Last night I installed MT-Keystrokes (hat tip to Erik for the pointer). It’s a simple, if clever, piece of anti-spam technology for Movable Type comments. MT-Blacklist does a good job of catching most of the comments submitted, but there are a ton of comments submitted that are queued for approval, and deleting them from the blog is a long, long process. (Last night? Had to delete almost 7,000 comments in 125 comment increments. Talk about tedious.) Stats for MT-Blacklist in the 9 months since I installed it: 62,000 comment spams intercepted, 19,000 comment spams moderated.
MT-Keystrokes adds a little piece of code that checks to see if the comment submitted actually involved a keystroke. If it’s an auto-submitted comment that had no human input, it’ll choke and the comment won’t get submitted. I’ll keep an eye on it to see if it works as advertised.
(Note to anyone who doesn’t know much about the plumbing of this weblog: “comment spam” refers to comments auto-submitted by computer programs that are trying to add links to this blog (and countless others) in an attempt to influence Google’s rankings. I have no interest in trying to block legitimate comments, just trying to keep the crud off the site.)
Update: We have a winner. Not a single spam comment since this got posted at 9am; ordinarily I was getting 30-50 per hour, sometimes as many as 100 per hour. I’d have to say this is a must-have. Cameron Marlow, I salute you.