Saturday, September 24, 2022

You Weren't Imagining It


If you've tried to post a comment on a blog hosted here at Blogger in the past, and afterwards, it never showed up in the comment section, well, I just discovered something: you weren't imagining that.

One of the behind-the-scenes tasks for bloggers is to secure the virtual floodgates from spam attacks. Google's Blogger system does a pretty decent job of barring intrusions, but every now and then, some misdirected person does manage to slip by the spam radar. I'm not sure how profitable it is for those thinking that posting a "comment" selling their wares on a five year old post here would boost traffic to their own site, but you know how it goes. Spam is the digital version of graffiti: if you don't clean it up right away, it spreads.

Though I've been at this blogging project for over a decade, it still seems a challenge to keep up with changes in how to manage the admin system. Today, in chasing down an actual spam warning, I accidentally discovered a change at Blogger which sequestered not only those pesky spam comments, but also comments from bona fide readers. In fact, some of the comments were posted—and sequestered—not just once, but multiple times. Talk about an overzealous bot.

The funny thing is, I've gotten notes from readers in the past, saying, "I tried to post my comment, but it never showed up." Right. And I never could find those comments. Until now.

Yes, in Comment Jail, the holding cell for suspected spammers included multiple posts by well-meaning (and real) people, including some regulars among my readers.

To say I was surprised to find this would be an understatement. I had no idea there even was such a place as this virtual holding cell. All spam-flagged comments used to be kept in one, easily-found place for blog administrators—until this top-secret spam purgatory system snuck in.

Hopefully, that little detour in an otherwise functioning system has worked its little dysfunctional self out by now, and all genuine readers with applicable comments will be free to post them here once more.



  1. I feel the same way about the spammers posting things into OLD blog posts. I suspect those posts are less about selling a product, and more about spreading malware onto computers - which gives them some kind of illicit access to our data. Lately I've been getting foreign language spam on my old blog posts, but most are caught and kept in "comment jail". So I can just remove them easily. Very frustrating.

    1. You're right, Sara, it is frustrating, but at least it's as you mentioned: easy to remove. Good point about your concern that spammers may be spreading malware. We all need to do what we can to help limit the spread of stuff like that.


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