TheOptimizationIdiot - 4:56 am on Apr 18, 2013 (gmt 0)
I think Google has automated many demotions that we previously considered manual. So when they say "no manual penalty" the person who is examining your site's record has looked for a manual penalty flag and they don't see one.
I think I remember reading something along those lines that was "semi-official" (from a former employee or someone in a position where "not believing" what they said seemed like a bad idea) so I think you're right, but I can't find the source, so it's possible I'm mistaken. What you're saying sounds accurate to me though.