Where’s my missing comment?

Please consider technical issues as an explanation before leaping to claims of censorship, and remember that as a free press this blog has the right to decline to publish unacceptable content: the right of any person to freely express their opinions creates no obligation for a free press to publish those opinions.


Technical issues due to automatic filters set to catch certain word combinations:

Active moderator intervention due to breaching our Comments Policy.

N.B. none of the above circumstances constitute anyone being banned from commenting on the blog (having one’s comments prescreened by the moderators is not a ban), but of course the Moderator Team does also have the option of actually banning commentors for particularly egregious breaches of our comments policy.

Details follow:

Technical Issues

    • Spaminated

      If your comment doesn’t appear on the thread you posted it on (and there’s no message about moderation), there’s probably an issue with our spam filter so please refer to this post and then email LP.

  • Automoderated

    If your comment does appear but with a message that it is awaiting moderation, then it’s been caught by the moderation filter. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve broken any rules –

    • all commentors whose details are not already in the database must have their first comment approved by a moderator before their subsequent comments will automatically be published
      (N.B.this includes changes to IP numbers that happen automatically with most ISPs, so regular commentors will also be caught sometimes)
    • plus a number of contentious and/or common spam words or more than two links per comment trigger moderation automatically

    If that’s the case, it should be fished out at the earliest available opportunity.

    Please bear in mind, though, that we don’t have full time moderators, and in fact many of us are now busier than a few years ago.

Active Moderator Intervention

IMPORTANT: Moderation decisions are not discussed on the blog. Please ask any questions you may have via email.

    • Manually moderated

      If you conclude that a comment of yours has been placed in moderation for a breach of the comments policy, (which is the most likely explanation if your comment was originally published but later disappeared) then please refer to the said comments policy!

    • NB: unlike some other forum frameworks, it is not possible in WordPress for moderators to simply transfer an off-topic comment on one thread to another more on-topic thread while keeping authorship attribution intact. Therefore please do not complain about being victimised when this is not done – if we could do it, we would.

  • “Permanently” moderated

    Technically this is actually pre-moderation – diverting certain comments that match a filter string to a moderation queue where they will await inspection by the first available moderator, who will then decide whether to approve or decline publication of the comments in the screening queue.

    If you have been commenting for a while and one day you discover that every comment you submit now sits in the moderation queue until a moderator approves it, this means that your email and/or IP number have been added to the auto-moderation filter. This action is only taken following repeated submission of unacceptable content requiring subsequent deletion/redaction by a moderator, therefore to minimise thread disruption your comments are now being pre-screened.

    If you wish for your permanently-moderated status to be reconsidered, opening an email dialogue with us is essential. Demands for explanations made on the blog will be deleted without reply.

  • Revoking Commenting Privileges Entirely i.e. Actually Banned

    If you have actually been banned from commenting on LP the effect will be functionally the same as if your comments have been spaminated by Akismet – when you hit the “Post Comment” button your submitted comment will simply disappear and there will be no message about pending moderation. Some reflection on how often you have been receiving moderator notes/redaction on your comments lately should indicate whether a glitch with Akismet or the active intervention of the Cat Herding Cabal is responsible.

    As with permanent moderation status, if you wish for your banned status to be reconsidered, opening an email dialogue with us is essential.