The Case of the Missing Comments: Lost, Spammed, or Moderated?

Anne Taintor "funny I don't recall asking for your opinions' 5398_OpinionBeverageNapkin-500x500There are magical, unexplained, supernatural things on the internet.

Having grown up on the novels of E. Nesbit, where the Psammead/sand fairy grants wishes in a really twisted way, and  a magic wishing ring is likely to backfire on you, I always find the internet fantastical.  You mean it’s not magical?  Well, can’t explain any of it!

But there are also mechanical glitches.  Unless it’s witchcraft!

For instance, I have only sporadically received email alerts lately about comments posted here.  Strange.  I always got them before.  But I am not concerned about it.

And then a reader informs me that his/her comments are not appearing on my blog.

What comments?  I wondered.  I checked spam and found one.  I retrieved a perfectly intelligent comment about Mervyn Peake’s Titus Groan and approved it.

I don’t know what triggered the magic spam-sorter, which apparently did not want me to know there is a fourth Titus Groan title!

I welcome most comments.

But I have the right to moderate comments.

Yup.  It’s my blog.

Some commenters believe that blogs exist to host contentious debates.  I will write something I think is perfectly normal, and then the “trigger alert” types will go mad.  What?  I don’t wish to fight with them?   How dare I not?  They WILL be heard.

Fine, okay, just not here.

I welcome comments, but this isn’t a public forum.

People on the internet do occasionally go off on strange tangents.  In the pre-internet days before the newspapers and magazines began to die, people wrote letters to the editor.  (How quaint!)  Some letters are/were published, others are/were not. Do they believe it is their “right” to be published?

In this day and age, you do have to watch out for the “trigger alert”censorship  people. They are very “sensitive”:  just not to you!  It is where the “far left” control-freaks meet the “far right” control-freaks.  And that is way too far for most of us.

Examples:

  1.  Last spring some writers at PEN (not a majority, thank God!) boycotted the dinner in New York at which a special award was  given to Charlie Hebdo.  All I can say is thank God for Salman Rushdie, who very  articulately argued against this disgraceful protest and pointed out that today his controversial novel, The Satanic Verses, would not have been published.
  2. According to New York Magazine, a theater group at Mount Holyoke College decided not to put on The Vagina Monologues because “the material excludes women without vaginas.” I do have a controversial feminist thought: It is a fact that women have vaginas.   People with penises do not have a right to define us.
  3. Some Christian fundamentalist students at Duke objected when lesbian writer Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, was recommended summer reading.  And according to an excellent article at the Atlantic:  “some students have called for warnings that Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart describes racial violence and that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby portrays misogyny and physical abuse, so that students who have been previously victimized by racism or domestic violence can choose to avoid these works, which they believe might “trigger” a recurrence of past trauma.

Oh, God!  What a sad state of things!   There are many offensive things in the world:  reading classic  novels is not one of them.

Perhaps they should read Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible.

The Crucible (1996) movie

The Crucible (1996) movie

6 thoughts on “The Case of the Missing Comments: Lost, Spammed, or Moderated?

  1. I’ve had the same thing today – a lot of my comment notifications haven’t come through at all which is most odd. As for spam, I do always check before deleting – perfectly valid comments have appeared there, but like you I moderate. I’ve seen some of these hysterical online battles (the Kerouac estate comes to mind) and I really don’t want to be involved…)

  2. I’ve had comment notifications go astray too. Usually it’s fine but lately the WP notifications appear out of line with the comment appearing on my site. It means I have occasionally almost missed reading comments and replying to them because I rely on my WP app to tell me about comments etc. I have once or twice found comments in spam folder but I must admit I do forget to check regularly.

    • My notifications are also out of order now, when they come at all. Well, presumably they’ll fix it. I have only checked my spam folder this once. There may be other comments buried in there, but there is so much spam that I’ll have to let them go, alas.

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