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Can't approve comments on iOS app (or from Wordpress.com interface)

  1. I was having an issue where I was unable to approve comments from the Wordpress app. When I clicked "approve", the comment would mark as approved, before reverting back a few seconds later.

    On the wordpress.com website I had setup my website with Jetpack and all of that seemed to be working, but if I tried to approve comments on there too I would get the message "failed to approve comment".

    There were no errors in my server log that I could find. I tested my xmlrpc.php and everything was working fine there too.

    Going through my access logs, I noticed that when I did an operation in the app that failed, in my server raw access log it would show the HTTP code was 403 (forbidden):

    192.0.116.145 - - [13/Jun/2020:03:56:25 +1000] "POST /?for=jetpack&jetpack=comms&token=sanitised&timestamp=1591984584&nonce=sanitised&body-hash=sanitised&signature=sanitised%3D HTTP/1.1" 403 1228

    This clued me up, as I have seen 403 errors a lot before, due to an over-zealous mod_security installation on my host's server.

    Long story short, disabling the mod_security rule #921150 fixed the issue for me, and now I can approve comments on the iPhone app again. We also whitelisted mod_sec rules #700005, and #217291 too, but the problem only went away when we added #921150 to the whitelist.

    In my case, since we used apache, we added code to the .htaccess file:

    <IfModule security2_module>
    SecRuleRemoveById 921150
    </IfModule>

    I hope this helps somebody.

  2. Hi pinchies,

    Thanks for sharing your problem and your workaround!

    It will surely help others who might face the same issue.

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