A Comment About Comments

A newsletter reader posted multiple comments late last night, all of them containing more or less the same message. He then posted a last comment questioning why his previous comments didn’t “go through.” I decided to address “the problem” here in case others have the same question.

No comments posted to this newsletter at www.eogn.com ever “go through” until they are approved by myself. All newly-posted comments go to a hidden area that only I can see. Once I read the comment, I can make it visible to everyone with one mouseclick or I can erase it permanently with a different mouseclick.

More than 50% of all the comments posted are spam messages, some days it is 75% or more. The comments range from promotions of male sexual enhancement products to advertisements for fake reproductions of Rolex watches to mail order sales of pharmaceutical drugs and all sorts of other junk. Others promote various religious or political agendas or contain personal attacks on politicians.

Most of the unwanted comments are posted late at night U.S. time. I can see the I.P. address of every person who posts a comment and it is easy to find the location of an I.P. address. A high percentage of the spam comments come from countries in the Orient or the Middle East, mostly from third world countries with low standards of living. Some of the comments are written in foreign languages. Even those written in English are often full of spelling and grammatical errors.

I know from reading other online articles that many spammers hire people in low-income countries and pay them a few cents per hour to post spam messages anywhere and everywhere online they can in order to boost sales of this junk. I doubt if many people want to read those messages and I certainly don’t want them posted on my web site. Therefore, all comments wait in a hidden area until a human reviews each one.

I am sorry about the delay in publicizing new comments but I have never found a better solution.

On a slightly different topic, occasionally someone will post a comment containing a personal message to me, such as “when does my subscription expire?” or something similar. I normally answer those in email and then delete the comment. By the way, if you do wish to ask me a question, look in the menus to the right and click on “Contact Dick Eastman.” That message reaches me sooner.

17 Comments

Patricia Ann Kellner August 10, 2014 at 6:40 am

What is that keyboard with the comment key in blue?

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    I am guessing it has been “Photoshopped.” That is, the key wasn’t blue until someone used a photo editing program to change its color and lettering. That is easy to do in Photoshop and many other photo editing programs.

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Thank you for keeping a lid on the comments section.

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Bless you for doing this. I hate to see blogs and websites that have that abandoned look thanks to spam that lingers. Good moderation is worth its weight in gold.

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Dick, I for one appreciate your moderating the comments. I don’t want to read those either, nor do I want to read comments by “trolls” whose only purpose is to argue with others making themselves look better (so they think).

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I appreciate your dedication to screening junk (and worse) comments. I read your blog every day and scroll through to see which articles I want to read more thoroughly. It’s always good to know that whatever I open will be relevant. Thanks.

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I admit to having a shudder or two when I realized how much junk you have to wade through. Thanks for all your work!

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Thank you for spending your valuable time checking through the daily batch of messages. My mail is about 20% spam, but I can imagine your’s is even more. Plus, reading through all the “legitimate” messages – all, so we can have a forum to exchange ideas centered around your excellent articles. I really look forward to your newsletter, usually reading it first.

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I appreciate the problem. My personal website has an unmoderated guest book, and I run into the same thing.

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I had no idea the % spam was so high. That’s an amazing amount of work to delete all those. I get irritated with a single spam in my email.

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Thank you. We who look forward to reading your newsletters appreciate ALL the work you do.

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I use a captcha step. For years I got perhaps three total spam comments that made it through. For the last month or so I have been getting about one per day, almost always on the same movie review post. I can see that that same post is getting hundreds of hits for the one comment, so I figure they are using a bot and sometimes manage to recognize the captcha characters correctly. Once the bot does, it stops trying until the next day. Not one of these comments has ever made it through BlogSpot’s spam filter, so they still do not show up. I delete the spam comments periodically.

I have had two or three people complain about having to go through what was for them an apparently extremely arduous and time consuming step of keying a few characters and clicking a second time, but I haven’t gotten rid of it because I figure if the commenter feels typing in a half dozen characters is too much bother then how much of a comment would they actually be leaving anyway.

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I appreciate all the work that you take to make this one of best (the best) newsletters. I enjoy all of the information that you provide and look forward to reading it each day.
Thank You.

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Thank you so very much for keeping this place tidy! I only comment on a few specific topics I feel qualified to speak about and have deep interest in — usually programs I use and areas of research I specialize in — but I try to read all that are posted. It’s a wonderful resource and I learn a lot down here below the articles, especially from your replies to people. Thank you for all you do!

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Dick,
I want to say “Thank you” for taking the time to wade through the deluge of items from the downspout of comments. Then throwing out the trash and saving the treasures. I have learned a great deal from your articles and have also gained insight from other readers. Their journey involving time, travel and travail to search for that certain link that is missing or just more info on those who have gone before us down this road of life has been helpful. It’s a dirty job you do for us but somebody has to do it and our trust in you has been proven time and time again.

With grateful thanks. Please stay healthy, happy and hunting.
Bob

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Dick, I endorse all above comments. Enjoy, and learn from, your newsletter.
Congratulations and keep up the good work!!!

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