invite ERV into your fold, and do it now…

    I’m sure they could make room by eliminating some of the less useful current blogs. I won’t name names, but the bloggers have great hair!

  • #49 siddharth
    April 28, 2008

    I get this message.

    “Blog has been removed

    Sorry, the blog at endogenousretrovirus.blogspot.com has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.”

  • #50 themadlolscientist
    April 28, 2008

    GAAAAAAK. So much for FrankenBen et al. and “they’re trying to stifle free speech.” From what I’ve heard, it’s quite possible to hack a blog if you know what you’re doing. I’m thinking maybe someone hacked ERV’s password and yanked the blog themselves.

    Just one more reason why I’m about 99 times more likely to trust an atheist than a FundyMentalist — and I’m a Baptist.

    Shenanigans! We declare shenanigans!

  • #51 Interrobang
    April 28, 2008

    Why anyone would use Blogger rather than WordPress is something I really don’t understand.

    If you’ve already got a GMail account, it beats having to set up yet another account…

  • #52 Kseniya
    April 28, 2008

    Eh? What browser are you using? For me (with Firefox 2), the long URLs just run out of the box to the right, creating a bottom scrollbar, but not messing up the formatting of the rest of the page.

    I’m using… *cringe*… IE6. Serves me right, I suppose. :-)

    While we’re on the subject, the last thing I want is for anyone to feel… well, anything negative about posting long URLs that messes up the formating. I do like to promote education about the [a] tag, because it’s handy (and fun!) but the syntax with respect to the embedded href= is a bit clunky and unintuitive, and I think that’s what throws people off (or motivates them to avoid it altogether). YMMV. :-)

  • #53 DavidONE
    April 28, 2008

    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/ is a senior engineer at Google and appears very keen on their tagline, “do no evil”. He’s been known to help out people with problems – might be worth Abbie dropping him a line.

  • #54 Christopher Sisk
    April 28, 2008

    My Google Reader has all of her posts saved. Just tell me where to send them.

  • #55 Nullifidian
    April 28, 2008

    It’s slightly premature to smear google before we know any relevant facts.

    Would the fact that Google delisted it from their search engine before they deleted the blog be a relevant fact?

    When I’m on the uni library computers, I use Google to access the blogs, and when I went to find hers yesterday, there was no listing for her blog in the results for the search term “ERV”, which had formerly been the very top listing.

  • #56 Jim Flannery
    April 28, 2008

    FWIW, ERV is the *second* blog I’ve seen “deleted” from blogger today — the other was also one by a very active blogger who showed no inclination in any forum of quitting (hellonfriscobay.blogspot.com) … I suspect some portion of blogger’s network has melted down and the “deleted” message is the best the error-checking can come up with.

  • #57 zy
    April 28, 2008

    I blame google’s corporate credulity, and the blandness, indifference and overconfidence that comes with oligopoly. They lost their benefit of the doubt years ago.

    And I blame the IDiots who got ERV delisted once before. Remember this?

  • #58 kingjoebob
    April 28, 2008

    http://endogenousretrovirus.blogspot.com/ seems to be up for the moment. Dont know if this is a glitch or just good luck. I would advise Ms. Smith to back up everything while its up.

    kjb

  • #59 Nomad
    April 28, 2008

    I was all set to blame Google until I did a little… erm.. Googling, and found reports of similar things happening to others with info on what may be going on behind it. It looks like it may be the result of an intentional exploit (hack), the search engine dropping the page may be a result of it detecting the exploit and blacklisting it, with blogger following suit later. I’ve found reports of people who first noticed something odd about something linking to their page in some manner beyond my understanding of how blogs work and then later they report being delisted from Google.

    If it was an outside individual responsible for this then it’s anybodies guess what their motivation was. It’s sounding like this isn’t only happening to blogs that get into controversial things, it may just be a campaign to try to exploit a weakness in Blogger to direct traffic to pop up advertising.

    Still it may also have been intentional. ERV has made a habit out of posting content that a great many fundy denialists would just as rather pretend doesn’t exist. It seems to be standard practice for the fundies to be almost incompetently unfamiliar with technology, it’s par for the course when it comes to science denialism, but surely they must have a few script kiddies amongst them who consider themselves hackers for Jesus.

    Or perhaps it was as simple as getting the faithful to all flag the blog as objectionable.

    If it’s either of those cases…

    thpht! (that’s supposed to be the rude noise by sticking your tongue between your lips and blowing)

    She’s back in action with a better host (a science specific host) and ready to resume making the fundies look like the gibbering idiots that they are.

    And telling us how cute her pit bull is.

  • #60 BW022
    April 28, 2008

    I noticed it missing last night and this morning. I love checking for the latest round of Dembski stupidity, Expelled nonsense, etc. ERV just does such a wonderful job.

    It is possibility that it was hacked and then smeared with offensive material. Otherwise, likely someone reported it and Google just pulled it without investigating.

    In any case, the timing is just too convenient. It ranks amoung the top searches for “Expelled XVIVO”, “Expelled Copyright”, etc. It sticks out clearing in the faces of anyone Googling or Yahooing Expelled. It never ceases to amaze me that the IDiots say one thing and do the other. Lying, stealing, banning folks, filtering comments, etc. all show what they mean by an open discussion of ideas.

    PZ. Please keep us informed on ERV’s status. I’m sure she’ll be back up again. IDiots just don’t see how ultimately self-defeating such tactics are.

  • #61 Joe
    April 28, 2008

    Just to verify #58, I’m on erv’s old site right now, wandering through comments and “Older Posts” without any problems.

    Whatever the problem is, it has either been fixed, or it is inconsistent.

    I’m also in the US, and I have an active gmail account, in case either of those impact anything.

  • #62 PZ Myers
    April 28, 2008

    Mark Chu-Carroll sent a note to the people in charge of the blogger side of business — ERV was apparently flagged as spam, somehow. It’s been corrected.

  • #63 Ichthyic
    April 28, 2008

    While we’re on the subject, the last thing I want is for anyone to feel… well, anything negative about posting long URLs that messes up the formating. I do like to promote education about the [a] tag, because it’s handy (and fun!) but the syntax with respect to the embedded href= is a bit clunky and unintuitive, and I think that’s what throws people off (or motivates them to avoid it altogether). YMMV. :-)

    for those that simply don’t want to use [a href] tags, you might try using tinyurl for those big links:

    http://tinyurl.com/

  • #64 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 28, 2008

    For me (with Firefox 2), the long URLs just run out of the box to the right, creating a bottom scrollbar, but not messing up the formatting of the rest of the page.

    Same for me with (brace yourselves) Internet Explorer 7.

    for those that simply don’t want to use [a href] tags, you might try using tinyurl for those big links:

    http://tinyurl.com/

    I hate it, because I like to point at a link and see a meaningful page name. Tinyurl eliminates that — and where will a completely disguised link lead me? To a spam site? Into popup hell (such as 0catch.com), where The Gator Corporation and worse will try to install spyware on my computer? The <a> tag is easy, see comment 26.

    BTW, the old ERV site is up, and I’m in Paris.

  • #65 Monado in Toronto again
    April 28, 2008

    My blog was flagged as potential spam a couple of years ago because I entered so many links (to evidence in molecular evolution that Michael Behe could have found had he looked for it). All that happened was that I had to enter a captcha phrase every time I posted or edited a post. Eventually I sent a message to the blogger folks and they reviewed my blog and whitelisted it. But it never disappeared. That suggests to me that someone actually complained about ERV, and I mean lied. I hate liars.

  • #66 laserboy
    April 29, 2008

    Except that captcha can be broken by machines now, so google can hardly use it to keep a machine from posting on a blog.

  • #67 jayh
    April 29, 2008

    34 “Well let’s be fair: It’s a free service. You can NEVER trust free services because they are well… free and you’re not in control. So pretty often you get knocked dead by ‘em with a couple lies. ”

    That’s not just ‘free’ servers. It can and does happen with pay providers too, they have essentially the same clauses in their contracts and are as vulnerable to pressure (including the fact that they don’t have to refund you)

  • #68 Blake Stacey
    April 29, 2008

    Abbie sez,

    Mark went out on a limb for me and I dont want to cause any trouble for him. But what happened to me has not been resolved to my satisfaction, and Bloggers ‘explanation’ for their behavior makes no sense whatsoever. Hell, no one from Blogger has told *me* jack, and what they told Mark is logically inconsistent. Cant keep their stories straight, and the evidence is against them, like other people we know. Might investigate it further, might just say ‘Fuck it’ and move on.

    Shady shenanigans — sigh.

  • #69 Ichthyic
    April 29, 2008

    Tinyurl eliminates that — and where will a completely disguised link lead me? To a spam site? Into popup hell (such as 0catch.com), where The Gator Corporation and worse will try to install spyware on my computer?

    *ahem*

    Terms of Use:

    TinyURL was created as a free service to make posting long URLs easier, and may only be used for actual URLs. Using it for spamming or illegal purposes is forbidden and any such use will result in the TinyURL being disabled and you may be reported to all ISPs involved and to the proper governmental agencies.

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