Not a Happy Jan After Blog Suspension

After more than two years of hiatus, I decided to revive my blog life on what I thought was a perfect timing–the anniversary month of Blogbastic or seven years since I started blogging. August is the Philippine National Language month, so I thought it will be better to blog in Filipino partly to celebrate the occasion. What a great comeback post it would have been as I blogged about the very political Philippine Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). I was calling on fellow Pinoys and expats to support the call for its abolition or any move towards a more transparent and more responsible way of assisting poor Filipinos.

Alas, after about three hours from posting (probably less than that), a friend gave a heads up that WordPress.com flagged my blog as violating its terms of service  and advertising policy. This is what I saw on my dashboard.

Screen shot 2013-08-26 at 3.13.38 PMI checked my blog. My horror to find out that after more than five years of active blogging on wordpress.com and on the 7th year anniversary month of my blog, Blogbastic fell silent.

Blog was suspended due to alleged violation of WordPress.com TOS and advertising policy

Blog was suspended due to alleged violation of WordPress.com TOS and advertising policy (Click on image for a better view)

I panicked and was emotionally stressed because of this. I thought one of the minions of the Philippine government got hold of my post and flagged my blog. So, I messaged WordPress.com from my dashboard and here. I also could not help it but rage tweeted about this. The timing could not be perfect as it was night in the US. So it took 15 excruciating hours of Blogbastic’s silence for them to get in touch with me.

Finally, Kris from WordPress.com emailed me and said that my blog was flagged by their bot but he failed to explain how and why my blog was flagged. My long time hiatus probably sent red flags to the bots and given that I blogged in my Mother Tongue and had so many links in my earlier blog post, it may have been enough for the bots to pull the trigger.

I’m just glad that I’m back and hopefully blogging away again, this time till death. ;) :P Oh and I’ll blog again in Filipino next time. :D

The Push for a Blogging Association

Blogbastic is on (a very long) hiatus but I am “plurkbastic/twittertastic” in ‘short,’ I am active in microblogging. Microblogging gave a good alternative to a bit time-intensive blogging here at blogbastic (not that I’m complaining, I love writing but I am busy trying to finish my thesis). Microblogs provided me with an avenue where I can post anything about current events here and back home (Got hooked also on instagram lately! You can find my posts here.) However, recent events are provoking me to resurrect Blogbastic! I will roll (hopefully!) those posts in the coming weeks. As I try to slowly blog again (here, that is), I think it is fitting to blog about blogging. This is a way delayed reaction when most of the bloggers are winding down discussing the issue of Willie Revillame, Merci and Marcos’ burial among others (well, old news by the time you read this).

When the buzz about a bloggers association in the Philippines came alive, I decided to just watch the exchanges. After all, I was on blogging “hiatus” anyway and I am really not familiar with all the issues presented. What I know is that the call for a blogging association was reignited when a mainstream journo/columnist revealed that a public relations firm in Manila has a blogger in its roster. The blogger allegedly threatened a restaurant owner of giving it a bad review unless they give in to his/her demand. This incident, as they say, opened a can of worms and gave Pinoy blogging a bad name.

As Ms. Janette explained the vision to have a bloggers association in the Philippines was discussed about two years ago. Who wouldn’t support the idea? There were already groups of bloggers nationwide who formed their local associations anyway. And as pointed out by other bloggers, these bloggers associations are very active that some have regularly sponsored Word Camps and bloggers’ training in their localities or Region. While some associations or informal group persisted some group died naturally. However, I reckon that the purpose of forming a bloc persisted, i.e., promote blogging and support one another technically among others.

Some bloggers had merits in their decision not to join this initiative while others have taken a (very) personal reason not join, which I really pity. I think I have nothing more to add to the issue. If you want to read more, following are some links to some good reads about it as suggested by Jayvee:

I am not aware of any bloggers association here in Australia but I am aware that there was a bloggers’ conference held recently. This is different from the Word Camp of WordPress. My point here is they did not need an association to organise a big event. They were united by the blogosphere. However, the case of the “big bad blogger” should be treated as a red flag for every Pinoy blogger anywhere in the world. We know that one person or group can manipulate laws, regulations, policies or guidelines in the Philippines. So, the idea of a National Bloggers Association might be a good one. I think we need it to protect ourselves and help one if one needs it.

I do question, however, how the “manifesto” was circulated secretly and this does not sit well really to most bloggers, I reckon. While Tonyo explained the move behind this, I think this inadvertently showed that blogging used to be a class A-B activity and the move to ‘circulate’ the manifesto to a ‘chosen few’ implied that those at the C, D or E might muddle the thing. Despite this however, I strongly believe that it is in the best interest of everybody, whether you’re against it or not, to get the ball rolling. As I have pointed out earlier, unless we can trust our lawmakers and/or we are certain that there are laws that can adequately protect bloggers, then certainly we do not need any association that will promote and protect our rights as Pinoy bloggers.

If you agree with me, I believe it is time that you sign up  now. I just did.

Scams of the earth!

I used to work for an international organisation ages ago. In this big organisation, email is one of the most important means of communication in the organisation and the most reliable. The size of organisation that I used to work for meant that its information technology security is one of the best in the world. However, one day a human resource staff forwarded an email. It contained, as usual, recruitment requests from other sister organisations.
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No TFC on my SBS

Filipinos abroad usually update themselves on news from home through the internet and other media.

For Filipinos here in Australia, we have a choice of subscribing to The Filipino Channel or Pinoy TV. Subscription to these providers, however, is a bit pricey so for some the internet is a good alternative where you can also watch some of the broadcast in full but not in digital-clear quality sometimes. For me, I usually wait for the free TV feed from SBS where they show the news presentation from ABS-CBNs Isang Bandila or TV Patrol Linggo sans the entertainment news. :)

However, I missed yesterday’s show.

Somebody at ABS forgot to deliver the goods. :( well no worries, we get it from other means. :D