did akismet break or something?

No. I did.

This is unacceptable. Automattic want to control who gets to comment on my blog. Even spam gets sent to a queue where I can approve it if I want. Hence, I have emptied the contents of my Akismet queue onto my front page, since it is clearly more acceptable to our hosts than comments from my readers.

Also, if you must bitch about people in private blogs, I find that spaces or other miscellaneous characters in the url are very good at preventing those embarrassing trackbacks, assuming of course that your readers are au fait with the mechanics of copy/paste. :roll:

I was going to write a post about how it might be a good idea to carry out usability testing before a major admin redesign rather than after, and how it might also be sensible to rip off the Tiger interface before paying Happy Cog to make you something custom, but it will just have to wait.

36 Comments »

  1. The just for the hell of it to see if it works comment.

  2. They unblocked you. Good. Now I can delete the protest spam.

  3. judyb12 said

    so glad i got out of here already…

  4. Well, the account is still locked out.

    Please note that they didn’t block me here at wp.com, they were auto-discarding my comments. I was being blackballed elsewhere. That includes sites that I offer support on other open source projects.

    Rumor has it that a number of them are currently switching over to Typepad’s Antispam solution. You know the one. Techcrunch is now using it and says is better than Akismet. Those folks don’t have to worry about Matt’s multiple attempts at censorship.

    I did get a chuckle out of Matt trying to “promote openness and then get called on it in the very next comment. Once again we see Matt’s “Do as I say, not as I do” attitude.

  5. AJ said

    TGA, did your comment feeds get turned off or something? This is the second consecutive post for which my feedreader has not updated with the comment stream.

  6. Some of my clients have noticed that manual pinging with pingomatic’s web interface has not been up to par for the last week or two. Maybe those issues have carried over to the automated pinging as well.

    Technorati has had issues as well. They’ve had a black bar along the top for a day or two (It’s gone now) stating that they were not accepting pings.

  7. We have no interest in censoring anybody. The “discarded” message comes up when a comment is thought to be spam and it’s made on a post published over a month ago. There is actually an option under Settings->Discussion (“Don’t discard spam on old posts”) where the blog owner can turn this off. It has nothing to do with “extra” censorship.

    The Recent Comments widget is cached on the servers, so it can take a bit for new items to show up there.

    Automattic and WordPress.com are not associated with the private blog mentioned in this post.

    If any of our volunteers would like a t-shirt we’d be happy to send one, just let us know.

  8. Bull. (I’ll be nice)

    We have no interest in censoring anybody.

    Bull. My account is still blocked. Please return it. Please also return all of the other user’s accounts that are also blocked.

    The “discarded” message comes up when a comment is thought to be spam and it’s made on a post published over a month ago.

    Bull again. The screen cap on my site was made with the comments made to the last two of wank’s posts before this one. As an aside, have to admit that displaying that to a human is in rather poor taste and should be changed.

    The Recent Comments widget is cached on the servers, so it can take a bit for new items to show up there.

    Bull again. While the widget is cached, that cache is released and refreshed upon a comment or trackback appearing on a blog.

    Automattic and WordPress.com are not associated with the private blog mentioned in this post.

    Granted.

    If any of our volunteers would like a t-shirt we’d be happy to send one, just let us know.

    Bull again. Should have been done again over a year ago when it was first brought up.

    Nick, I hope you’re not in charge of anythign to do with PR.

  9. To prove the issue of the recent comment widget, here’s the screen cap right after I clicked on Submit Comment:

    http://drmikessteakdinner.com/uploads/wanksrecentcomments.png

    Nick, please remember I host a number of wpmu sites. I’m familiar with how they operate and how they are coded.

  10. Dr. Mike,

    My account is still blocked. Please return it. Please also return all of the other user’s accounts that are also blocked.

    Which account are you referring to? I will look into it.

    The screen cap on my site was made with the comments made to the last two of wank’s posts before this one. As an aside, have to admit that displaying that to a human is in rather poor taste and should be changed.

    The “discarded” message is only shown at the times explained in my previous comment.

    While the widget is cached, that cache is released and refreshed upon a comment or trackback appearing on a blog.

    This is not always true on WordPress.com.

    Bull again. Should have been done again over a year ago when it was first brought up.

    Is the email address used for your comments here a good place to contact you about a t-shirt?

    I host a number of wpmu sites. I’m familiar with how they operate and how they are coded.

    We have a lot of custom code on WordPress.com. We don’t run on a vanilla WPMU install.

  11. @AJ: the comment feed can take a while to update, I find.

    have to admit that displaying that to a human is in rather poor taste and should be changed.

    Seconded. How are we supposed to know what the problem is if you don’t tell us? As error messages go, it’s stunningly uninformative. How much extra strain would it put on the servers if you served up a sentence rather than a word? Makes no difference to the spam, makes a lot of difference to the ham.

    Automattic and WordPress.com are not associated with the private blog mentioned in this post.

    I’m surprised you felt you had to point that out. I know you host it and can read it and know who runs it, but I’d never suggest that official involvement went any further than that.

    [edited to answer responses made while typing]

    Which account are you referring to? I will look into it.

    Well, a number of people are still unable to post to the wordpress.com forums (effectively denying them support outside the limited official opening hours), though of course if you’re a penguin you can create as much havoc as you like. Don’t bother reinstating me, though; I might be tempted to answer a couple of CSS queries and that would never do.

    Also, I somehow doubt that drmike is still interested in a t-shirt ;)

  12. I agree the “discarded” message is pretty weak. I’ll see what I can do about getting that changed.

  13. Is the email address used for your comments here a good place to contact you about a t-shirt?

    I see Automattic still hasn’t learned their lesson about viewing your Dashboard, Wank.

    Which account are you referring to? I will look into it

    Nick, I’m sorry but I’m going to ask. Are you that clueless as to what’s occurring? Do you have any idea what has occurred in the past and who’s on the other side of the monitor here?

    The “discarded” message is only shown at the times explained in my previous comment.

    And as noted that is not correct although from what you’ve written, you may believe that to be true. Do you really think wank’s blog is the only one I comment at and/or I haven’t tested this? I learned a long time ago to take screen caps and make notes when things go astray around here. I believe we all have around here.

    This is not always true on WordPress.com.

    Granted but this is something we all have tested around here as well. Trust me on this.

    Is the email address used for your comments here a good place to contact you about a t-shirt?

    No longer interested and I take offense to that. What I really would like is for Automattic employees to learn some ethics and have some follow up to outstanding complaints made over a year ago. I would also like some explanations to many questions I raised at that time. Don’t bother though. I know I’ll never get them. Matt would just lie like he’s done previously and make more distasteful comments in my direction.

    We have a lot of custom code on WordPress.com. We don’t run on a vanilla WPMU install.

    I realize that but again as noted, you’re making statements that from experience and from even looking at the site are not correct.

    Nick, seems like you may need to learn how things run at Automattic and how Matt does stuff. You may want to skim both Wank’s and my blogs.

  14. Nick, by the way, congrats on being the sacrificial lamb this time around. Seems like whenever something “big” happens, seems like one of the new employees always gets sent over this way.

  15. They never send the girls, though, have you noticed?

    re: comment feeds — you’re not on bloglines by any chance?

  16. In case anyone is wondering, here’s one of the forum threads where we discussed the t-shirts:

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic.php?id=11210

  17. AJ said

    @TGA, yes I am on bloglines and it has been days since the update. I know it takes a bit of time but I’ve not gotten any comment updates for this post or the previous one..

    Found it a surprise that two successive posts and no comments. Realised the issue when I visited the site itself ;)

  18. Sure would be nice to have a working login so I didn’t have to type those three lines every time I tried to leave a comment.

    AJ, pingomatic, the ping service that wordpress uses and owns, doesn’t ping bloglines directly. Not sure why but others have noted that bloglines is rather abusive when it comes to spidering.

    Example: http://incsub.org/blog/?s=bloglines

  19. AJ said

    Dr Mike,

    I’m not sure if it is an issue with Pingomatic. AFAIK, WP should not be contacting pingomatic for *comments* but only for posts

    Bloglines is getting the new posts fine.. It’s the new comments which are not showing up..

  20. options said

    I can confirm the issue with this comments feed:

    in the Google Reader it is missing the first 6 comments on this thread. Nick Momrik’s comment is the first one I can see there. all the rest, according to GR, were received in a batch row only today at 17:00UTC regardless of publishing time (yesterday).

    everything seems to be fine in my desktop aggregator, though. so I suppose it may rather have something to with a somewhat peculiar User-Agent header field handling at .com.

    wish I had some typing (and translating into proper and polite English) device which I could dictate on. I’d went on “barked” on topic then.

  21. So, we have issues in bloglines (I checked the comment feed there; it hasn’t updated since the 9th) and Google Reader? Fabulous.

  22. If you see this, Nick, thanks for the follow up. Your following of the company line but yet not actually resolving the problem has been noted. You’ll fit in quite well. You’ve got the “liar and fraud” bit down quite nicely.

    WP should not be contacting pingomatic for *comments* but only for posts

    Actually I believe it should considering there’s a subscribable (however you spell it) feed involved.

  23. Matt’s trying to cover it up now.

    It’s funny actually as I still see splogs that I’ve reported and they’re still active even though Matt’s told me that they’ve been taken care of.

  24. It’s spilled over into Wikipedia edit wars now? Woohoo!

    Though I have to wonder whether it wouldn’t be more dignified for Matt to delegate Wikipedia censorship to some anonymous fanboy (or Lloyd, whoever’s more convenient). Put it this way, you wouldn’t catch Toni doing it.

  25. options said

    > whether it wouldn’t be more dignified to delegate Wikipedia censorship to some anonymous fanboy

    done.

    I’ve got an itch to provide a proper source to that censored para, but I don’t feel that it would be any better than relegating it to some anonymous fanboy ;-) any ideas, btw?

  26. Is it me, or does said anonymous fanboy have a distinct whiff of sock about him?

  27. options said

    he’s just new ;-) one thing I can tell for sure is that it was not Matt, Lloyd, Toni or Bubel — their orthography is much better. also, I can’t believe that either Matt or Lloyd would ever use a sock for that purpose.

  28. options said

    however, it’s not the first time WordPress related entries got censored on English WikiPedia by this way.

    also, redirect of ‘b2\cafelog’ to WP is annoying; although it’s mentioned on Matt’s entry but it’s not linked there.

  29. heh, I love how Spamgate gets dismissed as ‘cruft’. How is getting your site removed from Google for spamming not a major event? Even Matt has portrayed it as a Damascene moment which eventually led to the development of Akismet and the death of themes.wordpress.net. Hell, it deserves its own Wikipedia article.

    It isn’t impossible that the sockpuppet’s spelling is deliberately poor so as to deflect suspicion from people who can spell. ;) Or they’re preparing to claim his bad spelling proves that he is in fact drmike trying to make them look bad. :roll: Either way, after the things Matt’s said about drmike’s spelling issues I doubt he would be willing to employ someone who couldn’t spell ‘relevancy’.

    What is also interesting is that the first remover of any mention of spam links on browsehappy was previously engaged in adding spam links to articles on car manufacturers. Make of that what you will.

  30. Root said

    I think we need to start editing the wikipedia entry on a regular basis. cURl and cron might help. I think the Kubrick fiasco and spamgate deserve a wider audience. Not to mention the style comp and Ma.tt’s laughable entry therein. Plus perverting the whole open source ethos for commercial ends. Not to mention the censorship / control issues.

  31. I’m disinclined to get involved in editing WP-related articles for the same reason I think Automattic staff (and their sockpuppets) should keep out of them — I’m highly unlikely to maintain the neutral POV that wikipedia demands. I don’t have the vested interests that they do, and unlike them I wouldn’t be violating Wikipedia guidelines but still, I ain’t neutral.

    Also, finding sources is a pain. You’re basically limited to newspaper articles and well-known third-party blogs such as Lorelle or WTC. Anything Automattic-controlled, from staff blogs to forum threads, is liable to go poof.

  32. An update just for the hell of it. Latest response direct from Matt was that a “blog” of mine was suspended and this caused my account to be locked out since this was the only “blog” on this account. No “blog” was given. No reason for the suspension of this “blog.” I’m putting “blog” in quotes there as to my knowledge, I no longer had any blogs associated with the drmike account as I had deleted all four of them previously. I’m being told that the Akismet issue was probably due to “false positives” although I pointed out that both this and the account blockage occurred shortly (and I mean shortly) after I posted my list of splogs that I had previously reported and had been ignored.

    I’ve asked again for an explanation with specifics but considering they’re batting 0% on that, I doubt that I’ll be receiving one any time soon.

  33. Looks like they’re now making the volunteers pay for their own upgrades.

    I guess they have gotten really cheap.

  34. They just don’t want to encourage excessive volunteering. They’ve taken on a lot more support staff since they went 24/7; a couple more and they’ll be able to close the forums entirely.

  35. Just noticed that the WIkipedia articles got edited again from an IP address from Audora, Colorado. Which is the same location of the current Automattic offsite.

    Hmm, imagine that.

  36. drmike said

    Test comment. Been pointed out to me that I may being censored again.

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