Sorry If Your Comments Do Not Appear or If Comment Threads Are Spammed

February 24th, 2013
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Like most blogs, this site gets its share of spam comments.  Most of them are from various sites looking to get traffic or try to use the comments for free advertising.  Others are from various malicious individuals who simply want to cause trouble or harass readers and blog authors.

It is the policy of this site not to block or restrict comments simply because they disagree with a premise or express an opinion that is not wanted.  Only comments that are entirely for such advertising are blocked along with repeat offenders who only want to repost the same thing over and over or harass readers.  That said, the right to editorial control is reserved.

As a reader, you have probably seen spam comments from time to time.  However, the vast majority never show up on the public side of this website.  In fact, the comments are spammed multiple times per day, but well over 95% are caught by filters, which flag spam comments and prevent them from showing up.   These filters use several methods, including blacklists of URL’s and common phrases along with banned e-mail addresses and IP ranges.

The filters are not perfect, and in addition to sometimes allowing spam to make it through, they also sometimes flag legitimate comments as spam and send them to the spam folder, rather than posting them.  This is not intentional.  It is simply an unfortunate reality that compromises must be made to balance the effectiveness of the spam filters with the problem of false positives.

Over the past few years, one particular spammer has been of particular difficulty in dealing with.  In addition to deluging the site with repetitive, often incoherent comments, this spammer is very tenacious and responds to having comments blocked with the use of different ISP’s and alternate e-mail addresses.   Because of this, they sometimes manage to slip through.  When this occurs, the filters are updated.

This spam usually comes from the province of Quebec Canada, but more recently, has been traced to ISP’s in Chicago, Illinois, USA.  It’s not clear if this is the origin or if proxy servers are being used.  Some of these comments have managed to get past all the automated filters and show up in the comment feed.

As a result of this, it has become necessary to tighten the rules for comment filters.  Unfortunately, this does increase the risk that legitimate comments will be flagged and not show up.  I do periodically check the spam folder to see if any comments have been miss-identified as spam.   These comments are not lost, and I do correct this when I find them, thus restoring them to the site.   Due to my busy schedule, this can sometimes take a couple of days.  If your comment does get flagged, you can contact me by email.

Also, be aware that despite these measures, it is still possible some of the unwanted comment spam will slip through.

Gee… I wonder who could be responsible for this???

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 24th, 2013 at 2:14 pm and is filed under Announcements, Website. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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9 Responses to “Sorry If Your Comments Do Not Appear or If Comment Threads Are Spammed”

  1. 1
    Q Says:

    I thought they had him committed or under some kind of court order or something. No?

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  2. 2
    drbuzz0 Says:

    By the way, I know the site was down for about a day. That has nothing to do with this.

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  3. 3
    dmarx Says:

    The Great Theatre of Ruin

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  4. 4
    dmarx2 Says:

    The Great Theatre of Ruin

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  5. 5
    drbuzz0 Says:

    ^^^ Yeah, that.

    I’m honestly not sure whether to leave those up as an example of what I’m talking about and the kind of lunacy that gets linked to it or take them down, because they only encourage his delusions by allowing them to get attention.

    Anyone have feedback on that?

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  6. 6
    Anon Says:

    I’d leave them up on any pages where what’s going on is explained but remove them from anything else.

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  7. 7
    dmarxians Says:

    the great theatre of ruin,53175.0.html

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  8. 8
    dmarxians Says:

    i suggest comment moderation on your BS

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  9. 9
    Virgil Says:

    I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else experiencing
    problems with your website. It looks like some of the written text on your content are
    running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too?

    This could be a problem with my internet browser because I’ve had
    this happen previously. Thank you

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