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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Indian Problem

You might have noticed The Cyberculturalist was offline for a few days several weeks back. Someone reported us as spam and Blogger suspended the account. I didn't request them to look into it, because we aren't spam and I figured it was always possible someone at Google might be paying attention (though I had my doubts). Luckily, someone was and the problem was rectified.

However, I was obviously disturbed and so went through the logs to see who could have possibly reported us as spam. All I found around the time of the incident were visits from India, including several from Google India. From all appearances, it seems as though someone in India, or from Google India itself, decided we were spam and had our account suspended.

I went through the site and tried to make sure everything was on the up-and-up and, to the best of my knowledge, it is. Of course, Google will not tell you what - if anything - you are doing wrong nor how to fix it (it's all "proprietary" - which makes absolutely no sense, but there it is), and the account was restored without notice, so I changed nothing. However, I also looked to see if there was something I might have said or done to offend anyone in India.

I don't know much about India, I freely admit. There are several reasons, but possibly the most important is that I don't give a shit about India. There it is. I don't live there, have no desire to travel there, and care nothing about the country, the people, nor anything else "Indian." Not in a bad way - I don't care about anything Afghanistanian or Puerto Rican or Zimbabwean, for example, and these are just the first three countries which sprung to mind; I'm just not interested in India as a country or society or political superpower or anything else, really. I DON'T LIVE THERE AND HAVE NO DESIRE TO VISIT, so why the hell would I be?

But I've always been vocal about the fact that I find it loathsome that Internet and computer companies, especially those based in America, choose to outsource so many of their jobs to India - especially call centers. It has nothing to do with the people actually doing the jobs, it has to do with the corporations who choose to outsource to foreign countries for cheaper labor, thereby overlooking qualified, American citizens who need jobs. Besides, how can you call yourself "America Online" when all of your call service techs are located in India?

Another possible problem is the URL, itself. See, India - Dubai, in particular - is a major Internet "capital," and www.cyberculturalist.com is a great URL. It is very, very possible that some start-up is trying desperately to wrestle the URL from me by devaluing it in the search engines, et.al. After we were taken offline under suspicion of "spam," almost all of the hits we've received to the general site (as opposed to any particular post[s]) have been from India. I don't find this coincidental. Further, several unpublished comments on the other blogs have been saved which say, "Hi again. And Bye." These also originated from India.

The truth is that I have no idea why someone(s) in India would want to cause me problems, though there certainly are reasons someone from India might be angry with me for something I've said or some position I hold. And, again, it's just as likely that this string of obviously related attacks are in no way "personal" - that it's simply some person(s) looking to get a highly-coveted URL for a pittance through trickery and deceit, or simply have it removed.

I don't know exactly what the problem is, but I do know this:

I once saw a movie where an Indian blew on and stroked a cow's genitals for upwards of five minutes straight. True story.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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