Saturday, February 06, 2010

We interrupt this broadcast...

I need to engage in a quick bit of less-than-pleasant housekeeping, folks. I've noticed a distinct increase in the amount of comment spam over the last couple of months, and as a result I've decided to tighten the commenting process a bit in an effort to prevent moronic postings from hitting the blog. Effective immediately, I've enabled the "captcha" feature, which displays a funny-looking string of characters onscreen that the commenter must manually type in before the comment can be accepted.

While this increases the inconvenience factor for legitimate readers - and for that I sincerely apologize, because I've long believed in making it easy for folks who drop by - I regrettably have to implement it to keep the bad guys out. We'll give this a try and see if it works. Thank you for your understanding.

Additional background - warning, geeky:

Traditionally, I've kept comment moderation OFF because the spammers seemed to target older posts. I simply set my blog to force moderation for all posts 14 days and older, which struck a nice balance and kept things relatively comment-spam-free.

Lately, however, the spammers have changed their tactics: now they go after newer entries. I switched the forced-moderation parameter to 7 days to try to blunt the impact, but when stupid comments started showing up on my newest blog entries, I knew it was time to try something new.

Your turn: Do you have issues with comment spammers? How are you addressing them?

18 comments:

Mark said...

I used the self-hosted WordPress, which has pretty good built-in spam controls already, but I also added the Spam Karma plug-in for WordPress. An unwanted comment slips through only once every couple of weeks, if that often. My only worry is that the developer announced he is going to stop (his own) development on Spam Karma, so I may have to switch to something else once WP moves beyond that plug-in's compatibility.

Wow, that was long.

Anne said...

yeah, me too. I put the veri back on a couple months ago. the words are funny, tho.

Cloudia said...

I moderate older post comments as you did. Perhaps I'll tighten that parameter. I'll not put veri in for a while


Thanks for the info, Carmi


Aloha,


Comfort Spiral

~jill said...

i've not had any trouble but some of my friends are being hit hard by spammers.

Thumper said...

I just use the 14 day comment moderation, and delete spam as I find it. Since I'm at the computer most of the day to work, it's easy enough for me to check in a couple of times a day on my blog and Max's blog to delete anything I need to delete.

kcinnova said...

I completely understand, Carmi.

I'm not really sure what people have to do to leave me a comment on WordPress! I'm told there are indeed hoops to jump through and I have at least one reader who very rarely comments because of it.
I do have it set up that if you are a new-to-me commenter, I have to approve your first post. After that, you can post away without being moderated, as long as you log in exactly the same way each time.

Rinkly Rimes said...

Now I have a complex! I've never had ay spam and I'm beginning to think it's because I'm not worth spamming!

Pat@BPM said...

I've had this problem, too. I no longer accept anonymous comments and I now moderate all comments on all posts. So far, it seems to be working well. Those readers who don't have a blog or google account, who used to comment anonymously, now e-mail their comments. I have only 3 or 4 readers who commented anon. Other than the bad guys, that is.

I don't use the word verification option.

MB said...

Luckily I don't get much and just delete any that comes through. I don't understand what the spammers get out of it other than irritating people. I'll jump through whatever hoops you have to put in place to keep the spam out of Written Inc. ;) Good luck!

g said...

I hate having to use the word verification (sorry!) so I try to keep my blog as open as possible. But I have been getting spam lately - some on old posts and even on new ones.

My question is - why do they spam old posts, anyway? It's not like there's much traffic there, even I hardly go there. So what's in it for them?

Michael Manning said...

Carmi: I completely relate. I've been spammed and found myself de-smamming 5 years back. I too have had to resort to controls, so don't feel bad. Totally understandable! Nice to drop by!!!:)

Breeze said...

Yes...it`s really crazy...suddenly it`s spammapalooza at my blog..understand the need for the tightening completely!

Linda said...

like most others, I use word verification. I did do comment moderation for awhile, but that got tedious (when my blog was popular, lol). I haven't seen any spam on my blog since I stopped doing entre*card (asterisk inserted to avoid search term).

Catherine said...

I have always used the "captcha" thingy, but have noticed an increase in spam lately. Not too many, so I just delete them as I am told leaving them there encourages them. If it becomes too troublesome I will set up comment moderation but I don't want to do that unless I have to. I didn't realise you could force moderation depending on the date of the post.

Pearl said...

yes, I've seen the same trend. Frustrating.

I have 4 spam filters on and catpcha and they have broken thru all, at least to get thru to ready for moderation level.

and the spam bots are smarter, using keywords from the post and even other commenters.

Mojo said...

To date I haven't ever had to turn on word verification or comment moderation. I don't get a lot of spam comments, but when I do get one justice is swift and merciless. If the blog in question is a Blogger-hosted blog I hand them over to Google and let them deal with it. If it's hosted at WordPress, there's a similar recourse. It's a bit more complicated if the blog in question is self-hosted since there's no overarching authority with a TOS agreement the site can be held to. Fortunately, most spammers don't bother going to that much trouble.

Nishant said...

I may have to switch to something else once WP moves beyond that plug-in's compatibility.

Work from home India

Pamela said...

the spam comes in spurts. I put moderation on my older posts. Most of the spam is in chinese lettering.