Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Comment spam

Ernie’s giving up. David Weinberger’s about to surrender. And Ross is saying that resistance is futile.

Ouch. I was starting to like comments on my blog. I’m getting a few a day, but not the 500 that David’s getting… which makes me oddly jealous. (OK, not really.) In any event, I don’t like Ross’s suggestion of going to Tribe — as a practical matter, it’s imposing a burden that’s too great on the casual commenter. (I don’t have the readership of a BoingBoing.)

I’m going to hold out for comment registration that’s coming with Movable Type Pro; beyond that, I’m going to hope that the boot-strapped system I’ve got stops the lion’s share of automated comments that get posted here.

Update Just by way of clarification, my concern is not comments left by real people (or lack thereof): it’s the automated comments that do nothing but advertise non-existent products, link to pornographic websites, etc. When I refer to “comment spam”, it’s a widespread issue with blogs run on popular software (which Movable Type, the program I use to run this site, most definitely is).


  1. Bleh it amazes me that liberals get offended when people post oppositional comments on their web log and at the same time are 'concerned' about not getting enough commenting traffic.

    Gee? Maybe you 'could' be scaring away the conservatives and liberals from your web log with your 'closed arms' approach? Just a bit of advice to increase traffic.

    Negative, oppositional, web commenting should not be shunned unless it's offense or vulgar or you know contains the usual stuff forbidden in normal every day society. (Sexual Harassment, Swearing, Physical Harassment). Those kinds of things won't come from me and usually are extremely rare. So... I don't think you have anything to be afraid of just because War Supporters want to place comments on here for your readers.

  2. Hey Jeff. Good to see you again. No, the issue of comment spam on blogs are automated bots that leave ads for penile enlargement, photos of any number of acts inappropriate for kid-friendly viewing, pills to cure whatever ails you, etc. In other words: just like e-mail spam, just automated by computer and left on random blog posts by the thousands.

    I have no intention to shut down the free-flowing debate on any number of topics left by real, actual people.

    (For more on the subject, see the link to Ross Mayfield's article at Corante about the problem of comment spam.)


  3. Hey Rick I still get here everyday. I am still a sponge and learning. Sorry. I am a Meet-up host now (wife and me) Been writing lots of letters and going to parties (donating really). I don't guess you will be doing any caption contests on this Blog. It might bring more taffic for your more serious Posts. Just a thought.


  4. Check the photo of Dean that is on Daily Kos found in the diary titled "Awwwwwww... by Grassy Troll.

  5. James Seng has written a neat piece of code that makes the spammer's comments obsolete. It doesn't directly link to the URL provided by the spammer, but creates a link to it through MT.

    This of course works for spammers trying to improve their Google rank, but it's still worth the look!


  6. Do you think this is RNC plumbers ("hackers") at work? Is this another Watergate?

  7. Yes, i also have to check the comments on my weblog to get rid of this nasty spam.

  8. Rick,

    Be ready for it. I got hit by someone trawling my blog with a fake comment on every single entry. Fortunately, I caught it after only 50 or so. Unfortunately, I may have killed my blog in the process of fixing it. Slowly working to fix it.

    Check that mt-blacklist tool from Jay Allen. http://www.jayallen.org/projects/mt-blacklist/

  9. The MT-Blacklist plugin and a change in the MT core that limits the number of posts-per-minute from the same IP address have cut back on the number of comment spams quite effectively. So, the !@#$-ing spammers are no longer destroying my comment boards. I would have _hated_ to close the boards.

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