The ALA sure doesn't like the Annoyed Librarian. Then again, lots of people don't like the AL, so I suppose I'll just have to accept it. Friday's post linked to the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom's website, which had the ALA President's response to the Golden Compass flap.
The link didn't go to the site itself, however. Instead, it went (and may still go) to an intermediary page that said the following:
Please stop referer spam.
We have identified that you have been refered here by a known or supposed spammer.
If you feel this is an error, please bypass this message and leave us a comment about the error. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
If you are actually doing referer spam, please note that this website/b2evolution no longer records and publishes referers. Not even legitimate ones! While we understand it was fun for you guys while it lasted, please understand our servers cannot take the load of all this cumulated spam any longer... Thank you.
Also, please note that comment/trackback submitted URLs will be tagged with rel="nofollow" in order to be ignored by search engines."
I think this is hilarious. I'm not sure how or why this blog was identified as spam by the ALA, but it might just show the ALA's attitude toward criticism. "Hey," I can imagine some nitwit in the ALA office saying, "why don't we consider any blogs or websites critical of us to be spam? Obviously no sane or thoughtful person could ever be critical of our drivel, so it must be some evil spammer!"
You can still click through to the website, because despite the warning that this blog is spam, they still don't want anyone to miss out on all the thoughtful things the ALA President might have to say about "banned" books.
When you do get to their website, you see "Office for Intellectual Freedom" in large font at the top of the page, and underneath what must be the slogan of the OIF: "Free People Read Freely." That's right, they're happy to defend your intellectual freedom as long as you don't say something they disagree with. Free people should read freely, as long as they don't read the AL. This spamming accusation could mean that for some folks in the ALA, intellectual freedom means the freedom to think like them.
Of course, it could just be a technical glitch, in which case they should just fix it. Since the AL is the #1 library blog in the whole world, surely someone at ALA reads it, and if they're reading this, they can fix this problem. And if nobody there fixes it, then we can be sure that the people in charge are either technically incompetent or just too dumb to tell the difference between this blog and "referer spam" or that they want to deflect any criticism by pretending the critic is a spammer. It could be that they're all of the above. Only time will tell.
Update: Darn it, less than a day and they fixed the problem. With that kind of rapid response, just what am I supposed to be annoyed about now?