Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Mystery Solved

Blogger has been in the process of creating an automatic spam filter for comments. The filter is now fully operational--but has been busy removing comments from this blog since well before I learned anything about its existence. One cannot opt out of the automatic filter, but one can visit the spam box and override the filter's "choices."

I have now visited the spam box. Of the 58 comments that have been removed since the filter started working, one was spam. The rest were comments from regular participants on this blog (including one by me--hmm, real discerning filter there). Hence, the mystery of disappearing comments has been solved.

Now that I know about it, I can check the spam box regularly and get legitimate comments put back up on the blog. But since many of you have been persistent in seeking to get your comments posted, I'm not going to go back and override the filter with respect to all the earlier comments that vanished. In most cases this would create redundancy (since you found a way to get you comment posted by breaking it into parts or through sheer persistence). Avoiding such redundancy would require checking each comment in the spam box against the relevant comment thread, which would take much more time and effort that I'm prepared to expend.

In any event, if your comment disappears, chances are that it's the work of this overeager spam filter--and the comment should be restored to the blog as soon as I have a chance to check the spam box. Apparently, however, the filter learns from its mistakes--and so the more that I override it, the less likely it is that your comments will be swallowed up.

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