The appearance of advertising topics in the forum is transient. The discussion forum receives dozens of entries every day, for gambling, marketing, pornography, and lifestyle advice, amongst others. Most are caught by the automatic spam filter service ‘akismet’, but occasionally the spammers tweak their details to evade the filters and some posts get through – temporarily. The moderators clear out the spam on a regular basis.
In this case, several gambling promotion messages were posted at 07:53, 07:57, 08:06 (2), 08:08, 08:011, 08:14, 08:15. Akismet failed to catch several of them and they duly appeared in the forum. You noticed them and posted your request to remove them at 08:26. The moderators routinely checked the forum around 08:30, deleted the spam, and then spotted your request – by which time the spam entries had already been cleared out.
Spamming happens dozens of times every day; unfortunately there’s no way to prevent it with the current blog configuration. Most sites avoid the phenomenon by requiring user registration, but Craig insists that he wants to keep commenting open. The moderators have to monitor the article comment threads, the forum topics, and the replies, in separate screens – all day every day. We can’t catch everything immediately, and in this case I think the response time was quite acceptable.
Clearing spam from the forum is a routine duty for moderators. Next time kindly wait a few hours to see whether the spam entries disappear, before prompting us to remove them.