October 27, 2003

Comment spam – what next?

Interesting … today, I stumbled across a whole discussion about comment spam when I went over to the Movable Type site to see if there were any updates to it. I’d mentioned a while back about the strange comments that I’d seen here and how I’d deleted them but couldn’t get the entries to rebuild. The entries not rebuilding was a separate problem (Norton Personal Firewall :p) but the comments turn out to have been comment spam. At that point, it made no sense to me at all as to why somebody would leave a weird comment on my site but I deleted the comments anyway in principle since their site URL always seemed to be a porn something or something like that. I simply assumed that they were trying to get people to visit their site by way of these inane comments. Turns out that it is more complicated than that – most people seem to think that these obnoxious comments are actually a way for these spammers to up their Google ranking!

Now that I knew of the situation, I wanted a solution – some way to thwart these idiots who would try to use my site for their own purposes :p Fortunately, the Movable Type discussion also had a link to a blacklist plugin by a guy named Jay Allen. The plug-in seems to be extremely easy to install – just upload three files, run a web-based configuration and you are done and instead of relying on the not so efficient IP banning, (which I never used with the previous comments I deleted since each comment was from a different IP … ) the blacklist plugin actually scans the comment content to see if the comment is acceptable or not. Of course, I haven’t had a major problem with comment spammers (I’ve probably got less than ten spam comments) and so probably need not worry about this at all. However, I hear some people have gotten "hundreds" of comment spam for one entry and so I want to make sure that I don’t end up in the same situation. So I’ve installed the blacklist plugin and will now await eagerly to see if it does indeed work or if it will block all my usual commenters out too :p

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Posted by Fahim at 4:33 pm  |  1 Comment