Strange Things in the World of WordPress

Strange things are happening in the world of WordPress. There is a huge fracas about sponsored themes—those free themes in which the creators have sold links to finance their efforts. There are some valid points on both sides, but this post is not about that; this post is about disappearing comments.

I recently commented on this article, but my comment seems to have never been posted on the site. A response to another article on the same site was posted and Mark Ghosh assured me in an e-mail marked 4:04am yesterday that the first was merely still in moderation, but it is still not posted, so I am not sure what happened. I suspect a simple error of some sort, but another missing comment at another site has me wondering about a potentially less innocent cause.

I just read this and how strange indeed it seems that the author’s critical comments are apparently being deleted by Matt. Stranger still, I too posted a comment that has since disappeared from below the same article she mentions. I spent about an hour of my time composing thoughtful query, commentary, and suggestion, but apparently I wasted my time just as I did when I commented on that first article at Weblog Tools Collection because not only is neither comment currently listed for either site’s article, but I did not even consider that I should keep a copy of what I wrote because I did not expect it to be deleted—ignored, perhaps, but not deleted.

Accidents are one thing, but if deletions are intentional and comments that are deleted contain neither spam nor abuse, doesn’t it seem rude for blog owners to waste people’s time like that? It also seems an oversight that commenters are not offered e-mail copies of their submissions so their writings are available to them regardless of technical difficulties, accidents, or even intentional deletions. If you don’t want other people’s particular comments on your blog, fine, but it seems to me that authors of rejected comments should then have opportunities to post their own words on their own blogs whether or not they have happened to remember to save a copy of each and every comment they have submitted.

I am not sure why my comment on Matt’s site has disappeared, but I can only suspect that comment deletion is how some people deal with criticism that is not otherwise easily ignored. Or perhaps it was accidental or technical—something to do with a moderation filter catching my surname even though it appeared to me that the comment had already been posted. Something seems fishy about this, though.

By the way, I suggested in my deleted comment that rather than banning innocuous themes because of sponsor links, sponsored themes could be marked as such in the official directory and that directory filtered on demand so that the vocal minority of cheapskates and socialists who want sponsored themes banned can browse the directory free of them without removing the choice for other users of whether or not to see themes they might like. Someone can already choose to ignore sponsored themes if they know about the sponsored links from the theme’s description and if a simple filtering mechanism were made available (and one would be easy to develop), someone could choose to use it to filter out sponsored themes, but someone who might like to see good themes regardless of whether or not they happen to contain sponsored links cannot choose to see what is not there.

It seems that I have picked a turbulent time to take such a big plunge into the world of WordPress.

Update:

Mark wrote to me with some clarification: he told me that when he previously told me that my comment had been in moderation, he was actually referring to what I described above as my second comment, that it was the only comment of mine in moderation at Weblog Tools Collection, and that he had not disapproved or deleted any comment of mine and I believe him. I do distinctly remember submitting the first comment, though, so some sort of technical issue is likely to blame. I did received one notification about a reply to an article to which I did not reply, so perhaps the issues are related.

Matt also responded directly in the comments to this article to let me know that my missing response to his article had merely been in moderation and to clear things up about how it came to be that my response had appeared then disappeared, so please be sure to read the comments to see what he had to say.

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9 comments so far

  1. […] it’s fun to see scott and matt making nice. i find it disturbing that even with the recent stupidity surrounding wordpress, when someone asks me how to set up a website ASAP, the first word out of my […]

  2. Matt on

    Your comment and pingback are live now, they were just in moderation. The delay might be longer because I’m in New York.

  3. Brian Sexton on

    Thanks for clearing that up, Matt. When I saw my comments appear on your page, I thought that was that; I did not realize that they were being held for moderation even though they were being displayed to me, so the absence of those comments when I checked later looked more like deletion than removal for moderation.

    Or is the apparent removal for moderation a side-effect of how your comment system confirms the receipt of comments? Is it simply the case that moderated comments are immediately displayed to the commenter, but not to anyone else, so the apparent removal is not a removal from public display at all because there has been no public display?

  4. Matt on

    It shows you your own comments even if they’re in moderation when you have the right cookies.

  5. Brian Sexton on

    I see, Matt: so after I closed my browser and it purged its cookies, your site no longer recognized me, so it no longer displayed my comments that were in moderation. That all makes sense. I did not notice any kind of moderation message like the one at Weblog Tools Collection, so I did not initially realize that my comments had been put through moderation. Again, thank you for clearing things up.

  6. samrezac on

    Hi my name is Sam i just started blogging and i have no clue what to do will u help me? It may sound a little weird but non of my friends have a blog but i do but i do not no how to but it up like u have ur up so that every one can see it. So will you?

  7. samrezac on

    Look i might sound a little weird but i just cant figger out this site my site is samrezac.wordpress.com but i cant find it on here or anywhere else. I want it like ur’s u no what i mean.

    GtG by

  8. Brian Sexton on

    Sam, your queries do not seem to pertain to this entry, so I am not sure if they are real or not, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt for now and try to help.

    From the fact that you have already posted seven entries in your blog and the fact that you have already customized your blogroll, you seem to be figuring things out just fine.

    I have not done anything special to my blog on WordPress.com; I just changed the theme. You can change your theme from your WordPress.com dashboard by clicking on “Presentation” then clicking on either the text link or the image link for whatever theme strikes your fancy.

    Good luck!

  9. samrezac on

    Thank u so much i am sorry i didnt rite back and for your info i am real ok g2g by.


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