We have, ahem, lifted the restriction on commenting about socialism

August 3, 2004 | 12 comments
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And I’ll bet you didn’t even know that it was there. But it was — inadvertently –for just under a month. Here’s why: We got spammed about a month ago, with a glut of comments advertising web sites that sell drugs. (Mostly, the kind of drugs Gordon previously discussed here). There were a whole bunch of web sites listed, many of which included the word “Cialis” (which is the name of one of the drugs advertised). Rather than individually block a whole bunch of web sites (the names were all along the lines of free-cialis.com or get-cialis.com or the like), I set the blacklist to automatically block any comment with the word cialis in it. I mean, what legitimate commenter would want to put that drug name in a comment anyway, right? And there were no complaints (this is not that unusual of an event; we update our blacklist often to keep out spammers), until last week.

A perfectly innocent (and very thoughtful) comment was submitted which included the word “socialism.” And — you guessed it — our filtering program saw that as So-Cialis-m, and so it blocked the comment. Such are the shortcomings of modern technology. It took us a little bit to figure out what was going on, but the block has now been lifted. You are all free to discuss socialism to your heart’s content. And if you tried to do so over the past few weeks and were unable to due to the inadvertent ban, my apologies.

12 Responses to We have, ahem, lifted the restriction on commenting about socialism

  1. Renee on August 3, 2004 at 12:24 am

    What are the odds that I would have the chance to discuss Socialism twice in one day??

    I was stopped at the DMV today by people with petitions to get Walt Brown & Mary Alice Herbert on the Nebraska ballot of president. I loved that the petitioners didn’t mention the party until I asked. When I declined, the guy said “Hey, you don’t have to vote for them just because you sign the petition.” Well, dude, I know that. And I’ve signed several petitions for candidates I wouldn’t vote for (like John Hagelin from the Natural Law party) but I’d not real keen on having my name on a petition for socialists. I’m probably already on some watch list from signing in at Youth for Peace rallies in high school.

  2. gunner on August 3, 2004 at 12:35 am

    Specialist may have had issues also?

  3. Bob Caswell on August 3, 2004 at 12:36 am

    Oh, come on Kaimi! Tell us the real reason! Does anyone else buy this cover up? So-Cialis-m? :-)

  4. Jim F. on August 3, 2004 at 2:01 am

    As we are all well aware of Kaimi’s right-wing political views, I agree with Bob: why should we believe this obviously trumped-up excuse?

  5. Aaron Brown on August 3, 2004 at 2:38 am

    This is all very interesting, but I’d just like to point out that, in removing all the drug adverisements, Kaimi also removed several comments of mine that were intended to strike up a conversation with the spammer. I’m very offended.

    Aaron B

  6. Ethesis (Stephen M) on August 3, 2004 at 9:12 am

    That explains why my post had to be redone. I’d wondered about that. Thanks for the clarification.

  7. danithew on August 3, 2004 at 9:20 am

    Aaron,

    There was once a man who was going to hire a man to drive a truck across the country. He interviewed three potential drivers and asked each of them how he’d deal with a comment spammer.

    The first man said he would run over the comment spammer, back up, run over the comment spammer again, and then keep on driving.

    The second man said he would acknowledge the comment spammer and toot his horn … but otherwise would just keep doing his job.

    The third man (clearly, a socialist) said he would stop the truck and strike up a conversation with the comment spammer.

    Which man do you think was hired? That’s right. The first.

    Aaron, I hope you’ve learned the principle that I’m trying to teach you with this story.

  8. Dave on August 3, 2004 at 12:44 pm

    Kaimi, you’ve unearthed a diabolical scheme for naming spam-blocker-resistant drugs. No doubt the next wave will be named Mocrat and Lican, thus being free to slide right on by poliblog filters.

  9. Jeremy on August 3, 2004 at 2:45 pm

    I once had an online news clipping service send me everything that had the word “mormon” in it, but I discontinued it when I started getting every article containing the word “rumormonger” as well.

  10. john fowles on August 3, 2004 at 2:45 pm

    This explains why Hellmut’s great response to me concerning LDS and progress on a thread a couple of weeks ago was being blocked and he had to send it to me via email. Although it was a response to my particular comment to him about Latter-day Saints and LDS views of “progress,” I think all should see his thoughts.

    Hellmut wrote:

    John:

    The modern myth of progress relates to the human species and applies to history, not individuals. It is a theme ever since the enlightenment. The best treatment is probably by the anarcho-syndicalist Georges Sorel “The Myth of Progress.” There are also liberal spin offs, most notably Karl Popper’s “The Open Society and Its Enemies” and Friedrich August von Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom.” Hayek is the godfather of economic libertarianism. Among other things modernity was so bloody because the acolytes of the French Revolution, Bolshevism, Fascism, and National Socialism believed that their actions would lead to a better future. Progress was inevitable and could be accelerated if the enlightened shed the blood of the reactionaries who stood in the way.

    Clearly, the modern notion of progress is different than the idea that human beings have a divine nature. One might argue that the claim that our dispensation assembles all the priesthood keys is the religious analogy to the enlightenment’s secular superstition. I do not stipulate the point but if that were the case, then Joseph Smith was more sophisticated then Hegel, Marx and others because at least his acount of the apostasy and restoration acknowledged that history is not a linear account of progress but one that also incudes periods of historical degeneration.

    It is of course true that Mormons have a hard time acknowledging the inevitable existence of suffering on Earth. We prefer to read “The Power of Positive Thinking” over Job. But that is a cultural corruption that needs to be confronted. This life is about suffering. We are suffering since Adam and Eve. The Lord promised us that life would be hard. True, there are blessings for the obedient. But ultimately the Saints may have to be prepared to become martyrs. This life is very carefully designed to test us in every way possible. Secular thought that denies human suffering and cons us into believing that there is no price for discipleship increases suffering only more.

    With respect to monotheism, either we are Christians or we are not. If we are Christians then we better are monotheists. From a Jewish perspective, of course, Christian claims to monotheism have always been problematic. Adding a mother in heaven is a much less radical deviation then talking about god’s son. Protestants have been able to deemphasize these problems by abandoning the worshipping of Mary and the Saints. Mormons are just a little bit more “Catholic” in that regard.

  11. Derek on August 3, 2004 at 3:12 pm

    Be careful with that filter, you might start deleting entire cities: http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/23.46.html#subj5

  12. Na on August 4, 2004 at 1:33 pm

    Power to the people! Workers unite!

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