Overaggressive spam filter

A housekeeping note:

Our assistant moderator Antinous has noticed an increasing number of legit comments getting caught in the spam trap. Previously, it was only catching an innocent comment about once a month. Now he's fishing three or four comments a day out of it. We'll try to sort this out.

For now, Antinous says that having multiple links to the same domain seems to be the trigger, even if the links are to different pages in that domain. For example, a comment containing links to three different Wikipedia articles runs some risk of getting snagged. Avoiding that pattern isn't an absolute guarantee of safety, though; he's found a few comments in the spam trap where all the links were to different domains.

What we know for sure is that several commenters have complained that we unpublished their long, thoughtful, citation-filled comments, when in fact they'd been grabbed by the spam filter. If you have a comment go missing, let us know. In the meantime, Antinous will keep checking the trap.


  1. Slightly OT, but Amazon had a similar problem lately. The 1-star DRM-protest game reviews were mass-deleted. They claimed technical glitch vs. whitewashing, and I’m inclined to believe it.

    Consider: They all had the same rating, they all had close to the same wording, and very few (if any) of the commenters could be linked to a purchase of the product. Many ranted about EA’s DRM but didn’t even mention the game the were “reviewing”. In the strictest sense, that fits the criteria for astroturfing. It’s negatively biased, but still ‘turfing.

    Maybe it’s the links, maybe the machines are learning to reject empty rhetoric. :)

  2. Can we also stop disemvoweling people?

    I’d frankly rather see comments disappear entirely than be constantly reminded of the power of our omnipotent moderator overlords (mostly kidding…)

  3. I kind of agree with Schmod, there *seems* to be a bit more disemvowelling lately for posts that aren’t necessarily trolls or flamebait…just differing opinions. YMMV of course, especially if you’re moderating the comments…

  4. @SCHMOD: No. This is a tool we find helpful in cultivating intelligent, courteous dialogue. It’s part of what we do to keep the BB comment threads from devolving into nothing but crap.

    @ADONAI: Again, no. And give me a break.

    An empirical, apples-for-apples comparison of comments over the past year would show your presumption to be wrong. Our moderators are not stomping on differing opinions.

    I suspect there *have* been a lot more hostile/ad hominem/trollish/moderation-policy-violating comments in the past few weeks, perhaps because of ambient anxiety around the US presidential election and global economy craziness. Recent boingboing posts about politics or economics — things people feel very strongly about — seem to draw heated, emotional replies.

    But no, there is no free-floating crackdown on free speech, as you seem to suggest.

    Check out our moderation policy if you have any questions. Differing opinions don’t get nuked. Comments that clearly run afoul of these policies do.


  5. If your post is really nasty, it WILL just be unpublished, and you might end up unable to post for a while. I’m one of many to receive that dubious achievement.

    Disemvoweling as a lesser offenses serves its purpose. You can read it, it just takes enough effort that the post doesn’t have an immediate inflammatory effect.

    Maybe strong opinions are being disemvoweled more, but this is high political season and tempers are way up. Maybe people are pushier, or maybe it just seems that way.

    In the symphony, the one musician out of tune gets noticed when everyone else is in perfect harmony.

    1. @WeightedCompanionCube: I agree with most of what you wrote, but:

      strong opinions are being disemvoweled more

      Again, I feel compelled to point this out as demonstrably inaccurate. Strong opinions, expressed intelligently and authentically and with the sort of basic courtesy one might use in person, in a crowded room — they’re welcome here. Even strong opinions I or my colleagues might not agree with.

      But people who are behaving like assholes are being disemvowelled just as much as ever before — and no more than ever before.

      It seems, simply, that a lot more people are behaving like assholes in recent weeks. As you said: tempers are up, and people feel threatened by political and economic problems ( I know I do.)

      Folks in that situation tend to take such anxieties out on (a) their dogs (b) these threads.

      Please: be kind to animals, and be kind to the BB mods. You can express whatever strong opinions you like, no matter how much I or anyone else here might disagree with them. Just try to follow the moderation policies, and don’t be an asshole. You won’t be disemvowelled or banned.

  6. Now that you mention it, a couple of my carefully-researched, painstakingly composed comments regarding the achievement of longer and harder wangs, fulfilling better your lover, and how to purchase generic pharmaceuticals for ch3ap Pr1ces it is possible, have gone missing in the last little while

    1. In Jesus’ name, Takuan, I speak to you as the widow of Idi Amin, and I beseech you to deposit the examples in a private fund administered by Mbutu Sese Seko’s cousin at your earliest convenience for safe keeping and review by our privates committee. God Bless You.

  7. Maybe as an alternative to disemvoweling, you could disemconsanant?

    eui ao ioa uao ieua. ueo aieu uae oi, uaea oe iu a oie? ua oie uua auo e i a ui!

  8. Xeni – You’re absolutely right about people cutting loose here. There is so much flack the mods are swinging that hammer like they are playing whack-a-mole. It can only be expected right now.

    I don’t think polite opinions are being trampled, but people ARE being asshats in response to asshattery, and the moderators are being influenced by their own emotions, so…err.. some assholes get corked and some don’t.

    A few days ago I got a 24-hour ban for escalating things and being rude in the mod policy thread. Fair enough, but it all started when I called out about a dozen commenters on being just as hateful as those two skinheads they were taking their anxieties out on. The mods just weren’t seeing how ugly it was, which really had me pissed off. I’m glad to see cooler heads eventually prevailed and the thread got cleaned up.

    I don’t think I would have been any nicer to advocates of rape, murder, castration, and considering others as “sub-human” in a crowded room.

    1. If you flag the offensive comments, somebody will deal with them. Some days I wake up to 500 fresh comments to go through. The flagged ones get the attention first.

  9. Ha! oddly enough, I worked with refugees from Idi in the early eighties and my father in law had to deal with Mubuto for thirteen years of Kinshasan oil dealings. Just got around to reading Charlies Halting State and pissed myself over the last chapter – which I first read in mimeograph in 1972.
    Is this a not so strange loop?

  10. I think DVing works better than removing a comment, DVing is more personal. Simply removing a comment lets a bad poster post his crap and then get off Scot free by having it removed. DVing shoves the bad post in the posters face, showing everyone that hes/her comments are not allowed or appreciated on BB.

    Also, checking to see if I’m un-banned

  11. But, Disemvoweling sounds SO much better than Discontonating – maybe Disemconsonating – No, doesn’t work.

  12. I love solving disemvowelled puzzles in the heated comments. Sometimes they’re easy, sometimes they’re hard.

  13. Antinous, I’m not sure what labial plosives or retroflex fricatives means, but I’m usually for anything with the word “labia.” So, I’m gonna have to disagree.

    1. I’m not sure what labial plosives or retroflex fricatives means

      Neither am I, but if you hang out on Wikipedia long enough, you’ll have a run-in with an IPA nazi.

  14. My only concern with the disemvoweled is that it does take much longer to attempt to read them, rather than the other posts. It either works as “I can’t read it so I won’t” or “Let me spend time figuring this out.”

    I may be being braindead here, but I’d prefer a flag on the comment instead: if only we could make that ASCII goatse (from the BBGadgets page) small enough to be recognized…

  15. “It’s called Igqirha Lendlela (Diviner of the roadway) but our teacher just called it ‘the click song’ because it has so many clicks in it. They’re the whole fun of Xhosa! Every q written is a click on the front of your palate.

    Igqirha Lendlela:
    Igqirha lendlela – nguqongqothwane
    Igqirha lendlela – nguqongqothwane
    Ebeqabe’ egqith’ apha – uqongqothwane
    Ebeqabe’ egqith’ apha – uqongqothwane

    In English:
    Diviner of the roadways – the knock knock beetle
    Diviner of the roadways – the knock knock beetle
    It just passed by here – the knock knock beetle
    It just passed by here – the knock knock beetle

  16. Antinous:

    “Funny you should show up here. I fished your last three comments out of the spamhole.”

    I had actually noticed the long delays in some of my comments being posted– but having just recently finally signed up with the site, I wasn’t sure what was normal moderating practice (I figured messages were pre-screened before posting). I was curious about the different timings for replies to show up, but I wasn’t going to quibble about it. Seeing this entry made it make more sense, as my comments were of the “multiple links to same domain” category.

  17. I dunno if any of my comments got ‘trapped’, but I am sure a few have gone missing. Personally I am starting to learn the fact that commenting is probably not really something thats worthwhile, blog post comments aren’t threaded forums, and yet we all seem to treat them as such. Its like graffiti one person making their profound but lowbrow statement, another commenting by writing near by and pointing to the original. I’ve even made the humorous but ultimately inane comments (well maybe most of mine are ultimately inane but given I rarely check comments after my own, I never really know if they are of real worth) its important that comments are there (I do check them for potential counter arguments) but ultimately I find more and more that given its not a forum its not worth my time to comment.

  18. Hi Antinous/Teresa, I had another username (tainted pete) which hopefully you could review, being that it’s been banned for a couple of months now. My last post was a joke that I guess got under your skin, referencing using leetspeak to get around disemvowelling. I later realized people were disemvowelling their own posts on that particular thread in protest, not that BB was doing it. There was no apparent feedback method to confront the issue, so even though creating another user id invites being re-banned, it was the only way I could think of.

  19. Yeah, I have to agree. Removing consonants only leaves one incontinent. Ahem.

    Welcome back Tom.

    And now, for a musical interlude:

    The subject’s dirty, the spelling stinks.
    Weight loss is easy with our jam!
    I ain’t got no future, I ain’t got no “from”.
    I’m being treated like some spam!

    The picts are filthy, My hair is thin?
    The words they just don’t make no sense.
    Dunhill vacations. Buy cheap cialis.
    Bored girls in chat rooms want to dance?

    I’m living in a spam hole!
    Don’t want to stay in this spam hole!
    Don’t want to die in this spam hole!
    Girl get me out of this spam hole!

    Double your bust size, increase your penis!
    Replica watches in the mail.
    Online diplomas. Letters from “lawyers”.
    These schemes are filled with epic fail.

    The taxman’s coming, debt consolidation.
    Prolong the pleasure from your life!
    Got job position? The hottest slot machines.
    Mail order sexy Russian wife.

    Yeah, that’s what I am doing, and why not?
    It’s better in a spam hole!
    You know where you stand in a spam hole!
    Folks lend a hand in a spam hole!
    Girl get me back to my spam hole!

  20. From James D. Macdonald’s All Hail Macbeth!, featuring the opening scene of The Scottish Play rewritten for three forum moderators. It’s the current lead article on Making Light.

    First Mod
    …But with my Mac I’ll thither wend,
    And, faster than the troll can send,
    I’ll ban, I’ll ban, and I’ll ban.

    Second Mod
    I’ll buy thee Chai.

    First Mod
    Thou’rt kind.

    Third Mod
    And I another.

    First Mod
    I shall nail the mother-lover.
    I can recognize his style,
    Though false IPNs beguile,
    Seeing him’s not hard.
    His sockpuppets shall be washed;
    Snarky postings shall be squashed
    Though response from him be loony:
    Threaten me with a cartooney.
    Weary night-time posting’s lame;
    He’ll attempt then me to flame:
    Though his bark’s worse than his bite,
    I’ll not put up with his shite.
    Look what I have.

    Second Mod
    Show me, show me.

    First Mod
    Here I have a netkook’s vowels,
    Pluck’d from out his latest howls…

  21. And a thought:

    Even though we’re all frazzled with anxiety and anticipation while we wait for the election to be over, it’s kind of nice that people want to hang out here.

  22. Now he’s fishing three or four comments a day out of it.

    I have an image of Antonius crouched over a shower drain holding a straightened-out wire coathanger with a wad of gum at the end.

  23. Antinous, if you find a way to automatically find the retroflex fricatives (zh-ish) and labial plosives (distinguishing the silent ones) in written English (assuming there are any. Wikipedia doesn’te seem to think there are, that could make this easier) then you’re in the wrong profession. The computational linguist would be all over you. There’s already enough trouble with y.

    Unless of course they all ready are. [insert porn soundtrack here]

  24. #44 Teresa Nielsen Hayden: Here, here.

    It’s a great community to participate in, or justobserve, and more often than not the tone / topic and discussion that follows restores my faith in the humans. Especially over the past few weeks.

  25. @Takuan, #39: “try addressing people directly”

    Actually, that’s not bad advice for yourself… I often tend to lose the thread with your comments, because it’s not always clear who you’re replying to.

  26. @ #36 “Takuan “: OFF I really like this song!! we use that click sound for making horsehoof sounds hitting the concrete, but using them in speech is fantastic! ON amm..I don’t comment too much, and I never write agressive things. I have this utopistic view, that the internet is our new world, created to substitute the old, dirty, filthy world we really live in. and I don’t understand why we are not making a nice problem-free environment, but just bring all the agression and negativity into this world as well…recreating what we are escaping from..when will we start buying viruses to attack people we just don’t agree with? this is crazy…

  27. I just figured out that Antinous was a moderator of sorts. Until then I couldn’t help but think “JHC doesn’t this guy have anything to do?”

  28. when will we start buying viruses to attack people we just don’t agree with?

    I so don’t live in the same real-world as you.

  29. Hey, I can’t even get an account on your system. I tried and it never sent me a confirmation, now it won’t let me create an account with my email because it exists and won’t email me anything to allow me to confirm.

    Posted anonymously of course.

  30. It “seems” that the mod’s posts in this thread have proven that they are allowed to post off topic, and we wee minions are sorta not. But, as they have continually reminded me, I am never right.

    I think BB should take Mr. Doctorow’s suggestion, and OPEN EVERYTHING.

    I completely understand the need to curtail idiots, but I believe that having the comments section be even slightly more open, would benefit the community greatly.

    Snort Snort

  31. first read the Moderation thread.
    Second, understand the Moderation thread./

    If you wish to “open everything”, try visiting 4chan.

  32. #35, Dimmer:

    I may be being braindead here, but I’d prefer a flag on the comment instead

    I’d prefer making the offending text white-on-white, so it can only be read when highlighted.

    Some sites use this for quiz answers and plot spoilers- anyone who really wants to see the text can easily do so, and anyone else doesn’t have to.

  33. @ #55 “I so don’t live in the same real-world as you.” :)) yes you do..it is just not you yourself who is buying weapons, but your state..or some crazy person in the neighborhood that you don’t even know about :)well anyway. it was just an exaggerated example. I guess I am a hippy in my heart. and I’d like an agression free newworld if possible. not these ego fights we are having in these forums, or discussions.

  34. #59 – that’s not a bad idea as a replacement for disemvowelment – it makes ignoring the comment easier, and it makes reading it easier.

    At times I understand the disemvowelled comments when I don’t want to – there’s not too many possibilities when the remaining consonants are “fckng sshl” – and at times I can’t understand them even when I try to.

    I can’t imagine what it would be like translating the old testament, boy…

  35. um, hang on – english doesn’t have any retroflex fricatives. ‘zh’ and ‘ish’ are both alveolar. And (bi)labial plosives are just ‘b’ and ‘p’. Sorry, linguistics student here :P

    Anyway, disemconsonantisation kind of defeats the point of leaving comments that can still be read with effort… Even if it does make them look like pseudo-greek theatrical choral chanting (‘Euan, euan, eu-oi- oi-oi!’).

  36. Ok Themindfantastic – just the fact that you don’t read what comes after your comment should probably explain to you the problems you are having here. Hint: Listen.
    re three mod/witches Sweet!!!!!! I’m all together too excited about that.
    Marley9 I’m no mod and I can talk about cake. Try for a sence of humor blended with kindness.

  37. I have read it, boy howdy. My favorite part of the Mod Policy:

    This document is subject to change. What moderation policy isn’t?

    Change is good.

  38. Marley9 – There is moderation here so that it is a safe place to talk and it isn’t so gummed up with trolls that no intellegent discussion can exist – look at youtube! Give a little to get a lot. And Cory wants this place moderated. Do you want screaming trolls in your dining room during a dinner party? Really – this is all in good faith.

  39. If one’s comment has been robbed of its consonants, one is not incontinent, but disconsolate.

    Please make a note of it.

  40. @AGF, that was not my point at all. My comment pondered a ‘slight’ easement, not a abolition of the moderators. As I stated, I understand the need for Moderation. I was not asking for it to be removed. Turds, Dworks, Flamers and the like have to be removed, or disemvowled if you will. All I(and others, obviously) are asking for is a slight easement of the policy that allows for more freedom of…of…speech. Not allowing the trolls free rain, but allowing dedicated users a bit more leeway in their posts.

    Remember, Speech is not free. It will cost you your vowels.

  41. You know, I have tried to respectfully voice my opinion and repeatedly gotten insulted by Antinous. This is my last post on BB, and my last visit.

    Enough with the chinese democracy.

  42. Anonymous @56,

    That happens a lot. If something goes wrong in the registration process, it won’t let you in again. You could try a different e-mail address.

  43. Xeni,

    I have to argue with your comment #7 about not disemvoweling differing views.

    This article:


    Contains a comment from me regarding the disemvowelling of someone else’s comment #9:

    #83 posted by Alessandro Cima Author Profile Page, October 6, 2008 2:57 PM

    I want to know why comment #9 from DaisyTrench has had vowels removed:

    “I want to know who’s threatening martial law. Y ll r ssmng th crrnt
    dmnstrtn thrtnd t. bt t ws Nncy Pls sprdng rmrs nd thrts.”


    I have had my own problems with moderation at BoingBoing since I posted a poem related to free expression. The poem contained (actually was about) a certain bad word and its correct and incorrect application. I don’t mind having my arguments with moderators. I actually rather enjoy it because I believe that moderation of comments on blogs goes directly at the issue of free expression. I do not believe that a site can support free expression for adults and engage in any sort of moderation of censorship at all. That’s just me perhaps, but I enjoy fighting it out endlessly to the irritation of certain moderators, I suppose. Ultimately, we’re all on the same side I suspect.

    But perhaps a bit more effort to avoid disemvoweling dissenting opinions would be a good thing on this blog.

  44. sport and entertainment for you perhaps, Allessandro, but there is a tipping point where your recreation costs more resources than it contributes to the community. I would not be surprised at all if some stop talking to you about the same tedious point. I myself think you are long past saying anything new about your burning desire to see the “C” word here in print to edify and enlighten all. There is a real workload in moderation you choose to be unaware of. It takes time to read all the out and out spam and garbage posts, more time to weed out the hateful, even more time to screen the willfully stupid rule breakers.

    You take too much delight and seem to bring little else.

  45. Yeah, I know what you say about ‘astroturf.’ But I’m just not sold on that concept at all. It’s entirely too easy to run into the ‘astroturf’ shelter when you decide to blast away a dissenting view. So what if it’s astroturf? Who really cares? It’s just a few lines of text with an opinion that differs from ours. Look, I would certainly hope that the poster of that comment found an easy way to disappear, but that doesn’t mean he or she should not be allowed to post the comment. That’s all.

  46. XOPHER@69: I dunno. Though your word works, I still think this is a little more apt:

    in·con·ti·nent /ɪnˈkɒntnənt/[in-kon-tn-uhnt] –adjective

    1.unable to restrain natural discharges or evacuations of urine or feces.

    2.unable to contain or retain (usually fol. by of): incontinent of temper.

    3.lacking in moderation or self-control, esp. of sexual desire.

    4.unceasing or unrestrained: an incontinent flow of talk.


  47. Takuan,

    No one has made any comments about the ‘C’ word in ages. My posts have been about free expression which is usually some part of the subject matter of the posts that I’m responding to. I’m not sure what you mean by sport and entertainment. I’m dead serious about my comments. Perhaps I don’t easily flit from one joke to another. That’s a weakness. I tend to stay on point and come at it from different angles. The point is simply this: many people talk about free expression and support free expression. Very very few are actually able to allow it, whether they live in China, the U.S. or anywhere else.

    I do not care about any ‘C’ word beyond my original poem. A poem is finished and left behind. That has already been expressed. I moved on long ago. But you obviously remember the poem in great detail. I’m glad it made such an impression.

  48. sadly,the only impression remaining is just that.

    Criticism is useful and essential. Self reflection and review the root of all learning and growth.
    It is also true nothing gets built in the first place to be criticized and improved unless someone builds the structure in the first place. I invite you to pick up that saw and start humping lumber.

  49. Takuan, are you suggesting that I go out and build something of my own with my saw? I will not get into that argument with you. It would not work out well for you. But I think you are now watering down your attack. Forget the ‘c’ word. Leave it behind. Let’s talk about how comments are moderated. Would it be possible to allow any post containing a dissenting view, expressed without any nasty words or harsh personal attacks, to be left with its vowels intact? Would that be possible from this point forward? Or not?

  50. You answer first. Is it possible or not? Then I will answer. I promise. I’m trying to play along here. Give me that.

  51. Allesandro, did you not just bring up the “c word” poem just a few comments up?

    That’s why it is being referenced now. If you had said nothing we certainly wouldn’t be talking about it.

    Get over it.

  52. Arkizzle, it is not the bringing up, but rather the reliance upon it as an argument against my point. There is no burning desire on my part to see any particular word in print. The argument is about whether BoingBoing disemvowels comments that simply put forth a dissenting opinion or view. I would certainly stand up to say that any word should be allowed in comments on a site geared toward adult minds. But, assuming my willingness to relent on the bad word issue, I continue to ask why dissenting views are disemvoweled here. It is a perfectly valid question to ask. It is a simple matter to find examples of what I am talking about.

    I am not saying that there are no examples at all of opposing opinions allowed in the comments. I could not possibly come up with that kind of data. I am talking about the instances that I and others are aware of. I have clearly pointed one out. The argument against me that uses the ‘astroturfers’ explanation could be easily applied to any conservative or dissenting voice. ‘Oh, well he’s just an astroturfer anyway, so don’t let him talk.’ It’s ludicrous.

    I am perfectly cognizant of the fact that when you push buttons with language you risk offending and getting yourself banned from a group. Certainly. Testing the limits of language and reaction has always been the province of poetry. Contrary to what some people here seem to think, it has absolutely nothing to do with a personal taste for bad words. In fact, I so rarely write bad words you might think I was some sort of fuddydud.

    And, as I have still not seen a response from Takuan, I would have to assume the answer to my recent question is no. It’s possible an answer is coming, but for now I assume it’s ‘no.’

  53. I thought the issuse with this: “bt t ws Nncy Pls sprdng rmrs nd thrts” being unsubstantiated heresay and presented as some sort of apparent, first-hand knowledge or fact.

    I didn’t d/v it though, so can’t tell you the truth. But that is what I made of it at the time.

  54. Alessandro, you’ve basically just admitted (#81) that you take pleasure in making the mods’ lives harder, just because you think it’s fun, and because you think that there should be no moderation at all.

    An immoderate comment, to say the least.

    Then you go on (#84) to say that astroturf, in particular, should be allowed to stand. Later you make the argument, such as it is, that you can’t tell what’s astroturf and what’s just a genuine dissenting opinion, which shows your ignorance of the skills of moderators, and severe weakness in your Google-fu.

    In short, you argue that the comment threads here should be a free-for-all like 4chan or something. You are free to create a website where that’s the case. It’s not here, and never will be.

    The mods have been patient with you thus far (more patient than I would be). But I predict you will soon run up against the point where you have three choices: 1) STOP WHINING, 2) keep whining and get banned, or 3) flounce (or just stop posting here, voluntarily, without being a drama queen about it).

    I find that I don’t much care which of these you choose, since I’m now fairly well prepared to ignore you.

  55. And regarding the poem (I know, seperately), I don’t think anyone has an issue with poetry, challenging or otherwise. It just came across like pushy, shock art, designed to create a fracas. Not in itself an issue, but when it interrupts a conversation or derails a thread, it is no better than a flamewar.

    If I decided to use BB as my personal animation gallery, and posted links to my pieces in irrelevant threads I’d be told to keep it to my profile.

    One last thought, any time things are linked to from the BB comments that may be risqué or considered ‘adult’ in nature, we are required to include a NSFW tag. There was no opportunity for you to do this, as you didn’t link, you embedded.

    Anyway, not a contemporary conversation, but my thoughts.

  56. Arrkie! You’ve been holding out on me! Let’s see some of your work since you haven’t put it in your profile.

  57. Arkizzle, I do not think that every comment on BoingBoing is required to be substantiated. If someone wants to point the finger at a politician, they are perfectly free to. Arkizzle, I just can’t see that pointing the finger at Pelosi is worthy of disemvoweling. I like Pelosi, but blaming her for something in the political realm is not something I would forbid an individual or corporate entity. She’s fair game.

    Xopher, you should just ignore me. I enjoy argument. I am not trying to make anyone’s life harder. If someone doesn’t like being a moderator or finds it too demanding, my assumption is that they will go find another job. Arguments like these are valid. I engage in them with enthusiasm. If your skin is too thin for it, ignore me. Best option.

    Arkizzle, I totally understand your perception that the poem was pushy and shock-arty. It probably was too pushy. But it came about as a very strong reaction in anger to law enforcement in Britain being used against a young person for expressing his perfectly valid opinion on a cardboard sign. I was enraged by that. The poem was actually written expressly for the BoingBoing forum. I actually believed that I was making something that BoingBoing might find interesting. I worked hard on it. I ran it by other poets. You’d be amazed. Just trust me. It was of very serious poetic intent created specifically for this outlet. I actually don’t view comments as time-wasters or trivialities. I consider them an actual form of literary expression. I know I will sound absolutely pompous in saying this. But that is where the poem came from. It was directed against a mind set that reared its head in England and continues to do so today. So, yes, I was surprised by BoingBoing’s reaction. Obviously, I had not read the moderation policy! Oh well. Sometimes I do that with contracts too!

  58. I knew I’d regret writing that :)

    Unfortunately there isn’t much to show. I had my HD stolen over summer and lost my whole last year’s worth of work.

    The stuff before that isn’t much to get excited about, but I will definitely try digging something out, if not post the work I do later this year, somewhere. I’ve got some good stuff coming up :)

    If you can get Ant or TNH to forward your email addy to my registered address, I’ll mail you a link to a couple of older, simple things I did for my girlfriend.

    Sorry for the run around, but they aren’t for public consumptioin just yet :)

    (speaking of which, is there a spam-free/eyes-free way of exchanging email adds online?)

  59. Yeh, it occured to me a while ago.

    I suppose you could just go to the same irc room, with no one else in it..

  60. Arkizzle: Actually, I have no problem with poetry, and write a bit myself (not just when Yankovicking Spinal Tap) but I find it hysterical to resent them for society’s ills. (That’s why I put the “;D” at the end.)

    I look forward to seeing your stuff, and would also love to share some of my creative endeavors (art / photography / music) with those interested, but did not feel it was appropriate to spam in a thread.

    I suggested a way in another post, where commenters were throwing around marriage proposals, and will re-post my suggestion here. It would take some code changes however:

    Perhaps the ability should be added to communicate one on one here through the Profile, to forward messages to email while masking the real addresses and allow people to block if they like (kinda like craigslist.) That way, people who get to know each other here and want to get to know each other even more closely may do so. Just an idea.

    1. Perhaps the ability should be added to communicate one on one here through the Profile

      The original idea was something like that, but the software didn’t really turn out to support that sort of thing.

  61. is there a spam-free/eyes-free way of exchanging email adds online?

    You can ask me in a comment to send your e-mail to somebody. Let me try once more to get myself a bb e-mail address.

  62. Phikus, funnily enough I write lyrics myself, so I’m including myself in that ilk.

    They still annoy me sometimes, but that’s half the fun :)

  63. #118 Oh, well then, im here to whine my ass off and be a dick to people (everyone has their own gifts) ;-)

  64. Why do interesting whiny conversations always break down into a series of unintelligible abbreviated one-liners tossed back and forth between total strangers? Like a singles club. Everybody writes like George Bush talks.

    God, I love being the biggest a-hole in the room! One thing I’ve managed to learn over the years: never pretend to be someone’s friend.

    1. Why do interesting whiny conversations always break down into a series of unintelligible abbreviated one-liners tossed back and forth between total strangers?

      How do you know that we’re not gang-blogging out of the back room of a sex club in Tarzana?

  65. Oh man! Are you guys in the back? I’m in the front room! Why don’t you come on out here and have a drink?

    Actually, Antinous, that is the best one line I’ve read all day. Bravo!

  66. 1Up@122: …As always.

    Alessandro@124: “God, I love being the biggest a-hole in the room! One thing I’ve managed to learn over the years: never pretend to be someone’s friend.”

    Yeah, pretending to be an asshole is so much easier. The thing is, eventually it comes true, and then, like magic, you’re not in the room anymore. You also never manage to actually make any real friends that way. Bravo indeed!

  67. Hello, I too would like to communicate more somehow. I would also like to actually meet many of you one day before we are all dead. Maybe years from now, but those conventions where people from a common board get together always look like fun.

    Warning, I’m into serious longterm body modification. I’ve been working at it for many years and have almost completed my transformation. Before long I will be the spitting image of my grandfather, round and bald.

  68. I don’t like it that Ross just disappears. Logically it shouldn’t matter, I’m sure he’s ok. I just got here, but there are many of you that know him in a BB sort of way, and he is offline. This is new to me, but it is kinda similar to a guy that always comes to the same gin mill, then doesn’t. The rest just keep on drinking with a mystery.

  69. Maybe not even a convention. Just a date, everyone agrees to meet in ten years on some auspicious date, at some beautiful place, like one of the national park lodges in America. Then the ambulatory survivors just show up, enjoy the view, have a drink or more, then leave.

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