Hats Off to the Haters

Album Cover: Various Positions

"Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya."
Leonard Cohen / Hallelujah

Posted on January 10, 2005 2:02 PM in Blogging
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

As I mentioned earlier, comment-spam has become a bigger and bigger problem on my sites over the past couple of months. I'm partly to blame, simply for being lazy and not implementing some mechanism to keep the spammers out, but it's absolutely frustrating to me when I have to spend any time at all dealing with spam.

Back in November I left a comment in response to an explanation of the anti-spam measures implemented by Chu Yeow over at his blog.

The main issue I had with Chu Yeow's approach was that determined spammers could get past it without too much trouble – and nowadays, as "determined spammers" becomes a more and more redundant term, I feel like you've got to stay one step ahead of the spammers.

Because of the recent surge of spam on my sites, though, I decided today to go ahead and implement something that should help in the short term. It is similar to the approach used by Arcanius and recommended recently here on this blog.

All I do is ask you to check a small checkbox confirming that you hate spam. If you do, then your comment will go through as usual. If you don't, though, I turn into the comment nazi and say nothing more than "no comment for you!" Afterall, if you don't hate spam you've got some serious issues that I don't want anything to do with :)

We'll see how things go.

Comments

Chu Yeow on January 11, 2005 at 5:00 AM:

Interestingly, I think I must be getting hit by waffling comment spammers (or at least those who use automated comment spamming tools). I haven't been hit by any comment floods (except for 1 or 2 now and then) since I implemented that (I used to get them moderately bad, but nowhere as bad as referrer spam, ugh). I think this solution by Arcanius is much better, simply because it's far easier to check a box, and the cookie solution (though just as easily broken by the mythical determined comment spammers).

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Bernie Zimmermann on January 11, 2005 at 10:48 AM:

Chu Yeow,

I think you might be right about the "determined spammers" being a bit mythical. I think any anti-spam measure is better than none (I've learned this the hard way) and for the most part, should thwart any bot-like spam routines that blindly go around commenting.

I guess I see them as determined more because they actually have found ways to spam my sites, which use hand-developed comment and contact forms that aren't as rampantly available as the default WordPress and MT forms out there.

I guess I'm giving too much credit to the spammers. I need to remember that they're just a step below pond scum and not worthy of any credit whatsoever ;)

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