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Blog housekeeping Computers and social media

Weird Gmail behavior

A bit of blog housekeeping here…

Normally, I find out about new comments on my blog through e-mail notifications that get sent to me shortly after you, the reader and commenter, post your comments. I find it much easier simply to scroll through the e-mails and see what the reaction is to my posts and to note any comments to which I think a response from me is warranted. In addition, usually about once a day, I check the “Junk Comments” folder on Movable Type to see if there are any comments that fell victim to the spam filters that I need to retrieve and publish. (As an aside, the most common reason for the spam filter to hang up a legitimate comment is too many links. There are also certain word combinations that seem to do it as well, and I’ve put in a few custom filters myself. For example, if you use the F-word, your post will result in your post being held for moderation. Use of certain profanity doesn’t necessarily mean that I won’t ultimately approve the comment, but it does trigger moderation. I do that to try to keep the profanity to a minimum.)

Yesterday, I happened to wade into my Spam folder on Gmail, something I hadn’t done for a while because Gmail’s spam filters have been pretty reliable at not flagging legitimate e-mail as spam. To my surprise, I noticed a lot of comment notifications there from comments going back as far as about a month. I don’t know what happened, but something happened about a month ago that led to a significant percentage of comment notifications to be flagged as spam by Gmail. What this means is that I never saw a fair number of comments, including a few notifications of comments that needed to be approved by me. I selected pretty much all of the comments incorrectly labeled as spam and hit the “Not Spam” button. I’ll check the Spam folder regularly and do the same until Gmail gets the message that these are not spam. I’ve also noticed that a couple of Friday Woo proposals from a while back also got held up. I’m guessing that it’s because the sort of language and links that you would find in a Friday Woo candidate tend to be just the sort of language and links that you would find in spam.

In the meantime, if you get a comment that’s held up for moderation and it doesn’t appear within a day or so, feel free to drop me a line. Ditto if sometime in the last month you sent me a tasty bit of woo for consideration in Your Friday Dose of Woo, and I never responded. (I usually, although not always, respond to such submissions.) I’ll be keeping my eye on the Spam folder for a while.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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