Comments Are In Danger

For the past couple of days this blog has been under increasingly severe attack by sp**mers. Some are for notorious prescription drugs. Other are to garbage name sites (presumably in the hopes of creating a high search rank for later sale?) Still others are to hacked locations on message boards at institutions whose pages have been hacked.

I have wasted a lot of time deleting this stuff, and now am being driven to closing comments in the items that they most frequently target. I hope I can keep comments open — especially as one or two threads are quite active and interesting right now.

But there's a limit to how much whack-a-mole I can play here.

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7 Responses to Comments Are In Danger

  1. wcw says:

    Try Serendipity. It has great antispam provisions out of the box.

  2. Frank Leahy says:

    I was having similar problems with my blog (4000 spams in a 2 month period!), so I added a field where you have to type in the number 4 (“Add 2+2 and put it here:”). After doing that, my spam went to essentially zero.

    Good luck,
    — Frank Leahy

  3. I’ve heard that Akismet is a good anti-comment spam tool, though I’ve not used it myself. Like Frank, I used a comment verification function on my (now defunct) blog, and that worked fine.

  4. Michael says:

    The problem is finding blocking stuff that works with this aged version of Movable Type. I do use Movable Type Blacklist which compares every submission against a file that currently has 4907 entries, including some strong regular expressions. But since it is not equipped with fancy adaptive detection tools like spamassasin, it is defeated by the references to hacked university discussion boards, and also to random letter combinations that it has never seen before.

    I’ve looked into converting to other software (WordPress, for example, does Akismet), but it’s no small job given the various customizations I’ve hacked in a long the way.

    A less difficult alternative has me freezing all the content on this blog, start fresh in WordPress or whatever, and trust search engines to keep the archives accessible. Even that would require a substantial makeover, as not all of my current plugins are easily transferred.

    And I would really rather spend the time on other things right now.

    Movable Type says that I have 3498 entries, and 9181 comments to date. What that doesn’t count is the deleted and blocked spam. In addition to the uncounted thousands of spams blocked by MT-Blacklist, well more than three thousand have gotten through the filters (it’s hard to say exactly now many because when the flood is really bad, the mailer chokes and stops mailing me copies; if I had to guess I’d say maybe five or six thousand manually deleted spams since I started doing this).

  5. Mojo says:

    I’d be willing to give up net neutrality in return for the death penalty for spammers.

  6. Good one Mojo, lately there is more discussion of spam difficulties at the group of blogs I frequent. Do you discuss legal topics here than are suggested by readers or are the discussions exclusively from your posts?

  7. I forgot to mention that Dr Taylor at PoliBlog has used Dr Dave’s Spam Karma on WordPress and says it works well but uses more storage than he wishes to accommodate. Might be worth a try if you migrate to WordPress.

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