Tuesday Morning Update

8:00am CT: Disqus says the migration is running, but is still not complete. I will keep you posted and share updates as I get them.

I am also aware that many of you are getting unsolicited email notifications from Disqus, multiple times, and that changing your profile settings doesn't work, because every time they try to re-run the migration, it inexplicably seems to subvert individual settings and the emails get sent again.

I am so desperately sorry that's happening. I work very hard to establish and maintain credibility and trustworthiness with this community, and I am mortified and angry that this situation risks undermining that with any of you.

I am also sorry that I'm the one apologizing to you for tech issues over which I have no control. That is not meaningful accountability. Disqus owes you an apology, which I have conveyed to them. I hope they agree.

Until I am assured that the issues regarding personal settings are resolved, I am reluctant to re-open commenting, even though Disqus assures me re-opening commenting will not affect the migration. I'll keep you updated.

Update 1: 8:30am CT: I'm going to go ahead and publish a couple of the things I wrote yesterday below this post. Comments will remain closed.

Update 2: 9:30am CT: I have gotten no updates from Disqus yet this morning. No replies to emails or tweets. I am aware that many of you are now getting email notifications for a third time. I'm so sorry.

Update 3: 10:30am CT: I have just received an update from Disqus. The migration has been paused because of the notification spamming. So now we're back in a holding pattern, while they try to figure out an issue I first brought to their attention yesterday morning.

Update 4: 12:15pm CT: The last I've heard from Disqus was more than an hour ago, telling me they are "waiting on next steps from our engineering team" and "When we have more information about what's happening we will be better able to advise on a timeline."

Disqus is also repeatedly telling me it's okay to open comments again. Except: User settings are not sticking, which means that if anyone uses the @ function which generates email notifications, the mentioned commenter will get an email notification irrespective of whether they've enabled (or want) notifications.

(I would like to think that a polite request of commenters to not use the @ function would circumvent this problem, but if polite requests were universally respected, we wouldn't need a commenting system that allowed moderation and banning for violating commenting guidelines in the first place.)

So: Given that some of you have received dozens of unsolicited emails, three times or more, I do not want to exploit the good will that most of you have extended to me during this debacle by opening up opportunities for even more unsolicited email generated by participation in this community.

Since the only thing that is within my control is whether to open up commenting again, I'm not going to do that until Disqus resolves these problems and personal settings are "sticking" again.

I would love nothing more to be able to open commenting again at Shakesville. But on behalf of the commenters who have been inundated with email from Disqus and are rightfully pissed off, I will not until we have resolution on this issue.

Update 5: 2:15pm CT: Still no ETA on when these issues might be resolved.

Disqus says they are working on it and have told me again that re-opening comments is an option. I want to be clear that they have said comments can be re-opened.

But. Disqus simultaneously reports "we haven't nailed down what's causing the notification issues." So I'm not getting any kind of guarantee that user settings are working for new comments and no one is going to get additional unsolicited email, even if they are mentioned using the @ function, if I reopen comments. Disqus will only say the notifications "appear to be strictly a result of a bug in the migration process" but nothing more certain.

Which is fine. I don't expect them to magically discern the answer. They're investigating. But, given those circumstances, re-opening comments is not a realistic or meaningful option from my perspective, since re-opening comments comes with a tacit promise that user settings are functional and no one will be getting any more unwanted emails.

And I can't make that promise, so re-opening comments is a risk I am not willing to take—and I'm honestly not sure why it's a risk Disqus recommends I take, or considers a viable option. It seems to me that both of us have an interest in making sure there are no more mistakes during this process.

I may be erring on the side of caution, but the thought of someone whose inbox has been deluged with Disqus notification spam getting even more makes me cringe even to contemplate.

And it is, of course, the most active members of the commentariat who have been most bothered by this notification clusterfuck, so I am sensitive to the fact that it's the people who most frequently comment, and are most likely to jump in and refer to commenting guidelines before a mod arrives, and generally help maintain the safe space, who are getting the blunt end of this mess.

Update 6: 3:20pm CT: No news. Have heard nothing from Disqus in two hours. I'm not posting that to make Disqus look bad; I'm posting it because it's honest, and I've gotten a bunch of emails from Shakers desperate to know what's going on, thanking me for posting regular updates, and asking me to keep providing them. I wish I had something else to report; I don't.

Update 7: 4:45pm CT: Disqus reports they have disabled mentions for Shakesville in order to run the test of the migration. Disabling mentions should disable notifications. However, if you start getting notification emails ("You were mentioned on Disqus") about old comments again, please let me know, and I will ask Disqus to pause the migration.

I haven't received any information about when the migration test will start or finish, but if and when I receive that info, I will pass it on.

Update 8: 5:20pm CT: Disqus estimates it will take "about 12 hours for the rest of the comments to finish migrating. So it should finish at approximately 3 am Pacific time," provided the migration goes smoothly and completes without any email spamming. Given a successful completion of the migration overnight, comments will be re-opened mid-morning CT tomorrow at the earliest, as I'll have to wait for confirmation when someone gets into Disqus' offices on the West Coast.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

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