Having readers all over the world is what makes keeping up a blog like this worthwhile, and I *love* it when they leave friendly comments about my knitting projects or whatever. Wanting to leave the door open to that sort of interaction, I had not placed any serious restrictions on comments up to now.
But then the day before yesterday a comment suddenly appeared here in Chinese. Unable to decipher it myself, I asked a Chinese student from one of my classes to translate it for me, and when she did, I learned to my dismay that it was a generic request to post a link to certain pornographic websites on my blog. Apparently there are automated "bots" that roam the web looking for potential places where such links can be inserted, and many of them originate in China.
What an UNWELCOME and DISTRESSING development!!
Although it is theoretically possible simply to delete an unwanted comment, I did not manage to locate the little trashcan icon at the time. So as an expedient, I ended up redoing the entire post, by copying its HTML code to a new entry and then deleting the original, comment and all. That is why my most recent post (from Monday, November 30th) now carries yesterday's date.
As a result of this incident and in order to prevent something similar from happening again, I have now turned *ON* the Comment Moderation function in Blogger. From now on, if/when you try to leave a comment on this blog, your remarks will not appear immediately. Instead, the server will prompt you to authenticate yourself via word verification and then notify me that someone would like to post a comment. I will then have to log in to my Blogger account and give permission in order for your comment to appear.
I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or irritation that the new comments policy might cause my genuine readers, but I hope everyone will understand why I felt it necessary to take these steps. Please don't let the potential delay discourage you from making a comment if you have something relevant and/or constructive to say!!