Blog Comment Spam

I'm getting about five spam comments per day. It's really annoying and I think it's just the tip of the iceberg – a sign of things to come, if you will. There are a lot of people who are trying to do something about comment spam, unfortunately –just like email spam– it's merely a quest to fill sandbags during the flood.

I've given some thought to implementing Jay's solution to kill comment spam dead. My fear is that Jay's fix – while it seems to be working now – won't work in the future and will slow page load & rebuild times. This is something that Girlie posts she's already noticed.

One solution that I would like to see implemented is requiring a graphic "validation" for posting the comment. This is common practice at Network Solutions and a lot of other sites. Here is an example of what I'm talking about. (If it doesn't work for you because of an outdated session link, then go here and then search for any domain name. You will see the validation graphic.) Some people will argue that it's an accessibility issue for people with certain disabilities (and it is), but for my little website, that's a sacrifice that I'll just have to make.

UPDATE: I've found a website that is using graphical validation. I'm going to see if that will work me. Stay tuned.

One sure fire, fail-safe way of addressing the problem is to use the Scriptygoddess "Comment Queue Hack", but its' a double-edged sword. On one hand, all the comments are set to "pending", so no spam is going into the comments unless/until you approve it. On the other hand, no legitimate comments are going to be posted until you approve them. Since I work all day and probably wouldn't check for comments until each evening, it could all day before a comment posts. That limits interaction – not just with you (my loved reader) but also among other commentors, since you can't see what someone else has commented if it's "pending". So, that's not going to work.

Alternatively, there is the requirement to "register" to post comments. That would work for a lot of people, but I think it has the very likely effect of chasing off people who happen on your site from a new link. So, that's not going to work.

The last option, if you can call it that, is just to turn off comments alltogether. I can't/won't do that. Part of the fun of blogging is to hear what other people have to say about your thoughts. It's the interaction that makes it worthwhile, in my opinion.

So, I'm at a loss. I don't know what I'm going to do exactly. I've got to do something (eventually we all will unless Ben & Mena find a solution and plug it in to MT), but I just don't know what. I'm going to tinker with Jay's solution (I think) and see if it works for me.

Either I start filling sandbags or I get up on the roof with the dogs and wait out the flood. I guess I'll go get a shovel.

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3 thoughts on “Blog Comment Spam”

  1. I like the idea about the "verification word" – I know that's an issue with text-based browsers and text-readers, etc – but I'm not sure what the hit count on those is anyways. I'd LOVE to know how he did the "word verification" thing. What would be cool is a combination of that and an "approval" thing. Figure, for the number of people that can't see the word, or don't write it – then THOSE comments go into a holding queue until you approve. Likelihood is that those will be the rare comments…

    However, something I've noticed on scriptygoddess – I think the spammers ARE in fact hitting the site. They do a search for something – a random page gets pulled up – they leave their spammy comment then move on. So they could still technically see the word verification… But at least it would prevent them from spamming you off the site…

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