I’ve had a number of people alert me that the Wallyhood Forums, and open area where you can post messages for your neighbors, hasn’t been functioning for some time.
A month or two ago, a spambot got a hold of the forum and began posting literally thousands of messages an hour advertising colleges, presumably for SEO reasons. I added a captcha (a simple math problem) to prevent automated posting, but the task of clearing out the spam that had been posted in the meantime proved daunting.
Well, I finally decided to just purge all the old content and start fresh, so I invite you to return to our own little local message board and share your thoughts and news. Click the “Forums” link in the address bar, or just right to there through this link: Wallyhood Forums. Please let me know if you see anything amiss, or would like further adjustments made.
It looks lonely in there right now, so I’m looking forward to hearing from you!
Updated 3/8/2020: I’ve edited this original post in response to a reader’s note. In the original post, I identified the source of the problem as a “Chinese spambot”. A reader raised a concern with me that, intentional or not, this contributes to the growing distrust and animosity towards Chinese people and anything related to China in general.
When I wrote the post, the source of the problem as “Chinese” was highly salient to me (each of the 3,000 – 5,000 messages that had been posted were entirely in Chinese except for the names of American colleges), and so that was how I thought about it. But whether or not something a detail is “true” is only one factor in whether it’s appropriate to include it. I believe it’s important to recognize the impact our words have, and that is more so true of a public writer like myself than of someone in casual conversation.
In this case, that detail wasn’t necessary to the story, and could have been omitted without affecting the accuracy or completeness of what I was saying. Given the potentially harmful nature of including it, I should not have, and for that I apologize.