Sit back. We’re going to talk a little shop. Then we’re going to play a game.
Once upon a time, way back when Frank J. first started doing his blog thing, things were simpler. Not just in the world we live in, but in the world of blogging. Then, people discovered how to spam blogs using comments. And, some people were simply asses and left naughty comments.
So, blogs started using spam filters. Some worked really poorly, and others worked even worse. And, depending on what platform you used — Blogger, MovableType, WordPress, or something else — you either had no option, or limited options.
Today, though, things are a lot better. And most blogs that run WordPress — including IMAO — use Automattic’s spam filter Akismet. But WordPress has customizable settings that can affect how and if comments post.
For instance, the settings here require you leave a name and email address. It isn’t very smart, and people leave stuff that isn’t really an email address all the time. Other users don’t see the email addresses, but Frank does. I suppose they don’t trust Frank.
There’s also a setting that causes first-time commenters to be moderated. That is, if your name and email address haven’t left a comment before, you get thrown to the queue monster. Once you’re released, then that won’t catch you. Something else might, but not the “first timer” rule. The reason for it is simple: many spambots make up names and email addresses. This causes those to be queued.
There’s a setting that throws you to the queue monster if your comment contains 2 or more links. Again, that’s because multiple links usually means spam.
Then there’s a list of naughty words. Frank gets to pick those. He may have sat down and put a lot of thought into it. But he just as easily could have got some other people to provide him with lists they use or suggest, put them together, and dumped them into the list box.
There’s also a blacklist. It’s different in that all the previous stuff sends the comment to the moderation queue. Stuff that matches the blacklist bypasses it and goes straight to the spam box. Frank only checks the spam box when he runs out of other stuff to write about and decides to make fun of spammers.
Okay, you’ve been patient. We’ll get to the game part now.
Well, before we do that, I got one other thing to mention. When someone gets thrown to the queue, WordPress is supposed to email the author of the post and let them know. It doesn’t. At least, when someone comments on one of my posts, and they get queued, it doesn’t email me.
Sometimes, people will leave the same comment again. Like that’ll help.
Sometimes, they’ll leave a comment saying “Hey, unmoderate me!” And then the comments become nothing but a series of “Hey, unmoderate me” until they someone releases the queue. Then, only every other comment is “Hey, unmoderate me.”
When that happens, sometimes people start coming up with ways to either get around getting moderated, or try to cause a comment to get moderated.
And that’s the game we’re going to play: Feed The Queue Monster.
Here’s how it works…
Try to leave a comment about, well, just about anything. What you had for supper. How useless Obama is. Why you hate cats. Anything. But, it’s got to be a comment that shouldn’t get queued, but does.
The object is to try to get thrown into the moderation queue. If you make such a comment, you get points. If your comment isn’t queued, you don’t get any points.
The comment must be innocent, meaning it shouldn’t get thrown into the queue. It doesn’t contain a naughty word used as a naughty word. But it must get queued.
For example, if the word “dick” was in the naughty list (it’s not), this would earn points: I think Dick Cheney is awesome.
The word “Dick,” if it was in the list (which it’s not), would have caused the comment to go to moderation, even though you weren’t using the word in an unacceptable fashion.
Likewise, if “ass” was in the naughty list (it’s not), this would earn points: I think the Dick Cheney Assassination Squad is awesome.
In fact, that would earn double points, because “ass” shows up twice. Come to think of it, it would get triple points for one “Dick” and two “asses.”
This, though, won’t win you any points: Obama can be such an ass.
Not because it’s insulting to Obama, but because it’s not innocent. It’s using the bad word as the bad word.
Anyway, I’ll be checking the moderation queue from time to time (I don’t get email reminders, remember) and noting which ones get queued and shouldn’t. I’ll score them and release them.
Some time Sunday, I’ll total everything up and list the winner. Maybe Sunday morning. Or afternoon. Or Sunday night, if I end up watching a Green Acres marathon and forget. [UPDATE: the results are here.]
So, ready to play the game and win a prize? What’s the prize? We’ll think of something. Maybe even … HIGH PRAISE?