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Did Your Comment Not Appear Here?

We’ve heard from a couple of people in the past month or so about comments they wrote that didn’t make it onto the site. Apologies for this. Here’s how the comments work here, and what probably happened.

First, while we don’t require registration by comment posters, we do ask that you include an email address in your comment (it isn’t published publicly). We manually approve every new person who comments (based on the e-mail address). So if you post a first-time comment here, it goes into a holding area until we’ve looked at it to ensure that it’s an actual comment and not a trolling exercise or an outright spam. Once we’ve approved your first comment, you can post comments with no further intervention on our part.

It’s in the latter area — spam — where we have the problem that sometimes causes a legitimate comment to fall into a black hole.

You won’t be surprised to learn that the vast majority of blog comments are spam. To deal with the avalanche of bogus comments, we (and lots of other sites) use a fantastic tool called Akismet, a Web service that relies on wisdom of crowds to block the offending junk from polluting these pages.

Occasionally, a legitimate comment is flagged as spam. We Akismet puts what it has identified as spam into a separate holding area for a short time, and we try to go through all of the comments that have been so identified, and approve any that have been mistakenly considered spam.

Once in a great while, a legit comment gets flushed along with the spams. That’s our fault, not yours. Again, apologies.

So if you’ve posted a comment that didn’t appear, please let us know. We’ll work with you to get it properly posted.

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