New Strategy for Blocking Comment Spam

Just a quick note to let everyone know that I’m testing out a new strategy for blocking comment spam. It’s should be totally invisible to you, and it shouldn’t cause your comments to get trapped in a spam filter (that may still happen, but it won’t be the fault of the new measures). I just wanted to give everyone a heads-up in case problems arise. The problems in this case would be trouble accessing the comment form, or trouble actually submitting your comment. So… If you run into any such problems, please drop me a line and let me know. And if you do need to get in touch with me about this, please provide an e-mail address so I can get back to you. Thanks!

5 Responses to “New Strategy for Blocking Comment Spam”

  1. Anonymous

    Well, I had a system like that as well, but I recently changed hosts and I haven’t updated my IP bans again so my spam has picked up again. When the worst offendors plugin just listed by IP address then when I saw an IP over and over again I tended to add them to the ban list, but now I need to make a new one and/or start using htaccess to ban IP addresses.

  2. Well, yes, but something more than that. Blocking by IP restricts access to the site entirely, but only for targeted IPs. This is a more general solution, but I’m not going to post the details here.

  3. Anonymous

    I assume that you are using akismet with the worst offendors plugin (as I saw you commenting in his support forums)? That’s the method that I use, and I think that it has worked out pretty well for myself. It certainly makes finding false positives pretty easy; if somebody gets 4 false positives within a few hour time span then they may be out of luck, but the times I’ve validated ahead of time that hasn’t been an issue.

  4. Colin: Thanks for your reply. The most likely cause of your past comments getting filtered was because of the inclusion of unnecessary urls. If you need to include a url to make a point, then fine. But keep in mind that url inclusion *does* increase the chances of being flagged as spam. So if you’re just looking to drop a link back to your site (as you did above) then don’t… Your name is already hotlinked back to your site so it’s totally unnecessary and, again, it increases the chances of getting caught.

    Also keep in mind that Akismet is a distributed filter, so if you leave questionable comments on someone else’s site and they get flagged as spam, your comments will be treated as such when you come here. I’m not saying you did this, just explaining how it works.

    In the future, if you leave a legitimate comment and it doesn’t show up immediately, then by all means drop me a line. Use the contact link in the header, and be sure to include your url or the name you used when commenting so I’ll have a string to search with). I’ll fish it out and the filter *should* learn (though it doesn’t always happen immediately).

    Thanks for your feedback.

  5. Anonymous

    Hey Mr. Nickel,

    I had left comments in your blog a while ago and got caught in a filter.

    Your blog has been one of my sources of inspiration for my website. I hope to be able to come and comment and invite you to comment on my blog.

    I am a real guy making real comments looking to be active in the financial community. Not some pinhead comment spammer.

    Anyway, I would love to hear about your efforts to stop comment spam. I know the pains and have been looking for my own solutions to stop blog abuse.

    Best Regards,
    Colin McDougall

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