Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Fix to the Blogger Problem - Illustrated

Thursday morning I opened my laptop and went to blogger because I wanted to do a post.  Look in the upper corner, where it says create Create Blog Sign In.  If you're on your blog and are signed in to Gmail (which I was) it should show how you're logged in, New Post, Design, Sign Out.  So I hit Sign In.

And......... I went here, to the Dashboard.  At this point I freaked out, figured the blog was gone along with all of that history.  My phone was working, which is what I used to put up the Locked Out of Blogger post.  I put up a request for help on Blogger and was assigned help.  He turned out to be good help.

First we established that I was not logged in to the wrong account.  Then the consultant realized the navbar on the home screen was showing me as logged out. Notice that the editing symbol under the search box is missing.  Blogger in general knew that I WAS logged on and so would take me to the dashboard after clicking on Sign In.  Pretty weird, huh?  At this point we established that I actually could edit and produce a new post from the dashboard.   Then we moved in to clearing cache.  No effect.

Even though I knew I could still edit and produce posts, the whole thing was still stressing me out.  Then the consultant said this:
Here's what I think is going on. You have enabled one or more advert or cookie or tracking blocking settings or add-ins to your blog, and it or they are interfering in some way with the communication between and the rest of Google. I usually run Firefox with a lot of blockers, and have experienced this myself. The solution is that these blockers can be configured to whitelist

From the dark recesses of my mind I dredged up a memory of altering my Firefox security settings after reading an article about digital fingerprinting.
What is it exactly? Fingerprinting involves looking at the many characteristics of your mobile device or computer, like the screen resolution, operating system and model, and triangulating this information to pinpoint and follow you as you browse the web and use apps. Once enough device characteristics are known, the theory goes, the data can be assembled into a profile that helps identify you the way a fingerprint would.
“Get enough of those attributes together and it creates essentially a bar code,” said Peter Dolanjski, a product lead for Mozilla’s Firefox web browser, who is studying fingerprinting. “That bar code is absolutely uniquely identifiable.”
This was the culprit.  I deleted the bottom three first, no change.  Then I deleted the cross-site and social media trackers.  Ta-da!  Problem solved.  I changed the settings last July.  In between then and Thursday, something changed in some code somewhere and broke communication between and the rest of Google. 

Until the consultant mentioned the tracking blocking settings, I had forgotten that I'd made those changes.  At that point I knew which settings to go change.  Now I'm back to being vulnerable to cryptominers and fingerprinters, but I guess that's the cost of the brave new digital world.

So, the moral of this story, is that if you change security settings or anything else in Firefox, please make a note of it.  If something on your laptop breaks, go undo what you did and see if that fixes it.  Blogger has good help with real people.  This is the second time they've helped me with something.  This  past Thursday's issue ran over six hours with back and forth emails and into Friday morning.  My other take home is that English is imprecise and always send screen shots of what you're trying to convey.


  1. Hmmm...this is very interesting. I have a very similar problem but I don't use Firefox, I use Safari on my older Mac computer. It never shows me signed in but it goes there when I click sign in. I'm able to post with no problems but, I can't comment on many other blogs using Safari. So, on my new Mac, I installed Google Chrome and it works perfectly. At work I use Microsoft Edge and Explorer and they work perfectly. So my problem is with Safari. As long as I can work around it, I'm happy. My troubles started when Google ended a service (I've forgotten the name) that was similar to Instagram. Ever since they closed that down, I've had this problem so after reading your description, I'm wondering if it has something to do with the security settings. I'll check that out. Thanks.

  2. Glad you got that taken care of. I try not to ever change anything which can be good or bad.

  3. Glad you got it sorted out. It's too bad that in trying to protect your online privacy, you broke something that you really wanted to do. Considered another browser? If you aren't comfortable with Chrome or Edge, what about Safari? I don't know anything about the latter except that geeky people tend to favor it!

  4. Good information. I try to avoid any changes and live in 'fear' of coming to any of the places I frequent to find I can't use them.

  5. Thank you for this good info. How did you get a real person on Blogger?? I tried a few years ago when my own blog disappeared, and was in an endless digital loop. I'm glad your problem is fixed. As for digital identification, I think we're all vulnerable. Hopefully I'm too boring for anyone to care.

    1. If you go here, you can get a human!