Earlier this year, after getting hacked, we made some major changes. It all had to be done, but of course there are some new headaches. We’ve published this new help page explaining the changes, why you do not have to have a Facebook or Twitter account, what to do when your comment submit button vanishes on you, and why some comments are held for moderation (one normal, one buggy). Obviously we are working as fast as a volunteer-powered organization possibly can to fix the bugs, and we thank you for your patience. Meanwhile, if you’ve been frustrated trying to comment, this page should offer some relief.
How it used to be
Commenters here used to have a login just for ScienceBasedMedicine.org. We had about 40,000 user accounts — too many for a small volunteer-powered organization to safely manage.
How it is now
Now we are using a service — Jetpack, from WordPress — to handle all logins and confirm the identity of commenters. Jetpack will recognize logins for WordPress.com, Facebook, Twitter … or none at all (ad hoc commenting). There are many nice advantages to Jetpack.
No, you do not have to have a Twitter or Facebook account
To login to comment, you are not limited to those “social media” logins, which many people love to hate. And we understand that. But you can always comment two other ways that have nothing whatsoever to do with a Twitter or Facebook account, or social media:
- Ad hoc commenting, which requires no login at all. Just fill in your name and email (fake if you like), and away you go.
- A WordPress.com login, which you can use only for commenting on WordPress blogs — its sole purpose — and is thus more neutral and pleasing for many people.
I think people tend to overlook the WordPress.com option because they know nothing about it. They’ve heard of WordPress blogs, but not WordPress.com — a website devoted to WordPress blogs and related services. Before Jetpack, people who commented on blogs needed a login for every single individual blog. Now you can use a single WordPress.com login for scads of WordPress blogs, including ScienceBasedMedicine.org.
Everything in moderation: why some comments are held back
There are two possible reasons. Neither of them is “censorship.” If your comment is being held back, it’s because:
- Another bug. Some comments are being held for moderation (approval), and we don’t know why. This one is probably a Jetpack bug, and appears to be out of our control, but will likely be fixed by WordPress in time.
- We look at all first-time commenters. Again, SBM is run by volunteers, so please be patient. We do not reject comments for being critical or even rude.
SOLVED? The “vanishing submit button” (VSB) issue
For a few months after the new design was launched, submit buttons for comments were disappearing. We hope this bug is dead forever. If you do encounter it, please let us know, and here’s what to do:
The button is there, but invisible. Just press the tab key, and the button may magically reappear. It’s not as weird as it seems. The tab key tells the browser to focus on the next element, which is the submit button for the comment you’re working on. Sometimes this forces the browser to re-draw the button. Ta da. Even if it doesn’t re-appear, the browser may still be “focussed” on the submit at this point — just invisibly — and so the comment will still submit if you press the space bar or return key.
Please do not hesitate to contact me for assistance: