Abuse scanning glitch

A few days ago my account was suspended for allegations of “abuse.”

After 2 days it was reactivated, however no explanation as to the cause was provided because the automated abuse scanning techniques cannot be disclosed.

In summary, there was no abuse, but somehow a scan triggered a false posative.

This then happened again within hours of being restored and I have not yet heard anything on the ticket, although the responses were very fast after the account was retored.

So, it seems a scan is picking up false positives pretty frequently. I do not know the cause or issue.

I worry this will continue and I am powerless to control it.

Has this happened to anyone else? I have read the terms and can say for absolute certainly, nothing has been violated.

I checked the reason for your suspension, and it’s not the result of automated scanning. We received abuse reports suggesting that your site is impersonating the site of someone else, and that the content on your site has been stolen from that other site.

Content published on websites is the intellectual property of the person who created and published it. Copying and redistributing that content on your own website without permission from the author is illegal. And we do not tolerate illegal activities on our hosting.

10 Likes

Oh ok, unfortunately that is the first time hearing of this allegation.

Can you please kindly provide the DMCA notice, court order(s) and submitted evidence regarding this baseless claim?

We will then be in a position to defend against the baseless allegation.

Our site is a collection of game maps, submitted by a variety of folks, who are credited for their work. These maps are posted on various locations with maps and game guides, our site being one of them.

Whether thr maps themselves represent “fair use” or are copyritten property of the likes of the game publishers such as Sega or Nintendo is a separate matter.

We don’t even know who made such baseless claims.

Please do not make any implications regarding our site or us, in public and in writing.

And this is one of the reasons account suspensions are only done through tickets. But if you insist on asking about it in public, then you should expect to receive an answer in public.

And no, I’m not going to share the infringing URL, the source URL and the details of the person who reported this. That would be illegal (GDPR violation), and then I would be specifically defaming your site. I kept the details vague to protect you, and now you’re attacking me for not airing all your dirty laundry?

If you want to talk about your account suspension, check the support ticket in the client area. If it’s been a few days since you asked and you haven’t received a reply, feel free to bump the ticket.

9 Likes

I am absolutely not “attacking” you and apologize if my messages were anything but polite and objective.

This forum, nor a support ticket are a court of law.

This is the exact text of the “reason” for the suspension as taken from the ticket.

Hi there,
Sorry, but I can not provide more details.
Please let us know if a backup is required, but you need to find a different provider.
Please let us know if there is anything we can do.

This forum post is the only location I ever received details on the reason. Please do disclose the allegations, and who made them in the private ticket. That is what I have been asking for and would allow it to be addressed specifically.

In summary, this is a stark reminder that we are just using the free hosting and it can be unilaterally terminated at will. It would seem potentially even if you are paying for it as well. You may want to message hosts in advance to confirm they would determine your website “acceptable” based upon their content moderation preferences because the obtuse process of finding out retroactively is unnecessary and frustrating.

Please consider a more interactive and less obtuse suspension process going forward.

Unfortunately, the suspension process is out of my hands. I do have access to the original complaint, and it seems genuine to me. But the decision on what happens if we get a report like that, or how much of that is communicated to website owners, is not up to me.

And you should know that the general concept of the DMCA for hosting providers is “Notice & Takedown”, not “Notice & Benefit of the Doubt”.

But I can tell you that this is indeed free hosting, and we don’t have the means to spend a lot of time investigating complaints and going back and forth between reporter and website owner. And, as you said, this is not a court, and it’s not up to us to arbitrate in legal disputes.

I have no clue as to where you get that notion from. I don’t know how reports like this get handled with paid hosting (because we don’t sell any), but with basically all paid hosting I’ve used there is always the opportunity to appeal and resolve the problem yourself without permanent takedown. Only in very severe circumstances would the service you paid for get terminated.

Admittedly, the lack of detail in the suspension communication is something I’m not too happy with either. But again, out of my hands.

6 Likes

The host I am with now states the following regarding DMCA after detailing the specific requirements of the DMCA complaint itself;

PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT IF YOU KNOWINGLY MISREPRESENT THAT ONLINE MATERIAL IS INFRINGING, YOU MAY BE SUBJECT TO HEAVY CIVIL PENALTIES AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES.

Please note that after we receive your formal complaint, we are required to inform the Respondent of your complaint. If our customer does not remove the infringing material, we will disable access to that material.

The customer has the right to submit a counter-notification in case they disagree with the claim. In such case, the complaining party is provided with 10 days to file a lawsuit against our customer and provide a proof of filing. If no such proof is submitted or a restraining order is not granted, SiteGround will reinstate access to the material.

This is why I stated potentially on paid as well;

Hi there,

No, on premium this will not be accepted either.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do.

Best Regards

I’m not well versed on the details of the DMCA. That’s because we are not a US company, so the specifics of the DMCA have no bearing on us. Please be aware that virtually all countries in the world have copyright laws, but the exact details may not be the same.

We do not allow illegal activities on our hosting, so we don’t tolerate site that share stolen content and impersonate other brands. But “it’s not allowed” doesn’t mean “your site will get terminated on the first report”.

5 Likes

I am surprised a site owner is not familiar with the laws that govern them, but fair enough.

Again we will ask you yo refrain from making false accusations. If a crime occurred, there would be an arrest. If a civil order was made, there would be a court order. Neither are the case and your statements are false. Written false statements that damage or tarnish our brand, and result in damages, you might be liable for libel.

The website is no longer hosted with you, as you have banned it so not sure what the issue even is any longer.

If anyone would be less likely to or would not visit our site because of this forum post, please let us know.

We have received a report claiming that your website was/is infringing on someone else’s copyright. We assessed this report and it looked plausible. In such cases, we are required by law to take action against the infringement. Because if we don’t, then we become liable for the infringement.

We are, however, not required to provide you with any information about this report.

Any other actions taken in response to this infringement are up to the discretion of the copyright holder, including contacting you, filing a law suit against you, or reporting you to law enforcement. Doing or not doing so does not impact their rights as copyright holder or our obligations as service provider.

I shared this information about your suspension publicly because you wanted to discuss your suspension publicly. I purposely kept the details vague, in part to prevent leaking any information that could result in your website or brand being identified. I do not see any information that a third party could use to tie what we discussed here back to your site, so no reason to assume that this discussion has caused any damage to you of your site.

As you have been told in the ticket, our decision regarding your website is final, and we will not restore your website. But as you’ve made clear in your last post, you have no desire to host your website with us again anyways.

So with that, I do not see any practical benefit in discussing this any further.

8 Likes