Over the weekend I was trying to access an earlier entry; my archives had disappeared (which happens every once in a while with Blogger), but I assumed I’d be able to retrieve it via Google. However, Google seemed to have no record of it, which worried me; it occurred to me that some rabid Greek nationalist with hacker skills might have taken offense at my account of Macedonian history and somehow removed it. I had no way of finding out for sure until my archives returned; now they have, and my fears are confirmed: the entry is gone. Here is the problem report I sent Blogger:

Almost a month ago I published in my blog Languagehat an entry titled “Purity vs. History 4,” the last in a series of entries about Greek history. This one concerned Macedonia, and I was aware that it would be controversial (Greeks are obsessed with the issue), but apparently an offended hacker has gone to the trouble of deleting the entry from my blog. I have no idea how it was done, not being a computer maven, but you can see the evidence here:
In that blank space at the top is where the entry should be; it would have been dated either the 18th or the 19th of November. I hope this concerns you as much as it does me, and it concerns me a great deal: I put a lot of work into that entry, and to have it erased is not only a personal violation but an intellectual crime. Even though I am not a paying user, I hope you will respond and treat this with the seriousness it deserves. I thank you in advance.
Language hat

Blogger proudly announces that they do not provide personal support unless you fork out for BloggerPro, but I’m hoping this is serious enough that they will deal with it. If anyone out there knows how to contact Blogger directly, please let me know. This is very upsetting.
Update: It turns out the blank space is unrelated (the source code is missing a line valign=”top” so the vertical alignment defaults to “middle”). However, the entry is still missing. [Thanks, Songdog!]


  1. what was in the blank space underneath the post?

  2. ‘bel: Not sure what you’re asking. The blank space at the top of the archive page contained a post titled PURITY VS. HISTORY 4 about the history of Greek Macedonia, with praise for a book by Anastasia Karakasidou and her excellent book Fields of Wheat, Hills of Blood: Passages to Nationhood in Greek Macedonia, 1870-1990 (University of Chicago Press, 1997), which was savagely attacked by Greek nationalists (and forced to change publishers).

  3. Steve:

    That is pretty weird. It sounds a trifle unlikely that someone will try to hack into your weblog to delete a specific entry, but then you never know.

    I am afraid, I don’t have any insights.

    However, if you haven’t already. I would strongly recommend that you change your password to something very unlikely and that you don’t save it on your machine or elsewhere. It was probably not the problem, but why take a chance.

    Blogger is run by Ev Williams. I could not find any contact information in his weblog – (very weird!), but if you dig around you might be able to dig it up I guess.

    When I was using blogger, I had often found good support thru their support forum. You may want to post your qn there and see if someone has any smart suggestion.

    When blogger was hacked last, Anil Dash had some very relevant information on his weblog ( Not sure whether it’ll help, but you may send a private e-mail and see if there is any response ..

    Lastly, I backed up my weblog locally, last time it vanished into ether. I now try to do it every 1-2 months. It might be a good idea. Blogger seems to have a fairly rickety infrastructure these days …

    Good luck.

    I hope you manage to unearth your post.

  4. Thanks, Kaushik! (I agree that it seems unlikely that someone would hack a specific entry, but I can’t see any other explanation.)

  5. I had Blogger Pro – and there was no support there either… It caused me untold headaches, and as Kaushik says, back up your archives to your hard drive – you can’t trust Blogger. Trust me, I’m a girl. I know these things 🙂
    PS. I have Evs email address somewhere if you want it? I’ll dig it out…

  6. Thanks, Pinky. I’m thinking I should just move languagehat to another home and pay money to let people worry about that stuff for me (I’m computer-illiterate), especially after your warning about BloggerPro, but if I decide to try to contact the Blogger folks I may take you up on the offer. Anyway, you are now my favorite Essex girl!

  7. Is that … a compliment or an insult?

    /feels a bit….. and falls over

  8. That’s a compliment — if I decide to insult you, you’ll know it! Just ask William Safire.

  9. Hmmm, why won’t you get some space and install MovableType, which gives you complete control over everything? It is the best content management system available now. I am willing to guide you through the process of installation & setup 🙂 Blogger is bad for you.

  10. Thanks, I believe I will. And it’s good to have you back!

  11. Shes so right… and who is this william you speak of?

    Oh, and ta for the compliment (still not convinced though!)

  12. I too recommend MovableType, and can provide assistance. Join us, brother.

  13. Let me third the suggestion. MT is where most of the innovation on the PCM space is happening. But installing it can sometimes become a royal pain ….

  14. (PCM?)

    Hat, have you tried republishing that week’s archive?

  15. Anton, you are a genius. It worked. The entry is here. I would edit the “hacked” entry to make it LANGUAGEHAT [NOT] HACKED with an explanation, but it’s fallen off my edit page on Blogger and I’m too ignorant to figure out how to edit it, but hopefully interested parties will read the comments. I still can’t figure out why Google couldn’t find it, but the hell with it — the main thing is all that work wasn’t wasted! My blessings on you, sir; you have gladdened this languagehat’s felt heart.

  16. felt heart is a pretty good play on words, and I thought it should be acknowledged.

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