Comment Spam is Driving Me Crazy

Recently I've noticed a marked increase in the amount of comment spam I've been receiving. It got so bad at one point that I could have a hundred or (many) more spam comments to wade through in my inbox.

I'm sure part of the problem is the fact that -- like Jonathan Snook -- I leave comments open on old posts.

Unlike Jonathan, this is not so much to collect as many comments as possible but because I like to provide people the opportunity to post a comment on anything I've written, especially if it is a tutorial and they have a question.

I don't like the idea that the only way to post a comment on my site is to keep up with my latest posts.

Recently, however, the spam issue has become particularly problematic due to the lack of obvious keywords in many of the spam comments.

It's hard to catch spam that uses a perfectly innocuous phrase, and do I really want to start junking comments that include words like 'bothered'? Short answer -- want to or not, I've had to. Don't mention that you come from 'Texas' either or your comment will get junked. Sorry.

Askimet Anti-Spam Plugin

Last week I decided to beef up my spam defences and install the Askimet anti-spam plugin for Movable Type. Installation seemed easy enough, but my problem is that I can't tell if it is working.

I appear to have less spam, but the darned stuff is still getting through (5-10 a day) and I thought this tool was supposed to reduce it to almost zero.

So, my question is, how can you tell if Askimet is working?

I'm Not Alone

Fortunately, it seems that I am not the only one suffering this problem, although unlike Elise, my problem is only with comment spam, not trackback spam.

She lists a number of useful resources in her post, and there is a really helpful comment from The Tweezer's Edge explaining SpamLookup's keyword filter.

This is well worth a read if you're serious about reducing your comment spam, and if you do nothing else, you should add his regex filter into your list of keyword filters. Here's how the default version looks:

/https?:\/\/[^\s\'"<>]*(?:spamword1|spamword2|
spamword3)[^\s\'"<>]*/I

Just replace spamword1, 2, etc with your chosen spam words and you're set.

I've added several varieties of this to my list of filters -- I'm hoping that it's going to be pretty effective. Is anyone else having the same problems at the moment?

Posted on: May 30, 2006 | No comments

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