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.