Well, folks, one more thing on the list of reasons it will be a big step forward when RS dumps the Disqus comment platform…
Precisely two weeks ago, somebody was repeatedly flagging my comments as spam, to the point that Disqus automatically blocked me from comment. Erick and I had a very candid email exchange about the problems with the platform while it was being fixed…
And now, precisely two weeks later, it’s happening again. I don’t know if this is an evolution of the Snarky Name Upvote Troll or what, but this is still a worrisome development–if it can be done to me, it can be done to WestCoastPatriette or Streiff or ANY of our membership. It’s looking like any comment I make, no matter how innocent or no-way-it-can-offend, has a lifespan of about five to ten minutes before it gets flagged–I’d say it was almost like somebody was following me just TO flag my comments, but I have no followers, and it can’t be carry-over from another site because the only other place I’ve ever used the Disqus platform was AOPA and that account was locked down and nuked at my request.
Rightlane1111 mentioned something similar happening to her at Washington Post and chalking it up to computer menopause, but this seems to be a more consistent pattern. It’s been happening too much both two weeks ago and today to be coincidence, this is clearly deliberate action by somebody–could be a Mod I somehow ran afoul of despite my best efforts, could be the next evolution of the Snarky Name Upvote Troll; I don’t know exactly WHAT’s going on here but there’s so much smoke there HAS to be a fire somewhere behind it.
This is my first Diary, so admittedly I have a lot to learn about the ins and outs of things like “target length” and such, but this issue being observed by multiple members here (WCP and Tbone have both commented about my Disappearing Comments, and Rightlane’s having it happen to her at WaPo) leads me to believe it’s something the larger community needs to be made aware of. Other than that, consider this a Friday Evening Open Thread, my friends, and the cantina’s open for business.
EDIT to clarify a few things: No, I’m not on Facebook. Yes, WCP called it, I’m a guy, though the State of Washington HAS tried to bureaucratically change that on my voter registration, and I don’t know whether to be amused or alarmed by my gal occasionally joking that I’d make her a good “wife”. Rightlane, there’s a link somewhere labeled Contact, you might want to send them an email at the address on that page, since I just watched one of your comments disappear too.
EDIT 2: A contact on another board suggested we may have a hacker or a bot–it’s curious to note a post I had deleted has been restored under a “Guest” label when we all know RS’s Disqus is configured not to allow guest posts. Also, it’s worth noting that my username is derived not from anything fancy or gem-related, but from Crotalus atrox, the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake that a young lady I once loved compared me to after seeing my response when someone had threatened her.
UPDATE: Saturday morning, last night’s posts still false-flagged, this morning’s auto-flagged, edits still auto-flagged immediately on edit. The way my posts have been timed, a human flagger would have had to devote an entire day just to watching for new activity, so this is almost certainly an automatic script of some kind whether staff or hacker. Which leads to an observation…
Either 1. I’m a full member in good standing of this community and should have full privileges thereof including posting and editing comments without prior approval, or
2. I’m not, in which case either A. I’m on some kind of administrative probation, in which case it’d be nice if somebody would TELL me so and why so I can attempt to rectify the situation, or
B. it’s already been decided that I’m an Undesirable, in which case WHY am I still here? If someone’s done something that offensive, wouldn’t it be more logical to just be done with them entirely?
I understand the timing on this makes rapid corrective action unlikely, and don’t begrudge the staff having weekends with their families–and just clearing the backlog of flags from day-shift yesterday must have eaten a lot of time. But it’d be nice if somebody on staff, anybody, could acknowledge that the issue exists and has been noted to take action on Monday when it’s back to the Daily Grind, and give some definitive answers about WTH is going on.
EDIT 3, reply to TNgal: Considered that, but I know the staff generally frown on multiple comment accounts and I’m not sure if they’d agree with you about me being a Special Case to warrant an exception.
EDIT 4, musing: It is my suspicion that these things are being done with deliberate timing on Fridays, knowing there’ll be minimal staff activity to correct them over the weekends–to us time with our families is a precious thing, to the Leftist the rule is “Das Reich Uber Alles” and all else takes a backseat. (Remember how Marx treated HIS family while writing the Commie Manifesto?) Re RL1111’s musing on SJL, dunno why she’s target me since I don’t have a blog and have never even SAID anything about her… perhaps I should change that, since she appears to be the Poster Case for why we need to mandate Psych Evals for all Federal elected or appointed officeholders. (I’d prefer the same standards as those entrusted with our nuclear weapons are expected to meet, but that’s just me…)
EDIT 5, 12:22PM Pacific: Still having issues about edits triggering automatic flagging.
EDIT 6, 5:45PM Pacific: Thanks, mikwcas and CT, but if I weren’t certain of it being a server-side (incl Disqus) issue having exhausted local system-side possibilities I wouldn’t be sounding the alarm so thoroughly.
EDIT 7, 11:20PM Pacific: Found a few links about related issues, and it looks like this problem is going to persist until the staff manually Whitelist me again. Looks like they’ve adapted the Twitter Flag Spam dirty trick and found a way to use it on Disqus… Admin, y’all might wanna take a look at this first link as it’s a site-admin who was having similar things happen to her members.
EDIT 8, Sunday noon: Just got an interesting error–sorry, no screenie: “You must authenticate your account or provide user name and user email” in an orange box at the bottom of my attempted post–refreshed page and it took the post. Seen it a couple times before, once yesterday and I think the other two Fridays ago when Disqus Blacklisted me.
EDIT 9, personal to VGS, 8:34PM Sunday: This post is what a flag looks like, I just downvoted and flagged it myself for F-bombing – http://www.redstate.com/2014/08/03/rehabilitation-retreads/#comment-1525512457