Spam Filtering Note

In the last couple of days I’ve been getting emails from folks asking if I’m moderating people more than usual and/or have revoked people’s posting status. The answer: Nope — but it does appear the site’s spam filter is being unusually aggressive recently, and comments have been getting kicked into the spam folder.

That being the case, two things: One, I’ll keep a closer eye on the spam filter for the next several days to see if there are errant posts there, which should help. Two, it’s a fine time for everyone, especially newer commenters, to check in with the comment policy for the site, to remind themselves of the general rules of the road here.

I have noticed comments becoming more immoderate recently; this is understandable given the state of the nation and planet, and tempers are shorter than they might otherwise be (mine certainly is). But that also means that the spam and moderation filters, trained for over a decade on my own idiosyncratic moderation policies, are flicking things into the spam filter before I see them. What can I say, my spam filter is a harsh moderator.

In any event, I’ll keep an eye out, and in the meantime reaquaint yourself with the comment policy and try to play nice with others in the comment threads. We’ll get this sorted soon enough.

15 Comments on “Spam Filtering Note”

  1. Dear John,

    Thank you for being so understanding.

    Pedro and I almost came to blows, primarily due to my offense. We pulled back, but it was mostly because he was more reasonable and forgiving than I deserved (or had been, at any rate).

    It reminded me of how much I’ve been stressed out by the Plague and the Police, even when I don’t notice it. I need to police myself better.

    pax / Ctein

    P.S. (Lest someone out there misinterpret this as an attempt to avoid responsibility, because the Internet is what it is… My go-to mantra is that an explanation is NOT an excuse.)

  2. So that’s what happened to all the resident epidemiologists. Maybe the resident civil rights attorneys can get them all released.

  3. Dear Pedro,

    Nope, still here– armchair epidemiologist, that is.

    My advice would be to take all reports with a very large grain of salt for the next month, unless you are really confident of the methodology of the reporter.

    The reason we’ve all (armchair and professional) been relatively quiet has been that it takes 2 to 4 weeks to see the changes in social protocols, and we only started moving into Phase 2 and now phase 2.5 in early May. Anyone who tells you they see significant changes in less than two weeks as a result of social changes is talking through their hat. (Or something spectacularly bad happened.)

    The mass protests are expected to cause a blip upward that will last several weeks before it fades out (unless we are very lucky or very unlucky). Absent strikingly unexpected news one way or the other, I wouldn’t believe any breathless headlines of any sort before early July.

    For what very little it’s worth – and it’s not much – the tracking data on hospitalizations and deaths has been going in the right direction, but on a very shallow curve. Things are about back to where they were in mid-March. If you think we’re in good shape for doing contact tracing and monitoring, that’s good news. If you think we’re not, it’s bad news. Nobody knows yet — more weeks of waiting.

    Ignore the reports on the number of cases. Makes for headlines, but is entirely dependent on how many people have been tested. If we could magically test everyone overnight, we’d see 5 to 10 times as many cases as have been reported. It wouldn’t mean 5 to 10 times as many people got sick overnight. Look at hospitalizations and deaths.

    longissimus, non legi?

    Nothing reliable nor confidence-inspiring to report yet about the gradual reopening. Ask again in early July.

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. 
    — Digital Restorations. 

  4. Dear glc,

    I’ll keep it brief. The Reuters graphic is exactly the kind of thing that you should not be paying attention to, because the number of reported cases depends entirely on how big ( and what) subset of the population is being tested. In most places, only a small fraction have been tested. Expanding testing means more cases reported.

    Pay attention to the error bars in that plot. It’s why few folks are making much in the way of predictions.

    pax / Ctein

  5. Dear Pedro,

    Hahaha! I picked the lock. Quarantine coppers (qoppers?) are probably after me.

    Don’t tell’em where I am.

    (this is a private channel, right?)

    pax / covidish Ctein

  6. I feel like I am stuck in a Spam filter. I did some volunteer work for my County. Got sent home and told I needed to be tested before returning.

    I am not going to pay for a test to volunteer to help others. I check the County queue to see if I am getting close to a public test. Every week I fall further down that queue.

    Definitely take all of the stats with a grain of salt. The testing situation is nowhere near what it needs to be. Supplies of necessary safety equipment, including testing products and testing labs, is insufficient for a relapse if the need to get the economy running hit a COVID bump.

  7. In regards to testing, my particular gov’ment agency, is now doing/requiring al staff members to be tested. Currently, they’re working their way through the various level of essential employees (we have about 6 levels) starting with those who have the heaviest daily contact with the general public. Fun times.

  8. I should note, incidentally, that one reason it’s possible that my spam filter is a little more aggressive recently is that there’s been a largish uptick in attempts to get (actual) spam on the site — like a couple times as much as recently. I don’t know if it’s spammers rediscovering blogs or what, but it’s happening.

  9. Perhaps unrelated… or is it… but since I use Facebook to ‘log in’ here to comment, I just wanted to point out that my Norton virus protection has been giving me a warning every time I switch pages on Facebook (it did not do so here… yet). Someone, somewhere is doing something to upset the natural flow of things! I honestly don’t know if I could be more vague than that… or could I? I would tend to blame Zuckerbaby but then again, its either him or Bunker Bozo…

  10. “… the spam and moderation filters, trained for over a decade on my own idiosyncratic moderation policies, are flicking things into the spam filter before I see them. What can I say, my spam filter is a harsh moderator.”

    Soooo, JS’s spam filter is the mirror universe JS? Which would be JS without the goatee, but with an eyepatch?

%d bloggers like this: