A miracle??!?


Freethoughtblogs is suddenly and unexpectedly restored! It must be because I refused to pray all week long. Or it could have been about emailing the parent company for Bluehost, Endurance International Group. Or it could have been the result of posting a 1 star review on TrustPilot, which got the attention of their PR flack.

I just got off the phone with them, and that bad review is what finally kicked them into gear. Now I know what corporations dread, at least.

Comments

  1. rblackadar says

    But was it on the 3rd day? .. or the 4th…? Leapday has left me confused.

    In any case I’m pretty sure you had to go through the Harrowing of Hell for us, so thanks.

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    Congrats. These people are not getting back on.

    Indiana Election Commission, state Supreme Court rule against John Rust, removing him from ballot


    Six challenges to the Seymour egg farmer’s candidacy were filed earlier this month by Hoosiers in Monroe, Harrison, Marion, Whitley and Hamilton counties. They pointed to Indiana law that prohibits candidates from running whose last two primary votes don’t match the party they wish to represent…

    Missouri GOP moves to toss ‘honorary’ member of Ku Klux Klan from governor’s race

    The Missouri Republican Party said Thursday it was working to remove a Republican candidate for governor from the primary ballot after a picture of him appearing to do a Nazi salute while standing in front of a burning cross resurfaced online…

    Exiled Missouri lawmaker blocked from running for governor as a Democrat

    Missouri Democrats on Tuesday blocked a blacklisted state lawmaker from running for governor as a Democrat.

    The Democratic Party on Tuesday refused to accept a filing fee from state Rep. Sarah Unsicker, who was exiled after social media posts last year showed her with a man cited by the Anti-Defamation League as a Holocaust denier.

    House Democrats kicked her out of their caucus in December…

    The unifying theme? Political parties have the right to refuse candidates. They should use it more often.

  3. Walter Solomon says

    Good job. For awhile there, when I Googled “pharyngula” Wikipedia would be the top entry. When it switched back to this blog, I knew you were back in business.

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    Howzabout setting up, and prominently posting, an alternative site (through a totally different chain of hosting*) whereby blocked-out readers can see at least status reports if/when the primary service(s) fail(s) again?

    *I first wrote that as “hostage” – as in host-age – but decided that might give prospective nemeses the wrong idea.

  5. raven says

    It really helped a lot that PZ Myers posted on his alternative channels what was going on.

    It is disquieting when you hit your usual link and nothing happens but you get an error message, unable to contact Freethoughtblogs.

    I read about it on Octodon, his Mastodon server.
    There was something also on Patreon.

    (I did not check his OnlyFans account though, not a subscriber as that costs too much.)

  6. DanDare says

    It is disturbing that the wreckers have so easy a path to knock things over.
    I did get more active on mastodon though, so there’s that.

  7. KG says

    The Missouri Republican Party said Thursday it was working to remove a Republican candidate for governor from the primary ballot after a picture of him appearing to do a Nazi salute while standing in front of a burning cross resurfaced online… – Reginald Selkirk quoting NBC News@4

    I don’t get it – what is it they’re objecting to?

  8. StevoR says

    @17. KG : Silk. Silk fetish..

    Also feet becoz well eight of them… in silken slippers..

  9. blf says

    StevoR@14 & @15: Let’s presume the original complaint was correct-ish for a definition of “correctish” which isn’t so far gone that that definition cannot quite see the curvature of the Universe: From such an Escher-like perspective, it is obvious there are not only many spiders, but they grow and shrink as they continuously climb a Klein-bottled Universe, each stripping and also fully clad as they pass the Entwives (who are both completely baffled and not there, being lost), whilst the electrons of Thy ‘Net take a well-earned holiday in the space vacated by those who believed the original complaint or complainant.

  10. robro says

    Glad you’re back, PZ. As far as what worked, perhaps it was all of it. That’s what my partner would do…hit everything until something worked. I even considered emailing the parties to complain that a favorite site of mine was blocked and nothing was happening.

    Unfortunately, god the creator doesn’t provide a customer support line.

    As I’m sure you’ve heard, Alabama Republican legislatures “overwhelmingly” passed a bill to protect IVF providers. Oddly the Alabama people I see in news story photos protesting the decision are rather blond. Hmm?

  11. raven says

    @24 Robro
    I sort of expected that.
    The reason.
    The overwhelming majority of IVF users are well off, white women.
    It is around 85% white.
    IVF is rarely covered by insurance, not covered by Medicare or Medicaid. A live birth usually costs an average of $60,000.

    We all see that the laws are made to favor people who have money and power. No surprise.

    Disparities in Assisted Reproductive Technology Utilization …

    National Institutes of Health (NIH) (.gov)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › articles › PMC5548290
    by AC Dieke · 2017 · Cited by 76 —

    In 1999–2000, the distribution of ART cycles in the United States varied by race/ethnicity with white non-Hispanic women accounting for 85.5% of …

  12. says

    I hope PZ doesn’t mind my cross-posting this from infinite thread. I think Hj’s work could really help and is important :
    https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2024/01/07/infinite-thread-xxx/
    371 Hj Hornbeck
    1 March 2024 at 10:11 am
    [Re-posted from PZ’s post about the FtB outage.]
    Bad news, it seems the domain is out of our control for some time. In the meantime, I’ve set up a temporary workaround: proxy.freethought.online takes advantage of nginx’s ability to act like a proxy, and essentially does a Mallory-in-the-middle attack on FtB’s webserver. All links are re-written on-the-fly, and I’m even able to log into my account and post comments.
    I’ll pitch PZ on something less duct-tape and bailing wire, reconfiguring FtB’s servers to work with another domain name, but this’ll do temporarily.

    MY REPLY: 392 shermanj
    1 March 2024 at 12:41 pm
    People should take note: @371 Hj Hornbeck setup a proxy. I tried it. It works fine. THANK YOU! This is an important step in avoiding all the idiots that want to lie and vent their stupid hate on freethought blogs and others.
    I wonder, Hj will you continue to make this available? It appears to update in realtime. That makes it very viable.

  13. Alan G. Humphrey says

    Where is PZ’s OnlyFangs site? Can get that built on the new hosting site, too. Offering all those legs, with sex and eggs, how can you not make money…

  14. stochastic says

    They restored your account just after I sacrificed a chicken on our backyard altar. The gods love the smell of barbecue wafting to the heavens, Coincidence? I think not.

  15. robro says

    raven @ #28 — I recall you making that piont in an earlier thread. I thought the Alabama GOP’s swift reaction an apt confirmation of your point. Of course, the privileged white people get what they want, religious principles be damned. If it was something to benefit non-white people god would forbid it. No systemic racism here.

  16. beholder says

    @PZ Good to hear you’re back. You’ve ditched Bluehost by now, right? They seem to be a good example of why leaving both your website and your domain name in the hands of vulture finance is a bad idea.

    You should consider self-hosting an onion service that can’t be taken down so easily by others, though. What would work best on a server operating out of your home internet would be a simple HTML page with copies of your most recent posts, no cross-site scripting, and no comment functionality. If anyone needs tips, I’ve gotten such sites working before. I know just enough to be dangerous I probably know what I’m doing. HJ Hornbeck probably also knows how.

  17. says

    @32: Just. No.

    “Hosting an onion server” is itself problematic. At the risk of invoking Godwin’s Law — phew, I see it’s already relevant farther up the thread, so it’s not me losing the argument — “hosting an onion server” is like saying “my uncle was a Nazi.” Although there are legitimate onion servers out there and legitimate reasons for them (true-whistleblower/true-journalistic-integrity information exchanges, any journalism at all in some nations), the proportion that that is actively unlawful (movie/music piracy, selling-of-credit-card-numbers, etc.) or worse (kiddieporn “exchanges”) is high enough that it will bring unwanted attention. Even worse than just being an atheist in Oklahoma City (and I have personal experience on how that one works).

    And even that is assuming that .onion is impenetrable anonymization. Umm, not so much, even without misconfiguration and “one moment of carelessness” problems. Once anonymity has been penetrated, the service provider is equally subject to the… shenanigans at issue with BlueHost here. And, on all evidence, less likely to be even this responsive.

    This wasn’t a technical error. It was inability on the part of Bluehost to actually do the effort to verify a complaint — and there will be a potential failure point with that somewhere in any communications channel. It’s not the tech: It’s the humans in charge of it.

  18. beholder says

    @33 Jaws

    “hosting an onion server” is like saying “my uncle was a Nazi.”

    I don’t see where you got that conclusion from, but okay. A censorship-resistant network is sometimes used by Bad Guys™ because a useful privacy tool for everyone is also a useful privacy tool for them. Your point?

    the proportion that that is actively unlawful …

    It’s cute that you think enough clearnet sites are legitimate in contrast. That hasn’t been my experience with the internet. Nothing to be done about it except to start an onion service to bring the proportion of “good” sites up, no?

    … is high enough that it will bring unwanted attention.

    PZ’s already got unwanted attention. That ship has sailed.

    And even that is assuming that .onion is impenetrable anonymization.

    If you have anecdotes of the cryptography or network topology of Tor being hilariously broken (not user error or a side-channel attack), I’d love to hear it.

    What an onion service gives you is free domain(s), a server under your control, and robust privacy, should you choose to configure and maintain it correctly, or have someone you trust (not Bluehost) doing that for you.

  19. hillaryrettig1 says

    Missed you PZ!

    If it happens again, maybe alert everyone on Patreon and we’ll all leave 1* reviews.

  20. says

    I’m glad I made the Trustpilot suggestion! I know about them because my own employer seems to care a lot about Trustpilot reviews. I hadn’t expected it to actually work though.

  21. says

    NOTE: Hj Hornbeck setup a proxy. I tried it. It works fine. THANK YOU! And, that is probably the easiest and best solution so PZ doesn’t have to be held hostage to bluehost.

    Hj Hornbeck said ‘I’ve set up a temporary workaround: proxy.freethought.online takes advantage of nginx’s ability to act like a proxy, and essentially does a Mallory-in-the-middle attack on FtB’s webserver. All links are re-written on-the-fly, and I’m even able to log into my account and post comments.’

  22. says

    I am glad FtB is back but I am still puzzled as to how it is possible for a person using a screen name, making vague and unsubstantiated complaints, can persuade a hosting company to shut down a web site without any attempt to investigate the vague charges. And then keep it down for days.

    Was this malevolence or incompetence (or both)? I just don’t get it.

  23. raven says

    I had never heard of trustpilot website before.
    Although it seems to be popular and well regarded.
    I went there to read PZ Myers’s review of Bluehost.
    It wasn’t there or I couldn’t find it.
    I filtered for last 30 days and one star reviews.

    FWIW, there are a fair number of one star reviews of Bluehost at 26%. People having a hard time getting simple routine problems fixed.

Leave a Reply