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Disqus Blocks 100s of Comments on Russia Insider, Sent Them to Spam - Our Apologies!

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Dear readers and commenters,

On Thursday evening we realized from the complaint emails piling up in our inbox, that something was wrong with the commenting service we use, which is called 'Disqus'.

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Upon investigation we found hundreds of legitimate comments in the spam folder, which we released.

Many of the emails speculated that Disqus was deliberately censoring comments, but I'm afraid there is a much more mundane explanation: 

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We really are a skeleton crew here, and for about two years, comments moderation, which is practically non-existent, (we allow people to say just anything, only banning people who are completely abusive, severely deranged, or obviously paid trolls), was done for us by a very kind gentleman on a volunteer basis. He had to stop this about 4 months ago, and since then one or another of the staff has been half-keeping up with it, and we didn't even realize we needed to look in the spam folder, so we didn't. Sometimes weeks would go by without anybody dealing with moderation.

So it is really our fault. The comments that got caught had no special characteristics or point of view that we could identify. One tip - don't use $ signs in the text, that seems to rile up the spam monster at Disqus.

I know how frustrating it can be to take the time and effort to write out a thoughtful comment, and then have it get swallowed up by a cyborg, so I sincerely apologize for this. We will not let it happen again.

In the meantime perhaps our commenting community can take comfort that we continue to rank among the top commenting sites in the world for politics, a fact that never ceases to amaze me, beating out much bigger organizations. Incredibly, we consistently rank in the top 50 sites in the world for news and politics. It is a remarkable achievement of our commenters, and you have made the comments section an invaluable public square. You have much to be proud of.

My article calling for ending the ridiculous taboo on discussing Jewish influence in politics kicked up quite the rumpus, and at this time has close to 1000 comments. I wanted to print them out for a technology-challenged old-timer, and decided against it when I saw that it ran to over 200 letter-sized pages. People are sending in paragraphs and paragraphs of text in the comments there. I tried to keep up for the first 200 or so, joining in where I could, but just couldn't manage after a certain point. Someone should go through them and pick out the good stuff - I am sure there is material in there for 20 articles.

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It's late here, so I just wanted to get this out today. Our sincere apologies again, and stay tuned for more essential reading, we've got a lot more coming.

Charles Bausman

Editor and Publisher

Russia Insider

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This post first appeared on Russia Insider

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Our commenting rules: You can say pretty much anything except the F word. If you are abusive, obscene, or a paid troll, we will ban you. Full statement from the Editor, Charles Bausman.