Dreamhost Not Asshats After All (With Their Blog, Anyway)
So, a few days ago one of our more senior columnists, Dave Krug, noticed that Dreamhost seemed to be deleting comments on their own blog after their most recent service issues.Â I also blogged about it tangentially over on my own blog, and after a few days one of the Dreamhost employees got back to me and clarified things.
I’ll let Jeff from Dreamhost explain in his own words:
Turns out that Mr. Krug’€™s comments were eaten by a WordPress plug-in we use called SpamKarma – apparently it thought his comments were spam and retroactively removed them.
No DreamHost employee was involved in selectively censoring his comments. It was an automated removal.
I’€™ve posted a comment to this effect to his site, though it’€™s stuck in moderation until his approves it. We’€™ve explained the situation and have asked that if he has similar concerns in the future he contact us for an explanation before posting such accusations to his weblog. [me: I have since approved it] Either way, we do prefer to ‘€œlay it all out there’€? – we’€™re confident in the services we offer and feel that in the end a reasonable comparison of us versus our competitors will show us in a good light (warts and all!).
While we only have Jeff’s word to go on, I think it does make sense [disclosure alert: I host my own blog on dreamhost] — they’ve had service issues before, and have been nothing but transparent about what happens in the background.Â Opinions aside for whether or not they’re doing everything they can, or whether the service disruptions are or are not acceptable, I’ve noticed that in the past their blog never tries to hide what goes on.Â I’ll also agree with Jeff on this one — there have been some pretty nasty comments on their blog in the past which they’ve let go as well.
Bottom line: It may have looked like they started deleting comments, but it may have been an overzealous spam eating script.
*Dr. Tony Hung also blogs at BloggerTalks.com
Tony Hung is the editor of the BlogHerald. He is also a physician finishing his last year of residency in General Internal Medicine, and blogs at Deep Jive Interests , where he rants, occasionally, on new media topics.
Hehe… I’ve been using SpamKarma for a year and a half, and have never heard of it automatically removing a comment *after* it had alreay allowed it through.
I suppose there’s a first time for everything ; )
As I said — I don’t know if its true or not, I’m not a spam whiz, or “king”, but I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. ;)
What? You’re not the Spam King?!
I did an interview with Josh Jones, CEO of Dreamhost, a couple of weeks ago for a web dev podcast, PodDev, that i’m involved in. We asked about their stance on using the blog to communicate with readers, comment censorship etc.
Josh Jones is towards the end if I remember rightly.
Thanks for the retraction!
We just wanted to get the word out that we’re not censor-happy – with our blog or anyone else’s. If any comments get eaten in the future, let us know and we’ll see about whitelisting you in SK.
– Jeff C. @ DreamHost
Hey, look Jeff my sites down again. I’m sure if I get upset this time and even once go look at the dreamhost status blog I may get comments eaten.
SK2 will, in some cases, retroactively moderate comments… This is to catch potential flooders who may have posted already a large amount of comments that were let by.
Usually though, you would need to post *a lot* of comments over a very short period, and keep going despite having some moderated, before SK2 starts resorting to retroactive moderation…
This option, as any other, can be configured in SK2’s admin screen (you can set what SK2 should consider “a lot of comments” and “a very short timespan”)… In there, you can also see each and every comment approved or moderated by SK2, resuscitate false positives and see a detailed breakdown of the reasons SK2 thought a comment was spam (allowing you to loosen up whichever setting failed).