It has taken Anthony a lot of hard work to make WUWT the success it is, and success comes at a price, which in blogging terms means even more hard work. The recent changes at WUWT are intended to lessen the workload associated with managing comments, and more changes are promised, but so far so good.
A high proportion of comments are now posted immediately, but, as many of you have experienced, certain key words, names, and phrases will trigger a comment to require moderation.
Anyone unsure about what is acceptable, check About/Policy.
Trolls beware – life on the edge is risky, and the delete button is an easy option.
Some people are flagging up comments as ‘going missing’. This means they’ve disappeared into the SPAM bin. As before, banned commenters and blacklisted subjects (by key word) still go straight to SPAM, along with true SPAM as flagged by the WordPress system. Those who’ve been banned, know who they are. For everyone else, all of this is automatic, don’t take it personally, and please don’t ask:
Moderators – my comment seems to have gone into the spam bin, please can you retrieve it?
That rankles. We waste a lot of time searching through the SPAM folder to retrieve valid comments and approving each one once retrieved. Sometimes there is simply insufficient time for fishing out comments. It would be preferable to move to a policy of a blanket delete of all SPAM, and that is likely to happen increasingly, especially at busy times.
WordPress explains why SPAM has become such a problem. Why do spammers do it?
Apart from because they can, the need to raise page ranking in search engines gives rise to the need to create a lot of links to a web page so the search engine thinks that page is important.
Just so you can see the size of the issue at WUWT, here is a peek inside the SPAM bin from earlier today. All of these are selling something or aim to entice traffic to one or more sites.
Note the submission times. Often SPAM comes in FASTER than genuine comments. It is not unusual to log in to the blog and find 50-100 items – several pages worth – in the SPAM bin, however there’s a lovely button labelled “Empty SPAM” that does just what it says.
Poof! Gone in an instant! Deleted!
It can be frustrating to lose a comment, but please try to see it from the other side. If you do lose a long comment to SPAM that never appears, yes, that’s tough, but so is keeping on top of SPAM. Due to the risk of such losses, we suggest preparing long (if you must) technical comments in an external system and pasting them into the comment box.
We hope readers continue to help make the site what it is, and can bear the odd wrinkle as we cope with the blog’s ongoing success.
Note: In trying to solve one problem I inadvertently created another. In response to this, and from other notes from readers, I have made a change to the SPAM filter that should help with this problem, let’s see how it goes.
Hopefully one this new comment system is well tuned I can implement other changes that are planned to improve tips and notes/story submissions, making WUWT more community oriented. In the meantime, I thank you for your patience, and I thank Verity for this essay. – Anthony