By Erik Dolson
I’ve spent some time trying to find out why Tom Cantrell’s comments on Kavanaugh did not get posted when submitted on October 3rd (See comment here). I’ve discovered two possibilities, but nothing definitive in the time I’ve spent so far (until 1:30 am this morning, and again since 6 a.m.).
The first is that we use an automatic spam blocker called “Akismet.” It filters comments and automatically puts 100s of spam comments, those looking to sell something, in the trash. Around the same date as Tom’s comment, October 3rd, we were hit with spam from metal building sellers. Tom’s comment came from his business email, which is related to metal construction and could have been considered by the automated system as a false comment.
This should not have happened since Tom was already approved to post on the site.
The second possibility is that we use a “math captcha” for our registration form. That’s a tool to prove the registrant is not a robot, where one has to provide an answer like 1 + 4 = 5. Tom registered around October 3rd. I remember this because I believed at the time that the reason Tom registered was because he wanted to post a comment and I was waiting to see what it would be. It’s possible this “captcha” was not filled out when Tom posted his comment and so his comment went into the trash.
In fact, when I tried to respond to Tom last night, I received a message that my comment would not post because filling out the “captcha” was required, yet I could not find the captcha to fill out. My initial attempts to respond put my comments into the trash, which is where I found Tom’s. I was able to do a work around, but obviously do not expect readers to do so.
It’s complicated. I’m working on it.