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Discussion > I think (I hope) that the 403 problem has gone.

Around the start of November, BH commenters found that they would frequently get
403 Forbidden
aXiS5Bc5/0D1pHWQz @ Sun, 29 Nov 2015 17:56:02 GMT
SEC-61

and then not be able to post maybe for hours. It seems that the problem has now been corrected.

- There are now no limits on [Preview Post]/[Make Changes].

- Up to two posts can be made within 60 seconds. (More than two postings within 60 seconds will be interpreted as spam and will get 403'd)

- There is also an hourly limit on postings, but no ordinary user should ever hit that limit.

Here is my perspective on what transpired.

To minimise the amount of spam that gets posted in discussion threads, Squarespace program their system to attempt to recognise automated spam posts and to block them. It's a complicated system with numerous rules to block undesired postings.

Evidently, an update to the spam rejection system in early November resulted in many legitimate operations by users being incorrectly recognised as spam and users then being blocked, seeing 403 errors.

It took some weeks for the problem finally to be corrected:

- An update to the spam rejection system intended to correct the problem worked fine when tested in Squarespace's testing environment a week or so back. But when rolled out, the problem was still there, to the Squarespace team's dismay.

- Squarespace are not allowed to perform testing on users systems (by their T&C + privacy rules), so they were short of information on the details of exactly what actions by BH users would provoke a 403.

- I took it upon myself to ask Squarespace to escalate the problem, since it was adversely affecting many users and had still not been resolved after some weeks. This resulted in exchanges where Squarespace asked me for detailed information on the exact circumstances that produced 403's. With the information that I and other users provided, Squarespace were able finally to understand why BH users were getting 403'd. They then quickly put the necessary corrections in place.

Conclusion

I think everybody, BH himself, BH commenters, and the Squarespace team, will be very pleased that the problem now seems to have been resolved.

I conclude that the problem was made worse, both in terms of time to resolve and frustration of users (and the blog owner) by information not flowing as freely as it could have done.

This applied to flow in both directions - users saw no sign of the problem being taken seriously by Squarespace and the Squarespace technical team was not getting information it needed from users. Yet I found Squarespace to be responsive and frank when specific comments were made to them.

I'll make a suggestion to Andrew via email about how communication might be improved in any future technical problem affecting users.

Dec 1, 2015 at 11:07 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A
Many thanks for all your hard work, and the Squarespace Team it's good to hear that once you got in touch things were resolved.

In a lifetime of component test and field failure analysis one phrase is music to the ears "it always does it when..."

Thanks again

Dec 1, 2015 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Martin A

Many, many thanks for your valiant efforts in seeking a resolution of this issue. Above and beyond and greatly appreciated.

Dec 1, 2015 at 2:06 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Many thanks, Martin A.

Dec 1, 2015 at 3:50 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart